USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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To...Whatever

Posted on Tue Sep 19th, 2017 @ 6:34pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Megan Atkinson & Master Warrant Officer Lucinda Ingham

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: D15; Captain Ainscow's quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 101; 20:00

The day had been rough for all concerned. Lucinda had thought about cancelling on Megan and rescheduling - but she thought it was probably a good idea to go out and try to relax. Her ordeal with the aliens was still at the forefront of her mind but Lucinda wasn't going to let it take over or rule how she felt. The most important thing was that everyone was still alive and would hopefully make a full recovery.

Arriving slightly earlier than scheduled Lucinda made her way up to the bar and ordered herself a drink. With there being a small queue at the bar Lucinda waited for a couple of minutes. Just as the barman prepared to take her order Lucinda felt a tap on her shoulder.

"Good evening Lucinda. There are on me...what are you having?" Megan asked.

Lucinda was surprised Megan - and indeed everyone else - was so friendly towards her considering what had happened. She worried that people would assume she willingly helped the aliens - but thankfully this wasn't the case. Megan's presence was reassuring and having a somewhat familiar face around was a massive help - especially during that evening.

"I'll have whatever you're having" Lucinda replied.

Megan smiled. "You're so decisive. I'll take two beers please"

Once their drinks had been made and carried over to their table Lucinda rested her left hand on the ice cold surface of the glass. She hadn't had a drink of beer for some time yet oddly Lucinda felt she'd been waiting a long time to have it. Maybe it was just the stress of the day and an urgent need to relax.

"Are you alright Lucinda?" Megan asked.

Lucinda nodded. "I'm alive. That's something at least"

Megan smiled sympathetically. She hadn't ever been in the same situation as Lucinda - who was just a doctor and never expected to be in that situation - but Megan could understand if she was feeling uneasy. In fact it was clear that Lucinda wasn't her usual self.

"We all are. Don't blame yourself for what happened in engineering - your life was under threat and nobody believes you willingly led them to somewhere they could destroy the ship" Megan replied.

Lucinda sighed. "Part of me does...but...nobody seems to. Maybe I'm just beating myself up too much. The good news is Ms Zatra is stable and we already discharged a few back to their quarters to get rest"

"That's good news. But Lucinda...we're not in work anymore...so stop talking about it. I invited you here so you could relax and have some time out from life's stresses" Megan replied.

Lucinda knew Megan was right. She decided to put all thoughts of work out of her mind and focus on the downtime she had. After speaking to Claudia about what was eating her up inside Lucinda did feel more at ease about that aspect of her life.

"I promise I'll shut up about work now. One thing though...I found out I had a half sister a couple of years ago. My dad had an affair behind my mum's back - in fact he pleaded with me not to tell her. It's a whole sorry story really but it's had a happy ending. At long last" Lucinda responded.

Megan took a long and slow sip of her beer to savour its refreshing taste. Almost immediately she knew this drink was much needed after the day's events. Tomorrow however it was back to the same old routine and Megan was in a way looking forward to going back to normality.

"You met your sister? What's she like?" Megan asked.

Lucinda smiled. "Honestly? Amazing. She's the best sister I could ask for and I'm looking forward to getting to know her and her family. I'm angry I was denied the opportunity until I arrived here but...I'm not angry anymore"

"Sounds like you're both lucky to have eachother" Megan replied.

Lucinda took a sip of her own drink before responding.

Lucinda nodded. "I'm just glad Cl-Captain Ainscow and I have some closure at long last. We have a lot of catching up to do"

Megan was surprised. Captain Ainscow was Lucinda's half sister? Then again as she already knew Claudia was her sister it couldn't have been just a pure coincidence Lucinda ended up there. Maybe Lucinda applied for a vacant role on the ship in preparation to tell Claudia who she was.

"I guess knowing in advance is a big help - you knew where to look and presumably an opportunity came up to join the ship. How are you finding it?" Megan responded.

Lucinda shrugged. "I knew she was before this ship was even built. I tried to join the Endurance but they didn't have any vacancies - when I found out she was in command of the Vindex and a vacancy came up it was too good an opportunity to let go. The ship? I like it...it's cosy and warm"

Time passed and with their glasses empty Lucinda offered to get the next round of drinks in addition to some food. She hadn't eaten since breakfast and her empty stomach reminded her it was time to eat. Upon approaching the bar Lucinda caught the attention of a Security Officer.

"Well hello there. What can I get you?" the man asked.

Lucinda smiled. "Thank you...but I'm with a friend. Maybe next time"

"Are you sure now? I don't mind buying for both of you...especially if it's Lieutenant Atkinson over there" was the response.

Lucinda chuckled. "I'm afraid it is Lieutenant Atkinson and we're just about to eat. Like I said - maybe next time. I'm planning to eat and head back to my quarters anyway...I'm not one to stay out late after all. Sorry to spoil the fun"

"Next time it is. I'll come and catch up with you in...?" the man replied.

Lucinda tittered. "Sickbay. You'll find me there"

With that settled Lucinda placed the food and drinks order. The drinks were the same as before and the food would follow a few minutes later. Lucinda carried the drinks over and then placed them down on the table. Once she sat down she found Megan had already raised her glass to toast.

"Cheers. To...whatever" Megan said.

Lucinda raised her own glass and tapped it against Megan's before taking a long sip out of it.

Lucinda giggled. "Sure...to whatever"

By the time their food arrived the two friends were more than eager to eat it. Lucinda had a jacket potato with cheese and baked beans whilst Megan had a burger and wedges. They talked about a range of topics from their former assignments to their hobbies - and although they didn't share any hobbies they got along well.

After a few more drinks they decided to call it a night and head back to their respective quarters. Lucinda was down on Deck 18 whilst Megan was on Deck 5. As they waited for the turbolift together Lucinda felt happy she'd made a new friend as well as finally helped Claudia discover her unknown family.

"So...that was a good night. That food was amazing" Megan said.

Lucinda nodded. "Yeah. It was...I really enjoyed myself"

"I'm glad" Megan replied.

Lucinda smiled at Megan and as the turbolift arrived and opened she misread the smile Megan gave her back and pressed a kiss onto the surprised woman's lips. Almost immediately Lucinda found herself being pushed back slightly by a surprised by calm Megan.

"Lucinda...I didn't...mean to give you that kind of signal" Megan said.

Almost immediately Lucinda walked into the turbolift and just as the doors closed she responded.

"I'm sorry Megan. I won't bother you again" Lucinda responded.

Megan stood there surprised as the lift doors closed and Lucinda disappeared to her destination. She didn't know what to make of the kiss - it was a surprise and Lucinda was the first woman to have kissed her. Heading back to her quarters via another route she put it to the back of her mind.




Meanwhile Lucinda found herself on the sofa in Claudia's quarters - crying in her arms for the second time that day. The emotions of the day had one again become too much for her but at least now Lucinda had somebody to talk to about how she felt. It was late but Claudia was more than happy to be there for her 'new' half sister.

"I make a mess of everything. I probably shouldn't have kissed her" Lucinda whispered.

Claudia sighed. "I'm not really sure what to say Lucinda - other than I'm sure she isn't angry with you or anything like that. I'm sure everything will be alright though - I know Megan and she isn't the kind of person who would be angry over something like this. I'm sure she was flattered"

"The thing is...I'm not...you know. I don't know why I wanted to kiss her Claudia - she just seems like a really nice person and I enjoyed spending time with her. Maybe that's what it was...but how I feel right now is just so confusing" Lucinda replied.

Claudia smiled. "The thing is Lucinda...you can still be attracted to someone for who they are as a person rather than their gender. Believe it or not I have had a boyfriend before - I've generally been attracted to other women but I did love Noah. There was James too...we had Grace together and part of me wishes he was still here. They were both lovely guys and I had some great times with them"

Lucinda felt somewhat reassured by Claudia. Her eyes had been opened and perhaps it could help her come to terms with why she found herself drawn to Megan. For now at least she felt it would probably be best to distance herself from the Assistant Chief Engineer and focus on other things.

"I think it might be a good idea to stay away from Megan for a little while to give her some space too. I can't imagine I exactly made things easy for her" Lucinda said.

Claudia nodded. "That might be a good idea. Just try not to give her too much of the cold shoulder treatment. Maybe for a few days or even a week - and then ask her how she is. I don't think Megan will want to end your new friendship over something like this"

"Yeah...you're right. I really appreciate you sitting here and talking to me - I just didn't know where to go or who to talk to about it. You're an amazing sister Claudia" Lucinda responded.

That comment meant a lot to Claudia - particularly as Heidi had never once said that to her. She gave her a grateful hug before standing up and offering to walking Lucinda back to her quarters - just to make sure she got back alright.

"Come on you. Let's get you back to your quarters" Claudia offered.

Lucinda stood up and travelled back to her quarters 14 decks down. It had been a very emotional and eventful day with Lucinda couldn't wait to put behind her so she could start afresh tomorrow. Tomorrow was going to be the beginning of the rest of her life.

 

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