"Evening Company"

Author: Lieutenant Commander Karissa Bentara
Date: June 17, 2384
Location: Karissa's Quarters

For the second night in row Karissa was spending the evening alone. Ryan had taken an extra shift that would keep him on the Bridge for the night. She had decided to take the time to read one of the many
paperback books she had received as birthday gifts. There were still several that she hadn't gotten to. In fact, she had stopped reading one almost as soon as she had started it, because it dealt with genetic
manipulation . . . It was an interesting book written by a late 20th century Terran named Robin Cook, who had been known for his medical thrillers. It was almost comical by today's standards . . . but she
hadn't been able to pick it up after she found about her own genetic engineering . . . Until tonight . . . For some reason, it wasn't weighing on her as much as usual. As if, she somehow knew, that in time, it would resolve itself somehow . . . She had always been a firm believer in what went around, would come around. Somehow, these people would get theirs, whether she had anything to do with it or not.

She sat in her favorite chair and faced the porthole, a glass of milk on the side table. She got through the first 250 pages of the book, and half her glass of milk, when she suddenly heard the door to her quarters open. She turned around in surprise, wondering who it could be. Then a black, fuzzy figure entered, went to her and jumped on her lap. She laughed and stroked his fur, putting the book down.

"Hello there, Torasu . . ." she smiled. "I guess you've missed me."

His yellow eyes met hers and he blinked, adding a soft meow. She laughed and rubbed him under his chin. She was rewarded with his strong purr. She gently picked him up and held him to her chest, giving her the opportunity to plant a tender kiss on the top of his head.

"How would you like a little tuna or some milk," she smiled as she stood up, walking to the replicator.

An hour later, Karissa was stretched out on her bed, Torasu laying beside her. She was contentedly listening to a soundtrack from a 20th century Earth musical called Phantom of the Opera. She closed her eyes, stroking Torasu's soft fur, allowing the music to take her away. His purr a calming undertone . . . Gently, she felt the babies move and she smiled. Suddenly, as the piece came to an end, she felt a strange tingling against her hand. She opened her eyes in time to see Torasu enveloped in a transporter beam. With surprise, she sat up, concern in her dark eyes.

"Computer, where is Torasu?" she asked.

<<Torasu is in Commander Tyran's Quaters>>

"Is there a standing order on the cat?" she asked.

<<Torasu is to be beamed directly to Commander Tyran's quarters at 2200 hours daily>>

She laughed, knowing he must have gotten himself into trouble to have a curfew placed on him. Then she remembered when he had gotten caught in the wiring to the gelpacks, and shook her head . . . She then stretched out across the bed once more. "Goodnight, Torasu . . ." she whispered into the air.