Academy Bound


Star Fleet Academy, San Francisco, Earth is the centre of excellence responsible for training Star Fleet Officers with many famous names from Kirk and Sulu to Picard having passed through its hallowed portals. But what do they really do there?

Three young cadets with dreams of greatness set out from their colonies to find out if they have what it takes.


Star Trek is the intellectual property of Paramount/Viacom as are a number of characters that appear in the story. Everything else is mine.

Chapter 1

"It's 'ere, Ma!" Janey Beth exclaimed in great delight, almost dancing to the breakfast table.

"Chuck?" Mrs Elizabeth Beth questioned, stepping up to the table, steaming pot in hand ready to dole out the mornings first meal. After twenty years free of Star Fleet, she had managed to lose the neutral mid-nowhere accent that Star Fleet demanded of its officers and crew and her natural much broader accent had resumed control, though if challenged she would deny it.

"Me Scholarship, Ma!" Janey gurgled. "I'm going to Academy!"

Elizabeth Beth shook her head in amusement. "Well you ain't goin' till after breakfast and you've fed the hens," she laughed at Janey's excited face, bringing her back to earth. "Na sit and eat!"

Janey had set her heart on going to Starfleet at an early age, Elizabeth reflected, as she doled out the porridge. It was natural, everybody did, and it was something of a family tradition.

Both her husband Mark and herself had served for nine years, before they had met and volunteered to join the colonists on Daedilus Four as they struggled to rebuild after the Dominion War. Though nobody in the family had ever been made an officer and the chances of Janey joining to become one had been remote; First generation colonists never got the chance. Colonising a new planet required much effort, not just by the original colonists, but from several generations afterwards if they were to succeed. There were simply never enough bodies to do everything. Daedilus Four was no exception. It had taken three drafts of colonists to repair the ravages of Dominium occupation and to make this small agricultural colony successful enough to be self supporting.

Starfleet's needs had changed too. It was having to expand quickly to support the Federation and the hundreds of colonies that had to be rebuilt, as well as to recommence its original brief, to explore. It had found that there were too few suitable candidates with the abilities it required and had either to extend its net to find them, or reduce the standards they required. Thus they had introduced the Scholarship Scheme to attract the best candidates from the colony's and other races.

The outside door opened to permit the entry of Mark Beths rotund form.

"Yer early!" Mark Beth observed good naturedly of his daughter as he entered the dining room. He shook the water off his coat before hanging it up behind the door and seating himself at the table.

"Two cows coming darn with something," he complained to Elizabeth as she doled out his ham and eggs. That was not unusual, all non-native animals suffered strange illnesses, it took generations to breed them out. "Appen I'll 'ave to get vitinary. Na who's fed you t' cream lass?"

"Got me Starfleet Scholarship, Da!" Janey repeated. "Came on Sub-Space last night."

"Ain't said yuh can go yet! Why you wanna go there for, yuh can be whatever you want here? We can't be without you until after harvest!" He protested.

It was a well trodden path that Janey and her parents had often followed in the three months of waiting for a decision.

"I want to see things!" Janey protested. "Ain't gonna see much on this lump 'nd you got Hans and Clem for harvest!"

"We'll see," her father agreed.

Despite the seeming reluctance Mark Beth was proud of his daughter. His time in Starfleet had been spent in the bowels of Hydro and Airponics, never having the chance, or the education to rise above crewman. Janey was much sterner stuff and had worked hard at the lessons that would qualify her to be more than he had ever had the chance to be. There was going to be no more objection to her leaving than the natural concern of a father for his daughter.

"Gonna see Mikey," Janey declared, finishing her coffee, slipping from the table and grabbing her cloak from the peg beside her fathers. "See if 'e got in as well!"

"Ain't no Starship due for two month," Elizabeth pointed out to her husband after their daughter had disappeared. She slipped her slender hand over his shoulder and squeezing gently in affection.

"Ah," Mark agreed. "I'll see that Ferrengi crook Zark. Get her to DS9. Bound to be Federation transport from there."

"Will she be safe?"

"Fights like a man. Got a good 'ead on her shoulders 'nd deal cleverer than us. 'Appen she'll cope," he agreed taking the hand in his much larger one.

At twenty, Mikey was a year older than Janey and had been her friend ever since they had arrived on Daedilus. There had been no real option, they had been the only children when the colony had been resettled and had spent most of their time together in the impromptu creche.

She found him tinkering with the ground tractor in his parents shed. That was what he liked to do, handle and repair machinery. He had a gift for it, colonists in a fourteen kilometre radius brought their broken equipment to him for repair. The tractor had occupied him for nearly a week as he patiently pulled power coils from it and rewound the armatures.

"You goin'?" Janey demanded as soon as she saw him. Nimbly she leapt upon the tractors cowl so she could look down upon him.

"Goin' where?" Mikey demanded in confusion.


"Nah! Math ain't good enough," he declared. "Knew it wouldn't. You got in though?"

She offered a cheshire cat grin as he straightened up. At just over two metres tall and broad across the barrel chest he positively dwarfed Janey's not so diminutive 1.7M. Yet he possessed the gentleness of touch that could replace the smallest chip on any circuit board.

"Appen twasn't yur math," Janey teased. "T'was they couldn't get uniforms your size!"

"Appen," Mikey agreed good-humouredly. "You here to Lord and Lady it, or you goin' t' do some work, before y' forget what that is?" He handed her a resonator, "see if y' can get that clean and working," he challenged.

Janey accepted the dirty item and wiped the worst of the muck off on her shirt before looking around for more rags and settling to work.

It was lunch time before she handed the now sparkling resonator back to Mikey. "Good as new!" She declared brightly.

He accepted it and scanned it with a tri-corder. "Ain't bad. Still ten hertz out though. Yu'll 'ave to do better at Academy."

"Give us new stuff in Academy!" She retorted, playfully throwing her rag at him.

Springing from her perch she headed for the door and stopped. The rain had ceased at some point whilst she was working, leaving the green tinted sun to shine upon the fields and the small township that made up the centre of the colony.

"Gonna miss this," she sighed, waving expansively at the view. "Ain't gonna see if Gramps Morgan finally finishes his house and moves from his settlers unit, or the new trading post."

"Dun 'ave to go," Mikey pointed out, joining her at the door and wrapping his arm around her waist. "Yu can stay 'ere wit' me. Won't 'ave to learn to speak proper 'Fleet then?"

"But I wanna be somebody!" Janey protested. "Ain't gonna be that 'ere!"

"Always be somebody 'ere, to me," Mikey whispered gently.

She turned on him quickly. "Never said nuffin like that before? Goin' mush?" She challenged.

He shrugged his massive shoulders at her. "Yu ain't bin leavin' afore," he observed ruefully. "Now yu'll forget us yokels for all those sophisticates."

She laughed at him. "Ain't gonna forget you Mikey yu lug. I'm gonna bring me Starship 'ere fur you to repair."

It was a busy week from there on, as Janey battled with her preparations for departure. She did not see Mikey until the night before she left and the 'Ho-Down' her proud parents had arranged to celebrate their daughters departure.

Together they sat on the step to the family unit, shy arms around each other.

"Think I'm gonna miss yu, Mikey," Janey whispered. "Bein' friends and all."

"Dun think," Mikey opined morosely. "Told yu before. Yu'll forget us! Pity 'cos yu be a fine figure. Not one of them twiglets from Earth, or fat like Lori's gonna be, built to be a fine woman for a man to admire."

"Got summat for you," he added, his hand groping into the pocket of his tunic.

He pulled out a loosely wrapped package and pushed it into Janey's surprised hand.

"Appen take longer to forget," he suggested, as she ripped the paper away.

The paper fell away to reveal a mottled blue wooden spoon, obviously made from the local hard wood. Barely 150mm long it was intricately carved it baring amongst other things three small balls in a fine cage and a chain carved in an effigy of their initials.

"What is it?" Janey demanded in wonder as she turned it around to investigate.

"Da tol' me that where his ancestors came from, the men used to carve them to give to their woman folk," Mikey explained. "Sorta' talisman of friendship and promise. Gonna wait for yu to come back, Janey Beth. When yu dun want Starfleet no more, remember me."

He got up and re-entered the house.

Janey leapt to her feet and ran after him. Grabbing him by the arm she span him around and gripped him close. "Gonna 'member yu, Mikey! Ain't gonna forget. Yu'll see!" She promised, tears in her eyes.

There were other tears as well when she took her place for transporting. Tears from her mother, as she assured her there was always a place for her at home. Tears from her father as well, though whether that was for the price Zark had extracted for her passage she never worked out, fourteen fatted veal calves was steep in anybody's money, even Ferrengis. They would easily clear 20,000 Federation Credits on the mining colonies.

Her father's last act was to push a small packet into her pocket. "Credit notes," he whispered in explanation. "Just dun forget to write to Ma."

With that she was beamed away.

Colonel Kira Nerys looked over the balcony and sighed deeply. In the nineteen years since the end of the Dominion war she had seen many colonists come and go as Starfleet struggled to rebuild and expand the colonies it had created in the Gamma quadrant.

Long ago she had decided there were three classes of colonist. By and large, she and Deep Space 9 could do without any of them.

First were the excited types, speaking good English that would boast how quickly their colony would become self sufficient. They were invariably well educated in sciences and technology and genuinely felt they could tame wildernesses with ample supplies. They were invariably the first to return, their colonies a shambles as weather and events, freak and otherwise, brought their over ambitious plans crashing down, often taking most of the colonists with them. She actually found she despised them and their lack of sticking power.

The second class were the miners, boisterous uncouth wiry men, that could drain Quarks bar dry in an evening and destroy it in an hour. There was even the occasional female, though the term was used most liberally. They were the direct opposite of their menfolk, just as uncouth, but broad and muscled. She had once seen one of the females pick up two Klingons and throw them across a room. They were tough, she had to give them that, they had to be to survive in the conditions that they worked in. Poison gases, roof falls and acid rains were the smallest of their problems. There was always a small trickle of them on DS9, shuttling between colonies. When there was a sizeable contingent, like today, she always cancelled leave for security.

The last she had a little more respect for, they were the farmers. They too were the opposite to the miners. The men, as capable of consuming vast quantities of liquor, tended to be shorter, barrel chested and quieter, their wives wiry and stubborn. A failed crop never seemed to concern them, they were invariably prepared with fields of alternate crops and worked unceasingly to survive.

Today, Zark had turned up with miners, nearly two hundred of them. The only ones to have survived after their planet had been turned into a smoking ruin from a powerful sun flare that had engulfed it.

Kira turned her head towards Commander Ezri Dax as she leaned over the balcony beside her. One of the few of the original DS9 crew to still be on the station, she now formed her second in command and closest advisor.

"See how quickly Starfleet can get rid of this lot," she ordered nodding in the direction of the concourse.

"Four ships are on their way," Dax responded immediately. "They'll all be gone in a week."

"I checked as soon as I heard about Zarks passengers," she admitted with a wry grin. "I don't like miners either. I never feel quite safe."

"She doesn't belong with them either," Dax added pointing out a chunky brown clad girl with thick wavy brown hair standing in the centre of the crowd looking around wildly. "She's a country girl."

Colonel Kira frowned. "How do you know?" Though she had to admit she looked out of place on the concourse.

"Too tanned to be from a mining colony," Dax pointed out. "As she looks lost my guess is she is a first or second generation settler. Never been on a space station before."

"Make sure somebody keeps an eye on her," Kira suggested, "or there will be trouble with all these miners."

She turned her attention to a black dressed Ferrengi who was approaching her position complaining loudly.

"Colonel Kira!" He had spotted her.

For a brief moment she glanced around hoping for some chance of escape, she could do without Zark's continuous complaining. Her moment of indecision was a moment of delay too long.

"Colonel Kira," he announced catching her. "Who is going to pay for the refugees and the cargo I was intending to supply them with? The cargo was worth eighteen bars of latinum," Zark complained.

"Starfleet will come to an accommodation, Zark," she responded neutrally.

"Of course there is the small matter of you having been pulled out of a gravity well by the Excelsior and having been given a trading license for the Gamma Quadrant in the first place?" Dax pointed out, coming to her commanders assistance.

"As for your cargo, I'm sure you've already made plans to sell it on at an exorbitant price?" Colonel Kira added quickly.

"Half of it is perishable. It will be useless by the time I can get it anywhere! It is degrading now!"

"Ain't nuffin wrong with the veal!" A new voice lanced into the conversation.

Kira turned to examine the owner of the deep accent, to find herself face to face with the girl Dax had pointed out earlier. She was slimmer than Kira had thought originally, well built, rather than fat, the brown smock like clothing made her appear bigger than she actually was.

"Took care of 'em m'self," she continued. "Would've been dead week ago totherwise." She glared at Zork, as if challenging dispute.

"But they won't be calves in a week," Zark countered. "Worthless."

"Give'm month of care and they be prime beef. Worth twice as much," she snapped back.

In truth Janey had developed quite a disliking for Zark and his small Ferrengi crew over the three week trip from Daedilus Four. Things started badly when she had discovered that, contrary to her father's belief, far from being bound directly for Deep Space 9, Zark was actually on the outbound leg of his journey. Then she had found the conditions that the veal were kept in and had taken over their care, forcing rations from her less than enthusiastic hosts so as to keep them in good condition.

She had actually been quite grateful for the disaster, it had forced Zark to return to DS9 a good three weeks earlier than intended.

Colonel Kira watched with some amusement as the strange girl continued to criticise the Ferrengi trader over his poor husbandry, until she could step in with, "There are regulations about caring for livestock, Zark. Should I get the health inspectors to check out the allegations?"

Zark's ears almost glowed as he crept away, leaving Colonel Kira and Dax grinning broadly.

Kira turned to the stranger. "Who are you and what state is the veal?"

Janey Beth drew herself to her full height and almost bobbed a curtsey at the shorter woman before her. "Janey Beth, M'm. From Daedilus Four. Come to join Academy, M'm. The calves are real rare, M'm. Be good eating in 'em."

Kira laughed. "You aren't in Academy or Starfleet yet!" She pointed out. "So there is no need to call me 'M'm' every other sentence. But what were you doing on Zarks ship and how were you getting to Earth?"

"'oping to get a lift from a ship, M'm," Janey explained. "'ad to use Zark cos there's nothing else due for three months."

"Nothing due here for a few weeks either," Colonel Kira pointed out. "How were you hoping to survive?"

"Da gave me a few credits. I's hoping to find a job to make them go further," Janey admitted solemnly.

Kira thought for a few minutes. "I'm not sure there will be much," she said in the end. "I think Quark may be interested in a new barmaid, but he doesn't pay a lot. But I owe you something for chasing Zark off. Dax will find you somewhere better than the settlers quarters and I will see what I can do."

"You'se a Trill, ain't yu?" Janey asked as Dax lead her towards the crew quarters. "Is yu joined?"

"Yes," Dax agreed placidly. "Why, is that a problem?"

"Na! Ad one come to Daedilus three seasons ago. He were vitinary an' come to look at our cows. They was sick. Did some rare good work an' wasn't as weak as he looked, even tho' he were nine 'undred," Janey explained happily. "How old are you?"

"Nice to know we are good for something," Dax laughed as they stopped at a door. "I'm only eight hundred."

"Eight hundred an' you don't look as old as Ma!" Janey breathed, impressed at the idea.

"That is the age of my symbiant," Dax explained, narrowly avoiding laughing, knowing too well how confused those who were not used to the joining became. "I have his knowledge and memories."

"You can have these quarters until we can find you a ship going in the right direction," she continued as the door opened for them. "But until then I'll give you a tip. You need to work on your dialect. Starfleet is not as harsh on it as it once was, but there are some that still think universal translators shouldn't be needed on a Starfleet ship. I can help you if you want?"

"Ain't got a problem wif dialect," Janey started to protest.

"I have not got," Dax corrected gently.

"I have not got a problem with dialect," Janey corrected herself dutifully, then grinned. "Perhaps I 'ave," she admitted. "When can we start?"

"Tomorrow!" Dax promised with a laugh. "After we find what Colonel Kira can do about finding you some work and you've found your way around the station!"

Colonel Kira Nerys forgot her promise to Janey for a while, it was not intentional, but the sudden appearance of a Klingon diplomatic mission put the subject right out of mind.

The same diplomatic mission brought it to mind, indirectly, late that evening when she received the expected call from Security to attend Quarks Bar.

Klingon Diplomatic Missions were little more than drinking binges for Klingons, with the station full of miners as well, Quark's was little more than an unexploded bomb

"What is happening here?" She demanded dutifully on arrival.

The result was self-evident; the ubiquitous broken furniture, medics attending to six casualties; four from the mining contingent, two from the Klingons; whilst security had restrained 15 others, most of those were Klingons.

"These people attacked us and we defended ourselves," A Klingon explained.

"And the fact that you came armed and always end up fighting had nothing to do with it?" Kira asked mildly, indicating a miner who was being dragged away, a pool of blood showing from his chest.

"We are warriors!"

"I see."

Kira sighed, it wouldn't really matter in any event. Garnash of the Klingon Diplomatic Service would simply declare they were all on his staff and she would have to let them go. Klingon diplomatic missions almost always ended the same way, they got drunk, then tried show of some of their legendary fighting skills. It was unfortunate that today they had met with people who liked fighting as much. She often wondered why they were still allowed to get away with it.

She turned her attention instead to the red haired black man that appeared to be the ring leader of the miners.

"Tragon said you attacked his party?"

He shook off the two arms holding him and drew up to his hull 5'4" before exploding indignantly, "'Im man, no good, skirma!"

He continued before she could interpret his meaning.

"Skirma im, talka mechano. Al'as cac'han molies ona tak. 'Ima gob brew!"

Colonel Kira held up her hand to stop the diatribe. "Hold them in security," she pointed at the miners, "until they are sober enough to speak. Disarm the Klingons, and return them to their ship."

"Twasn't their fault, M'm!"

Kira turned slowly to find Janey Beth standing behind her.

"What wasn't? The fact that they were fighting, they are drunk, or I couldn't understand a word they said?" She snapped.

"Weren't drunk, M'm," Janey hit back. "Black Jocks all'ays speak like that, close as they c'n get to English."

"So I was wrong to lock them up for being drunk," Kira accepted grudgingly. "But not for fighting!"

"Din' see the fight," Janey admitted. "But Da all'ays say, 'takes two to fight'. Black Jock say that them Klingons were lording it over them, cos they was miners and they spat in their drinks. Why didn't yu lock them up too?"

Kira bridled at the seeming criticism, but felt compelled to explain. After all the girl would have to learn how the galaxy worked when she arrived in Starfleet Academy. "There's no point. We would have to release them in an hour after the diplomatic complaints. Now, why are you here?"

Janey grinned, "Saw you coming this way, M'm. Thought y'u were goin' to see Quark about me. Thought I ought to be here. Wit you doing it for me. For inspection like?"

Colonel Kira swallowed. "I did, didn't I. I'm sorry I forgot. I'll see Quark now. But are you sure you are prepared to work here? You've seen what it can be like?"

"Black Jocks are okay, M'm," Janey grinned. "Gotta be firm wif em, then they be no trouble."

"Fine," Kira accepted, then called Quark over.

"Quark, meet your new waitress. Janey meet Quark," she introduced them quickly.

"You've got to be firm with Ferrengi too!," she whispered to Janey, "Then you've found that out already!"

"Her clothes are no good and she'll have to be tried out before I pay her," Quark insisted, bustling up.

"I'm sure you can find something for her to wear," Kira opined. "But try and charge her for it, or not pay her and I'll ensure that your replicators don't work for two months at least."

"I would go bust!" Quark exclaimed.

Kira grinned evilly. "I know. Do you good to deal honestly for once!"

"I'll have to see what I can find," Quark agreed moodily weighing up Janey. "About a twelve?"

Janey nodded.

"Come back tomorrow," he declared.

"In the mean time. Why do you call the miners 'Black Jocks', it's not a race?" Colonel Kira turned back to Janey.

"Dunno', M'm. It's what we all'ays calls'em when they come to dig the wells. Sorta nickname?" Janey offered laconically.

"Well as you seem to understand them you can help me, by translating what those miners are actually saying."

"I can't wear this! It's not decent!" Janey exploded in horror the following day after arriving at Quarks for her new 'uniform'.

"It will be popular with my customers!" Quark leered. "And my brothers wife didn't mind!"

"Perhaps she was a trollop?" Janey suggested viciously. She held the Quark supplied uniform to her chest. The filmy pink creation was much too short for her taste. "It dun even come to me knees!"

"She was a professional dancer," Quark corrected her. "My male customers like to see female legs. It stops them complaining."

"See more 'n' leg if I have to bend," Janey commented trying to pat the Ra-rah skirt down.

"If you want to work here you will have to wear it!" Quark snapped. "Ferrengi women don't get that much!"

"'appen nature looks after them and they don't see many men," Janey suggested evenly. "I'll try it, but if it be as improper as I think.." She left it at that unsure of what she could really threaten.

She took it back to her quarters and tried it on.

It was worse than she had imagined. She suspected it fitted as intended, but the intentions were warped. The wired skirts seemed to be designed to lift and show what was underneath at every opportunity. Even pulling the wire out didn't seem to help.

Then there was the bust, or rather lack of it; low slung it squeezed up and in, designed to accentuate rather than conceal. The last straw came when she realised it was diaphanous.

Ripping it off, she hurled it into the corner of her quarters and sat and glared at it, uncertain as to what to do. She didn't want to complain to Colonel Kira, after all she had had accepted the job despite of the Colonel's warnings.

She wasn't a prude or anything, she told herself. After all she had shocked her Ma at last seasons harvest festival with her loose and largely open shirt and ankle length split skirt. But there were limits and the tiny Quark supplied garment crossed them. Briefly she grinned at the memory, Ma had made her wear long underwear and a vest. It was acceptable for people to know she had legs, so denims were all right, it just wasn't done for folks to know there was skin there as well.

She was still sat glaring non-plussed at it when Commander Dax appeared for their elocution lessons.

"There is a rumour going around that Quark has someone special serving in his bar tonight," Ezri teased. "Says he's bought something special for her to wear and they will queuing at the door."

"He was robbed," Janey opined sourly. "Only trollops wear that!' She pointed at the dress.

Ezri approached it and picked it up carefully to examine it. "It doesn't leave a lot to the imagination," she concurred. "But you could be displaying a lot more at the Academy at times. Commandant Janeway is said to have some old fashioned ideas about the necessity of PT and other physical training."

"Ain't dressing like a trollop!" Janey repeated. "Not even for Starfleet."

"Not everybody that dresses in this sort of clothing is a 'trollop'. Like not every miner is a drunk. But I agree, this is too extreme, even for Quark. Have you anything better?"

"Got me party frock?" Janey offered uncertainly. "Tain't nuffin like that. But Mikey's eye's nearly popped from his head when he saw me, so did Da's."

"Try it on," Dax demanded. "A little daring will be good."

Janey obliged and possed for the critical commander, easing a leg forward to reveal the split her mother had condemned and the loose fronted blouse.

"Perfect!" Dax complimented. "Quark is much to obvious. He has never got the idea that a tease of something is better than giving it away. You will be a sensation and modesty is maintained. Now where shall we start with our lessons?"

Colonel Kira hot footed it to Quark's as soon as she found out when the ex-Daedilus girl was due to come on duty. Like Dax she had heard rumours about what Quark had given Janey to wear. Ignoring the extremes of Ferrengi decency that were illegal on DS9, there was not a lot of scope left and it had been nearly five years since he last had a waitress. She had got herself in trouble by the second night. She felt a responsibility to protect the young woman, if not from Quark then from herself.

For a while she thought her worst suspicions were well founded. There was already a crowd gathering at the entrance to Quarks, waiting to see his new acquisition. Pulling rank and a few pointed elbows she pushed past them and entered the bar.

She almost laughed in relief when she saw Janey. Her ankle length black skirt hinted at a picture of modesty until she turned and the slit opened for a moment and revealed a tanned leg to the thigh. The blouse gapping a little. With her tawny brown hair flowing it made her the epithamy of an elegant and buxom brunette.

"It's not what I expected, Quark," she complimented.

"It's not what I expected," Quark admitted. "My customers are going to complain."

"Tol' yu. I ain't dressing like a trollop!" Janey hissed forcefully. "What you gave me would make me a trollop! 'Sides, ain't one of your Rules of Acquisition not to give nuffin away?"

"She has you there, Quark," Colonel Kira laughed. "Janey hasn't left you short. She definitely looks good and there is a hint of more. They'll spend more on the off-chance they will see more."

"If she is willing to share?" Quark offered hopefully.

"I ain't selling nuffin but drinks," Janey affirmed with dignity. "Theys can imagine what's theys likes, long as they don't shout, or touch."

"There's your answer, Quark. I'll have something long and cool," Kira laughed happily.

Kira settled on a stool to watch over the proceedings, as Quark provided the required drink. If she been worried about the potential for trouble it was quickly squashed, at least as far as Quark's regulars went. They took one look at Janey baring down upon them and sank meekly into chairs, not taking their eye's off her as she moved around the bar, skirt swishing around her legs.

She seemed to have a similar effect on the miners as well, bossing them until they sat at tables.

"Seems you've got a success," Kira commented to Quark as he bustled past. "They certainly aren't drinking any less."

"The Klingons aren't here yet," Quark observed still moody.

As he spoke three Klingons entered the bar and were approached by the industrious Janey.

"Blood Wine!" They demanded. "We'll drink here even though you have scum." They glared at a table of miners.

"Ain't no scum here, dun let 'em in," Janey struck back stoutly. "I'll bring yu drinks as soon as youse sat darn."

"We are warriors we do not sit to drink Blood Wine. Bring us the wine then you can entertain us."

A Klingon arm came out and grabbed Janey by the blouse, spinning her around.

Nobody was quite sure what happened next.

There was a hint of leg and the Klingon sank wheezing to the floor.

"I said sit darn!" Janey cried backing up a little for more room. "Try and touch me again and it'll go real bad!"

There was a deathly silence measured in seconds before knifes appeared in Klingon hands.

"Some brave warriors," Janey mocked, taking another step back and feeling behind her for the tray on the table. "Two of youse with knifes, ag'in little ole me?"

There was a moments hesitation as the two Klingons looked around at the less than friendly faces and the stunned Colonel Kira at the bar.

The hesitation was all she needed. Snatching up the tray she swung it around edge first onto a Klingon wrist, forcing the knife to be dropped. The leg appeared again and the third Klingon sank gracefully to the floor, his hands closed around his crotch.

Finally Kira and Quark shook themselves into action and moved to prevent things getting out of hand. Kira inserting herself between Janey and the crouching Klingons.

"Get back to your ship and don't return until you are prepared to be civil," she thundered at them, fingering for her phasor.

It surprised her when they staggered out. Then she allowed herself to relax, until then she had been terrified that they would try and make more of the issue of their ignominy, despite the warning she had issued to Garnash that morning.

Satisfied they were leaving she turned back to the angry Janey Beth, her body trembling with the indignation.

"They were paying customers," Quark bleated. "I can't have my waitress assaulting paying customers, even if they are Klingons."

"They pulled a button off me shirt 'nd boss me about! Ain't having nobody do that," she protested in fury, looming over the terrified Ferrengi barman.

"I think you had better come with me," Kira interrupted, fearing she was about to take a strategic kick at Quark as well if he continued to whine. Taking Janey by the arm she pulled her away.

She did not let go until they both arrived in security.

"Don't ever do that again!" She stormed turning on Janey. "You have no idea how close you got to being very dead, or the level of diplomatic fuss you've created!"

"Sorry, M'm. But you didn't see how they grabbed me!" Janey rallied.

"And you don't know how dangerous Klingons are!" Kira snapped back. "You were lucky this time. I had warned Garnash about his crews behaviour. Next time you might not be!"

"Still," She suddenly laughed. "It was the best entertainment in that bar for years! I can't see you having trouble with anybody else after that display!"

"Thank you, M'm." Janey turned to go.

"You aren't getting away that easy young lady," Kira stopped her in her tracks. "I'm not having you going around brawling with Klingons, or anybody else for that matter. Consider yourself in protective custody for the remainder of your stay at DS9. Report to my office at 09:00 in working clothes. I'll find something to keep you gainfully occupied, until I can spare the Defiant to take you to Earth."

"But me job!" Janey protested in alarm.

"You will be too busy. Quarks is out of bounds unless I say otherwise."

Crestfallen Janey headed for the door, having succeeded in ruining her best blouse, loosing her job and infuriating the woman that had helped her in the first place, all in a single day.

Janey's still unhappy face graced Colonel Kira's office in operations at 09:00 sharp as ordered. She found Colonel Kira deep in conversation with a Klingon. They both looked up as she entered, Colonel Kira giving her an encouraging smile as she did so.

"Garnash, this is Janey Beth. She is the one that assaulted your warriors," Kira explained. "She is here for punishment duty."

Garnash looked her up and down then exploded in laughter. "This little thing stopped my warriors! They claimed she was bigger! You should be Klingon!" He brought his hand down hard on her shoulder making her wince.

"There are no charges," he continued to Kira heading for the door still roaring with laughter.

"You are lucky. Garnash thought it as funny as I did," Kira informed her sternly as the door closed. "So I'm putting you with an Engineering team, under Lieutenant Gomez. As you are going to Academy anyhow, we might as show you how things work in real life."

"You will act on his orders, do exactly as you are told and keep out of trouble," she continued firmly. "There will be no more brawling."

"Yes, M'm!" Janey stuttered, rubbing her bruised shoulder, unsure whether to laugh herself.

It was a full week before she saw Colonel Kira again. Lieutenant Gomez had taken the Colonel's orders to heart and had kept Janey working hard morn till night, usually on the dirtiest jobs he could find. Between her work with engineering and her sessions with Commander Dax, it seemed she barely managed to eat a quick meal and crash into her bunk before Gomez was calling her for some other small but dirty task.

This time the Colonel was waiting for her as she fell out of a service duct, dirty, tired and dishevelled having spent the last six hours cleaning filters.

"Ain't done nuffin wrong, M'm?" She appealed looked up at Colonel Kira's stern face.

Kira's face cracked into a grin. "Apart from your accent and the replicator in my quarters, which still doesn't work properly. No you haven't," she assured her. "I have the Defiant ready to take you to Earth. Be at dock three in two hours and we'll get you underway."

"But you are of course working as crew," she added. "I've forwarded a full report about your conduct here. Just don't disgrace me."

"Thank you, Ma'am," Janey phrased carefully, pronouncing the words carefully as she had been instructed, less than certain that she had been complimented.

She found out shortly after arriving in Starfleet Academy, barely having the time to savour the fresh air and quarters before receiving a terse summons to attend the Commandants Office.

She entered cautiously, wary of what Colonel Kira had reported and how it would be taken.

The stern white haired woman at the desk looked up briefly from a PADD. "Sit down Cadet," she said simply.

Janey did so, looking around. A plaque on the desk informed her she was in the presence of Admiral Kathryn Janeway, Commandant Starfleet Academy and there was a second one beside it. She could not make out the details, but it was unusual in that it was a wooden plaque with a large intricately shaped and formed metal plate attached.

"I don't know Colonel Kira Nerys well and I've not seen her for a number of years," the Admiral admitted. "But as she saw fit to send a report regarding your conduct, I thought I had better read it before I saw you. I'm not sure if she was singing your praises or simply sending me a warning. Do you want to hear it?"

Janey shook her head. "No, Ma'am."

"Pity, because you are going to hear at least some of it," said the Admiral. "Like the part where you attacked three Klingons? Not a clever thing to do, is it?"

Without a lot of choice as to answers, Janey could only agree.

"Would you do it again?" Admiral Janeway jumped on her acquiesence.

"I don't know, Ma'am," Janey admitted. "I might give them a gentle warning first?"

Admiral Janeway grunted and picked up the wooden plaque. "Do you know what this is?"

Janey shook her head.

"Of course you don't, my fault," Admiral Janeway accepted.

"It is the regimental crest of the 60th Rifles, a very old Earth army regiment. I used to know the man that commanded them," she explained. "He taught me a lot of simple lessons. Like when in trouble make a decision and act, right or wrong a lot more lives will be saved than waiting for the right decision to appear. Should I ask my question again?"

"No, Ma'am!" Janey asserted quickly. "I don't regret kicking them Klingons."

Admiral Janeway settled back in her chair with a contented smile, first lesson learnt. "I think you could do well. Where do you hope to end up?"

"I want to be a Captain," Janey declared.

"Not security?" Janeway asked wickedly. "You can make a career of beating up defenceless Klingons then?"

"No, Ma'am!" Janey responded with certainty.

"Good. Now before you go. Colonel Kira suggests, for safety reasons, we ought to keep you busy until Academy opens officially. I think Mr Boothby would enjoy your assistance with the grounds. Good day, Cadet."

Thus dismissed, Janey crept out of the office wondering if the Academy was going to be as good as she had thought..