Sitting in what was now their ‘new home’, a small two bedroom apartment with a balcony view of the valley, Captain McCallister was staring out at the view before him. Captain Jyster had returned those who had younger children to Odyssey and then used the opportunity to bring power back to her warp drive that ended up taking her ship far away from Odyssey. His decision to make a deal that stranded everyone else had not gone down well with the remaining senior staff. McCallister had been given a scorn by his wife in private. Reyas had gone to bed without saying goodnight to him. He had to believe that deep down, his sons were capable of looking after themselves until help arrived. That said, his diplomatic efforts with Jyster had not stopped there. He planned to use the fact she had decided to pair up her sons with his first officer and command senior chief to their advantage. Hoping that between them, Duncan and Court could build up a good rapport with the two teenagers they were about to become carers to. One thing Jyster had said to them all, before disappearing, that she planned to make them as comfortable as possible. She had downloaded a copy of the Odyssey’s replicator files and using the ship’s particle synthesizers had adjusted the living accommodations to become more pleasant for her guests. Ordering a mug of tea, he had been surprised at just how well it was created. It tasted just like the real thing.
Having to tell those who remained from his crew that they needed to make this work for now was a difficult speech, especially for those who had older children left on Odyssey defending themselves. Sharing his concern and worries as a parent, McCallister had been able to play the ‘I get it’ card but he has also told those who remained with him that he had faith that those who returned would care for them all. The crew of the Odyssey had become a close knit community in the fourteen years it had been in service under his command, he had faith that they would prevail.
Looking over the valley, which showed an almost picturesque view of an aurora light show against a night sky filled with twinkling stars. Wondering if this was a move by Jyster to keep them calm, McCallister had to give their captor some points in effort. Feeling exhaustion slowly creeping up on him, the captain decided he would try and get some sleep before the artificial daylight appeared. He paused as he got up and changed his mind about going to share a bed with his wife. She was too angry with him, so instead he went into the spare guest room and fell asleep there instead. He would have to do some serious damage control with her in the morning.
Struggling to sleep, as his mind was buzzing with so much in it, Commander Duncan laid there in bed looking up at the ceiling. He could feel a wave of anxiety slowly rolling over him, he took the moment to take a few deep breaths. Looking to his right, he felt calmer at the view before him. Wrapped up under the bedsheets with him was his boyfriend and someone who now almost everyone on the ship knew he was with. Court was in a deep sleep, softly snoring and had tightly wrapped himself up against Duncan. One arm across his chest, reaching up to his left shoulder while his legs were wrapped among Duncan’s.
The first officer was trying to compartmentalise his thoughts, the former counsellor in him was trying to use the same strategies he had used with other former patients who were suffering from being overwhelmed with worry. It wasn’t just worry about his relationship with Court now being public knowledge, it was more over the fact that the captain had settled with Captain Jyster mixed in with the knowledge that he was about to become responsible for two teenage boys. Fatherhood? Was he really ready for it? He had always wanted a family, but he had never imagined doing it so soon and he was expected to do it with Court. Their relationship was still in its early days. Would this test them to prove they should be together? Or would it ruin what they had made so far? He didn’t know and part of him was concerned about that.
Closing his eyes one more time, Duncan hoped the captain knew what he was doing as he was unsure himself.
T’Rani had found the spectacular polar lights display to be of use to her as she sat in the centre of her living area and meditated. The absolute silence that existed was stimulating and helped her clear her mind. Not being someone that was a parent of a younger child had meant she had remained with the others and when accommodation had been organised, she had found herself sharing with Counsellor Samris. Not objecting to the idea, she had found their relationship to be developing well recently. After the captain had dismissed them all to go and get a “good night’s sleep” before their work commenced the next day, she and Samris had discussed their situation further in the privacy of their own accommodation. Though she was certain that the isomorphic projection of Captain Jyster could monitor their discussions, she had not shared anything she considered was inflammatory or would place either of them in a difficult situation later on.
One topic they had discussed over a light dinner was the revelation of Commander Duncan and Senior Chief Court’s relationship being made public knowledge. Samris had wondered how long they had been together, but T’Rani had reminded him it was not their place to speculate on the private lives of their colleagues, especially that of the first officer’s. They had moved on to talk about the fact that Captain Jyster had shared with the crew who they would be grouped with from the children and young people that were left. Samris and her were to take on three children, a sibling group. One boy and two girls. As such their accommodation had five bedrooms.
Becoming a parent had been one desire that T’Rani had always wanted with her husband before his death during the Archanis Campaign. Unfortunately she had not been able to conceive a child, something she had found earlier on in their marriage when they had attempted to mate during pon farr. Now the fact she was about to become responsible for children was a sensation she had not encountered before.
“Tea?” Samris asked in a low tone from the doorway of their shared bedroom.
Opening her eyes slightly, she looked over her left shoulder towards the direction of the voice that had disturbed her. Samris was standing there, just wearing casual pair lounge shorts that he had worn to bed, his expression appeared warm and affectionate.
“That would be…” she paused as she considered her words, “satisfactory, thank you.”
Gently stepping over to the particle synthesiser that could create everything they needed from food, to drink to clothes to anything they desired (within reason), the Romulan man ordered two cups of hot Vulcan spice tea.
Finishing her meditation, T’Rani blew out the candles and stood up to join Samris as he turned around with their drinks in his hands. “Thank you.” She said as he passed her the cup.
“I was thinking about going out for a run along the riverbank of the valley, before we meet our guests.” Samris said before taking a sip from his warm beverage.
“Is that such a wise decision Samris? The captain did instruct us to remain safe.” T’Rani said as she took a seat in one of the armchairs.
Sitting in the armchair opposite to her, Samris asked her to join him. “Safety in numbers is a Human expression I have heard before. What do you say?”
“Physical exercise would be an appropriate choice right now.” T’Rani agreed.
“Great, I just hope that contraption behind us is good at making decent running shoes as I left my favourite gym gear back on Odyssey.” Samris shared as he gestured towards the synthesiser behind him.
“It will have to suffice for now.” T’Rani said. “We must not complain as our condition of imprisonment could be a lot worse.”
“Indeed.” Samris said as he finished his tea and got up. “Let’s get moving before this day actually starts.”
“Knowing Lieutenant Commander Lenjir, I would suspect he is already undertaking this exercise and he would most likely have persuaded Lieutenant Commander Jen as well.” T’Rani said as she copied him in completing her drink too.
“Then we may see them and knowing Cline and Lukiz, both of them are probably using the time to recon on whatever they encounter.” Samris stated.
“Agreed.” T’Rani responded with. “Let us see if our assumptions are true and if they are we can help them with their efforts.”
“Agreed.” Samris countered back with, almost repeating her tone of voice.
Looking at him for a moment, T’Rani wondered if living with Samris would be agreeable.
Another human expression came to her mind.
So far, so good.
Pushing through the sweat and pain, Lukiz Jen thought he had kept himself in reasonable shape but was finding his morning jog with his old academy classmate a challenge now. That said, Lenjir was notorious on Odyssey for spending most of his off time in the ship’s gym. The Tiburon man was ripped with muscles. Jen had wondered if his friend could lift an escape pod with his bare hands. Seeing the size of his biceps, he reckoned he could.
“Can we take a breath.” panted Jen as they got to the top of a small hill. “A break. A rest even.”
Rolling his eyes, Lenjir agreed and came to a gradual stop and began to take deep breaths to calm his breathing down. Looking over to his friend, he could see the sweat literally pouring from him. Jen was not out of shape but wasn’t as fit as he had been when they had shared a room at the academy.
“When we get back to the Odyssey, you’re coming to the gym with me on a daily basis.” Lenjir insisted as he watched his friend land on the floor with a thump as he took his time to calm his breathing down.
“If me agreeing to it helps us get out of here sooner than I’m all up for it.” Jen said in between each inhale and exhale he took.
Chuckling as he stretched out his leg and arm muscles, Lenjir looked at his friend. “You’ve been awfully quiet since we got trapped here.”
“It’s a lot to process, Cline.” The joined Trill replied as he closed his eyes.
Lenjir stared at him, with an almost Vulcan raised eyebrow expression that showed he didn’t quite believe what he was hearing from his friend. “Are you talking about the Quirennal or the fact your ex is now dating our first officer?” He probed.
Groaning as he sat up, Jen opened his eyes and his breathing had slowed down. Lenjir sat down next to him and offered him the bottle of water he had brought out with them. “I knew this day would come, but I wasn’t expecting…”
“…for Tobie to go after Commander Duncan?” Lenjir helped finish.
“Yeah, sort of. The last I had heard he was seen dating Lieutenant Keli. ” Jen replied. “I mean, we’ve not been together for almost fifteen years now and I was the one who broke things off.”
Chuckling somewhat more, Lenjir shook his head at his friend. “First off, he and Keli were never an item. She was only training him up with weapon’s proficiency and I think they sometimes visit the holodeck together. Secondly, you two were quite intense when you were together on the Triton.”
“Young love.” Jen responded. “My joining changed that overnight.”
“So do you regret breaking up with him?” Lenjir questioned.
Jen considered the question for a moment before he gave an honest answer. “Looking back now, no I don’t think I do. I wasn’t in the right place, mentally, to be in a relationship with anyone. It wouldn’t have been fair on him, me or anyone else to be honest. I wasn’t ready for it.”
“And what about now?” Lenjir said as he took back the water bottle and took a few sips. “Are you ready for a relationship?”
“You offering?!” Jen joked with his friend which resulted in Lenjir shaking his head and rolling his eyes. “Maybe I am ready.” Jen finally admitted.
“Maybe that’s what it is.” Lenjir offered. “Perhaps you’re not jealous that Tobie is seeing someone else, maybe it’s you wanting to be in a relationship too. I mean finding out that T’Rani and Counsellor Samris are together now was a shocker as well.”
“I know, I wasn’t expecting that.” Jen replied. “But I’m glad she’s got someone, S’Tefe’s death affected her, even if she kept it quiet from us.”
“Indeed.” Lenjir agreed, he looked at his friend just as the sun started to rise on the horizon. “So do you want me to set you up with someone? I could put in a good word for you with Doctor Forbes, he’s a hunk, or if you want Keli is single. She’s a lot of fun and extremely beautiful!”
Sighing out in disbelief, Jen shook his head and got up. “Shut up Cline!” He shouted back as he started to get back on with their morning run.
“Hey, wait up. I’ve not exhausted my list yet!” Lenjir cried out as he chased after his friend down the hill they had gone up. “And now we’re trapped here, you may want to find someone before everyone else couples up!”
“Again, shut up Cline!” Jen called back as they made their way down, Jen ahead of his friend for sometime, both men chuckling at their conversation.
The rise of the sun, though artificial, brought some sort of comfort to Slyvexs as she watched it from the balcony view. The seat she was sitting on looked like the sun chairs one would find on Risa. She looked over to her left where her husband, Mettex, was sitting. Drinking on his third mug of raktajino, something he always did, she smiled.
“What time do you need to go to the hospital?” He asked in between sips.
“I’ve got a couple of hours.” She insisted as she picked up her first cup of Tarkalean tea. The warm drink was surprisingly nice. “If this situation was not the way it was, I think I could find myself enjoying the luxuries this ship has to offer.”
“Yes, dear.” Mettex said.
“Once I have completed the final treatments to the young people, I’m certain that we may be asked to take a few in.” Slyvexs looked over to her husband. The two of them had a number of children between them, not including those from their other marriages along with the numerous grandchildren as well. “How do you feel about it?”
“As long as I’m not having to change any nappies, then I’m happy to mentor and support them.” Mettex said, looking at her. “I think Captain McCallister was right to agree to what he was able to negotiate. These young people have been in stasis for a long time then they wake up to find their parents and carers are all dead and their destiny is now left in the hands of complete strangers. I don’t understand how we’ve not had any of them become hysterical so far.”
“You’re right on the latter.” Slyvexs said, placing her cup down. “There is a strong resilience quality in the ones I’ve met so far.”
“Was I not right on the former then?” Mettex questioned his wife. “Do you not agree with the captain’s actions?”
Slyvexs was not caught off guard by that question. She and Mettex had always had an open and honest relationship. Rarely did they speak about her colleagues, especially the captain, in such ways that it had surprised her. “In the time I have known Captain McCallister, I’ve never known him to take such unilateral action without consulting with his senior staff on such a huge issue that would affect the safety of the crew.”
“He is the captain, he does have that authority.” Mettex reminded her. “Surely, being a parent, in fact a grandparent, you can appreciate he was trying to find a reasonable solution to helping those youngsters left back on Odyssey? He was fortunate enough to get what he got out of his deal with Captain Jyster. We should count him lucky.”
“Yes, I suppose. It’s just I hope we end up living out our retirement here.” Slyvexs said as she picked her tea up again. “Even with all of these fancy luxuries around us.”
“One day at a time, my dear, one day at a time.” Mettex offered as he raised his mug of raktajino towards her.