Mission 0 - Leaving the Blue Marble
Location: Ten Forward
Timeline: MD 6; 1800 hours
Varina sat, almost hunched over, at a table in Ten Forward. Another evening in her quarters gone horribly wrong. Bad enough, that she didn't even care that the bourbon she drank was synthohol. It felt the same going down as the real stuff.
She sat back and stared blankly across the room. She wondered what she had ever seen in her ex, and how had she missed the snide attitude and manipulative person he'd become. When she'd taken this assignment, she'd held out hope that she could still stay in contact with her son, but it was becoming quickly apparent that she was losing that last grip on normalcy. But from here, what could she do?
There was always one thing that the Klingons did that they could claim left the galaxy a better place, and that was raktajino. A late night of going over the latest scans and gathered information of the border area. Out of the corner of her eye, T'Sai noticed the ship's doctor sitting by herself and looking sad. Had this been earlier in her career, she would have ignored the doctor. Now, the Vulcan knew the benefits of nurturing a rapport with her fellow crew. She took her coffee with her as she walked toward Varina.
"Do you request company?" T'Sai asked. Her voice sounded Vulcan enough even though T'Sai had attempted to put some sympathetic overtones into her voice.
The doctor looked up, slightly startled by the quiet approach. "What? Um, well, I didn't request it, but I won't refuse it either. Please," she gestured to the seat opposite her and straightened up.
After hoping for a moment that the doctor would have taken the gesture to be a nice offer and refusing, T'Sai hid her slight disappointment well as she took the offered seat. She was still very awkward with small talk and in social settings with Humans. "Does your beverage help?" T'Sai asked, genuinely curious.
Varina glanced at her glass before looking back at the other woman. "Not as much as the real thing would, but what are ya gonna do?"
"Acquire the real drink?" T'Sai responded with a very poor attempt at imitating a joke.
The doctor chuckled. "When I could be pulled into duty at any moment? I save any chance at finding real bourbon for special occassions. The last thing I need is to be found inebriated while operating on a patient."
"Of course," T'Sai agreed. From her time with Humans, she had learned that they had a tendency to relax through recreation. "Do you participate in any hobbies?" the Vulcan asked.
Varina thought about that, and the answer was a bit troubling. "Not in a long time. For the last few years, I've buried myself in work."
The Vulcan thought things over a bit, Humans enjoyed games to pass the time as well as the holodeck. Perhaps, she could help teach her a game to help keep her mind focused on something other than what was causing the problems. "I could teach you kal-toh," T'Sai suggested.
The CMO raised a brow, "Kal-toh? What is that?"
"It as a game about finding order in profound chaos," T'Sai explained. "It has been described as Vulcan chess,: she further explained, though comparing it to chess was on par with comparing a child's drawing to a painting in a museum.
Varina considered, and nodded. "Sure. It couldn't hurt."
"May I ask," T'Sai started. "What is the cause of your sadness?" Even for her, T'Sai knew that she had probably been too blunt. However, it was rather obvious that the doctor was suffering.
Varina chuckled. "Sadness is not quite what I'm feeling right now. At least, it's not the prevailing emotion," she amended. "Frustration and anger would be more accurate." She looked at the Vulcan to assess if she really wanted to hear her problems. She wasn't entirely sure, but she decided to give the brief overview. "My ex husband seems to be keeping me from talking to my son. For the last two arranged times, there's been no answer to my communications. And given that I'm here, and he's on Earth, I can't do much about it. It also leaves me wondering what to expect going forward."
T'Sai's reaction remained unchanged, yet she listened to the other woman's explanation. "You believe your former husband is attempting to prevent you from staying in contact with your children?" Stopping for a moment to consider, she added, "It appears as though he is emotionally hostile to you, was there a recent incident?" The Vulcan was aware that she was unintentionally starting to come off as though she were performing an investigation.
Suddenly, the realization that she was discussing a very personal situation with a virtual stranger hit Varina. She hadn't intended to mention it to anyone, but it had been hard to hold it in when she was fuming on the inside. Still, she didn't know why she had spilled everything to the Vulcan, except for her calm demeanor that presented an air of trust. However, Varina felt the need to pull back. She wasn't here to air her family's dirty laundry. "Well, I don't know what his intensions are. He could just have Erick out of the house at that point...?" She shrugged. "I dunno."
The other person's sudden change in demeanor told T'Sai that she was probably done with the current subject. "If you are still interested in Kal-toh, I will make arrangements," the Vulcan offered unemotionally, yet somehow also with a bit of reassurance.
Varina nodded, noting the change in subject. "I am. Let me know when you've got some spare time, and I can join you anywhere on the ship you'd like." She was aware now how awkward hearing about someone else's problems might have seemed, so she added, "Thank you for listening. I hope it wasn't too...off-putting."
"There was no harm," T'Sai responded with an awkward Human saying. "I must return to my duties," she added, indicating that she needed to get back to her department.
Varina nodded, "Of course. I'm sure I'll see you around." She retuned to her drink as she watched the other woman leave, losing herself once again in her thoughts.
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Varina Hightower
Chief Medical Officer, USS Orion