SIM:Nadira, Chapter 9
The events in this SIM occurred in 2397. The SIM was originally posted on 18 May 2020 (stardate 239705.18).
((The Next Day: Headmaster Office, Royal School for Metamorphs))
Once more, Roshanara rang the chime, and once more, she stepped into the Headmaster’s Office. Her mother’s office.
Sana was sitting behind her desk, writing a report when she looked up and saw her daughter’s return.
Roshanara smiled slightly, not wishing to correct her. Whatever she might have thought herself, she knew she’d always be Nadira to the woman in front of her, and she wouldn’t take that away from her. Not after everything her mother had given up to allow her to live the life she had.
Rahman: I just wanted to say I know it must not have been easy for you… to make the choice that you did for me. What I said yesterday… some of it was out of line.
The older woman looked back up at her.
Sana: What you said is not important. What you’re going to do now is what matters.
When Roshanara didn’t answer her immediately, Sana leaned back in her chair, putting her hands in her lap.
Sana: You’re not staying.
Rahman: I’m sorry, I can’t. Not today.
Sana: If not now, then when?
Rahman: I don’t know. I can’t promise there ever will be a when…
Roshanara took a deep breath, stepping forward towards Sana before glancing out through the windows behind her mother for a moment. A few of the schoolchildren could be seen playing outside. She looked back at her mother.
Rahman: What you’re asking me to do… it’s not that I don’t think it has merit. But it’s just too much to ask after only one trip. My first trip back here.
Sana: I see.
Her dismay was clear through her voice.
Rahman: I’m sorry to disappoint you.
But Sana shook her head.
Sana: Weren’t you listening yesterday? I’m not disappointed in you. How could I be?
She stood up from her chair and rounded her desk to face her daughter.
Sana: In the years since you were taken off-world, I often wondered about you. I didn’t know where you went after they’d smuggled you to the Moselina spaceport. I didn’t want to know.
She shrugged slightly.
Sana: Surrounded by empaths, it was important that I *not* know where you were and possibly risk exposing your location, triggering your return before you’d already made a life of your own.
Her mother took a long breath and sighed.
Sana: But I also thought--foolishly at the time--that not knowing would somehow make it easier… to remove the temptation to seek you out. It didn’t.
Rahman: I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been.
Sana: My worst fear is that it would all be for naught. That you’d still end up just as you would have here--or worse. And so when I finally found out what you’d become… ::She lightly sniffled.:: And saw you wearing that uniform.
She smiled and reached out to hold onto Roshanara’s arm.
Sana: Nadira, I’ve never been more proud.
Roshanara nodded, holding back tears she didn’t realize had been building.
Rahman: Thank you. I don’t suppose it’d be too inappropriate to hug the Headmaster in her office, would it?
Sana sniffled again, wiping away her own tears before she chuckled.
Sana: My dear, I’m the Headmaster. I can do whatever the %#@$ I want.
They embraced in a tight hug, Sana holding onto her daughter as time seemed to slow around them.
Sana: Be safe out there...
Rahman: I will.
After Roshanara stepped back, she returned a slight grin to Sana.
Rahman: Maybe this won’t be my only visit. I do have a sister now I need to reconnect with.
Sana: Oh, that reminds me.
Roshanara gave a quizzical glance, but Sana went over to the bookshelves along the wall and grabbed a small sculptor. It was an abstract female form sculpted out of one piece of metal. As Sana turned the sculpture slightly as she held it, the figure seemed to be moving, changing shape.
Sana: You should take this with you.
Rahman: It’s one of hers? She won’t mind?
Sana shook her head.
Sana: I don’t think so. Take a look at the name of it on the bottom.
Roshanara flipped it over and read the piece’s title: Sister.
Rahman: Thank you. I’ll cherish it.
Sana: I know you will. Pleasant journeys, Captain.
Roshanara nodded back.
Rahman: As to you.
Roshanara, Tristam, Del, and Aron boarded the runabout and lifted off, heading back towards Federation space. Tristam was piloting up in the cockpit while Roshanara and the others went back to unpack for the voyage home.
As she overheard Del and Aron’s banter from their cabin, the Kriosian smiled to herself.
Since the day she first reported to duty on the Mercury, Aron had always been Captain Kells to her, even after she’d gotten her own command. It was a mark of the respect she held for the man. And yet, after this trip, she no longer saw him as her former superior officer but instead as a fellow Starfleet captain.
A call from Tristam interrupted her thoughts. They'd be making a detour to the Duronis system. She took out her PADD, reading the new assignment orders. It seemed Aron would be returning to the captain’s chair, this time the USS Thor. She almost went to ring their door, eager to give him the exciting news, but the sudden absence of their talking stopped her.
Well, it’d been a long trip. They were probably exhausting. She should let them get their rest.
Roshanara took one last look at the planet that sat out beyond the aft windows. A sudden flash signaled the jump to warp, and Krios Prime quickly disappeared into the distance, just another speck of light among thousands.
Returning to the cockpit. she found Tristam diligently sitting at the helm controls of the runabout.
Rahman: All good?
Core: Sitting steady. Should be at our destination in a good time. ::with a frown:: Can't say I'm not disappointed we have to detour, but it is what it is I guess.
Rahman: Well… at least it means after we drop them off, we’ll get some more time together just the two of us to relax.
Core: How are you?
She let out a long sigh as she stepped up behind him, rubbing his shoulders.
Rahman: Like I could spend the next month at a spa. Maybe two.
The Rodulan cracked a smile.
Core: I think after all of this, you've the right to feel drained. Don't think you have to watch me pilot. Go unwind.
She smiled back and leaned over, gently reaching out to touch his cheek and turn his head before kissing him on the lips. She pulled back and smiled then glanced over at the forward windows.
Rahman: Eyes ahead, Mister. Don’t run into any asteroids.
Stepping back through the doors to the aft compartment of the runabout, Roshanara looked at the small table and considered grabbing a snack from the replicator. As she went over to the wall-mounted unit, though, the computer terminal next to it caught her attention.
She still retrieved a bowl of grapes from the replicator but then pulled out the chair to sit at the terminal, entering a set of com coordinates. It wouldn’t be too late in the evening over there.
After a lingering moment, the subspace call connected to Lahore, Earth, and Roshanara’s 80-year-old father Issam appeared on the screen. Her father seemed surprised at the call.
Issam Rahman: =/\= Hello? =/\=
She suddenly realized that she hadn’t told them about what had happened to the scars. He must have been confused.
Roshanara Rahman: =/\= Hello, Abba. It’s me, Roshanara. =/\=
Issam Rahman: ::chuckles:: =/\= Of course it is you. You think I don’t recognize my own daughter? =/\=
Roshanara Rahman: =/\= Oh, I just thought maybe you were wondering about the- =/\=
He waved her off, shaking his head like she was talking nonsense before he leaned back in his chair and called out to his wife, who was somewhere else in the apartment.
Issam Rahman: =/\= Najwa! Roshanara is calling! =/\=
Najwa Rahman: ::offscreen:: =/\= Who? =/\=
Issam Rahman: =/\= What do you mean, “who?” Do you know any other Roshanaras? =/\=
Najwa Rahman: ::offscreen:: =/\= Yes, there are two just down the hall. =/\=
Issam Rahman: ::dismissively:: =/\= Ahh… you think those Roshanaras would be calling us over subspace? =/\=
Najwa Rahman: ::offscreen:: =/\= I don’t know. Maybe they left and forgot something at home and need us to take care of it. =/\=
Her father let out a frustrated sigh before turning back to the screen to address her.
Issam Rahman: =/\= So how are things? It’s been a while. =/\=
Roshanara Rahman: =/\= Things are… good. And yes, you’re right. I’m actually on leave right now. I was thinking that I’d like to come home and visit you two. If that’s all right? =/\=
Issam Rahman: =/\= Oh, let me check… ::turns and calls out again to Najwa:: Najwa! Roshanara wants to come over! =/\=
Najwa Rahman: ::offscreen:: =/\= So she did forget something? Which one? I’ll get the key chips. =/\=
Issam Rahman: ::confused:: =/\= What? No… not those Roshanaras. *Our* Roshanara! =/\=
Najwa Rahman: ::offscreen:: =/\= Oh, *Roshanara*! Well, why didn’t you say so? =/\=
Issam Rahman: =/\= I did! =/\=
Najwa Rahman: =/\= No you didn’t. You said, “Roshanara is calling.” I asked “who,” and then you rambled. Next time, just say “our daughter.” How hard is that? =/\=
Her father let out another disgruntled sound as her mother finally stepped into frame, leaning down so her face would fit onto the screen.
Najwa Rahman: =/\= Hello, Roshanara! =/\=
Roshanara Rahman: ::smiles:: =/\= Hi, Ammi! You don’t mind if I stop by, maybe next week? =/\=
Najwa Rahman: =/\= Of course you can come. What kind of silly question is that? ::shaking her head as she looks over at Issam:: A doctor and captain, and she still always asks such silly questions. =/\=
Her mother chuckled before she remembered an important change since the last time Roshanara was home. She looked back at her daughter on the screen.
Najwa Rahman: =/\= Oh, you will have to sleep on the sofa, though. Your father has transformed your room into a walk-in closet with its own closet. =/\=
Issam Rahman: =/\= That is not true! It’s my display room, not a closet. ::looks over at Roshanara on the screen:: I’ve added several models of all your ships. Veritas, Mercury, Syracuse, Garuda… even Venture! =/\=
He said the names with pride before furrowing his brow and waving a raised finger in the air.
Issam Rahman: =/\= No, Invicta, though. That one is *very* hard to find for some reason! =/\=
His wife looked back at him.
Najwa Rahman: =/\= Probably for the best. We have no room! ::looks back at Roshanara on the screen as well:: Can you tell your father he is being a ridiculous old man? =/\=
Issam Rahman: ::looks over at Najwa:: =/\= Uh! If I am old, then that must make you my nurse, yeah? =/\=
He wrapped his arms around Najwa’s waist, drawing her closer to him.
Najwa Rahman: =/\= Oi! Shameless dog… =/\=
But Issam just returned a hearty laugh as his wife shook her head disapprovingly. Roshanara rolled her eyes, interrupting them.
Roshanara Rahman: =/\= Ammi, Abba… =/\=
Her mother, now sitting in her husband’s lap, looked back at her daughter and tilted her head slightly.
Najwa Rahman: =/\= Yes, what is it? Is everything okay over there? =/\=
Roshanara smiled back at her parents on the screen.
Roshanara Rahman: =/\= Yes, everything’s okay. I just wanted to call and say I love you. =/\=
Her father’s smile suddenly dropped as he gave a concerned look back at her, leaning closer to the screen almost as if to check and see if she was all right.
Issam Rahman: =/\= Oh. God. ::looks up at Najwa:: When did our daughter become so sentimental? That means she must be getting old. And if she’s old… that means we’re *ancient*. =/\=
A wide grin then slowly formed on his face as her mother gave him a playful swat on the shoulder and then looked back at Roshanara.
Najwa Rahman: =/\= See what I am telling you, beti? So ridiculous. When you come home, maybe you can knock some sense into him. =/\=
Their daughter grinned back across subspace.
Rahman: =/\= I’ll look forward to it. =/\=
Lt. Cmdr. Tristam Core
Captain Roshanara Rahman
CO, USS Veritas