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A Light That Never Comes - Part 1

Posted on Mon Apr 10th, 2017 @ 7:06am by
Edited on on Sun Apr 16th, 2017 @ 7:46am

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Deck 14 Turbolift
Timeline: Mission Day 75 - 15:43

Ryland was riding the turbolift from deck to deck, hoping to get a feel for the ship. Sure, he could access the specs, but he was no engineer. The lifeblood of every ship was its crew. Pretending to have somewhere to go provided a fella' the chance to learn something about those who actually did. So far, nobody had been particularly chatty. When he reached Deck 14, though, that changed completely.

When the sultry, little green vixen entered his turbolift, Ryland grinned like a wolf on the prowl.

"Hiya." His brow twitched in a half-wink. "I'm new around these parts. Name's Ryland."

Laena donned a sweet smile as the doors closed behind her. "Good evening, sir," she said, having taken a notice to his rank. "Welcome aboard." She leaned forward and pressed her finger to the sensor pad, indicating the deck she wanted.

Such a congenial response spread Ryland's grin from ear to ear. He turned his head to one side to better look the much shorter woman up and down.

"Do you have a name, little lady? I'd love to hear it."

"Petty Officer Laena," she said, looking back at the man in his big blue eyes.

"Pretty name. Suits you just right, if I may say so. Laena." He repeated it with a savory tone like tasting a fine wine. "Do you have any plans later, Ms Laena?"

The woman simply shook her head, "No, I was going to log some hours in Stellar Cartography after my visit to Sickbay. What about yourself?"

Ryland shifted his weight to stand on one foot and lean against the wall on his elbow.
"I'm getting a tour of the place from the prettiest gal on board."
He flashed his best smile to punctuate his point.

"Of what place?" she asked, her eyebrows scrunching together in confusion.

"She's not too bright, though." Ryland let his grin fade into a smirk.

"That's not nice to call someone stupid," Laena said, her smile fading.

"Yeah, you're right," Ryland said in a mock admission. "I feel bad about myself." He hesitated a moment, then decided to go for it. "So this here ship is pretty big. A body or two could lose themselves pretty easy, don't you think?"

"Can I ask you something?" Laena asked, ignoring the man's question. "What do you do on board?"

"I keep the shuttles spitshined and spaceworthy," Ryland said as he rubbed his lips and blew on his fingernails. "But I'd like you to think of me as your personal morale officer."

"Ah, so you're the new guy," Laena said with a smirk, crossing her arms over her chest as she leaned on the side of the turbolift car. "Your reputation precedes you."

Ryland's eyes sparkled at the mention of his reputation. "And what have you heard, my lady?"

"That you don't know how to take 'no' for an answer," she replied.

"Now, I find that patently untrue," Ryland said with mock protest. "When I asked the last lady I entertained if she ever had better than me and she said no, I did not argue." He leaned forward, still pivoted against the wall, to grin playfully into Laena's face. "If you'd like to take the matter into your own consideration, I can clear my schedule."

Laena pulled her face back, as far as she could, "I appreciate the offer, but I'm going to have to decline," she said.

"In that case, how's about you show me your Stellar Cartography lab?" Ryland backed off a little, though his grin remained loaded for bear. "I know a little something about them, seeing as how I was a starfighter 'till they took my wings away. I miss 'em. I really do." A poignant look of regret crossed his face. He even bit his lip for effect. "If only I had a pretty, lil' lady to show me the stars again."

The look on the man's face is something that Laena wouldn't be able to forget for a long time. She knew that look. She felt that look. She was that look. The face of a person whose past defined their future, despite their desperate attempts to the contrary. Someone who can't escape what's happened to them. "I would love to," she said, her body language softening. "Maybe this evening you can stop by and we can tour the galaxy?"

Ryland was surprised that had actually worked, but he didn't miss a beat. "Why, I would love nothing more." His grin was rife with promise of mischief to come. "I'll wander through after hours and see where the evening takes us."

The doors of the turbolift opened, but Laena just stood there, "Are you ok?" she asked, ignoring the fact that the doors closed again.

"Darlin', thanks to you, now I'm better than okay." He threw another wink her way before he reopened the turbolift doors. "I'll see you tonight."

Laena smiled, rolling her eyes, as she exited the turbolift car. The Lieutenant was certainly an interesting person, but she could tell there was something redeeming there.


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