Part of USS Shepard: Tales from Virinat

Chapter 3

Virinat
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“So, does that cover all the new stuff?”

“Yes, I believe so, Lieutenant,” the Romulan medical intern replied to Rysana, placing boxes of Federation-made non-replicable medications in the surgical bay’s cabinet as she spoke. “I’ll log these new drugs and make sure the instruction manuals for the new tools are properly distributed.”

“Great. Need anything else?”

“No, I can handle the rest from here. Thank you for your assistance.”

“In that case, I’ll get out of your hair,” Rysana said, picking up her medical bag and heading for the door. “If I don’t see you again, best of luck with med school, Satra.”

“Thank you,” the intern replied with a slightly weary chuckle. “I do believe I’ll need it.”

“Yeah, there’s a reason I went with nursing instead of a doctorate,” Rysana said with a smile and wink. “Four years of university was more than enough for me.”

With a casual wave, Rysana left the surgical bay and headed towards the cold storage room, where another medical staffer was awaiting her tutorials on Federation gear and drugs.

 

Three hours later, the Andorian nurse was resting at a picnic table in the Virinat capital’s town square, happily filing some reports on her padd in the pleasant afternoon sunlight.

“Fancy seeing you here, Nurse Vahl,” the distinctive voice of Vic Travers called out, and Rysana looked up with a smile to see the wiry human science officer take a seat across from her.

“Hello hello, Chief Science Officer,” Rysana replied, echoing his sarcastically-formal greeting as she set down her padd. “How goes your day of Chief Science Officer-ing?”

“Fascinating,” he replied, his expression even more energetic and crazy-eyed than normal. “Working with Romulan science and ops teams to integrate our communications and sensor suites set up has been a very educational experience.”

“And what have you happened to learn of our hosts?”

“Romulans are very dedicated workers. Very admirable discipline. On the other hand, well, they’re not exactly the most… animated people,” he shrugged. 

“That’s most people compared to you, though.”

“More so than normal, then,” Vic said with a smirk, his hands gesticulating slightly as they so often did. “They’re a little stiff on the surface, but they get better once you get to know them. Kind of like Tallie, but… well, y’know… less prone to brooding.”

“That’s been about my experience too, more or less,” Rysana chuckled. “Tallie’s honestly been a great trial-run on interacting with Romulans. If we go in with the expectation that they’ll be a bit like her, there’s no way we’ll overestimate how… familiar we can be before we get to know them.” She shot Vic a jesting glance. “Well, I won’t, at least. I assume you spent the day operating under the assumption that everyone is as much of a chronic busybody as you are?”

“Yep,” he smiled proudly. “Come on too strong, then work your way back to a happy medium. That’s my SOP.”

“And somehow, you are a department head.”

Vic playfully raised his water bottle in mock-toast before taking a swig.

“I do feel for these folks, though,” he said after wiping his mouth on his sleeve. “At the risk of sounding patronizing, this is… not exactly Federation core world standards of living. And that’s not even getting into the reasons why they need us to give them weapons.”

“I feel for them too, but in some ways I kind of envy them,” Rysana said as she gazed at a pair of security officers walking by across the square. 

“Oh?”

“Well, I know it sounds incredibly privileged to say such a thing in our position, it must be nice in some ways to be part of a whole society with a unified goal, where everyone is working together to build something for future generations. They just seem to have such… clarity of purpose. I dunno, maybe it’s some old Andorian militarism in me that just wants something to struggle against.”

“No, I get it,” Vic nodded along with her. “Why do you think some of my species’ most popular holodeck programs are recreations of human wars? I think it’s the nature of most sapient species to yearn for some kind of good fight, no matter how irrational it is.” He followed Rysana’s gaze to the pair of security officers. “The difference is that these people never get to turn the program off.”

“Very true,” Rysana admitted, her expression growing melancholy.

“Hey, there’s our own neighborhood Romulan now,” Vic said, his tone changing from serious to lighthearted as he gestured to an approaching Tallera, who was carrying a small supply crate.

As she grew closer, it became clear that the crate was full of bottles – most of them containing liquid of a telltale light blue coloration.

“Hiya Tallie,” Vic greeted her as she gingerly placed the crate on the table before sitting down by his side. “Are you… bringing us some samples of the local spirits?”

“Touch these and die,” Tallera laughed, patting the crate affectionately. “These are for scanning into the Shepard’s replicators so I can actually have something decent to drink after work. One of the local security officers knows a bartender, and he hooked me up with a few ‘thanks for the weapons’ drinks.”

“That looks like more than a few drinks,” Rysara said with a sly grin.

“Hey, I need some variety beyond the shockingly-generic ‘Romulan Ale’ that comes default in Federation replicators. Oh, and, uh, Vic…” She turned to the science officer. “When I said ‘touch these and die,’ that wasn’t really a joke for you. Some of these might literally kill a human. Rysana, you’ll probably be okay.”

Probably, great,” Rysana snorted. “I think I might leave those to you. And Dreval, if you can convince him to partake.”

“Fair enough,” Tallera shrugged. She wished Dreval had been allowed to come planetside instead of being stuck up in space with the rest of the Damage Control teams. She would have enjoyed introducing him to Romulan culture.

“So, what are you guys talking about?” she continued, shifting her weight on the bench slightly  as she settled in. 

“The Romulan Republic, mostly,” Vic said as he gestured around him. “Getting to see it first hand is interesting.”

“Well I hope we’ve given you a… ‘warm’ Romulan welcome. What do you think?”

“Your people are a tough breed, Tallie,” Rysana spoke up. “Although I sort of expected them to be ornery shut-ins. I can’t imagine why…”

Ha ha. I suppose all Andorians are caustic bastards?”

“Only the good ones.”

“I’ll drink to that,” Tallera said, rapping her finder on one of the glass bottles in her crate. “Well… I will back on the ship.”

Comments

  • Little downtime after assisting the Romulan Republic is always nice to see. Loved seeing the interaction between the crewmembers. Little character developments here and there throughout the mission are always nice to see, giving us a glimpse of who they are as characters. Great job, excited to see what is in store next.

    March 11, 2023