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Part of USS Odyssey: We Shall Not Cease From Exploration

We Shall Not Cease From Exploration – 2

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), docked at Starbase 38, Benzar System
Stardate: 78325.6
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As Lieutenant Jonarom sat on a stall in The Barn, he swirled his drink around. Although he wasn’t particularly fond of the taste, he appreciated the vibrant green colour of the Aldebaran whiskey in his hands. This drink was as colourful as an Orion and packed a powerful punch that could knock one’s socks off like a Gorn.

“Mind if I join you, lieutenant?” A familiar voice asked. 

Looking over his right shoulder, the Ardanan communication officer was surprised to see Lieutenant Commander Jen standing before him. 

“Of course, sir,” Jonarom replied, gesturing to the stall beside him. 

Ordering the same as Jonarom’s drink, Jen sat down and thanked the holographic waiter after his drink arrived. “Jonarom, you seem a bit lonely. Is everything okay?”

Appreciating the question and sentiment, Jonarom nodded as he sipped his drink. “I will be, thank you. sir.”

Smirking at his formal response, Jen sipped his drink. “Jonarom,” He said after he swallowed. “I’ve told you before, drop the formalities when we’re off duty and drinking. So come on, tell me what’s bothering you?”

Knowing he wouldn’t get out of this if he didn’t share, Jonarom sighed before replying. “I got offered the permanent position of Chief Communications Officer.”

Jen nodded. “Yeah, I know. Congratulations.”

“Thanks,” Jonarom said glumly with a minor scoff, then realised that may have offended his superior. “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to sound so ungrateful. I hoped to return to the Bellerophon and return to my old job.”

Understanding the young man’s plight, Jen turned himself to face him. “Yeah, I suppose with what’s happened to the Bellerophon and Triton, things we all expected to happen haven’t quite turned out the way we wanted.” He sighed, sounding like he had the whole world’s burden on his shoulders. “However, Jonarom, you must admit, this new job brings challenges more than what you may have done on the Bellerophon.”

“I suppose,” Jonarom admitted. He looked to the joined Trill man. “I do appreciate the opportunity. I don’t want Fleet Captain McCallister not to know that, but I’m a scientist first.”

“And knowing Captain Banfield, I am sure she will be happy to provide opportunities for you to be still involved in experiments or investigations if you ask.”

He shook his head. “Nah, I don’t want to make our second officer think I can’t do the job or have the right mindset.”

“So what will you do?” Jen quizzed.

“Suck it up,” Jonarom shared. “I keep telling myself, I’m pretty young to be running a department on an Odyssey-class ship, so I’ve got to use this as an opportunity.”

“Absolutely,” Jen encouraged. “And being chief communication officer is no bad thing; I promise to be there for you throughout. Take it as a learning curve to explore and try something new. Get to know the science behind the technology, the science behind the languages, the science behind other species interact.”

“I suppose,” Jonarom nodded lightly. “Also, I heard that some of the Bellerophon’s senior staff are being assigned to the Odyssey. With the merging of the Bellerophon and Triton’s crew, some good has to come out of it.” The lieutenant paused, noticing Jen down his whole drink in one big gulp. “Are you okay, sir?”

Placing the glass down and ordering another one, Jen winced and shook his head slightly. “Let’s just say the merger between those two crews hasn’t worked out for me, on a personal note.”

“Oh? Did something bad happen?” Jonarom asked and then realised he shouldn’t have questioned his superior. “I’m sorry, you don’t have to answer that.”

Jen chuckled. “Nah, it’s all okay, Jonarom,” He replied. ”I was seeing Commander Thaustin from the Triton, but we decided to call it a day with his reassignment to the Constitution. Dating over subspace and across ships wasn’t working for us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Jonarom replied. He hadn’t met Commander Thaustin but knew he was a bit like Jonarom because he had been fast-tracked through his career. 

“Evening, boys,” greeted Lieutenant Commander Rosle as she walked across The Barn and sat beside Jen. “Lukiz, you promised me you’d wait for me before you started to drown your broken heart.”

Jen smirked at her as he gestured towards Jonarom. “I had to help our newest permanent comm’s officer celebrate his promotion.”

“Jonarom, that’s great news! Congratulations!” The starfighter pilot said as she jumped off her stall and hugged Jonarom. “Amazing; I’m so pleased you’re staying with us.”

Jonarom just smiled at her.

“I’m finally pleased that I’m not the new girl on the team!” Rosle mentioned as she sat back down on her stall just as her order of a Risan Sunrise appeared. Sipping the cocktail, she smiled at its sweet taste. “That’s yum,” She turned back to the other two. “To new beginnings and fresh starts for everyone!” She raised her glass, and they all clinked their glasses together.

After a few moments of silent drinking, Rosle broke it. “So, I went through the transporter today; I’m happy to say there’s no trace of Borg or being a changeling infiltrator in me. How about you guys?”

“I’m meant to go through it tomorrow once Doctor Slyvexs has checked it’s safe for my symbiont,” Jen replied. 

Feeling the other two looking at him, Jonarom just nodded. “I was one of the first to go through it in transporter room three.” He took another taste of his drink. “It was weird, like nothing I’ve experienced before. For the first time since Frontier Day, I kind of feel that I’m free of being a pawn in the Borg’s handiwork.”

Rosle nodded in agreement. “I bet it’s liberating.”

Wobbling his head side-to-side, Jonarom explained it was sort of, but it wasn’t stopping his nightmares of reliving what happened during that fateful day. “I’m just glad I’m not sharing quarters with anyone.” He added. 

Jen rested a supportive hand on his shoulder, giving it a soft squeeze. “We’re here for you, Jonarom, especially since you’re one of us!”

Jonarom appreciated it. “Thank you, that’s kind.”

“Shall we see just how much he is one of us by taking him up for some karaoke?” The Tandaran pilot suggested with an almost cheeky grin plastered across her face.

Jen looked at Jonarom. “Jonarom, run now! Save yourself from Rosle’s obsession with singing; don’t worry about me; save yourself!” The Trill joked.

Rosle gently punched the Trill man on his upper arm for teasing her. “Hey, you enjoyed our duet last week; let’s make it a band with Jonarom!”

Knowing he may regret this, Jonarom was eventually convinced by Jen and Rosle to join them on the small stage behind them to sing a song. He wasn’t drunk enough to forget it, but he was drunk enough to agree to it. As he got up on the holographic stage, he turned to the other two just as Rosle handed him the mic and the backing track was selected. 

Maybe a musical distraction was needed.

Comments

  • The friendship and exchanges among the Starfleet officers as they unwind in a social situation are well-captured in the scene you wrote. It sheds light on the personalities, worries, and willingness of the characters to stand by one another. The natural flow of the language gives the connections between the characters substance. Personal details like Jen's recent breakup and Jonarom's conflicted sentiments about his promotion provide the narrative emotional depth and make the characters more likable. Additionally, choosing to sing along at karaoke gives the scenario a pleasant and jovial quality that allows the characters to connect and have fun. The sequence is generally well-written and interesting, providing a window into the relationships and personal lives of the Starfleet personnel aboard the Odyssey. Character growth and amusing and supportive moments are skillfully balanced.

    September 27, 2023
  • Rosle

    Starfighter Group Commander

  • Lukiz Jen

    USS Triton
    First Officer
    Former Chief Operations Officer

  • Jonarom

    USS Bellerophon
    Chief Science Officer
    Former Chief Communications Officer