I'm Luke Skywalker and I'm Here to Rescue You...
Location: Ten Forward
Lieutenant (J.G.) Willian Targaryen held tightly onto his freshly replicated drink as he approached the table below the forward facing windows. He smirked as he sat, carefully assessing the entire scenario that he'd gotten himself embroiled in. It was a bit more than he expected, but he had to be prepared for anything in his line of work.
He took a drink of the amber colored liquid, "I'm sure you have questions."
"Hmm," Nokomis said sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate that she really didn't intend to drink much of. "No, not really. I'm more here to listen. I like to get to know the new people who come on board. There are so many fascinating stories out there. People live such interesting lives. I would love to hear all about where you crew up and how you made it into Starfleet."
That caught him a bit off guard. He took a sip of his drink, "Interesting that a First Officer isn't asking questions and wants to listen. All the ones that I'm familiar with are usually on the offensive, trying to prove their worth so they get that last pip on their collar and a command to call their own while babysitting the person in the center seat."
"Oh I spent my whole childhood doing that. And Captain Barrett is the ambitious one. I like things just where I am and I have nothing to prove to anyone. Might seem strange, but I don't want the responsibility forever."
"So why be a Starship First Officer if you just want to be where you are? Dealing with the minutiae of crew evaluations, big shot politicians, and let alone becoming prisoner on an alien planet?" He moved the drink between his hands as he asked almost in a pseudo form of sleight of hand.
Nokomis raised her eyebrows at that. "Being held prisoner isn't a typical day. Some of it can become mundane but most of the time it's a comfortable position for me. I enjoy being here with Logan and supporting his dream. But what about you? What are your ambitions?"
"That's a good question," he glanced at the replicator, "to not be murdered by a Romulan before nightfall."
"Well then you're safe there. She won't murder anyone on this ship unless it's in self defense or what she perceives as self defense. But seriously, are you going to avoid everything I say and turn it back on me? That's not very friendly Mr . . . What did you say your name was again?"
"I'm Luke Skywalker and I'm here to rescue you," he said evasively as he played with his glass a couple more seconds. "I didn't. Centurion T'Ehhelih seems to think my name is Juilette Mendoza for some reason. I don't know why either. Intelligence is usually a lot more careful when they sneak someone aboard a ship for transit."
She had never heard that line before and had no idea what it meant. But when she heard his confession she sat back in her chair and couldn't help but let out a most merry laugh at the situation. She should have been angry, or even concerned and her response even surprised her.
"I'm glad one of us finds this funny. I for one am going to send a strongly worded letter to my travel agent for this snafu," he answered as people noticed them.
"So then Juliette. Why are you here?" Nokomis was still grinning but she'd stopped actively laughing and had noticed the looks she was getting.
The Lieutenant pawed at his drink, still sending it from hand to hand as he sat there. "Alright, I'm here because you're giving passage. I completed my most recent assignment and I'm going home. Simple as that."
"Uhuh. And the Lieutenant's suspicion of a stowaway are totally unfounded? Because if you had wanted a ride home, all you had to do was ask. All Starfleet had to do was order us to give you a ride and no one would have batted an eye." Though the conversation had been amusing she was rather tired of the charade. There really wasn't anything she could do about it. They couldn't prove he was a stowaway and perhaps Logan knew about him hitching a ride. She was going to ask him.
He could hear the red flags in her voice. "Unfortunately, again, it isn't that simple. For Starfleet asking for my transport would've been acknowledging my mission. It would also mean acknowledging that it failed. I've been replaced on my mission and any direct contact with a starship's leadership, for example you, via subspace could be intercepted. Sometimes its easier to make a person a stowaway, give them credentials aboard a ship remotely, and just let them ride to the next port of call and hitch another ride back home. Problem is one of your officers uncovered me by accident in the cargo bay, which meant I had to come out into the open."
"Which caused all kinds of problems for you didn't it?" Nokomis decided she was simply tired, tired of a lot of things. "I don't think your troubles are over unfortunately. You're going to have a curious Romulan following you around now."
"That I'm used to," he answered quickly. "Normally I have one pointing a disruptor at me on a good day and firing it on the bad. I can handle that. Normally I'm a lot better at what I do than this," he smiled at her, "Maybe it's the company?"
"I'm fairly certain she won't shoot you." Nokomis gave no indication whether she was speaking about herself or Vriha. "As for company I'm afraid that's something I'm not very good at any longer. Been a long day, and week and year." But she made no attempt to get up and leave yet.
The Lieutenant nodded, "It has been. Hasn't it? Glad to know I'm not the only one who's had a troubling year." He paused playing with his cup, "Want to talk about it?"
Did she? Was that why she was still sitting here? Would a complete stranger have more sympathy or understanding than a close friend? She supposed it depended on the situation. "Well . . . you know about being arrested already. And before that there was a man. He was in intelligence too." She let that thought linger for a moment. "And the mission before that was images of our loved ones telling us what a disappointment we'd been or at least in my case. I haven't asked a lot of the others."
"I can see how that would be troubling. A loved one telling me that I was a disappointment would be hard to take," he paused and tried a charming smile, "well, so long as it was a family member I actually liked and not one of the jerks. You had another Intelligence Officer aboard that treated you badly?" He probed knowing that this could either shut the conversation down or keep it going, "Usually people never find out about us or figure out who we are. Want me to go beat him up for you?"
Nokomis snorted, humor was such a coping mechanism for her. "Not exactly. When he was here everything was great. He made a decision and poof, gone. To be honest I think he was still a bit afraid of me, our difference in rank was . . . substantial."
"Rank is just a word though," he answered sitting back in his chair. "Sad that he couldn't get that. He let a person who seems to be a great one out of his life over a stupid decision."
"Oh well," It certainly wasn't that easy internally but Nokomis rarely showed her emotions to those she loved the must, much less someone she'd just met. She held everything in as if no one could see the pins poking out of the cushion. "I'm sure his reasons made sense to him. Not the first man who didn't seem to understand." She desperately wanted to tell him about what had happened with Logan but she just couldn't.
The newcomer could sense that there was more to it from his El-Aurian senses, but the listener in him knew not to push too far too fast. "That's his loss. You're right, you did have a bad year," his smile was disarming and nonthreatening. He genuinely did seem to care.
"What about you? Was yours personal or all business?" She swore if he told her it was classified she was going to get up from this table and leave.
"Actually a mix of both," he answered honestly. "Work stuff took up some of it, family stuff the other, and then the crossover." He sighed, revealing more than he even meant to, "My father is a fairly high ranking member of Starfleet. He commands one of those ships everyone fights to be on because you can 'write your own ticket' after being on it for five minutes. I found out he was secretly influencing my career behind the scenes with some very important people. I want to be my own person, not in a role because Daddy arranged it." He was actually a little more irritated discussing it than he meant to be. He pulled back toward the chair a bit, "Sorry. I guess it isn't as old a wound as I thought."
"My father is the opposite. If I didn't kill myself trying to be the absolutely best that I could be, he didn't want to look at me. He never would have lifted a finger to change anything about my career, not that he had a whole lot of influence in Starfleet, he's the ambassador to Krios. Still . . . I think he meant well. I never felt unloved at any rate, not from him."
"Mine commands the flagship," he continued. "Apparently he never imagined I could do it without him secretly guiding my destiny from behind the scenes. I've been through Advanced Tactical, Command Training," he paused realizing he'd revealed a lot, "all of it he secretly influenced. I'm afraid he still is."
"Run away from home," Mis joked. "Do you love being in Starfleet?" It was a rather personal question but an important one. He could get away from his father if he picked a different career.
He smiled, "Have you ever had an Odyssey Class ship on the look of you? Not easy to hide from even for a civilian." He looked at his empty glass, "As for the other question... I wish I had an answer."
"Well," Nokomis said, focusing on finishing her hot chocolate. "Maybe you should work on figuring that out. Or go into waste reclamation." She suddenly seemed to decide it was time to go. "Thank you for the ear, I appreciate it. Do you have quarters you're using?"
"Normally I do have a cabin that they 'arrange' for me. This time they didn't though, but I've been enjoying some quiet time in the Jeffries Tubes on Deck 39," he answered.
She chuckled. "Come on, I'll help you find some quarters so you don't startle some poor person coming out of the shower." Nokomis stood up and waited for him to join her.
The Intelligence Officer nodded and stood as well, "My name is Will, by the way."
"Nokokmis. Although, some people call me Mis." She led the way out of the lounge and to the turbolift.
"Nice to formally meet you," he answered with a boyish smile.
Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Willian Targaryen
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Orion