For Piotr's Sake

Chapter Nine

Security chief Sulu of the ISS Defiant didn't envy Captain Piotr's position and, contrary to popular belief among the crew, wasn't about to assassinate him. There had been unflattering subspace chatter about the recently promoted captain's status for months and Sulu was certain his friend knew what people were saying behind his back. He was being called "Captain Dunsel, Mark Two"; in command of a starship that was not even technically theirs, with only eighteen people left alive to command after the seemingly unprovoked Tholian attack. There was only one woman left in their crew now: a young nurse on her first tour of duty named Bennett, who was a dead ringer for the young lady of the same name in this reality. Sulu knew that she was head over heels in love with their young captain Chekov, and was jealous enough of his wife to do her in. He surmised that that was what she probably did. Ordinarily, Sulu would have tried to assassinate Piotr, since he wanted a ship of his own and it was standard Empire procedure to kill someone as badly injured as their Chekov. However, he and Piotr had been friends ever since the Five Year Conquering Mission and since he mentioned something about giving the Defiant back to the Starfleet in this reality, he thought it would be rather pointless to kill him. There would be other starships to command or to take over and he liked his friend and partner in crime. Also, they were all grateful enough to be rescued from the badly damaged Defiant so that they were not even considering taking over the Reliant. In addition to that, one look at the ever-present scowling security men convinced them all to be on their best behavior, according to this universe's standards. They were hopelessly outnumbered as well, and knew if they did try anything, they would all be thrown into the brig, or worse. As he pondered these things, he stepped into the recreation room. He smiled wickedly as their young nurse tensed up, her hand resting on her holstered sidearm. He thought she was a luscious little thing, and rather fancied her himself. He admired her ambition to be the captain's woman, even though he thought it was a pity that Irina had been killed. The captain's wife would have enjoyed her as well.

Leila entered the rec room, still uneasy about dealing with this nefarious bunch from the alternate universe. As she and her counterpart locked eyes, they stared at each other with astonishment for a moment. The counterpart was standing beside the other Chekov's cot, one hand resting on a holstered phaser, which hung on a golden sash around her waist, and the other holding a medical scanner. Piotr was still unconscious. The other Leila's blue uniform was cut into two parts, looking more like a bikini than a uniform. Leila could see a jeweled dagger sticking out of the top part of her left boot. After her initial surprise at seeing her goody-two shoes counterpart, the other Leila smiled impishly.

"Close your mouth or you will catch flies, dear." She looked Leila over like she was a prize turkey ready for Thanksgiving. "If you don't mind my saying, that's a bland uniform. No style to it at all."

"Perhaps," Leila answered evenly, catching her breath. "But I'm not about to enter a fashion show. I have been ordered to check on all of you down here." The alternate version of herself noticed her eyes on the captain.

"Do I have competition? If so, I will fight you for him." The alternate Leila had pulled her phaser out of its holster. The security guards saw her do it, gave her a warning glance, and brandished theirs.

"Put your weapon back, please. There is no need for that." Leila said quickly. "I have just recently become engaged to another man. You have no competition."

To their relief, the alternate Leila smiled like the grinch who stole Christmas. "I'm glad. Congratulations. On my side, I have to take what I can get." She was about to put her phaser back when Sulu walked in. Her eyes narrowed with contempt. She knew that he had designs on her, and that he was probably there to assassinate the captain.

"Relax, Ms. Bennett. I have not come to kill Piotr."

"What are you doing here?"

"Merely visiting, my dear. I see you two have met." He looked at their Leila lustfully, but because of the captain's orders, controlled himself. "You still have no interest in me, adorable? What does Piotr have that I don't?" He put his fingers under her chin and she turned her face away.

"Class, for one thing." She responded courageously. Her counterpart stared at them a little fearfully, hoping that she was not going to get mixed up in a fight. "Also, he is a starship captain. I want to be his woman."

Sulu smiled cunningly and with amusement. "You killed Irina, didn't you?"

"No, I did not. The Tholians did it for me. I had too much respect for Irina to murder her. I also did not have the opportunity or much of a motive."

"I don't appeal to you at all? I could make you very…satisfied."

"With all due respect, sir, you appeal to me as much as a plate of half dead Klingon gagh." The other Leila did not know what that was, but was too afraid to ask. " I am not interested in your caveman mentality. I love Piotr, not you. And if you make any attempt to kill him, you will not get back to our reality alive."

The intercom went off as she uttered the last sentence, Sulu chuckled with amusement, and they all heard Captain Terrell's voice from the bridge.

"Attention…guests. Because your chief engineer was also killed during the Tholian attack, our engineer and her surviving staff have been making repairs on the Defiant. We are ready to make an attempt to escape the black void. We do not know where the coordinates we obtained will bring us, but with any luck, we will not encounter any more hostile forces. I will let you know if we are successful. Terrell out."

Mr. Seven had completed the necessary checks and repairs to his hidden base. He paused for a moment, giving the instruments one last look before stepping into his time transporter. There was something not quite right about the coordinates he had provided, but he could not quite figure out what. Then, he gasped and mentally kicked himself, knowing the danger that he had put the Reliant crew in. Being he had no time to contact them again, and they were probably out of range anyway, he hoped that they would be all right as he dematerialized.