"Fighting Windmills"
(Previous Post: "Needle in a Haystack")

“When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”
-Thornton Wilder


Setting: VALLA ROYAL, Promenade
Stardate: 63076.2220

Eve sat on the bench along the edge of the promenade, carefully observing the passers-by. The orbital station was teeming with people, all with their own agendas. On the surface, most of them appeared to be here to enjoy all the station had to offer. But the VALLA ROYAL had a reputation far beyond the floating resort it portrayed itself to be.

Despite her analytical nature, Ensign Dalziel was hoping to see any one of three people come her way. The first would be Hex, which would signal her safe arrival to the station; the second, Captain Rikar, whose exact whereabouts were unknown; and the third, the mysterious Klingon who had been the last to see Kamlia alive.

Luckily, even though not all three of her wishes were granted, Eve saw Hex approaching from the opposite direction that Aki and ET had gone off in looking for leads on the Klingon. "Elizabeth," Eve said, motioning to her.

Hex approached the Counsellor, her shimmering sand colored gown gracefully swirling behind her. "June, is everything well?"

Eve nodded. "The lovebirds are looking for their 'friend'."

"Lovely," the Kzinti woman replied in a tone that was anything but. Her red eyes narrowed. "What are your plans for the evening, June, my dear?"

"I have a date."


Setting: VALLA ROYAL, Casino, Gordy's Office
Stardate: 63076.2245

Gordy nervously fumbled with some latinum-clad chips as he checked each camera; they constantly surveyed the entire floor. The casino didn't look as packed as usual. With one Dabo girl entertaining a diplomat or whatever it was she thought warranted taking a shift off, and another ending up dead, it just wasn't good for business. And business was all he really cared about.

Suddenly a commotion out in the hallway had the man even more on edge than he already was. His lackeys sounded like they were putting up some sort of ruse, but an unsuccessful one. Gordy instinctively turned the cameras off and made sure his weapon was right where it should be, on a hidden shelf behind the right side of his desk. It was no sooner than he did that then the door burst open, with Rocky and an attractive young woman almost tumbling through the doorway at the same time.

"What's all the racket?" The disagreeable man said to his associate.

Rocky tried to explain with a sheepish 'aw shucks' demeanor. "Ah, dah, boss, dis lady wanted ta see yah, was tryin' to explain yous busy and all but she's really wantin' to see yah-"

Gordy waved him off, taking a moment to look at the tall woman. If he waited for Rocky to spell it all out it might take half the night. "Listen, miss, do I know you?"

"No, you don't," Eve answered suggestively. "But I want to change all that."

Rocky seemed to take that as his cue to leave. Eve almost thought she heard the man chuckling as he closed the door.

Gordy sighed and shook his head. Rocky wouldn't know the difference between business and pleasure if it hit him in the head with a baseball bat. Gordy still kept his guard up, even though it looked improbable the woman was carrying any sort of weapon given how tight and form-fitting her dress was. "This isn't my first trip to the rodeo, little lady- what brings you to the casino?"

Eve approached Gordy's desk and took a seat, making sure to take advantage of the fitted green dress and its seductive slit up the one side. She leaned in over her beautifully crossed legs and said, "I understand you need a Dabo girl. Consider this my interview."

"W-where did you hear that?" Gordy replied, his voice betraying him in a nervous stammer.

The woman tossed her head, her heavily streaked chestnut mane brushing against her shoulders. She stared at him with thoughtful, whiskey colored eyes. "Every woman wanting to be a Dabo girl better have some powerful friends on her side. It's too bad Kamlia wasn't able to have one when she needed it. It might have made all the difference."

Gordy, despite his desire for profit, winced when Kamlia's name was mentioned. He took a closer look at the mystery woman. She didn't have quite the same appeal as the Nuvian woman who had been killed, but she possessed a brazen confidence that the other girl had lacked. And her legs went on for miles. "I don't see anyone else lining up for this kind of abuse. So you'll do. But about wages-"

"I'll do you one better, I'll work for tips only for one week... you can call it a trial period of sorts. If you aren't impressed, there's no commitment."

Gordy crossed his arms with a skeptical look on his squinched up face. "Some of our customers can get pretty rough- are you up for that?"

"I know how to protect myself," Eve replied sharply, her fist clenched involuntarily. "Just ask your boys outside."

He didn't need to hear any more. "You're hired. My name's Gordy." He stood and offered his hand and she grasped it firmly.

"I'm June."

The grumpy man frowned. "That's not very exotic."

The woman smiled coyly. "That's only what my family calls me. My friends call me Dulcinea."

Gordy shrugged as they walked together towards the pit downstairs. "Well, my sweet Dulcinea, this looks like it could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

Susan M Ledbetter
Ensign Eve Dalziel