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Peace Amidst The Chaos

Posted on 19 Nov 2023 @ 1:46pm by Commander Lucsa Myan & Ensign Orion Belmont

2,390 words; about a 12 minute read

Mission: Miranda
Location: Arboretum
Timeline: Backlog, Set Between 'A Unique Fixer-Upper' & 'Soldiering On'

Valk #27 was almost finished now, the repairs done with the help of others and testing being undertaken. Orion had wanted to be there for all of those but had been very firmly told that he wasn't needed and would just get in the way. So he had been left without much to do but wander and nurse the headache that never seemed to go away. He had heard that sick bay was overloaded, as were various other places people were being treated, so he accepted he had gotten off lightly - so far at least.

So he had started to wander, the usual places either dead or currently useless. No one wanted to work out or socialise much when there was some kind of sickness going around. His feet meandered through decks, turbolifts and eventually found their way to the arboretum. It was a hauntingly quiet place, but in a good way. It was peaceful, somewhere that almost demanded a form of tranquil mind. He sighed as he found himself a seat and slumped himself tiredly into it.

Quiet, but it was not empty. At a bench not far from the seat the Odin's newest crewmember had taken sat the mission advisor.

Commander Lucsa Myan was a pretty typical type of person for her regional sub-race, but she stood out a little from the rest of the crew. Even though there were all manners of species represented among the crew, she was the only one of her kind aboard. Tall and almost painfully thin with pale skin and faint, pale fur covering it, she also had cold-hued eyes, slate gray hair, and facial tattoos.

She looked up from the PADD she had been reading from when she heard someone else walk in. "Ensign," she greeted, almost a little warily since she had been down here avoiding the plague. (Which she had recently learned was a human expression.)

Orion had closed his eyes for a few moments before the title caused him to crack them open once more, turning his head this way and that until he found the source. The word had come from an unusual woman, even by Starfleet standards. He had seen many things, across many ships, but not another like her. Then again, he grinned to himself, he had never met a 500 year old AI, or a strange man with dozens of names and no memory of a past who had been retrieved from a pod. He would have to get used to unusual it seemed. Even from here his eyes picked up on her rank - a skill he had perfected in his days trying to avoid troubles. His gaze drifted to the facial tattoos, hair colour and then the general body shape momentarily. He found himself curious.

"Orion. Ensign Orion Commander, sorry I didn't see you there. Not very respectful. It has been a long, well week," he chuckled, eyeing her padd and wondering if she was just being polite and really wanting to read, "this is an unusual place. I haven't seen one of these kinds of rooms on the other ships I've served on. I can see why you come here to read, Commander"

"Lucsa Myan," the Sal'kiiran introduced herself. "It is one of the places on the ships where there aren't many people and given what is going on..." She trailed off, figuring that the reasoning was self-evident. "Are you new aboard? I don't believe I've seen you before." It was a big ship, really, but she'd been here for some months and seen most of the crew.

"Yes...the little plague going around. Doesn't seem to hit everyone though. Not even sure if there's a pattern, not a doctor and everyone who might know is where I'd rather them be for now, away from me somewhere fighting it. I'd rather not get sick in my first score of days aboard, it'd make a real dent in my sickness record and performance reports" he grinned. "Yes I'm the new guy, sadly not with the like new smell after the past week's work. Repairing my Valk" he said, assuming she was curious, he did like talking about flying.

"How long have you been aboard? Did you volunteer, or were you picked up along the way like some of the other crew I've met?"

That brought a small, economical chuckle from the woman. There were certainly some...interesting people on this vessel. "I've been aboard for several months since the ship set out with the convoy. The Odin and this group is headed for Unity Station in the Kiir System. I am Sal'kiiran, so I am here as a mission advisor."

"I wasn't going to ask, though I wasn't familiar with your people. What would you say is the leading characteristic of your people?" he asked, clearly curious, "I haven't heard of the Kiir system either. Or much of our mission. I guess I'm not really important enough for the details, but I wouldn't mind knowing the broad strokes, if you had a mind to?"

"Information about our system is not classified, so you can look us up in the Federation database," Lucsa replied, "but there isn't much there yet. Until the past few years, we were a little more insular. We are a world of...extremes, and our desire to keep ourselves to ourselves--to borrow human phraseology--was strong. I am not an example of all Sal'kiirans. I belong to one of four distinct sub-groups of the Sal'kiiran people known as the Arrkun. We live in the high mountains. Since we are the group most interested in technology, more of us than the other groups are out in the universe."

"Sounds like you're as divided as we were, have been and still are in many ways. Though from the sounds of it I should probably take you a little more literally than I mean it. Thank you, I will make sure to read up on them. Maybe after this little illness has passed and they've found a cure for it. Until then so far it seems like I'm one of the lucky ones. Or unlucky I suppose - means more work. Still, it must be difficult for you, being away from your home and absorbed into a way of living that has been around...oh well centuries now I suppose. I'm not a historian, or a culture expert, but I've had hard times adjusting. Still, you must be respected and valued if you're advising the Captain"

Lucsa took in the rolling block of dialogue and then inclined her head slightly. "I am not sure if it is me so much as simply being an authority on my own people by virtue of being one," she said. It wasn't modesty, just pragmatism. She, like the Arrkun in general, was a realist. "However it is difficult to be away from home. I chose it, but we Sal'kiirans have a more biological, chemical attachment to our home world and system that makes it a little harder to be away. Compared to humans, we choose to leave home far less than you do."

"Very pragmatic," Orion said slowly, wondering if she were being humble or whether she really was along by virtue of being someone willing to volunteer, "how do you mean you have an attachment, if you don't mind me asking? You can't just leave your world whenever you like?" he asked, genuinely curious. "I suppose humans spend a lot of time thinking about not being where they began, come to think of it. Can't sit still for long. We have practises designed to develop that skill. Makes us...busybodies I suppose, to others. Never really thought about it that way before but we do move a lot. We must seem strange as a species" he offered up, he certainly thought people were strange that was for sure.

"There are many..." Lucsa paused, considering her words. "...strange things about humanity, but then, humanity is not unique in that. Every race seems to think every other race is odd in some way." Her slender shoulders rose and fell in a casual shrug. "As for us... We can leave any time we like, but it can be very disconcerting. More so for some than for others. It can cause emotional and/or physical discomfort. Like a part of us is missing when we are too far from home."

"Homesickness," he said, not really thinking she meant it the same way he meant it, she seemed far more literal in her meanings to his mind, "something I can't relate to. Never really was at home on my world. We have an emotional kind of thing but you make it sound like yours is more physical. Still, it took courage for you to step up then, it speaks well of you. " he said, meaning it. He valued such a thing, largely because he had never really found much of a courage of conviction of his own. He let his words die as he thought upon her words, trying his best not to curiously glance her over and appear rude. Still he did notice over a few moments that there was a sort of hair that covered her he had not noticed at a casual glance. Then his mind turned toward recent events and her comments about the mission at hand.

"I suppose it is a concern whether we even make it to your system at this point. Haven't met the doctors here, they're usually pretty good on ships, but we're looking quite bare bones in staff these days. Even if we made it would it be wise to board a station without an answer to the problem" he left the question in the air but felt the answer was evident enough. He was mostly talking through his own thoughts, eyes taking in the environment - something about it invited introspection.

Lucsa nodded somberly. "It is...disconcerting," she agreed, looking around her even though there wasn't anyone else in the arboretum at that moment. "Station Unity would not allow anyone on board until this mystery is solved, but we are still many weeks away from the Kiir System. Starfleet Medical is well known. I am sure that this mystery will be solved. I just hope that it is soon."

He nodded and gave a non-committal sound from his throat at her logical statement, though his eyebrow raised slightly at the last part where she spoke of hope. He had started to think of her as rational like a Vulcan but they were not known for using such words. Not for the first time he found himself reassessing and trying to understand. After a few moments he gave up, realising it was a foolish thing. She was unique and clearly smart, though her expression troubled him in other ways - she was a Commander and expressed the inklings of doubt. That was also strange, most CO's he had met were almost carbon cut in their projection of certainty when required. Though, he reasoned, they were taking an unknown sickness back to her system, it was hardly something to not worry about.

"I'm sure they will. The station and system will be safe and sound. I usually like mysteries. This one...well this one can go and jump off a cliff," he sighed, rubbed his eyes and leant back into the seat for a more relaxed position, "at least that way we'd be back up to full speed and able to do what we're supposed to do when we arrive at your world"

"Indeed," she agreed, although now she was eyeing him with a keen expression to her icy eyes. One usually seen in birds of prey before they dropped on some unsuspecting animal at 200+ MPH. She wasn't about to pounce on him, of course, but there was some intensity to her examination. "You look unwell," she stated flatly. "Are you falling victim to the illness?"

He blinked at the change in her expression, it was a contrast even if he couldn't quite work out her expression in its entirety. Her words though gave him pause and he opened his mouth, then closed it and then frowned to himself. The sickness spreading rapidly was well known but he hadn't really given much thought to his own sickness. Forward thinking beyond the next ariel target wasn't his strong suit. He reassessed and wondered if she were now concerned, or angry at him if he were sick, as if he might have been on purpose - though that seemed absurd for what came across as a rational person.

"I...well not sure. I've had a headache for a while but then I've been working on getting my Valk up and running, not really spending much time sleeping and most other hours working on that. I like flying," he said as if it explained it, "want to get it all running so I can fly. I mean...I've only just come aboard. Not exactly had a good time of it of late, late hours...thought it probably just overworking and...stress" he mused, his tone still musing but now with an edge of concern. "I've been pretty isolated in the fighter bay and my quarters, most of time spent with Deadeye...uh...Ensign Kat Walker...and she can;t get sick at all right?" he finished, as if trying to convince himself now. The word 'bugger' repeatedly flit across his mind's eye as he hoped Myan's suggestion was wrong.

The Sal'kiiran woman was pretty clearly unconvinced. "I think you should go to sickbay, Ensign, and get yourself checked out. Word is that casualties are only coming on those who wait too long to see the doctor and think they can tough it out."

"I suppose you are right," he said after a while, though he wasn't a big fan of visiting medbay unless it was necessary, he disliked doctors in general, "better safe than sorry, no? It was nice to meet you, hopefully not for the last time" he said with a wry smile before pushing himself up, nodding at her and wandering off in the general direction she had suggested, though he had yet to decide if he would follow through with it - after all, he just felt tired and had been working a lot.


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