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The Liaisons cycle lasts for six vignettes, well, sketches,
really. They were done in the autumn of 1994. These are the
second two. The only episode of Deep Space Nine I've ever seen
was the first, so please excuse any misperceptions of the
characters in these two tales.

Palindrome
emordnilaP

Liasons lll (I nearly called this one Crash-Test Dummies.)

Bashir finally boarded the Runabout. He wore a ridiculous hat and had
an armful of packages, gifts from the locals whom they'd come to help. Major
Kira clipped the hatch and waited for the pre-flight diagnostic programs
to examine the shuttle.

They'd been far from Bajor for over a week. One of the systems nearby
reported a plague, so she'd ferried Dr. Bashir here to work with physicians
from _Docteurs_Sans_Frontier_Finale_.

It hadn't been a plague after all. A chemical leak from a forgotten
military dump had slowly poisoned the community. It happened the toxin also
made its victims prey to infection, hence tricking everyone into the plague
mis-diagnosis.

Bashir had dug on his hand and knees through gardens, hedges and crop
fields until the chemical clues fit together neatly. He'd been very
observant; yet, despite his cleverness, Bashir still missed how badly he
rubbed others. Not just his chatterbox personality, but his uniform wasn't
the most popular piece of clothing around. Many felt the Cardassians invaded
simply because the Federation was next door, hence, the Federation was
partly to blame for the region's troubles. Kira worried about his safety
endlessly, watching him traipse through a village unarmed, while people saw
a Star Fleet officer, not a doctor.

Anyway, he boarded and stowed all the pottery and wicker dolls, and
once done, admired himself in his hideous hat. She was tempted to switch off
the inertial dampeners during take-off to send him spinning into the head.

When they were fifteen kilometers up her boards shrieked they were
being tracked. The source was mobile. The shields came on. Because it came
from behind and below. Kira spun the runabout into a dive, hoping to
manouevre inside the missile's turning radius. She smashed through a dozen
trees before pulling into a straight climb.

Ha-ha! What ever type of missile it was it didn't corner very well, but
exploded in the atmosphere uselessly once its tiny on-board computer
understood it would not catch its target. Another missile came from below
while they were still too low in the atmosphere to use the warp-drive.
She transferred all the shuttle's tiny power-plant's efforts to the shields.
The air around the shuttle boiled as the shields readied for a blow.

*

Kira didn't remember much of what happened but she could guess
what had happened.

When the missile hit it wounded the runabout mortally. Kira remembered
bashing her head against the ceiling, then that her chair spun about and
she banged her elbows against a panel. The sky wasn't visible through the
canopy for all the smoke, fire and energy. The St. Lawrence spun, her
control boards were red. Her next impression, not memory, was 'hurtful
trees'. Once it had taken catastrophic damage, the shuttle's computer would
try beaming its occupants to safety if it were possible.

And when she woke, from a tree with torn foliage and splintered
branches, a bird was pooping on her.

It might have been worse, she could have been dead.

She had three, no, five priorities. Firstly, to find out how badly she
was hurt; secondly, to find a weapon, thirdly; to find Dr. Bashir; fourthly,
to find out if she'd been given a large exposure to radiation, and lastly to
find an ally.

Major Kira's insignia pin was gone.

Her back really hurt, she was laying on a branch. She rolled onto her
side and was pleased that she could. She must have lain here a while
because nothing was falling from the tree she'd passed through. The major
looked about for her pin on the leafy turf. When she couldn't find it, she
started crawling on her hands and knees. She'd never have found it so
quickly had it not it chirpped and broadcast Bashir's voice.

She killed the bird and brought it with her, plucking it for a supper
roast.

The communicator pins would howl in the presence of excess radiation,
but that didn't mean they hadn't received a goodly dose when the runabout
exploded and they had been smacked unconscious.

She found him the next morning. It took lots of tree-climbing to
find common landmarks. About him were a dozen animals, including one as
large as a deer. Even she could see their pupils were cloudy. They'd been
blinded by the runabout's engine detonation. He'd thrown-up a lot when he
found the blinded animals.

The runabout would have blared a sub-space distress signal when it died.
Judging the time, D.S.9 would have received its signal by now if she'd
been unconscious only a half hour or so. With luck, the crash box was still
silently screeching to the stars somewhere nearby,

She insisted they find a cave but he wanted to stay next to his lake so
he could help the animals drink.

Bashir had built a fire the previous night, which, to her horror, hadn't
been shielded so the light would have carried for kilometers. He explained
what a boy scout was and tied some sort of knot in a blade of dry grass and
gave it to her. Of course, he still had his hat.

He washed his uniform at noon and let it dry on a bush; now, toward
sunset, Kira wished she'd given hers a rinse earlier in the day. When Kira
took off her uniform he leapt to look at the bruise that started on her left
shoulder, disappeared under her chemise and finished on her right. She told
him to go away since he had no balms and soaked her uniform to hang it
next to his. She washed her feet, mindful of the leeches he'd spotted in the
muck.

When she said she'd take the first watch, Bashir asked for what: neither
had a weapon or even a sensor to tell them if someone came. Why not go to
sleep and wait for day.

*

Half-awake, Kira realized she was staring at him. Under the starlight
and low-burning fire she watched him sleeping and snoring gently. He
lay on his back in undershirt and shorts. Sleepily, she realized he'd
bundled his clothes under her head and back.

Mmmm--Julian had an erection which lifted the front of his shorts.

Kira didn't consider self a connoisseur, but as far as she was
concerned, this seemed like a very nice erection. Serviceable and stiff and
conforming to civil standards.

She dozed on her bruises, watching him breathing slowly and deeply,
his thin ribs expanding and collapsing under his shirt. His legs were
smooth with soft, light hairs. And he had pretty ankles and feet. His legs
were slender, and thickened gently toward his pelvis.

Bashir, it was obvious, really _liked_ sex.

Putting another log on the fire was so much effort it kept her from
sleeping. So she watched her travelling companion, admiring his chimpanzee
good-looks.

He'd rolled a bit so it wasn't immediately obvious that shadow under
that fold of material was a nice nocturnal nudger. She wondered if human
semen were the same as Bajoran. Did his leg hairs thin under his groin,
chafed to baby skin by his scrotum? Was he circumcised? Was his body
temperature the same as hers, would it be hot or cool inside? Lazy and
catlike, she pushed her hand into her underpants and began amusing herself,
seeing how many pubic hairs came loose when she ran her hand over her
crotch. Kira dozed in the golden light and wood smoke then woke with a wet
groin. With heavy-lidded eyes she began rubbing in time with his slow
breathing. Her knees opened and her heels pressed flat against the ground.

Kira's breathing grew out of step with his, growing shorter and
shallower. Now, she caught the scent of her perspiration and came.
Faster and sooner than she'd intended, but it still felt damned good.
Before she realized what she was doing the Major had patted herself dry
with the corner of his pant leg. To make certain he'd see nothing on
the front of her pants she stood on unsteady legs and put on her uniform.
It was cool and slightly damp, but warmed as she drifted off.

    

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