SIM:Nadira, Chapter 1
The events in this SIM occurred in 2397.
((Captain’s Quarters, USS Veritas))
Rahman: You finished packing yet?
Core: Phinished packing- whowhat? Finish packing phor whowhat?
He poked his head out from the bathroom door, toothbrush lodged in his mouth mid-brush. His eyebrows were caught in a deep frown, black eyes staring at Roshanara in bewilderment as she flew from one end of the quarters to the other, picking up various pieces of clothing to throw into her over-sized luggage.
Roshanara walked from one end of her quarters to the other, annoyed as she grabbed some additional garments to throw into her luggage.
Rahman: You’ve known about this trip for months now!
Core: Eysersh-- ::he pulled the toothbrush from his mouth, using it to point at her.:: And in that time, you have scheduled, postponed, re-scheduled, and then cancelled!
Indeed, this trip to Krios Prime had been planned to take place last year, but the life of a Starfleet captain had pushed it back week by week. Truthfully, perhaps Roshanara herself hadn’t minded so much. Despite reassurances—and knowing Tristam and Del would be there with her—there was a part of her that very much did *not* want to go to the home world of her species.
Rouiancet: =/\= Bridge to Captain Rahman. =/\=
Tristam rose an eyebrow, returning to the bathroom to finish brushing his teeth.
Rahman: =/\= Yes, Rahman here. =/\=
Rouiancet: =/\= I have a fleet captain on the bridge for you, Captain. =/\=
Oh? But before she could inquire further, she heard the unmistakable voice of Captain Kells.
Kells: =/\= It's only me, Roshanara. I wondered if we could chat. =/\=
Rahman: =/\= Captain Kells. Of course. I’ll be up there in a moment. =/\=
Kells: =/\= There's no need. I'll come to you. This isn't official, it's just... it's about Del. I wanted to tell you what's been going on. =/\=
Del? She frowned on the other end of the call.
Rahman: =/\= All right, I’m in my quarters. Please stop by when you can. =/\=
Kells: =/\= See you there. =/\=
Silence permeated the room for a few minutes. Roshanara called to him.
Rahman: What do you think that’s about?
Teeth fresh and shirt on, Tristam swept out of the bathroom directly to their clothing drawers, his toothbrush still in hand.
Core: Not sure, but--
He opened the drawers, taking a pile of clothing and dumping it into a much smaller luggage bag. For good measure, he dropped the toothbrush on top of the pile, and shut the suitcase.
Core: There. I'm packed.
The Kriosian gave him a sharp glance before continuing with her packing.
Aron hesitated a moment before he chimed outside Roshanara's quarters. He didn't like to give bad news of any sort, to anyone, but he knew too that Roshanara would want to hear this from him. He gave it another moment, and then rang. When Roshanara called for him to come in, he entered to find her with Tristam Core. He smiled, momentarily pleased by his own forgetfulness -- he'd forgotten that they were in a relationship, and was delighted at the reminder.
Rahman: Captain. I thought I might have missed seeing you when you were aboard earlier with Secretary Ventu.
Kells: (with another smile) Then it's lucky for you I'm harder to get rid of than a Bolian green rot.
Rahman: Please, come in. Tristam and I were just finishing our packing. ::glances over at Tristam:: Weren’t we?
Core: I finished ten minutes ago.
Aron smiled more widely. They certainly seemed comfortable with each other, and he was delighted again to see the relationship in action. But, as he remembered again why he was there, the smile faded a bit.
Kells: You heard why I wanted to talk to you, so (beat) yes.
Roshanara led him gently to a seat and then sat down herself, appraising his vocal stumbles correctly as systemic for the moment.
Rahman: So what is this about Del?
Kells: He's been at the Neurological Institute on Starbase 32 since (beat) the incident
Tristam glanced between the pair, once CO and XO respectively. With his eyebrows far up his forehead, he pursed his lips and jutted out his chin with an uncomfortable grin. He was... a little bit of a third wheel at the moment.
Core: ...should I give you two some privacy?
She didn’t think it was necessary, but Captain Kells answered hesitantly.
Kells: If you don't mind? This isn't a secret, and (to Roshanara) you can pass this all on, but (to both) just so I can get it out.
Rahman: I understand, captain, but Tristam was coming with Del to this trip. Whatever’s happened, he should know as well.
The Rodulan blinked as Roshanara took her seat. She turned and gave him an expectant looking, gesturing to the chair across from her. He did so, but he had many questions, and reservations about being present while Kells laid bare everything happening with Del. He didn't feel comfortable with Tristam there -- so why force that?
Then again, Roshanara might not feel comfortable without Tristam there. The Rodulan found himself in a minor ethical conundrum. Perhaps if he remained silent for the most part, he might not disturb Kells too much, yet be able to still occupy a space for Roshanara...
Rahman: Please continue, Captain.
Kells: Right, so, the incident. He was stabilized on the hospital ship Taussig for the trip, and I met him there. I was with him on Starbase 32 until the tour headed this way, but I think he was happy for a little alone time for now.
Her voice lowered a bit, softer. It wasn’t the voice of a captain inquiring about her former chief medical officer but instead that of a woman concerned about her best friend.
Rahman: How is he?
Kells: He seems eager to get back. There shouldn't be much lasting damage, though he might have last mobility issues.
After he said those last few words, Aron bit his lip. Generally speaking, starships were fairly accessible -- but suppose Del returned to Veritas (or any other ship) and wasn't able, for example, to use a Jeffries tube during an emergency, and the transporters were offline?
She let out a deep breath. First Blake, now Del. Having previously required her own lengthy physical rehabilitation after the accident that had left her horrifically scarred, she had sympathy with the long road to recovery both officers now had ahead of them.
Rahman: How long until he gets from there to here?
That was a curious way to put it.
Core: You mean how long until he gets back on his feet?
The Kriosian frowned at him.
Rahman: Well, if it’s going to take a long time, then maybe we should postpone.
Her sad green eyes glanced down for a moment.
Core: oO It wouldn't be the first time. Oo
And doubtful it'd be the last. The Rodulan merely shrugged, lips pursed to one side. She was insistent upon going with Del, and frankly, Tristam thought it was a good choice. Nic del Vedova had a good head on his shoulders -- he was her friend. It was important to her.
Kells: He's been asking about you, too. Wanting to make sure that his absence hasn't been "detrimental to the ship."
He rolled his eyes. As if Del had ever been the picture of a "duty first" officer! It was, Aron was sure, his coded way of asking how Roshanara was doing.
That caused a slight smile to creep back up across Roshanara's face. She knew what that phrase from Del meant. The jerkface. God, he better be okay.
She looked back up, grin now fully apparent.
Rahman: You tell him if he doesn’t get himself well enough to return, I’ll hunt him down like he’s the most wanted pirate in all of the Shoals.
Kells (with a smile): I'll tell him.
Rahman: Has he mentioned anything about wanting to return to duty, and in what capacity?
Kells: I'm sure he'll want to, as soon as he's able, but -- I'm not sure. You might want to keep him away from any official post for a while. Plus, well, I was thinking I might stick around while he adjusts. If that's okay with you? The tour can miss me for a while, I've already talked to the secretary about it.
Rahman: Of course, captain. You’re welcome to stay as long as you’re able to.
The captains exchanged a nod. Kells reached for Roshanara's hands to hold.
Kells: Thank you.
Rahman: Actually, I don’t know how much he told you about this trip.
He leaned away with a thoughtful frown.
Kells: Nothing, I don't think. Or at least I don't remember anything. Tell me.
Rahman: A member of the Kriosian royal staff found me on Earth. Tristam was there.
Core:::grumbling:: For what good it did...
Rahman: Yes, well his name is Jatann. He believes that I might be the answer to a mystery—or rather a missing person’s case from decades ago.
Kells: (confused) What did he think you could do?
Roshanara rolled her eyes as Kells glanced a Tristam. The Rodulan hesitated.
Core: He thinks Roshanara may that missing person.
She rolled her eyes, sitting back in her chair.
Rahman: I find the whole thing preposterous. My parents have the records—and their memories. They adopted me on Moselina IV, which my birth certificate verifies.
Kells: (slowly) But this man, this Jatann -- he thinks that you're...?
Core: Nadira, the missing Kriosian child from 2361.
Rahman: I don’t know… perhaps I’m growing more cynical with age, but I can’t help but be suspicious of their intentions. I mean… I’m not exactly unknown—certainly not after the whole Ross affair.
She saw Tristam’s eyes look over towards her, checking to see if she was all right. She gave a subtle nod back letting him know she was fine, really. Time might not truly heal all wounds, but it helped the memories fade a bit.
Kells: That's understandable. I would like to think that the Ross situation was the exception rather than the norm (beat) but there's no denying that my guard would be up, if I was in your position.
Core: All things considered, you weren't exactly unknown before the Garuda incident anyway. You're a doctor in your field, you've been published, multiple times.
Rahman: Exactly. So why come find me now?
Kells: (hesitant) I don't suppose you've made any enemies during your time in the Shoals?
At that, her Rodulan let out a laugh before coughing. If there wasn’t a fleet captain present, he would have found a pillow thrown at his head.
Core: ...it wasn't that funny. I apologise.
She took a deep breath before looking over at Captain Kells.
Rahman: Sir, would you consider joining Tristam and me—and Del if he’s able still—to Krios Prime?
The deep look between them was as solid as a duranium beam. Through years—decades even in an alternate future—they’d formed a bond far greater than that of just a former chief engineer-turned-first officer to her former CO. An older, time-displaced Kells had helped steer Roshanara away from a destiny of solitude and failure.
Rahman: I’d feel better if you were there with me. To have your judgment by my side.
Kells: Of course I will.
She didn’t realize until then how much she needed to hear that, a wide smile escaping across her face.
Rahman: You will?
Kells: I'm sure Del will insist on going, and then I would feel remiss if I wasn't watching out for him, too.
Still beaming, she nodded at her old captain.
Rahman: Thank you. That makes me look forward to this trip much more.
Kells: (with a brave face) Besides, if we all go missing, then it'll be your ship and crew and the Secretary's extended mission who come searching for us, and I don't think there's a force in the universe that could stand against those two united fronts.
Core: Oh yes. Jinx us all. It's not like any time we set foot off Veritas, a catastrophe happens.
She looked over at Tristam and shushed him with a dismissive wave of her hand.
Rahman: Hush and look cute. ::looks over at Kells:: He is cute, isn’t it?
Kells: Of course.
Captain Kells reached out just then to hold each of their hands.
Kells: I'm in this with you, for as long as you want me.
Rahman: Be careful of what you offer, sir. I just might hold you to it.
Tristam grinned before looking back at her.
Core: Does this mean I don't have to unpack my suitcase?
Rahman: It means you better be ready. ::to Kells:: You, too.
Core: Just say when we leave. Transport is already sorted.
She looked between the two men, her partner and her old captain. With her bestie Del coming along too, who else would she need beside her on this trip? Surely the brave Roshanara Rahman could handle whatever awaited her on Krios Prime.
Rahman: Then gentlemen… the word is given.
Fleet Captain Aron Kells
Lt. Commander Tristam Core
Captain Roshanara Rahman