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Posted on 12 Sep 2018 @ 11:48pm by Lieutenant Heather Kowal

Mission: Prologue: The Third
Location: USS Nomad, Lounge
Timeline: 30 Minutes after 'Marines?'

Kalvin had showered and changed before heading to the lounge. While they were underway the daily uniform was more relaxed, but not quite to the point of wearing just whatever you wanted. He opted for a pair of gym shorts, black t-shirt, and sneakers when he was off shift. On shift he'd wear his uniform, minus the jacket. That damn thing only came out of his locker when they were about to dock somewhere. If he ever went back to a starbase or a ship of the line it would take some adjusting to having so much less freedom than they did on the Nomad. He ordered two drinks from the replicator and made his way over to a table where they could look out at the stars streaking by. He'd done some thinking in the shower and the whole redeploying to the Delta Quadrant was sinking in and now he wasn't quite as upbeat about it as he had been. That wasn't to say he wasn't excited by the idea of getting into truly more or less unexplored space though.

Heather came into the lounge just after he had sat down and went directly to her executive officer. Like the XO she had also taken to wearing civilian clothes off duty but having been still in uniform she hadn't bothered to change out. She took her uniform jacket off and placed it on the back of her chair before she sat down across from him.

"We'll be there tomorrow around fourteen hundred," she said, lifting her drink from the table and then up in a thank you before taking a sip.

"Well, at least it's a short trip." He said, raising his own glass. "Did some thinking in the shower." He said before sipping his drink. "Contact back home is gonna be limited if that wormhole only connects once a month. I'll have to warn Mom and Allison before we head across. We've always been close, so that'll be a shock to their system."

"I'm not sure when we're actually moving into the Delta Quadrant," she said. "And I also don't know if we are staying there or if we are just playing ferry to this marine unit's commander," she said.

"Shit, we're playing limo?" Kalvin asked with a groan. "So much for our informal way of life for the duration of his stay." He said as he tossed back the rest of his drink. "I don't think they're gonna have us play taxi just to carry this guy through the wormhole, not when we'd be stuck there for a month before we could come back." He shook his head. "If they're sending us through, that's gonna be our new home port."

"My understanding is that the bulk of the unit will be heading for its destination but the Colonel has to meet with the 38's new commander, General Potter?" she said, not sure if she got the name right.

"Sounds about right." He agreed, thinking back to the reports he skimmed on occasion. "I don't really follow everything that's going on outside our niche, but I think I remember seeing something about a new appointment out there." He shrugged as he stood up. "Round two?"

“No I’m good thanks,” she said, indicating her full drink.

"Save us another trip while I'm already up." He said with a shrug

“No ones fine, a Coke is cool,” she said. “Bring some cards or something too?”

"Coke and cards, no sweat." He chuckled as he went to the replicator for the necessary items, including some snacks. He returned with a small tray loaded with items.

“Look at you,” she said. “You keep this up and you could easily slide into best friend status,” she winked.

"I'll make a helluva husband for someone someday." He agreed with a chuckle as he sat back down.

“You snore a lot,” she said, frankly.

"You're no porcelain doll yourself sweetheart." He retorted.

“I’m much better looking though.”

"I won't disagree with that statement."

“Smart man,” she smirked.

"I'm not gonna disagree with you being good looking. I see you more than anyone else around here."

She gave him a look, "I'm not sure what frequency has to do with it.Though I'm sure what you meant is you get to see more of me than anyone else onboard."

"Well that's a true statement as well." He agreed. "I mean we do spend more time with each other than with anyone else, so I guess we would notice those smaller details about each other. Comes with the job and the shared quarters."

"Yeah... Deal," she said, tossing the pack of cards at him.

"What's the game tonight?" He asked as he removed the cards from the packing. "Contact with everyone back home only once a month at best. Guess we'll be back to writing letters to send through when the comm relays connect." He said as he shuffled the cards. He didn't have someone to leave behind, and he wasn't really looking. Heather on the other hand was younger than him and probably was looking or had someone in mind at any rate. He tried not to pry into her personal life.

"I don't care, dealer's choice," she said. She took a long pull of her drink, "I guess so. I guess outside of my parents there's nobody that I regularly keep in contact with. My best friend is busy with her new boyfriend and my old one couldn't handle us not being on the same ship," she explained.

"I wouldn't worry too much Heather." He said reassuringly as he shuffled. "Some young buck in Marine green will manage to sweep you off your feet." He smiled as he began to deal the cards.

"I highly doubt that," she said. "Besides it isn't as if we are going to have much contact with anyone past the Colonel and probably an aide or two."

"We'll be a ferry service for when they go on leave." He predicted. "Five card stud, jokers wild." He picked up his own cards. "One of them will catch your eye."

"I really don't plan on sticking around for those purposes," she said. "I will lobby whatever flag officer I need to get us back into a useful operation."

"Supply runs and personnel transfers aren't glamorous, but they're important too." He reminded her. "If we're lucky and we end up staying, we might get a reconnaissance job."

“I really have no interest in staying,” she sighed. “I want to go back to 93.”

"We might not have a choice." He observed. "How many cards you want?"

"One," she said, deciding to ignore his other comment.

"One for the boss lady." He said tossing a card off the deck. "Dealer takes two." He said quietly as he took two cards himself and discarded his junk cards. "Don't wanna get stationed in the unknown huh?"

"It isn't that," she said. "It's that I like the mission set for the ship in law enforcement and that is what I like to do as it's commanding officer. I'm sure there are aspects of your job that you like better than others."

"You have that with any job Heather." He shrugged. "Sure its nice when we make a bust on someone hauling contraband, but its the same space we've seen a hundred times over already."

"Is it wrong that I'm content? I mean lets face it... we were the best patrol in the Task Force. And my next tour I'm going to be on some bigger ship in a Department Head role or god forbid some sort of base. I want to enjoy it while it lasts... I like the hunt."

"There could be bigger and better hunts out in the DQ." He pointed out and sipped his drink. "I wanna see something new and different."

"I guess you're right, there could be," she said, with a shrug. She finished off her drink and then put the glass back down, wanting another, but knowing she shouldn't. "What's your favorite part of our work or your job specifically?"

"How many other CW2's can say they're the Exec of their own ship?" He said with a smile. "If I was on a base I might be a shift supervisor of a specialty team of engineers. Out here we can make a bit more of a difference."

"Probably not as many as they should," she said, honestly.

"Of course the living conditions can sometimes leave things to be desired. Especially when we're packed in with a full complement."

"We have a full compliment and it's not been too bad, aside the snoring," she teased.

"You're imagining some of it no doubt, you ARE across the entire compartment." He snorted. "Aside from when you fall asleep on the couch."

"I'm not imagining any of it," she said. "It's not as if the bulkheads in our quarters are soundproof."

"Like I said, you're not a porcelain doll." He chuckled. "You aren't always the most quiet either."

"I'm perfect," she said. Putting down her cards to display four jacks and a three.

"If you say so." He chuckled. "I'm not convinced yet." He said as he laid out his cards, two queens and three nines.

"I win," she announced.

"The card game, not the discussion on if you're perfect."

"I win both," she said.

"Well I'll have to concede it, cause there's no way I'll find out the rest of it." he said with a chuckle as he placed the cards back into the deck to shuffle again.

"I don't know what you mean," she asked, curiously. "Deal again?" she asked, she was terrible at shuffling cards.

"You wanna deal this one? I'll shuffle." He offered, trying to ignore the question.

“I guess,” she said, not following up.

"You probably are perfect for some young buck though." He reassured her, misunderstanding the lack of follow through. "That's just what you gotta find though. The right one."

“You seem super obsessed with me finding a boyfriend,” she said, waiting for him to shuffle. She sipped from her water before grabbing a chip and eating it.

"I remember how busted up you were before." He observed as he shuffled. "Don't really wanna live through that again."

“Well, not having a boyfriend will also prevent that,” she pointed out. “Just deal,” she said, a bit annoyed he brought it up.

"Yes dear." He said as he dealt another hand. "At least I got a decent looking roommate this time." He said in an attempt to break the sudden tension, as he looked at his cards.

"Best on the ship," she said, "fold..." she put the cards down.

"I'll take your word for it." He chuckled as he spread his cards on the table. "I try not to look at the crew I give orders to, but those above me are another matter."

“Maybe you’re just more vocal about it when it comes to people who are more your peers “ she said. “I’m glad I can give you something to entertain you,” she rolled her eyes.

"I wouldn't say entertain." He said rolling his eyes in return and picking up a few pretzels from the bowl on the tray.

“Can’t Control your dreams, Kal,” she smirked, going for some more chips.

"Uh huh," he observed dryly as he munched on a pretzel.

“Let’s play pool,” she said, bring the snacks though,” she said grabbing both their drinks.

"Yes dearest." He chuckled as he picked up the tray and followed her to the pool table.

She put his drink down on a small table along the bulkhead and grabbed her pool stick. Before going to the table and leaning it against. “I’ll rack, you break,” she said, starting to gather the balls.

"You're the boss." He chuckled as he pulled a cue from the stand and chalked the tip.

She removed the rack and hung it. She leaned against the bulkhead as she age a couple pretzels and took a sip of her coke.

"Let's see how this goes." He chuckled. "I'm definitely not a pool shark."

“Oh just break old man,” she said. But then her comm badge chimed.

“Captain, Bridge.”

“Captain, aye,”

“Ma’am we’ve got a contact on long range sensors appears to be a cargo vessel but not in our registry,” the OOD reported.

“Yellow alert, I’ll be up shortly begin intercept course,” Heather said, looking at the XO with a smile.

“Intercept course and yellow alert, aye,” he said.

“Let’s go hunting XO,” Heather said, as the yellow alert began.

"Well, so much for shooting pool." He rolled his eyes and put the cue back on its stand.

“We can play after,” she said, lying her cue on the table and heading for their quarters to change.


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