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Part of USS Saratoga: Victory and Relief and Bravo Fleet: Ashes of Deneb

1 – Victory and Relief

USS Saratoga / Brahms Station
Late April 2401
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“You’re cheating,” exclaimed Rass while slamming his cards down on the table in frustration. “Nobody wins five games in a row,” glancing at Sashaa who had never played the game before most recently.

“I am not cheating. I can’t help it if I have gotten a lucky draw or five,” Sashaa said with her hand raised as the others looked at him with his sudden outburst.

“Calm down Rass, it’s not her fault that you are such a sore loser,” Damir said as he took a drink of his Risian Sunrise.

“Whatever, nobody wins that many times in a row. You are cheating,” he shouted as he stood up and stormed out of Brian’s quarters as he had been hosting their weekly poker game. Everyone watched him leave before looking back at each other.

“What is wrong with him?” Brian asked out of confusion as he hadn’t normally seen him like this.

“I have no idea,” said Damir.

“Another round?” Brian asked as he was ready to move on.

“Sure why not,” said Damir. “I have nothing better to do.”

“You guys go on without me. I am going to go after Rass and find out what is bothering him.” Nehi said, getting up from her chair before making her way out of his quarters.

“Suit yourself,” said Brian as he began to deal another round.

Nehi rolled her eyes at his comment just as the doors closed behind her. She walked down the corridor until she reached his quarters which weren’t very far from where they were. She pressed the button upon arrival and waited for a response.

Rass had been sitting on the couch when the door chime went off causing him to look over. He ignored it at first thinking that whoever it was would just go away as he was in no mood to talk. The chime went off again causing him to let out a low growl before finally speaking up. “Go away.”

“Rass please let me in.”

“No, I don’t want to talk.”

“Then I’ll just keep pressing the door chime until you do.”

He knew she would do it too, he let out a snort. “Fine,” he replied as the doors to his quarters opened revealing Nehi standing there for a brief moment before she walked in.

“What is up with you?”

“What do you mean?” Rass asked as if he didn’t know what she was talking about.

“Why did you get so upset,” she began as she sat on the chair across from him before waving her hand. “Wait, that was the wrong choice of words. Why did you get so mad that Sashaa won so many times in a row?”

“No one wins that many times in a row. It is impossible,” Rass said with frustration in his voice.

“Oh really?” Nehi said, giving him the look. “You don’t seem to remember it wasn’t that long ago you had won several times in a row. So don’t give me that line,” she replied with frustration showing in her voice.

“That was just luck.”

She threw her hands up. “Listen to yourself. You think you can be the only one who is allowed to be lucky and when it’s not they’re cheating.”

“That is not true.”

“Then what was that back there,” Nehi said with a raised voice pointing in the direction of Brian’s quarters. “You called Sashaa a cheater because she just happened to get some lucky draws in a row. So don’t say that isn’t true because it is!”

He opened his mouth to speak but closed them shut as he worked his jaw. She had made a point and he didn’t know how to respond. Silence fell between them for a few minutes as he looked at the floor.

Looking at him she lowered her voice in a more caring way. “This isn’t like you Rass. What is wrong?” Nehi asked with concern in her voice as she stood up, moving to sit next to him and placing a hand on his knee. “You know you can always talk to me as I am your friend.”

He looked up at her for a moment before returning his gaze to the floor before shrugging. “I don’t know,” said Rass with a sigh. “I guess it’s everything we have been through lately. With the Lost Fleet invasion of the Deneb sector, what could have happened to us during Frontier Day if we were not safely at Starbase Bravo.”

Nehi began to understand what he was going through and she felt the same way. “I understand but that doesn’t mean you have to act like this to your friends,” Nehi said as she continued to look at him. “We didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment.”

“I know and I am sorry.”

“I am saying this because I am your friend and I care but maybe you need to speak to a counselor about what is going on.”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I can deal with this myself.”

“Obviously you can’t because you are lashing out at people,” said Nehi as she stood up and looked down at him with frustration rising in her voice. “They can help you as that is what they are here for. I don’t like seeing you act this way when we all know this is not who you are Rass.”

Rass looked up at her and let out a heavy sigh. He knew she was right and had a hard time admitting it. “Fine.”

Though she didn’t believe him she only hoped that he would. “Promise?”

He worked his jaw as he stood up from the couch he had been sitting on. “I promise,” said Rass as he placed his hands on her shoulders. “I’ll make the appointment first thing in the morning.”

“You better,” Nehi replied with a smile.

Pulling her in for a hug. “Thank you for being a good friend and saying things I needed to hear even when I didn’t want to hear it.”

“That is what friends do,” said Nehi as she returned the hug. “I better let you get some rest, see you in the morning.”

“See you in the morning,” Rass replied as he watched her head towards the door and walk out. After the doors closed behind Nehi he let out a sigh. Walking over to the window he began to look out to look at the view of Avalon II that they were above while docked at Brahms Station. He began to think about things and how he’s been acting towards those he was close to. He would have to apologize to Sashaa and the others tomorrow before booking an appointment with the counselor.


“When do you think we will be leaving Brahms Station?” Arzin asked as he was cleaning up after dinner, while Azras was sitting on the couch reading a book. They both enjoyed having a physical book which was a rare thing to have anymore but they seemed to enjoy the feel of a book compared to a PADD.

She looked up at him for a brief moment before turning her attention back to her book. “I am not sure. I am guessing within the next couple of days as I haven’t gotten anything as of yet.”

Putting plates into the replicator for recycling, he grabbed a towel and wiped off the table. “I think the crew might be getting restless,” Arzin said as he waved his hand. “Don’t get me wrong I think we all deserved and needed this break after everything. I am even looking forward to getting back to exploring and helping others.”

“I understand I have been hearing bickering between some of the crew.”

After cleaning up the kitchen and dining room he went to the replicator and replicated two hot teas. Grabbing the two glasses he walked over to the couch that Azras was sitting on. Handing her a glass she smiled sweetly at him. “Thanks love.”

“Do you want to go for a walk around the station’s promenade?”

Pressing her lips together moving them to her left side while she thought for a moment. “I think I will pass this time, I just want to relax and read this book. Though you can go if you like,” said Azras with a soft smile.

“Are you sure?”

“Yep, I am good. Go enjoy yourself.”

Leaning over he kissed her, “I won’t be too late.” Arzin replied as he headed for the door and walked out.

Azras watched him leave before she took another sip of her tea and sat it on the table. She picked up her book again and began to read again until she was interrupted which got her a bit annoyed as she just wanted to relax.

Bridge to Captain Dex,” said Ritru.

“Go ahead.”

You have an incoming priority one transmission from Commodore Jori,” Ritru replied.

“Put her through to my quarters,” Azras said as she placed her book down on the table again. Standing up from the couch she began to make her way to where her desk was located.

Aye sir,” Ritru said before ending the channel.

Sitting down she turned her computer on to see the face of Commodore Imya Jori on the other end. Smiling at her. “What can I do for you, Commodore?”

“I hope I am not disturbing you, Captain.”

“Not at all. I was just relaxing, reading a book.”

“I am going to be sending you information on Nasera II.” Jori began.

“Isn’t that one of the planets that was seized by the Dominion?”

“It was,” said Jori. “The Fourth Fleet is sending as many ships as possible back to the Deneb sector to begin helping them recover,” Jori replied before taking a short pause. “I am sending the Saratoga and Triumph to Nasera II to continue helping the planet rebuild.”

“I thought Polaris was there helping them?” Azras asked with confusion in her voice.

“They are being recalled somewhere else.”

Azras nodded as she received the information she had sent her. “Will we be getting supplies for Nasera?”

“Yes, all the information is in the file I sent you.”

“Understood, we will depart as soon as possible,” Azras said, looking at her.

“Thank you, Captain. Good luck,” Jori said with a smile.

A short time later the communication ended which left her staring at the computer for a moment more. Pulling up the information that she was sent and began to read what was there. Upon finishing she sent a recall of the crew of both ships along with those who were to meet her in the observation lounge onboard the Saratoga. Downloading the contents onto a PADD she went to get changed into her uniform before she headed to the observation lounge.

Comments

  • The crew has been through so much, and the cracks are starting to show. It can be hard for people to seek help, or even acknowledge the root of the issue, and you capture that well in Rass’ reluctance to see a counselor. Hopefully, he will follow through with his promise to see a counselor, and maybe the mission to Nasera will help too. It’s strange to say, but I’m reminded of the old adage that sometimes the best way to heal is to help others heal. Selfishly, after all the time I spent writing about Nasera, I’m excited to see what you do with it now that Reyes and her goons are off to other places.

    August 31, 2023