USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Preparing To Say Goodbye

Posted on Mon May 29th, 2017 @ 6:21pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Captain Ainscow's ready room
Timeline: Mission Day 84; 07:00

Claudia had received word from Starfleet Tactical that they had requested the services of Martha Cusack to lead the Starfleet Tactical division which was to be based on Nova Mercia. It would be difficult to see the young woman go but ultimately Claudia knew it was Martha's dream to get a job either on Earth or another Federation colony to lead their Tactical division. Although Martha was only 26 Claudia had every faith in her ability to do the best job she could.

Late yesterday evening Martha informed Claudia that she intended to accept the job offer - but only if a replacement Tactical Officer could be found for the Vindex. Gladly Starfleet had already dispatched a new Tactical Officer to the Vindex who would be arriving the next day - Lieutenant Victor Alexander. Victor was experienced and that was going to be a bonus.

=/\="Ainscow to Commander Cusack - please join me in my ready room"=/\= Claudia said.

Martha was busy packing but she decided to go and see what Claudia wanted. It was going to be a another tough move for the Cusacks but one that was going to keep them together and give them somewhere secure to live. Nova Mercia a beautiful planet and there was so much of it left to explore too - that would provide perfect opportunities for trips out as a family.

=/\="On my way Captain"=/\= Martha replied.

Around five minutes later Martha arrived outside Claudia's ready room and pressed the chime requesting permission to enter.

Claudia heard the chime just as she'd placed a tray of tea and cake on the table for her to share with Martha. The Tactical Officer's fondness of Victoria sponge cake and tea was something Claudia would always fondly remember.

"Come in" Claudia called.

Martha entered and stood in the centre of the room with her arms behind her back - Martha was expecting this to be a formal meeting and hence behaved as such. It was only when she saw Claudia giving her a knowing look to be at ease Martha relaxed and let her arms rest down her sides.

"What is it I can do for you Captain?" Martha asked.

Claudia smiled. "Nothing - I just called you up here for a chat before you leave later today. I know you like tea and sponge cake so I thought I'd make some for us to share while we talk about life and put the galaxy to rights"

Martha chuckled to herself and sat down at the table in front of Claudia. She helped herself to one of the cups and poured the tea in slowly before adding the milk and finally two sugar cubes.

"You shouldn't have gone to this trouble Captain. It's only me" Martha said.

Claudia continued to smile. In truth Martha was more like a best friend than a colleague and there was nothing she wouldn't do for her. Claudia had done her best to give Martha a glowing review to go with her application for the position on Nova Mercia - although Martha wasn't aware of that. Claudia hoped it would stay that way until after the Vindex had departed - although she anticipated Martha would probably find out before then anyway.

"You're not just you Martha. You're my best friend - and we're in my ready room - so you can call me Claudia. Unfortunately you're no longer under my chain of command so I don't think formalities are necessary anymore" Claudia replied.

Claudia watched as Martha poured her a cup of tea - remembering Claudia just had one sugar cube in hers and put the milk in last - before Martha placed it in front of her and sat back down.

"Thank you Martha" Claudia said.

Martha shrugged. "It's just a cup of tea Capt...Claudia. This cake looks amazing"

"I got Paul to make it for the wedding reception but I took it out of stasis just for you. I'm sure we'll make quick work of it - or you could always take the rest with you to share with Elsie and Lucia" Claudia replied.

Martha helped herself to a slice and took a bite. Placing the slice onto a small plate in front of her Martha nodded to suggest that the two women would easily eat the cake between them. Martha knew Claudia had always had a weakness for desserts and it was a running joke on the Endurance that Paul would have to bake two cakes for dessert - one for Claudia and one for everyone else.

"I think we'll manage this between us" Martha commented.

Claudia grinned. "Well...I'm eating for two now so that's my excuse. I don't know what yours is but I'll let you off"

"You're...you're having a baby?" Martha asked.

Claudia nodded. "I am Martha. It's very early days but Doctor Maddison helped us conceive before she decided to transfer to a Starfleet Medical ship to help out there instead. He or she won't be arriving until July next year - and for now please keep it to yourself. I'll...we'll let everyone else know when we're ready"

"That's amazing. Congratulations" Martha replied.

Claudia smiled. "Thank you. In fact I know it's a while off but Becky and I agreed that we'd like you and Lucia to be his or her godparents. Commander Tolan would have been the third but unfortunately he's no longer with us. That reminds me actually...we need to go down to the surface and hold a memorial ceremony for him"

Martha was shocked - nobody had ever asked her that before and she almost felt overcome with emotion. Managing to keep control of her emotions Martha nodded to Claudia. She and Lucia were going to be godparents - that was going to be one of the best things that ever happened to them both.

"Thank you Claudia - I would love to and I'm sure Lucia would too. We had a bit of a rough patch recently but we're slowly getting there. I'm not proud of it and I get why she was angry but we're better than I was expecting us to be. Would you mind if I told her?" Martha replied.

Claudia nodded. "Of course you can - I hope it's nothing too serious between you both though. We all make mistakes Martha and I'm glad that she's decided to forgive you. Whatever it is I'm sure you've learned from it because I know you'd never intentionally hurt anybody"

"I will. I just lost control of my...feelings...with someone else but I know it was a mistake and I won't let it happen again. Would you be able to send some of this cake down to our place of residence?" Martha asked.

Claudia chuckled - not only did Martha want more cake she'd suddenly changed the subject - one of the quirks Martha had that Claudia was dearly going to miss.

"Of course I can. I hear the first official colony has been founded about 20 miles east of the original landing site...New Liverpool I believe it was called" Claudia commented.

Martha nodded. "Yes it was. Two other cities are also under construction as well - the Derbyshire was carrying various modular buildings to be stored at Starbase Unity but they're being used here instead - at least until modules for larger buildings arrive later down the line. The headquarters aren't up and running yet but the initial settlements should be ready to move into tonight"

"Are you sure you can't make the ceremony? It wouldn't be the same without you" Claudia asked.

Martha shrugged. "I'm sorry but I don't think I will. I've got so much packing to do and I'm expected down on the surface in a few hours to meet with the Derbyshire's Chief of Tactical and Security to set up the initial defence systems. If it could wait I would love to be there - but I'll make sure I'm at the reception. That's a promise"

"I understand - I'll send you a copy of the video" Claudia replied.

Martha was sad to be missing Claudia's wedding but unfortunately her new job required she get started immediately - there were still three defence ships to arrive which would bring more supplies - but for now at least the only defences were what the Derbyshire had brought with it. More was on the way but it was going to be at least a week or two before it arrived.

"I'd like that. Once we're settled in you should come down for dinner - I'll send you the co-ordinates. I'd give you them now but I haven't had them yet. It's not going to be the most luxurious but they'll do for now" Martha responded.

An hour passed before the two friends parted ways - with Martha preparing for her move to Nova Mercia and Claudia preparing for her wedding day. The cake had been completely eaten and the teapot was also empty - both women would miss each other a great deal but ultimately it was the best for both of them. Claudia had reached her dream of commanding a starship and Martha had now achieved hers by working for Starfleet Tactical.

It was going to be an emotional farewell.

 

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