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Ping Pong Dodgeball

Posted on Thu Jul 28th, 2016 @ 4:26pm by Ensign Otoha Takahashi RN & Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant T'Mia & Commander Akiva ben-Avram
Edited on on Thu Jul 28th, 2016 @ 10:41pm

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Crew Activities Lounge
Timeline: Off Duty Hours

Crew lounges are normally meant for relaxation and leisure, not vicious competition. The discussion of a ping-pong duel had come up, and somehow Akiva and Otoha ended up volunteering. This wasn't any ordinary table tennis. In the 24th Century, the little featherweight ball was woven with inertial fabric. In layman's terms, it kept bouncing for a very long time.

Long ago, tempers flared during a game of table tennis. Nothing new, it always had and always will happen. However, a new sport was birthed out of the heated exchange. The sport lifted from its confines of a table and turned into a dodge ball contest. In the end, only one rule had to be followed. No direct hitting the ball at your opponent. That was considered to be rude and abusive. Instead, you must bounce your ping-pong projectile off of walls, people's drink glasses, or their heads... and then hit your opponent.

What began as a fun challenge quickly escalated into a furious challenge to the highly competitive Otoha. Especially after getting beaned, she ramped up her intensity in pounding the ball in retaliation.

Akiva normally preferred to spend his leisure time alone, but he had only been aboard the Vindex for a couple days. Already he felt like he was alienating himself through his duties. Since he wasn't about to ease up in that department, he decided that, loathe was he was to admit it, he was overdue for some social interaction.

There hadn't been much time for play at the Hebron Colony. When they weren't studying, they were working. Most recreational activities were predicated on some kind of constructive purpose. Akiva looked at the quirky nurse who had destroyed the door to her quarters. She had just struck down her opponent with a cheer of victory. Was that an actual victory dance? Akiva smirked at the sight.

In the 'getting to know you' part of new crew-ism, a new revelation about the ship's nurse became evident. In competition events, the little woman was given to the hyper-excitement of competition. The normally quiet and in-control medical nurse threw restraint to the wind. "Anybody else up for a game of ping-pong-dodge?"

Other crew members in the lounge angrily protested, "NO! We are tired of getting pelted with that stupid little ball!"

She folded her arms, squinting with disappointment. "Come on, there must be somebody!" She caught smile of Akiva and melted into a sweet, gentle demeanored smile. "Hello, Lieutenant," said the Cheshire Nurse.

Akiva flinched. He had agreed to show up since the maintenance overhaul was proceeding nicely, but actually playing? And against the reigning champion no less? There didn't seem any way to back out now. He was already here.

"Hello, Nurse," Akiva said wryly as he stepped toward the game area. "I take it you've challenged me."

She deftly spun the paddle in her hand, "If you're looking for a little lively diversion. Only one rule. We can only use indirect shots at each other. Anything and anyone is game for bouncing the ball except captains and admirals."

Akiva took the challenger's paddle and weighed it in his hand. It felt lighter than he expected. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all. "Got it. Whose serve?"

Otoha smiled sweetly, "Give me your best shot." She appeared to be relaxed, but she stood in a subtle ready-stance.

With a shrug, Akiva tossed the ping pong ball in the air and hit it straight for Otoha.

The diminutive woman slammed a hard backhand, driving the ping-pong ball into a drink pitcher. It ricocheted off and then deflected off the back of a chair toward Akiva.

"Chara!" Akiva ducked, barely evading the bank shot. He spun around and hit the ball in a back swing... that bounced off the ceiling nowhere near Otoha. He ran forward and hit it again, this time angling it against the rear wall behind her.

Otoha didn't have time to evade the speeding projectile, so she brought the paddle up under her arm to shield her back. The ball bounced off to the wall and returned. Having collected herself, she 'caught' it with the paddle and proceeded to 'dribble' it upward for a few moments. Preparing herself, she squinted at him. It was time for a full, maximum slammer-jammer attack. She clenched her teeth, timing the next dribble bounce, then hit the ball as hard as she ever had. It shot for the entrance door like a bullet. The problem is, the doors opened. Entering was executive officer T'Mia, and the ping-pong projectile struck her squarely on the forehead. Otoha stood frozen in a horrified stare.

Akiva dropped his paddle, stunned, with a look of melancholy horror on his face.

T'Mia froze as the projectile hit her in the forehead. She refrained from making eye contact with anyone in the lounge until she had picked up the small ball and wandered to the table. She turned the small ball in her hand, almost enjoying the horror on the faces of those around her as they contemplated her reaction.

She placed the small orb on the table top and looked at the two players of the game. "I trust you are as accurate with a phaser as you are with a ping pong ball..."

No retaliatory action. In a sigh of limited relief, Nurse Takahashi counted her blessings. It was fortunate that T'Mia wasn't a Klingon. If she had been, it would have been a transition from swatting a ping-pong ball around to becoming one. Otoha made a quick bow of the head, "My apologies, ma'am!"

Claudia then entered the room after deciding to play some table tennis with anybody who was available but it appeared that the table was already in use. She had missed T'Mia being struck in the head by a ping pong ball so wasn't aware of the situation she had just walked into.

"Ah...I see the table's already in use" Claudia said.

"No-no!" Otoha quickly presented her paddle to the commander, handle first. She also made a sharp, alarmed glance over to Akiva in a suggestion that he did the same. She confessed to T'Mia. "I... sometimes get carried away when competing."

"And when closing doors," Akiva quipped as he fought down a smirk. "The Lieutenant seems to have fared better than the nurse's quarters, though." He retrieved his paddle from the floor where it had fallen and offered it to the commander. "Here you are."

Claudia had an idea when she was offered both of the paddles from Akiva and Otoha. She hadn't played table tennis for a long time and felt that now seemed a good a time as any to have another go with some of her new colleagues.

"How about a doubles game?" Claudia suggested.

Wise people learn to view suggestions from superiors to be equal to orders. Otoha hastily fetched two more paddles from the case and prepared for a game. Putting a full bridle on her obsessive competitiveness, she purposed to reduce her level of zeal from insane to lively.

Akiva took the new paddle from Otoha. "So... do we hit each other or not?"

Her gaze at him melted into a smile.

Cmdr. Claudia Ainscow
Lt. T'Mia
Lt. Akiva ben-Avram
Nurse Otoha Takahashi

USS Vindex
Bravo Fleet


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