A Huge Leap of Faith
Note and Disclaimer: I don't own the wonderful characters of Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek (much as I love the themes behind the series and, of course, The Next Generation). This is my first attempt at this particular series, so I hope that you bigger Trekkies than I will be kind to me. Thank you!
Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Elma, a security officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, was no fool to anybody.
Stalking the hallways of the new ship she was transferred to for the time being, Alyssa was aware of the tranquil stillness that came with walking the ship most every night, Earth time. For about eight hours every night, she strolled up and down the decks of the ship. Each night, she would tap Ensign Chekov on the shoulder, signaling that all was well on all floors and that he could go back to his cabin and sleep until his shift on the bridge with Sulu began. And then, she would stand guard on the captain's deck for the reminder of the time, tiptoeing quietly so that none could be awaken from her nightly haunting.
Some nights, when she knew positively nothing was about, Alyssa would sneak over to sickbay to talk with Doctor McCoy. She was not on the greatest of terms with Nurse Chapel, having teased her about her "crush" on Commander Spock, so sometimes, she was not welcome inside. Even though McCoy had joined in on the teasing often, Alyssa had received the brunt of Nurse Chapel's aggravation and she was dutifully given the boot whenever the two happened to be in sickbay together, even if McCoy was around to mediate.
Sighing with resignation (and knowing McCoy was most likely sleeping at the moment), Alyssa saw Chekov just a few doors down. Dozing off from a long day at the bridge (the Romulans giving them another shove in the Neutral Zone again, even though Starfleet had given them orders to cross), Chekov was far from the seasoned crew member. Just newly arrived (and a genius, at that), Chekov was a comical Russian who made Alyssa laugh many times over, especially when life on the Enterprise wasn't going as she planned. Even he had a few pranks up his sleeve sometimes, usually during lunch, when most of the crewmembers relaxed and ate any meal they wanted.
It was also when the gossipmongers whispered behind their hands. Chekov was perfect in making them keep face and be honest.
Arg, I hate waking him up. Middle of the night or not, Chekov needs to get his ass in gear sometimes. God, I do wish he has a good joke ready, though. I need a laugh, particularly after today.
Alyssa approached the sleeping form and carefully shook Chekov's shoulder. The young Russian himself woke up instantly, his straight brown hair shaking as he rubbed his tired eyes. He looked nervous, as if he was caught red-handed at something he wasn't supposed to be doing, but was somewhat relieved to see Alyssa.
It's like he was caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Oh, Pavel, you'll be ok!
"Vhat? Vhat? Did I miss some-ting?" he asked Alyssa fearfully, full of uncertainty even.
"No, Pavel," Alyssa replied. "It's oh-one hundred hours. You should be heading to bed now. Nothing's new here. And I don't think there'll be a threat on this ship anytime soon."
"Vhat if some-ting happens?"
"Then, I'll cover for you and tell whoever's in charge that I told you to go to bed. Simple as that." Alyssa rubbed her forehead with frustration, feeling a headache coming on. "Come on, Pavel. Just go to bed. I've got these decks handled."
"Are you positive? Sure?"
"Only fools are positive." Alyssa stole a smile, remembering where she got the phrase, but she almost squashed her good mood, just recalling everything in her mind. She didn't want to go there just yet.
"I'll go, then. But, Alyssa, tell me if some-ting is wrong. Please."
The begging tone in Chekov's voice made Alyssa promise. "Now, will you go to bed, Pavel?"
"I vill…" The Ensign yawned, surveyed the hallways for a minute more, as if to make sure that no threat was on the ship. Then, he finally walked away from his post, heading for his quarters on the next deck without looking back at Alyssa.
There…that wasn't so hard. Sleep is usually everyone's friend on this ship, even if you love doing what job you're given. Starfleet is usually the getaway career for most or something you truly enjoy doing. Me? I didn't know what else to do with my life, after losing everything I ever had. I had no choice.
Alyssa sighed, her shoulders sagging in defeat. They considered me trouble from the start and they've all proved it. Now, they're bouncing me from ship to ship, job to job, and expect me to be on my best behavior on one of the showiest ships in Starfleet. Granted, the Enterprise is top of the line and its crew the best, but I feel so diminutive with everyone onboard. I feel like my problems will just get me kicked off another ship, another red mark on my record. Jesus, it'll never be cleared up.
Even though she wouldn't tell anybody of her problems – the dreams especially – McCoy tried diagnosing and helping, but without Alyssa talking, he would find nothing wrong with her. It frustrated him nonetheless. Being a doctor and a friend and not helping hurt him and Alyssa knew it very well.
As Alyssa walked down towards the elevator (that's all she ever called it) and pressed a button for summoning, intent on checking the Romulan prisoner that boarded their vessel, she dimly remembered that conversation with McCoy. Ok, granted, she was more interested with their visitor and how Starfleet hasn't told them what to do with that one yet (Alyssa was certain that they would want that one in custody), but McCoy's words kept echoing in her mind.
"Dammit, Alyssa, I'm a doctor, not a psychiatrist." His famous first words resounding across sickbay when the subject came up (Nurse Chapel someplace else on the ship), McCoy found out about Alyssa's record somehow and tried reasoning with her about it after her dismissal of the mention.
"Yes, but, it's not like you can solve it. Nothing can change all those marks everybody likes putting on it." Alyssa crossed her arms, intent on not giving into the urge of telling McCoy everything. "I'm just the black sheep here, you know. Literally. Nobody wants that on their ship. Soon enough, Captain Kirk will just transfer me to another ship after marking down how bad I've been."
"Talking about the situation might," McCoy reasoned, almost sarcastically as Alyssa flashed her famous black hair at him, emphasizing her point of being the black sheep. "There has to be something wrong. It doesn't seem like you to be fighting with crewmembers or even having strange dreams and screaming in the middle of the night. They thought you were being murdered while you slept. Remember the week you spent on the Bounty now? But, no…the computer that was scanning your brain saw spooky wavelengths that nobody's been able to decipher. What do you suppose it could be?"
"Oh, really? You're going that route? Jesus, are you sure you're ready for what I've had to endure? Do you want to know the truth?"
"I'm damned sure I am ready for it, yes!"
"Well, then, all I can say is that my life and record in Starfleet is none of your business. Now, if you'll excuse me…"
Alyssa escaped quickly, not willing to indulge anything else. She didn't even talk to McCoy for days afterward, only coming back to Sickbay two weeks later when a crewmember injured himself and couldn't walk. Then, she put down her pride and talked to the doctor at Sickbay and even en route, walking to the hurt one in question. While both did not mention their previous argument as they talked, Alyssa was sure that McCoy wasn't going to put his hand back in the hornets' nest anytime soon. While he was fiery, sarcastic and even the clean conscience to many people (Captain Kirk included), McCoy also knew when to keep his mouth shut sometimes. He knew when to pick his own battles.
Heading down a deck, Alyssa heard the whoosh noise the elevator usually gave, a signal to get on the next floor. As the doors opened neatly, she stormed out, still smarting over that argument with McCoy, even as she thought about it. She didn't even give in the extra effort to scan the floor, in case the previous security officers missed something on their shifts. She even forgot about their Romulan prisoner in the brig, just aimlessly walking around the somewhat frigid deck.
Suddenly, though, the intercom chirped nearby, getting Alyssa's attention when Commander Spock's voice was overheard. "Commander Elma?"
Alyssa pressed a button to respond. "Elma here."
"Captain Kirk and I require your presence on the bridge, Commander. We have some trouble here and we both require your assistance in a matter."
Odd. Why do both of them need me? They have a bunch of people on the bridge already.
"I'll be there as soon as I can. Elma out."
Alyssa ended the conversation and walked onward, finally intent on getting the floor checked one last time, in case someone dared to decide to question her work ethic again. Getting to the bridge didn't seem like a priority at the moment, since the request was not urgent. Both Captain Kirk and Commander Spock could wait a few more minutes longer, even if they were in some trouble. They had service there.
After all, they wouldn't raise an eyebrow to me finishing up my work.