Chapter 1 - Lieutenant Chloe & the Jabberwockies
"Annabelle Collins. She's 28. Looks like she was killed and then stashed in that pod. She's the one that put together this whole Nebula-9 Fan Experience re-enactment thing" answers Esposito as he turns from questioning one of the 'cast' from the re-enactment.
"An impressive, if misguided effort" comments Castle as he stops to look around.
Beckett glares at him as he mocks her favourite sci-fi show and then turns the glare on Espo as the Detective adds, "With you, bro. Give me Blade Runner. A bleak dystopian future where sexy replicates ride?" fist bumping with Castle before turning to look at Beckett, "How about you, Beckett? What do you …" trailing off at her glare.
"Have you found next of kin?" she asks, ignoring the previous comment.
"Actually on my way to do that" answers the Detective as he sidles past them and Castle and Beckett move farther into the ship to look around.
"Pearlmutter, good to see you" calls out Castle in his usual friendly way.
"Ah, if only the feeling were mutual" answers Sidney Pearlmutter in his narky tone, barely glancing at the writer. Castle doesn't respond, keeping his face blank.
"So when was she killed?" asks Beckett, trying to and succeeding in keeping her face straight.
The ME, straightens up and looks at her, "Well based on liver temp, last night between 10 and 11PM. The bigger issue is how she was killed ..." as he flips open a magnifying glass and holds it over the wound, "Now, I believe death came by way of this rather fascinating small diameter puncture to her heart" he adds ready to pass the magnifying glass over to her.
She's about to step up to take it when something on the floor next to the pod, catches her eye. Beckett bends down to check it and realises it's one of the souvenir Nebula-9 pins which she carefully picks up and deposits into an evidence bag. As she goes to stand up however, her head hits the side of the pod with a hefty thump, making her stagger a step backwards before collapsing at Castle's feet.
Its several moments before she comes to, a painful throbbing at the back of her head, her body instinctively struggling to get up. A wave of dizziness hits her and she thinks better of it, settling back and squinting up at the shape above her. As her eyes focus she relaxes, realising that it's the handsome Captain Max Castle who's leaning over her … though why his face should be upside down is a puzzle. Deciding to let that matter drop for the moment, she smiles radiantly at him and whispers "Hello Captain."
Captain Max is saying something though the voice seems to be off, sounding more like a distorted jabberwocky in an oil drum. It sounds like ecket and ate … she's not sure if the ecket ate something or something's eaten the ecket, and anyway it's much too confusing … especially as his eyebrows seem to have dropped off his face … maybe it's to do with gravity … she wonders if his eyeballs will roll south next as they seem to be precariously close to popping out …
As her mind clears a bit further she realises that he's kneeling above her, holding her head in his lap and that's why his face is upside down as he looks down at her in concern … how sweet. However, there's something bugging her … oh yes, that's it, what is that prissy-faced individual doing checking her over … no way! Only the Captain gets to first base with Lieutenant Chloe!
She pushes him away, well tries to at any rate, but she seems to be incredibly weak … though her hearing seems to be better now, the Captain's saying something about her hitting her head … though why he insists on calling for a bucket she can't fathom, after all, it's not as if she's going to be sick or anything … and why does he keep pronouncing bucket like becket … her hearing must still be off.
She struggles up into a sitting position with the help of Captain Max … and the prissy character in blue jacket with … yeck! … is that a snake on it? … just a moment, why isn't she in uniform? Or the Captain for that matter, all the others standing around are … so had they been down to the holographic room? Maybe pretending to be some twentieth century gangsters? … oww! her head hurts … and yes, she likes Captain Max, she really does … but she wishes he'd just stop yabbering for a moment … why the hell does he keep saying Kate to her … were they roleplaying earlier, is that it? … and old prissy face with the snake on his chest … why does the Captain keep on about pearl mutters … they don't mutter … in fact they don't talk at all!
Eventually they manage to get her up and into the Captain's chair … the bridge spun a bit on the way, but now that she's settled everything seems to be moving back into place. Everyone seems to be staring at her … but that's ok, the rest of the crew are always envious … everyone except the Captain … who doesn't look bad in that purple shirt and grey jacket … even if she does prefer him in the figure-hugging uniform … especially when he bends down and she's behind him … the memory of wanting to pinch his bum makes her lips curl up, but then she remembers that she needs to be professional, so struggling up to her feet, wavering dangerously, but someone … she thinks it's the snake guy … is giving her a helping hand and the Captain is looking at her worriedly, so as soon as she feels stable enough she throws up a salute, not as crisp as she'd been aiming for, but passable, "Lieutenant Chloe reporting for duty sir!"
"Kate, you're not Lieutenant Chloe, you're Detective Katherine Beckett, you've hit your head and we really need to get you to a hospital!"
She stares at him worriedly, maybe he's been on that Buyu Juice again, he really needs to keep off that stuff, it does weird things to your brain, not to mention your guts … but if he wants to call her Bucket or Beckett or whatever it is, well ok, she can deal with that till he's sober again … 'cos boy is he swaying! Oops … shit! It's her! And with a startled squeal she drops back into the chair.
It takes a few moment for her to regain her composure, aware that the Captain and Snakeman are talking about her over her head, something about getting a stretcher … she doesn't want a stretcher, she's tall enough as it is! No, what she wants is an hour or so with Captain Blue Pants in the Gravity Chamber … and she's smacking Snakeman's hands away as he tries to fiddle with her hair … Get your own lieutenant she mutters, and then there's a swarthy guy joining them, he looks familiar but she can't place him right now … Espo? … she's not exposing herself is she? A quick check and no, she's good … wearing weird clothes mind you, but neat … and all covered up.
Oh, seems like Espo's the new guy … and what's this yo bucket thing he's on about, as if it's not bad enough having to deal with normal buckets she now has to cope with a yo one? Sheesh!
Nope, she's had enough of this, so she makes it to her feet … sways a bit yep, but this time she's holding it together. "Take me to my quarters Captain!" she demands rather petulantly from him, "I'm going to show you a reee…al good time" as she sways towards him and almost falls into his arms. There's a snicker from behind her and the Captain's holding her up but looking a bit red around the face … maybe he should get his blood pressure checked … "You know, you could pop off any moment, and then where would I be?" she demands slightly querulously.
"Yeah Castle, you going to pop any time soon?" she hears.
"I'm going to take a pop at you Espo if you don't give me a hand!" her Captain growls … oooh! She loves it when he growls … gives her goose bumps all over … in fact she's about to show him but he's being a spoilsport and pulling her top back down … well, maybe the snakeman want to check them out … nope, why has he gone all red as well … huh! … muss be some type of allergy going round she thinks to herself.
And now Captain Blue Pants has taken his jacket off … aww … "You look so cute in purple Captain!"
"Yeah captain, purple suits you … you're so whipped!" sounds like the Espo guy but that thought gets hijacked as the Captain grabs her.
"C'mon Kate, let's get Lanie to check you out" … uh? Who's Lanie … she the receptionist? I didn't know we were in a hotel … "why d'we need to check out Captain?"