As soon as the transporter beam finished materialising Cambil Bexa into existence, T’Rani greeted her former superior and mentor with the Vulcan salute. “It is agreeable to see you again, Com-.” T’Rani paused as she saw the extra fourth pip on Cambil’s neck. “Captain Cambil.”
Flashing a smile at the pilot, Cambil returned the welcome with T’Rani’s native gesture. “It’s good to see you too T’Rani.”
Raising her eyebrows in surprise of Cambil’s promotion, T’Rani congratulated her. “I was informed you had left Starfleet, ma’am.”
“I had,” Cambil said in what sounded like an annoyed tone, “and it’s a long story but the reserve activation clause has something to do with it, along with this damn paradox.” She paused as she noticed the other person with T’Rani. Looking at the man before her, Cambil looked at him. “Agent Hugo Styles, I wasn’t expecting the pleasure so soon.”
“Captain Cambil, the pleasure is all mine.” The man said with a wry smile as he extended his hand to greet her. Styles was a human man in his early thirties, was of average size and had short curly brown hair. He wore a simple civilian outfit: a cream coloured turtleneck top, a grey and black waistcoat and black trousers.
Looking at T’Rani, Cambil sighed. “Let me guess he’s our babysitter?”
T’Rani didn’t get a chance to answer as Styles spoke up. “Consider me your chaperon. I’m just here to ensure neither of you discuss the paradox any further.”
“I apologise captain, but I did not know you knew Agent Styles.” T’Rani expressed.
Smirking at her former student, Cambil waved the issue away with a simple gesture. “It’s not a problem, T’Rani. Agent Styles and I go way back.”
“I assume then Agent Styles debriefed you after your encounter with the captain in the past then?” T’Rani asked.
Styles answered for Cambil. “The temporal prime directive and its forty-seven suborders prevents the captain from confirming that with you, lieutenant commander.”
Cambil rolled her eyes and looked around at the runabout she had beamed upon. “I see that the Arsenal is still in good condition.” She indicated to her bags, “am I allowed to place my bags in the aft compartment or will that break one of the forty-seven suborders of the temporal prime directive or the actual prime directive?” She looked at Styles.
The agent just nodded with permission and returned to his chair in the cockpit.
“I will assist you.” T’Rani said as she picked up one of Cambil’s bags.
Walking past the small science and medical lab behind the two-person transporter platform, both womens headed to the aft compartment where the long row of bunk beds were located. Picking one, Cambil threw her belongings onto one of the bottom ones and thanked T’Rani for her help. “How’s Captain McCallister?”
“He is healthy.” T’Rani answered flatly.
Sighing at that response, Cambil looked at T’Rani. “I meant since Karyn was…” she paused as she considered her words. “…lost.”
“Commander Reyas’ status was set to being killed in the line of duty, ma’am. She is dead.” T’Rani corrected her superior. She paused before carrying on. “The captain, though, continues to mourn her loss, as does the rest of the crew.”
“That’s understandable.” Cambil said, pleased to hear that T’Rani was in tune with her crewmates. “It’d be good to see them all again.”
“The crew will be pleased to see you as well, ma’am.” T’Rani said. “I should return to the cockpit to avoid Agent Styles believing we are discussing the paradox.”
“I’d join you shortly, once I’ve settled in.” Cambil remarked as she nodded for T’Rani to head back to the controls of the runabout.
Almost a quarter of an hour later and Cambil entered the cockpit and looked around to see T’Rani sat in the main seat while Styles was at one of the aft consoles reading a PADD he kept close to him. Shaking her head to herself, without him seeing, Cambil had decided a few months ago that DTI Agents were frustrating to deal with. Making her way over to the co-pilot chair, she pulled it out and sat down.
“What’s our speed and ETA?” Cambil asked T’Rani.
“Currently at warp eight and we will return to the Mellstoxx system in one point five hours.” T’Rani announced from her controls.
“Great.” Cambil said, almost sounding sarcastic. She wasn’t keen on having to take a long trip but her journey from her new home had been long and was one she had been on for a few days now after DTI had got in touch with her. She looked at T’Rani. “So tell me, how’s the rest of the trio? You still keep Lukiz and Cline in line?”
T’Rani nodded her head. “Indeed, though both of them do not need counsel as much as they did when we were all ensigns.”
“Good times.” Cambil returned. “And what about you T’Rani, how are things for you?”
“Well, thank you.” T’Rani answered. Deciding to ignore their guest, she carried on being quite open and forthright with the captain. “I am currently engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship with Lieutenant Samris.”
Cambil smirked at how blunt and honest T’Rani would be with her, but that had always been their relationship. The two of them had always shared everything with one another and T’Rani had come to Cambil after the death of her husband during the Archanis Campaign. “I thought you were seeing him for counselling?”
“I was, but our relationship developed further.” T’Rani remarked.
At that point Styles had looked over the top of his PADD at the top women and then quietly returned to his reading.
“Well I am pleased for you, T’Rani. I always liked Samris. I assume he took over from Max as chief counsellor?” Cambil enquired as she rested back into the chair further.
“Briefly, but our encounter with the Quirennal changed that for him upon our return to the Beta Quadrant.” T’Rani replied. “Due to what happened and the trauma suffered by the crew, Admiral Bennet assigned a new, more experienced counsellor to fulfil that role. Samris returned to his previous role as Senior Assistant Chief Counsellor.”
“That’s a shame, for Samris.” Cambil commented. “Who’s the new chief counsellor then? Anyone I know?”
“I do not believe you know her, but she is a former love interest of Commanders Duncan and Hunsen.” T’Rani replied. “Her name is Commander Louiwanna Horin.”
“Max and Tremt sharing a love interest? What’s the possibility of that happening?” Cambil said with a slight surprise. Before T’Rani replied with the actual maths of the chance of the two commander’s sharing an interest in the same person, Cambil continued to find out what else had happened to the ship. “I heard though that you’re not the only person with a new romantic interest. Tell me about Max and Tobias!”
“Commander Duncan and Master Chief Court are romantically involved too. They moved into your former quarters recently ever since they became adoptive fathers to the two youngsters we saved from the Quirennal.” T’Rani answered.
“Did anyone see it coming?” Cambil wondered.
“The captain had detected the Quirennal while on a survey mission with his son, Alfie-” T’Rani started and then Cambil stopped her.
“No, I didn’t mean that, I meant Max and Tobias getting together. There must be some juicy gossip here, T’Rani.” Cambil said.
Considering her point for a few seconds, T’Rani shook her head. “I believe they both kept it quite quiet for some time. It wasn’t until the Quirennal mission that it became public knowledge. Further gossip has not reached my attention.”
“I always thought Tobias and Lukiz would work things out and get back together with each other.” Cambil muttered. “Anyone else coupled up?”
“I am not aware of any other romantic interests among the senior staff for now.” T’Rani answered.
“Damn, I’ll just have to get it out of Slyvexs then.” Cambil remarked as she turned her chair back around to face the console before her. She wondered just how long this journey was going to be without much small talk to engage T’Rani with. There was no point in trying to speak with Styles. He wasn’t the most social of people.
Taking a deep breath in, Cambil wondered just how her former captain was going to be with seeing her again. The last time they had seen one another, from her perspective, she had left the Odyssey quickly and quietly. But from his perspective they had discussed what had happened during the Tkon crisis. Now she was a captain she understood the Omega Directive that he had been under and felt extremely foolish for the way she had acted with him. Nevertheless they had buried the hatchet between them during the paradox. Wanting to know if he remembered it all, like she did, Cambil was eager to see the state her friend was in since the end of the paradox and the loss of his wife.