SIM:Nadira, Chapter 3
Author's Note: The character of Roshanara Rahman was conceived in 2012 with one story ultimately in mind to tell. Eight years later, that story finally begins.
The events in this SIM occurred on in 2380, but were originally written on 30 April 2020 (stardate 239704.30).
((Seventeen Years Ago: Starfleet Academy, Beta Ursae Minor II Campus, 2380))
Dogar: Well, good morning, beautiful. Looking lovely as always.
Rahman: And good morning to you, Javed, with that silver tongue as always.
Ensign Roshanara Rahman rolled her eyes, although there was a smirk that went with it as she walked up to find Javed Dogar already waiting for her at the Lightspeed Cafe just off campus. The Kriosian engineering masters student hadn't been looking for romance--after all, she'd chosen to spend another two years in grad school after finishing her undergraduate courses here on Beta Ursae Minor II--but Javed was a persistent son of a-
Dogar: If I have a silver tongue, you must have a taste for precious metals.
Her smirk widened to a grin as he got up to pull out the chair for her at the small table.
Rahman: oO Such a gentleman. :P Oo
As he sat back down, she activated the menu on the built-in display in the glass of the table surface. A short list of delectable sandwiches and baked sweets appeared. The roasted chicken sandwich with spicy mayo called out to her.
Dogar: So how goes work in the lab?
She continued scrolling through the other choices, looking at the images of the other available entrees. Ham? Definitely not. Turkey? Meh. Salami? Bleh! She hated salami.
Rahman: Ever busy. There's just so much data! Starfleet had already been analyzing the initial details about the quantum slipstream drive that Voyager had sent before they got returned to the Alpha Quadrant, and now, we have log data from both the first ship they encountered with the technology and their own experimental trials.
She gave a nod as she took a last look at the menu. No, the chicken sandwich still seemed the bet.
Dogar: How exciting. If Starfleet can successful duplicate the technology, it will be a revolution in space travel.
At this, Roshanara looked up, both amused and yet slightly annoyed.
Rahman: Hmmmph, we're going to do more than just "duplicate."
The human civilian returned a look like Roshanara had just locked a phaser on him.
Dogar: Oh, I'm sorry. I meant no offense.
She slumped her shoulders slightly and leaned back in her chair.
Rahman: It's all right... I know what you meant.
The Kriosian looked over towards the campus green. It was a particularly gorgeous day, a deep blue sky overhead like the water of a boundless lake.
Dogar: "You know what I mean" because of your powers?
Roshanara looked back over, confused. She furrowed her brow at the man sitting across from her. From the light smile he was giving her, it was obvious he was just trying to be playful, but something was bothering her about that word. "Powers."
Rahman: What are you talking about?
Dogar: I was just making a little joke. Because you know... Kriosians? Empathic metamorphs? "Know what I'm thinking?"
He could see from her blank expression that she didn't find the joke even slightly funny.
Dogar: I mean, I was just doing some of my own research--about Kriosians--after we got together last time. I was actually quite fascinated to learn that-
She bluntly interrupted.
Rahman: Yeah, I don't have powers. I'm not an empathic whatever, and I don't know what you read, but frankly, I don't care much for species humor.
The 23-year-old Kriosian of course knew about Kriosian empathic metamorphs. It was honestly the only little bit of information that was out there about her species in most people's consciousness--if they'd even heard of Kriosians, that is. As a young girl who'd been adopted by humans and raised on Earth, Roshanara had tried to learn more about her native species. The only thing she learned during her childhood that humans and other species knew about Kriosians was that they couldn't tell them apart from Trill.
Oh, and the damn metamorphs. She didn't quite understand the concept when she was younger but once she was a teenager and did a deeper dive on what was known about this particular subset of the Kriosian population, she was dismayed. Appalled really. Abduction of children from their families. Forced education for a life of servitude in an arranged marriage--or worse just to be some despot or tycoon's trophy companion. And of course that didn't even touch the nefarious black market trafficking that was reported in the underbelly of the galaxy beyond the Federation.
It'd been disgusting enough for her to abandon learning more about the former glory of the mighty Kriosian Empire before its fall to the Klingons and just embrace the adopted culture of her human parents.
Javed put both his hands up slightly off the table as if surrendering.
Dogar: I'm sorry, it seems we're not really having a great start today. Maybe we should try to meet later...
Her look of indignation softened to a shameful frown. She could tell he was trying. Why was she being so hostile? She took a deep breath, feeling a wave of renewed energy come across her.
Rahman: I'm sorry.
She reached over the table and grabbed one of his hands, placing it back down between them and holding onto it with both of hers.
Rahman: I think it's just all the lab work. Thank you for arranging this for us.
A smile slowly crept back across Javed's face.
Dogar: You don't have to apologize. I know how stressful lab work can be! Come on...
He placed his other hand on top of hers in the middle of the table and grinned widely.
Dogar: You are going to *love* the salami sandwiches here. They're the best in the sector.
She grinned back at him nodding. Of course she was going to love it!
Rahman: Salami's my favorite.
Ensign Roshanara Rahman