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Behold a Pale Horse, Pt. 3: White Knights, White Nights
Posted on April 4th, 2024 by Scott Ammora

Ensign Heather Grossman, Science

God, that boy had an ass on him.

Never missing an opportunity to check out eye candy, Ensign Heather Grossman stole a glimpse of Evan Benevente as he strolled down the hall away from her into the turbolift. She was careful to turn away fast enough before he spun on his heel and had the chance to catch her. She had liked him for a long time. Since the Academy, actually. But that was a story for another time.

Heather was a sturdy woman. In many ways. Physically she could hold her own with the best of them. She had once thought about pursuing security or tactical, it would have been perfect given her athletic abilities, but her brainpower was where she found the true adrenaline rush. She played sports, sure, but the classroom is where she really would stretch her legs.

Emotionally, she had overcome a lot in her life. Her parents divorced when she was just old enough to understand, but not old enough to do anything about it or know how to ask for help. That made for a long couple of years before high school. She had lost too many pets to count. She had been teased relentlessly for being the nerd in school, regardless of her prowess in athletics, it didn’t make up for it. The cherry on the top of the cake was being left at the altar by her fiancée. More stories for other times.

She was sturdy in other non-conventional ways, too. Intellectually, socially, strategically. Sexually. She hoped that one day Evan would find out. She had been flirting on maximum power forever with him, but he wasn’t picking up the overload. To be fair, she had gotten herself into a bit of trouble for being slightly promiscuous in her previous posting, and maybe a little bit on Atlantis, but she was trying to do better.

“You look beautiful!” A brunette said approaching her with arms outstretched.

“You too, Tara!” Heather embraced her friend and the two continued walking together down the corridor. “I’m so glad you got off early. I’m guessing they don’t let you wear that in engineering on shift.”

Lieutenant JG Tara Anchor twirled and was beaming with energy and visible anticipation, it radiated off of her as much as her bright yellow dress. She was absolutely stunning. Heather envied her, but knew she looked good in her own way. A more… sturdy sort of way. “I was hoping to help you pick out what you were going to wear.”

“You got off hours ago and dressed before I could help you. All’s fair in my book.”

Heather scoffed, “I had just walked in the door when you told me you were going to be done early. I immediately got ready. I’ve been busy. My own fault, granted, but it’s all the same. We’ll be getting data from the away team, plus my side projects, and other things that Wright has me doing. I’m not complaining, but tonight is about all I got.”

“Then let’s make it a good one!” Tara threw her hands up into the air and shook her hips to non-existent music. “We’ll paint the deck red!”

Heather laughed, “I think that’s against decoration protocols. Standard white, I believe is regulation.”

Tara dropped her arms in faux defeat, “Fine, we’ll party so hard we’ll repaint the ten forward lounge a lovely shade of eggshell. You, my friend, are a hoot. One night, one great night! It’s going to be something to remember!”

“I hope so,” Heather started as her mouth contorted cunningly again, “because I basically forced Evan Benevente to come tonight. I’m picking him up in an hour.” She cackled manically, but with hearts in her eyes.

Tara put her hand to her mouth and stopped, “You’re kidding?! You dog, you! Taking the initiative and going after what you want. Some men like assertiveness and those that take control. Maybe that’s his kink or something?”

“Tara!” Heather knew that there was one kink that Evan had, and assertiveness didn’t crack the top 52.

“I’m kidding. All jokes aside, he’s a great looking guy, and I hear he’s smart as hell. So you know he’s got the looks and the brains, now you just need to know if he has the third quality.” She bounced her eyebrows up and down at Heather. “You know what I’m saying?”

Heather nodded, “His heart.”

Tara shook her head. “That’s number four, and that comes on the second date.”

“This isn’t a date.”

“Sounds like you roped him into it.”

“I pushed a little, yeah, but…”

“Didn’t you threaten him?”

“Maybe.” Heather tilted her head slightly.

“Are you going to wait outside his door for the entire hour just to make sure he doesn’t bail?”

“I’m here with you now, aren’t I?”

“You were going to the turbolift down the hall and were going to double back, weren’t you?”

“Thought about it, but I came to meet you.”

“Why give it away by bailing on me?”

“Exactly.” Heather nodded.



Tara failed first in the back and forth and took a breath. She laughed through it and gave her friend a hug. “He’s cute, yes, but let’s not get crazy, okay. Plus, if you give him the full hour and you show up and he’s gone or doesn’t want to go, you have to be okay with that. You can’t always get every guy.”

“Obviously, I got left – ”

“Fuck off with the left-at-the-altar boo-hoos, okay? You play that one all the time. It’s starting to tarnish, Grossman!” Tara put her arm around Heather’s shoulder and led her down the hall. “Come on, we’ll go back to my quarters and hang out for a bit. Or, as I like to call it ‘Operation Anti-Stalker’. Plus, you have to keep me company so I don’t do the same thing to Miguel.”

Heather guffawed, “Yzerra? Isn’t he that hothead from Security?”

“No, that’s Ammora.”

She waved her hand, “No, he’s the other one. Yzerra was the guy that lost his mind on that engineer over misadjusting his phaser rifle and it wouldn’t fire more than five meters. Which he enjoyed because he was holding it at his waist at the time. Toxic masculinity at its finest. That Yzerra, right?”

“I think that was Yberra, but he transferred.”

“Either way, this is new! When did this happen? Where did it happen?”

“Calm down, it wasn’t even really a thing. We were in the mess and there were only two seats left and we ended up striking up a conversation. Just kind of mindless, fill the time and not look awkwardly across the table from one another, nice conversation.” As if Tara could have sparkled any more brightly than before, she managed to find a way. “And we had that awkward kind of ‘see you at the party’ verbal trade off at the end.”

Heather wondered if she should say what she was about to say. “Do you even know if he’s going or is looking for you?”

“Not the point, I’m doing the looking. Then I’ll do the standard find a reason to walk by him and strike up a conversation. You know, inadvertently.”

“Inadvertently force him into conversation with you.” Heather corrected.


“Fair point.” They both seemed lovesick, but that wasn’t what defined them.

Both Heather and Tara were accomplished officers. They excelled in their field, they were proud Starfleet officers, and did their duty. They were honored to wear the uniform and to serve the Federation. But work was work. “Fine, an hour, and then hit the dance floor. Who needs the beach on a pristine, untouched, and gorgeous world?”

“Yeah, it sounds awful.” Heather said sarcastically. They entered the turbolift together, barely making it shoulder-to-shoulder. “Deck 10.”

For all their banter and conversation from the short walk outside the Engineering locker room to the turbolift, the ride was oddly quiet. Heather assumed that it was the two of them finding their mental center and calm. The night had created a buzz amongst the Junior Officers. With most senior officers off the ship, and their immediate subordinates bestowed with command responsibilities, junior officer responsibilities had heightened in some regard, but ultimately, their workload was severely reduced.

The doors to Deck 10 opened and the girls gasped as a man came barreling at them. “Oh, my god!”

“Whoa, sorry ladies, was in too much of a hurry.” The smolderingly handsome man took a step back and offered his hand to gesture out to them.

Heather moved first and Tara lingered inconspicuously behind, moving at a glacial pace, and did the corniest little curtsy that Heather had ever seen. The night was still too young to end up in sickbay. But, Tara would be Tara tonight, it would seem. Heather didn’t mind, the guy was hot. Not as hot as Evan, but this guy wasn’t her type. Nope, tight t-shirt, tight pants, perfectly coiffed hair, nope, not her type at all. In all honesty, Security boys weren’t her bag.

“And who says chivalry is dead. Going to the party tonight, Damian?” Tara asked, her voice noticeably different.

“Yeah, got to grab something from the office first, but I’ll be there.”

“Maybe we can get a drink?”

“Yeah, for sure. Absolutely.” Damien smiled seductively, “See you there.” And the doors hissed shut.

Heather stared at Tara as Tara watched the door. Heather saw Damien flash his ‘signature’ – and fake – smile which he’d probably perfected over the years. Tara saw male attention and went doe eyed. Tara took a little breathy sigh and turned to Heather, “What the…” Startled by the intense gaze her friend was giving her, she maintained her composure and shrugged. “What?”


“Hey, I’m window shopping. I’m not buying anything. Yet.”

Heather laughed, “You do know they’re best friends, right? You can’t go from one to the other because I think there is some sort of code they live by.”

“Just because there’s a goalie, it doesn’t mean you can’t score.”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“Pragmatic. It doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan if Miguel does turn out to have anger issues.”

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1 Comment

  • Kathryn Harper Kathryn Harper says:

    I like these two! This log nicely expands the cast that you’re introducing to us, and everything still seems to be converging at the party. Competent and professional officers by day and able to have fun while knowing what they want and going after it at night – you have to admire that! Keep these coming!

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