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Sage Advice

Posted on Monday, 20 December 2021 - 10:33pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Ensign Oriana Skye Sety

Mission: Operation: Mirror of Madness
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Captain's Ready Room


Oriana had been making her rounds through the departments. She'd managed, on autopilot, to finish all that she had to do and everyone had left for the day so she took advantage of the evening bridge crew to work in the office she shared with Pippa. The captain had long retired and Oriana thought she had the office to herself.

Duties were done and reports written but she couldn't sleep. She has been thinking about her last conversation with Hayashi and it had taken her longer then usual to finish the days work. Now she was trying to get ahead as she foresaw that tomorrow would be another rough day for her.

Pippa had been asleep for a while, but was not much for resting especially when they were restless. Anxiety and nervousness was not something Pippa dared to display in front of the crew, but behind closed doors, the privacy of their quarters was another matter all together. Though these Merian class starships did not leave much room for privacy. The Captain's quarters and Ready Room were connected, creating a suite, an interior doorway was the most separation Pippa had between homelife and worklife.

Tying her white silk robe closed, the Captain of the USS Standing Bear made their way from living quarters to office, triggering the door to open and expecting to find the need to instruct the computer to activate the lights for the Ready Room. Instead, Pippa found themselves greeted with a dimly lit Ready Room, and their Aide-de-camp still awake and still hard at work.

"Rough night?" Pippa said making sure their robe was closed as they made their way around and to their desk. "I wasn't expecting you to be burning the midnight oil" stated Pippa who had fetched two glasses from the bottom drawer of their desk.

Oriana was lost in her work. The sudden door opening made her jump slightly. She let out a relieved breath as she saw the Captain. "I...fell a bit behind today and decided to work ahead. I can leave if you need the office, sir."

"No," replied Pippa. "I couldn't sleep at least not as soundly as I usually am able to. I was just fixing myself a night cap. Care for one?"

She thought about it a little. "Yes sir."

Pippa poured two glasses of cognac with a splash of amaretto. "I must say, I am a little anxious about addressing the Vulcans."

Oriana sat watching Pippa's motions, they were graceful and light. She always marveled at people who moved like that. Her parents used to say she moved like a stampeding elephant. "You will do well. I've been working with Haru on a speech and I think we may have found a trump card."

"What have you found? I will certainly have a look at your speech and suggestions, but I must confess, I do tend to change a lot. I prefer to deliver them in my own way. I want to hit them with 'inifinite diversity in infinite combinations'"

"Well that too but! Soral provided you with the trump card. His own work, all that he has written as Shar of Vulcan those philosophical writings point to the importance of the diversity the Federation has introduced and he doesn't advocate a total break he advocates a more peaceful role as in withdrawing from the ships only serving in an advisory role not leaving the Federation altogether. I'm starting to think Haya is right and that's not Soral."

"He's not your Soral," Pippa replied. "He's not Kingsley’s Soral, Stillwater's Soral, or anyone's who knows Soral the way you remember him. Something is not correct. We may have something to work with. Eitherway, you have given me a good idea of how to approach this speech. You've given Sage advice without lecturing to me."

Oriana smiled lowering her eyes and blushing. She was not used to getting compliments nor was she even sure how to take them. "Indeed. He is not the Soral we have all gotten to know." There was a pause. "Captain...may I ask a question?"

Pippa nodded. "Of course you may," the Captain replied. "Ask away, whatever is on your mind. It will take a while for this night cap to.hit me," explained Pippa. The Captain chuckled a bit.

"Has there been any word on Lieutenant Hamura's shuttle yet? I know that progress reports were set for your eyes only but...are they okay, have you heard anything?"

"The last we heard, everything was running smoothly. Lieutenant Hamura can definitely handle a shuttle. I wouldn't worry," Pippa said reassuringly.

Oriana gave a nod and sipped at her drink. "Captain you should know that the relationship between me and Lieutenant Hamura are complicated."

"Ensign, relations are often complicated," noted Pippa. "If the relationship isn't a complicated one, then it often is not one worth anyone's time and it will sink fast in shallow water. Relationships are about risks, adventures, and the journey along the way. If you aren't risking your heart and soul in a relationship, then it is doomed from the start."

She studied the Captain. "What do you do when you've always been afraid to open up and now you find that you are. How do you keep the fear at bay."

"You take that book of fear and insecurities, turn the page, and close the book. Toss it. Bin it." Pippa shrugged. "This is the new frontier for you. That means you know what you know already. Now is the time for self exploration."

"I don't think I can be what Hamura needs. What if I'm not enough?"

Pippa smiled. "That's a normal fear for people to have in relationships, but if is also a real possibility. You may not be, but you may be. You can't spend your moments stressing over whether you are or aren't. Otherwise, you'll create a self-fulfilling prophecy, and not in a good way."

She studied Pippa a long moment. "You know, you're a big cupcake inside." She grinned, meaning it as a compliment. "I mean work wise you can be a little intimidating but inside your a cupcake." She chuckled. "In a good way."

"It comes with being a parent," Pippa replied. "To be firm and strict when necessary, but a bit soft and supportive when the time calls for it" explained the Captain.

Oriana looked up. "You have kids?"

Pippa nodded "When they aren't too embarrassed to acknowledge my existence, yes. I have one," the Captain replied. "I'm a single parent though. My marriage started on the rocks and it ended up...well, it ended up smashing into those rocks and sinking to a deep grave. So, I may not be the best person for relationship advice, but it is the same advice I'd give to my own child."

She smiled. "Can I confess something?"

"Certainly," replied Pippa. "Go right ahead, ensign."

"When you said you had kids I felt a little envious of them for a moment." She shrugged. "I mean I had parents but I always wanted a mom like you."

Pippa beamed warmly. "I would have been honored to have a child like you, and in a way this crew is practically a family. Whether that makes me mom, dad, or whatever."

She smiled. "I think it makes you a little of everything."

That was something Pippa was used to, being a little bit of everything.

Oriana seemed to relax more. "You know something, you and Hamura are a lot alike."

"Minus the several complaints," Pippa replied. "Hamura does not make friends easily."

She sighed. "Yes, it's a defense mechanism. They've been rejected so many times by those that profess to care about them and by Starfleet in general that it's amazing that they are still in Starfleet. Everyone they've trusted, except Soral, has hurt them. They's better to be thought of in a bad light then to allow people to be close enough to hurt them."

"Then it will be up to me to help show them there's another way, a better way. They are placing themselves in a bad light. It puts me in a difficult position as Captain."

Oriana sighed. "I know. I'm sorry about that and I know Haya is too they're... afraid and what's developing between me and them...well that's confused them even more since they swore off love."

"Love is confusing" Pippa said.

Oriana finished her drink, being the lightweight she was she was already feeling the effects. "Potent." She said as she held up her glass.

Pippa yawned. "It is, and starting to do its job. That or I am finally exhausted enough to let my mind rest." The Captain retired back to their sleeping quarters, bidding Oriana a goodnight. Though Pippa suspected the woman would likely be up for sometime longer, Pippa hoped it would not be the whole night.


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