Episode 63 : Waiting

Vinaa plucked the suit off the table and raised it to the light for better viewing. “This fabric is wearing down. It’s cheap.” Her tone was dismissive as she let it pool on the counter next to Zletka. “At the time Rao didn’t have the funds for the best materials. It’s held up quite well though.” Zletka’s tone remained positive. Taking the suit she cut out a sample from the most damaged area and placed it under a microscope. “Hmm…” The Betazoids free scribbled a few notes across the padd. “I’ll need to find a better fabric before I return this to her. Any ideas on a good store?” She was still fully engrossed in the microscope. “There’s a store I know that would have what you’re looking for. I’ll give you the name later.” Vinaa smirked, thinking of the name and it’s location near the Romulan embassy. “Thank you, Vinaa.” Zletka took a few more samples of key points of the suit, examining each one before finally standing to collect her things. “It’s about time. I have things to do.” Approaching one of the blackened screens, Vinaa appraised her appearance. “Let’s go.” The Orion barely cast a glance in the direction of Que and Shrike as she and her comrade took their leave.

Garnett was almost positive his spleen was coming up his throat when Marcus’ hand connected with his back. “Hey now, I saw you first.” He chuckled in between a few coughs. Tapping his fist into his chest he was visibly surprised by Sunsan’s words. “Thanks.” He smiled, turning smug when he looked at Marcus. The smug aura immediately disappeared at mention of yesterday. Yesterday wasn’t to be spoken of. It had to be erased from the history books. “Listen, listen, listen. You ONLY beat me because you and Rao basically tag teamed me. Alright? Next time, Zletka and I will overpower you guys and THEN we’ll see who’s doing the real ass whipping around here.” He chuckled.

Lowell wanted to roll his eyes at the display he was watching. Since when did Sunsan and Wells put up with Garnett? Oh, so now that Marcus was dating Rao, Garnett received special treatment? What a laugh. The only thing that made it worse was not being able to say anything outright about it. Garnett was too friendly with others and too on edge already when it came to his opinions on anything to do with Marcus.

“Oh…sorry, guys. I can’t today. I’m checking on some friends, buying presents for my family and then heading back home in a few hours.” He explained, patting Marcus’ shoulder. “Next though. Next time I will destroy you and drink your tears.” Garnett narrowed his eyes for effect before releasing the big guy. “But Lowell isn’t doing anything I don’t think. He should be a good stand in for me. Isn’t that right?”

Lowell raised a brow at his friend before shaking his head. “Nah. Besides, Sunsan doesn’t look like he’s up for it.” He explained it away as easily as possible.

“Right.” Garnett nodded. “Well, I’ll see you when I get back.” He tossed his bag over his shoulders. “See you guys in the new year!” With a mock salute he disappeared from the room. Lowell followed behind, not bothering to acknowledge them on his path back to the treadmills.

When Garnett arrived at the medical wing he saw two familiar faces taking up space in the beds. “What did you wiley lot get yourselves into now.” He laughed, going to stand between them. Suprenant groaned for a dramatic effect. “Mother Garnett, please save me.” He held up one hand dramatically, his other shoulder bandaged up. “Oi, no more mother Garnett. If I was your mom I would have done more than dislocated your shoulder.”Garnett chuckled, sitting down on the edge of the bed. Looking over at the sleeping friend he immediately noticed his casted leg. “So what happened exactly?” A few bruises or dislocations was one thing- but a broken bone? “It was Marcus and Sunsan.” Suprenant answered flatly. He didn’t even wait for Garnett’s confused expression. “Lowell had some cheeky shit to say about Rao and next thing I know Marcus starts on him and then we’re being laid out when we didn’t even say anything..” He shook his head irritated.

“Oh.” Garnett tried to think back, “and this was Saturday, was it?”

“One and the same.” Suprenant nodded. “Sunsan stepped on his leg and broke it while going on about some shit about not playing nice with us savages. You’d think I’d be the one saying that. Or especially him with a leg broken!” He sat up abruptly, his face contorting at the sudden movement. “Anyway, that’s was we’re in here for.”

Garnett let out a small groan. “What a load…” He couldn’t even finish the sentence. “Where’s your third then?” He asked. “He didn’t have anything serious. He’s probably one his way home for vacation.” Suprenant answered. After a long silence he spoke again, “You going home for holidays?”

Garnett nodded. “Yeah. I have to pick up presents and all that soon.” He looked over at their still sleeping cadet. “Then go on. He’s been napping on and off all day. You can come chide us when you get back…mum.” Suprenant cracked a grin, a grin that disappeared once Garnett disappeared from the ward.

There was a feeling of joy at being regarded as the top student in her field- a feeling which barely dimmed under the Chief’s steady gaze. Rao turned to face her superiors. “I’m at your service.” With a polite smile she waited. “I will take the cadet first. The engineering department will need to be altered immediately.” Kra’as decided. “Agreed.” D’auchnel nodded, watching the two promptly take their leave. For the entire walk; Rao stood in the male Caitian’s tall and sinewy shadow. “You didn’t offer any insight into the conversation earlier.” His words snapped her back to attention. “I was not sure if I could offer anything substantial, Sir.” Rao replied, her attention being drawn to the huge fractions of ship that were in the works. “Chief D’aunchel selected you because he believes you are substantial enough to aid five superiors. If you cannot speak up for yourself in a meeting then you have already failed. Do you understand?” He stopped in front of the root of all this- sections of the engineering department, specifically the top level. “So, what is your input?” He challenged. Rao looked up at the structures, thinking over everything she had heard in the meeting room. “I need to get up there. Take a look at the systems and get a better picture out how implicit systems for diverting power most effectively.” She nodded quietly to herself. “Could you not ascertain that from the plans.” Kra’as pointed out. “No,” Rao shook her head, “the plans are a good base, but it’s the little things. That’s what I need to see.” She turned back to him to see vertical slits watching her. “Then do it.” It was a short ride to the top before Rao was hiking herself over the banister and opening up a series of panels. “Oh boy.” Rao tapped a button on her earpiece. “Let’s get to work.”

By day’s end Rao had a pretty solid understanding of the underlying systems and how they has been appropriately fed off from the engineering room. A few key components were linked to specific levels- something which she understood in the case of management, but there was certainly room for some minor adjustments. When she returned to the group she worked with Kra’as on base ideas such as making things a bit more like a spider web in the sense of it one side of the ship receives damage, then at least it isn’t a such hit or miss situation if an entire system goes down because everything for that system was in one specific area. Instead she proposed having a main control panel that webs off. Her proposal also included more of barrier in reference to the core in potential radicals. Kra’as was tough male and an even tougher sell, but she enjoyed the challenge and took his opinion to heart. “Tonight I will go over these plans with Chief D’aunchel and others. Tomorrow you will be assisting Natra. You will wait in the same room as before.” He explained, collecting his papers. “Dismissed, Cadet.” Rao smiled, “Thank you.”

Tarique sat in his room, a Ka’athyra at his side. It had been approximately six months since he’d last played the instrument and given his itinerary for tomorrow, he found it suitable to both tune and practice. The tune was traditional, something which would be recognizable and also something not often heard. There were number of songs he had practiced thus far as he was not entirely aware of how long Cadet Wells intended for him to play. His roommate had already left for break leaving him to his own devices. The solitude was pleasant and with most of his dormitory emptied there was little he picked up in terms of sound. In the middle of a break he typed up a message for Cadet Wells inquiring as to how long she intended for him to play at the event.

Vinaa and Zletka sat at a restaurant in the downtown area. The two women were dressed in evening dresses at a table. Vinaa wore natural tone dress that exposed a dangerous amount of skin while her Betazoid counterpart wore a short, red halter dress with an exposed back. They were talking animatedly between each other about various topics as the food and beverages continued to flow.

“Thank you for the dinner.” Zletka spoke up during a brief lull in the conversation. “It’s a ritual. Once a month, after all.” Raising her glass, Vinaa clinked glasses with her friends. Upon taking a sip her eyes swept across the room.

Zletka merely smiled and took a sip. “You’ve been quite successful lately.”

Vinaa turned her gaze on the female across from her. “I have to take advantage…It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime.” As if on cue a human man approached the table and held out a hand while leaning down to murmur something into Vinaa’s ear. Zletka merely turned her attention to the couples dancing. It didn’t take long before Vinaa was in her line of sight.

After a few songs and her food was finished, Zletka stood from the table and discreetly took her leave.

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Orion Cultural Index

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