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The Costume Party

Scene: The Mess Hall, 1800hrs

Neelix, the ship's Talaxian Morale Officer, chief poisoner and founding and sole member of the Tuvok Fan Club, Harry Kim and three Lowly Ensigns, who hover around in the background and are not allowed the privilege of dialogue, are eyeing the room with pride. The room has been redecorated in a Halloween theme with stars, full moons, pumpkin lanterns, witches on broomsticks, black cats and monsters cut out of black cardboard and stuck on the walls. Similar flourescent shapes have been stuck on the hull windows. Thin strands of green, black and orange crepe paper are suspended from the ceiling and have been placed over the lights to create a sickly glow.

HARRY: (turns around on the spot, a look of childlike wonder on his cherub face) Wow! You've done a great job, guys; you've really captured the essence of Halloween.

Lowly Ensign #1 opens his mouth to respond but both Neelix and Harry fix him with a glare. The ensign shrinks back with the other Lowly Ensigns.

HARRY: (turns and comes face-to-face with Neelix in a Kathy Lee Gifford mask and nearly shrieks in fright) Uh! Don't do that!

NEELIX: (removing mask and looking just as scary without it) Sorry. You know, I'm intrigued by a custom that sets out to deliberately frighten people.

HARRY: Well, sometimes humans like to scare themselves. It gives you an adrenaline rush, and it also allows you to cozy up next to someone you have a crush on so they can protect you. (stares off wistfully into the stars.)

Neelix rolls his eyes, knowing full well that Harry is thinking about Chakotay, the handsome First Officer. He knows because every time Harry thinks about Chakotay, the Ensign's starts dribbling down the front of his uniform. And he gets a huge erection.

HARRY: (suddenly grinning) Hey, I can't wait to see what everyone's going to wear tonight. (getting that faraway look again) I wonder what Chakotay will be wearing...

Lowly Ensign #2 opens her mouth to share in the speculation but Neelix's narrowed eyes silence her. She hangs her head in shame.

NEELIX: (tutting and shaking his head) I'm afraid, as Morale Officer, I'm going to have to report you to Commander Chakotay. You know ship discipline is lacking when ensigns start thinking that they can talk without being spoken to. No, I have to nip this in the bud right now before all the ensigns - present company excepted Mr Kim (Harry smiles smugly) - start getting ideas above their stations. I mean, what next? You'll start insisting that we call you by your names instead of 'you, there' and 'hey, yellow suit' or 'token minority group representative'.

Steam is now billowing from Neelix's ears and Harry quickly grabs a pot of soup and douses the Talaxian with it.

NEELIX: (regaining his composure and picking bits of vegetable out of his hair) Much obliged, Mr Kim. I don't know what came over me. It must be the stress of organising this party. (picking up a pumpkin lying on the counter) I've just spent the last six hours carving out this pumpkin for an authentic-looking punch bowl. Just wait till you try my fruit punch. (Lowers his voice confidentially) It's a recipe that's been in my family for generations. It'll blow your balls off.

Harry pales at this.

HARRY: (edging towards the door) I''ll, uh, take your word for it. Anyway, I better go change into my costume.

NEELIX: (calling after Harry as he leaves) Remember - 1930 on the dot! (rubs his hands together in anticipation and starts laying out the nibbles) Now, I'll have to sprinkle a little ground-up psychotropic drugs in Mr Vulcan's food. (manically) I. Have. To. Make. Him. Like. Me. (the nibbles crumble to dust in his tightly-clenched fists)

LOWLY ENSIGN #2: (Nervously) Uh, Neelix, can we go now?

NEELIX: What? That's it, you've gone too far! (Presses comm badge.) Neelix to Commander Chakotay.

CHAKOTAY VOICEOVER: Chakotay here.

NEELIX: I've got some problem Ensigns here in the Mess Hall. They've been speaking without permission.

CHAKOTAY VOICEOVER: I'll send a security team right away.

Moments later Tuvok and six burly security officers storm the Mess Hall armed with compressor rifles and intimidating scowls. The three Lowly Ensigns cower behind a table and under them a large puddle of urine forms. Tuvok approaches them carefully, rifle raised.

LOWLY ENSIGN #1: Please, sir, we didn't mean to...

Tuvok backhands him across the face and the others whimper.

TUVOK: Do not presume to speak to me. (Nodding to his security team) Take them to the Brig.

Neelix rushes up to Tuvok as the security team drag the recalitrant Ensigns away.

NEELIX: (Gushing) You were fantastic Mr Vulcan. So authoritative.

TUVOK: (Holds head high and gazes at his own reflecion in the window.) All in a day's work.

Neelix swoons and Tuvok strides manfully out of the mess hall. The Talaxian cook then notices the large pee stain on the floor and his whiskers droop in despair.

Scene: The Mess Hall, approximately 2030 hrs

The party is now in full swing and the punch is flowing freely. An old Earth song called 'The Monster Mash' fills the room and some of the more inebriated Lowly Ensigns are leading a dance in the centre of the room. Neelix, dressed as Count Dracula in flowing black cape and fangs, is doing the rounds with the tray of nibbles, making sure that nobody eats the spiked treats he has set aside for Tuvok. He approaches Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres who are arguing, as they are usually to be found when not engaged in tonsil tennis.

NEELIX: Tom, B'Elanna (looks them up and down) interesting costumes. Was someone sick on your shirt Tom?

PARIS: Uh, no. The billious colours are integral to the costume and....

TORRES: (interrupting in a sarcastic voice) Blonde Boy here got his wires crossed when he heard about the party.

PARIS: Look, it's not my fault. I thought Harry said it was a Hawaiian theme party.

TORRES: (sarcastically) Well, aloha. (throws off her flower necklace) What a pile of hippie crap. (tugs at her grass skirt) This thing is so damn itchy.

PARIS: Relax, B'Elanna, have some more punch. (shoves his glass into her hand) I promise I'll make it up to you later.

Neelix leaves them to go mingle with the other guests. On the other side of the room he spots Harry Kim who is dressed in a black cowboy outfit with silver trimming complete with spurs, leather chaps and a white ten gallon hat. He is chatting with the Doctor who is wearing a flaming red wig and a blue labcoat. Other than that (and a thin smearing of lipstick) he appears no different to how he normally looks. Intermittently, he sucks in his cheeks to emulate fabulous bone structure.

NEELIX: Doctor, forgive me for asking but: why?

DOCTOR: Can't you tell? (Neelix looks blank and the Doctor becomes annoyed) I'm Beverly Crusher, Chief Medical Officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. (tilts his head upwards in sincerity) An outstanding woman.

NEELIX: Hmm, I think I saw her in a holoprogram once. 'Red-hot Starfleet Babes 4' I think it was called...

HARRY: Oh yeah! And Deanna Troi was in the second one...(suddenly embarrassed) At least that's what Tom told me. I wouldn't run that kind of program myself...

DOCTOR: (fluffs up his hair and adjusts his fake breasts) There's nothing wrong with a healthy dose of escapism, Harry.

Harry's attention is suddenly distracted by a bare-chested Chakotay who has come as one of his Native American ancestors. Carrying a small axe, he is wearing an elaborate feather head-dress, loincloth and moccasins. Following the Ensign's gaze, the Doctor purses his lips and flounces off, his blue lab coat flaring. Chakotay winks at Harry and the Ensign quickly whips off his hat and covers his groin with it before shuffling hurriedly towards the pumpkin punch bowl.

The doors open and everyone gasps in astonishment (and Neelix nearly drops his nibbles tray) as Tuvok sashays into the mess hall in full drag as Marilyn Monroe, matching his white dress with a white handbag. Most notable is the 1950s lift and separate bra that has given him an impressive bosom. After a moment of stunned silence, the din of conversation starts up again. Neelix, Tom and B'Elanna, by now quite drunk, sidle up to him.

NEELIX: (staring appreciatively at Tuvok's 'bosom') I must say, Mr Vulcan, that's quite an daring ensemble.

PARIS: (slurring) You look beautiful - give us a kiss, doll. (B'Elanna sniggers)

TUVOK: You are not amusing Lieutenant Paris. (casting a disdainful look at Torres) What have you came as - a badly-mown lawn? (B'Elanna shuts up)

PARIS: Aw, come on. Don't play hard to get....

Tuvok grabs Tom by the arm and twists it up behind his back.

PARIS: Aargh! I'm sorry! Let go!

The doors open again and everyone turns to look expectantly and Tuvok releases his hold on Tom. The Captain struts into the mess hall, her two-inch spike heels clacking noisily on the floor.The room holds its breath as she walks up to Harry who is cowering beside the punch bowl.

JANEWAY: Get me a drink, cowboy. (pauses, in a harder voice) Now.

For added intimidation she taps a riding crop impatiently against her palm. In his haste, Harry nearly spills the contents of the cup and he hands it to the Captain, his hands shaking violently. She takes an experimental sip of Neelix's concoction, grimaces, then eyes the guests.

JANEWAY: (drawls) Let's party Voyager!

Relief passes around the room and the crew resume their conversations again, except Harry, who retreats to a quiet corner to recover, and Chakotay, who comes up behind Janeway. Her lips quirk in amusement.

JANEWAY: Nice loincloth, by the way. Where are the rest of the Village People?

CHAKOTAY: (Chuckles) Well, I think you scared off the cowboy. That was quite an entrance.

JANEWAY: I like to keep you all on your toes.

Chakotay clears his throat to warn the Captain of the impending arrival of the Doctor who is heading straight for them.

DOCTOR: Captain, I'm glad you took the time to attend this function. I'm sure it will do wonders for crew morale.

JANEWAY: (Smirking) Well, I couldn't very well miss out on being the talking point for days, now, could I? (eyeing the Doctor wryly) Though I see I'm in for some stiff competition on that front.

DOCTOR: (Frowning as he stares down at the Captain's feet) I needn't warn you that those...I hesitate to call them shoes, more like impliments of torture...are causing untold damage to your feet. I suggest you come see me in the morning so that I can assess and repair the damage.

JANEWAY: (Raising her eyebrow) Doctor, should I be worried that two prominent members of my senior staff are dressed as women?

DOCTOR: (Aghast) Beverly Crusher is no mere woman! She's a goddess to the medical profression and a Starfleet poster girl. (Flicks his hair) Besides, it's perfectly natural for men to express their feminine side. It's just that some of us are more in touch with it than others.

Just then the doors of the mess hall part once more and Seven of Nine, the resident Borg, appears looking a little uncertain.

JANEWAY: (grabbing her opportunity for escape) Ah, Doctor, if you'll excuse me. There's someone I need to speak to.

DOCTOR: (to Chakotay, smugly) I don't think we need psychoanalyse the Captain's choice of costume.

CHAKOTAY: (staring at the Doctor in his red wig, eyes flicking up and down briefly) Yes, I think it's quite obvious.

Standing out like a sore thumb beside the buffet table, Seven hears the approach of the Captain's high heels before she sees her. She raises an eyebrow at Janeway's dominatrix outfit; a leather basque that zips up the front, fishnet stockings, garters and riding crop. For her part, Seven is dressed as a fairy, complete with magic wand, white leotard and flimsy translucent plastic wings attached to her back.

SEVEN: Captain, you look very...different.

JANEWAY: Please, call me Kathryn. I wasn't sure you'd show up, Seven, but I'm glad you did. I want to see you interacting more with the crew. And I'd like you to enjoy yourself. (smiles rakishly) That's an order.

Seven watches as Neelix chases after Tuvok brandishing some nibbles.

SEVEN: (with distaste) I shall try.

JANEWAY: (eyeing Seven's costume) Does this mean you'll be granting me three wishes?

SEVEN: You are being facetious.

At this point Tom and B'Elanna stumble up to the Captain and Seven, leaning on each other for support. They are now extrememly drunk and the party has only been going for just over an hour. Without a word, Tom grabs the small wand in Seven's hand and hides it behind his back.

SEVEN: Return my accessory.

PARIS: (goading her) Make me, Goldilocks.

Tom waves it around his head as Seven reaches for it futilely.

TORRES: (guffawing) I always knew you were a fairy Tom.

Paris stops fooling around and stares at B'Elanna strangely, as if she had just slapped him.

SEVEN: (throwing a tantrum) Give me back my wand! I want my wand! (turning to Janeway, sullenly) Make him give it back.

JANEWAY: Tom, give her back the damn wand. (taps the riding crop against her palm) Or I'll repeal your holodeck privileges and it'll be no more 'Captain Proton Does Red Hot Starfleet Babes' for you.

Tom quickly thrusts the wand into Seven's hand. She clutches it possessively to her chest.

JANEWAY: What do you say, Tom?

PARIS: (staring at his boots) Sorry.

TORRES: (under her breath) Wuss.

JANEWAY: Now get out of my sight. Both of you. (Tom and B'Elanna wander off sulking and Seven moves to follow them) Uh, not you, Seven. So...about those three wishes. (stares as Seven's cleavage revealed by the low-cut leotard) I can think of two already.

SEVEN: Indeed?

Scene: The Mess Hall still, 2330 hrs

By now the entire room is awash with punch, hardly anyone can stand up unaided and Neelix is still hotly pursuing Tuvok with his drug-enhanced nibbles. In one corner Tom, wearing the pumpkin punch bowl on his head, and B'Elanna - her grass skirt over her head - are slumped unconscious on the floor while the Doctor is half-heartedly trying to revive them, his red wig hopelessly disarayed. Eventually he gives up and starts attending to some of the other revellers. In another corner Chakotay and Harry are playing 'horsey' - Chakotay is on all fours with Harry on his back, urging him to 'giddy-up' while he whacks the First Officer's behind with the Captain's long-discarded riding crop. Not long ago, the music had been changed to 'The Best Disco Album Ever...Part 703' and 'Chain Reaction' by Diana Ross has been on loop for the past half hour but everyone is too inebriated or unconscious to care.

NEELIX: (panting furiously) Mr Vulcan, you can run but you can't hide! And sooner or later, I will be a Security Officer. Then you shall be mine, all mine! Bwahahahaha!!!

He chases Tuvok out of the mess hall on a jaunt that will take in two circuits of the entire ship before they both collapse in exhaustion to be found later by the Gamma shift.

On the dancefloor, Janeway and Seven of Nine are swaying together.

SEVEN: This has been a memorable social gathering.

JANEWAY: Mmf? (pulling back from Seven's bosom where her head has been buried for the past two hours) Oh, yes, very memorable. I haven't enjoyed myself this much in years. (nuzzles her head in Seven's cleavage again and sighs)

SEVEN: I'm glad I could be of assistance to you.

JANEWAY: Mf mfll mfv mm mffmf mft.

SEVEN: Pardon?

JANEWAY: (withdrawing) Sorry. I said, I still have one wish left.

SEVEN: Oh? What did you have in mind?

JANEWAY: Well...I was thinking that perhaps you could assist me some more. Back in my quarters.

Seven regards the Captain in silence for a moment.

SEVEN: Your wish is my command. (waves her wand with a flourish)

As they slip out of the mess hall, they are followed by Harry still 'riding' Chakotay.

HARRY: (eagerly) Faster! Faster!

CHAKOTAY: (wheezing and nearly collapsing) Harry, I can't feel my legs.

HARRY: You won't feel anything below the waist when I'm through with you.

Chakotay, fuelled by that thought, suddenly has a new spurt of energy and carries Harry enthusiastically through the doors which close behind them. The Doctor is left, for all intents and purposes, alone in the middle of the dancefloor. He sighs as he surveys the bodies strewn around the mess hall, the nibbles and fallen decorations crushed underfoot. He pulls off his wig and looks down at it melacholically.

DOCTOR: (Shaking his head) I'll bet Beverly Crusher never had to deal with this.

The End.

Well, not quite the end.

Scene: The Captain's Quarters 0427 hrs

.

Janeway and Seven are sprawled out in bed, the bedcovers rumpled and somewhat soiled by their passion. The Captain's head is propped up on her elbow and she is silently studying the sleeping Seven, making a mental map of all the Borg's cybernetic appendages. In her study she notices a small, innocuous red button just above Seven's right hip.

JANEWAY: I wonder what this does...

She presses the button and watches in absolute surprise as Seven's breasts deflate before her eyes by at least two cup sizes. Janeway sits up in panic, considering her options. Two seconds later she grabs her uniform, hastily donning it as she scrambles out of bed.

JANEWAY: (running out the door) Maybe she won't notice at first.

The End. Really