USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Family Reunion

Posted on Sun Oct 1st, 2017 @ 8:04pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Mark Whistler

Mission: S2E2 - Vindeux
Location: Carrie's Quarters/Mark's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 110; 17:00

Mark growled as he entered the quarters that had been assigned to the new guest of the Vindex. He didn't wait to be granted entry, and he knew she was expecting him. "What the hell do you think you were doing?" He demanded angrily.

Carrie was minding her own business unpacking in the quarters which had been assigned to her by Operations. Her trip to Turalek had not been one for sightseeing but she felt she had some unfinished business - however it was not possible for it to be dealt with at the time - so she left for Starbase Unity in the hope of finding a new home.

When the call came through that Mark was being assigned to the USS Vindex permanently - and that her being there was a condition of this - Carrie was happy to help. She would be able to keep Mark in line but she would also have somewhere fairly secure to live too.

"I had some unfinished business. And by the way - there's a door there - I'd appreciate it if you knock before you come in" Carrie replied.

"Unfinished business? We finished with that place when I got you off of that hellhole, or don't you remember all the crap we went through?" Mark asked, still angry. "You went back there, to the one place that we got you off from, for unfinished business? What about Skykid? Pak? Anaka? Everyone who died getting us off of that place?" Mark demanded.

Carrie knew Mark would be angry. Instead of getting angry back she chose to keep calm about it.

"I remember that all too well. Well enough that I want to sort out my own shit without being questioned for it. I'm a grown woman and I can make my own decisions - I am here now and I won't be going back again. I'm not going to say it was the best thing to do but I can't let certain things lie without at least trying to deal with them first" Carrie responded.

"Why the hell didn't you come to me first? Afraid I would say no? Lock you up? Hells Carrie, you were half dead when we escaped that place. Clearly you can't make good decisions if you go back to hell voluntarily. What if you'd crashed? If the Cannibals attacks? Or the Droids or, god forbid, the Circle? Any one of them would kill you without a second thought." Mark said. He stood in front of her. "You should have come to me." He told her firmly.

Carrie sighed. "I couldn't get in touch with you. Was I supposed to just wait around until you were available so you could come along with me? It's alright saying that but it didn't happen and I'm fine. A friend of mine from Starfleet who was on leave came with me to make sure I had some sort of protection. I am capable of doing my own thing you know"

"You should have waited. What if I had lost you Carrie? I won't do that, I won't lose you to that hell. Ken Graham could have reached me, you should have gone to him. There isn't anyone in Starfleet who knows that place, no protection would have suited, but me." He said. He took her in his arms and pulled her into a hug. "I can't lose you." He whispered.

Carrie hugged her big brother tightly. She knew he meant well but she didn't want to drag Mark away from his duties.

"It's all done with now and I'm not going back - I promise. I'm here and Captain Ainscow offered me a job working in either the library or the catering department - I'm not sure what one to go for yet but it'll keep me occupied" Carrie replied.

"No, you're not." Mark said. "I'll never let anything happen to you." He said, keeping hold of her. "I won't let anyone hurt you." He promised. He stepped back. "Let's get dinner. I prepared a meal in my quarters. Starfleet, for some reason, gives luxury suites for their officers. Too much luxury, not enough security."

Carrie nodded in agreement and decided that was a good idea. She wasn't in the mood for cooking so she was happy Mark had invited her over to his place instead.

Carrie smiled. "That sounds like a plan. Let's go"

Mark nodded, and looked at her. "Carrie...I'm sorry I shouted, but you know how important you are to me. Everything I do, I've done to help keep you safe. You're too important to risk on anything like going back to Turalek."

"I understand how you feel. Yes I should have told you and I'm sorry for not doing so - but at least we're able to keep an eye on each other now. The Captain you have seems to be a lot more understanding than the others...or is that just my view on it?" Carrie asked.

"Well, despite me decking the Intel Chief and holding a blade to the XO's throat, she wanted me as her Chief Security and Tactical Officer. Can't think why." Mark said.

Carrie smiled. "Because you're good at your job. I can't think of any other reason why - even if you threatened two of the senior officers on the ship. That's why I'm here...so you don't do it again and don't lose this opportunity she has given you"

Mark raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, because you've been so good at controlling me before." Mark asked, as they reached his quarters. Opening them revealed that a section of the room had been modified to include a kitchen with a grill, and a stasis unit. "Good thing about Starbases is they have real food if you know where to look." Mark said.

"I know it and the Captain knows it. I heard about your incident with two other officers...and I'm here to stop it happening again. You have plenty of facilities here though - a lot more than I have. Then again I am only a civilian and not a high ranking officer like you. What's on the menu?" Carrie replied.

"BBQ Ribs, and yes, I made the coleslaw fresh." Mark replied, heading over to the stasis unit and getting a slab of meat from it. "In my defence, I was trying to make a point with the XO, that old fashioned weapons tend to work better than energy weapons. As for the Intel Chief, he tried taking explosives from the Security Armory, and was asking for it." Mark replied, lighting the grill.

Carrie nodded. "The food sounds good...the other stuff...that doesn't sound so good. What does the Captain make of it all? I can't imagine she wouldn't have anything to say about it"

"She offered me the Sec/Tac chief job after it." Mark said, as he placed the meat on the grill, which was now alight. Mark had deactivated the fire suppression system, and with the meat on the grill, he got the rest of the food out.

Carrie watched as Mark started to prepare the food for their meal. She did enjoy his cooking - even better was that she wouldn't have to cook tonight or have the awkward first night aboard the ship being around people she didn't know.

"Maybe she believes in you more than you believe in yourself. You might be a pain but you're good at what you do Mark" Carrie replied.

"You and I know that, but I doubt they'll appreciate my methods. I don't do anything light or simple." Mark replied. "I give it a week before they complain about something."

Carrie nodded. "I know how you get things done. Yes those methods are unconventional but...you're experienced and you're out here. It's not every day you get a job offer on a ship as new and nice as this one...I heard it's one of the lead ships out here"

"So they say. Security people here are...well, they've never seen combat." Mark said. "I've created a training program to show them Turalek. That'll give them some balls."

"Not everyone is experienced as you are though Mark. Some of them are probably straight out of the Academy so they're not really going to see much combat" Carrie responded.

"They'll see combat, it's inevitable." Mark said. "You and I know that. It's why I never let you fight growing up, I didn't want you to be like me. I wanted you to be better, and so you have been."

Carrie again nodded. "I know they'll see combat but now The Consortium are gone the chances of that are quite minimal...but as for me I've just tried to make something of myself. I'm hoping to get a job here and work towards getting a qualification. I'm not sure what yet but there's plenty of options and time"

"Whatever it is, I'll be proud of you." Mark said. "You are the one bright spot in my life, and the only good thing I can say I've had a hand in."

"I'm proud of you too. I may not be Starfleet material but I want to at least do something constructive with my life. I thought about being a teacher or maybe a botanist. I hear there's an arboretum here which I might go and visit tomorrow" Carrie replied.

"What makes you think I'm Starfleet material? I've pissed off the command team of this ship and right now people in Starfleet want me gone, remember?" Mark asked. He then grinned at her. "You'd make a decent teacher; you managed to teach us well enough on Turalek, and you always were smarter than the rest of us."

Carrie found compliments hard to take - except when they came from her brother. She appreciated the fact Mark thought she would be a good teacher - maybe something to bear in mind. After not really doing much with her life since she left Turalek Carrie knew it was probably time to get on with something.

Carrie smiled. "Well you're actually capable of picking up a weapon and shooting someone if you need to. I couldn't do that but I think I could probably be a teacher or something. I might ask the Captain about it - but I'm not sure if there's any schools on the Vindex. I should have asked when I had the chance but I guess I could make an appointment with her"

"Then they should make them. It's important people learn. And who better to teach than someone who knows what they need to know? You're smarter than me, and probably braver, being able to live without fighting. It's all I know. I'm glad you know better."

"Well thinking back the Captain said she has a daughter - so I'd imagine there's got to be a classroom here. I'll book an appointment with the Captain tomorrow and discuss it with her - in the mean time I've got a choice between the kitchen, bar or library to keep me occupied" Carrie responded.

"Oh, I think you can forget the bar. I don't want to find people hitting on my sister all the time." He said. "I don't think the Captain would appreciate me breaking so many necks. Library would be good I think." He suggested.

Carrie giggled. "I'm capable of handling a couple of drunks in the bar Mark - but I'll have a think about things anyway. I've only just got here and I have enough credits to get me by for the next month or so. I'll check the library and kitchen out tomorrow and see which one I like"

Mark nodded as the smell of the meat filled the room. "Just as long as your happy." He said, flipping the meat and brushing a sauce on it. "So what were you doing on Turalek?" He asked, wanting to know why she had gone back. He had resisted asking so far, but now his curiosity had won out.

Carrie sighed "I told you. I was sorting some things out but it didn't work out that way. The less said about it the better"

"It's something I need to know Carrie. It's dangerous, and if I can help, I will." Mark said.

Carrie shook her head. "You don't need to know anything. Like I said - it didn't work out so there is no point sharing it. I'm not going to try again because it's pointless - I'm here now and that's that"

"Fine. Go back there, and we'll be having a less pleasant conversation." Mark replied. "I assume you still like the barbecue sauce I make?" He asked. He frowned. "You know, I always wondered why human food sometimes could be found on Turalek."

"I'm not going back there. Just...cook whatever you're cooking so I can eat it and go back to my room. I've had a long day and I'm tired" Carrie responded.

She helped herself to the nearest seat and dropped herself into it heavily - looking out of the window at the passing stars.

Mark looked at her as he put more sauce on the meat. "Yeah, travelling can be a nightmare." Mark said, as he began to prepare the rest of the food. "It's interesting, but the Captain had already messaged you before she offered me the job. Anyone would think I was that predictable." Mark said.

Carrie shrugged. "I have no idea what was going on. I was just asked to come here as part of the condition of offering you a job here. I know what you're like so...that's why I'm here. I want this to work out for us both - a fresh start away from that horrible place"

"Yet my past keeps catching up with me." Mark said. He sighed as he looked at her. "Carrie, I've done too much to be forgiven for what I've done. I'm trying to fight to make safer homes for you, but I'll never live there. I'm a monster, and I have no delusions about that."

"We have a safe home here. You don't need to try anymore because we're on one of the safest ships in Starfleet. We don't have to think about that horrible place anymore - just our future. A fresh start for us both" Carrie replied.

"For you, Carrie. I'm not going to be welcome here, but I'll be needed. It's a dark universe, but I won't let anything happen to you." He said, placing the salad he had prepared on the table.

Carrie smiled. "You have a new job on a new ship and I have a few opportunities open to me...so I'd say it's a new start for us both. As for protecting me...I should say thank you. I like to look out for myself but sometimes it's nice to have someone there for me in case I make any mistakes"

"You never have to thank me." He said, walking over and embracing her in a hug. "It's what big brothers are for." He added, kissing her forehead.

Carrie did enjoy having Mark around but she was keen to gain some independence at long last. With what was an uncertain future firmly off the table she hoped Mark could settle down himself and they could play a part in each other's future.

"It's good having you around. It really is" Carrie responded.

"I'm glad you're here too." Mark said, smiling. "Come on, let's eat."

Carrie nodded and moved up to the dining table. The smell was very nice and she was very much looking forward to eating some of her brother's home cooking again.

"That food smells amazing" Carrie said.

"I do my best." Mark said, as he began to dish up the meal.




With the meal finished and the cleaning done, Mark leaned back in his armchair. "I'll admit, being able to enjoy a fresh meal every day is a luxury I'm glad to have. Hell, eating every day is a good thing, although I've had to work out a lot harder to keep in shape."

"Where do you get all the fresh ingredients from? I'd imagine even on a starship they're not exactly easy to come by if they aren't fruit or vegetables. The Captain said we grow our own fruit and vegetables - I might ask if I can help with that in addition to whatever job I go for" Carrie responded.

"Brought them with me. Got them from a trader before I left for this ship, but there are usually traders at most Starbases, if you know where to look." Mark said.

Carrie nodded. "I see. Maybe I should have had a look for myself...something to do next time I guess. Whenever that is...I can't imagine that it's going to be very soon though"

Mark looked at her, and then out of the window. "You never know what will happen in life. Growing up, would you have expected us to be here? Life is change, and it's constant surprise. All we can do is make the most of what we have. I don't know what happens tomorrow, but today, I just want to stay here, with you, and enjoy the time we have. That's what family's for."

"Well...no I don't. I never saw myself wanting to work aboard a starship but now I'm here that opportunity seems pretty exciting. I was planning on going to New Bajor to work there - but after Captain Ainscow made me an offer to come here well...yeah. It made more sense to use the opportunity to be close to my brother and maybe find a career here that doesn't involve being a Starfleet officer. I should thank the Captain properly really" Carrie replied.

"I'm sure she'd appreciate it. She's...unusual, for a Starfleet officer." Mark said. "Thank you Carrie, for coming here." He said, as he got up and walked over to her. He sat next to her, and wrapped his arm around her. "Together again, and nothing will keep us apart."

"If it means giving you a chance at a stable career as well as a safe home for us both then it isn't an issue" Carrie replied.

Captain Ainscow? Unusual? Carrie wasn't sure those words went in the same sentence together.

Carrie concluded. "How is Captain Ainscow unusual? She didn't strike me as unusual when I spoke to her"

"She invited me aboard. How isn't that unusual?" Mark asked, with a grin.

Carrie rolled her eyes and shook her head. Mark's sense of humour was something else.

"Well in that case I think she's doubly strange for inviting me on board as well..." Carrie offered.

"You kidding? You're the sweet one. By the way, I'll need to introduce you to Kestra. She's the Marine XO aboard, and now part of the family." He told her. He smiled. "She reminds me of, well, me when I was her age." He said. His smile dropped. "She's angry, and rightfully so. I'm teaching her like I taught the clan, how to control our anger and use it for good."

Carrie grinned. "You're too flattering Mark. But she sounds nice...maybe we could invite her for a dinner or something? It will give me a chance to do the cooking for a change - after all you cooked tonight. Might have to get my cook book out again"

Mark smiled. "Alright, you're on. You can do the next family dinner." He said, finishing his drink. His smile then dropped. "It's strange, but the people on this ship...I don't know, there's something odd about them. I don't thin I'll ever understand Starfleet."

"I always like to reciprocate when I can Mark. Plus it gives me a chance to meet someone new on the ship and make a new friend. As for the other people on the ship...maybe you'll understand them once you get to know them a bit more" Carrie responded.

With their food and drink finished they both sat down in the lounge area to continue their catch up. Now they were both on the same ship together Carrie hoped that it would be a long time before they were apart again. She preferred her brother being around even if she valued her independence - at least then she had the option of going to him if it was necessary.

 

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