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#fictober18 - Twenty-nine - "At least it can't get any worse."

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“I can’t believe we’re actually stuck with those people for the next 75 years.” Dalby moaned as the Starfleet personnel in the mess hall.

“It could be worse. Some of them are not so bad,” B’Elanna chimed in, “And it may not be 75 years. We could find a faster way home.”

“You’re starting to sound like that ‘fleeter friend of yours,” Seska chided with a slap to B’Elanna’s shoulder, “Maybe you should watch what company you’re keeping.”

“I can choose my own friends, Seska.” B’Elanna pinned her gaze on Seska, challenging her friend to debate her. She had, after all, befriended the feisty Bajoran, and she sure as hell wasn’t making it very easy to be her friend.

“As much fun as it’s been, boys, I have to go to my shift.” Ignoring B’Elanna’s bait, Seska slowly rose from the small assembly of Maquis crewmen clearly indicating her unwillingness to work. “Don’t wanna give Carey any reason to serve Janeway my head on a platter.” The sarcasm dripped from her voice so heavily that even B’Elanna felt uncomfortable.

“You’re only 10 minutes late,” Dalby piped up with a chuckle.

“I have to leave room for… improvement , don’t I?” The sly grin that accompanied her statement made the small group laugh.

B’Elanna looked at the faces of those still sitting and decided that all this dark humour and grimness was tearing her mood further down than it already was, so she seized the opportunity of Seska’s leaving and excused herself for the night. Something about the conversation left her unsettled but she couldn’t pin it down.

“We stranded 70,000 light years from home, on a ship full of ‘fleeter, at the mercy of a captain who has clearly demonstrated that she couldn’t care less about her own crew and by the time this ship reaches the Alpha Quadrant we’re either dead or too old to continue our fight.” Seska couldn’t let it go as they stepped through the mess hall doors and her negativity was getting to B’Elanna. “At least it can’t get any worse.”

Oh yes it can , B’Elanna thought as she saw the doors of the Captain’s private dining room open and Janeway and Chakotay step out deep in conversation. The big guy could start thinking with certain parts of his anatomy again. The bile rose in her throat, but before she could say anything to Seska, the Bajoran turned for the turbo lift and walked away.

B’Elanna looked at the retreating backs of the new command duo.

     Who does she think she is to make a decision like that for all of us?

     She’s the Captain.

No, B’Elanna thought bitterly, this woman would never be her captain.