Note: With the demise of the monthly contest, I decided to post the unfinished fanfics that I had been working on for that contest... This is one I was working on for the February, October and December 2011 and February 2012 challenges which had themes of Love, characters facing a dilemma, Skeletons in the closet and characters facing a dressing down respectively. Star Trek: A New Century: The Final Valentine 1 February 2411 USS Enterprise NCC 1701 F It was an ordinary day on the Enterprise, currently on a year long voyage of exploration in the direction of the galactic core. Lieutenant Commander Yolanda Hernandez stepped off the turbolift onto the bridge. Commander Natima Dacet met her as she made her way towards her station at the rear of the bridge. “You are early for a change,” the Cardassian officer said. “Ma’am?” Hernandez asked. ‘I don’t think I came onto the bridge any earlier than I usually do,’ she thought. “You usually arrive 5 minutes before Alpha shift begins. It is more than 10 minutes prior to alpha shift,” Dacet said. “Oh,” Hernandez said. “I guess I rushed this morning, Ma’am.” “I guess so,” the first officer said. Hernandez then went and sat near the helm station whilst she waited for the change from Gamma Shift to Alpha Shift. 8 hours later Yolanda and her friend Samuel Lewis stepped onto the turbolift. It had been a boring day. The Enterprise hadn’t detected any unusual activity and was in a small void 30 light years across. “What are you up to tonight, Samuel?” Yolanda asked, after specifying her destination (the main officer’s lounge). “A relaxing evening, listening to classical music, reading speculative fiction novels and catching up with Kazza’s latest v-mail,” he said. Yolanda nodded, the situation on New Victoria, where Samuel’s friend Kazza Allenby lived, seemed rather tense. “What are you doing?” he asked. “I thought I would run my arcade simulation on Holodeck 4. Play a few of the games against a few other members of the crew,” Yolanda said. “That sounds fun, what times?” “From 2000 hours till late.” “Cool, I may drop in.” “That would be cool.” The turbolift stopped. Yolanda stepped out. “See ya,” she said. “Bye.” By 2015 the Arcade simulation on Holodeck 4 was rather busy. Most of the machines in the arcade were of an early 21stCentury vintage, although there were many late 20th century examples too. Yolanda was on a multiplayer car racing machine with two other members of the crew and a simulated opponent. The course they were racing was based on New York City. Yolanda had just raced past the Empire State Building, following the simulated opponent when one of the other members of the crew asked her a question. “Hey, Yolanda, would you like to go to the Aft Lounge after this?” “Why. We’re having plenty of fun here?” Yolanda said. “To look at the stars?” Daniel Blaxland asked. “We’re at warp,” Yolanda said. “Oh,” Daniel said. Yolanda shook her head as she moved the racing car around a corner. Yolanda finished the race first. She stood up. “Where are you going?” Daniel asked. “To play other games, talk to other people,” Yolanda said. “I was wandering if you would have dinner with me sometime,” Daniel said. “Are you asking me on a date?” Yolanda asked. “No, I would just like to know you better,” Daniel said. “Right,” Calliope Johnson, whom had been racing against them, said. “I do,” Daniel said. “I will think about it,” Yolanda said, as she went to another arcade machine. 2 February 2411 After her shift on the Bridge, Yolanda went to her quarters to prepare for her ‘outing’ with Ensign Blaxland. After ten minutes the door chime rang. “Wait a minute!” Yolanda called out. Ensign Blaxland waited outside Hernandez’s quarters for what seemed like an eternity. As he waited he became more nervous. Eventually Hernandez emerged. “Wow,” he said. She looked absolutely gorgeous. “Let’s go,” she said. Hernandez and Blaxland entered the Aft Lounge. The lounge was rather empty. “There’s hardly anyone here,” Yolanda said. “I may have suggested that some people not come, but not to everyone!” Daniel said. “You know how fast memes can spread on a ship,” Yolanda said. “Oops,” Daniel said. “Let’s get something to drink,” Yolanda said. “Sure,” Daniel said. 45 minutes later, Yolanda and Daniel left the lounge. “I had a good time,” Yolanda said. “So, want to do it again sometime?” Daniel asked nervously. “Certainly, there can be no harm in that,” Yolanda said. “Cool,” Daniel said. “Bye,” Yolanda said as she headed towards the turbolift.