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Posted on Thu Mar 10th, 2022 @ 10:48pm by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Lieutenant JG Kestrel & Lieutenant Danica True

Mission: Sojourners of Time
Location: USS Sojourner, Deck 3, XO's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1230

[XO's Quarters, Deck 3]
[1230 Hours]

"Coffee, hot, with cream and sugar." The voice making the request was level, calm, a tiny bit of tired edging her tone. Emni hadn't slept well.

The whirl of molecules coalescing into the requested drink swirled, resolving into a thick ceramic diner-style mug. The warm tan liquid inside released light steam that seemed to float on the air as the Romulan lifted the cup, inhaling deeply before taking a long slow sip.

It was only a few paces to return to her desk where she set the mug down next to a small stack of PADDs. The use of her own private quarters as an office space had turned out to be an unexpected luxury. She lifted the cup to her lips again, picking up one of the PADDs to review.

[Corridor, Deck 3]

"I read that the XO here is a Romulan," Kestrel said, making conversation as she and Dani made their way from the Turbolift to the XO's quarters/office. "And the Captain is a Chameloid. I've never met a Chameloid."

"Would you know if you had," Dani asked. She walked, from force of habit, on Kestrel's left. On her own world, she would have walked a step behind as well as did all the Azhadi. The odd, tightly packed formations that the Academy was fond of seemed to have tactical disadvantages which was not something the instructors wished to have pointed out to them.

The Argelian considered that. "I don't know, honestly," she finally replied. "I had always heard there was something about their eyes, but I don't remember what. They've always been a bit like fairy tales to me."

The pair came to a stop outside one of the doors in the corridor. "Now Romulans I have a seen," Kestrel added, "but never one in a Starfleet uniform."

"I suppose," Dani said as she reached to press the chime that would announce their presence, "it is different in the Federation. On my world, it was a question that was never asked. What you were was known to everyone. You were Anakei or you were not. In service, I learned the ways of the Ne'Anakei we served and fought because it was required but it was still not a question to be asked." She smiled, little more than a slight quirk of the lips. "It was not for me to ask questions then, but I have made up for it since."

Kestrel grinned and opened her mouth just as the doors parted to admit them. She closed it quickly, grin broadening before she winked at her companion and held out a hand indicating that Danica should enter first.

Emni had raised her head at the chime, calling out for the arrivals to enter as she returned the PADD to the stack. Her mug came to rest in front of her on the desk, both hands wrapped around it as the warmth seeped into her palms. She watched as two women she didn't recognize entered, one bearing the two silver pips indicative of a lieutenant and the other one full and one hollow, a rank lower.

Dani's gaze swept the room, more out of habit than any sense of urgency, and, seeing that the commander was the room's only occupant, walked forward. She stood as an Azhadi would. Not quite at attention, since a warrior needed to be able to react at a moment's notice, without moving. Her dark gaze rested on the seated woman before her as she said, "Lieutenant True reporting as ordered, Sir." The words still seemed, even after all this time, alien to her. Wrong somehow. And yet, this was the tradition, part of the life she now called her own. And while it would never have been required among the Anakei, here in the Federation, naming oneself was just something that was done.

Kestrel fell in behind Dani, settling into attention though she noted the not quite attention of Dani's posture with interest. "Lieutenant Junior Grade Kestrel," she added, "reporting for duty." Her chin was held high, shoulders back and she could feel the pull of her uniform across her collar bone.

Emni eyed the two officers with interest. Their emotional signatures were interesting in their differences, but also in the apparent ease they seemed to have between each other. She hadn't been expecting the security replacements to know each other already although it certainly wasn't an impossibility.

"Welcome lieutenants," she said evenly, dropping into the calming doctor's tone she drew around her like a cloak of familiarity. "At ease."

The shift was subtle, from not-quite-attention to at-ease, and easy to miss. Intellectually, she understood that this officer was one of those she would serve whereas emotionally she understood that service was not the same as edun. Add to that the fact that there were various permutations of 'at ease' depending upon the officer in question. And so, she remained as she was though she could now react more freely if the need arose. In some respects, she thought, life was easier among the Anakei. And shut that line of thought down immediately, choosing instead to focus on the moment and the commander who also was not quite 'at ease'.

Kestrel's stance shifted in the way she had been taught. Feet settling slightly, arms held behind her back. Her chin relaxed slightly and with it her expression, though, again, she watched Dani with interest.

Emni's gaze was appraising, but a small warm smile turned the edges of her lips upward. The peak of interest the short haired woman had for the other was intriguing and for a moment she studied the two before she stood, coming around her desk.

"I hope your travels weren't too difficult. Sojourner has had an interesting run of things getting into the Delta Quadrant and I know some of our crew requests were last minute," she explained. "I'm Commander t'Nai. Unfortunately Lieutenant Blackstone was needed elsewhere so I asked for you both to report in to me so I could help get you settled."

The Romulan pulled a PADD from halfway down the stack, fingers brushing across the surface to call up key details. "It appears the Quartermaster has placed you in quarters together. You'll be quartered with Ensigns Davies and Mulhern on Deck 5. I can walk you there to get settled unless either of you have questions for me."

"When will Lieutenant Blackstone be available," Dani asked. There were things to say, she thought, once it was edun alone, but those remained behind the mehitza that existed within her mind. This stepping between, not quite a part of the new, separated from the old, was ... difficult. On the Rejsende, she knew exactly what to do. Still, an Azhadi faced outward, met whatever was coming, straight on. It was then, and still was now, the only way she knew to handle things. "What I know to do and what the Chief expects could be different. I would know what is required."

Emni's eyebrows crept up slightly, the only evidence of surprise she offered. "Lieutenant Blackstone is off ship for a few hours. For now getting settled into your quarters is probably best. She'll be back by 1700 hours and you can meet with her then. Until then, she asked I make sure you were arrived safely, settled, and had a chance to actually eat something before she put you to work."

Discipline kept her from waving it all away. This was a Federation thing, this needing a space of one's own, the urge to 'settle in' whatever that meant. An Azhadi carried nothing. Owned nothing. Slept at the campfire or among the Amrazi. Food before work was an equally foreign concept but still, 1700 was not so far away and there were things she could do, useful things, between now and then and so, she nodded.

"Yes, Commander," she said, the ones carrying the unique accent of the Anakei who never spoke the high tongue where Ne'Anakei could hear and the common tongue only when necessary. It occurred to her as she waited that she would never again hear the language of her people. That these different ways must become her own as must their language. It was not so much a new thought as one that kept recurring to her, wave upon wave. "I am ready."

Emni nodded, intrigued by the restless feeling that seemed to emanate from the longer haired of the two women. She made a mental note to read the woman's file. She knew she was from a race with which she, herself, was unfamiliar, but it had been quite busy with all of the shuffling and she had been relying on Sharrina to do the work of getting to know the officers--a mistake she was now chiding herself for inwardly.

The Romulan turned to the other woman, fixing her with a quick look as well. She had remained quiet through the exchange, but the flow of familiarity between the two was still there along with a sort of building respect. "And you?" she asked not unkindly, "Any questions before we go?"

Kestrel shook her head, warm easy smile spreading in response to the tone of the XO. "No sir."

"Alright then," Emni said, clapping her hands together in front of her. "Let me show you where you'll be living."

Mehitza: literally, a screen. It's a separation of thought, a way of focusing on the moment, that is common to all Azhadi.
Azhadi: Warrior caste of the people who refer to themselves as Anakei

=/\= A Mission Post =/\=

Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Danica True
Assistant Chief Security Officer

Lieutenant JG Kestrel
Tactical Officer


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