Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

And the Unjoined Shall Lead

Engineering Workshops / Promenade
March 2400
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Heriah had already checked out only two of the gyms, albeit only briefly. Her PADD displayed many locations of gymnasiums all over the starbase, though most were reserved only for those working in the areas within the proximity. In a starbase the size of SB Bravo, Guardian Class, you needed many gyms to accommodate the population. And Heriah could not wait to peruse the workout schedules, group exercises, the various fighting disciplines, sparring matches, and the like and to fit herself into some of those schedules. It had only been a few days since she last lifted weights and it already felt too long.

The holodecks, she would visit later. She still needed to sync her programs with the base’s computer so she could get back to her programs and holonovels.

At this moment though, Heriah was wanting to jump on her in-processing, get the meet-and-greets out of the way, meet the crew she would be working with, and get the signatures, the clearances, and the scans all done.

She made Engineering her first stop. She needed to check in, declare that she had no ship or shuttle to claim, and acquire clearance and access codes to many places regarded primarily for the engineers because…you never know when someone is going to break down and lock themselves inside a maintenance tube and only a counselor would be able to talk them out.

‘Just open the nearest airlock and space them.’

“Quiet Rex.” There was no one else in the corridor for the moment so Heriah did not feel awkward speaking to Rex aloud. “The mental health of the crew is my responsibility. That makes it your responsibility as well. Ours.”

Looking at her PADD a quick second, Heriah saw that she needed to meet with either Captain Richard Sterling or LCDR Livingston Dutton. She hadn’t the clearance yet to see who was where about the base or even if they were aboard the base at all for that matter. Until such time, she could only hope they were in the office or nearby. Otherwise, she would simply return to Engineering later.

The border of her PADD glowed green with ‘Sector Echo-One-Green’ displayed indicating her arrival in Engineering Support as she exited the turbolift. Many of the offices were located there and she would find either of the two men or someone who would know. With 20 decks to get familiar with, it was more likely that Heriah would find someone who would know rather than either the captain or the lieutenant commander.

Entering one of the workshop areas, Heriah could see multitudinous small craft ranging from standard shuttles, runabouts, and personnel carriers of various makes and models as well as a wide range of fighter craft. She approached one, a Peregrine Class fighter with a pair of feet sticking out from beneath.

Crossing her arms over her PADD pressed against her chest, Heriah put on a smile. “Excuse me,” she said cheerfully. “I hope I am not interrupting anything too important.”

Nilah was working underneath one of the fighters replacing some wiring that had gone bad when she was startled, she wasn’t expecting anyone in here for another few hours. She crawled from underneath the fighter and sat up for a moment rubbing her head as she bumped it when she got startled, standing up she looked at the women standing next to the shuttle. “Nothing too crazy, just replacing some wiring” she replied looking at the Trill women in teal. “How can I help you?” She asked as she knew it wasn’t time for her physical, at least she thought she got that out of the way already.

“Oh…uh…,” Heriah maintained her smile. “I see that…that you…,” but she could feel the cheerfulness wane away inside her.

‘You see it don’t you? Those spots?’

‘Stop it, Rex.’

‘A different luster about them.’

‘No. Stop it.’

‘Unjoined lowlife.’

“…that you are busy,” she finished. Heriah did a good job of keeping a cheerful tone in her voice though. “I was hoping you could help me find,” she held her PADD away from her a little and looked upon it, “Captain Dutton…I mean Captain Sterling or Lieutenant Commander Dutton.” She spun the PADD around and showed it to Nilah. “I have to do my in-processing meet and greet.” She hopped on her heels slightly. “No secret, I’m the newbie here.”

She raised an eyebrow, “I see” she replied as she wasn’t sure where they were currently. “I am sorry I am not of help as I have no clue where they are, I work in the shipyards and not on the actual station engineering like they are.” She replied as she had been busy non-stop since she got on duty a few hours ago, “I am Ensign Nilah Virahl.” She replied extending her hand towards the woman.

Immediately proving victorious against Rex’s hesitation, Heriah took Nilah’s hand and shook it. She then knelt so they could continue speaking at the same eye level.

“Ensign Heriah Khatain…uh…”

‘Go ahead. Do it. Let her know you are joined. Watch her jealousy consume her.’

“…Rex,” Heriah finished as she ignored the thoughts Rex forced forth. “I’m the new counselor. Pleased to meet you.”

She smiled taking the woman’s hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet a fellow Trill.” She smiled as she looked at her, “I need a break anyways I can show you around if you like while ya wait for either the Chief or the Shift Leader to become available.” She replied with a smile as she did need a break as she’s been working the majority of the day and this particular fighter was giving her trouble.

“We all need a break now and then,” Heriah said as she helped Nilah up. “And that would be great, you showing me around.” She held up her PADD with a layout of the deck displayed. “One can only learn but so much from these things.” Something perked her interest and an uncontrollable urge short forth from within her. Suddenly the knowledge spewed forth like water from the spigot. “This is a Federation Peregrine Class Attack fighter, right? Phaser cannon equipped. Dual micro torpedo and dual torpedo launchers. With the ability to be modified to launch up to four of each. Highly adaptable. Used by the Maquis during their struggle with the Cardassians. Retired by the Federation but still used because of their adaptability and reliability.”

Heriah looked upon the vessel like a child in a candy store, eying it but also appreciating it greatly.

“Indeed,” she replied looking at her as they began to walk out of the workshop heading down the corridor she began to show her around while they continued to chat. “So what brought you here to Starbase Bravo?” Nilah asked while walking.

Heriah followed Nilah and did not even check the map on her PADD. “I heard they needed a counselor here. Back at Starfleet, at the Academy, they…”

‘The ever ominous THEY. Well, they did not want you aboard a starship. They feared you would snap like a twig.’

“…they felt I was better suited for a Starbase or a planet-side posting somewhere. You know, before I move up to a ship and explore space.” Heriah saw a viewport and looked out at the stars and the varied ships circling about the starbase. “And you,” Heriah turned her attention to Nilah, “What brought you here? What made you decide to be such a fine engineer?”

“I have always had a knack for fixing things, or just taking things apart to put back together to learn how things work.” She replied as they continued walking, “I decided to join Starfleet to pursue that passion and after the Academy, they felt my talents were needed here on Starbase Bravo and in the shipyard construction area.” She replied with a smile.

‘Someone else likes to take things apart and put them back together…the Borg.’

That thought exploded into Heriah’s mind and she quickly threw it away. “Well, I am sure you will flourish here, make a name for yourself and prove to be indispensable. I admit trying my hand at Engineering. I managed one class but found it was not for me. I dabbled in Intelligence and Operations, found something of a stride in Security but eventually was convinced to give Counseling a try. That is where I felt I belong; helping people. Though,” and Heriah smiled, nearly laughing at the thought, “I was the only Counseling cadet to enter into and take part in the Starfleet Academy bantamweight combative competition. Some felt it was working against me, as a counselor, to take up fighting. I felt that I should at least be able to relate to my counselees, even the big ones. You know? The muscular ones who think showing emotion and talking about feelings is a sign of weakness?”

She nodded, “I am sure you will do great here as I am sure someone will need your services.” She replied as the first place they arrived at was the promenade, “here is the promenade where you can find many shops and restaurants here, I have heard there are some really good ones though I have yet to try many of them yet.” She admitted with a smile, as they began to walk around she was heading towards where the shift leader would be located to see if he was there but figured give her a tour while on their way.

Heriah gasped in awe. “Shops!” She nearly hopped on her heels. “I am going to need a new dress. I am going to need swimwear. Ooh,” she noticed a store down the way advertising blunted and bladed weapons. “I wonder if they have a pair of Krabi Krabongs.” Heriah looked around; was almost spinning. “I think I may need a chaperone when coming here.” She continued following Nilah as she was stepping away. “What restaurant have you not tried yet? I’ll give it a go tonight and let you know what my thoughts are.”

“The fancier ones really,” Nilah replied looking at her as she couldn’t help but chuckle at her shier excitement over shops but they were pretty neat.

“I am not really a fan of fancy,” Heriah returned.

‘Except for fancy weapons.’

Heriah shrugged at the thought. “I prefer something more real, you know? Something,” she looked about and spotted a restaurant advertised as ‘Klingon Cuisine.’ Inside, she could see the Klingon cook shouting and throwing food about angrily. “Something with true atmosphere. Ooh!” Heriah walked speedily toward another shop and waited for Nilah to arrive at her side before noticing the name of it.

“The Joined Trill,” she read aloud and started reading the stand beside the entrance, “An honest illustration of the duality of…”

‘…duality of Joined Trills which your company is certainly not.’

“…of a little too much like home for me,” Heriah finished and she stepped away. Her joy at the shops waned. It was really nothing but a past novelty greatly enjoyed by one Heriah Khatain and less enjoyed by Heriah Rex, save for the weapons shop, of course. She stepped less gingerly, her mood sans the joy, her direction without destination.

After they finished touring the promenade they continued on with the tour which seemed to have taken an hour, though they didn’t really see all of the Starbase as that would take a long time. They finally made it where the shift leader was now at, “hope you enjoyed the tour as it seems we have reached the person you are wanting to speak with.” Nilah replied with a smile as she looked at the time, “I really have to get back to work I have a deadline to make with that craft.” Nilah replied looking at Heriah.

“Yeah,” said Heriah. The past hour almost appeared to have stretched for an eternity. “Thanks for showing me around.” The joy she displayed earlier had yet to return in any degree. Nilah did not seem to comment or care about that in the least.

‘She is unjoined. She does not feel the way we do. You would be better off…’

“I have kept you too long from your work. I will not keep you any longer.”

Heriah watched as Nilah stepped away. She looked at her PADD again, and at the unfinished in-processing checklist, wondering if it was really checked and looked after by anyone. Or was it simple a means to get personnel acquainted with the station and crew?

Removing her attention from the PADD, Heriah turned in a random direction and started walking.