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The Start of a New Friendship

Posted on Fri Apr 7th, 2017 @ 7:36am by Lieutenant Tabetha Relton

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Tabetha's Office - USS Vindex
Timeline: Mission Day 75 - 1021 hours

Laena walked down the corridor, the PADD in her hand tapping against her wrist. She looked from door to door, looking for the right number that housed the woman she was looking for. "Aha," she said with a smile as she found the appropriate door. She pressed her finger to the chime and waited for the response.

Tabbie was in her office, going through some daily reports as well as personnel files. Ryland Dedeker was already on her list of people to watch, although she hoped if she got serious with Asher, then he might back off. Tabbie wasn't hopeful though, and that was only if Asher was ready for an open relationship with another woman.

"Come in!" Tabbie called, pleasantly surprised.

The doors opened and Laena walked in. "Lieutenant Relton?" she asked.

"Yes, that's me." Tabetha replied, smiling at the attractive young woman. She wasn't expecting someone from the Science department, but as she was here, it would seem rude to ask her to come back later.

Standing and walking to the side of the table, sitting on it, Tabbie looked at Laena.

"What can I do for you today?" Tabbie asked.

"It's always been customary for the Stellar Cartography department to give updated star charts to the Chief of Flight Control, so you have the most up-to-date information when plotting courses and the like," Laena said, holding out the PADD to the woman.

Tabetha smiled and accepted the PADD, now feeling happy Laena wasn't the shuttle pilot she was expecting to report in for duty. These star charts would be useful, Tabbie had never been to the Gamma Quadrant, so she could learn as she put these updated star charts into the navigation computer.

"Thank you," Tabbie replied. "Petty Officer. Sorry, I didn't get your name, otherwise I'd call you by your name instead."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," Laena said, smiling but looking a bit embarrassed. "I'm Petty Officer Laena. I work in Stellar Cartography."

Tabbie smiled at the young woman, but rested her left hand against Laena's right upper arm to reassure her.

"It's okay, you've been my most useful visitor so far today, and I was glad you came instead of the latest pilot to arrive on board. I just hope it isn't another newbie right out of flying school, we've got enough of those already and hardly any time to give them a few more pointers before we set off. Want some advice, Laena? Stay as you are, department head isn't as good as a lot of people like to think it is." Tabbie said, removing her hand from Laena's arm and placing it back on the table, briefly looking back down at the PADD and scanning through its contents.

Laena smiled, "I've heard the same thing, actually," she said. "I love what I do, and I don't think I'd ever want to give that up."

Tabbie agreed, she didn't want to give up flying, it was the one thing she'd got right in life - her career choice, and so far it was going well.

"Yeah, me too. My career went the way it has because I made the right choice, and by the sounds of it, yours is like that too. While you're here, do you want a drink or anything? Anything to put off yet another of those 'hey, welcome aboard, do this do that, don't do this or that, bye' meetings. They are so boring..." Tabbie replied, walking to her replicator, planning on making herself a coffee.

"I would love some tea, actually," Laena said, taking a seat in one of the chairs in front of Tabbie's desk. "How have you been settling in?"

Tabbie made a tea and a coffee, using her experience as a waitress to carry them both over to the desk at the same time.

"Yeah, it's been okay so far." Tabbie said, trying not to give too much away about her night of passion with Doctor Maddison the previous evening. That was the cherry on the cake, but that wasn't the only good thing, even if it was the sweetest part of it.

"Just a warning, the new shuttle bay manager is very flirty and didn't like taking no for an answer, I can't blame him though, I am cute after all..." Tabbie commented, picking up her coffee and starting to sip it slowly, closing her eyes and sighing as she tasted the coffee in her mouth.

Laena smiled, "I'm sure when he saw you, he was just overcome with feelings and couldn't help himself," she said, taking a sip of the light tea. "I hope he doesn't get himself in trouble."

Tabetha giggled. "Oh, he can be overcome with feelings all he likes, he's not really my type I'm afraid, but if he can sort that shuttle bay come scrapyard out, I might like him a bit more. I'm not kidding, about three of the shuttles are fit for service right now, with a fourth ready later today. I'm surprised the Captain hasn't had kittens over it, to be honest with you, Laena."

"Given what happened, I wouldn't be surprised if she's ignoring anything that's even semi-trivial," Laena said, her smiling dulling just a slight amount.

Tabbie nodded slowly, it had been a tough time for the Vindex and she knew from experience, if there was a lot going on in her life, she ignored the smaller things to sort out the bigger things. The bigger things were always more important and were usually too big to ignore.

"We'll get through it though, the Vindex has a great crew from what I've seen so far." Tabetha replied, sipping some more of her coffee.

Laena just nodded quietly. "So where were you stationed before here?" she asked, hoping to change the subject.

Tabbie listened, but she was still mid way through a long sip of the latté she'd ordered.

"I was on the Ben Nevis before here, Captain Ainscow claims my last Captain endorsed my transfer request with a glowing review, although I'm not sure if she was serious or just trying to make me a bit more confident. Whatever it was, I don't really care, I'm here to fly the ship." Tabbie replied. "What about you?"

"Before the Vindex, I was assigned to Deep Space 10 in their Stellar Cartography department," the Orion woman said. "But when the opportunity came up for this, I couldn't help but take it. The real-world experience I'm getting here is going a long way towards helping me at the Academy."

Tabbie sipped some more tea, and nodded. The experience she received in a real life situation in her final Academy year was so valuable, and she totally got what Laena was saying.

"So true," Tabetha replied. "I had some time on a training ship in my last year at the Academy, that helped more than the previous three years of being in a simulator, which always used to break after I used it, weirdly. The training ship didn't break though, so it was reassuring it was mostly bad luck the simulator broke, rather than me breaking it myself."

"Sometimes I wonder if it was a bad idea, though," Laena said, looking down. "After what happened, it's hard not to just give up and hide, ya know?"

Tabbie nodded, before taking a sip of her tea. It was nice, but it was going cold a lot quicker than normal, perhaps forgetting to specify the temperature was the problem.

"Well, if you need anyone to come and hide with, come and find me. I'm not big on showing my face all the time and I could do with making some friends here." Tabetha responded, taking another sip of her tea.

"I appreciate that," Laena said, downing the rest of her tea. She set her glass down and stood, "Thank you for the tea, Lieutenant. And thank you for talking with me. I appreciate it."

Tabbie smiled, putting her tea on the table and offering a hand out to Laena. Hopefully, this was going to be the start of another friendship for Tabbie, although not to the same level her friendship with Asher was at.

"Please, we're in private. It's Tabbie." Tabetha said.

Laena took the woman's hand, "Alright, Tabbie. Thank you again." She smiled and left the room.


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