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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

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If their attackers were ever human, they’re not anymore.

“Reavers,” says the woman beside her, and hatred seethes in her voice as she reaches for a weapon that she isn’t carrying. Nobody’s carrying tonight – firearms aren’t allowed in the Rotunda of Accord where the Glorious Celebration Of The New Year was taking place in a splendiferous dinner that Kirk characterised as endless courses and mindless chatter.

Looks like the captain was wrong this time.

Nyota gets up, but doesn’t run for the exits as others are doing. While these Reavers attack wildly, like animals, there’s a method in their madness. “How do we stop them?”

“Kill them.” The words are flat, and there’s a cold rage in them that Nyota can hear is born of personal loss and grief. Certainly the woman doesn’t hesitate to grab the carving fork from the meat plate as a Reaver sprints towards them.

The Reaver barely dodges as she stabs it deep into its eye, although it screams as she impales it – a scream that dies abruptly as the woman twists it with a crunching noise. Nyota winces – but the woman comes up holding the Reaver’s gun, takes a moment to get a firm grip on it and starts shooting.

It turns out that the ‘gun’ is a phaser – the energy burst sufficient to stop a ‘Reaver’ in its headlong rush, and the woman uses it mercilessly, with the cool of someone who’s been in a firefight before.

Nyota doesn’t have a carving fork. She makes do with the soup tureen, which is heavy and full of soup – although not after she heaves it into the face of the oncoming Reaver, sidesteps its headlong plunge, and brains it on the backhand with a silver swing of the bowl.

It takes her a moment to work out the phaser – it’s bulky and heavy, and the weight throws her off. There’s also something dried on the handgrip which she’s not thinking about. But it fires without recoil and after a couple of shots she works out the sighting and starts shooting the Reavers down, shoulder to shoulder alongside the woman with the carving fork.

“So, do you do this often?” She asks by way of introduction.

“Every chance I get,” comes the too-calm response. “Zoe Washburne.”

“Nyota Uhura, off the Enterprise. Do I want to know how many dinners you’ve had interrupted by Reavers invading?”

“This is the first,” Zoe says. “Although it’s the first fancy dinner I’ve been at in a while, too.”

“Hopefully not a trend.”