I didn't stay all night, only a couple of hours in fact, and I'm not sure why I went. It certainly wasn't to confirm my suspicions. She was Bella Dinares: end of story. And it wasn't because I only wanted to hear her sing again.
I sat nursing my dry martini and listened to her rendition of many classic songs from the great Jazz legends, feeling troubled. I kept telling myself that Bella, or Lizzy or whoever she was, wasn't my problem. I was only here for three months for goodness sake. The situation was ignorable. I could just study, get my grades and push off back to the Earhart and not get involved. So why was I sitting in Bejazzled listening to Bella singing, feeling so perturbed?
I left around midnight, partly because I wanted to be sure that Lizzy hadn't noticed me. I knew that while she was on stage, the bright lights would prevent her from seeing me in the audience, not that it stopped me picking a seat in the darker recesses of the room. I was in bed by one o'clock.
This morning, my first class was with Urtok. As you know, he's a Master in hand-to-hand combat and teaches those arts at a Klingon training academy. At the moment, though, he's running a class for the Academy here, lecturing on Klingon culture. As the Cultural Advisor aboard the Earhart, it's one of my compulsory classes.
The lesson was particularly good. Urtok dominates the room by his mere presence, and with his unusual teaching skills that involve a lot of audience participation, no one will be forgetting that lesson in a hurry.
He does love his role-play but, as he says, if you have played out every scenario, there will be no surprises. A lesson Farrah Bel-Williams won't forget in a hurry after accidentally insulting him and finding herself on the receiving end of Urtok's mock temper. He nearly reduced her to tears with his barrage of insults, but stopped just before breaking point and backed off.
"What is she doing wrong, Ms Terran?" he asked the audience without averting his eyes from her.
"She's being Human, typically polite. Farrah, you need to stand up to him. It doesn't matter that he's your tutor. He's laying into you. He's insulting you. You have things you want to say to him whirling around inside your head. Voice them. If you don't, you may end up in a T'Ker Chan challenge—which I won by the way!" and sneered triumphantly at him.
His eyes flashed in anger. The humiliation of that battle, no matter the circumstances under which I had won, still stung him.
"You cheated, Ms Terran," he almost spat, pointing a finger at me.
I laughed lightly, and pointed back.
"You cheated when you set me up for that match."
"You need to learn discipline."
"You need to learn humility."
He hurled a tirade of Klingon abuse at me. I have no idea what he said. My Klingon's non-existent.
I waggled my finger at him.
"Don't you use that tone of voice with me, Mr Urtok!" I said in my best schoolmistress voice.
He paused, his mouth opening slightly to say something and then spat some more abuse at me.
I turned to Farrah and smiled.
"Don't take any messing from a Klingon. You need to hurl as much back as they throw at you, but try to avoid a physical altercation because unless you've been trained in hand-to-hand combat, you won't win."
Farrah bit down on her lower lip, thought for a moment and then replied to Urtok.
"Thank you for that invaluable lesson, Mr Urtok. I shall not forget it."
"General!" he spat.
"My apologies, I thought you had retired from the Imperial Klingon Defence Force?"
Urtok's lip curled. He had. Technically, he was a 'former general' and had as much right to retain the rank as any retired Starfleet admiral.
He glared at Farrah, his hard, black eyes burning into her, but this time she stood her ground, although not particularly well. I could see that her hands were shaking and her legs were turning to jelly.
"Better," agreed Urtok. His tone didn't compliment his words. "Not good, but better. Sit."
Farrah returned to her seat and collapsed into it. As the stress of the moment passed, her face turned ashen white and her eyes began to swell. I could see that she was swallowing back tears. I quickly scribbled a note and sent it to her datapad. It vibrated under her fingers. She picked it up and read the note, 'Well done.' Her lips quivered, a smile of relief washed over her face and she leaned forward to catch my eye. I gave her the thumbs up.
Klingons are bullies by nature, but they are also as soft as targ. Yes, they bite and scratch and fight, but they also like to roll over and have their bellies scratched. Something I must share with Farrah, but I'm straying from the point. The fact is, after lesson, I had a word with Urtok about Lizzy, and that was very interesting!