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Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

In Between A Photon & Quantum

Starbase Bravo, Mellstoxx System, Beta Quadrant
Q2 2400
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Stifling a yawn slightly, Tate was finding his first few days on Starbase Bravo to be quite full on. The one thing he was struggling with was finding himself around the huge station. Not wanting to look absolutely stupid in front of his colleagues or his superiors, he had found keeping a PADD with a map of the station on him was the best way of getting used to his surroundings. Working his way through deck three-hundred and two in sector golf-one-cyan, he was on his way to find his father. He had been asked by one of his superiors to hand deliver a report before he came off his shift. The computer had told him that his father was in this area and Horin had wondered if he was there undertaking an inspection on one of the many tactical systems the station had. 

Approaching a large doorway that was signposted with the words: TORPEDO ARMOURY NINE, the cadet tapped the button and requested clearance to enter the room. Someone, who he assumed was monitoring the door, called him to determine what his intentions were. Once he flashed them the PADD he carried and explained he was there to see his father, they allowed him to enter.

Stepping through over the threshold, once the doors had parted away from each other, Horin found himself in a tall and extremely wide room that looked more like a warehouse than any armoury he had seen. The room was darkened somewhat, so he couldn’t see past a few metres ahead of him. Not wanting to seem like a child who had lost their parents, he decided to begin walking down the long aisles of ordnance. He could hear mumbling or what sounded like low humming coming from behind a stack of photon torpedoes, he couldn’t sense if it was his father, so instead he walked around and was surprised not to find his father but a younger officer.

“Oh, I’m sorry sir for interrupting you.”  

Connolly studied the younger man for a moment. “Who are you?” He asked, quickly adding another. “And what are you doing in here?”

Standing straight to attention, Horin didn’t blink as he answered. “Cadet Tate Horin, sir.” He replied in a formal and firm tone. “I’m here to deliver a message to Captain Horin.”

“I assume the fact that you share the same surname is no coincidence?” Connolly asked.

“Yes sir, the captain is my father.” Horin said, still standing firmly to attention. 

The tactical officer frowned at the sight of the cadet’s posture. “At ease, for god’s sake.” He glanced back down at his PADD and stabbed at a few controls with his index finger. “You’ll pull a muscle or something if you keep standing like that.”  

“Thank you, sir.” Horin relaxed a bit and wasn’t sure if he should ask the ensign if he had seen his father.

“If you’re,” Connolly stopped and seemed to reconsider his words, “the captain is in here, I haven’t seen him.”

“Oh okay,” Horin said, sounding a bit deflated at not being successful so far in finding his father. “Were you going to ask me a question then, sir?”

Connolly shook his head. But seconds later did have a question for the young cadet. “What’s it like serving on a starbase where your dad’s one of the senior officers? I would imagine you have to keep your nose extra clean.”

Holding a sigh back, Horin scratched the back of his head before answering. “It’s not been easy, I’ve found myself trying to prove I didn’t get placed on the starbase because of him.” He looked at the ensign. “How long have you been here, sir?”

“Three years.” Connolly replied. “When I arrived, this station was still under construction so I served aboard the old Spacedock-class station initially before transferring over here prior to her commissioning.”

“If you don’t mind me making a comment sir, I still get lost around this station.” Horin replied. “How have you survived being here this long?”

Connolly snorted. “You get used to it. When I first came aboard I made sure to plan all my journeys before I set off. I carried a PADD with me at all times with the journeys mapped out so I could consult it as needed. The longer I was onboard, the less I found myself consulting the PADD until I didn’t need it anymore.” With a shrug he added, “I like to be organised.”

“Thanks for the tip.” Horin remarked with a smile. He could sense that this was becoming a bit awkward. “I suppose I best go find my dad.” He took a couple of steps away before he turned back to Connolly. “Sir, I know this may be a bit impromptu of me, but as part of one of my assignments I need to shadow an officer for a week. I have to pick someone or my instructors will find me someone, so what I’m trying to say is, would you mind?”

Connolly’s features darkened and returned to the PADD in his hand. “I doubt Captain Horin would want his son shadowing someone with my,” he paused for a moment, “chequered past.” The bitterness in his voice as he said those last two words was palpable. “I’m sure your instructors will be able to find you a more appropriate officer to shadow.” 

Not knowing the ensign’s history, Horin was intrigued. “I don’t mean to pry sir, but my father isn’t that type of man. He’s always been someone who believes in giving people another chance.” Horin inhaled before speak further. “And I believe that too, so now you’ve said that, well I’d appreciate you seriously changing your mind?” The cadet took a step closer. “I may become a bit annoying with my request, sir.” 

“I doubt your instructors will want you shadowing me either.” Connolly told him. “But you can tell them that I’ve agreed to it, if you want. Whether they allow you to, well that’s for them to decide.”

“Well then, I get to tell them I’m learning from someone who has learnt from their mistakes.” Horin cheerfully replied before he showed his appreciation for the young officer. “Thank you though, Ensign?” He soon realised he had never asked him his name.

“Aiden Connolly.” The junior tactical officer replied.

Extending his hand out, Horin continued to remain positive. “Ensign Connelly, I am grateful. I suppose I best go find my father but perhaps maybe we could meet up tomorrow night for dinner or drinks to discuss my assignment?”

Connolly accepted the cadet’s hand and gave it a brief but firm shake. “Make it coffee. Brew, on the Promenade is usually pretty good.”

“I look forward to it.” Horin replied, before departing to go and find his father in between the various cases of photon and quantum torpedoes stored in this armoury.