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Part of USS Saratoga: To Stand Alone and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Chapter 3 – To Stand Alone

USS Saratoga
June 2400
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The last couple of days have been hectic aboard the ship as they traveled, everyone was busy preparing for what was ahead of them. Finally, when the next shift arrived to take over, Chon’al looked at those who were on the bridge. “Anyone care to get some drinks?” He asked as he stood at his console waiting for a response.

Looking up from the console, “I am down,” Ritru was the first to reply.

“Sure,” Odan replied as he finished giving his report to his replacement.

Dazra shrugged as she looked at him, “why not I have nothing better to do” Dazra replied.

“Great, how about we meet down at the Hillside Country Bar & Grill in say about thirty minutes?” Chon’al asked as they nodded as they finished up with the shift change before heading off the bridge towards their quarters to change. Things were about to get hectic, and the uncertainty of them getting some downtime wouldn’t happen for a while. So taking this time to unwind was a good thing for everyone.

After a long day’s work, T’Prel was sitting on the couch located near the window relaxing and reading a book. Looking up from her book just as she heard the doors open, revealing Ritru as she walked in. “How was your day?” She asked as she had set the book down on her lap.

“It was pretty good considering,” Ritru responded looking over to where she was sitting.

“It’s been hectic the last few days,” T’Prel responded honestly.

That was an understatement of the century, things were only going to get worse with the situation that they were about to be dealing with. The Saratoga had done many humanitarian missions over the last year, but it seemed nothing would compare to what they were about to deal with now. The Century storm seemed small compared to this situation.

Walking over to the couch Ritru sat next to T’Prel, letting out a huge sigh as she leaned her head on her shoulders closing her eyes for a brief moment. T’Prel looked at her for a moment before placing an arm around her waist enjoying this moment together. Silence filled the room for a few more minutes before it was broken, “going to go have some drinks with Chon’al and the others. That is if you don’t have anything planned,” Ritru said sitting there.

Mentally Ritru has been through a lot over the past few months, dealing with her emotions and memories that have decided to rear their head. This would be a good thing for Ritru to be able to unwind. “That would be agreeable,” T’Prel responded as she sat there still enjoying the moment together.

Ritru stood up before she leaned over and kissed her, “thanks.” Ritru replied with a smile before heading into the washroom. Ritru was not one to dress up, if she could simply just wear sweat pants and a nice comfortable shirt she would and it was exactly what she changed into.

T’Prel had picked up her book and started to read again while Ritru was busy getting ready. “I’ll be home late,” Ritru said as she walked out of the room and headed towards the door before pausing to look back at T’Prel who had looked up from her book.

“Enjoy yourself,” T’Prel replied.

Ritru headed out of their quarters walking down the corridor towards the turbolift, nodding to those that were passing by. After a short walk, she entered the turbolift giving it her destination as the doors closed shut behind her and began to move a short time later.

Meanwhile, clothes were being flung over her shoulder as Dazra was trying to find something to wear. “Uge, why can’t I find something to wear?” She asked herself as nothing she had pulled out looked good enough.

After searching both of her dressers she didn’t find anything she wanted to wear, she decided to move to her closet next. After a while she finally found something that she liked, turning back around to see that her room was now a mess with clothes scattered everywhere.

“I’ll put them away later,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders as she walked into the washroom to get ready.

Dazra was never on time for anything, she finally finished getting ready before looking at herself again in the mirror to make sure things were in place. “That should do it,” she replied before she quickly exited her room and headed down the corridor.

Ritru, Odan, and Chon’al were already sitting at the bar enjoying some drinks as they chatted. “What is she doing, getting ready for a date?” Chon’al asked as he looked at the other two for a brief moment before they all busted up laughing at the thought.

“She can’t even keep a serious relationship,” Ritru responded.

“Seems she has a different guy every day,” Odan added to the conversation.

Just as they started to laugh the doors to the bar opened to reveal Dazra walking in, she looked around the room before she noticed the three sitting at the bar. “What is so funny?” Dazra asked as she pulled up a seat next to them placing a hand up to get the bartender’s attention to order her drink.

After not noticing that she entered he busted up laughing again before responding, “oh, nothing we just find it funny how you are always late,” Chon’al said as he clapped her on the back as he continued to laugh.

Dazra rolled her eyes as she took a drink, “very funny.” She replied as the others just nodded in agreement.

“Well it is true,” Ritru said as she gulped down a shot before placing it back on the bar. Looking at Dazra as she noticed that she was all dressed up, “why are you all dressed up, expecting someone?” Ritru asked snuffling a chuckle as she looked at her.

Rolling her eyes at the question, “no I just wanted to look nice is that a problem?” Dazra asked as she was getting annoyed with the constant jabbing, she decided to change the subject. “So what do you think of all this mess going on within the Star Empire?” Dazra asked looking at Ritru though the question wasn’t for anyone in particular.

“Do you think now is the time to talk about that, we are here to unwind and relax not chat about what’s going on within the Star Empire,” Chon’al chastised Dazra for even bringing it up.

Boundaries were something that Dazra lacked, she had no filter for speaking her mind even if it got her into trouble, which seemed to have happened on many occasions. “I was just asking,” Dazra said with a shrug before taking a drink.

“Ya well now is not the time or place,” Odan snapped back as she wasn’t getting the hint.

Getting up from her chair she stormed off to another part of the bar as the others just looked at each other before rolling their eyes. “Well looks like someone is throwing a little fit,” Chon’al replied before taking a huge swig of his drink and almost slamming it on the bar.

Ritru was fairly new to the crew compared to the others, she looked at Dazra before looking back at the others. “Is she always like that?” She asked.

“Pretty much,” Odan said taking a drink.

“She tends to land herself in hot water as she doesn’t have a filter on that mouth of hers,” Chon’al said as he has seen her on the bad side of the last Captain. “I know she and Jheria had served together on Starbase 38, I guess she got into some trouble there and ended up getting demoted.” He replied with a shrug, “she is a good officer otherwise.” He followed up looking at Ritru as Odan nodded in agreement.

“Interesting,” Ritru responded with a shake of her head which made her wonder how she was Chief of Security with that kind of attitude. Though she just shrugged off the thought as they looked over to see Dazra sulking at a table. The three of them continued to chat amongst each other as they drank for a good portion of the night. Though they would be visiting the doctor afterward for some anti-hangover medicine.

****

Ever since they left Starbase Bravo a few days ago Azras had been putting in long hours, sometimes well into the night monitoring the situation at hand. Arzin was sitting on the couch reading a book while Yadri and Linha were up in their shared office working on their schoolwork.

Looking up from the book that he was reading as he heard Linha walking down the stairs. “Where is mom?” She asked as she stood at the bottom of the staircase.

“She working late again,” Arzin replied with a soft smile.

She understood that being a Captain sometimes meant working late, with the current situation it was more so than it had in the past. “Seems she has been doing that a lot as of late.” She commented taking a breath before she continued, “is it become of what is going on within the Star Empire?” Linha inquired as she sat next to her father.

Linha had an idea, “do you know when she will be home?” Linha asked looking at him for a moment.

Arzin knew his daughter all too well, she was up to something “I am not sure, why do you ask?” He asked as he was not sure whether he should be concerned or relieved.

“I know tomorrow we are expected to arrive at Rhijun and things will be getting even crazier,” Linha began as she paused for a moment. “I had an idea, what if you cook one of mom’s favorite dishes, we can have dinner and then play some games as we used to when we were younger, to help relieve some tension,” Linha suggested looking at him.

“That is a great idea,” Arzin said as he agreed with Linha’s idea.

Linha squealed in delight, “wonderful, you get dinner ready while I get the gaming table set up.” She began as she stood up from the couch, “once everything is ready I’ll come up with a good excuse to get mom home.” Linha said as she stood there for a moment.

“Sounds like a plan,” Arzin replied just as Yadri came down.

“What sounds like a plan?” Yadri asked looking a bit confused.

“Oh, dad is going to be making dinner while I set up the gaming table,” Linha replied which caused Yadri to raise an eyebrow.

“Why?” He asked as he stood there at the bottom of the stairs.

“Surprising mom to a relaxing evening,” Linha replied.

“Why?” Yadri kept asking as he wasn’t understanding what was going on.

Arzin looked at him as he couldn’t help but chuckle at his son’s confusion, “you see your mom has been very busy the last few days with everything that is going on. So we want to have a nice relaxing family night before things get even more stressful for your mom and the crew,” he explained looking at him.

Walking over to the replicator to grab a drink before heading back upstairs, “sounds good.” He replied as he grabbed his drink and headed back up the stairs, “I am almost done with my schoolwork so call me when you’re ready.” He replied before he disappeared into the study.

Arzin and Linha looked at each other raising an eyebrow wondering what was wrong with Yadri, “that is unusual, he usually finds any excuse to get out of doing his schoolwork.” Linha said as they both started to set things up.

“Agreed,” Arzin said as he entered the kitchen to get the ingredients needed.

“Oh dad, there is this one game I would like us to try as a family.” She began as she got the gaming table out of the closet, “I think it would be fun.” She replied as she began to set it up.

“What is that dear?” Arzin asked as he began to chop up the vegetables.

“There is this one game that my friends from the Academy taught me, it’s from Earth’s history, and it’s called Monopoly.” Linha replied looking at him for a moment, “It is kind of a competition of sorts though I found it fun.” She said as she finished putting the table up.

“Sounds fun,” Arzin replied. “What other games do you have in mind?” He asked looking at her for a brief moment before getting back to cooking.

“Oh a couple of card games we used to play when we were little,” she replied.

Arzin spent the next while preparing the food, Linha made sure they had everything else set up and ready. “Alright, you can call your mom down here,” Arzin said as he just finished cooking.

She smiled with delight as she tapped the control on the computer nearby. “Mom,” she said in a voice that sounded like something happened which caused Arzin to glance over at what his daughter had in mind.

Azras was busy listening to the current situation when her commbadge went off and heard her daughter’s voice at the other end. “What is wrong dear?” Azras replied wondering what was going on.

“There had been an incident with Yadri, you need to come home now,” Linha said trying to stay in the moment without laughing.

“What happened?” Azras asked with concern in her voice.

“It’s hard to explain mom, please come home,” Linha replied looking at her dad who was trying not to laugh.

“I am on my way,” Azras replied as the comms channel ended.

Linha looked at her father as they both started laughing which caused Yadri to come out of the room looking at them. He walked down the stairs to look at both of them in confusion as to what was so funny.

As they both finished laughing, Arzin got the plates dished out and set them on the dining room table along with the drinks. Just as they finished setting things up Azras came running into their quarters, just as she was about to look at Yadri still standing at the bottom of the stairs. She had a funny feeling that there was more to this than what was led to believe.

“What is going on?” Azras said as Linha looked at her.

“Sorry, we wanted to surprise you,” Linha said with a grin on her face.

“You certainly did that,” Azras said as she couldn’t help but smile. “Whose idea was this?” She asked as she noticed that the gaming table was set up as well as her favorite dish on the table.

“Mine,” Linha replied.

“You have been working long hours since we left Starbase Bravo,” Arzin began as he walked up to his wife and kissed her. “Linha had an idea that we would have dinner then play some games like we used to back when the children were little to help you unwind a bit before things get more hectic.” Arzin finished as they all walked over to the table and sat down.

“That was very thoughtful,” Azras replied with a smile feeling touched that they would go out of their way to do something for her.

Throughout the night they chatted amongst each other as they ate dinner, enjoying the time together that she didn’t even realize was missing. She had been so busy with work that she was taking her family for granted. After they finished dinner, they moved over to the table to play games for the rest of the evening, laughing and having an all-around good time.

Comments

  • I really enjoyed this spotlight on the crew, especially getting the chance to see who they are as people when they let their hair down. It's not a new development, but I'm always so curious about the stories you're telling about Azras with her family. In the canon of Trek, it's novel to see a Captain with a whole functional family aboardship. As light-hearted as the scene was, it creates tension at the thought of what Azras might go through if the Saratoga runs into trouble with a Romulan warbird. All that said, I think Dazra is becoming my favourite character. I was amused by her prioritizing her night out over tidiness. I love all the awful things the other characters said about her: no boundaries, no filter, short temper, questionable taste in men. I'm all here for more Starfleeters with a devil may care attitude (although I do agree with Ritru: I'm curious about how she manages as a department head). All the same, I hope Dazra's friends don't tease her TOO much behind her back!

    June 3, 2022
  • This felt like a nice breather for some (not Azras) who are making the most of the last bit of downtime they're probably going to have for a while. Your whole story up til now has really captured that "city in space" feeling - gives me a bit of a TNG vibe with family members running around and people relaxing in 10-Forward-esque environment over drinks. It leaves me wondering that, when things inevitably get real, will everyone be able to stay as cool as they seem right now? Not much out there that can ruffle the Odyssey-class, but I'm definitely intrigued as to how some of these guys are going to react when they're facing something more high stakes than criticising Dazra!

    June 3, 2022