Surgeon General's Warning: This song is scientifically proven to be annoying and addictive. Le'letha is not responsible for any headaches gained by the lyrics running around incessantly in the reader's head. Also, it's stuck in hers, so she feels your pain.
Disclaimer: What would happen if I lied and said I owned Voyager? Would my laptop explode? Hmmmm. I won't take the risk. However, I don't own the song "We All Live In A Yellow Submarine." Thank god.
Guess What? I'm posting as soon as I finish a chapter, never mind what I said before. I'm, um, experimenting. Seeing which style works best. Yeah, that sounds plausible…
Feedback: Of course. Reviews are good, unless they're flames. They fluff my ego, and I save them all. I appreciate ego-fluffing as long as it's mine.
Chapter One: To Plan A Party
When you're thousands of light-years from home, with a thirty-five year ETA, it's inevitable that your crew will find some way to relax and goof off. The crew of the Starship Voyager, NCC-74656, intrepid (and accidental) Starfleet explorer of the Delta Quadrant, was no exception.
Earlier that week, Neelix had brought up the subject at a morning briefing.
"Mr. Neelix, any input this morning?" Captain Janeway had asked.
"And don't talk about leola-root," Tom Paris muttered under his breath.
"I wasn't planning to," the Talaxian cook-morale officer-ambassador to the Delta Quadrant huffed. "Except now that you mention it, someone has hidden what was left of my stores."
The senior staff, seated around the table, without exception, looked straight at Tom Paris and Harry Kim. Tom was a known prankster, and he usually dragged his best friend Harry along for the ride.
"Who, me?" Tom asked, the picture of innocence. "Why does everybody always blame me?"
"Because it's usually your fault," B'Elanna told him bluntly, smirking.
"But it probably is this time; you hate leola-root."
"So do you."
"Neelix, I promise it wasn't us," Harry assured him. "At least, it wasn't me, you'll have to ask Tom if it was him."
"Tom?" First Officer Chakotay asked.
"Nope, not me. Sorry, Neelix, you'll have to look elsewhere."
"Now that that's resolved," the captain broke in, "Mr. Neelix, continue your report. Morale status of the crew?"
"Well, after that last fight with the Borg, the crew has been a little stressed. They seem to be having trouble winding down from that last incident."
No one looked at Seven of Nine; she had been partially, if indirectly, responsible for that 'incident.'
"What do you recommend?"
"We could have a sort of party on the holodeck. Not for any specific reason, just to give everybody a chance to relax. I volunteer to program the setting, if anyone else wants to help."
"That sounds like a good idea," Chakotay mused. "We haven't had a shipwide gathering like that since, um,"
"I can't remember either," Neelix confirmed.
"I'll help," Paris volunteered. "And I won't sabotage it, either."
"Then consider yourself given permission to begin organizing it," Captain Janeway stated. She smiled suddenly. "And do tell us when it is. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with already."
Tom Paris and Neelix hadn't started off too well originally; they'd actually gotten into a physical fight once (with pasta!). Even though they got along better now, they still didn't always agree. And their tastes in recreation were definitely different.
"Beach party!" Tom reiterated stubbornly.
"Ok, let's hear your suggestion, Mr. Morale Officer."
"I don't know! I've said I don't know! But I don't want to do a beach party!"
"You've done luaus before! What's wrong with a beach?"
Neelix sighed heavily and stared around the empty, nondescript holodeck. Although right now it was just an empty room with geometric patterns on the walls, it had the potential to be so much! But he couldn't think of anything.
"If anyone complains, it is All Your Fault."
"My fault? Neelix, buddy," Tom Paris was a master of flattery when he wasn't acting like a showoff or an idiot, "no one is going to complain. The crew loved your luau."
Neelix gave himself a few moments to preen his ego, then turned to the holodeck computer.
"Show me a beach."
The ship's computer chirped happily. "There are over one million seven hundred thousand representations of a landscape responding to the search category of 'beach.' Please refine your search parameters."
Neelix sighed as Tom Paris giggled to himself.
"Computer," Tom intervened, mastering his giggles, "show us a Terran beach," um, "North American continent," er, "Old United States state of California, circa 1960."
The computer hummed to itself as it processed his request. Within a few seconds the room metamorphosized into a seashore. The holodeck's technology was so advanced that they could even smell the salt in the ocean water.
"What do you think, Neelix? Swim party? I bet I can find some music to play, too. You can handle the food."
"Food! You mean more fun recipes I can alter?"
Tom winced. "No. Do not experiment with, alter, or otherwise affect the food. This is fun; a taste of home- we do not need leola in the chips and dip!"
"Chips and dip?"
That was not a good smirk on Tom's face. "Chips and dip and fruit and crackers and fruit punch. The twentieth century had some great food. And better music."
"Don't worry, I'll handle that."
Not a good smirk at all.
Author's Notes: Ok, short little intro chapter! It will get funnier later… As soon as Tom finds some 'fun music.' You know the wonderful thing about Voyager and her computer? When something goes wrong, it's BIG wrong… Especially with the computer.
Also, I'll update whenever I finish a chapter, but I write faster with reviews… Life's Little Laws #153: Apply hints with sledgehammers.