SIM:LtCmdr Roshanara Rahman: The Art of Conversation
The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 238909.16.
((Officer's Head, StarBase 118))
::Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman looked up at the mirror, checking her reflection one last time. The scars she received six years ago on the left side of her face were still visible, but she'd long since gotten used to them. Besides, she was an engineer, not a model.::
::Still... she brushed some of her dark hair to the side of her face with her hand, revealing her spots peeking underneath, aching to be seen in the light. She turned her head slightly and paused, taking in the new look.::
Rahman: oO Mmmmmm... no. Oo
::With a swift motion, she quickly swept her hair back as she had it before. Her spots would have to wait for another day to make their debut.::
::As a child on Earth, Roshanara had learned to cover up her spots, the only visible trait that made her stand apart from her human friends. It wasn't that she was ashamed of them. It was just easier that way. Out of sight, out of mind... and out of the conversation. Invariably, if one of her classmates did catch a glimpse of her spots, it would always lead to the same string of questions.::
::"Oh, you're a Trill! Are you joined? What were you doing in your past lives? ...have you ever been a boy before?"::
::And invariably, she'd have to disappoint them.::
::After a while, Roshanara grew tired of this routine. Sometimes, she'd say yes, she was a Trill. Good eye! She was Roshanara Razhan, and she was four hundred years old.::
::With the comfort and security of their love and support, she never felt that anywhere but Earth was her home. Growing up, she watched cricket with her father, and kebabs were her guilty pleasure. Speaking of guilty pleasures, maybe she still had time to see if she could find a kebab shop on the starbase...::
Vistain: ::frowns:: Hmmmm...
::Roshanara turned to see another officer, a young lieutenant, also studying her own reflection in the mirror, although she was more focused on her pips. The woman continued to fidget with her rank insignia before letting out a sigh.::
Rahman: Is everything all right?
Vistain: ::turns:: What? Oh, no--I mean, yes, ma'am. Sorry. I'm just trying to get this right. I've only had to worry about the *one* before.
::The woman gave Roshanara a nervous smile.::
Vistain: I was just recently promoted.
Rahman: ::nods:: Ah... well, congratulations, lieutenant.
Vistain: Thank you, ma'am.
::Roshanara returned the smile and walked over to the woman.::
Rahman: Here, if you'd allow me?
Vistain: Go right ahead!
::Roshanara began adjusting Vistain's pips as the young woman continued talking.::
Vistain: It's all been a blur, really. One moment, we were dealing with Tholians and space ants. *And then* we were somehow back in time around 20th century Earth. ::gasps:: *And then* there were Borg.
::Roshanara was relieved when the lieutenant paused to take a breath. She was worried the woman might hyperventilate.::
Vistain: *And then* we somehow got back, and I got my first promotion... and a new assignment! I just want to make a good impression on my new chief when my ship gets here.
::Roshanara stepped back to allow the lieutenant to take a look at herself again in the mirror.::
Rahman: Well, I'm sure you'll do just that.
Vistain: ::seeming pleased with what she sees in the mirror:: Thanks! ::She turned, smiled, and extended a hand.:: Danielle Vistain, by the way! Soon-to-be-engineer of the Mercury!
Rahman: ::shaking Vistain's hand:: Ah... Roshanara Rahman. Soon-to-be-chief-engineer of the Mercury.
::Vistain's eyes grew wide and she gasped again before standing a bit straighter.::
Vistain: Oh! I'm sorry, commander, to be talking your ear off!
Rahman: Don't worry about it, lieutenant. Sounds like you've had quite the adventure getting here.
Vistain: Yes, ma'am.
Rahman: Well, the Mercury's not due for another hour or so. Just enough time I was thinking to try and find a quick snack. Care to join me?
::Vistain's smile returned.::
Vistain: Sure! I saw a coffee shop and a couple of ice cream places on this level. I think there's a confectionery shop and a kebab shop on the level below.
Rahman: ::grins:: You don't say...
::The two officers walked out of the shop with their bag of treats and found a table near one of the large windows that provided a magnificent view of the starships that were coming and going from the starbase.::
Rahman: So what are your interests, lieutenant?
Vistain: Interests? You mean like hobbies?
Rahman: Well, I was thinking more along the lines of engineering interests, but if you want to tell me about your hobbies...
Vistain: Oh! Well, on the Tiger, I worked in shuttlebay ops. Same on the Independence before that. ::Takes a bite of her kebab.:: So as you can guess, small craft and shuttle engineering is my specialty. I worked on retrofitting the 11s we had on the Tiger. Figured I could do the same on the Mercury if the new boss--er, you, that is, were okay with that.
Rahman: That should be fine.
Vistain: Great! I think you'll be impressed, commander. I managed to get a 14% increase in warp field effi-
Man: Excuse me, ladies.
::The two women turned to see another Starfleet officer, an Andorian dressed in command red with the rank of full lieutenant. He held a glass in one hand and his chin in the other.::
Man: I couldn't help but overhear your talk about shuttles and the Mercury. I'm Lieutenant Dre'lith Chaun, helmsman and pilot, and I'm also waiting for the Mercury to arrive. Mind if I join you while we all wait?
Vistain: Well, um...
Rahman: Of course, lieutenant. I'm Commander Rahman, the Mercury's new chief engineer, and this is Lieutenant Vistain, who will also be joining my department.
Vistain: ::smiles:: You can call me Danielle.
Chaun: Pleased to meet you, Danielle. And what about you, commander? Do you have another name to go with Rahman?
::The chief engineer raised an eyebrow in amusement at the brazen manner of the lieutenant.::
Chaun: ::softly:: Roshanara... that's lovely. Almost as lovely as your eyes...
::The man rested his chin on his palm, smiling as his gaze remained on Roshanara. The chief engineer for her part returned the stare, although without the goofy grin.::
Vistain: ::eyes darting between Rahman and Chaun:: So... lieutenant, where are you coming from?
Chaun: The T'Plana-Hath. And boy, let me tell you, am I excited for a change of environment.
Rahman: You didn't enjoy your last assignment?
Chaun: Oh, it's not that it was bad. It's just that when you're the only Andorian on a ship full of Vulcans... well, enjoy isn't quite the word that comes to mind. Or joy for that matter.
::Vistain chuckled at the comment, which seemed to please Chaun as he turned his head towards her and smiled.::
Chaun: See, that's something I missed. The sound of laughter. ::He locked his eyes now onto Vistain's.:: Especially from a woman.
Rahman: Ahem. I'm sure you have.
::Roshanara was beginning to suspect that wasn't kava juice in the pilot's glass.::
::The pilot was looking at Rahman again. He pointed to her temples.::
Chaun: Are those spots I see hiding under there? We didn't meet in a past lifetime did we?
Rahman: I'm afraid it must not have been that memorable...
::The lieutenant remained quiet for a moment and then suddenly burst into loud laughter. He turned to Vistain.::
Chaun: Such sass! I missed that, too!
::The man laughed a little while longer as Roshanara glanced around the promenade.::
Chaun: So, do either of you know anything about our captain? I hope he isn't a real hard-ass or some blowhard. We need someone who knows how to have some fun! Someone who knows there's more to a starship crew's performance than just efficiency.
Chaun: Speaking of fun, I have an idea! Why don't we all book a holosuite to kill the time? We've still got a little under an hour, and it's not like you two have to report to your shifts as soon as the ship docks.
::The Andorian's lips curled into a mischievous grin again.::
Chaun: I saw they've just received the latest installment in the MIAgent series. I, of course, would be playing the part of the titular character...
Rahman: Of course.
Chaun: ::gesturing to Vistain and Rahman:: ...with a beautiful woman on either side of me. Action, adventure... romance. What do you say?
Rahman: Actually, lieutenant, I'm afraid I'll have to take a rain check on any adventures or romances for now. I have a lot of PADD work to attend to before the Mercury arrives. Reviewing system specs, learning an entire departmental roster. I'm sure you can understand.
Chaun: No, not really, but I'll be taking you up on that rain check, commander.
Rahman: oO Oh, joy. Oo ::nods:: It was... nice to meet you. ::turns to Vistain:: And you, lieutenant. I'll see you again in Main Engineering soon enough, I'm sure.
::Vistain seemed to be struggling to find the right words to say.::
Vistain: ...uh, okay, commander... see you aboard!
::And with that, the chief engineer left the two young officers to their view of the stars.::
::Poor Vistain. Roshanara felt a bit guilty leaving her back there with Chaun, especially with the doe-eyed look she was giving her.::
::But then again, Vistain wasn't an ensign anymore. Tholians, space ants, time travel, and the Borg... surely, the lieutenant could handle a shameless helmsman.::
::*That* thought made Roshanara chuckle.::
Chief Engineer, USS Mercury