USS Edinburgh – Quarters– 1300
“Your mother?” Reid raised her eyebrows, “Well, that’s something new.” She swirled her plate of spaghetti in contemplation.
Harris put his soda down, “She’s always been a high-level diplomat going from here to there. I learned never to ask what she had been up to or where she’d gone.” He took a bit of his burger, relishing the pickle.
“But Captain of an Olympic class starship? That’s big, Ambrose. Do you think she made some moves to make sure she was the one to come this way?”
“There are a great many things that I doubt about my mother. The one thing I never doubt is her reasoning in whatever she does. There is always a purpose in her moves on the chess board. Quite literally – she’s a monster of a chess player.”
They ate in silence until Jordan finally put down her fork, “You gonna introduce me?”
He paused, the burger halfway to his mouth before he gently put it back on the plate, “As my Chief Medical Officer?” She gave him a long look and he relented, “I think if we can figure out what,” he gestured from him to her and back again, “…this is before she arrives, yeah. I think we can have dinner tonight…and I would introduce you to her…whatever we decide you are.” He retrieved his abandoned burger and resumed his meal.
Jordan played with her noodles for a moment, “Are we…friends with benefits….or are we…boyfriend and girlfriend?” She stared at her plate for a moment before looking up at him.
He thought for a moment about the answer. She’d just recently kissed him on the cheek at the funeral service. They’d snuggled, hugged, and flirted fairly heavily in the last months and more recently. He leaned forward, his elbows on the dining table, “We’re not 16-year-old star-crossed lovers anymore…we’re both adults.” He stared into her eyes, “We both clearly like each other.” He let a breath of a moment pass before, “I think we could settle on girlfriend/boyfriend.” Her smile at his admission was enough to power his hopes for the future, never mind the next few minutes. It was a dangerously cute smile with impish implications and whole-hearted care wrapped together.
She returned to spinning up her spaghetti, “We’ll need to go on more dates, you and I. Get to know each other.” Before she took a bite she wondered, “She gonna have a problem with our age difference? To some people out there, ten years is a canyon.”
Harris chuckled as he finished the last of his burger, “I think my mother will be thrilled that I’m actually seeing someone this time around. She will ask if we’ve slept together.”
Reid dropped her fork, “What?!”
He stood and cleared the plates back to the kitchen, “She’s particular with certain things, I’ve learned and permissive of others.” He returned to her staring at him with a great host of questions swirling around her face.
“So are we going to sleep together?” It was her turn to put her elbows on the table and he chuckled nervously.
“One step at a time, Jordan. When we get to know each other better…and when my mother isn’t within a few hours of arriving…we can tackle that question.”
Reid smiled slyly, “Oh there is going to be tackling, that is a promise.” She cackled at his reddened face and clapped her hands.
=^=Commander Harris to Transporter Room 1.=^=
Harris tapped his badge quickly, thankful for an exit, “On my way.” He stood and kissed her on her head, “Let’s do this more often…without the interruptions.” He left out the door leaving a very happy Jordan Reid behind.
USS Edinburgh – Transporter Room 1 – 1320
Harris stepped through the door and found himself facing the two Romulan captains standing by the transporter pad. “Welcome aboard the USS Edinburgh, captains…what can I do for you?” One glanced at the transporter officer and Harris dismissed him, “Mr. Jones – go find yourself a meal in the mess…and have a dessert while you’re there.” The man looked at Harris and then gave an understanding nod as he hastily left the room.
The Clawed Death captain handed him a small case, “We were never here. You will erase any trace of our transport aboard. You found these data chips and cards upon searching the body of Rexin without our permission or authorization when we were outside of the room on The Praetor.” He looked to his fellow captain, “We will deny any kind of association attempt by you or Starfleet Command. Do not attempt to contact us.”
The captain from the Sharpened Cutlass handed him another case, “You found this in the wreckage of The Praetor upon its destruction.”
Harris looked from one to the other, “You’re going to destroy her?”
The Clawed Death CO gruffly answered him, “The Praetor and its weapon must be destroyed. They went too far…too fast. The powers of the Galaxy must be in balance with each other…we do not wish to be responsible for annihilation and genocide beyond our borders. We know the length of most humans’ memory. You hold grudges as good as any species in the known universe.”
Ambrose raised his eyebrows, “You found the weapon?”
They both made no move to nod but the Sharpened Cutless captain assured him, “We have located it and will be destroying it within the hour.”
He couched his next question carefully, “You’ll understand if I ask if I can trust your word on this.”
The Clawed Death captain spoke plainly, “It is a weapon of elimination, not battle…not war. It is offensive.”
Harris gave a nod after a moment of consideration, “You were never here. And we never spoke about any of this.” They gave a quiet bow and returned to the transporter pad as Harris tapped at the console and watched them vanish into the light. He sighed as he went about the business of removing the records of their visit. He quietly wondered if they would ever meet in the blackness of space again…and what would be the terms of their engagement then? The question rested on his mind as he picked up the cases and headed for Thasaz’s office.