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"I've been...stuck."

Posted on Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 @ 12:45am by Captain Jamie T. Kirk

Mission: USS Sovereign
Location: various
Timeline: current

ON:

Another day of being Captain had passed, with Kirk doing the humdrum of her duties. Since she had no Intel Chief, and was still listed as an Infiltration Specialist, as Captain she had taken it upon herself to see to the department as well as her own duties. It made for many long hours of reading and checking off reports. Perhaps, she thought, she should continue to do both, to break the monotony of her command responsibilities. Keep herself sharp and in the know. Jamie had decided to continue wearing her gunmetal black shirt, instead of the Command Division red. There was no gurantee, as of now, that she would keep her chair once this mission ended, and to be prepared for such an event was the wise course of action.

In the gym Kirk had on her black workout clothes, the sports bra and Volleyball style shorts, and sneakers made in the style of wrestling shoes. Her thin, UFC style gloves were on her hands, her body covered in a sheen of sweat as she trained herself in speed and accuracy with the martial arts tree. Her hands and feet moved quickly, blocking and striking with deadly accuracy and precision. The tree was being battered and abused but stood up to her onslaught, despite the creeking and wobbling with the stronger strikes. She had music playing in the background, to help her saty in rhythm, with lyrics that penetrated to her core.

***

"Champion sound"

{Original Artist: Ill Factor}

Started from the bottom
Just to climb to the top
Struggles, yeah I've got 'em
But I'm never gonna stop
I'm pushin' till I'm broken
Gonna leave it on a field
Dreams unspoken
It's time to make 'em real

Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh

Moving through the shadows
Till I reach victory
The rich get stolen
Will return them by the greed
It's time to rise up now
Yeah, I'm risin' to the top
These streets on fire
'Cause united we won't stop

Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh

Struggles gettin' better
I never backed down
Never gonna stop, now
Darkness

It's time to rise up now
Yeah, I'm risin' to the top
These streets on fire
'Cause united we won't stop

Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh
Wooooaaaaoooh

***

Finally spent, Kirk was breathing heavily as she stepped back, then walked off the muscle strain. She shook her hands and arms out, cooling down as she swaggered around the mat. Several crew members watched her, impressed with her workout regimen. Pulling the velcro on her gloves she pulled them off then headed for the locker room, feeling the eyes on her backside. Since they were unisex, anyone could come into the locker rooms and view her nakedness, which didn't bother Jamie one bit. Nudity was what it was, and necessary for certain actions to be completed; namely sex and bathing. Stripping down and tossing her clothes in the refresher she took a towel from the folded piles on the shelf, not using it to cover up as she shook it out and hung it on a hook just outside the common shower. Several people were inside, amle and female, so Jamie kept her eyes in a neutral stance and stepped under the spray, adjusting the water temp to ease her tense muscles. The shower felt great, and she took her time.

Back out in the locker room, now dry and dressed in her uniform, Kirk gave a nod to those within the locker area and departed the gym. Making her way with lifts to the primary hull, Jamie stepped out and proceeded to her dining room, and the kitchen that held her newest friend, Elli. She stepped through the main door to the eating area, and there stood Elli with a pint of stout in one hand, and a cigar in the other, presenting them.

"Here you are, Captain." Elli gave a smile and wagged her eyebrows.

Kirk, a bit surprised by this, reached out and took the offered gifts. "Thank you. How did you...? Never mind, I won't get an answer, anyway." She stepped around her Chef, placing the stout on the table and holding a hand out toward Elli, expectant.

Elli was looking surprised now. "What?"

Jamie gave a snide grin. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. You thought you had me stumped again, and yet, you forget the cigar clip?"

"Oh," responded Elli, digging in her chef coat pocket, handing it over.

"Good girl," said Kirk, snipping the end off her cigar, in the ashtray, and then licking her lips and the cigar before twirling it in her lips to moisten the tobacco. Pulling out her Zippo, complete with Starfleet logo on the front, Jamie flipped it open and ignited it, puffing as she kept twirling the cigar to get it to light evenly. Closing the lighter and blowing a good mouthful of smoke upwards she gave a sigh. "That's the ticket." The lighter was returned to her pocket. "Computer, play Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Can't Hold Us. Conversational level." The music began to play, with Jamie starting to twerk a bit and jig to the music.

Elli gave a laugh at the Captain, seeing her relaxing more and more into who she was supposed to be. So, not to be outdone she took the cigar and tamped it out, then got up on the tabeltop, waving the CO to join her. "Come on. Live a little, let loose, no one will see how you relax. Come on."

Jamie, giggling, got up on the table top and had the computer restart the music. Both ladies danced in their own way, with Kirk giving a little Irish Riverdance style to her steps, Elli clapping and laughing to keep her going.

***

"Can't Hold Us"

Ay, ay, ay
Good to see you, come on in, let's go
Yeah, let's go
Alright, alright
OK, uh, alright, OK
Alright, OK

Return of the Mack, get up!
What it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn't.
Looking for a better way to get up out of bed
Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit me.
Get up! Thrift shop, pimp strut walking, little bit of humble, little bit of cautious
Somewhere between like Rocky and Cosby. Sweater game, nope, nope y'all can't copy
Yup. Bad, moon walking, this here is our party, my posse's been on Broadway,
And we did it our way.
Grown music, I shed my skin and put my bones into everything I record to it
And yet I'm on...
Let that stage light go and shine on down,
Got that Bob Barker suit game and plinko in my style.
Money, stay on my craft and stick around for those pounds,
But I do that to pass the torch and put on for my town
Trust me. On my I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T shit hustler,
Chasing dreams since I was fourteen with the four track bussing
Halfway cross that city with the backpack, fat cat, crush shit.

Labels out here,
Nah, they can't tell me nothing
We give that to the people,
Spread it across the country
Labels out here,
Nah, they can't tell me nothing
We give it to the people,
Spread it across the country

Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us
Like the ceiling can't hold us
Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us
Like the ceiling can't hold us

Nah, can I kick it? Thank you. Yeah I'm so damn grateful.
I grew up, really wanted gold fronts
But that's what you get when Wu-Tang raised you
Y'all can't stop me, go hard like I got an 808 in my heart beat
And I'm eating at the beat like you give a little speed to a great white shark on shark week
Raw. Tell me go up. Gone!
Deuces goodbye. I got a world to see, and my girl she wanna see Rome,
Caesar'll make you a believer. Nah I never ever did it for a throne.
That validation comes from giving it back to the people. Nah sing this song and it goes like
"Raise those hands, this is our party
We came here to live life like nobody was watching"
I got my city right behind me
If I fall, they got me. Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching ourselves

Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us
Like the ceiling can't hold us
Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us
Like the ceiling can't hold us

And so we put our hands up
And so we put our hands up

Wa oh oh oh wa oh oh oh wa oh oh
Let's go!

Na na na na na na na na (aha)
Hey
And all my people say

Na na na na na na na na (that's right, feels good)
Hey
And all my people say

Na na na na na na na na (it's alright)
(Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh)
And all my people say

Na na na na na na na na
Mack-le-le-le-le-le-more...

[Album version ending:]
Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us
Like the ceiling can't hold us
Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us
Like the ceiling can't hold us.

[Music video ending:]
Let the night come, before the fight's won
Some might run against the test
But those that triumph, embrace the fight cause
Their fears then prove that courage exists
Let the night come, before the fight's won
Some might run against the test
But those that triumph, embrace the fight cause
Their fears then prove that courage exists

Hope [echo]

***

"Haha," laughed out Kirk. "Damn, that was fun! Haven't danced on a table since the Academy." They were still standing on the table as they talked.

"Don't tell me," said Elli. "The Breach?"

"How'd you know," asked Kirk.

Elli gave a grin. "I went there many times myself. Did you earn a T-shirt?"

"Damn skippy," said Kirk, more laughter. "Flashed my twins and got my T. Just like every other dirty little freak in Starfleet." Stated Kirk. "So, what we got to eat? Or, are we gonna dance all night?"

"Just some real mac and cheese made with penne pasta and smoked cheddar, topped with cilantro, bacon bits, and brocolli." Elli hopped down from the table with Kirk, going into the kitchen.

Jamie followed her Chef, entering and seeing the kitchen for the first time. It was sizeable, but not huge, and with how Elli had it set up, a long prep island in the middle, it all had symetry. "Nicely done."

"Thank you," responded Elli, making them both a plate of the mac and cheese at the sautee section of her ovens. Once it was finished she then set a plate before Jamie, both of them sitting on stools at the island. Elli took her first few bites, the two of them chewing and eating in silence as they took the edge off their hunger.

"So," started Kirk, dabbing her mouth with the cloth napkin provided. "I ask again. Did you serve in Starfleet?"

Elli picked up a blackberry from a bowl and tossed it at Jamie. "Did you miss the whole conversation in the dining area, or are you just daft?"

The black berry bounced off of Jamie's chest and landed in her mac. "Bitch," she said playfully, popping the berry in her mouth. "Okay, you did say that, but what did you do?"

"Security first, then shifted over to Intel," answered Elli. "I got tired of the crap and decided to just serve this way. My time, my schedule, aside from cooking for you when needed, and no one ordering me around. I cook diplomatic meals too, banquet style, but that's few and far between these days."

"Unfortunately, that's true," replied Kirk. "The Federation tends to involve itself in affairs it shouldn't, so diplomacy is fast becoming an outdated concept. Well, for some, anyway." She took a few more bites, full now, and pushed her plate away. Cleaning her hands and face she tossed the napkin on the counter. "Now, we have more enemies than we know what to do with. Even the Klingons are quiet these days, have been since the Dominion war."

Elli nodded numerous times during that. "We piss people off more than we calm them down, it seems." Giving Jamie a look after the young Captain returned with cigar and ash tray, and her pint, Elli needed to pose some questions to see where this young woman's mind was; how she would operate as a CO.

Kirk, lost in thought while she watched the smoke swirl into the air, finally spoke up after a few minutes. "I've had a hard time of it lately. I've been...stuck, I guess you could say. Caught someplace that I don't like very much. And, this week, meeting you..."

"You feel a little less stuck?" Elli asked, her expression open and empathetic.

"I do," said Jamie, smiling a little as she put the cigar out and tossed it in the garbage, along with the ash tray.

"May I ask..." Elli paused a moment, then started again. "If it's not too personal, may I ask about what's been bothering you? If you can't talk about it, or don't want to, I understand. But I'm interested."

Jamie leaned back in the high backed stool. Had Elli asked in any other way, or offered to help somehow instead of being curious, she would not have felt comfortable answering. The careful, direct approach was relaxing. Pausing a moment, searching for the right words, Kirk spoke. "Do you know what it's like," she asked slowly. "To believe strongly in something, an ideal, a way of life--maybe in spite of evidence to the contrary--and then one day , something happens that makes you question whether or not the belief was ever justified?"

Elli gave a frown as she thought on that. "I'm not sure what you mean. Are we talking about a personal belief, or an external doctrine, created by someone else?"

"Both," said Jamie, relaxing further. It felt like a philosophy discussion more than anything else. "What I've been contemplating is how it's possible to hold onto your faith in something--to feel confidence in your ability to upkeep an ideal--when all around are examples of others who have not. Those who've failed, or changed, good people who've somehow lost sight of that same belief system."

It was as much as Jamie was willing to tell her, and enough needed to express the nature of her discomfort. Kirk was surprised by how much better she felt already, having voiced it all and speaking her concerns aloud. That's when she realized quite suddenly that she did not need an answer from Elli, or from anyone else. Talking about it, acknowledging it, was enough.

~And maybe that's what makes the difference~ Kirk thought to herself ~Between continuing to fight the good fight and losing one's resolution, one's faith--not to take it for granted. Remembering that it's a choice, every day, just like anything else~

"Do you want to know what I think?" Elli looked at her Captain, a serious tone in her voice. "I think there always has been and always will be people who will uphold their ideals, no matter what--just as there are people who are weak, who will fold when the pressure gets too high." Her eyes were locked with Jamie's. "BUt I also think that there are those who eventually come to believe that it's not as simple as all that, that there are complexities to be considered beyond black and white, right and wrong. People who start to see that purity of purpose is an illusion. A cloak, really...a moralistic disguise, that can actually end up jeopardizing the very ideals they seek to uphold." Elli smiled faintly, but not with any reason that Jamie could tell. "It can create quite a paradox, if you think about it. Is it wrong to compromise your beliefs in order to preserve them?"

Kirk found that the rhetorical question was a relief; and didn't know how to respond. The fact was they had wandered onto different tracks. If one had to compromise their own beliefs in order to preserve them, then the beliefs were flawed somehow...or the person was.

Elli giggled, her face back to her lighthearted self. "Sorry, that wasn't particularly helpful."

"No problem," said Kirk, standing from her stool. "I need to get to bed. Have a good night, Elli." Walking out, the little discussion still in her mind, Jamie wanted nothing more than a good night's sleep.

OFF:

 

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