Backpost: Where Are You?

Posted on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 @ 2:11pm by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Lieutenant Commander Karim

Mission: The Place of Skulls
Location: Risa, Grand Delphinium, 20 days before departure
Timeline: Mission Day 0 at 2200

[Risa, Delphi, Grand Delphinium]
[Emni's Room]
[20 days to departure, 2200 Hours]

The brightly lit rectangle of the small view screen in her room on Risa was emblazoned with the Vulcan circlet overlaid with a triangle indicating that she was, at present, on hold as she tried to reach her intended call recipient from Risa.

She had, for some weeks now, been attempting to reach out to Karim on Vulcan. His decision to return home after only a short window on Risa, rather than wait out their time to reassignment had surprised her at the time. Not because his people wouldn’t be a help to him, but because they had gotten to know each other quite well in the months after she had been forced to remove him from active duty.

She thought back to that conversation. His emotional signature had all but screamed the change at her--a shift from the swirling anxiety and anger that simmered below the still Vulcan waters of his emotional fingerprint like a dangerous current that you didn’t know was there until you were already caught in it. That day he had taken extra care with his mental barriers, managing to be in the room with her before she picked up on the uncertainty intertwined with the slightest bit of… guilt?

She shook her head, questioning her own memory on this. At the time she had become so used to the variations in his emotional makeup that she rarely had to put her defenses in place when they were together. This had felt different, but a small part of her wondered if she just wanted him to feel guilty for leaving.

Emni startled as the screen lit suddenly, the image in question was replaced with the entirely neutral visage of a Vulcan--not the one she had been hoping to see.

The face that greeted her was that of a middle-aged Vulcan, with natural sunlight bleeding through a nearby window to cast long shadows across one side of his lightly-lined face - a face that bore some minor similarities to Karim. This figure wore his black hair in a traditional Vulcan style, with light streaks of grey beginning to stretch back from his temples. His expression, predictably, remained unreadable.

"This is Solek," the Vulcan introduced himself, and by his tone, it was clear there was going to be little else forthcoming from his opening gambit.

Emni frowned. Though the mild resemblance to Karim was evident, the demeanor and attire of the man on the screen was entirely Vulcan. She studied the figure a moment trying to imagine if this man would more closely resemble the man she was trying to reach were he to have the telltale Bajoran ridges on his nose and the shock of much longer hair in the style Karim preferred.

"I am afraid there is some confusion," she remarked to Solek. "I am trying to reach Karim."

"The confusion is entirely on your part,," Solek dismissed with a very minor quirk of his facial features. "My grandson is not available to speak with you. Not that our family consider this the business of outsiders, but I understand Karim served alongside you during his most recent assignment. Out of respect to his former Starfleet affiliation-"

"Karim has not resigned his commission," Emni cut the man off, her expression darkening. "So it seems premature to imply that his affiliation is former. Is he aware you are intercepting his calls?"

It was a guess, but it fit. The last few times she had attempted to reach Karim the calls had gone unanswered. Ignored. Now, she wondered if they had simply not reached their intended recipient.

"-and," Solek moved almost imperceptibly closer to the screen, "and" he repeated again, "in spite of your unwelcome perseverance, we are willing to disclose that he remains in the care of Kolinahr masters and experienced Vulcan medical professionals, who are well-versed in this sort of illness. He is in no fit state to receive your messages and I would welcome your understanding in this matter, not least of all in the interest of Karim's recovery."

As soon as he provided the explanation, Solek shifted in his seat and appeared to be getting ready to terminate the communication from his terminal. "You have no further need to worry yourself in his affairs. Farewell, Lieutenant."

"Wait..." Emni started, a well of frustration and a touch of desperation forming in the pit of her stomach. But whether the elder Vulcan heard her or not, the line was closed. The terminal returned to a display of a beautiful mountainous scene advertising day hikes and directing the viewer to contact the front desk to schedule.

A stab of anger shot through her at being so abruptly dismissed, but it was quickly replaced with a low burn of determination. Solek was clearly unwilling for her to be in contact with Karim, but she couldn't shake the feeling that Karim might not have agreed. At the very least, it struck her as incredibly unlike him not to dismiss her inquiries himself.

Slowly she released a long breath, sitting back in her chair, muscles unknotting as she did--released tension leaving behind aches in her neck and shoulders. Perhaps she should just let it go. Karim had left of his own accord. It had been his decision to return home. Still...

Sitting forward again her fingers danced quickly across the controls before the view screen bringing up a secure Starfleet line. She hesitated before the final command, wavering. Maybe Karim really didn't want to hear from her. She sighed then. If that was true, he could tell her himself.

She tapped the controls opening a channel, and sat back to wait.

=/\= A Mission Post By =/\=

Lieutenant Emni t'Nai
Unassigned (former CMO of the USS Adelphi)

Solek (played by Christopher)