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:: Ready Room, USS Isannah

Jesa stood quietly in the corner, with the lights dimmed, looking out at the bright ambient lighting of the inside of the Starbase. She hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. But then again, she didn't need much sleep. The crew needed her to at least have some semblance of strength, and for that need she continued on. But how she longed for the stars to be beyond that viewport instead, they seemed much more comforting than being surrounded by a mass of unnatural technology. In her hand she held a cup of Bajoran spice tea, and sipped it, enjoying the taste of the warm liquid as it slid down her throat. As long as she stayed in the here and now, she could cope. She had to.

She sighed deeply, looking outside. The ship was hers now; she was solely responsible for everything that went on in it. And that... scared her. 'Well, Captain... I wonder if you would have approved.' She thought silently, taking another sip of her tea. 'If Buck were here, I would have asked him... but... he's not, and the ranks are growing fewer.' She thought, biting her tongue to hold back the tears that threatened. If she closed her eyes at all, she could see Buck's smiling face, as real as life... but she knew it wasn't.

Jesa had set a briefing in twenty minutes time from now, and honestly, she didn't know if she could hold together through it. 'Oh, God, how can I do this without him? How can I continue without him? I don't have the strength to.' she thought slowly, ticking off each captain's name in her mind, 'now me...' she thought

'A lot of captains in such a short time... will I follow after them?' she asked, to no one in particular. 'I wish... I had to deal with this without this gaping hole in me. I could have done anything with him by my side, but without him... I feel lost, and alone.' She thought, a shiver running down her spine, making her feel so cold. Jesa sighed softly, content to spend this remaining time just contemplating.

But it wasn't to be so. At that second she heard a door open almost silently, though she didn't acknowledge it. A figure moved into the room, stealthily. But even then, she didn't turn or look at him, waiting instead until he spoke. He didn't seem to think she had noticed him. "Sir, I was told you wanted to see me."

"Usually, Ensign, it is customary to announce your presence before entering the ready room." She intoned deeply, seriously, only looking at him in the reflection of the glass, which was partially hidden due to the darkness in the room.

Drake just stood there and took it. The thought passed through his mind that maybe he shouldn't attempt to annoy his commanding officer any further, and since no question had been posed, there was no reason to speak.

She turned around, standing her full height, her red hair neatly pulled up into a loose bun, a braid running around the edge of it as it met her head. She looked at him with critical blue-grey eyes, sizing up the figure before her. "Alexander Drake, Omegan, black hair, hazel eyes, 177cm tall, eighty years old. Entered Academy, Stardate 237209.25 Graduated, Stardate. 237607.24. Commander Matthews of Starbase 14 applied recommendation for entry." she began, not utilizing a padd or any other sort of device, relying solely on her memory to pull forth the statistics.

"Unusual scarring over most of the dermal tissue. Family status, deceased. Recreational activities tend to include dare-devil and outdoorsman and survival activities. Has a strong sense of justice, leadership abilities noted and personality tends to reinforce that assertion. Extensive experience with Ferengi language and technology." Then she paused for a second. "Anything I missed, Ensign?"

"I think that's pretty much all bases covered, sir." Drake responded. "Although I'd like to know if there are any immediate assignments currently outstanding on my new position."

She looked at him, her gaze quite neutral, then turned back to the window, leaning the palm of her hand against the frame for support. Jesa slowly took another sip of her tea. "I'm sure there are, but most of that will be covered at the briefing."

He looked back at her, noticing that she wasn't really paying much attention, but never the less continued. "Well I also wanted to inform you that the long range fighter assigned to the Isannah has arrived, it's currently docked at the Starbase." He tried to keep still, remembering that image is important, and as an Ensign, should at least try not to look nervous on his first major assignment.

"Good. At least we won't have to familiarize you with her systems." Her voice was low, though not tired., it was inged with a sadness that penetrated the room, though not overwhelmingly so. It took a while to even notice it just wasn't a formal distance used by most commanders. "My real reason was to meet you; actually, as all that about the shuttle was in the report you filed.... Which, coincidentally, I did read."

"Ah, thank you, ma'am. But... may I ask why you wanted to meet me?" he asked.

"Perhaps to get a feel for you, perhaps to size you up, perhaps to even try a hand at intimidation tactics... " she said, still not looking at him, and the smile that was supposed to reinforce that last statement as humorous was mysteriously absent. "I started out aboard this ship, what feels like another lifetime ago, as Deck Officer... as a green Ensign. This ship has been home to me ever since."

"I certainly hope that in time it will grow to become the home I've been looking for ever since the Ferengi interfered in Omegan politics. Although of course, if they hadn't I would still be on Omega 3, oblivious to the rest of the Galaxy." Drake nodded his head slightly with the end of that last statement, as if to signify its importance. "Although as the Ferengi Rule of Acquisition number seventy-five states, 'Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.' And although Ferengi tend to put the emphasis on the latter part of that rule, I prefer the beginning."

His long-windedness brought a slight smile to Jesa's mood, more than to her face. 'Quite the chatty fellow, he is.' She thought silently, then turned to face him, allowing her smile to show through ever so slightly. "Well, then, Mister Drake. I welcome you aboard, and I have but one piece of advice to offer you." She said, even with a hint of friendliness as she extended her hand over the table towards him.

"What would that be, sir?" said Drake as he reached across the table to shake Callen's hand. She grasped his hand firmly and shook it. "Walk lightly. This ship has just been through massive casualties, and most of us here, including myself, are simply not in our normal good humor." She paused for a moment "And as it is three minutes until the briefing, I do believe we should both get to it"

"Yes sir, I would concur." Drake said, although no one had told him what time it was at. He presumed it must have been announced whilst he was attending to business on the Starbase; regardless he turned and led the way out of the ready room. He walked briskly around the rear of the Bridge, into the Observation Lounge via the connecting door. He noted to himself en route, not to interject rules into conversations with higher ranked officers unless absolutely necessary in future; most people think they're irrelevant.

Jesa watched Drake leave, as she quietly deposited her cup back into the replicator and hit recycle. Apparently he had expected her to follow directly behind her, and was surprised when he noticed she wasn't. Jesa smiled inwardly and just walked to catch up, letting him enter first. He seemed like he'd make a good officer, unusual though he may be, but somehow she always envisioned someone distant in the DO's spot. Of course... that was just how she had been.

Taking a look around the bridge, the officers working on duty, the atmosphere was a little more relaxed now while they were at the Starbase. Everything seemed so normal, and somehow that annoyed Jesa. How could anything be normal again after what happened? And yet, at the same time she asked how she could continue on, forcing herself, and perhaps everyone else, to not adapt, to not change, and to constantly be in this pain. She still couldn't dismiss it, as her heart cried out in pain.

'Am I the only one...?' she thought, then looked at the Observation Lounge door, and entered.

Loaded: 03.10.2004

¤ Reload Frames ¤

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