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Reach for the Stars

Posted on Fri Jan 27th, 2017 @ 10:01am by

Mission: S1E3.5 - Interlude
Location: Astrometrics Lab
Timeline: MD 23

The Science department seemed to be on a downswing, so Saalkan took the opportunity to venture into the Astrometrics Lab. He had seen the location during his initial tour, but never had any particular reason to come back. Until now.

"I beg your pardon," Saalkan said with forced politeness, "but I wish to presume upon your time for just a moment."

Laena turned in her chair, looking up at the tall Vulcan man that stood behind her, "Of course," she said, forcing a smile. She still wasn't feeling 100% after her fight with Claudia but she had to act professional. No matter how much she wanted to crawl into a box and die. "How can I help you?"

"Stars." The Vulcan stared at the multiple screens displaying various starfields and charts before them. "They are incredible. Almost like particles of a greater whole. Have you considered the similarities a planetary solar system has with an atom? And therefore a galaxy with a molecule? There is no telling what truly lies beyond our mortal grasp." He continued to stare at the screens for another moment before turning to face Laena. "I wish for you to update my personal star charts with the data compiled from our time in the Gamma Quadrant. They are for private meditational purposes."

The woman sat there for a moment, "I cannot," she simply stated, before turning back to her console. "But your thoughts on the galaxy are...enticing. I've never heard it described that way before."

Saalkan narrowed his eyes at Laena. "I could access the information myself if it were in the course of my duties. Unfortunately, neither Starfleet Command nor my commanding officer has tasked me with meditating upon my own fifth-dimensional parallax with Sha Ka Ree, otherwise I would make this a direct order. As this is a private matter of great personal import, I would, as it is said, 'owe you one' for your assistance."

Laena turned back to the man, "I'm sorry, Ensign, but I am under strict orders. I cannot release any stellar cartographic information without direct order from Lieutenant Johansson. I believe the concern is that the information can be used to harm our interests in the Gamma Quadrant."

"Do you truly believe Lieutenant Johansson would wish to be bothered over a personal matter of such inconsequential value?" Saalkan's lips spread a hair in what could have been the Vulcan approximation of a smile.

"No, I don't. Which is why I cannot give you the star charts," Laena said, her body language exuding an attitude of unwillingness to compromise.

"I see." The Vulcan's collar practically bristled, but his face remained stoic, chiseled, and stony. "I had hoped we could develop a relationship of mutual understanding and benefit, but I was clearly mistaken." He turned to leave. "I will see you around, Petty Officer."

"How are you feeling after finishing your pon farr?" Laena asked.

Saalkan stopped though did not turn around. "Is that intended as a rhetorical or sarcastic question? I do not find it amusing."

"It's meant as neither," Laena stated. "I've seen Vulcan men go through this before. It always seems..." she paused, "excruciating."

"I overcame it. Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger." Saalkan turned one foot back to give Laena a sidelong stare. "Doctor O'Reilly did help mitigate the symptoms, so I did not suffer."

"I hope I'm not being too intrusive. I'm quite attuned to body language and symptoms." Laena stood and walked slowly towards the man. "I've seen it before. But this one, this one was more intense than usual, wasn't it?" She brushed her hand against the man's temple, "It echoes within you even after it's passed."

"I did not... resolve it... in the traditional form," Saalkan replied flatly with a glance toward Laena's hand. "Perhaps that is what you sense." He chose to ignore her hand for the moment.

"I know you didn't," was her simple response, as her fingers began to intertwine with his hair. Her pinkie grazed the edge of the man's pointed ear. "My past has given me an insight into men of many different species and the effects of their sexual practices. Your eyes betray your secrets."

Saalkan let a sly smirk creep across his face though it did not touch his eyes. "And what do you see in my eyes, Petty Office Laena? Does your past tell you the female from my last Pon Farr did not survive it?" He gripped her wrist with the firm grip that belied the Vulcan frame. "I know your mind. You are angry with our commanding officer for an unrequited love that she..." He paused a moment, eyes closed as though listening to a melody, then chuckled again. "... oh, yes, that she has given to another. You know that I defied her and she demoted me for it, so you would think to bed me as a primitive act of vengeance against your spurned lover." The Vulcan pulled her near to whisper raspily in her ear. "Be careful what you wish for, you little slut, for I will not be an unwitting pawn in your childish game. If you will not help me, then I will not help you."

As soon as he finished, he shoved her back by the wrist and pressed his hands against his sternum, breathing in and out until he regained his center. "You are right about one thing," he said in his normal voice and tone. "It was excruciating."

Laena's mouth hung open for a few moments, until the fire within her raged and she swung, her open palm slapping the man across the face. "Don't you ever speak to me in that way again." A tear rolled down her cheek, but she did her best to hide it. The last thing she wanted was to give this man the satisfaction of knowing that he hurt her, both physically and emotionally. "If I wanted to get back at the Captain, which I do not, then I wouldn't use a person I've never met. I know nothing about you or your history with the Captain. And let me make one thing clear."

The small woman stepped forward, poking a finger into the man's chest, "If you ever touch me like that again, I will kill you. Without hesitation. You wouldn't be the first man I've killed for disrespecting me."

Saalkan licked his lip as he rubbed the pain away from his cheek. "You noticed the subtle effects of Pon Farr in my body language, and I am expected to believe you did not notice a pip of rank missing from my collar. Now I know what you want, you know what I want, and where to find me if you choose to deliver it. Good day."

Laena stood there in stunned silence as the man walked down the catwalk and through the doors, leaving her alone. She slumped into the chair, still stunned by the interaction.


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