Mission Day 60
“Waimak has landed ma’am and Flight Ops reports bay 2 is secure,” came a ran of the mill report from Lieutenant Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr. “Package has been left on the planetoid as you requested.”
“Thanks Rrr,” Tikva said as she turned in her seat to look towards Mac, who was over at the Science console, consulting with Gabrielle. “Mac, how we looking?”
“Looking good,” he said, as Gabrielle gave a head nod and pointed to an indicator on one of her screens. “Main deflector should be able to broadcast your message loud enough for folks to pick it up and with enough collimation for them to know where it was transmitted from as well.”
She’d spent nearly an hour discussing this course of action with her XO, explaining her reasoning, listening to his counter arguments and working with him. Mac wasn’t completely opposed, so much as wanted to play devil’s advocate to make sure this was what Tikva wanted to actually do. That and, he admitted, he was looking out for his future career.
“Well then. T’Val, please bring us onto a bearing of 285 mark 3. Mac, Gabrielle, you may transmit when ready.”
The starscape on the main viewer shifted as Atlantis spun about her Z axis and only lifted her nose ever so slightly in order to aim the ship at where the planet of Tarela would be in space in four hours’ time. There was no fanfare, no sound of charging equipment, just the chirps from consoles on the bridge, people going about their jobs as Atlantis transmitted the message crafted by Tikva towards the planet they’d been studying for a few days.
When Mac approached and sat himself down in his seat he broke Tikva out of her thoughtfulness. “Message away Cap. We’re good to go.”
“Excellent. T’Val, set course 010 mark 76, warp seven. At your discretion please.”
“Aye ma’am, Bearing 010 mark 76, warp seven. There is a K class main sequence star on our bearing ma’am, five days away at requested speed.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant, that’s our next destination.”
“Understood ma’am,” the Vulcan said before she programmed in the ship’s speed and then set them on their way.
“Lieutenant Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr, please make a note in the ship’s log that stellar catalogue VOY2373-54215 is to be renamed the Lauren system as per the local inhabitant’s own designation for their star system. Flag as pre-warp and worthy followup.”
“Aye ma’am. I’ll have the catalogue updated shortly. I’ll forward the linkage code to all departments to add to any reports written about the system.”
“Oh, yes please,” responded Gabrielle as she looked at her Gaen colleague. “We’ve got at least a dozen reports and a few papers to attach.”
“Computer core is only so big Gabrielle,” Tikva joked, a smile naturally coming to her face. “And please consider I have to read at least the reports. The journal papers I’ll leave to you.”
“Wait, you read the reports?” Mac said, feigning shock. “I better go rewrite a few of mine then.”
Mission Day 60
The dirt of the training ground stuck to the side of Tikva’s face as she pushed herself back up, collected the spear in her right hand and used it help get back to her feet. The back of her free hand came up to brush some of the dirt away from around her mouth but just had the effect of smearing sweat and dirt around her lower face.
At least most of it will disappear when we leave.
Whatever the computer hasn’t replicated in the meantime.
It was warm and sunny, nary a cloud in the perfect blue Mediterranean sky. A gentle breeze carried with it the sounds of the ocean nearby and what was clearly atmospheric sounds of people going about their business beyond ring of seating surrounding the grounds.
This whole program was Ancient Greek-esqe, but it was one of Tikva’s favourites. A reasonable sized town, by the sea, with sailing as an option, relaxing, some nice walking trails that reminded her of home, fight training, philosophers to argue with in the agora.
A fun little diversion. When she wasn’t being beaten up on that is.
“Your form is a little sloppy,” Adelinde Gantzmann said, her German accent coming through a bit thicker now as she twirled her own spear in hand, bringing it into a guard position. “But otherwise, is technically sound.”
“Where did you learn to fight with a spear?” Tikva asked, drawing in a breath, exhaling, then adopting a guard and slowly opening the distance to draw Adelinde away from the wall and into the center of the grounds.
“Academy. Non-powered and improvised weapons training. Our instructor even had us marching in the parade grounds as a phalanx.”
Tikva took the chance then to lunge forward, a feint to the left then a purposeful dive to the right, a roll around her own spear to keep it parallel to the ground and she came to her feet swung it in an arc to try and collect the back of Adelinde’s bare legs.
Both women had ditched uniforms for loose shorts and tops. Adelinde in an Academy singlet, Tikva in a grey top with Atlantis in silhouette on the left breast, the ship’s name underneath it. Outside of this training ground their clothes would have stood out sharply, not that the inhabitants of the simulation would ever register it.
Adelinde however hadn’t stayed still, a jump away had opened the distance and a swirl of her own, a low swing of spear tip had resulted in a clash of wooden hafts. Then Adelinde drove the tip down into the ground and used the spear as a make shift pole-vault to launch herself upwards in an arc, releasing the spear to fall to the ground as she came down at her commanding officer with a driving knee.
Rolling away caused Tikva to leave her own spear as well, not wishing to take the hit in any shape or form and by the time she came to her feet, Adelinde was on her own as well, though now armed with Tikva’s dropped spear. A fast lunge resulted in spear tip going straight for her stomach, then dissolving in holographic trickery, the tip reforming behind her where it would have protruded should it have been real.
“Damn woman,” Tikva said, exasperated as she offered a hand to help Adelinde recover from the lunge. “You are fast. I think I might have to join your fitness classes.”
“Not fast, just better trained Captain.” The taller woman accepted the offer, the spear dropped and fading to nothingness before it even hit the ground. Standing up however she had pulled on Tikva slightly and come up to her full height a little inside Tikva’s personal bubble.
Or at least a scion of one.
Said that already Primitive Tikva.
“You’re always welcome to join us Captain,” Adelinde said, a slightly smile on her face. “Of course, the rule for my classes is no ranks, no special dispensations unless Terax says so.”
“Tikva. When we’re training,” she said, offering a wave of her hand to indicate more specifically this training program, “just call me Tikva.”
“Tikva,” Adelinde said, experimenting with it as she mimed saying it a few more times, obviously running it through her head, just not saying it out loud. “I can do that.”
A swipe with one dagger, a swipe with another and then a dodge to the left to avoid Adelinde’s sword swing. They’d changed up weapons and that had given Tikva some advantage. She wielded two bronze daggers, gleaming in the early afternoon sunlight, but had to contend with Adelinde’s choice of shield and sword. More then a few times she’d had to jump away to avoid the sword, or only managed to add a few new dings to the battered looking shield.
She didn’t even think about it, acting on instinct as her left arm came up, dagger catching a thrown sword to deflect it away, but then she herself got caught with the body blow of Adelinde’s shield charge. One step, two steps and then she was slammed into the wooden wall.
When had she gotten so close? It didn’t matter. She was armed, Adelinde had finally come in close. But before she could raise a weapon, her stunned brain still trying to process just what had happened, both of her wrist had been grabbed and pinned to the wall above her head.
“Yield,” the security officer demanded of her Captain.
A nod, a shake of head in a ‘okay, fine’ fashion and Tikva dropped the daggers, hearing them clatter to the ground. “Yield.” She sighed and then looked Adelinde straight in the eyes. “You fight dirty.”
“It’s my job,” Adelinde said, not releasing Tikva but maintaining the eye lock. “If someone fights dirty, I’ll fight back.”
Tikva struggled slightly, then realised the futility of it and just cocked her head to the side. “You going to let me go?”
“I’m thinking about it.”
“Thinking about it?”
“Yes…I’ve been watching you and have to say, you’re not as subtle as you think.”
“Look, Lieutenant, I…” Tikva wasn’t able to finish the sentence as she was interrupted by Adelinde’s oh so gentle kiss. It was the surprise of it that stopped her, but also just how gentle it was. More a brushing of lips then anything.
“My quarters or yours?” she asked.
I’m going to get in so much trouble. So, so much trouble!