Part of the unit-wide mission Task Force 72: Headquarters

A chance meeting

Starbase 72 Promenade
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Starbase 72 promenade

T.J. walked the long corrodes of the Starbase headed to spend time with his family. You could say a lot of things about his time on the station but it had given him more time with his family. He entered the promenade and saw his wife Shelby sitting at a corner table her long blonde hair braided back and hanging off to the side. His son Emil sat across the table from her and their daughter sat on her lap. He let out a smile as slowly picked up a pace.

He smiled as he reached the table and the kids let out a shout of joy attracting the attention of some others. “Hello my love’s,” he said with a grin as he took a seat.

“How are you dear?” Asked Shelby with a smile

“I am good and you?” He replied placing a hand on the table.

“I’m good the kids have been good today, your son has been practicing his martial arts” she said with a slight laugh.

Jewels was in the promenade enjoying some time away from work. The hustle and bustle was different than what she expected. The academy had been busy but it was like organized chaos. This was more like an inferno of people. She stopped mid-step as she saw someone approach a table. It was like seeing a story come to life. She had seen pictures of the man on her father’s walls. He as like the son her father had never had.

‘Leave him be” she told herself but she couldn’t help it. She found herself walking closer running through all the things she wanted to say in her head. As she reached the table she saw him sitting with a woman in a uniform of a medical officer wearing the rank of commander, and 2 kids.

Everything she wanted to say left her he’d as she looked at the table.

T.J. noticed a young woman approach there and just stop. She looked familiar but it was hard for him to place a name on the face. “What can I do for you ensign?” He asked looking up at her trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice.

Jewels were taken aback in a way the man’s voice sounded gruff kind of fighting to his greying hair. He looked more normal than she expected. “Ye ye yes sir, you knew my father” she stammered out before looking to the woman and kids with him ‘Bad timing Jewels.’ She thought.

He looked at the young woman again taking in her face her blue eyes and familiar jawline. His eyes grew as he put a name to the face. “Julia Shaddix” he said more of a statement than a question.

“Yes sir You served under my father Emil”

He smiled softly with a hint of pain in his eyes. “Best years of my life. Have a seat Ensign” he replied

Shelby had been listening and her eyes softened and then landed on T.J. “We will see you later love” she said getting up and taking the kids with her.

T.J. smiled and nodded as he watched his wife walk away.

Jewels took a seat and looked at him. “He talked about you often, he use to tell us about the USS Rome and how you save him there,” she said her voice soaked in emotion.

“I didn’t save him I just did my duty, a crew needs its captain and he was that man. He gave us hope in the dark and guided us all in the right direction” he replied

“That sounds like him. I wanted to follow in his footsteps.” She paused and looked at the table. “When he died my mother blamed Starfleet, she blamed everything he’d been through said it sucked the life right out of him… I know I’m new and haven’t been in the fleet long but I think she wrong.”

“I wouldn’t say it sucked the life out of him. It takes a tool but it’s not what ends a life that is life itself. All things that have a start and an end.” He replied softly but with a hint of a smile. “He never seemed his age when I knew him. It was as if he could take on the world.”

She felt a tear slip out and smiled. “That’s how I remember him”

“What assignment did you get?” He asked

“I was assigned her pending a ship assignment”

“Sounds like me, waiting for my command. Any ship you eyeing?” He asked, he knew the name USS Rome had been reassigned but not to what class ship he had requested it but he wasn’t if that meant he would get it or if it was just hearing a request from one of many officers.

“Honestly any she would be nice. If I got my pick the New Orleans class USS Rome. I feel like it would be fitting. Starting my career on a ship that had the same name as my dad’s first command.”

“Ahhh so it’s a New Orleans class,” he said softly going over the specs in his head.

“You knew they were using the name again?” She asked raising an eyebrow.

“I asked for the command if they ever used the name again but we will see.” He said with a half-smile. “It felt like the right thing it would be a fitting first command “

“That would be,” she said with a soft smile. “Thank you for your time LTC but I have a shift I need to get to,” she said standing up from the table.

“Don’t be late for your shift” he said as she walked away. He smiled ‘that’s a career I need to keep an eye on he thought to himself as he settled back. Life was strange and now long after losing his mentor, he had a chance to repay that favor to his mentor’s daughter. He stood up and headed off to find his family.