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Posted on Tue Oct 4th, 2022 @ 10:28pm by Lieutenant JG Irynya

Mission: A Camping We Will Go
Location: Crew's Mess - Deck 2
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1400

Irynya entered the mess hall on deck 2 dressed in her duty uniform, hair pulled back in its standard ponytail that hung loose down her front. She had moved inside the room and stood to the side of the door, scanning the small space. It was quiet for the hour. Most of the crew preferred Debbie’s if they were going to eat somewhere other than their quarters.

But today Irynya had chosen the mess.

It was a symbolic choice, really. The cyclical return to the beginning of a thing at its end. She couldn’t return to Risa, so she chose the next closest place – the spot where she and Kennedy had breakfast together the morning after the luau. A crewman vacated the table she wanted after a few minutes and she moved quickly to set down her PADD before heading to the replicator and ordering a cup of Irish breakfast tea and a bowl of fruit. There were other things that she knew Kennedy liked for breakfast, but these she remembered from that day, so she ordered them and then took her tray and sat in the chair she had sat in so many months earlier.

Breakups were a part of a cycle.

Out of the window she caught the flash of the shuttle as it left the ship, moving out far enough to be seen from where she sat. On it was Kennedy Ryan Walsh. She kept her eyes on the shuttle for a long moment, replaying the conversation that had set things in motion toward this event in her head.

Endings were as important as beginnings.

He’d been nervous when he brought her the news about the fellowship. He’d sent an early draft of his journal article to be reviewed and in so doing his work had been picked up. The opportunity was of the life changing sort. He could work with and study with some of the finest medical professionals in Starfleet. And he would do so not as a student, but as a colleague. As a fellow. When he’d brought this news to her it was couched in plans to turn it down. To stay with her and with the Sojourner. But it had also been clear how big this thing was and she had asked him not to decide yet at that moment. Told him she would support him no matter what he chose.

Joy and sorrow; happiness and sadness; courage and fear; all of these are sides of the same coin. You cannot truly have and appreciate one without the other.

Their relationship had held an underlying tension since the enormous fight on their way to Talbeethia Prime. Like a thread pulled taut, they had been able to navigate it, but there had been no slack left afterward–a constant hum of two ends held tightly apart. They had worked toward things improving, and they had improved. But they hadn’t recovered fully when this opportunity came and in the end it was that tension that made the decision for them.

It is always better to pursue joy even though sorrow may be part of that journey.

And so she had told him that he should go. That she cared for him, deeply, but that the few months they had together simply couldn’t compare to something so life changing. That they would part as friends. At first she wasn’t sure he would agree, but in the end he did and in those last few days they’d come into a peaceful rhythm, enjoying each other’s company even though the time for it would soon end.

To truly experience something fully, you have to go through all of its stages.

On Risa the ending of a relationship, no matter the type, was an important element of Jamaharon. Yes, Risians were known for their pleasures, but it is the pains, the losses, the griefs, that give the pleasures their peaks. Go through it, but do not dwell there, she had been taught. Life is cyclical.

The small shuttle was nearly impossible to see now as it moved away, but she caught the lighting of the nacelles as it went into warp just before it disappeared from sight. She closed her eyes, breathing in deeply and exhaling long. Then she picked up the cup of tea, blew gently across its surface, and brought it to her lips for a final taste.


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