~~~~He came on a summer's day
~~~~Bringing gifts from far away
~~~~But he made it clear he couldn't stay
~~~~No harbor was his home

Before the Delta Quadrant...

Surveying his surroundings, the tall, lanky pilot brushed back the dark
blond hair from his forehead. Damn, it was hot but he would have gone
insane if he stayed in that sardine can the Maquis called a ship much
longer. Even if the ship had been of a superior design with a spacious
interior like Picard's Enterprise, just being cooped up with other people on
it for the last several weeks was reason enough to split for a while. He
knew, at best, his crewmates tolerated his presence. If he wasn't such a
damn good pilot, he would have been dropped off on the nearest space station
or planet weeks ago--that is if someone didn't slit his throat before then.

Shielding his eyes from the perpetual glare of Palmat's twin suns, Tom Paris
looked cynically around this port of call that would be he and his
crewmates' new home for the next few weeks. The planet of Palmat, or its
port city of Malac, would hardly be what anyone's idea of a prime tourist
attraction--or any type of attraction at all--Tom concluded, unless they
were looking for the seedy side of space. It served a dual purpose though,
providing them what they needed--a safe haven until the ship was
space-worthy again and rest for her weary crew.

The last few weeks had consisted of numerous skirmishes with the Cardassians
and even a few run-ins with Starfleet. The Maquis ship "Liberty" had taken
several hits, and was in desperate need of repair.

Strolling down one of Malac's streets, Paris made note of the people that
inhabited this hell hole. The citizens of the city looked like all the
dregs of the universe had decided to make this their home. Even the dirty
children that scampered through the even dirtier streets, looked any
innocence they might have possessed had been ripped away. That was a shame,
Tom thought, children shouldn't be subjected to the squalor that he saw.

He followed a pair of ragamuffins with his eyes as they played a curious
game of touched-you-last. They darted back and forth across the street,
heedless of any traffic or people that might collide with them.

Finally, outside one of the many dreary bars that lined the streets of the
town, the children crashed into a trio of rough hewn men who had stopped to
talk. The men yelled at them and then pushed the youngsters away so they
could continue their conversation. Shortly afterwards, the men, looking
startled, took off down the road in the same direction that children had
traveled, and Tom laughed. Those children were obviously expert pickpockets
and had plucked their elders dry, Tom realized.

Licking his parched lips, Paris realized that he too was in need of some
liquid refreshment, but not here he decided. It was too close to the
ship--too much of a chance to run into one of the other members of the
*noble* Maquis. He'd wait, until he found just the right bar, something a
little out of the way, some place that sported the right kind of
clientele--women--and if he was lucky, good looking and willing women.

* * * * *

Turning a corner in what passed for a street, Tom again licked his dry lips.
A short stone's throw from his position, he saw what he was looking for. A
small establishment, nestled beside a large pillar of stone approximately
two kilometers from the Liberty. The building itself was made of some type
of masonry. White paint had been splashed on the exterior in a haphazard
fashion, what looked like years ago, and the metal roof was thoroughly
rusted. But what intrigued the pilot the most, was the pair of women that
he saw enter the bar. Both, while not what he would consider beautiful, had
all their curves in *all* the right places. They'd do, he decided. It had
been a while since he had been in intimate contact with a member of the
female gender, and if the hardening below his belt was any indication, it
had been much too long.

Trying to maintain his cool, even though he was sweltering, he entered the

When he stepped through the entryway, Tom was temporarily blinded by the
abrupt change from the brightness outside to the darkness within. His sense
of smell was assaulted by the aroma of alcohol and cheap perfume
intermingled with spicy incense. It was just like most bars he had
frequented since he had been cashiered out of Starfleet, he thought. Dark,
dank, and a good place to go to forget your problems--at least for a while.
In other words, just what he was looking for.

After his eyes adjusted, he saw that most of the bar was illuminated by a
pale blue light that emanated from several vertical glowing tubes of varying
heights that were placed randomly around the main seating area. The
patrons--what few there were--were clustered in groups of twos or threes
around small oval tables. The two women that Tom had followed in wasted no
time and had already selected a pair of men...or perhaps the men selected
them. Even in the dim light, Tom Paris could tell that the ladies weren't
as young as he had originally thought.

If it wasn't for the raging thirst tearing at his throat, he would have left
in search of a more attractive tavern, instead he made his way around
several tables toward the back of the room where the bar itself was
situated. He neared the bar, which was constructed of a long, thick plank
of gray stone supported by a heavy, black metal base. Two men who were
already there, perched on a pair of stools like vultures, looked up at Tom.

The older of the two sneered at Paris through acrid pulls of smoke that
spewed out of a pipe clenched between his yellowing teeth. Not about to
trespass on their territory, the pilot chose a stool at the other end of the

Satisfied that they would not be bothered by the stranger, the men turned
their attention away from him and resumed their conversation.

Tom shrugged. It would have been a pleasure to strike up a conversation
with someone outside of the Liberty's crew--even those men. It would be a
nice change of pace to talk to someone who would not prejudge him and think
that they knew him based solely on a few well-publicized facts. Not that
the facts necessarily lied--the crash *was* due to pilot error. *His* pilot
error had caused the crash of that shuttle on Caldik Prime--but it would
have been nice to put it behind him for a little while, to forget but for a
moment he his actions had killed three people.

Turning towards the bar itself, Tom noticed a dark head just below the top
of the counter--the person seemed to be crouching and mumbling to himself.
Paris waited a little while, then cleared his parched throat trying to
attract some attention, but it didn't work. Whoever it was behind the bar
seemed to be very absorbed with his task. Finally, the pilot leaned over
the bar and tapped the person on the head.

"Do you think I could get some service?" he asked.

The two men that were seated at the end of the bar quickly abandoned their
posts fleeing toward the back of the room just before the dark head snapped
upward and Tom fell back almost toppling off his seat. It wasn't a man, he
discovered, but a woman--a vibrant but enraged woman. Her dark
mahogany-colored hair hung to her shoulders and even in the dim light he
could make out the ripples that adorned her forehead. Instantly she
intrigued him.

"Do I *look* like a barkeep?" she snarled.

"I--I--don't know," Tom Paris stammered. "I guess not?"

"Damned right, I'm not!"

"Sorry! I didn't mean to startle you."

The woman slowly expelled a breath she wasn't aware she was holding.

Then she looked into the sky blue eyes of the man and made note of his
aristocratic features and blondish hair. Not bad, she thought. {What is
someone like you doing here in this arm pit of the universe?} She also
noticed that the redness of the man's skin was not a natural state--the twin
sun's of Palmat had toasted another person.

"Look, I'm trying to repair the refrigerant coils, but I'm not having much
success. Sorry if I snapped," she admitted. She pushed back a lock of hair
that had fallen over her eyes. Tom could tell that her anger was barely
contained. "What is it you're looking for, drink or company?"

Paris was mesmerized by her raw beauty, tawny skin, full lips, and her
refreshing bluntness. He had the nagging feeling that somewhere, somehow, t
hey had met before.

"Make up your mind!" she snarled when Tom didn't reply immediately. "I'm
not the bartender--I have work of my own to do. Do you want booze or
someone to warm your bed?" She jerked her head in the direction of the women
Tom had followed in. "Hurry up, I don't have all day."

"Um...I'll have a Bolian beer, if you have it." Tom replied. He fished out
a few credits from his money pouch that hung around his neck and tossed it
on the bar.

She nodded once and reached under the counter selecting a mug. Topping the
mug off from one of the taps, she slid the mug across the bar toward the

"Thanks...keep the change." Tom gratefully picked up the mug and drained
half of its cool contents. Placing the mug again back on the bar, he wiped
his mouth unceremoniously with his sleeve. "I can't believe how thirsty I
am," he remarked.

"It's the Twin Terrors," she noted.

Tom looked at her perplexedly.

"The pair of suns," she explained. "Makes this place one hot sonofabitch.
I can see that you're already showing their effects." She paused a beat and
then continued when he didn't seem to understand. "Your skin is all pink
and red. You've developed one nasty sunburn."

{Could brown eyes look any richer?} "Oh, skin. I was in such a
hurry to leave the ship that I didn't get a dermal protectorant. When I get
back I'll have to have this taken care of the curses of being fair
skinned," he chuckled nervously. Tom couldn't remember the last time he
felt this unsure of himself around a woman. "Got it from my father's side
of the family. I guess you don't have that problem."

" Along with this..." She touched her rippled forehead. "I got the
complexion too."

"Klingon?" Tom guessed.


"The other half Human?"

She nodded, but didn't seem too pleased. Paris couldn't tell if she wasn't
pleased with the Human half or the Klingon half, or the fact that she was
half and half period. It would be something for him to find out later.
Later? Interesting. Would there even be a later?

"Hey, I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself before, the name's Tom." Why risk
mentioning the last name? Even out here the famous disgrace of the mighty
Paris family might be known. He held out his hand to her in a gesture of

She looked at it for a little while then wiped her right hand on her pants
leg before she placed her hand in his and shook it firmly. "B'Elanna," she
replied. She then released her grip and picked up one of the tools she'd
been working with and adjusted a setting on it.

{No flattery...just a woman being rare.}
"B'Elanna is a lovely name," Paris remarked. It was an old line he
realized, but it was the truth.

She ignored him; she had heard the same compliment before used in here when
a man tried to pick up a woman for the evening.

"How about forgetting the repair for a moment, and..." he pushed on and
patted the seat next to him. "...join me for a little refreshment and some

"Can't, I promised Mroki that when she returned I'd have this pile of refuse
repaired. She doesn't keep me around to small talk with the customers.
That's their job." B'Elanna motioned with a flip of her hand toward the
women in the back of the room. Tom turned to see not only the two women he
had followed into the bar, but three more who had joined them--two brunettes
and one striking blonde.

"The 'company'?" Tom surmised.

B'Elanna's head bobbed. "Mroki provides the 'best drink and company to ease
the minds and souls of wayward travelers'." She had heard that line so many
times, it nauseated her.

"Mroki's slogan?"

"Yeah, something like that. Makes her feel more like an entrepreneur, than
just the owner of a bar with a few rooms for rent by the hour upstairs."

"So one can purchase this company, if one has the money?" Of course one
could, Tom wasn't stupid.

"You got it." Damn, this man seemed interested in more than the drink.
She, for reasons unknown, had hoped that he wasn't like all the rest that
came in here. But she couldn't blame him if he found Mroki's girls of more
interest than her.

He turned his attentionfrom watching the other women back to B'Elanna.
"What if I wanted to purchase *your* company?"

Lightning quick, B'Elanna threw her tool down on the bartop and launched
herself over the bar. Her intent was to choke the life out of the handsome
man on the other side. Nothing he could have said could have surprised her
or angered her more. Since she had arrived on Malac, no one had wanted to
spend time in her company for very long, and she'd be damned if she'd ever
sell her body like Mroki's other female employees did!

"Pp'taQ! I'm NOT a whore! You think I'd lower myself to sleep with some..."

Tom raised his hands in self defense, trying hard not to notice the sounds
of giggling that had arisen from the back on the room.

"Hey, I didn't mean *that* kind of company, B'Elanna. I just wanted to talk
to you...just talk....honest."

"Talk?" She relaxed slightly, wary of his intentions.

"Yeah, is that so hard to believe?" Actually considering what he had been
looking for when he had first selected this tavern, it was, he admitted to

"Why me?" she asked. B'Elanna was born suspicious and moved away from Paris,
retreating back to her original position.

Tom shrugged. "Why not?" He took a slow sip of his beer.

"No one has ever come in here and wanted to talk with me."

Tom looked puzzled. "No one?"

B'Elanna noticed his look of confusion. "It's these." She slapped her
forehead. "They think I'm cursed or something."

"That's ridiculous."

"The Palmat citizens don't think so. Most of them are very superstitious,"
B'Elanna explained. Picking up the tool she had thrown down, she focused
her attention on the device embarrassed by the admission. She had often
admitted to herself that perhaps she was cursed. It seemed that ever since
she could remember her dual-heritage had gotten her into trouble.

"That's their loss."

B'Elanna looked up. He sounded sincere. "Thanks," she mumbled.

"So if I pay this *fine establishment* for your time will you join me?" he
asked. "I promise, just to talk."

"Talk?" she questioned confirming his intentions.

"Promise. Will you talk with a wayward traveler, if that traveler was
willing to pay for your time? Would your boss allow that?"

Damn it was tempting. Usually the only one that spoke to her was Mroki but
it was usually just about business. Sometimes Trini, the nicest prostitute,
would talk to her if she had the time and their off-schedules coincided but
that didn't happen often. "If you let me finish this repair, then I'll join
you over at that side table for my break--no charge," B'Elanna assured him
and pointed to a table that was the most secluded in the room.

"Of course. Take your time."

Taking his half-empty (or maybe it was half-filled?) mug with him, Tom moved
to the side table. From there he watched B'Elanna finish her repair. When
the bartender returned, B'Elanna spke with him briefly, and taking two mugs
of beer with her, she joined the pilot.

"Thought you could use another. Takes at least two mugs to wash the dust
from your throat," she stated setting one of the mugs down beside his now
empty (or was it just a temporarily not- filled?) mug. "I can't stay for
long, I only get fifteen minutes."

Once an officer, and having been raised a gentleman, Tom instinctively got
out of his seat and pulled out the chair on the other side of the table. He
then motioned for B'Elanna to sit.

B'Elanna looked embarrassed at first. Looking up at the women, Trini
motioned with a flick of her hand for her to sit down, so she did. Tom
pushed her chair in and then joined her. "Thanks for the beer. What do I
owe you?"

B'Elanna pulled her own mug towards her and sipped at it, relishing the
coolness as it slid down her throat. "Nothing...*they* owe me." {Boy did
they owe me!}

"I appreciate it." Tom smiled. He still felt nervous. Maybe because he
knew he had never met a woman quite like B'Elanna.

Carefully studying the man before her, she took a longer draw on her beer.
The man's blue eyes seemed to draw her in...willingly in. She could easily
drown herself in their blue depths she realized...and that frightened her.
Admitting this came as a shock, as not much ever scared her. Covering up
her nervousness, she took another sip of the beer before she spoke. "So
what brings you here to Malac?" she asked.

Tom laughed lightly. "To tell you the whole story would take a long time.
The short version is that my ship is in port for repairs."

"Are you from that Maquis ship that docked this morning?"

Tom's laughter ceased. "How do you know about that?"

"Almost everything on Palmat may stink, but its communications system
doesn't. The news that the Maquis brought a ship in for repair has spread
all over Malac, and by this time tomorrow, most of the planet will know
about it."

"Palmat has an impressive grapevine," Tom admitted. "What else is being

B'Elanna shrugged nonchalantly. "Just that the ship has been involved in
several battles with both the Cardies and the Feds." She looked up into the
man's blue eyes gauging his reaction. He appeared to be unaffected by the
news so she continued. "We've been told that the captain of your ship is
very bold, and that the ship and the crew might not even have made it to
Palmat if he hadn't been for some flashy pilot they have at the helm."

Tom covered his reaction to this piece of news with another sip of beer
before he spoke. "The pilot wasn't the only one responsible for our success.
Everyone on the crew has a job to do."

"But I heard that it was your pilot that was primarily responsible,"
B'Elanna pressed.

"Mere rumor." Last thing he wanted, though he couldn't figure out exactly
why it was so important to him, was for her to find out about his past.

B'Elanna looked disappointed. Since news of the Liberty had reached Palmat,
she had made a special effort to learn all she could about the noble Maquis
and, in particular, the ship's talented helmsman. Rumor had it that he was
a hot shot pilot, the son of some type of Federation nobility, who had been
kicked out of Starfleet before having joined up with the Maquis rebels. He
sounded like someone B'Elanna could relate to--someone who she might have
something in common, seeing how she had also left the Academy and her family
under less than ideal circumstances.

Noticing her disappointment, Tom sought out a new subject that didn't
include him. "Tell me about you, B'Elanna. Why do you make your home on

"I'm not," B'Elanna replied. "My stay here is only temporary. I'm here
only long enough to get my own ship operational. Then I'm leaving. I
thought maybe I'd go to Ephitma, a little planet near Vulcan, I hear are in
need of engineers."

"Is that your trade? You're an engineer?"

"Yeah, though fat lot of good that does me around here. Because of these,"
she motioned once again to her ridges, "Mroki was the only one who would
hire me. She isn't as superstitious as most of the people around here."

"How long have you been on Palmat?"

"Almost five months in Earth time." B'Elanna explained.

"Long time."

"A lot longer than I had intended," she admitted.

"How's your ship coming along? Tell me about her."

"She isn't much. Just an old run-about that can barely achieve Warp 6, but
I got her for a song. Actually, I won her in a bet."

"What kinda of bet?" This news piqued Tom's interest. It sounded like
something he would do.

B'Elanna shrugged. "Some over-confident Ferengi bet that I couldn't drink a
Bolian under the table. I did it and won, and wound up with a ship and one
hell of a hangover in the morning," she recalled with a sly smile. "Of
course, there was a lot of incentive considering if I lost, I would have had
to scour out the Ferengi's bar for six months."

Tom roared with laughter. "I would have liked to have seen that Ferengi's
face when he lost the bet."

B'Elanna chuckled. "It was a sight that I'll treasure always." Her smile
suddenly faded. "That is if I can get the piece of junk flight-worthy

Tom took a sip of his cold beer before he replied. "Is there anything I can

"Thanks, but I can't do much until I get some new parts. Seems like I fix
one thing and two more screw up. I'm determined to get it working though.
I did it before, and I'll do it again," she avowed. "Right now I'm saving
up for a radiometric converter. Then I can start working on saving enough
money to get some dilithium crystals for the ship's warp core.

"Sounds like you have it all planned out?"

"I hope so, but my original plan didn't involve being stuck on Palmat this
long. Talk about depressing!. Not that the Klingon Homeworld was full of

Tom chuckled. B'Elanna was intriguing, like a fresh breeze on a hot dry
day...much like it was outside right now he remembered. She seemed to have
a habit of saying what she thought, not what she thought he wanted to hear.

"I've never been to Qo'noS, is it that bad?" he asked taking another sip.

"Bad enough when you're five. Everything seemed so loud and boisterous
compared to where I lived on Kessik IV. For a while I thought my mother had
planned on moving back to the Homeworld to be near her family. I was very
relieved to find out that we had just come for a visit." B'Elanna stopped,
her tongue was getting carried away and she was telling this stranger far
more than she had intended to. Hell, she didn't even know him yet and she
was telling him things she typically kept to herself! But he was so easy to
talk to, like she knew him for a long time. "I'm sorry, I guess I got to
talking and didn't know when to stop." She cast her eyes to the worn table.

Tom reached across the table and placed his hand on her forearm and squeezed
lightly. "Don't be sorry, I like hearing about you and your experiences as
a child," he insisted.

"I really don't think you came in here with the purpose of talking about
someone's childhood."

Tom laughed. "That's true. This wasn't what I originally had in mind."

B'Elanna's heart sunk--she should have known this man would be like all the
rest. He was just trying to placate her. He was just passing the time
until something or someone more interesting caught his eye.

"They go for thirty-three lumas an evening. I understand you won't regret
it," she informed him, her voice devoid of all emotion. Raising her mug to
her lips, she drained the contents and then slammed the empty mug back down
on the table. "I'm told that they know all the tricks."

"Excuse me?" Tom was puzzled at the change in topic.

"Mroki's girls." B'Elanna tossed her head towards the back of the room.
"I'm told that Alini--the blonde with the long hair--is best. All the

"B'ELANNA!" It's acting up again!" the bartender yelled interrupting her.

If looks could kill, the bartender would have been dead--twice over--once by
B'Elanna, the other by Tom. "I've got to go," B'Elanna apologized. "My
break ended ten minutes ago." She quickly collected the now empty mugs, and
in a flash she was gone.

"Strange woman," Tom murmured to himself. "I think I like her."

* * * * * *

B'Elanna returned to the third-floor room Mroki provided her as part of her
wages. The room was very small with only enough space for a small bed and a
trunk that was pushed up against one wall. A small, narrow vertical window
provided the only source of outside light.

Entering the room, the young half-Klingon first paused by the window to look
down on the people below. She noted the street, which was so busy during
the daytime, was quieting. The lights from the various businesses which
hat lined the street were starting to wink out as the owners closed their
establishments until the next day. With a heavy sigh she turned from the
window and activated the overhead light. It illuminated a garishly colored
room. Three walls were painted bright pink and the other wall and the
ceiling were covered with mirrors--testament that this room wasn't always
intended solely for employee habitation. B'Elanna hated the room, but it
served the purpose.

Kneeling in front of the trunk, she unlocked it and pushed opened the heavy
lid. Inside B'Elanna had placed her personal possessions, which consisted
of a few changes of clothes, toiletries, several technical data PADDs, and
the last thing her father had given her before he had left--a gray and pink
mottled stuffed targ, she had had named Tobey.

She wasn't sure why she kept the toy when, even now, she was furious with
Eduardo Torres for leaving her mother and herself when B'Elanna was just a
little girl. Perhaps it was a connection to home? Perhaps it was a
reminder that despite everything she still loved her papa? She never could
come up with a conclusive answer to those questions, and had long since
stopped trying.

Pulling the targ out from the trunk, she embraced the well-loved toy giving
Tobey a kiss on his furry head, and placed him on her bed. She removed her
clothing, hanging the items on a hook behind the door. Reaching back into
the trunk, she withdrew her thin, white nightshirt and slipped it on before
she dimmed the only light in the room. B'Elanna then kicked off her shoes
and crawled into bed. She adjusted her body instinctively to avoid the
lumps in the bed, pulled Tobey close to her, and reflected on the day.

"Today, I met a man," she whispered into one of the targ's ears. Tobey was
a fine confidant. He'd patiently listen to all she had to say but never
repeated a word to anyone. "His name is Tom, and he's so handsome,"
B'Elanna continued. "Not what I usually consider handsome, usually I fall
for men with dark hair and eyes," she explained. "This guy though is tall,
lean, and has dark, golden wavy hair and the bluest eyes. Kinda like the
shade of that dress Grandmother Torres bought for me for that birthday party
when I was a little girl. I hated that party dress with all those ruffles
and bows, but oh how I loved the color." Tobey didn't contradict her.

"I think this guy might be special," B'Elanna continued. "Not like the
other men I've seen come into the bar. I guess you might call him
sensitive. Not that he's some kinda saint or something, but Tom didn't seem
like the rest. He talked to *me*. He could have spoken to any of the other
women there, but he didn't. You should have seen Alini's face, Tobey. She
was so jealous!" B'Elanna grinned in the darkness remembering the sour
expression on the prostitute's face. Then B'Elanna sighed and her grin
faded. She hugged Tobey tighter to her chest. "Then I ruined it all. That
stupid Klingon side of me couldn't keep still and I yelled at him. He'll
probably never want to see me again."

Tobey comforted her in his silence.

"Normally I wouldn't care, but this one feels different. I ..."

"A-A-ALINI, Do it again!!! Oh, ALINI!"

B'Elanna's reverie was disturbed by the noise and the thumping on the wall
which followed the shout of satisfaction. Being right next door to Alini
was not conducive to a good night's sleep. B'Elanna considered going next
door and tell Alini to keep quiet, but knew that the request would fall on
deaf ears, and that Mroki would rule on the side of her money-maker. So
B'Elanna settled for the next best thing. She covered her head with her
pillow. Her thoughts vacillated between smashing Alini's pretty pert nose
in and imagining what it would be like for Tom to hold her in his arms.

* * * * * *

"Computer, begin personal log."

The computer beeped acknowledging that the pilot could begin his

"It's been a while since I've made an entry, not that I've had much to say.
The last four months or so things didn't change on the ship--not that I
expected them to. I almost made an entry after we had that last battle with
the Cardassians--I don't really know why I'm making an entry today--other
than If I don't confide in someone I just might burst out of my skin. Since
there's no one on this ship that I consider a friend, I'll just have to
resort to a 'Dear Diary' entry--so here it goes.

"I feel like I got kicked in the gut today. I met a woman that almost
literally knocked me for a loop--what a temper! And what a surprise! I
never thought I could be affected like a lovesick schoolboy
again--especially after all that's happened over the past few years. Her
name is B'Elanna and she's half-Klingon. She's beautiful in an untamed sort
of way. She says what she thinks, not what she thinks I want to hear. I
can tell she's the kind of girl...strike that woman...I don't think she'd
want to be called a girl. Anyway she's the type of woman to keep you on
your toes.

"I originally went to the bar--oh that's right I didn't tell you I found her
in a bar, but I did. So I went in there at first for two things--a drink
and to get laid. Well I did get the drink-- but not the sex. What's funny
is that after I left, I didn't mind not getting it...not after I met
B'Elanna. For some reason I feel like I should know her, but I can't quite
place it. Maybe I'll remember the next time I see her. In the meantime, I'
ve got to get a job and make some money while we are stuck here on Palmat.
B'Elanna needs a radiometric converter. Can't let her down."