Meditative Thaw


Lieutenant Junior Grade
Red Shirt
TITLE: Meditative Thaw
AUTHOR: MikeJaffa
SYNOPSIS: Isis comes up with a way for Roberta to deal with stress. Not what you’d expect!
DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is owned by CBS/Paramount. I am making no money off this fic
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I hadn’t thought about “Assignment Earth” since the last time I saw it in syndication, decades ago, but a shippy meme on Facebook got me thinking about Roberta and Isis. And as an added challenge, how I could break the ice between them without going for the obvious outcome.





“For the last time, Mr. Ferengetti, talk to Mr. Seven!” Roberta Lincoln said, barely keeping her voice down, wedged in the door of Gary Seven’s office suite, squared off against Seven’s landlord.

Carmine Ferengetti was about Roberta’s height, bald with a gray fringe, wearing a pinstripe suit. He stood in the hall at Seven’s door, almost nose-to nose with Roberta. He wasn’t backing down. He said, “Seven isn’t here. I’m taking it up with you.”

“Then I suggest you go back to your office and wait. I’ll have him call.”

“Miss Lincoln, you really don’t want to be his accomplice. This is a pet free building. Mr. Seven is not supposed to keep a cat on the premises.”

“I read the lease after the last time you were here, Mr. Ferengetti. There’s nothing in it that expressly forbids Mr. Seven from having his cat in the office.”

“A lease Mr. Seven didn’t sign. The previous tenants did. And by the way, what were Mr. Jones and Miss Smith doing at McKinnley Rocket base?”

“They were working on a new encyclopedia. My guess is researching rockets.”

“And does ‘researching’ this ‘encyclopedia’ involve heavy machinery? There have been complaints from the office below.”

“He has a vault behind a sliding door.”

“Which he opens ten times a day?”

“He stores research material in there.”

“In a vault? Must be valuable ‘research material.’ And then there’s that cat. I’ve never seen a license on her collar. Is she licensed? Has she had all her shots?”

“Isis is Mister Seven’s cat. I’m sure he’d be happy to talk to you about it after he gets back.”

Ferengetti softened a little. “Miss Lincoln. You seem like a nice young woman. It’s obvious as all hell that there’s something shady going on. What do you think will happen to you if the police get involved?”

Roberta’s back stiffened. “I don’t take kindly to threats, Mr. Ferengetti.”

“And I don’t--”

The patter of little footsteps interrupted him. Isis, in the form of a black cat, ran around Ferngetti’s feet and was on Roberta’s shoulders in one leap. She glared at Ferengetti and hissed.

Roberta pointed at Isis. “What she said!” Roberta couldn’t understand Isis the way Gary Seven could, but she had hunch Isis’ hiss translated into something that could not be repeated in polite company.

Gary Seven came up behind Ferengetti. “Mr. Ferengetti. Why are you harassing my hard-working secretary?”

Ferengetti glared at Seven. “That cat of yours is a violation of the lease.”

“The lease doesn’t forbid me bringing my…companion to work.”

“You never signed the lease. It’s open to renegotiation.”

“Which we should discuss in your office,” Seven said as he put an arm around Ferngetti and guided him towards the elevator.

“Is that cat sanitary? Do you even have a litter box?”

“Isis’ hygiene is impeccable…”

Isis dropped off Roberta’s shoulders. Roberta watched until Seven and Ferengetti disappeared into the elevator. She turned around—

--and Isis had changed into her human form--what Roberta thought of as the Dark-Haired Super Sexy Belly Dancer from Hell--and was right behind her. Roberta jumped despite herself. “I wish you wouldn’t do that,” she said as she went around Isis to the filing cabinets. She resumed going through the files she had been looking at when Ferengetti had knocked on the door.

“Ferengetti owes One Nine Four a debt of gratitude,” Isis said as she closed the door. “He reminds me enough of a Ferengi I once slaughtered that I’m not sure I could have held myself back much longer.”

Roberta didn’t look at Isis. “Murdering the landlord is never a good idea. What’s a Ferengi, anyway?”

“An incredibly greedy and acquisitive race. They make your capitalists look like a monastic order that took a vow of poverty and selflessly helps the poor.”

“That bad, huh?”

“If you were to make first contact with the Ferengi, they would buy Earth from you and then make you pay interest on the purchase. Fortunately for you, the Vulcans are much closer.”

“Hooray for us.” She frowned. “Wait a minute, you’re an alien, and you said there’s a Vulcan living in Pennsylvania. Don’t those count?”

“We’re here covertly, and Mestral is, uh, keeping his ears covered. I’m talking about the *official* first contact that will be in all the history books.”

“Of course. Silly of me.” Roberta found the file she wanted and crossed to her desk and sat down.

Isis strolled closer to the desk. “You’re not more surprised I’m talking to you.”

“Should I be? You’ll just change back to a cat the instant he comes through the door, and he’ll look at me if I’m crazy if I say you talked. He already knows what you are, but he’ll say something like, ‘She’s a cat, Miss Lincoln.’ Ha, ha. Big joke on the stupid Earth girl.” Roberta’s anger welled up and she glared at Isis. “I’ve worked my butt off for you guys for six months! Is a little respect too much to ask?” She huffed at a breath and looked down.

“You’re right,” Isis said. “I have teased you a bit too much. Please forgive me.”

“Well…apology accepted, but I don’t want to have this conversation again.”

“Fair enough.” She scrutinized Roberta. “But I sense your stress level is very high. It can’t be just from my antics.”

“No, it’s not all about you. It’s the lying, too. I had dinner with my parents on Saturday. My mom and my sister just wouldn’t stop asking me questions and I had to keep lying. Only thing is, the truth makes me sound crazy. ‘No, Mom, Mr. Seven was really raised on another planet, and his cat changes into a girl who looks at me like lunch.’ And then there’s what Ferengetti said about the cops. I keep waiting for them to bust down the door. I think you’re doing important work, and I want to help, but I don’t want to be arrested!”

“I can see how that would be concerning.”


Isis smiled lewdly. “I know some relaxation techniques from Delta IV.”


“You don’t know what I was going to suggest.”

“Work on your poker face. I swear, you’re the most obvious office letch I’ve ever met. At least you haven’t tried ‘my wife doesn’t understand me.’”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, some guy says ‘my wife doesn’t understand me’ and you’re supposed to go ‘oh, there there,’ or whatever.”

“I thought your matings were exclusive.”

“Some guys didn’t get that memo.”

“Nnn. Still, as an overture, that makes no sense. If a male takes a mate, and she doesn’t understand him, how is a stranger supposed to do better? It’s completely illogical.”

Roberta froze, looked at Isis, and laughed. “Omigod! I love that. I never thought of that. ‘If you’re wife doesn’t understand you, how am I supposed to get you?’ I love it! I’m going to remember that. Thanks. That makes up for…some things.”

“You are welcome, but I was merely being logical—logical! That’s it.” Isis grinned. “Vulcan meditation techniques. That’ll suit your temperament.”


“Vulcans almost killed themselves off in a war about, oh, thousands of Earth years ago give or take. Their solution was to almost completely suppress their emotions.”

“Sounds a bit extreme.”

“I agree, but the point is their meditation techniques are the best in the galaxy. Very effective on reducing stress. They work on me. That’s saying something.”

“I’ve noticed, you’re so calm and unemotional.”

“Well, I haven’t done them that often. The techniques I know are best with a partner or in a group, and Gary isn’t interested. But I’m certain they will help you. And all without violating your unnecessarily repressive cultural mores. We can do it right now. It’s very simple.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, I am kinda busy around here.”

“They’ll make you more efficient. You’d more than make up for the minutes you spend meditating. Trust me.”

“Trust you? You don’t see my problem?”

“Roberta. Believe it or not, I have grown fond of you. I wouldn’t suggest anything if I thought it would harm you in any way at all.”

“Wellllll…ok, Isis, I’ll try it.” Roberta emphasized “try.”

“Splendid!” Isis headed for the inner office, still smiling. “Give me a few minutes to replicate what we need.”



…twenty minutes later…

“Well, Ferengetti’s been placated for a while,” Seven said as he came through the outer office. “Isis, I want to see you in my office about our next mission. Roberta, hold my calls.”

Roberta: “Of course, Mr. Seven.”

Isis: “I will join you presently, One Nine Four.”

Seven grunted and went into his office, absent-mindedly closing the door behind him. He turned to the bookshelf wall. “Computer--” He broke off. Seven had had a lot on his mind and hadn’t paid attention to what he had seen in the outer office. Only now did it register. He returned to the door, opened it a crack, and peeked.

Isis (still in human form) and Roberta were kneeling side-by-side on matching Vulcan meditation rugs, their eyes closed. They each had a lit Vulcan meditation lamp on the floor in front of them. The room was heavy with the scent of burning incense.

Isis opened one eye.

Seven smiled, raised a hand, and mouthed the words ‘Take your time.’ Isis nodded and closed her eye. Seven closed the door.

He turned back to the bookshelf wall. “Computer on.”

The Beta Five computer unfolded from the wall and its console activated. “Computer on,” she said.

“Computer, is that really Roberta and Isis out there?”

“Affirmative, One Nine Four.”

“All right. Next question: Is my name Gary Seven?”

“When last seen.”

“Thanks. I was beginning to wonder.”



My mother told me she had come up with the “But if your wife doesn’t understand you, how is a stranger like me supposed to?” when she was younger and single. She didn’t get it from a shape-changing cat woman from outer space, though…I think.