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Part of USS Atlantis: Mission 7: The lost ship of Atlantis

6 – The one where they go on holiday

Edward Maxwell Spaceport, Memory Alpha
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“So, shore leave then back to Beta Antares?” Matt asked as he sat down on one of the circled couches that his extended group of friends had all claimed.

All of them were in civilian garb, had a travel bag with them and were presently located in the Edward Maxwell Spaceport that orbited Memory Alpha. The place buzzed with the mass of people moving through the place, the handful of small businesses that catered to travellers and the occasional PA call for passengers.

“Looks like it,” Chuck responded. “Man, Command best not be breaking up the crew. We’re nowhere near finished with your campaign Matt.”

“Yah. Playing over subspace isn’t going to be terribly feasible, is it?” Wy’ryn asked and everyone’s attention turned to Kelly, who was at Matt’s left.

“Don’t look at me, I just do ship-based comms. You want someone who does Federation-wide communications.” She offered a wry smile and a shrug of her shoulders. “Or who can get you access to Starfleet’s high-priority channels.”

“Oh man,” Linal Nerys, looked up from the padd she was reading. “Can you imagine us getting priority over some admiral for a gaming session?”

“’Sorry Admiral, all channels to that sector are busy. There’s a group conference between five ships across the Federation right now.’” Hito said, imitating a stuffy officer, then pinched his nose for the next piece. “’Then break into those channels and find out what the hell is going on!’”

“Oh god no, I am not having a member of the brass joining my game. No way, not happening,” Matt said around a laugh. “One bad call and off I go to the Armagosa Array.”

They all got a slight laugh out of that and small talk ensued for another half hour till a call for a ship that was boarding pulled Solan and Hito away, then another call pulled Wy’run right after. Goodbyes were said, corrections of ‘for now’ added, hugs and handshakes all around then there were five left.

“So Matt, Kelly, where are you two going?” Nerys asked, though it was less a friendly question and more the start of an interrogation as her eyes settled on Matt.

He considered her a friend, a good friend at that, but one that was overly protective of Kelly, her best friend, and had become somewhat testy since he and Kelly had started dating a few months back. He learned they’d been friends since the Academy and that Nerys had difficulty making friends, so he kind of understood her change in demeanour. She didn’t want a friend taken away and every time he’d tried to placate that concern, she’d rebuffed him.

“I’m taking him to Arcturus,” Kelly said, as she leaned sideways to push her shoulder into him. “My folks are meeting us there so that Pa can see if he’s a good man.”

“Wait wait wait, I thought you said it was a holiday, yes?” he asked as he turned to Kelly with a look of horror on his face. Meeting the parents was a serious thing and he was not ready for that. Not by a long shot.

“And it will be,” she responded with a smile that took over her whole face and made him forgive her straight away. That smile that could always bring him out of a bad mood was just one of the many reasons why he had forced himself to ask her out. “But Ma and Pa will be there and Pa is a traditionalist. He wants to sit you down, talk with you and see if you’re a good man.”

“If you’re Pa says he’s a good man, I’ll take it,” Nerys said with a shrug.

“Hold up,” Jessica said leaning forward. “You know Kelly’s dad?”

“Yeah, she took me to their ranch while I was at the Academy. He’s…something else.” Nerys stumped was new to the group and she was obviously struggling for words. “He’s not a man of the Prophets, but…he’s wiser than any Vedak I’ve ever met.”

Kelly chuckled and gave Jessica a smile. “Pa’s a trained psychologist and medicine man. Nerys here had a small crisis of faith and I took her to see Pa. They went for a two-day trek and I got my friend back.”

“That sounds like a story Nerys, you’ll have to tell me about it,” Jessica said with obvious interest.

“Or not,” Nerys snapped back, then slumped slightly. “Sorry, that was rude. But no, I don’t think I will.”

“Sounds enlightening,” Chuck said, then immediately raised his hands defensively when Nerys turned on him. “Nothing by it, statement of fact. Total respect for however you discover who you are.”

Nerys glared at him for a moment longer, then slumped completely in her seat, crossing her arms. “This is going to be a long trip.”

“Oh, where you going?” Matt found himself asking before he even knew he was doing it.

“Chuck talked me into going to Inferna to do some rock climbing. Figured it would be good exercise and a chance to meet his fellow people,” Nerys said without looking up.

“My people? I’m from Proxima,” Chuck responded with confusion and glanced at everyone else for a possible explanation.

“She keeps saying you have rocks for brains,” Kelly said.

“Well, I mean I do…but…wait…is that a joke? Rocks for brains, rock climbing…Nerys, that’s bad. Like actually bad.” Chuck’s face cringed as he said that. “We’ve really got to work on your humour.”

“It works better in Bajoran,” Nerys explained.

The chimes of the PA echoed through the passenger hall before a voice rang out from nowhere and everywhere at once. “Good evening passengers. Would all passengers departing for Arcturus on Th’Shan Transtellar Lines flight 459 please report to concourse three for immediate boarding. Th’Shan Transtellar flight 459 for Arcturus is now boarding at concourse three.”

“Well, that’s us,” he said, standing up just as Kelly was doing the same. “You lot all take care, okay? See you all at Beta Antares. I’ll try and sort out a close of chapter session just in case we need to put a pin in the game.”

Chuck was on his feet and wrapped both him and Kelly in a hug. “Take care of him, Kelly, he’s a weak little science nerd after all.”

Then it was Nerys, who gave Kelly a hug, him a punch in the arm, then a hug. “Watch out for Ma, she’s a trickster,” Nerys whispered in his ear.

Jessica was last with a light hug for both of them. “Travel safe, catch you in a couple of weeks.”

That done, extended goodbyes were had as they left their friends before shouting became socially obnoxious, leaving Matt and Kelly to walk the spaceport hand in hand. Outside the vacuum of space was filled with the collection of ships going back and forth, but most of the windows were filled with starliners in their magnificence at concourse docks.

Many of the ships were smaller vessels, flitting between nearby worlds and colonies, but then the large liners dwarfed those, some even dwarfing Starfleet vessels, intended for the shipment of passengers and cargo between the stars.

“You’ll be fine,” Kelly reassured him with a squeeze of his hand. “Ma and Pa just want to make sure you’re a good sort in person.”

“Thanks babe,” he said. “But maybe next time give me a bit more warning we’re seeing your folks?”

“Still got a couple of days. A couple of days with no roommates to schedule around,” she said, punctuated with a kiss on his cheek.

“I’m not going to get to plan that session, am I?”

“Nope,” she answered and then pulled him along the concourse to the check-in.