Lower Decks: Tales From The Creche

by: username | Story In Progress | Last updated Nov 12, 2022

Chapter 9
Carpet Critters Aftermath

Chapter Description: Beckett makes a boo-boo.

Captain Freeman stood on the bridge of the Cerritos and scrutinized Ensign Mariner. She said nothing; she made no gestures and gave no sign via body language to show how she felt at the moment.

She wanted to cross her arms in a superior pose and shame the ensign. Her inner voice screamed that she did just that. She preempted that voice with the reason that she was in charge of far more on this ship than one ensign and ended up pinching between her eyebrows with a free hand.

If ensign Mariner caught any of the inner and external turmoil that her mother exhibited, she gave no sign. The only expression on her face at the moment was that of "There's nothing for it. What am I supposed to do?"

Captain Freeman looked around at her bridge crew. Everyone on the bridge had busied themselves with their everyday mundane tasks as if they were the most important thing in the world to them right now. If she stared directly at any of them, they immediately looked somewhere else to avoid returning her gaze and end up having her force out their opinion on the matter.

Ensign Mariner had shown up to her assigned duty on the bridge on time, ready to assume manning her console but out of uniform. Worse, her diminished stature forced her to stand up in the console's chair to perform her duties. That and she currently appeared to be of a toddler's age didn't help matters.

Captain Freeman rubbed her brow again and opened her mouth to speak while everyone else on the bridge strained to hear what she would say to the underaged ensign. She sighed heavily and decided the best plan of action would be to start at the beginning.

"Where's your uniform, ensign?"

"It doesn't fit. Everything in my wardrobe is too big for me right now," replied Beckett. She looked up at her mother and put her hands behind her back. Their height difference was causing her to feel inadequate. She tried to stand at ease but ended up fussing and rocking on her toes instead.

That she looked adorably cute doing it was beside the point. Several of the bridge crew checked the camera systems to ensure that they would capture the maximum angle of her cuteness for posterity.

Beckett looked down at her feet as she felt a good pout overtaking her being and projecting itself over her entire body. She studied the ground at her feet for a few moments before remembering that she was an ensign in Starfleet and looked back up at her captain innocently.

The look of an innocent little girl as she peered into her eyes caused Captain Freeman's heart to flutter momentarily. That the little girl that caused the pang was her little girl was beside the point. She harrumphed to clear her thoughts.

"What of your station? How do you intend to man it at your current height?"

"I can man the console. There's nothing diminished in my capabilities!" objected Beckett, with a look of stoic determination that belied her youthful appearance. The seriousness of her face melted the remaining bridge crew. One of them began relaying a delayed feed of her heart-melting cuteness to the ship's general bulletin board.

(Later, it would turn out that Beckett's cute baby pictures would be the second most popular bulletin board item in the ship's history.)

Overtaken by her youthful charm, Captain Freeman kneeled in front of the ensign. She could see the brave face that her daughter had put on, but she also knew from their shared experience just how well her daughter could bluff when she felt out of her depth.

She wanted to hug the little girl. Her heart remembered the joyous times of the past when she tickled her small daughter and snuggled her happy, healthy, giggling little girl in celebration of Beckett just being born, being alive, and being her daughter. She resisted her impulse and suppressed it.

Beckett, however, had other plans. She grabbed onto her mother with the uninhibited hug of a child who sorely needed one from her mommy now and right now. The hearts of the bridge crew and those who perused the bulletin board melted in sympathy at the wholesome and heartwarming sight the unabashed display of affection between mother and daughter presented.

Caroll picked up her daughter. (She found her remarkably light at this age) and sat down with her in her lap on the captain's chair.

Beckett, embarrassed at first, gave in to the emotions and snuggled into her mother's lap, feeling the warmth of her body and the warmth of motherly affection emanating from her. She did her best to resist the thumb that crept its way slowly into her mouth, but gave in and suckled on it, closed her eyes, and fell asleep curled up in a fetal position. Her mother held the precious bundle in her lap lovingly.

For the next hour, Caroll sat with her sleeping charge and signed the comm pads that came her way. The bridge crew came and lingered to take more photographs of the sleeping, peaceful face of Beckett. It wasn't one they were used to seeing, after all. Finally, Beckett awoke, stretched, and remembered where she was.

That she'd done a toddler thing while in her mommy's lap made the redness of her face even more embarrassing.

Caroll smiled at her daughter and took her to the bathroom where she cleaned her up and put on a fresh new diaper, rash cream, and powder.

Beckett felt a long-repressed feeling in her resurface that day; a deep longing that she'd misunderstood as a sign of her mother's love for her: that of having a diaper changed.

That her mother loved her with or without the diaper change in her brain didn't matter. She unknowingly formed a notion that a true mother's love was a diaper change with the sensation of the soft diaper, the smell of baby powder and ointment, and the warm feeling it gave her overall.

"I wuv you, mommy!" she said as Caroll finished the cleanup, and picked her up to place her on the floor.

"It's nice of you to say so, Becky!" said her joyful mother as she washed her hands and threw her old, soiled diaper in the disposal unit.

As they walked back onto the bridge, Captain Freeman asked, "So what caused you to be regressed to a toddler, anyway?"

"Wel-l-l, after the Holodeck simulation, I felt so happy that everyone had joined in that I said out loud how wonderful it would be if I could be like Tad Pickles for a little while longer..."

"And Genie, being literal, picked up on it, granted your wish, and now you're living the Tad Pickles life," finished her mother. "How much longer before I have my ensign back on duty, Becky?"

"I dunno. Genie, how much longer am I going to be this age?"

"You can go back anytime you like, Beckett. Just say the word!" her comm badge chirped with cheerfulness in its voice.

Beckett glanced at her mother and then at the console that she should have been manning. She walked over and went to boost herself up into the seat to see if she needed to catch up on her checklists.

Her mother walked over and picked her up to place her feet first in her chair. Beckett performed the calculations, found no errors, and checked off her checklists. She then turned around in her chair and held her arms out to her mother, who picked her up and gave her a brief peck on the cheek.

"I think it can wait a little longer. If the captain doesn't mind changing a few more diapers today," she said after snuggling. 

"Since the daily duties are light, I think I can handle it," said her mother with a smile and a thought that she might get to play the airplane game with Beckett later for lunch. She'd loved that time and had missed it when Beckett outgrew it.

(End chapter nine.)

Inside her comm badge, the entity known as "Genie" smiled to itself. After eons of playing with overbearing egos, petty dictators, and unreasonable tyrants, it found itself in the possession of a fun-loving personality. This person's demeanor, her pluck, and her ability to adapt to odd circumstances, coupled with the loving support of her friends, made for an enjoyable time.

The entity reveled in the time spent with Beckett as a connoisseur might savor a fine wine. Soon, it would become drunk on Beckett's wonderful vintage and bouquet, but that's another tale for another time.

L8r G8rs!



End Chapter 9

Lower Decks: Tales From The Creche

by: username | Story In Progress | Last updated Nov 12, 2022


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