Family Issues - Part III
Operation: Lobes & Liberties
Location: USS Standing Bear -A / Mess Hall
Pren sat in the mess hall staring at the stars. Her appetite was gone and her mind was in sickbay with a woman who’d been part of her life for so long that the thought of being without her for a day was unthinkable and perhaps not survivable.
She sighed; the bad news was building. The Light Seeker was so badly damaged that it was not worth fixing, her crew, her family was being split up; granted not many knew she thought of them as family but they had been the only stability in her life and now, she had lost them.
Her eyes drifted over to the far end of the room where a Trill woman sat eating as calm and cool as a Palarian Tammer Bird. Pren’s fist tightened on the table cloth. The vulture was just waiting there for Ivy to die so she could take her symbiont. She’d been on the second rescue ship the only Trill and one that had passed through the symbiosis training.
She didn’t know the woman but she hated her and in fact, her being here meant that Ivy’s fate was sealed. She tried to get her mind off the track that it was on. Ivy would survive and the second host was not needed.
Ivy Grams…She had to smile a little at the thought of Ivy Grams. She was proud, stubborn, a rebel. The woman who’d refused to give up her family name and instead had given up her first name to take on that of the creature to whom she was host to. The balance between the Ivy symbiont and Elora Grams the host was perfect and she’d fallen in love with both. Her mind took a turn. She would lose both.
Her stomach tightened and she had to close her eyes to steady herself. She would not lose Ivy. Ivy Grams would live and there would be a new Light Seeker. That was that, it was decided. She opened her eyes and held back a startled expression. There, looming like a vampire from Ivy’s favourite book was her half-brother. She stared at him coldly. “Commander Soral, is there something I can assist you with?”
She watched as he studied her. She resisted the urge to fidget. “Well?”
“May I join you?”
“It is your ship so the logic in asking is … well,” she didn’t finish the thought.
Soral sat down. “I require your assistance.”
She studied him with that cold gaze that had earned her the nickname Ice Queen.
“I am short staffed and though there is an order to command I … require someone who has command experience to assist me. You are an XO. I need a qualified XO. My people could be in danger, a… gut feeling, and I need someone I can trust.”
The silence stretched and after several minutes she inclined her head. “I do not trust you.” She simply said.
“Indeed. However, by virtue of the fact that you are a qualified Starfleet officer I trust you. You will sit as my XO.”
“I see. This has nothing to do with Valaria and her suggestion that I find something productive to do rather than lurk in sickbay.”
“Do you wish me to lie to you?”
“No. I will assist. The captain will recover so there is no need for me to hover.”
The silence stretched again. “T’Varis…I know that your lack of trust in my is our shared blood line but I have also observed you and you are in the same predicament as I am.”
“And what is that Commander Soral?”
Soral’s lips thinned. “I am married to the second XO. You, to your CO.”
Her eyes widened a little and before she could speak he continued. “I know you to be a private person. I will not say anything. I can assure you. It was merely an acknowledgement that I know what you are going through. My wife is on the away mission. I am…worried.”
She said nothing but returned her eyes to the stars.
“Well, I shall not keep you further. I must be on the bridge. I will expect you in the morning to sit at my side as my XO Commander T’Varis.”
She gave a nod, not taking her eyes off the stars. “Until then Commander Soral.”
His shadow played across the view port as he left and when he had left she released a breath she hadn’t realized she had been holding.
She didn’t understand him. She pushed him away, discouraged him, yet here he was trying to … what form a family bond? She sighed. Finishing the coffee in her cup she stood with her uneaten meal and headed to dispose of it. She would go by sickbay and speak to Valaria again. She would see Ivy and then perhaps she would rest if only for a while. Tomorrow she would sit as XO on an unknown ship next to a brother that she had refused to her know and despite her best intentions one she was curious about.
Tomorrow she would keep going, as she always had when life had dealt her blow after blow. There was no other option at this time. She had to keep going.
The door to the mess hall hissed behind her and she headed to the turbo lift. Tomorrow would be another day.