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Alone Upstairs

Posted on Thu Nov 17th, 2011 @ 10:21pm by Lieutenant Commander James Barnes & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes

Mission: Intermission
Location: TIC
Timeline: Immediately Following Lucky Eights


"Oh, only five decks," James smiled, looking down at her as he climbed up the ladder. "Maybe I wanted to peek," he laughed, turning back, "And I suppose it is kind of romantic. I'd still prefer a holodeck or nice private restaurant table somewhere. Certainly beats this. This just reminds me of some unpleasant times in the war."

"Oh," she answered, steadily climbing the ladder, focusing her eyes ahead of her and not down. She grinned, "I hope that's a promise, it's not nice to tease, you know."

"Trust me, Christine, that most certainly is a promise. Especially as soon we get out of this situation," he looked down and laughed, winking at her, "I promised the Captain we'd behave in the TIC, though."

She laughed, a sound that seemed louder than it actually was. "But I'm not Starfleet," she said, and stopped climbing to hook an arm over a rung to take a short break, thinking about the private scene in the mess hall between the two other women. It was brief, and she was still slightly confused as to the do as I say and not as I do line they both had been given. "You are. And didn't you also promise me a shot of Scotch. Or whatever it was, I can't remember. I'm going to hold you to that promise too."

"I did promise you a shot of scotch," he stopped, looking down at her as she stopped to rest, "Have I ever mentioned that I hate these tubes? I once climbed 24 decks on a disable Galaxy-class starship during the Dominion War. It was horrible."

"Yes, you have," she answered. "But 24 decks? I don't envy that at all. Let's talk about something more...pleasant." Christine righted herself and continued upward, closing the gap between them. Her hands were already hurting, her bare feet hurt, and she had the feeling they only climbed one level. "Other than work, do you do anything for fun?"

"I like orbital skydiving, scuba diving," he started laughing as they climbed, "And rock climbing, actually. You think I wouldn't mind this, but there's something a lot different about a jeffrie's tube compared to a rock face. I think its the breeze. One more level and there's a junction with a horizontal tube. We can take a quick break. I can imagine this is killing your bare feet."

"I almost wonder if I should have just kept my shoes on. But on the other hand," Christine said, "A broken ankle and you'd have to carry me the entire way." There was a minute or two of silence before she added, "Extreme sports, huh? You must like living on the edge."

"Eh, I'd rather give you a foot rub than carry you," he grinned, "And danger is my middle name." James stepped off the ladder onto the ledge, pulling out his tricorder and scanning around them. He tapped a few commands on the console located on the wall, each keystroke eliciting a harsh beep from the computer. "I'd really like to know what in the hell is going on with this ship."

"Spooky," she said as she stepped off and shone her torch down one way and then the other. "Did the whole ship just shut down?" Christine leaned her back against the wall next to him and slid down until she sat on the floor, her legs folded underneath her. She rubbed her left foot, wincing slightly.

"Well, yes and no," James had a panel open and was now rearranging some isolinear chips, "Artificial gravity and navigational stability systems are operating, but controls are locked out. Life support, internal comms, the lifts, and main computer access are offline. This smells of sabotage, personally." The computer beeped in disagreement again and James' current efforts were met with a small shock and some sparks.

He looked down at her for a second, shaking his hand as he tried to regain some feeling. "Two more decks and we'll be on level terrain. I promise it'll be better up top."

"Another promise?" she grinned. Christine let go of her foot and stood up, stretching out her legs as she did so. She looked up at him, taking a step closer until she was only an inch away."You have a running tab, you know," she said and tilted her head as she watched his reaction, "I'm not usually that lenient." She smirked and tossed her hair over one shoulder.

He took a deep breath, smelling her perfume as she stood so close. James reached out and slid his arms around her waist, pulling her towards him, kissing her. He lost himself in the moment, but then broke the kiss and looked back in her eyes. "How's that for a down payment?"

She opened her eyes fully and looked up at him. Placing her hands on his upper arms, she gave him another half smile. "Well. You are a regular James Bond, aren't you," she said, "But yes, I'll take that."

"Oh, you liked it," he grinned, sliding his arms from around her waist. He started towards the ladder. "Let's get moving. I've got new motivation to get through this whole event," he winked and started climbing.

"What woman in her right mind doesn't like getting swept off their feet by someone out of a novel?" She smiled back and climbed the ladder behind him. "That's odd. My feet don't hurt anymore. And if that was a down payment, I wonder what else I can expect," she said, her face flushed at the thought.

James laughed as he climbed. "Oh, I have quite the imagination," he stepped off the ladder on the final deck, kneeling next to the hatch. He tapped a few commands into it, looking over his shoulder briefly as she finished her climb. The hatch was refusing to open, not to his surprise. He opened the manual release and began pumping the handle, the two doors sliding open slowly with each pump.

"Nothing is ever easy," he grumbled.

"But I like what I'm seeing," she commented, standing behind him and the light trained on the door ahead. She watched him for a few minutes before adding, "Um, if you need me to do something, let me know."

James got the door open all the way. "Let's go," he said, shining his light through the hole. He sidestepped through the door, shining the light in each direction. He saw nothing - no crewman or anyone else for that matter. The hallway was deserted. He turned to Christine to make sure she was with him. "The TIC is right around the corner."

James rounded the corner, and typed a few commands on the console next to the door to the TIC. It parted about an inch. He turned to Christine and handed her his light. "Hold this for a second," he said, putting his hands between the two doors and heaving. The door slid open with some effort, and James stepped in. He looked around. Empty.

Christine shone the light past him and into the room. "Is this supposed to be empty? Where is everyone?" She looked at him, confused.

"No, this and engineering are supposed to be the last places staffed in the event of any sort of emergency," James made his way to a console that was still active and tried to access a ship's status read out. The screen greeted him with more static.

"Well, shit," he growled, opening the base of the console and playing in the wires. He popped back up and tried again, and still nothing. "Looks like we're out of luck."

There was something foreboding in the words, and she gulped nervously. "Should we try somewhere else?"

James shook his head. "We're supposed to be here. Not to mention the TIC gives us better access to communications and the like if we do restore power. No, besides engineering, the rest of the crew's actions will hinge on the TIC and the bridge more than anywhere else."

James took a deep breath, walking over to her and putting his hands on her arms, rubbing them reassuringly. "We'll be ok, " he said, having detected the nervousness in her voice, "We'll be ok, I promise."

Christine closed her eyes and instinctively leaned towards him. "What should we do now?" she whispered.

James kissed her again, this one lasting longer, seeing as they were in a more comfortable setting than the jeffrie's tube. He stopped and looked at her. "I guess we wait. See if they restore power or someone comes by. Until then," James shrugged, "I did promise the Captain we'd behave. But....."

"But what? A beautiful woman distracted you?" Christine looked up at him and smiled. She reached her hands up and laced her fingers together behind his neck, pulling him closer. She gave him another kiss.

He slid his arms around her waist, his hands exploring up and down her back, then down around her hips and onto her bare thighs. He grinned as he pulled away from her. "What the captain doesn't know won't hurt her," he winked.

Christine breathed in deeply and pressed her body against his in response. "I like the way you think," she murmured and closed her eyes again.

James grinned mischievously, one of his hands sliding up the side of her bare leg and under her dress while the other searched for the zipper on the back of her dress. 'I hope the internal monitors aren't recording', James thought to himself before getting lost in the moment.


A joint post by:

Lt. James Barnes
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Shanghai


Christine Descharmes


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