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Arriving To Join The Party

Posted on Wed May 15th, 2024 @ 3:51am by Lieutenant Halcyon Attixx & Lieutenant JG Octavia Zephyrin-Attixx & Lieutenant Paisley F'rar

4,096 words; about a 20 minute read

Mission: Season 1, Episode 0: "A Time To Heal"
Location: Utopia Planitia Docking Tube: USS Yorktown
Timeline: June 15, 2403

They were a family group and it was obvious, even if they seemed to be dressed like they were going to some sort of odd costume party. One was obviously an officer in Starfleet, the purple tunic even shouting out his profession to the entire galaxy along with the two pips on his collar. The woman walking next to him was an anathema in terms. If one didn't notice how she was possessive of one of the man's arms and the ring on his and her fourth fingers, they could have reasonably thought that she was his daughter. The blonde that stood an inch and a half shorter than him looked like she could be nineteen to his mid 30s, but she was dressed in what looked to be a variant of old Roman armor, complete with a sword, just... Modernized. Behind them, a boy and a girl that looked in their own early teens were following them wearing backpacks, the girl with a headpiece that had a transparent visor on it that flashed light onto her face beneath them. Aside from that she had on a loose smock that also seemed Roman stylized, but civilian, with a shorter skirt that went to her knees. The boy was looking around with interest, more of a Federation style of civilian clothes of course.

The officer leaned over and kissed the temple of the woman holding onto his arm and whispered to her, "You know, I'm surprised your sister didn't come out to find us on the station. We gave her our itinerary and even sent her a comm when we landed."

"Oh, that's not a surprise, Hal, Minerva's always been a stickler for what she's doing. I know she's going to want to go back out to the station for dinner, though, maybe we should get Alder and Lavi figuring out what they want?" Octavia Zephyrin said back, always looking forward, but also alert to any changes. You could take the Centurion away from Roma Nueva, but you couldn't take the Centurion out of the woman, not that she'd ever let it.

From the Docking ring, the tall, stately Carjoran stepped out. She was dressed in a long, beige skirt, belted at her waist with a brown, wide leather belt, a button down short-sleeve blouse that matched, and boots. She wore oversized sunglasses-yes, on a Starbase-and carried an oversized purse. She headed for the Promenade to see what kind of trouble she could find. The next day, she'd need to report for duty to her newest posting, but in the meantime, she needed a meal. Maybe a nice iced tea and a cute Vulcan, to boot. Her shuttle trip out had been exhausting-though it hadn't been a long trip from the orbit of Alpha Centauri to Planitia Utopia, the shuttle's navigational software was old and she'd been voluntold to update it. Such the life of a computer technician, she supposed. The family ahead of her seemed to know their way around. Interestingly, even though she'd been in the Fleet for several years now, and had traveled most of the known universe as a child with her father as he did "diplomatic" work for the Dominion, she had never been to the Shipyards here, and realized she didn't know the inner sanatorium of the building-only the inner hulls. Duh.

She paused, and yelled out. "HEYYYY..."

The blonde's head snapped around at the calling, eyes like a sound-seeking radar, the turn of her body stopping her husband in his tracks and he turned to look more slowly and with more deliberation as she whispered something in his ear and released him to slow the kids from their mindless walk. Halcyon waved to the woman who had called out apparently to them and waited for her to catch up a bit, "Good Morning!" He said cheerfully, bright smile on his face, "Anything I can help you with?"

The Carjoran stopped, and pulled her sunglasses up so she could look at the woman in the eyes, respectfully, as she had been taught as a child. "Sorry to bother you. Do you happen to know which way to the Promenade area?" She asked. "I haven't been to Planitia before," she explained, tossing her glossy black hair back.

“Of course, we’re actually heading there ourselves.” Halcyon said in his normal jovial voice, “In fact,” he turned to the blonde, “Do you mind?” He asked in an obvious shorthand question to which she nodded even as she reached out to tap the girl’s visor twice and Halcyon looked back with a wide smile, “We were going to go find something for lunch if you’d care to join us? I’m always interested in meeting new people and I do know that depending on which Promenade on Utopia Planitia you’re at, it can vary. I’m Lieutenant Halcyon Attixx, Starfleet Diplomatic Corps.” He extended his hand out, “This is my wife, Octavia, Centurion of the Roma Nueva Special Forces,” The blonde nodded to the Carjoran with what appeared to be a brief but expert visual frisking, “And our children, Alder and Lavina.”

Paisley nodded. "Thanks!! I'd appreciate that. Nice to meet you," she said, extending her own hand. "I am Lt. Paisley F'rar, Operations Officer," she said. "I'll be going the Yorktown here in a day or so as Chief," she said. "Wow, Roma Nueva?" She said. She had once read about the planet, based on Ancient Sol's lore about the Roman Centurians. Or vice-versa, she wasn't sure.

The girl gave an annoyed look as she flicked her visor up and began to furiously chew the gum she had in her mouth, “Gods, dad, you know I hate you using my full name! Call me Lavi like everyone else does!” It came out whiney instead of biting, then Octavia flicked her arm, “Hey, mooooom, stooop!” To the apparent delight of her brother.

Paisley chuckled at the kids' antics. "Lead the way," she said, gratefully.

"Kids." Halcyon remarked to their new companion, "Let's see.. We're in the B wing of Utopia Planitia... That means Clarissa's is probably our best bet. It's not the best place in the wing, but the better places usually get booked pretty quickly ahead of time and Clarissa's is one of those 'Decent at everything, great at nothing' type of places. But, funny thing is: We're headed to the Yorktown ourselves. I'm going to be the Chief Diplomatic Officer while Octavia is going to be serving as a liason between the R-N military and Starfleet, ostensibly to see how to possibly integrate their defense forces into the Fleet's logistics and service patterns."

"Don't you mean 'our' defense forces, Hal?" Octavia had returned to his side as the two children pestered each other lightly and followed, "What Halcyon here hasn't mentioned is that he's applied for citizenship at home as well, only a few years away from gaining full voting rights. That's where we met, in fact, when he was a junior diplomat to my homeworld. Where is it on Earth you're from, dear?"

"My mother was from South Carolina, but I grew up on Betazed due to my father." Hal corrected his wife, "Call me a mutt in that regard, but back to the point. Octavia here has a couple of sisters that are also going to be on the ship as well, not sure how they managed that one. So when you see the ship's doctor, that's Minerva. She's really a pip from my experience with her." He'd returned his attention to Paisley.

The tall Carjoran nodded, even though her head was spinning. "I gotcha," she said. "I was raised mostly on Cardassia Prime, myself, but I am mixed-race," she said. It was obvious through her lack of nose ridges or the spoon-shaped marking on her forehead, but the slightly greenish-grey tone to her skin gave away the Cardassian genes. The Bajoran was more expressed in her personality and habits, besides her mother's looks-the bright blue eyes and black hair was all Bajoran. "Neither of my parental races currently are FOP members, either, so. That's really awkward, really, when you're the new Chief of Ops," she said, with a shrug. In time, she knew they would-the people her age had learned from the sins of their fathers. She hoped. "But uh, when we lived on Earth, it was near Chicago," she said. "My father's second wife was human," she said. "I didn't like it," she said, with a laugh. "On Cardassia, I was mostly left alone, and I liked it that way. There were too many people to keep track of me on Sol," she admitted, a purple blush spreading across her face.

“I sort of figured you were a mix of Cardassian and something else, Bajoran if I miss my guess,, but I didn’t want to be rude and make mention of it..” Halcyon remarked, “The ‘Non Federation Member’ worlds is what gives that game away, no Bajoran features that I can tell, but extra-Federation human colony worlds are rare, so deductive reasoning. If I’m wrong, please don’t hesitate to correct me.”

This time it was as if Octavia wanted to smack her husband for the comment, “And you can rest assured, Miss F’Rar, that my husband just loves sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Don’t pay him any mind, he’s a natural born troublemaker. But as he said, my sister Minerva is in the same boat as you, Starfleet head of department, but not a UFOP citizen. Me? I’m kinda special, I've got this one.”

Paisley shook her head. "I don't mind," she said. "Most people are fine about it now," she said, "except on Bajor, for obvious reasons, and on Cardassia Prime, for the same reason," she said. "I was lucky that my father's position in the Cardassian military shielded me from much but I have friends who weren't so lucky. Anyway, I hope, in time, we can all join the FOP, right? Is Minerva also Magna Roman?" She made a face, what a stupid question, of course she was!

"Roma Nuevan," Octavia corrected idly, then laughed lightly, "It's an easy mistake to make, but please, just call us Roman. Our ancestors modeled the colony ship after the old Roman model, complete with an Emperor that has the title of Caesar. Many of the little details, but not super important at the moment. Part of my detached duties from home actually involves studying how we can integrate our own Navy in with Starfleet, plus how to do the same with the Legions. After we got overrun during the Dominion War, we had to start our Navy over from scratch so we designed and built our own starships, with some Federation assistance, because the tech here is still a couple levels above what we've got homegrown, but we're catching up pretty quickly."

Paisley nodded. "My apologies. Roman, got it!!" she said. She understood being mislabeled and vowed to remember that. "That's pretty cool, I have read about it, but have never been there or met a Roman!" she said.

Clarissa's was just around the corner and Halcyon took the lead by a few feet to get their names on the wait list, but they were seated even while Octavia was talking. Instead of looking hard at the menu, the teenage boy was looking at Paisley interestedly, "I've heard of Cardassia," He said to Paisley, eyes bright, "It's really a shame what happened there at the end of the Dominion War, but don't you think in a way it was deserved? Cardassia had just stabbed the Dominion in the back and-" His mouth was covered by Octavia's hand as Halcyon's eyes had opened wide and his mouth had started to open to rebuke his son.

Paisley's blue eyes flickered for a moment. She was conflicted about her home planet-of course she would be. Still, she nodded. "Indeed, in a way. The generations that came before me-my father and grandfather certainly do," she said. "But the people my age? We had nothing to do with the Occupation, and in fact, most of us are trying to make peace. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's still several raised by people like my father who are out for blood, but a lot of us aren't. We want peace," she said. "My father has always found it disgusting that I didn't join the Cardassian militia and instead, joined Starfleet. But I can't take up arms against people who are simply trying to just live their lives like we are," she said. She had bought in, hook, line, and sinker, to the FOP/Fleet's Utopian stuff, and really tried to live it. "Which I know sounds a bit immature, but...I grew up seeing the aftermath of the war and what it had done-not just to the Bajorans but to Cardassians, as well, and...I can't be a party to that," she said. "So I fix starships," she said. "I pray that one day, my father sees it, too, but..maybe not." She shrugged. "What kind of food is it?" She asked, changing the subject.

Behind them, Octavia had pulled Alder off to the side and was whispering harshly into his ear, "Your father is going to have a talk with you tonight. If you ever want to be in diplomacy or politics, you need to learn when to bring a subject up. What you did was open your mouth, put your foot in it and talk past it. This isn't Roma, no one is going to try to defend their honor or something like that, but you need to pay attention and ask preliminary questions first. All right?" Her son nodded as she spoke to him and she agreed.

While she was doing that, Halcyon smiled at Paisley and made a flourish that was intended to distract from the chewing out going on behind them, "It's got a good mix of Mediterranean food, but is heavily focused on the Italian. They do have a rather good lamb gyro, and their spanikopita is not quite to die for but still very good. They do make a good Turkish kebab and if you're into fish, they make a Maltese dish called Torta tal-Lampuki that is like a bit of a fish pie. I haven't had anything here I haven't liked. Yet."

Paisley nodded. "Interesting!" She said. "I love Mediterranean foods. I was introduced to them on Sol and can't get enough," she said. "The fish pie sounds interesting. I might try that," she said. "At any rate, it's a nice break from replicator food. I might be able to build things and put them back together, but I can't make a meal to save my life," she said. Her blue eyes darted to the young man. She hoped he wouldn't be in too much trouble; she understood his curiosity, but she also understood his parents' need to teach him how to "read a room." It was why Paisley was in Operations and not Counseling-she'd open her mouth and it would fall apart. She raised her hand to flag down a server. "How long have you all been on the Base?" She asked.

"Just arrived this morning. We took a cruise liner for a bit of a vacation from Roma Nueva to here on a slow boat." Halcyon chuckled, "Two weeks of rest, relaxation and beating the boys away from my daughter and the girls away from my son. "I'm sure I'll need to introduce everyone to the Captain and the rest of the crew.. I know the woman who's running the restaurant on the Yorktown, so I'll get with her about throwing a welcome aboard party for the senior staff."

Paisley smiled. "That's excellent," she said. "You're lucky to have had that break. I came immediately from my last posting and have been in the weeds since. Though, that's mostly my own fault. I am one of those types to volunteer for work," she said. She could relax, and did. She just liked her work, and it kept her busy. "I'd give my left arm for shore leave," she said. She was tired.

"I think Yorktown is going to be here for a few days still, you could petition the Captain to get those days off and about, or I could talk to my sister-in-law, who is really good friends with the Exec who could talk to the Captain." Halcyon reeled off the third-degree line of influence he may have, "I really don't think there'd be a problem."

"Or, if that fails, we could take some time in a holodeck and I could give you a pretty good massage." Octavia butted in, "I've got enough free time that I could take you through a spa day, get at least some R and R in the bag for you." The blonde Roman smiled even as she made the suggestion.

"OH?" She said. "Maybe!! Like I said, most of it I volunteered for; I am one of those people who can't be idle, but then I forget that shore leave IS doing something and I get tired," she said. She had, by now, eaten most of the food that had been delivered, and was thinking about something sweet. She had no qualms about eating food-lots of it-in public places. Some people did, which she respected, but it wasn't in her nature to care about other people's opinions of hers. Except her father's, that is.

"I volunteered what? Four times to be where I am now." Octavia agreed with the whole volunteering thing, "First to join the Army, then to join the Marines to serve on starships, again to join Special Forces and now to go follow Hal to figure out how best to integrate forces with Starfleet. But always, always find time to rest yourself, even just your mind, you never know when you'll have the chance again."

Paisley nodded. "Wise words. I've always struggled with balance. My mother died when I was very young, and my father left me alone a lot so I had a lot of responsibilities, and while it's made me an excellent employee and Department Assistant, it also kept me from learning to let go," she said. "I was a young teenager when he remarried and some of that changed but it's still...difficult to remember sometimes," she said.

"We were lucky in that regard, with two sisters, a brother and mother with us, we always had a hand or two ready at any time." Octavia said and smiled, "But what I know about Starfleet, and there's a fair bit I don't know about it, as a department head, you'll have anyone at your beck and call most of the time. And if no one else wants to help you, give me a call, I may be a military woman, but I'm always willing to throw my weight around."

Paisley smiled. "I hope that won't be necessary," she said. "But I'll keep it in mind," she said. "Thanks. What are you guys doing after this? I think I might go check out the Promenade and then get ready to report for duty," she said. "I could use a few things before we launch."

"Probably heading over to the ship and hunting down the Operations office to get our quarters assignment." Octavia shrugged, "Don't know how many family groupings are going to be on board, but we are definitely one of them, so best get the the best set available, don't you think?"

Paisley nodded vigorously. "Absolutely," she said. "And now you know the Chief of Ops, so I can pull strings, tell 'em I need to repair the Computer Core, and sneak you in," she said. She smiled, and then finished her food. "This was SOOO good," she said. "It's been a bit since I've had a nice meal. I usually just replicate something in my quarters. I rely far too much on that thing."

"I think the set that goes to the Chief Diplomat should be perfectly fine." Halcyon butted in, "If memory serves, that's usually an en suite set of quarters that has several rooms attached, usually for aides and the like. It'll give us rooms for the kids and a good-sized living room area."

"Now, now, Hal," Octavia laid a hand on his forearm, "Let's not be hasty... Paisley, what would I need to bribe you with to get an upgrade?" She smiled broadly, "I do a decent job cooking, so I could always make you some pretty good meals, ones that even a pair of teenagers don't refuse that often."

Paisley laughed again. "We'll see what I can do," she said. "But I agree that the set for the Chiefs are pretty nice," she said. Of course, being single, her quarters weren't nearly as nice, but she'd once dated a woman who had a child, and the rooms were nicer. "But you strike an interesting bargain. I DO love to eat..." the Ops officer accepted.

"Mom makes a good risotto, but don't ask for her spaghetti." Lavina blurted out, "Her sauce needs more spices, though I don't feel safe telling her that in private." The teenage girl winked at her mother to let Paisley know she was indeed joking about the last bit, "She makes up for it with her lasagna though." A grin had crossed her face.

Paisley giggled. "Ah!" She said. "Well, my Bajoran half craves spice," she said. "So I'll keep it in mind! When I get in in the morning, I'll make some calls! So, an upgrade in quarters for some lasagna!! That was an easy peasy switch!!"

Halcyon had his face buried in a hand and was shaking his head, "What am I going to do with you all..." Then his commlink twittered and a mechanical sounding voice came over it even as Paisley's twittered as well.

"Lieutenant Attixx, please report to the Yorktown's Ready Room as soon as practical with Centurion Attixx." The voice clicked off nearly as suddenly as it had sounded. The ending of Paisley's message sounded nearly simultaneously.

"Well, it looks like we've been summoned, dear." He remarked to Octavia, then glanced over at Paisley, "And you too it seems. Do you know anywhere we can stash these two while we all go and see the Captain?"

Paisley smiled. "I can watch them, if you want. Kids, have you ever seen inside a ship's Computer Core? Want to?" She asked.

"Except that you're supposed to go to the Captain's office with us." Halcyon pointed out, "I don't think you want these two running around the Computer Core without you, at least, I wouldn't want to." He looked at his children, who were looking beatifically at him, "Will you two behave if we let you wander about the station for an hour or two?"

"Yes, dad." They chorused, giving each other an excited look.

Then Octavia butted in, "If anything happens, find the closest security officer and tell them that your parents are assigned to the Yorktown. We'll plan to meet you back in front of here in... Call it two hours? No, three hours, don't know how long the Captain's going to keep us. I did see an arcade on the walk here, so I'm sure you can keep yourselves occupied.

"Oh, yeah," replied Paisley. She'd forgotten that minor detail-meeting the Captain. "Indeed, it's probably not wise to let them run wild down there," she said. "At least not until I can get eyes on it and make sure it's safe and all that," she said. She stood up then, and prepared to go. "See you guys!! I heard there was a Bajoran baseball game showing in the Holodecks," she said. "A couple of people on the shuttle were talking about it," she said. Did kids like baseball? She had no idea.

"We'll keep it in mind, Miss Paisley," Alder's eyes did brighten at the thought of sports, but his sister grabbed his arm and tugged him along, "We'll stay out of trouble, mom, I promise. I'll keep an eye on Lavy."

"You mean, I'll keep MY eye on you." Lavina bit back grumpily, "Let's go Alder, I'm gonna beat your ass in some games before you run off to that baseball crap!"

Paisley shook her head as the children left. "Alright, lead the way," she said, to Octavia, feeling like a kid herself-the fun was over. Time to work. Darn it.


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