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Sweets & Treats with Auntie Adelia [BACK POSTED]

Posted on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 - 11:36am by Captain Barret Stillwater & Zelon Bakar
Edited on on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 - 11:37am

Mission: Operation: Neu Reich
Location: Starbase 118

When Captain Adelia Dashwood had volunteered herself to play 'nanny' for a while whilst the USS Standing Bear's Commanding Officer and crew were gallivanting around on a mission at her behest, Commander Barret Stillwater had given her a look that showed his reluctance, especially given the Orion they had found was not exactly a child nor was he even Orion, but he was Commander Stillwater's responsibility, at least that was how Barret had taken to him. Adelia was able to convince Stillwater that she was more than capable of handling the young man they had inadvertently liberated due to a blunderous operation, and the child they had rescued as a survivor aboard the Scarlet Tanager incident. Adelia had sent the child off to school on the Starbase, but the liberated young man was a bit too mature looking to have sitting in a classroom with pubescents.

Instead, she would carry on about her day, overseeing the day to day operations of Starbase 118 as she had for the past several months and did to the best of her ability each and every day. As she sat at her desk in the Station Commander's office she had a stack of PaDDs on one side and a white porcelain teacup and matching saucer with yellow daffodils printed across the cup and around the circular saucer. She would take a few sips per every PaDD, never keeping her eyes on the PaDD for than a few minutes before discarding it or moving it over to a new separate stack after 'signing off' one something or other. She was never known for thoroughly reading through docking request nor maintenance reports.

That was always Lieutenant Commander Victrix's job, unofficially of course, and not to Adelia's knowledge. All Adelia knew was she slapped her John Handcock onto things in the form of her alphanumerical code and things got done. Stars forbid she ever actually took the time to read through half the things she 'authorized,' but that would be when Victrix would step in, putting in long nights and hellishly early mornings looking over everything Adelia had agreed to which Victrix would quickly correct to the best of her own ability.

Captain Dashwood has taken the last sip of her tea halfway through skimming or rather 'reading' a PaDD when the empty teacup made contact with the saucer. "Oh, heavens to Betsy!" she proclaimed setting the saucer and teacup down upon her desk. "How among the stars would this station run without me?" she added asking nobody in particular. It was just her in her office and the young man she was taking care of.

Clearing her throat, "Jareth!" she croaked. "Oh Jareth, Yoo-Hoo," she echoed calling out to her Yeoman, who was often not very far away from her office just in case she needed something. She always needing something. The man was a young Human male but had come to have the witness of a Vulcan and the hearing of a Ferengi, always showing up before she got to the third croaking of desperation.

The man immediately made his presence known as he stepped across the threshold of the woman's office. "It's Jared, ma'am," he said to her as he took notice of the Orion looking male by one of the sofas in the Station Commander's office. "I'm sorry, I did not know you had a guest, Ma'am, it was not on today's itinerary."

She huffed and sat down the PaDD. "Yes, as I said Jarold," she replied. "Oh, that one? He's not just a guest, he's a Commander Stillwater's and I am watching him until the Commander returns," she explained. "Jeremy, be a dear won't you and get me some more tea. I am chin deep with work today and it is all too distressing with what's going on back on Earth. I have been catching up on these reports."

The man rarely attempted to correct her improperly naming him more than once. It was no use in trying. She went through yeoman like clockwork. He was just the most recent in a defeated army of yeoman to be assigned to her. Her tasks were easy yet the frequency of them was tedious. He approached her desk and retrieved the saucer and cup and proceeded only a few steps away and placed them both back on the replimat of the replicator, ordering her another cup of her favorite tea, waiting just a flickering moment of whirling light to pick it back up and return to her desk with a pleasant smile. "Your tea, ma'am."

"Grand, Justin, grand," she replied and picked up the teacup to take another few sips. She was meticulous with her tea even if it was just replicated. She had a process and as her yeoman, you needed to know her process. You never simply ordered the tea hot with cream and sugar. You did it step by step and one thing you learned was that Adleia was a 'Tiffy' and you always had the team materialize in the cup, then ordered the milk to be added into it. She would know the difference. A few yeomans had failed to do it correctly and they were conveniently reassigned to the furthest stretches of the Federation for new postings.

Jared nodded. "Is there anything else, Ma'am?"

She looked at him like he was foolish to ask that and not simply act. "Have you looked at the boy Jerome?" she asked. It was not a rhetorical question. "Can't you see he's hungry? The poor things is nothing but skin and bones. Now be a dear and fetch him some biscuits from the promenade, a good variety, and a swiss roll," she added though the order was mostly for herself though she would very likely share it with him.

Uncertain what to make of his existence, the liberated slave peered around the office absently from where he'd been seated. The male hadn't shifted all that much since he'd been dropped off and abandoned, for better or worse. It was the Federation, but he still didn't know if that was any better than his previous life. Sure, he had been told that he had some liberties here, but exactly what those were he still didn't know.

He flashed a distraught, if not understanding expression towards the unfortunate junior which had been ordered around left and right for the better part of the morning. At least he had a name, even if the woman next to him never seemed able to remember it. She wasn't cruel by any means, but she certainly weaved a haughty flair around herself. Not entirely downtrodding upon lessers, but it was clear in what little he could see that she was impressed with herself.

Maybe she had reason to believe that. Honestly, he didn't know. He didn't know her. Or anyone else on the station for that matter. The last familiar face he'd seen in the form of his escort was long gone. Probably having forgotten him. The commander before that, like him, didn't know what the heck to do with him. It was a precarious situation.

The Syndicate would probably want him dead, and Starfleet no doubt wanted to imprison him. Or worse question him, so far as he could discern. In the least he was still being held accountable for the disaster which he'd been dragged into. Probably the scape-mule. Or something like that. He couldn't claim to be entirely familiar with the Federation's culture.

Adelia's yeoman pointedly looked at her. "Captain, the station dietician, and Chief Medical Officer -" he was about to remind her that both had placed restrictions on her diet. She was never one to use the replicator for a balanced, nutritional filled meal. She splurged on sweets, real genuine sweets from the cafes, bakeries, and especially the patisseries which she had caused to pop up on the station in lieu of more healthy eateries. It was a war Jared was not willing to risk his life fighting. "Nevermind, I'll get...what's his name?"

Adelia looked perplexed for a moment. What is his name? she could not even remember if Stillwater had told her. She looked over at the sofas in her office. "Yoo-Hoo, little precious thing. What should Auntie Adelia call you?"

Whether prisoner or guest, he still didn't know. The youngest in the room was smart enough to recognise when he was being called however. In the past ignoring it had earned him a good kicking in the chest, if not high-level encouragement in the form of agonising shocks. "I..." He paused, biting his lip, knowing better than to dare say he didn't know. "My previous owner just yelled at me when she wanted me. Usually 'hey you' or 'get over here'."

She nearly inhaled a ladyfinger, choking on the dusty crystalized sugar coating, and cleared her throat. "What?! That's preposterous," Adelia added shaking her head. "Everyone has a name, even my yeoman...Justin." Of course, she yet again got the man's name entirely wrong, but the error seemingly evaded her mind.

"You must have had a name at some point my sweet dear," she said shaking her head. "Something your parents called you perhaps? You did have parents, did you not?" She shuddered to think that he was an orphan thrown into years of slavery and servitude. "Names are very important. They give us a sense of belonging and purpose. There isn't a soul aboard this station that doesn't know who I am."

Anxiety streaked rampantly over his mind as the 'guest' worried if something might happen to him if he didn't please this woman. Was he going to disappear? That was what happened conveniently for the slaves in the market. He'd heard stories too, of Starfleet. At least the people during the war in decades before he was born. People who rushed to project the awesome power of their starships while their quieter folk infiltrated and made people vanish. Often in the dark of night.

It was almost a fairy tale, as if told to scare children. Had his previous mistress, Zhea not gone through some manner of vetting proof he might not have believed it. The fact that people she dubbed operatives had all but destroyed the only home he knew though...that spoke volumes. Then they took him back to their ship. He still didn't know if he was a guest or hostage.

Was the starbase merely a prison for him, attempting to deceive him by removing the typical forcefields over a small, confined space? He had a warden. Someone who was with him virtually every minute since he'd arrived. No real privacy to think of in his mind, at least.

"No, ma'am," he confirmed, nodding in terror at the mere suggestion that he may forget her name. That was probably the one contingency he was still there. Breathing. He looked nervously to the junior yeoman, before looking back. Down. "No name. Or parents."

The woman made a audible sound, a strange mixture of disappointment and delight. She clearly was not satisfied that he did not have a name, but more disappointed for him. "Well that just simply will not do my dear," Adelia crowed. "Now, then...this can wait," she added, pushing PaDDs and such aside, discarding her work.

She proceeded over to a sofa with a tray of sweets and her beverage, setting them down on a table as she took a seat. She patted the sofa. "Come come my dear, we shall help you pick out a name. Maybe something you'll like."

Free as he was to make his own decisions, or so he had been promised repeatedly, the station guest withheld his thoughts. He knew what good voicing them would do, or rather the sincere lack thereof. Quite the opposite, as he dreaded the plausibility of the station going on lockdown if he opted to try to get the hell out of there. After all, that was exactly what his survival instincts were all-but screaming at him to do.

He had social skills, certainly. Enough to interact with the occasional customer and whoever his previous life status required him to engage with. Absolutely none of that included anything on a personal level. Anything remotely resembling a positive relationship had been reserved for the courier, which was now long behind him. He'd seen him once since the entire ordeal started. Now he was being cornered by a large, boisterous woman that he knew better than to piss off.

Obediently he found his feet in front of him, shuffling over to the spot which had immediately designated for him. It was one thing to sit in the corner, a bit of a ways from the others. Entirely another to be in close proximity to his new warden for all intensive purposes.

Folding his hands into his lap as he took his seat, he tried not to touch anything, genuine dread of doing so encompassing what the punishment afterwards might be. Nothing here was his, nor something he was tasked to use. Even if she'd set a tray in front of them.

Silence nestled in for a few, uncomfortable if sorrowfully cold moments. "I..." he began, immediately stopping to bite his lip, wondering if he was going to get lashed at for what he wanted to say. "I don't want to step over my bounds here, but... Usually whoever has possession over another decides things for them. What to call them. What to wear. What they should do. Not the other way around."

Adelia was careful as to not move too suddenly, but she did bring her hand closer to the young man, placing it tenderly on his shoulder in a comforting gesture. "Where you come from, yes, that may very well be the case dear," she said trying not to go off on a tirade about where he came from.

"That is not the case here, not with the Federation. Nobody has ownership or possession over you. It must be all very new and confusing for you, but you have freedom and autonomy, dear. You can choose your own name and where you wish to live. Stillwater, the man who runs the starship you were on, he only provides for you for the time being, he's not your master and neither am I."

No shortage of questions taunted the liberated one's mind. Why he was there, rather than being let go. Of course there was the reason he was officially given -- he was going to be hunted down by the Syndicate. Or worse, jailed in some form of torture by people who didn't particularly care for what they assumed him to be.

Truth be told he didn't know what he was. Who he was, or was supposed to be. Only that he constantly was under supervision ever since he'd been taken away from the only home he knew. For him, that screamed a lack of trust. He got it. Somewhat. Strangers were...well. More often than not untrustworthy.

Exactly why he didn't trust anyone he'd encountered since. These closest was perhaps the escort he was assigned to go to the casino on Freecloud.

"So...if I'm free, why am I always on a leash? Physical or not. I don't even know where to begin, as it is, let alone a name. So far as I know people like me aren't educated with that sort of thing. Only what we need to know. Languages. Culture to some extent. How to make others happy, so they pay better. Cooking or entertaining skills, depending what you were ordered to do."

"I imagine for your safety at first, but I see no need for that nonsense to continue. No more leashes for you," Adelia said waving her arms through the air as though she were the conductor of the concert of life, listening to the chords of cosmic strings. "No more leashes, no more anything that you do not want my dear."

She smiled "When one does not know where to begin, them one must simply dive in. Life is about experience dear, more experiences,good or bad, the better. Indulge yourself a little more, have the cake, the pie, whatever you can. You need to learn to stop focusing on making others happy and learn what makes you happy."

Uncertainty dwelled from the younger figure after the yeoman had left. While less unsettled than he previously had been, his nerves were still frayed. Drawing his vision between the facilitator and the tray, his shoulders rolled as he loosely traced a blank palm over the edge of the glass surface.

"I've made a lot of food, but never once gotten the chance to try them. Being threatened with lashes tends to do that to you. What do you think would be best to start with? I mean -- aside from nutrient cubes that is."

Adelia smiled at the young man. She mulled over the options and gestured to a jam biscuit. "Jammie dodger," she said politely in a sweetly tone. "Start with one of those dear, then nake your way around the different options. See what you like and what you dislike, take chances, form opinions, and find yourself," directed the woman.

She watched the young man. She could get a small sense of who he was, but there was a lot of conflict, uncertainty, and an undoubtedly long road ahead for him. Adelia could only hope that for his sake that his journey of self-discovery would be one that resulted in peace.


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