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Four Short Stories

by Catherine Ellis

Rating : Any age
Disclaimer : Paramount owns the TNG Star Trek characters but don't appreciate them. I've been exercising them for my own amusement.

Summary: The P/C writing group I belong to sets challenges for its members. The short stories below are my responses. I've always wanted an excuse to write Picard's thoughts when Beverly arrived for breakfast and found Vash in his room …

Carpe Diem

Summary: In this challenge the title was given as 'Carpe Diem', the word 'fate' had to be included and the piece had to be exactly 200 words long.

"Are you going to eat that or just play with it?"

She pushed her plate towards her friend, "You have it."

"Thanks, I never say 'No' to cheesecake … but what I really want is to find out what's on your mind."

A long sigh escaped her, "I have a decision to make and I don't know which way to jump."

"Care to be more specific?"

"I've been offered the job of CMO on the Enterprise."

Her friend's jaw dropped. "On the flagship! A Galaxy class vessel that carries families! Why on Earth would you say 'No'?"

"Because they've changed the captain since I applied. The previous one's retiring."

"Who's the new one?"

"Jean-Luc Picard."


"Oh, indeed!"

"Your husband's captain."


"Do you … blame him for …?"

"No. Never. It's not that."

"What then? You don't like him?"

She made a private little laugh. "It's definitely not that."

"Oh! … Double oh! … In that case, maybe fate is trying to tell you something."

"I'm a scientist, I don't believe in fate."

"Luck then. Luck is giving you an opportunity. So what are you going to do with it, Beverly? Say 'No thanks' or seize the day?"

Rail Track

Summary: In this challenge you had to write a P/C story to go with a picture of an old railway track which disappeared into water. 500 words was the target here.

He could tell she was struggling not to laugh. Beverly had joined him as he observed how his engineering construction had fared during the holodeck storm.

"Trying to build a railway across a bog? Not a good idea, Jean-Luc."

"The Scots managed it. Have you never heard of Rannoch Moor?"

"Now that you mention it - yes, I have. In which case, I think my Scottish ancestors knew more about railway engineering than you do." She patted him on the shoulder. "Never mind Captain, back to the drawing board."

"I suppose you've already discovered how to cure Renqoit Fever without the benefit of modern medicine or technology?"

"I've had a few ideas." She responded confidently.

"Do any of them work?"

She squirmed. "Not exactly … but then I'm only in the exploratory phase."

It was his turn to pat her on the shoulder. "Never mind Doctor, you still have two more days. Unless you want to admit defeat?"

"Never! If I manage it, then you're taking a week's holiday. That was the deal, right?"

He beamed back. "Agreed."

Beverly swallowed; he was so attractive when he smiled. She looked away to avoid temptation.

"Shall we leave?" he suggested.

She managed a nod; they headed for the exit.



"We haven't agreed the prize if you complete your challenge."

"I've been thinking about that." He gave a little cough. "If I have to take a holiday if you succeed, then I think it's only fair that you suffer the same fate."

"I take a holiday?"

They exchanged a quick glance.

"Okay Captain, agreed." Her heart was beating faster.

At the door he halted, "You know … if we both have to take a holiday, then it would be less disruptive for our colleagues if we took them at the same time and place."

Beverly's mouth went through various contortions as she controlled her joy at this proposal. "That sounds a very sensible idea, very … logical."

Picard suppressed his own mischievous smile. "Glad you think so Doctor."

Beverly walked on -floating on air - then stopped abruptly. "But what if one of us fails their challenge? Or both of us?"

"I've consider that possibility."

She raised an eyebrow, "And?"

"I think we should have a punishment for failing. After all - as Starfleet Officers - we ought to be capable of coping without modern day equipment. I've discovered there's a survival course on Koron."

"Koron? I've heard it's beautiful, lots of tropical islands."

Picard continued. "Students are paired up and left on one of the islands with minimal equipment. They have to survive for a week."

"And you're suggesting that should be the punishment if either of us fails?"


Beverly stared at him. Was he really asking her to spend a week with him, alone on a tropical island?

She responded slowly and hesitantly. "You know Captain, I'm not certain I can solve my challenge …

"Really? I'm not sure I can solve mine either."

Now You Tell Me

Summary: The title 'Now You Tell Me' and a word length of 200 was the challenge this time. Imagine this scene is set around season 6 of the TNG shows.

"… I'd never have guessed you'd agree to three psychology students coming abroad. You do realise they'll want to interview you?"

Picard swallowed, then steeled himself to the possibility. "They have to do their research somewhere."

"Even on your ship! Come off it, Jean-Luc, why did you agree?"

"It's quite simple really; their professor is friend of mine. I owe him a favour. Do you want another croissant?"

"Don't change the subject. What was the favour?"

Picard shrugged, "It was years ago."

"But obviously remembered. Give Jean-Luc!"

Picard shifted awkwardly. "If you must know, Anderson initiated the research project that Pulaski moved to."

Beverly froze, then responded angrily. "Are you telling me you got Pulaski removed?"

"No! It wasn't like that."

"How was it then?" she snapped back.

"First he checked you wanted to return and that Pulaski wanted the project. She did, and her subsequent research work has benefited thousands, so who did I harm?"

Beverly thought it over, "All right, I'll forgive you … just. But tell me, how did you explain your request to Anderson?"

"I told him Pulaski was an excellent doctor but you were better for morale."

"Anyone's morale in particular?"

Picard smiled innocently, "Another croissant?"

From Both Sides

Summary: The challenge in this story was to write a short P/C scene in which the events are seen from the perspective of different participants. If you are a P/C fan then I think you will recognise the TNG scene I've used as the basis of my story.

Picard was feeling particularly pleased with himself. Last night he had more than satisfied his unexpected visitor. As a man who prided himself on giving 'good service' it was a relief to confirm he could still deliver. A smug grin crept across his lips as he faced her across the breakfast table.

His day was going so well … until the door buzzer sounded.

His stomach knotted itself instantly. He'd forgotten.

As much as he'd enjoyed last night, the coming encounter was a price he'd never intended to pay. Would his next visitor understand? Would she see it for what it was?


Her stomach churned at the sight of the woman at his breakfast table. The smug grin on the stranger's face told her it was more than his croissant she'd been enjoying.

Crusher turned angrily on Picard and saw … fear! Mind numbing fear. The man stammered and struggled to string a sentence together as he attempted to introduce his 'guest'.


Beverly breathed easily again. If he was afraid for her to meet his play-thing then it meant he cared more for her opinion than he did for this stranger. Still she wasn't going to let his misbehaviour go unpunished. Nor would she leave this intruder in any doubt as to her inferior status. Sitting down at the table Beverly casually took a drink from Picard's cup and then took over the conversation.


Picard squirmed with embarrassment as the two women chatted away. 'Still', he told himself, 'it could have been worse.' If Beverly had turned and walked away, that would have been the end of their friendship.

The end.
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