Characters: Katia Santiago

Katia hurried down the hall, moving as quickly as she could to get down to Main Engineering. She had already been gone way too long in her opinion, feeling as if she had abandoned her crew for the 6 hours or so that she had been sleeping down in Medlab. Feeling totally refreshed, both emotionally and physically, the Chief Engineer couldn’t help but believe she had left Engineering to fend for itself. She knew the staff was more than capable of handling any and all emergencies, but she always liked to have her hand in what was going on in her department.

In Medlab, Katia had awakened in the same chair she had fallen asleep in. Amazingly enough, even though her body had been contorted in her sleep, the Engineer felt no aches or pains from her pretzel-like position. Katia had sat up immediately, realizing she had been there for quite a while. She definitely preferred the cot she slept in in her office over the chair, but she would have preferred a real bed over the cot. Too bad her quarters had been blown out into space with the initial blast from Kordieh’s bombs. Either way, the fact she didn’t hurt from her contortion filled sleep proved how exhausted she had been.

The medical facility bustled around her as those working ignored her sitting so near to Kordieh as he lay on the bed, still restrained. Katia had half expected to be taken into custody and made a one trip to the brig as a result of her attempted murder. She glanced around, though, and didn’t see anyone who was the slightest bit concerned with her.

Quite a bit had changed in those few minutes she had been inside Kordieh’s mind. she could already see that one encounter had perhaps saved two very lost souls. Realizing they were more alike then different had opened Katia’s eyes and let her reach out to someone else in a way she had not in a very long time. A permanent bond had somehow been created between the two engineers. A bond quite different than the telepathic link she had created with Catriona to save the other woman’s life. That link had been severed when Katia had entered the chaotic mind of the saboteur, but Katia knew the woman was well on her way to dealing with the things on her own and was no longer too concerned about the mysterious Hellfire crewmember.

Katia had stood at that and padded over to the side of Kordieh’s bed. Once there, she touched his hand softly, assured once again, that he was settled into his newfound sanity with somewhat of a peace settling over the previously chaotic mind. His newfound peace drifted over her mind like a thin veil. She knew he was hanging on to his sanity as tightly as a child who has a new toy, refusing to let go. The engineer sensed her new friend was well on his way to recovering himself from the pit he had lived in for so long. She had smiled softly down at the slumbering face that reminded her so much of a sleeping child, and something else…But, her mind refused to grasp where that face had come from. it wasn’t the same face it had been for so long, being more at peace with himself, it showed on his face as well.

It was then that the Chief Engineer realize how long she had been sleeping and had rushed out to check on how her ship was doing. The Phoenix was already “feeling” better when the Engineer opened her mind to her as Katia walked briskly back into Main Engineering. She stood there, in the doorway, and glanced around noticing instantly the minor changes that had occurred since she had last been there. The injured and dead had all been removed from Engineering, giving more space for her crew to move around so they could access the areas necessary to properly fix the systems. A few of the gaping holes had been patched, indicating that the relays and such behind them had been repaired to the best of their abilities. It was still chaotic, and the ship had a long way to go, but it seemed everyone had purpose, and knew things were going to get better from here.

She walked into her office, glancing at the cot in the back corner, almost wishing she had a chance to sleep some more, knowing she could not. She pulled up all the current status reports and such on her computer, gleaning what she could of how her ship was recuperating, and then entered Main Engineering to dig her heels into helping with the repairs.

It had to be several hours later… maybe even a full day later, when she received the call. She was deep within the mail engine coupling, trying to tie off the live end leads that kept shorting out, when her link beeped, making her jump and hit her head on the ceiling. It was simple, “Ms. Santiago, report to the Captain’s office immediately!”

Uh oh….so, they had noticed what had happened after all. Well, it was time to face her punishment head-on, and get it over with. Even if it did end her up in the Brig.

Copyright (C) 1998 Tamara Freise. All rights reserved.

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