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Posted on Thu Aug 2nd, 2018 @ 5:11am by Stephen Spires & Lieutenant M

Mission: Preflight
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: MD 40

The trip through warp was uneventful for Stephen Spires. Too uneventful. Life always yielded surprises and information, even during downtimes. And, in the case of the feuding couple in Medical, especially then.

Taking the opportunity to peruse his hours and days of recorded material, it didn't take Stephen long to see that he had been bamboozled. Somehow, someone had hacked into his CC network and looped the feed back into itself. And they were smart. That narrowed it down to two culprits: the Security Chief and the Engineer.

The Security Chief was an unreasonable frigid bitch, but that Engineer? Now she had some potential, in more ways than one.

Stephen packed up his surveilence gear, stowed it in the secret spot wedged inside his bed frame, and went down to Main Engineering.

It didn't take long to find Mara in her office. "Howdy," he said, flashing his brightest smile.

Before she even turned to see the speaker, she knew who it was. Her lips formed a thin line and her eyebrows flirted with her hairline. She felt her jaw clench of its own accord and willed it to relax. Slowly, she turned. “What can I do for you, Mr. Spires?” she asked, the friendliness in her tone surprising even her.

Stephen tilted his head and grinned wider. "Ah, so you did miss me. I'm here on a matter of some import. You see, I illegally installed a closed camera system throughout the ship to better fish for news leads -- all off the record of course. And, wouldn't you know it--" He snapped his fingers and chuckled. "--but somebody hacked the feed and looped a bunch of pre-recorded bullshit back into the system. You wouldn't know anything about that, now would ya?"

“Illegal, you say?” replied Mara, sticky sweet. "You’re lucky they didn’t smash it to smitherines, in that case.”

Stephen stepped closer to her desk. "Lucky? You call being teased with a wild goose chase 'lucky'?"

“In that I could have you arrested for it,” she replied sweetly, accepting his challenge and taking a step towards him. “Wouldn’t you say a goose chase is better than the brig and being dumped off at the nearest Starfleet prison?”

"Oh, there's no proof," Stephen said, stepping closer as well. They were but a foot apart. "You wouldn't want to do that anyway. Not when I can be so much fun. Especially when I know the way to a lady's heart."

“Oh, I didn’t realize you were a cardiovascular surgeon,” Mara replied snippily, taking another step, leaving them mere inches apart. “I’m sure the captain would be thrilled to know you’re so skilled.”

Stephen had to look down at her. Being so close, he could feel the heat radiating from her body. "Oh, I don't have to be a surgeon. Only thing I need to know is the magic words." Leaning down to her ear, he said in a sultry whisper, "Avada kedavra."

With a growl of disgust, Mara stepped back. “That has nothing to do with the heart,” she informed him, “unless you’re trying to stop it. Are you trying to kill me?”

"I thought it only fair," he said with a smirk, "since you already took my breath away. You have slain my horcrux. You have expecto'ed my patronum. And now," he stepped forward again, head tipped down, two fingers pressed beneath her chin, "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good."

No! Not the Marauders! They were her only weakness! Now she didn’t know what to do. The thought of stepping on his foot- hard- came to mind, but so did locking her office door and having her way with him. She attempted to make herself angry. He DARES to use the Marauders??? He should be locked in Azkaban immediately! But, to no avail. Would it really be so horrible to have a bit of fun with him?

That thought tipped the scales and she slapped his hand away. “Don’t Touch me!” she ordered. “And don’t try to seduce me! You admitted that you illegally placed cameras in Engineering and then try to get away with it by offering... favors!”

"Oh, hon, I've given up on the cameras. I know when I'm beaten. You've bested me." He knelt down in front of her, one knee before the other, and then pressed his hands together at the wrist. "Now I'm under your Imperius curse. Your every wish... is my command."

Mara’s first inclination was to roll her eyes, but instead, she said “good. Get me a chai mocha. And then take down all your cameras and stomp on them.”

Stephen walked to the replicator and ordered a chai mocha. "Done," he said, handing it to her. Then he withdrew a handheld transmitter from his pocket. "And done," he said after depressing the button at the top.

His grin folded into a smirk. "Anything else?" he asked, brow arched.

Her eyebrows went up again as she sipped the chai. "Sure," she said. "Throw yourself out an airlock."

"Oh, how prosaic, my dear. Surely you can be more creative than that." Gently, methodically, he reached for her hand and snaked his fingertips around hers. "I can help with that. Bit of a specialty o'mine, you might say."

"Why bother when simplicity will do?" she replied, extricating her hand from his. "But, I guess that imperius curse doesn't last long, does it?"

Stephen wriggled his eyebrows. "Wanna' try it again?"

Mara was tempted to tell him to perform an immoral act on himself, but instead just gave him a withering glare. "I'm going to keep that loop set up on the camera, just in case," she informed him.

"They aren't any good to me now that they're discovered." He stole her hand again and laid a parting kiss on her knuckles. He then backed away toward the door, his bright eyes taunting her to do something about it. "Mischief managed, you might say."

"And stop quoting the Marauders!" she ordered, feeling her cheeks burning. She couldn't remember the last time anyone had gotten under her skin so easily and she didn't like it one bit.

Stephen paused just in front of the door, a tempting smirk on his face. "Come make me," he said softly, just above a whisper.

Grabbing the nearest thing to her left hand- in this case, a stress ball- Mara hurled it at Spires' head. "Get out!" she ordered. "And stay out!"

"As you wish," he said, triggering the door's auto-proximity switch, "but that won't stop my quotes. 'I open at the close.' My quarters. Off the record." He winked at her again before leaving.

Although she was tempted to chase after him and punch him square in the nose, she resisted the urge and instead sat down at her desk, silently fuming. No, this was no good. She needed to punch something. Perhaps those stubborn power couplings on Deck 12 would bennefit from her ire. Standing once more, she abandoned her Chai Mocha for a toolkit and headed out of Main engineering.

Outside her office door, however, was a small heart etched into the bulkhead. Within it was a single word. Alohomora.


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