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Off the Grid

Posted on Fri Jun 17th, 2016 @ 4:47am by Lieutenant Elijah "Eli" Dreznik & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn
Edited on on Fri Jun 17th, 2016 @ 10:33am

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Holodeck Three
Timeline: MD 1, 1730 hours

It had been nearly two weeks since Eli had taken liberties in the Holodeck, so he was particularly excited to have this opportunity. He was going to get Jericho, his favorite steed, ready and take a ride out into the deserted wasteland of the Gheryai Plains just a few klicks from his parents' ranch on North Star. Eli was dressed in a form-fitting pair of blue jeans, a gray flannel shirt all accompanied by a well-worn pair of riding boots and a leather jacket. Yes, he was definitely ready for this.

Eli came to the Holodeck control panel, ready to get his program started. When he pulled up the menu, he saw the three dreaded words "Simulation in Progress". He understood that the Holodecks were allocated on a first come, first served basis; still, maybe he could negotiate a deal with whomever had taken the last available one. He was fully prepared to pull rank if necessary.

Eli keyed in the override code for the door and it clanked open with a loud pneumatic hiss. "Hello?" He called. "Who's in here?"

"Computer, pause program," came a voice from within.

In front of the man was a rocky tunnel that seemed to lead somewhere. From within the confines a second man appeared, wearing tight-fitting black pants and nothing else.

"Can I help you?" the man asked in an obviously annoyed tone.

"" began Eli, slightly tongue-tied. "Sorry. Last time I asked the Computer, this Holodeck was unoccupied. Was hoping to do a riding program." He extended a hand. "Eli Dreznik. I recognize you from your personnel file, Mister Linn."

"Lieutenant Elijah Dreznik, Chief Science Officer." Kazyah stood there for a moment with his hands clasped behind his back. "I suppose I don't need to introduce myself. I apologize that the Holodeck is now occupied. I'm surprised the Computer didn't notify you before walking in."

Eli retracted his hand slowly. "It did. Was hoping to negotiate the usage of the deck for myself, but I see you're well into your program..." He sighed heavily. "Just need to blow off a little steam, ya know?"

Kaz raised an eyebrow. "If you would like to blow off steam, I can always use a sparring partner," he said with a sly smile. "But other than that, this holodeck is occupied." Without waiting for a response, Kaz turned and walked, silently back through the tunnel.

"Computer, give me a set of workout clothes, " countered Eli. If what I remember from his file is true, I won't need a privacy curtain, Eli thought to himself. He quickly changed into a pair of blue spandex biker shorts, matching tank top and a comfortable pair of sandals. He entered the rocky tunnel, eager to see what type of program the linguist had chosen.

As Eli walked through the tunnel, he soon came to a large circular room that was lit by candles.

"I recommend removing your shoes," Kazyah stated. "The floor is perfectly smooth and safe." The man rolled his neck and clasped his arms behind his back, stretching his shoulders. "Are you familiar with the Human fighting style of TaiKwanDoe?"

"Only peripherally, said Eli as he stepped to the side and slipped off his sandals. The floor was cold, like a slab of polished granite. "I didn't hear of it until I moved to Earth. My people are ranchers and farmers."

"Is there a fighting style you are more familiar with?" Kaz asked as he leaned against one of the large boulders. He watched the man's movements, but of course didn't see anything.

"I've always enjoyed Trill Klovyah. I'm far from proficient, but I am familiar with the postures and moves."

"Lucky for you, I'm well versed in the art of Klovyah." Kaz took a step forward. "Care to make a wager?"

Eli also took a step forward, assuming a ready stance. "I'm game."

"If you pin me first, you can have the holodeck for the rest of my time," Kaz stated, waiting to see what the other guy would offer.

"And if you pin me first, you get dinner...home cooked by yours truly."

Kaz paused for a moment, "And why would I want to have dinner with you?" he asked, mulling the idea over in his head.

"Good food, and not terrible company," said Eli earnestly. "I dunno about you, but for me friendly faces are in short supply on new assignments. I'm sure I can come up with something far more insidious, if ya want. I'm cookin' regardless."

Kazyah swung his leg around, knocking the other man's legs out from under him and causing him to land flat on his back. "Alright, have it your way. Dinner it is."

Eli sprang quickly back to his feet. "Oh, you're a feisty one, ain't ya? Don't underestimate a guy that's determined to ride his horse!" On the last word, he landed a spinning kick right behind Kaz's knee that brought him to the ground.

Kaz used the ground to give him a good push as he lunged towards the man, causing them both to fall over onto the ground. The man reached a leg around and trapped the Lieutenant's head between his calves. "I know a thing or two."

"I see that," said Eli in a tone that was barely a whisper. He tried desperately to break the choke hold with his arms, but had no success. Fortunately for him, what he lacked in raw strength he made up for with flexibility. He twisted his body quickly around and applied the same move to Kaz, so both of them had each other in a head lock.

"Impressive," Kaz stated. The two sat there for a moment, both holding each other tight. It soon became obvious that neither would be able to remove themselves from the position.

Kazyah began to loosen his legs' hold on the man, ever so slightly, to give the impression that he was releasing him. Eli clearly took the bait, as he too began to loosen his grip. Kaz took the opportunity to push his leg behind the other man's back and flip him on the floor, on his stomach. In an impressively quick movement, Kaz mounted the man and pinned his arms and legs to the floor with his body.

"I win," he whispered into the man's ear.

Eli rolled and pushed the other man to the side. He stood and bowed slightly at the waist. "I know when I'm beaten. Well done, Mister Linn."

Kazyah stood there. "My name is Kazyah, but you may refer to me as Kaz," he said as he wiped his forehead with the fore of his arm.

"Call me Eli," said the Skagaran as he picked up a towel from a nearby shelf. He patted his face dry, then draped the towel over his shoulder. "So...Kaz. Any dietary restrictions I need to know about? Vegetarian? Vegan? Allergies?"

"I'm a vegan," the man replied. "I hope that won't be an issue for you?"

"I have some limited experience with vegan dishes," said Eli in a noncommittal tone. "I'm sure I can find some dishes that are mutually enjoyable." He put a hand on his hip. "I hope you don't hold my affinity for animal products against me. Vegetation is sparse and difficult to grow on my world."

"I would never hold someone to my values." Kaz bent over and picked up his Communicator that was lying on one of the large boulders and clasped it to the waistband of his pants. "Have a good day, Lieutenant," the young man said as he turned to leave.

"Hang on there, bub," said Eli. "When should I expect you?"

"I figured you'd tell me," he called over his shoulder. "You're the hostess with the mostest."

Mostest? What does a poisonous crustacean native to Balosnee VI have to do with anything? Eli thought. He quickly concluded that it must be some sort of idiomatic expression he was unfamiliar with; he decided to not ask. "1930. My quarters, deck 3 section 5."

Kaz continued to walk towards the tunnel. "Enjoy the rest of my holodeck time, Eli," he said just before disappearing around the corner of the tunnel.

"Computer, prepare simulation Kappa three one seven, Gheryai Plains," said Eli as Kaz departed. He was on a time limit now. "Set timer for half an hour."


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