Author: Tasha Campagnola
Morgaine Le Fur
by Tasha Campagnola
“‘There are souls like stars that dwell apart in a fellowless firmament,’” Ensign Andrea Carr sighed to herself.
She was so bored that reciting poetry wasn’t even helping. Usually, flying the shuttlecraft Doorprize was fun, but for the past day, all she had been doing was transporting delicate machinery from the surface of Aura III to the Secondprize. The first three or four trips were okay, but after twenty times, anything could get boring. Thank goodness this was her last flight. The layers of Aura’s atmosphere peeled away behind her revealing the vastness of space and the great lighted form of the Secondprize. Andrea lazily reached forward and activated the comm console.
“This is the Doorprize requesting final landing clearance.”
“You’re all clear to land in Shuttlebay Three,” Lieutenant Lisa Beck replied. “I’m turning you over to them now.”
“This is Shuttlebay Three control,” the voice of Lieutenant Commander Walter Morales said. “Preparing to lock on landing tractors.”
“She’s all yours,” Andrea replied as she gracefully maneuvered the shuttlecraft into position. The great titanium doors opened revealing the gaping shuttlebay. Seconds later, two tractor beams lanced out of the bay and locked onto the Doorprize, carefully guiding the shuttle in.
Upon landing, Andrea shut down the shuttle’s systems and exited. Lieutenant Commander Morales walked over to her looking as exhausted as she felt. The length of the assignment had tired both of them out.
“Another perfect run, Ensign Carr,” he said. “We’ll let the scientists worry about getting their equipment off the shuttle.
“With pleasure, sir.”
Andrea stretched with a squeak and walked out of the shuttlebay. What she needed was a long run with her love, a shower, and some dinner.
As she entered her quarters, a bounding, happy bundle of fur leaped at her. It impacted into her chest with a thud and knocked her down on the floor.
“Mmmmphhh,” Andrea groaned through a furious face-licking. “Morgaine, stop that and get the hell off me.”
The Saint Bernard-Collie mix crawled off her stomach apologetically. The dog weighed about 120 pounds, and she was all muscle. She was beautiful, though. Her cafe au lait fur was soft and shone with health. Dark brown eyes gazed lovingly up at Andrea.
Moments like these reminded the ensign why she bothered to put up with the trouble of having a pet on a starship. There was something wonderful about having a being that loved you totally and completely. Andrea couldn’t imagine life without her baby.
“Come on, Furball, Queen of the Fairies. Let’s go for a walk.”
A few moments later, Morgaine was dragging her person to her favorite place, Holodeck 7. Almost all of her favorite things were inside that room: trees, birds, and rabbits. The only ingredient the room didn’t have that would make it perfect was lots of people.
Morgaine loved everyone she had ever met. This meant, of course, that she felt obliged to greet everyone she saw. But for some reason unknown to Morgaine, most of her greetees were not happy with being knocked down and thoroughly licked.
Today, however, Morgaine saw a person who seemed in great need of a good hello. She picked up speed and made a spectacular leap.
Seconds later, she was laying on the chest of a man who smelled quite marvelous. Morgaine began to lick her victim’s face.
“Get this f**king bitch off me!!” the man yelled.
Andrea climbed painfully to her feet. Morgaine’s last leap had scraped her across the carpet in the hallway. When she saw what her dog was laying on, her jaw dropped. It was Commander Scott Baird.
Sh**, the ensign thought. My dog just knocked down the chief engineer. This is not the best way to make an impression on a senior officer.
“I’m sorry, sir. She’s just a little rambunctious since this is the first time she’s been out and about today. This is her way of saying hello. She won’t hurt you; she’s really perfectly harmless,” Andrea said as she hauled the dog off the engineer’s chest.
“Tell that to my ribs,” Commander Baird replied. “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Ensign Andrea Carr. This is Morgaine, my dog. I named her after Morgaine le Fay, the Faery Queen. Morgaine was also King Arthur’s sister . . . or half-sister, depending on which version of the tale you read. I always thought Morgaine was an interesting woman. She was Arthur’s sworn enemy most of her life until he received a mortal blow from their son Mordred. Then, Morgaine came across the lake in a funeral barge and carried her brother away to be tended until Britain needed him again. You know, one of Keats’ poems describes my vision of Morgaine.
‘I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful, a faery’s child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light
And her eyes were wild.’”
Scott found this as interesting as counting ceiling panels. “Whatever. Why the f**k do you have this monster for a pet?”
“She is not a monster,” the ensign replied, trying desperately not to lose her temper. “She’s just a young dog who loves people.
In fact, I’d say she really likes you. I’ve never seen her so entranced with anyone before.”
Commander Baird glanced down at the dog. She was gazing raptly up at him with a look on her face that reminded him of a little girl who has just fallen in love.
“Great, now there’s a mutt in love with me.”
“I believe you mean puppy love, sir,” Andrea said with a ghost of a smile.
Commander Baird was silent for a few moments. A dangerous look appeared on his face. He was quickly becoming annoyed with this smartass ensign and her killer dog.
“Carr,” Baird growled, “I don’t have time to deal with this sh**. Go wherever the hell you’re going and keep that animal under control.” The engineer began inching away from Morgaine. He’d never liked dogs much and wasn’t entirely sure that it was safe to turn his back on this one.
As Andrea resumed her walk to the holodeck she began to giggle.
For some reason, Commander Baird didn’t liked being on the receiving end of a Morgaine jump.
“Actually, Morgaine, I can’t blame him. You are quite bouncy at times, love,” Andrea said, turning to look at her pet.
She wasn’t there. The only thing left was the dog’s collar dragging at the end of the leash.
Damn, I should’ve known something was wrong when I wasn’t hurtling down the corridor behind a hellhound, the ensign thought ruefully.
Surely the dog hadn’t gone far. She had been there just a moment ago when Commander Baird left.
“Oh no,” Andrea groaned. “She followed him!”
She dived for the infopanel on the wall.
“Computer, locate Commander Scott Baird.”
The voice replied, “Commander Baird is in his quarters.”
“Is there a dog anywhere near him?”
“There is a large canine standing on Commander Baird’s chest.”
“Sh**. This is definitely not the way to meet a senior officer. Commander Baird,” she said, tapping her commbadge, “this is Ensign Carr.”
“Come and get your f**king dog!” was the immediate reply.
“Sir, I need to know where your quarters are so I can rescue you from Morgaine.”
“I’m in 844.”
“Yes, sir. Carr out.”
Andrea sprinted to Commander Baird’s quarters. There was no telling what Baird would do to Morgaine if he got angry enough. There was also no telling what Morgaine would do if she got happy enough.
She slid to a stop in front of Baird’s door.
“Get the hell in here!!!” was the immediate answer to the door chime.
The scene that the open door revealed to Andrea almost had her rolling on the floor with laughter. Commander Baird had somehow managed to stand up. Unfortunately, the situation he was in now was not much better than before. Morgaine had her front paws on Commander Baird’s chest and was licking his face periodically. In the meantime, Baird was trying to move away from her, but she just kept on walking towards him on her hind feet. It looked as if they were dancing.
“Ensign, get this bitch out of my quarters!” Baird shouted. Morgaine licked his mouth as a reward for speaking. “F**k! Dog slobber!!”
Andrea could see that Scott Baird was quickly losing what little control he had left. She’d better leave before he killed her and her dog. She walked over and put Morgaine’s collar on.
“Come on, Morgaine, time for dinner,” she said. “You’ve had more than enough exercise for one day.”
Morgaine was reluctantly dragged to the door by her owner. She took one more long, adoring look at the chief engineer before she walked out.
“Ensign,” Commander Baird yelled, “I order you to take that damn dog to obedience school!”
“Yes, SSSSSSIIIiiiiirrrrr,” Andrea replied demonstrating the Doppler Effect as Morgaine bolted off to her quarters dragging her master behind her.