One: Reunited (#Lacey)

Previously ~ The Girl with the Most Cake

Despite the dye job, blue contacts, and Anglicized name, Melody Garth wasn't fooling anyone.  She was a Latina, both of her parents were from Mexico, and every so often, it all slipped out.

"Hey, chica!" she beamed as Lacey walked through the doors of Avenue Blue, the brightly lit photography studio where Lacey did most of her shoots.  It also housed Melody's office.  "You are going to love me today when you see what I've booked you."

"Yeah, can we cut to the chase?" Lacey yawned.  "You've kept me in the dark all weekend.  So who is it?  A department store?  Another stripper ad?"  Her parents were never going to forgive her for that one.

Melody practically glowed, all five feet of her.  "It's with Cristela."

Lacey blinked rapidly, both confused and slightly disbelieving.  "What...Cristela Cristela?"

"Cristela Martinez!!!" Melody clapped her hands and bounced up and down on the balls of her feet.  "She wants you to be the face of her winter campaign; apparently she's dropping her debut lingerie line.  She wants to call it, 'Oh, So Soft & Lacey' - get it?"

Lacey blinked several times again.  "What?"

Prologue: The Girl with the Most Cake (#Lacey)

Previously ~ Dramatis Personae

The alarm clock beeped obnoxiously, sounding out six a.m.  A sleepy arm reached out from beneath the faded violet covers to silence it.

She didn't have class today and that was a good thing because she was in a mood and wouldn't go anyway.  Rising from her platform bed, she padded barefoot across the freezing cold hardwood floors of her studio apartment. She didn't bothered with rugs or carpeting; she could barely feel the cold anyway. When she did, it was like she felt it from a distance, as though someone's else feet were pressing against the chilly wood.

As a model, Lacey Porter always did shoots while listening to music and now, it was like her life required a soundtrack. She was really digging grunge these days; for some reason, it seemed like only Courtney Love could understand what she was going. She switched on her MP3 player, raised the volume to a decent level, and then rounded the counter to enter the kitchenette to start a pot of coffee.

"I am doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs
I am doll arms, big veins, dog bait
Yeah, they really want you,
They really want you, they really do
Yeah, they really want you,
They really want you, and I do too...."

Without fail, Regina Crane appeared to her, smug and sneering as she watched her old friend go about her morning.

"Stop posing," the ghost mused.  "You weren't even born when this album dropped."

#Lacey (A #Twisted A/U Fic)

Kylie Bunbury as Lacey Porter.  A 21-year-old, moderately successful underwear model living in (fictional) Hyland Park, New York.  Lacey suffers from PTSD after a series of multiple murders ripped through in her hometown of Green Grove when she was in high school.  She's is an undecided major attending Hyland College, for which her parents have cut her off, and her best friend these days is the sardonic ghost of her high school friend Regina Crane.


Pitamakan ~ Scars (#StarTrek)

Captain Taryn Morgan
Previously ~ Crew

"Commander, are you aware that seven Ensigns and three Lieutenants are going out tonight?"

Noguerra looked up from their chess game to see a bemused smile on the face of her Captain.

"I assume you mean they're going to the holodeck."  She lowered her eyes back to the board, calculating her next move.

"You assume correctly," Captain Morgan beamed, refreshing her tea cup.  "They are going to a bar with a particularly wild reputation, and get this...the holodeck program belongs to Vorin."

For the first time since Noguerra had come aboard, Morgan saw a real flash of emotion.  The Commander appeared surprised, incredulously, even slightly flabbergasted.

"Vorin?  Our...Vulcan helmsman has a holodeck program of a wild bar?"

Pitamakan ~ Crew (#StarTrek)

Previously ~ Unraveling

Much to Ensign Myesha Keller's delight, there were a lot of good-looking people on this ship.  The man who caught her eye the most, of course, was that slender, olive-skinned Vulcan helmsman sitting by himself near a window in the mess hall.  His lips were so full, she couldn't help but wonder if they were as soft as they looked.

Ensign Vorin
He sat with his back stiff and straight, primly wielding a knife and fork to cut his steamed vegetables.

Keller's lips broke into a broad grin; his extreme Vulcanness acted as a sort of repellent to other crew members, despite his perfectly squared shoulders and shimmering, silky, pitch black hair.

The mess hall was surprisingly spacious, with brand new blue carpets and bluish gray walls.  Outside the large rectangular windows, the stars whizzed by.  There was a fresh buffet laid out for the crew, but Keller noticed there was a small line at each of the three replicators.

Not particularly hungry just now, but unwilling to wait, she picked up a small bowl of Zahirian green noodles in lemon and ginger broth from the buffet and went to sit with the Vulcan.


Pitamakan ~ Unraveling (#StarTrek)

Previously ~ Passing

They had barely been traveling for half a day before the boredom began to set in.  Various members of the bridge crew began to checking private messages and the news from their respective home planets, bases, and colonies.  Some of them were even doing some from their consoles while on duty.  Around 1800, Captain Taryn Morgan retreated to her quarters for an early dinner, only to send Commander Noguerra an invite the moment she sat down.

Noguerra arrived, stiff-backed and still in uniform, bringing a bottle of Begosian 2309.

Captain Taryn Morgan
Morgan was astounded.  "I didn't even think there were any of those still left."

"I've got a friend who knows a guy," Noguerra replied simply.  Her tone was as neutral as a Vulcan's.

Morgan nodded, heading to her replicator.  "Trithara casserole, spicy, with a side of steamed volik, two plates and two empty wine glasses," she ordered.

There was the faintest flicker in Noguerra's brown eye.  "Steamed volik--"

Morgan smiled, busted.  She brought over the food while Noguerra opened the Begosian.  "I may have done some research," the Captain admitted.  "Apparently steamed volik grows on you after a while.  It must have grown on you a lot, considering you've ordered it on every ship you've served on."

Noguerra seemed to stiffen slightly at the smell of the volik.  They were a long, greenish-blue bean that tasted like green beans from Earth spritzed in lemon juice.  The steam rose from them and evaporated delicately.

"When I was cadet, my squad and I were accidentally stranded on Stharis Prime for two weeks. I practically lived off volik," Noguerra murmured.  "The stuff saved my life."

Morgan nodded.  "Comfort food."

Cmdr. Marisol Noguerra
Noguerra raised her head, blue eye flashing.  "Exactly."

"You know, Stharis is not the worst place to be stranded.  I heard it's mostly made up of pristine, beautiful beaches."

"True, but the food is awful," Noguerra bluntly replied.

"Oh, yes," Morgan snickered.  "All that fresh fish and crab, lobster and calamari...."

"I'm allergic to seafood."

"Oh," Morgan blinked awkwardly.  "In that case two weeks on Stharis would be a waste.  So, how do you find our crew?"

"Young, but qualified," came the prompt response.  "At least on paper.  I sense a lack of confidence throughout the ship."

"Sounds like a battle drill is in order," Morgan replied simply.

"Agreed," Noguerra nodded stiffly.  "I'll arrange a surprise one for 1100 hours tomorrow."

Morgan tried not to chuckle.  This should be interesting.


Pitamakan ~ Passing (#StarTrek)

Previously ~ The Doctor's In

Although his mother was Vulcan and his father Romulan, Vorin always presented himself as Vulcan.  He preferred acquaintances to friends, colleagues to work buddies, and one-night stands to relationships.  The easiest way to accomplish this was to simply pose as a completely detached, unemotional Vulcan.  No one ever hurried to befriend a Vulcan.

Ensign Vorin
Take for example the young, dark-skinned Lieutenant to his right.  After the Commander introduced them, Lt. Gayen refused to so much as make eye contact afterward.  Vorin wondered if he was making Gayen nervous, because he sense her heart pounding and noticed a slight trembling when she typed onto her console.

But then he remembered that Vulcans either bored or irritated people.  They never made others nervous.

And just like that, Vorin's curiosity was piqued.

Vorin was on this ship for the same reason he'd joined Starfleet: to get as far away from his family as possible...if you could even call them that.  His mother had been an only child and she'd lost her parents during a Borg attack.  She herself died during the war with the Dominion.

And since Vorin was the product of an illicit affair with a high-ranking senator, there was no one on Romulus willing to acknowledge that he even existed.

All he had left were his extended kin on Vulcan, and there were no fans of his.  They were precisely the reason he'd requested an assignment aboard this nothing-class vessel headed for the middle of nowhere.

So what was Gayen's story, then?  What could she be running from?


Lt. Shorbari Gayen
Lt. Shorbari Gayen re-entered the navigational algorithm and then reminded herself to breathe.  She'd had to redo her work all day, and at the rate things were going, she feared she was going to pass out while getting the entire ship lost.

Romulan jasmine tea.  Barsymian croquet at 1200.  Purple leaf salad at the Winterfield Tower.

Whenever Gayen started to panic, this was the mantra she used to remind herself of where she'd come from, and the boring routine which came from being a desk lackey at Starfleet Headquarters where nothing happened, and everyone did, ate, and attended the same things over and over again.

And the gods know I can't go back to that.

"Helm, what's our status?" the Captain suddenly asked, pulling Gayen from her thoughts.

"Coordinates set for Ixthana, Captain," came the calm, toneless reply from the Vulcan to her left.  "Ready to disembark on your command."

"Disembark and proceed to Ixthana," Morgan instructed.  "Warp five."

Gayen's mood shifted from nervous to grouchy, suddenly annoyed with the Vulcan.  She envied his cool, almost casual matter, the way he effortlessly input algorithms and that look of being completely unbothered.

Then again, she wondered, maybe he can teach me some of that.

Next ~ Unraveling