Tales of a Security Chief, Vol. III
Summary: By request and due to characters that won't stop telling stories in my head, Vol III: continuing stories of Security Chief Sam Giotto, a 50-something on a ship filled with 20-somethings, his captain included. A series of largely unrelated one-shots about his experiences.
I always thought the Security Chief ought to have been given a bit more of a roll considering how many of his redshirts Kirk goes through on away missions. Cmdr. Giotto is identified as the head of security in the TOS episode The Devil in the Dark. I have a soft spot for the redshirts and Giotto has taken on a bit of a life of his own in my imagination. He is one of the few TOS characters with nearly all gray hair and I since I've been noticing some myself lately, I got to thinking about what it would be like for him in the AU serving on a ship full of rookies, including a very young version of Kirk.
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek (although it owns a substantial piece of my imagination), but Sam and my other OCs are mine.
A Slap in the Face
Because the more things change the more they stay insane
The Captain extended his arms, turning with a huge grin almost before the glow of the transporter beam had disappeared. "Welcome to Tortuga Station, gentlemen. I used to make regular runs out here when I was finishing my shuttle piloting quals." A nostalgic grin spread over his face. "Best flight-time gig ever - this place is like Vegas and Paradise Island rolled into one and planted in the middle of space. What do you think?"
"It is …interesting," Spock replied.
Giotto suppressed a laugh at the way the XO's eyebrow lifted as he swept the glitzy décor with a disapproving gaze. The station was a popular destination for cadets as well as other 'fleet personnel and Giotto had been here a number of times during his roughly three decades in Starfleet. However, in all those visits, he couldn't remember ever having seen a Vulcan in the place. There was obviously a reason for that and he doubted that Spock would have willingly made himself the first to set foot here if it weren't for the fact that his Captain was singularly relentless.
Having finally impressed upon the vast majority of this young crew what he could (and would) do to them if they got too out-of-hand on leave, Giotto would have been just as happy to remain on the ship as well, but he was subject to the same relentless Captain and hadn't survived this long in Security without developing a sort of sixth sense for trouble. Kirk, Spock and McCoy going off anywhere even remotely suspect together set that sense off like a hull breach alarm.
"Alright, so you've dragged us to this space-born den of iniquity," McCoy drawled. "Did you have something specific in mind or are we just supposed to wander around until someone – probably you – finds trouble."
The doctor was almost as much of a cynic as Giotto, but lacked his years of conditioning against speaking to a superior officer that way. Of course, Sam halfway suspected that even a century in Starfleet wouldn't do much to change McCoy in that regard.
"Bones, where's you're sense of adventure?" Kirk teased.
McCoy arched an eyebrow at his friend. "Hiding back in my office, waiting for me to come running in with you on a stretcher."
"Not going to happen. Back me up here, Chief. This place is perfectly safe and it was built for pleasure."
"No place is without risks for the unwary, but I do know of a few places here that can be fun," Giotto exchanged a glance with Spock. "Or at least quite stimulating."
The Vulcan inclined his head slightly. "I shall follow your lead, Mr. Giotto."
"Hold on, I'm sensing a conspiracy," Kirk accused with a half-grin. "Where are you two headed?"
Giotto smiled at his Captain. "To find a game of five-card and see which of us can come closest to beating the table. You in?"
Kirk gave Spock an incredulous look. "You're on board with this?"
"As I have benefited from his tutelage in the game of poker, Mr. Giotto thought it might prove an interesting challenge to attempt to best him in an independent venue." One corner of Spock's mouth twitched fractionally upward. "It was an offer I could not refuse."
There was a brief pause before McCoy stared open-mouthed and Captain coughed to swallow a laugh. Having mastered the concept of bluffing, Spock had recently begun using his standing invitation to Giotto's poker group to try to work out the human practice of ribbing one's friends. The results tended to be mixed, but there were times when Sam strongly suspected that Spock used the presumption of Vulcan naiveté to crack a joke no one else could get away with. He chuckled, narrowing eyes slightly. "Just for that, you are going down 'Spocko'."
"C'mon, Jim," Bones laughed, clapping his hands together. "This I gotta see."
"Wait a minute," Kirk held up his hands. "We are in the middle of one of the premier hedonistic pleasure domes in the galaxy, and you guys want to go find a game you could play on the ship any time? You can't be serious! Look, there's this place on the 3rd level were the dancers… "A dreamily lascivious look crossed his face. "I mean, when was the last time you had a beautiful almost-naked woman literally wrap herself around you?"
Spock appeared to develop a sudden interest in the floor and Kirk gave him an accusing look. "Don't answer that."
He looked up, eyebrows at half-mast. "I assure you, I had no intention of doing so."
McCoy laughed, bouncing slightly on his toes and Kirk pointed at him. "You either."
The Captain looked over and Giotto assumed his best blank expression. His position as Security Chief meant that he didn't share the particulars of his private life with shipmates, including his superior officer. But no matter the status of his personal life (and he was currently pretty happy with it), agreeing to join his Captain on an expedition in debauchery would be completely out of the question.
"There are generally some attractive women in the casino," he offered. It wasn't that he didn't feel some sympathy for the Captain. In fact, if he were about thirty years younger and they were both unattached junior officers… no, probably not then either. Sam had been a bit wild in his twenties, but never anywhere near Kirk's reputation.
"Come on, none of you are married," the Captain cajoled. "Uhura's shopping on the main level and Hanlan's minding the office for Sam. We probably won't even see them until tomorrow. So you've got girlfriends - it's not like you're dead."
McCoy raised his eyebrows. "Yeah, and I for one would like to keep it that way."
Giotto suppressed a laugh. The doctor's girlfriend was on his staff and highly rated in both hand-to-hand and marksmanship. "Don't worry Doc, Jessy wouldn't hurt you …much."
"See? And even if she does, it'll totally be worth it." Kirk flashed a grin, heading toward the lift.
The remaining officers exchanged a look. "Well, we can't let Jim wander off on his own," McCoy grumbled. Unfortunately prior experience suggested that that was probably all too true. They hurried to catch up.
The floor they stepped off on looked like a cross between a disco and a bordello. Sam's hand instinctively checked his pocket. At Kirk's age he'd recently made first lieutenant and visited this spot to celebrate with shipmates equally young and incautious. Most of them had returned to the Lexington having to sheepishly admit to their Chief that their IDs and comms had been lifted somewhere in the course of the outing. In the intervening years Giotto had learned that while that experience wasn't typical, it was far from uncommon and the higher your rank, the more of a target you made. Of course, the Captain had brushed that warning aside before they even left the ship, confident in his prior experience with the station's inhabitants.
"I'm telling you, the women here are amazing. They give a whole new definition to the word 'friendly'." Kirk beamed, waving to a woman whose clothing appeared to have been painted on with very, very thin paints. "Scarlet!"
"Jim Kirk!" She turned and swung a palm across his face, landing a hard slap before striding off in a huff.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "That response does appear to vary significantly from what one would associate with the standard definition of 'friendly'."
Bones snorted a laugh. "Yeah, but it's not necessarily a nonstandard reaction to Jim's charm."
"Okay," Kirk said, rubbing his jaw. "Not sure I deserved that." He looked up as another woman approached, this one dressed (if it could be called that) in crisscrossing ribbons. "Giselle!"
"Who was she?"
A hand moved with surprising speed to connect with the other side of Kirk's face before the woman spun on her heel and stalked off.
"Yep, nothin' but amazingly friendly women as far as the eye can see," McCoy snarked.
"It's okay," Kirk touched his cheek with a devilish grin. "I may have deserved that."
"Perhaps a game of poker would be safer," Giotto suggested.
"Nah, it's just that I played the field a bit when I was coming out here a lot. Most of them were totally okay with it."
Based on their initial random sampling, that seemed unlikely, but it wasn't his place to say it. Giotto limited himself to a skeptical look. "If you say so, sir."
"Jim." Kirk widened his eyes. "We're off duty, so it's Jim."
"Considering the number of people who seem inclined to take a swing at you up here, I'm not sure I should stay off duty," Giotto raised his eyebrows, allowing himself a small smile, "sir."
Kirk rolled his eyes. "A couple slaps in the face is as much trouble as I'm going to get into here. I'm not going to need a bodyguard." He held his fingers up in a Boy Scout pledge. "I swear."
"It's okay, sir, I've got him."
Giotto released the man he had pinned to a table and wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth while surveying the scene. His people had responded promptly, but the place was trashed. He knew the Captain had been sincere about avoiding trouble, but going to a club filled with exotic dancers, half of whom had 'managers' who, as it turned out, had been just waiting to have a 'word' with Kirk? Sam restrained a sigh. There were times when he was tempted to imagine that the term SNAFU had been developed just for them.
"Hold still you green-blooded hobgoblin," McCoy growled. "It's hard enough picking green bits of glass out of green blood without you shifting around."
"Is he alright?" Uhura hurried in, bags over her wrist and concern written across her face.
"I am mery... merrially... only disorientated," Spock replied with the closest thing to a goofy expression that Sam had ever seen on a Vulcan face.
"Keep still," McCoy ordered. "Someone broke a bottle over his head. Don't worry, it didn't crack that thick Vulcan skull, but it was full of some sort of chocolate liquor and it seems to have gotten into his bloodstream."
Uhura swore under her breath in at least three languages before taking in the rest of the scene. "How the frell did you wind up in this..." she gestured somewhat violently at the surroundings, "place."
The doctor fixed a laser-like glare on the Captain. "Go ask everybody's favorite fly boy."
"I might have known." She turned to Kirk, hands on hips and an expression that made Giotto wonder if he shouldn't be prepared to restrain her.
Kirk had his head tilted back with a piece of cloth held to staunch a bloody nose. He cracked one swollen eye at her. "You're not gonna hit me too are you?"
"If I did you'd certainly deserve it, but that would be too easy." She leaned over him, speaking in tightly clipped phrases. "No, now that I know everyone is going to be okay, I'm going to go back to the ship, handle what I'm sure will be an avalanche of comm messages, and think about just how to teach you a lesson."
She turned on her heel and Kirk grimaced, watching her stalk away. "You were right, Chief. Poker probably would have been a lot safer."
AN: Hidden Relevance asked sometime ago about subjecting Kirk to the slap scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. I saw the movie again recently and since Uhura has been complaining that she hasn't had a role in my fics in a while, an Anamaria scene seemed appropriate. I couldn't have her actually strike a superior officer of course, but making him worry about other forms of payback should be within bounds.
The 'ribbing' at the beginning refers to my reboot of A Piece of the Action in Vol II where Kirk uses 'Spocko' and Giotto imagines his Italian ancestors rolling in their graves over him playing a mafioso.
Please read & review.