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

7 – Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied

A little slice of paradise
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“What are you doing?” Adelinde asked as she neared Tikva, standing hip-deep in the lake that they had decided to camp around for the few days they’d get.

She’d excused herself for a bit to check on the shuttle, seeing as how’d they’d need to get underway by tomorrow evening to make Beta Antares on time according to Tikva’s differing orders. Returning to camp however she found Tikva gone, an arrow drawn in the dirt of their campsite towards the lake in lieu. Gone too were a survival knife and a sturdy enough branch they had collected the day before, which was now lashed together and in Tikva’s hands.

“Fishing,” came the reply from the shorter woman, standing still in the water, waiting patiently.

“Not with that spear,” Adelinde replied, just watching.

Both women had opted for simple shorts and shirts, rugged outdoor boots and simple enough hairstyles with single hair ties for now. All functional, comfortable and practical. It only took Adelinde a moment to spot Tikva’s boots and move to collect them from the ground.

A splash, a curse, wading through water to collect the spear and then muttering as someone returned to shore, now completely drenched from a slight slip. “Bet you’re just loving this,” Tikva muttered as she drove the spear butt into the sandy shore.

“You, soaked head to toe,” Adelinde said with a smirk as she made an exaggerated effort of looking Tikva lover over. “It’s a good look, but not very practical.”

“Haha,” came the reply. “If this spear is wrong, how would you do it then?”

“Not with a knife on the end, but a fork.” She handed the boots over and took the spear, undoing the remarkably proficient binding of rope and knot that kept the branch and knife together. “Fish are small, you’re better off with a series of small prongs on the end to cover a bit more area.”

“Excuse me for trying,” Tikva said, clearly not in the best of moods, her tone dismissive.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Well, I don’t appreciate the tone when I’m just trying to help.” As Tikva made to pass her, heading back for camp, she dropped the branch down to bar her path, grip holding it parallel to the ground. “Love…”

“I…fuck, fine. I’m pissed off. It’s why I came out here. Me, the lake, the universe I could try and stab with a spear.” Tikva dropped her boots and turned away for a few steps to pace. “Our orders are all weird, some desk jockey scientist stole my ship and I’m not even sure if I’ve got a command to even request you for as my tactical officer.”

“You’ll have a command soon enough. The Admiralty isn’t going to bench a young captain for long at all.” She twirled the branch like the spear it imitated, replanted the butt in the sand and crossed her arms. “Why else would your orders be shorter than anyone else’s anyway?”

“Any number of reasons. Someone wanting to debrief me about that AI on Atlantis, or to break the bad news about fresh commands. Oh, or pulling me back for all those super-secret in person captain briefings I just know I’m behind on.” Tikva’s pacing hadn’t stopped, but gesticulating while venting had started as arms waved about. “And it gets worse when no one will tell me what’s going on!”

“Maybe they don’t want to ruin the surprise,” she offered.

“Or maybe someone from Medical is finally going to pull some bullshit and bench me because of that bullshit on Highcroft.”  Tikva stopped and turned on Adelinde. “Fucking HLF.”

“You know, I think you’re working yourself up,” she said with a shrug.

“Maybe, maybe not. Medical did try it at first when Jutland was almost blown up from under Captain Denevan. And they tried to blame the Tearkin Incident on…” her words came to a stop when Adelinde cupped her face with her hands suddenly and just kissed her. Those same hands moved then to wrap around Tikva who just swooned in them.

Eventually, the kiss broke and Adelinde offered a wry smile. “Still angry?”

“Wha?” Tikva offered, then a smile and a non-committal nod of her head. “Yeah, I am, but…thank you.”

“Do the same for me?” she asked.

“I’d have to grow so, so much. Seriously, what did your parents feed you?”

Adelinde smiled before gently turning Tikva loose and then looking down at her clothing, now damp from the close contact. “Well, now I’ve done it,” she said, accepting full responsibility. “Swim and let our clothes dry on the beach here?”

“Oh, that sounds fantastic.”

As the day eventually passed into night, both women had retreated eventually for one of the nearby natural hot pools that Tikva had promised and delivered. A portable lamp lit the little space the pool was hidden in, though a clear view of the sky and the three moons provided a decent amount of light anyway.

Her arms wrapped around Tikva, Adelinde was just resting her head back, watching the stars, content in the warm waters with her lover. No worries, no concerns, just bliss and relaxation.

“What do we do if Command does break us up?” Tikva finally asked, breaking the silence that had up till now only been interrupted by the sounds of a forest at night.

“We deal with it best we can,” she said quietly.

“Yeah, but I’m enjoying us,” Tikva countered.

“We’ll deal with it love.”

“How,” Tikva said, wriggling in her arms slightly, “can you be so calm about this?”

“Because I’m sitting in a hot pool, I’ve got you in my arms, I’ve had two glasses of wine with dinner and I’ve always been the calm, mostly stoic type.”

Silence descended once more for a while before Tikva ruined it once more. “Not what I heard or saw on Highcroft.”

“That was…unique.” She kept her response to a minimum because she didn’t want to go into her, internally or with Tikva at the moment, but would require more to prevent. “I’d rather not talk about it now though.”

There was that tension in the air, she could feel it, of someone wanting to ask, to probe, then it faded as Tikva settled back down. “Another time then.”

“Another time,” she echoed, then pulled Tikva back into her arms. “Soon yah?”

“Counselling session maybe?”

“Did you just suggest we have a session together?” she asked, giving Tikva a squeeze and kiss on the cheek she was answered in the affirmative.

Nearly an hour passed before something caught their attention, both women content to just watch the stars in their private little corner of the universe. A singular streak of light momentarily appeared in the heavens, terminating not in the orange-red flare of a meteor, but just stopping in the heavens as another speck of light, hanging over the world and blending in with the movement of satellites and other ships in orbit. “Wonder who that was?” Tikva asked.

“Someone on an adventure probably. Speaking of, we should hit the sack if we want to get that walk in tomorrow before we leave.”

“Screw the walk, I’m comfy right here. I’ve got you and the infinity majesty of the cosmos before me,” Tikva said. “What more could I want?”

“A tall ship and a star to steer her by,” Adelinde answered.