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A Surprise Guest

Posted on 18 Dec 2022 @ 10:46am by Zenia Pariborn & Lieutenant Commander Harva Taliborn

1,566 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: A New Frontier

The USS Odin had made it back to the convoy without further incident and hadn't been back for very long when the ship received a request to receive a visitor from one of the other ships in the convoy. There was a civilian asking permission to board for personal business.

There was no reason to deny the request, so this person was allowed aboard.

Materializing in the transporter room, Zenia looked around and then stepped off the large pad. Her form--towering only a little bit over the officer working the controls--approached him. "Could you tell me where I might find Lieutenant Commander Taliborn?"

"He's probably in engineering," the transporter officer replied, "but you're not authorized to go there. If you'd like to follow the ship's directions to the lounge, I can let him know that he has a visitor waiting for him. Can I ask your name?"

Zenia hesitated for a moment, wondering if he'd come see her once he had a clue who she was. It didn't seem like she had much choice, though. "Zenia Pariborn."

He nodded, tapped into his console, and then lights in wall panels began directing her with arrows. With a quiet "thank you," she headed off to this ship's lounge to wait and see if anyone would show up to greet her.

Harva wasn't in a mood to meet anyone, not while he had so much on his plate, so many medium and small repair jobs still to do. The ship was functional and stable, all systems available, the majority of remaining damage was aesthetic for the most part, but it still had to be repaired. The name on the summons drew his attention though, and then his interest when he recognized it was a Sirran name. And not just that, but 'Pariborn'?

His mind wandered back to his youth, as he walked towards the lounge. Young Pari Sonneborn, a high school fling of his. They had some fun times together, but that was a lifetime ago. Surely this couldn't be -

But it was. The moment he stepped inside the lounge and saw the one who'd sent for him, it all clicked for him. This was the daughter of his old high school sweetheart. Which meant she was his daughter. A wave of confused, mixed, conflicting emotions came over him, though they made way just for a hesitant curiosity, as he lumbered his way inside.

"Zenia?" his deep, rumbling bass resounded as he approached. "Zenia Pariborn?"

The young Sirran woman wasn't prone to excess anxiety, although she had felt somewhat uncertain sitting in the unfamiliar lounge on this unfamiliar ship just...waiting. When she heard the deep voice behind her, she didn't quite jump, but she did feel her body stiffen slightly. She looked to the one who spoke and took a sharp breath. She got to her feet, which was still a fair bit smaller than the other Sirran. "You look just like my mother described," she commented. It wasn't exactly the words she'd first meant to speak, but oh well.

"And you looks just like how I remember her," Harva replied, taking a step closer, then hesitating. "Well, except the ears. You've got my ears," he chuckled, before turning more serious. "I - ... I didn't know about you. If I had I would've been more a part of your life. I'm sorry."

"It's... It's okay," Zenia said with a quick nod. "She told me that. That she never told you. But she told me your name and about you and that she knew you were in Starfleet. When I heard that you were on a ship here in the convoy, I at least meet you now."

"Wow, I - .. I'm glad you did," he smiled, almost taking another hesitant step forward, but deciding against it as he continued in Sirran. "Wow, I have a daughter. This is - I've got so many questions! So much to ask, so much to tell, I - ... But where are my manners. Hi, I'm Harva. Just - you can just call me Harva, too. Maybe one day I'll have earned the right to be called father, but - I - it wouldn't feel right now. How - how are you here? How's your mom?"

Gesturing back to the table where she'd been sat at, she moved to sit again. A pair of Sirrans standing in the middle of the lounge was going to draw a few eyes. "I'm good," she said, replying in kind. "I actually came onto this convoy before I knew you were here. Setting out on my own for a while. See things, learn things. Mom is good. She's living on Earth, actually. At the Sirran consulate."

"Huh," Harva smiled warmly, taking the seat opposite Zenia. The chair creaked and complained as he did, Harva knowing that he was technically heavier than the chair's rated weight capacity, but as an engineer he also knew that the rated weight capacity was a conservative limit and these were built with tolerances in mind, so it should be fine. "So she got to live her dream and became a politician. Good for her," he rumbled. So many questions in his mind about Pari, but no, those could wait. Right now Zenia was the big thing happening in his life. "What about you though? Any career path in mind? Tell me about you."

"I'm still figuring that out," she admitted. "That's kind of why I'm out here in the first place. I didn't see as much appeal in following Mom's line of work, and I don't really feel drawn to join Starfleet itself, but seeing more of the universe was appealing, so I've been working some civilian jobs on Starfleet vessels to sort of get the best of all worlds. I'm working as an assistant lounge manager on the Churchill right now."

"You take after me then," Harva smiled, tail giving a lazy wag, ears perked relaxed. "I learned how to cook for my creative pursuit. Though it's been a while since I did any serious cooking. You looking to run your own lounge some day? I think we have a spot open on Odin, if you wanted to take that opportunity."

That made Zenia tilt her head curious, ears perking forward slightly. That was an interesting thought. It would give her a chance to get to know her...father more, but what if they didn't get along? Then again, Starfleet was always happy to just...move people around, it seemed. "I might be, yes," she admitted carefully. "I'm not sure yet if I do want to run one yet, but I do enjoy it. I like meeting people."

"Well, if you do decide, seek out Commander Petrova, she's the executive officer and handles things like that - crew transfers and allocations and the like. As well as civilian affairs. Basically, she handles anything that goes on inside the ship, Captain handles everything that goes on outside the ship," he explained. "Wow. I have a daughter. Sorry, just - this is all very sudden for me. It hasn't quite sunk in yet."

"Yeah, I can imagine it'll take some getting used to," Zenia replied with a faint smile. "I was pretty shocked when I learned you were on a ship in the convoy. How is it the humans call it... Serendipitous?"

"That's one way to put it, yes," Harva agreed. He could feel the current conversation petering out a bit, but that was fine by him. As overwhelmed as how he felt, he figured she must feel similar. "Hey, I should get back to work. Got a full plate, so to say. Ship had some - uninvited and unwelcome guests a few days ago, still working on fixing up everything that broke. Before I go though, do you have any questions for me? I can spare a few more minutes to answer some, I'm sure," he smiled, tail giving a lazy wag.

She had plenty of questions, although what they were had fled her in the face of the whole situation. "Just knowing you were willing to meet me was a good enough start," she admitted. "Can I hang around so we can talk later?"

"That should be fine," Harva agreed, with an easy smile. "I should be off duty in a few hours. Can cook you something if you want, make you a nice Sirran meal - though with these replicated meats there's only so much I can do." he flicked an ear, looking thoughtful.

Zenia laughed a little. "I'm used to the replicated food by now," she said. She had been living on starships for some while by this point. "A meal would sound nice. I'll see about some guest quarters, I guess, and we'll meet when you're off-duty."

"Sounds like a plan. See you then. And - it was very good meeting you," Harva offered with a smile as he rose to his feet again and made his way back out of the lounge. "I have a daughter .. " he mused quietly, in Federation standard, as he left.


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