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Eat and Greet

Posted on Sun May 12th, 2019 @ 8:56pm by Lieutenant JG Vreia zh'Elaith & Lieutenant Lon Genestra

Mission: On the Run

Lon sat at his table poking disconsolately at the dish in front of him - an uttaberry and oskoid salad. It tasted incorrect. Not wrong exactly but different from what he was expecting. He'd replicated it using the exact same program he'd always used back on the Proxima, so there was no reliable reason as to why it should taste different. But it did. He put his fork down and drank from his glass of tea while he watched the comings and goings in the mess hall.

There were no open tables, which was usual for Alpha Shift rotation. Vreia's eyes scanned the room. There was hardly a soul she recognized. Nearly all were Proxima crew members. Her skin tensed. She was in a place she called home, but felt like a complete stranger. Her blue eyes paused at a fellow across the hall, an Ensign Iotra. It was someone she met in the Academy. Someone she did not want to cross paths with again. Which seemed nearly impossible now that he was walking in her direction.

She quickly placed her tray on the nearest table, across from a man in a science uniform and Lieutenant pips. She sat down, and spoke under her breath, "Pretend we're deep in conversation." Her face contorted into a fake smile and took a light tone. "Oh, I know, we hardly made it out with the skin on our antenna."

"Mm." Lon nodded as he put down his cup. He was quite sure that he didn't recognize the andorian that just sat down opposite him. Given his familiarity with the Proxima's crew, he concluded that she must be one of the Valhalla crew that decided to stay on with the 'pirates'. He gave a small chuckle, deciding to play along with the ruse. "What is it the humans like to say? Fortune favours the bald?"

Vreia shrugged. "Human sayings never made sense to me." It took her a second to realize that the man across from her wasn't an earthling. There were so many that looked exactly the same, and it was hard for a blue-skin like her to tell the difference. She abruptly straightened up and started laughing. "Oh, you are so funny." Her hand graciously patted the officer's arm.

Her eyes were locked to the back of Ensign Iotra's head until he walked out of mess. The second the door closed, she fell into the back of her chair. Vreia heaved out a long breath. "Sorry about that. I was trying to avoid someone."

"I noticed." Lon replied drily, although he did give a small smile. He speared an oskoid leaf with his fork and popped it in his mouth. "He must have done something truly heinous for you to go to such lengths to avoid him."

"It was a bit of him, a bit of me," said Vreia. She took a berry from her salad and threw it into her mouth. "We were in the same squad during the Kobayashi Maru at the Academy. Let's just say he didn't take it kindly that I led a mutiny against him when he decided to not save the crew." She laughed. "But look at us, now! Criminals at large, being hunted by Starfleet."

"Awkward indeed." Lon nodded in agreement. "Probably not just Starfleet, all things considered."

Vreia nodded, "But Starfleet's the only one I'm worried about." She picked at her food once more. "Anyways, I'm Vreia. The pilot."

"Lon Genestra. Science." Lon set his fork aside for a moment, taking up his cup instead. "Thank you, for your help with our escape."

Vreia's antenna twitched slightly. "Yes... well, it was the right thing to do. Also, if I didn't, you guys would have probably get blown up by the QSD. You all went through so much effort, it would've been pointless if it stopped there."

Vreia's second point caused Lon's eyebrows to raise slightly, confident as he was in his, and KB's, ability to figure out the drive in a pinch. "You don't have to justify your decision to me, although it is appreciated. How far did your last mutiny get?"

"Not far enough to hijack the vessel," said Vreia. "By the time I and a few other bridge officers were able to secure the bridge, the simulation ended. I didn't get a good grade on that... They feared that I was too quick to turn on the captain." Her eyes flashed out towards the windows. "I guess they were right."

"First time that test's been right about anything in decades." Lon remarked wryly. He stopped for another sip of tea before he continued. "Back when I too it it was so mythologised as to be all but useless. It is a wonder why the Academy still bothers with it."

Vreia squinted. "I figured it was a way to separate those who get stationed on the Enterprise, and those who they condemn to a life of transporting delegates." Her eyes traced back to the scientist. "I'm lucky they stationed me on a ship with a QSD. Naturally, the old captain felt it was overkill for an intrepid-class."

"What nonsense." Lon scoffed, shaking his head. "The Federation's first Slipstream drive was on an Intrepid-class. Scientifically speaking they're the logical class to receive the upgrade."

"Well, with the rumors of Starfleet rolling out new classes to replace some of these older ones, he felt that it was a waste of resources," Vreia said, "Ex-engineer captains are always... interesting."

"True." Lon nodded. "It has been my experience that most CO's from the engineering and science fields tend to....forget....that those fields continue to evolve once they take the chair." From the grey visible in his beard and hair it's likely the scientist has a good deal of experience with different COs.

"Captain Tyrson seems to be the first captain that I've worked with who doesn't seem a little off," said Vreia. "That is, of course, if you assume a sane person would hijack a Starfleet vessel."

"He might look like a walking bulkhead but he has a good head on his shoulders." He regarded the andorian curiously for a few moments and smiled. "Would you call it more or less sane than waiting to be worked to death by the Breen?"

She shrugged. "I don't know, but I understand what it means to be trapped in a situation that you didn't choose. And I did whatever it took to get out of it." Her eyes trailed up as she replayed memories of her childhood.

Lon nodded again. A shallow nod, one of understanding rather than agreement. At times like these he reasoned that it would have been beneficial if he were more of a typical Betazoid. "You've done well by it from the looks of things."

The andorian smirked. "If it weren't the help of others, I'd still be in the same situation."

"As would we." Lon noted glancing at the crew from the Proxima.

"Well," said Vreia, taking her barely-touched food, "I think I'm going to recycle this in the replicator and head off to bed. I have a feeling that I'm going to need a good night's rest with Starfleet on our tail."

"As you say, tomorrow will be another busy day." Lon replied. "It was nice to meet you."

 

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