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About Jylliene

  • Birthday January 21

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  1. ((Joint log, Jylliene and Jorahl. Log events transpire during the sim of 5/13/2016.)) With the station on lockdown, Jylliene had not anticipated going anywhere; the summons to the shipyard, though, was approved. The officer therefore soon found herself transported off Aegis, all appropriate documentation having been filed with security to cover herself as the investigation continued. Exhaling as she stepped off the platform, the Trill made her way to the shipyard command center. I wonder how many monitors he has here? she thought to herself with a slight smile as she neared her destination. Jorahl stood by one of the holographic design stations. Work on the Aegean-class ships could be seen on all the monitors and down in the drydocks below. A different ship design seemed to have the SubCommander’s attention at the moment, though. Jylliene’s presence hadn’t gone unnoticed -- he waited for her to formally present herself before looking up. “SubCommander,” she greeted. “How may I be of service?” “Lieutenant Commander.” He stood tall, folding his arms behind his back. “I am needing preparations made for the assignment of a Romulan ship to this section. While their assignment will have them working throughout the sector, Aegis will be their home base.” She nodded slightly. A Romulan ship? Perhaps to see to the security of the refugees? “Of course. Is Starfleet aware yet of their assignment?” “The assignment is not going through the normal channels. Romulan Fleet Command has much of their time taken up with seeing to Romulus. Certain affairs are being left to Senatorial and other independently operated fleets.” He lifted an eyebrow waiting to see what deeper questions this might entice. “It will draw attention, and tensions are slightly elevated with the investigation of the An-Ward representatives’ death and disappearances, not to mention the Nei’rrh’s mission. I am sure you have some idea in mind of how you would like this handled from my end?” “The vessel has yet to depart Romulan space so I am quite sure we will be on to some other disaster by the time it arrives. In other regards I will be responsible for the upkeep and welfare of this ship and its crew. Repayment of any burden on Aegis will be handled by myself. This however is not to be publicly known.” Jylliene nodded. “You may speak freely of the matter with Captain Ramson. She is aware of the arrangement.” That unnerving look Jorahl could get crept onto his face. “This will not be shared with anyone else. Anyone. Understood?” “I understand, SubCommander. Captain Ramson and no other,” she replied. Yep, there was the Jorahl she remembered. Jorahl turned and took a PADD from the nearby console. Handing it to Jylliene, he explained, “These are the specifics of the vessel, her crew, and typical supply load outs. Please provide quarters on Aegis for those who wish to stay over when in dock. All other documentation will come through Captain Ramson.” “Of course, sir. Is there anything more I should know?” she asked. I am going to need a drink when I get back. How the elements does he plan to keep this from Chirakis? “Not at this time.” With that, the SubCommander returned his attention to his work. Jylliene nodded again, even as he had already turned away. “Have a good evening,” she added, and proceeded back toward the transporter. Elements. This should prove interesting.
  2. [Jylliene - Sometime during TBS of 2/12 - 2/19/16] It had been a very unusual turn of events that had led to Jylliene being in command of the away team. She was used to holding down the CnC from time to time, but there was a distinct difference between “You have the conn” while the captain or commander were accessible and taking command when they were not. She liked seeing how everything fit together. It was why she had chosen to pursue Operations versus Science. While she enjoyed studies in science as she grew up, she also tended to be a gofer when it came to her teachers, family, friends - always willing to go fetch whatever. Though it seemed petty, over time, she came to anticipate what was needed in familiar situations, and would be the one to remind her parents that they were out of this, or low on that, in anticipation of a coming event. She was a planner, and taking care of such responsibilities led to learning more and more of the network of needs that had to come together for a larger purpose. It wasn’t that far removed from what she liked best of science, all told - seeing the interconnectedness of things. Operations, then, was her choice. She saw it as a logical extension of those proclivities. Make sure everything is coming together, is prepared for whatever may come, as best one can determine it. She was nearly wishing for something akin to Commander Jorahl’s bank of screens - it would come in handy given life on Aegis, which had been a lesson in expecting the unexpected (understatement). She had to consider where she would go from here. Eventually, there would be opportunities (if she didn’t screw things up, that is). What did she want to do, beyond Aegis and/or beyond Ops? What would she say if she had the chance to advance in command? And how would such opportunities affect or be affected by a husband and child? Nijil and Annisha would limit her options. Cold, she thought. No, just admitting the obvious. What you do about it, that’s what makes it cold. She supposed she hadn’t really thought about any of that before pursuing their relationship to this level. She would not sacrifice her family for - Her family. She smiled slightly. It was a welcome and a sobering realization. They already felt like family, acted like family, were family, save for official vows and signatures and paperwork (and dresses, and food, and guests, and making sure Annisha doesn’t get herself into trouble during the event, and…) Stop. Anyways. She would not sacrifice them for advancement. If opportunities arose that she could accept with them, fantastic, whether on Aegis or elsewhere. But she knew anything of a more typical Federation posting would likely be out. And when it came down to it, she liked serving here, whether it had been under Captain Chirakis or under Captain Ramson. Two very different styles, but both effective, and ones she meshed with. Where else would she experience sentient tree peoples, droid cores, Horta, past civilizations blasting them with some Elements-forsaken mix of disparate musical styles (she could have done without that), and so on? Things could never be described as dull here.
  3. [Joint log, Jylliene and Nijil, shortly after the events of the sim of 1/22/16] Jylliene sat at the captain’s chair, sorting through her thoughts, recording them in a personal log for the later report that she was sure she’d be making to Captain Ramson, at the very least. Though the tree people and cores had been friendly on the planet, they had entrapped Ramson in order to communicate with her. As they found her back where she had originally been held, Jylliene inferred that the droid core was already impersonating Ramson when “she” had helped them out of the chamber and accompanied them out and to the Aegean. Captain Ramson was not a hostile person, in her experience, and Jylliene could only assume that the Tree people would have, had they asked, been told what kind of aid the Federation could lend. Either they didn’t ask, she presumed, or they didn’t like what they heard. Their actions seemed to be of a desperate people trying to fight back against the attackers, but in doing so, they had kidnapped/held Ramson, impersonated the officer and attempted to persuade Aegean to attack - no, not persuade, but coming from the apparent captain, order. Hm. Well, no, not quite that. The core had not ordered an attack as Ramson, but had said it was their - no, your only chance. You could set back their war effort, it had said, and that it would lead if they would follow. It did stop short of actually just ordering Aegean to attack, though such a suggestion carried a different weight coming from the impersonated captain versus, say, an impersonated Ops officer. The droid cores had infiltrated Aegis previously. And they stole the cloaking technology, decloaking Aegean in a very vulnerable position. At least they did try to shield Aegean from the blasts from the attackers while the captain was recovered, but… well, at least they did do that. Jylliene regretted not having caught on a bit faster, as well as not having tried to ask the core for some explanation before it fled. Now, with the additional security of the task force escorting, they were heading back toward Aegis and leaving the newly found race to their fate. Not knowing what led to this fight, she just could not have imagined jumping in the middle. They may have sent cores elsewhere, and had been seen as aggressors, triggering such a retaliation. Surely the past events of the miners vs. the Horta were a reminder that there were at least two sides to each story. Taken out of context, their actions could indeed have been grounds for an attack, and yet, she was still seeing them as the victims of the attack they had just witnessed. Who were these other beings? And when back on Aegis, would they someday find themselves regretting not having gone along with the core, who would have known more about the others’ strategies and weaknesses, and seizing the opportunity they had? Jylliene hit the com. “Bridge to engineering. Status of the cloak, Subcommander?” A hint of frustration slipped out in Korjata's response. "It will be a few more minutes. Beaming out something is easier than placing it exactly where you found it. The device shut down as it was beamed over there, which is good since as active it could overreact. Clearly they knew a little bit about how the technology operates." A crash was heard in the background. He spoke to someone away from him. "Hey, <muffled> to watch that. Sever that connection and this repair is ten hours." His voice was louder. "Sorry about that...engineers," he huffed. "You should have the cloak at 90% function in 15 minutes." She smiled slightly. Engineers like you, e’lev, she thought. “Intact and reliable is more important than fast in this case. We’re under escort; there’s no rush. Thank you, Nijil. Bridge out.” Moments later, just enough time for Jylliene to sit down, a message came to her on the Captain's station. Nijil: The cloak technology was copied and likely reverse-engineered. Let's hope these droid cores are on our side, or not captured themselves. Please note this in your talks with Captain Ramson once she returns. Jylliene: Already planned to. So far, they seem to be non-hostile, but it will be noted. Should make for an interesting talk, Jylliene thought, and wondered what she would learn from Ramson about her experience.
  4. (Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene - takes place sometime overnight between 2388.029 and 2388.030) Space is many things... Vast. Dangerous. Silent. Contained within a single galaxy among one hundred billion galaxies, within a single asteroid field among countless others, and spinning within the confines of one of thousands of space stations located in said asteroid field lay a lifeform unable to rest. While the remainder of the universe continued in a state of constant motion, this particular ceiling appeared to be frozen in time. He sensed motion however. Not in the visible movement of his environment, but in the incessant hum throughout the station. Most people couldn't hear it if they tried, but an engineer could. Especially Nijil. Even simply shutting his eyes did not hold back his restlessness. Tossing and turning stopped over an hour ago. "Jylliene?" he asked softly. Stirring in the bed beside him. “Hm?” came the reply. "Are you awa-," he stopped himself, realizing she'd not said that if she was indeed asleep. "I can't sleep." “Something bothering you?” she asked, stretching slightly, then rolling over to look at him. "No. I mean not really," he let his answer drift off, then abruptly restarted. "It's just work, or the amount of work. It's not really harder, just more work. More people? Station is the same size, problems are the same generally. Well, maybe it's not work." He swallowed. "You can tell me honestly, am I a good father?" Jylliene peered at him, then rubbed his shoulder. “Yes. Annisha is a challenge, but you love her, and she loves you.” "I hope so." He frowned, albeit out of her view. "I'm not her real father as you know and he is still al-." He stopped himself in case Annisha had bugged the room. “Doesn’t matter, e’lev. I mean - I know it matters to you, but you are still her father. Elements know it’s a bigger job than keeping this station running, but you aren’t in it alone.” The Trill reached out and squeezed his hand. For a moment he poured all his stress into her warm touch. He let out a nearly inaudible moan, the timing of "not alone" and her contact just right, "Thank you. I never really thought I'd be a parent just a few years ago and then take in a child not of my own blood. I was not prepared." “With your own, you’d at least have a few months’ warning,” she mused in agreement. With a slight smile, she added, “She only made me love you more.” Nijil squeezed her hand this time. "For some days I was worried things were moving too fast, that you think I would bond to you immediately and leave for the remains of the Romulan empire. I was in knots." “No, I’ve seen your orders. You’re stuck here,” she replied with a grin and a wink. “No, I didn’t get that sense from you at all.” "Really? I sure felt it. And I'm feeling the same all over again when she had this relapse. I could feel how vulnerable she was. I could taste the fear." “It may not be the last time she’ll do that. But we’re both here for her. And I’m here for you now - and will be.” Nijil grasped Jylliene's hand and brought it up to his lips, pressing a kiss onto the back of her hand. He then began to move her hand back to her side as he felt a wave of contentment flow over him, but not before falling fast asleep.
  5. (Just before the sim of 6/19/15) Another away team mission down to the planet, but this time, without the subterfuge - save perhaps for the dual-approach as they considered both the Horta and the new government. And this time, Jylliene was at Ops, not in the chair. That was a bit of a relief, though she knew that the opportunities to command were good ones for her continued career. And the way things had gone so far, she could definitely understand why Chirakis had kept a stock of Romulan Ale in her office. Jylliene wondered how well - or poorly - this mission was going to wrap up (though she was confident in the abilities of the team members to come to the best resolution possible, anything could happen). And in the back of her mind, she also wondered if perhaps she and Nijil needed to have a conversation about arrangements for Annisha - a thought that had been in her head for a few days now. There would be more missions in the future that they would both be on; some they may know in advance would be risky, and some that may run into unforeseen circumstances. For that matter, even on the station, an attack could endanger both of them. They would need to consider what they would want for their daughter should something happen to them. At the same time, they should consider what would become of any future children of theirs. Annisha would not have to have the same arrangements as their biological children, but it would probably be better if she did. Or would it? All something to discuss with Nijil. The past few days had been too quiet. With Annisha on Aegis, and Nijil on the away team, the quarters felt empty. She missed both of them. She hadn’t slept as well - well, okay, the first night, she slept very well. But the next two, not so much. Which is why she was awake already, at 0430. With no decent chance of any further useful sleep, Jylliene got up, got ready for duty, and made her way to the mess for coffee.
  6. (After the events of the log “Leave It”, between sims of 6/5 and 6/12/15) While Nijil may have been more worried at her disappearance, Jylliene was more worried after what would have appeared to have been the most dangerous part was over. During the moments following the transporter, while she was being dragged to Ramson’s location, she was focused on the immediate situation - there was no time to think of anything else. But once she was inside the room with Ramson, and had started to relax, the Aegean was in the back of her mind. What would they be doing? Still, with the conversation she, Ramson, and the planetside officials were in, even those concerns were kept at bay. When she and Ramson were released, that’s when things began to sink in - when she was able to simply follow the commander as they made their way back. Would the Aegean be waiting? Would the team have already been picked up by the ship and left? Somehow she doubted that. Orders or no, the best Jylliene could guess, she hadn’t been gone long enough for Nijil to have picked up the team and left, even if it was what by orders he should have done. For that matter, had the roles been reversed, she couldn’t be certain she would have left very quickly. So now that everyone was back on the Aegean - now she couldn’t get the possibilities out of her head. Jylliene lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Where could this mission have left Annisha? Where might it still leave her? After all, she and Nijil were still here, and the Trill knew better than to assume that all would be well. The situation here at the planet was still a bit too unknown, though she did generally feel that the government would not want to risk conflict with the Federation. After tossing, turning, and replaying scenario after scenario, Jylliene eventually snuggled closer to the Romulan beside her, allowing his rhythmic breathing to lull her into sleep.
  7. [2 November 2387 - Stardate 2387.306 - About an hour after the beginning of Alpha shift (immediately following the sim of 5/30)] - Jylliene Jylliene sat at her station, scanning through items on her console screen, a nearly empty coffee cup in one hand. Workworkworkworkwork. The reports are so much easier to read more quickly now. I really am flying through these. I wonder what the explanation was for the whiskey and the florist? Why does a florist need whiskey? Well, though, maybe I’d need whiskey too if I were selling flowers all day. “Did you anger your wife? Your girlfriend? Your wife about your girlfriend? Is it your anniversary? Her birthday? Was it yesterday? Do you need something to encourage your superior to give you that promotion?” That probably wouldn’t work with the captain. She doesn’t seem like the flower type. A nice dagger in a display case, perhaps. Or maybe that’s what the whiskey is for. Branching out. Black is a good color on the captain. Dark blue or green or red might be too. But it would need to be very dark. Have I seen her out of uniform? Surely I have at some point. Maybe not. I don’t remember at the moment when it would have been, though. Wow, I’m already done with these reports. Nice. Now to review supplies. Can’t imagine we’d be needing supplies this soon, but who knows? Always good to be sure. The SubCommander probably would know right off the top of his head, if this were his duty. He’d look good in black too. In most of the same colors, really. I wonder if the tailors on board have enough of their material? But that’s why I’m going through this. Make sure. We’ve been going through a lot of coffee, too. Might need to check on those levels. Can’t run out of that. It looks like we have a fair bit. Good to know. Wonder how fast we’ve been going through it? What was the inventory level at last record - ah, there it is. Hm. We are burning through pretty quickly. Might need to order some now, before things get desperate and we need to ration or something. How would they decide on those rations? I mean, it’s not like this is a desperate survival - well, perhaps it would be. I mean, if security isn’t alert, they might miss something important. Or any of us here. Might try bringing two vessels to the same docking port. That would be bad in a number of rather large ways. I wonder if the SubCommander drinks coffee? He misses nothing. But that’s why all the monitors. What does he drink? Eh well. Where was I? Oh, supplies. This all looks pretty good. Only thing that stands out is that florist request. Security has that handled. I’ll let it stand until I find out what the outcome was. Maybe there is a sensible reason. I don’t know what it would be. Unless to numb one from sales. That must be it. Or maybe she’s hosting a meeting. A Floral Symposium. Wonder what that would be like? “The Latest Trends in Tulips. Arranging Azaleas for Fun and Profit. Rare Roses and You: A Study in Conservation.” Wait, they sell them, not raise them. That would be more of a gardener or arboretum topic. “The Best Vases for Violets.” I don’t think violets are really much of a florist flower. Pretty, though. Nice color, too. Do I have anything in violet? I wonder if you would try to match your clothing to your topic? Might be too much. Or might be the perfect gimmick. What was that quote? Gotta have a gimmick… Something like that. What would I host if I were at a symposium? Nothing exciting, I’m sure. Well, not to anyone outside the job. Let’s face it, it’s a bunch of monotony punctuated by moments of sheer chaos. Only hopefully organized chaos. I mean, that’s what all this record keeping directing ships stuff is for, right? So that we have the information and supplies in hand when everything goes haywire. Hard to see how cleaning materials or furniture might matter in the middle of a possible station siege, but maybe building barricades. Who knows? Ours is not to reason why, or something. We keep our stuff straight and don’t worry about why. Other than when a florist orders whiskey in bulk. My cup is empty. Here comes the Ensign. Cute kid. Probably not much younger than I am, all told, just has the youthful type of look. Ensign Lackey approached with another cup. Jylliene smiled at him, then shook her head. “No thanks, that was plenty for now. Thank you again, Ensign.” She watched him step away, then returned her attention to her console. Workworkworkworkwork...
  8. If Pillows Could Talk (You’d Never Get to Sleep) - (Jylliene/Nijil) [sD 2387.191] Jylliene cradled a cup of tea and gazed out the window of her quarters. Out there, somewhere, was Annisha. And out there, somewhere, she had to hope, she had to believe, was someone working on a way to find her and, if she were indeed in danger, to bring her back safely. She had told Nijil as much, and would continue to do so. But without knowing what exactly was being done, she was unsure that she could say anything that would give him any real assurance. She hoped her trust and her feelings were not misplaced on the matter. If she didn’t really believe it, she’d be just as eager as Nijil to do...something. Anything. Not that there was much they could do. The woman turned her attention from the window to Nijil, who seemed to be napping peacefully for now. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she gazed down at him in thought. He had called her mother. He had called her mother to arrange this visit he hoped to surprise her with. She reached out and stroked the side of his face softly. If Annisha were indeed in danger - and the ship were not merely disabled - and she were returned to the station, what then? Well, there was no question that Nijil would likely jump to offer to take her in. Would they let him? He might be the only one Annisha would trust after this, but Jylliene was unsure if they’d allow a single officer to adopt. They could try to adopt her together, but as an uncommitted pair, that was less likely than Nijil on his own - and rightly so. Besides, what kind of family would they make? She nearly chuckled, but then glanced down at Nijil again. A happy one, she increasingly began to think. Placing the empty cup on the table, she lay back down beside him. Her eyelids drooped, and she drifted back into sleep. “Nijil!” shouted a voice off in the distance. The world started devoid of sights, smells, and touch. With no warning, he found himself in a darkened room, perhaps an alley. A mist hung over the ground extending over his head. The distant lights above glowed an eerie green. It was hot and humid. “I’m coming Annisha! Stay where you are!” Nijil shouted as he ran. The voice seemed just ahead. After fifty meters of running no girl appeared. He stopped and twisted around to see if he missed something. Frantic he called, “Annisha!” A beat in time passed. Her voice wailed, “Nijil!” The sound came from another direction some fifty meters or so away. Nijil ran even faster this time. “Annisha stay there!” The mist made breathing more of a challenge. The faster he ran the more it taxed his lungs. Running further this time only claimed the same result. His body spun around. His eyes darted all around. Annisha was not there. Nijil cried out again, but a voice interrupted. “Nijil, help me!” He asked again. “Where are you? I can’t find you!” “I’m right here,” a little voice said right behind him. He spun around, looking down. “I’m right here, or at least I was Nijil. I asked if I could live with you on the station, but you said you were too busy.” Annisha dematerialized into the fog. “Now I’m gone,” she exclaimed from an unknown distance. “I’ll come find you!” Nijil shouted. “No you will not Centurion tr’Korjata,” said the distinctive voice of Chirakis at the back of his neck. If distance mattered here, he would have jumped out of his skin. He turned to face her, but something seemed wrong with her face. Her pronounced nose ridge and evil glare caught the engineer off guard. He screamed. “Ahhhhh!” he exclaimed, finding himself in a bed with someone holding him. “Nijil?” Jylliene asked. “Are you okay?” “Wha, where am I. Oh, elements...” Nijil soon realized he had been dreaming - or more like having a nightmare. “Bad dream?” “Annisha, I could not find her. It was dimly lit. I told her I would find her, but then our Captain said I would not.” He covered both eyes with his hands. “Sometimes naps are refreshing, sometimes...less so,” Jylliene remarked. “Anything I can do to help you relax...?” she said, quirking an eyebrow at him. Nijil agreed, “Yeah.” Then he realized what she meant. “Ohh yes,” with a sly grin.
  9. [sD 2387.180 - joint log, Jylliene and Nijil, a few hours after the events of Turning Rihannsu, Part II] Nijil felt right at home on the Nei’rrh. Given enough time, however, even a home can feel like a prison. The shuttle was dark even at its brightest illumination. His quarters on the Aegean, although small, were a nice change. To his delight, Jylliene had absorbed the language and controls quite well. Reading a manual on how to fly a Romulan shuttle was no substitute for actual flight time, however. Other than the shuttle’s simulator sessions, she would need to rely on her Starfleet training. Nijil needed to not get distracted by his own memories. Eating in the shuttle triggered a strong memory of his mother’s disapproval of his entry into the Galae. Jylliene’s comfort came at the right time. If not for the mission he’d have stayed with her until the next day. Without more preparation this day is all they’d ever get. “This section of the Nei’rrh is the key to this mission and our biggest problem.” Nijil remarked, pointing to the nose of the shuttle on his PADD display. Jylliene watched intently as they sat on the small couch. “So what specifically is the issue with it?” “The radiation it may give off after using it to punch a hole in the shielding of the M-2,” he said with worry. “I just don’t know what we are dealing with here.” She pondered that. “Did science have any ideas what might come of it? Or did you have any ideas about shielding the Nei’rrh or its occupants?” Nijil smiled. “Well, they frankly don’t have as much experience as I with this shuttle. The singularity can be tricky for starters.” He flicked to another image. “My idea is to install a lead-based alloy barrier then seal it with yet another lead substrate of polymer foam.” The engineer seemed proud of his idea. “I believe if I need to run the navigational deflector intensity up to, say, 130% this should block about 95%.” The image zoomed and panned. “Will you be able to compensate for that addition?” “Well, during the firing of this beam sensors will be compromised. Electromagnetic bands surely, and a bit lesser on the subspace bands. The good news is once we light it up we can crank the active scanning systems.” He turned to smile at her. “I have drawn up some sensor profiles, but I need your knowledge to check my figures.” “I’d check your figures anytime,” Jylliene replied with a wink. “Show me the profiles,” she continued, looking over at the PADD. Nijil opened up the files, a simple view that one could dig down further for the gritty details. He got up from the table to get something for them to drink. Truthfully he turned a shade of green. “Coffee or tea?” He asked. “For this? Coffee, I believe,” she replied, as she started to review his work. Nijil got two coffees, as strong as the computer could replicate. He brought the serving tray with two cups, sugar and cream over to their table. The aroma filled the air around the table as if they jumped into a bin of roasted coffee. He inhaled deeply. “Oh...whew. That’s very aromatic,” he said as he sat the plate down. “It is,” she agreed, and took one of the cups, adding some cream, and sipped as she continued. “It all looks reasonably within specs, though I know as much about the Nei’rrh as anyone else but you - that is, next to nothing.” He nodded. “I wanted to show you more, but this mission came up, plus I don’t know how much you cared for these kinds of things. She’s a good little ship, better shape if I do say so then when I first met her. Didn’t even have a name. So, if the numbers are alright choosing the place to strike will be...interesting.” He sipped. “I’d say at their weak spot, but I guess we don’t know where that is yet,” she sighed, taking another sip of her coffee. “Too bad it is not your weak spot,” he quipped. “Corny Engineers?” “Are you making light of my ears? Our kids would have them, I, er mean if we...” He brought the cup to his mouth and drank to stop himself from talking. His eyes focused back to the PADD. Jylliene grinned at him. “So...back to the mission. Was there any information in any of the scans that gave any hint of a good approach to that rock?” “We know they have fine-tuned any cloaked surface features. Probably the first thing the Romulans in the past made sure to hide. My guess would be one, perhaps two small craft sized openings. Those would be the cloak or hologrammed features. I can only guess at how many weapon points are hidden. If the Aegean and Narada hit the rock just right a place for us to hit will become evident.” “We’ll have to hope so. If not, I suppose it’s just pick a place and cross our fingers.” “I want to impress on you something,” he said intently, grabbing both of her hands in his. “Once we light up the beam we will become a giant target in the asteroid field. They will have countermeasures and will react pretty quickly. Not that I doubt your abilities, but if anything is wrong alert me immediately. My people can be very vicious.” He let her go and gave a stare of concern. “I expect no less of anyone defending their base,” she calmly replied. “Shall we run through some flight simulations, perhaps?” He gave her a look. “You wish to go back to the shuttle? I thought it was getting depressing in there.” “Well, a change of scenery was definitely nice. I think we both needed a break. But if I’m going to be flying that thing during this mission, I want us both to feel as confident as we can about my doing so.” The woman paused briefly, then continued, “So I suppose that means going back to the shuttle, yes.” “Only if you desire.” “It’s not a matter of desire, it’s a matter of being prepared. Just like spending every moment I had reviewing the layout of Aegis as we were inbound to retake the station. This is what I think I need to do.” “Well, then. How would you like to travel?” She peered at Nijil quizzically. “...I’m sorry?” “Allow me.” Nijil tapped his comm badge. “Nei’rrh, moraere.” Before she translated his command in her head they both disappeared in a swirling green transporter beam. Then instantly, for them, they reappeared at the shuttle’s transporter pad. “Needed to test it anyhow.” Jylliene grinned, and sat down at the helm. With a deep breath, she ran her hands down the controls and said, “Let’s get started, then.” ----------- “That was very good for your first simulation run. At least they never found out who crashed into one of their asteroids.” A few hours of simulations tired both of them. Nijil teased her all the way back to his quarters. “Come on, I’m only joking.” Jylliene rolled her eyes. “You’re fortunate I’m your guest, or I’d throw you onto the floor and out of the bed for the night,” she grumbled. “At least by the end things were a fair bit smoother.” He bellowed out a laugh. “Throw me on the floor? I must be tired as well.” “You think they don’t teach us hand-to-hand in the academy, e’lev?” she replied with a smirk. “Oh I bet they do,” he said, grinning ear to pointy ear. “As you can imagine, we have several classes in daggers. They aren’t just for ceremony.” Grumbling, Jylliene entered the quarters and prepared for sleep. Nijil let her get ready first. “I’ll be a minute, are you alright?” “Mhm,” she murmured in response, as she collapsed onto the bed. Exhausted too, Nijil slipped in as best he could without waking her. Minutes later he was fast asleep. ---------- Jylliene sat bolt upright. That was..what, the third dream ending with them crashing spectacularly into the asteroid? She sighed and glanced over at the sleeping figure next to her. Kissing him lightly on the cheek, she got up and threw her uniform back on. After quietly requesting coffee from the replicator, she tapped her comm badge. “Nei’rrh, moraere.” With a shimmer, she appeared on the shuttle, and sat down at the controls to begin another simulation.
  10. [Joint log, Jylliene and Nijil - after sim of SD 2387.180] Jylliene sat at the controls of the Nei’rrh. She ran through the commands again, reading the controls aloud to Nijil, with their translations. Glancing over at him, she waited for confirmation or correction. “You are correct,” Nijil said with a slight grin. If this had been anyone else the gesture would be a bit out of place. She exhaled. “That’s a relief. Now what, rekkhai?” “So the controls are readable. How are your response times? What if I do this?” The engineer completely changed the control locations. He waited for her reaction. She took a deep breath and ran through them again. “Though perhaps, if I could make a suggestion," she added, when she was finished, "call out the commands and I’ll indicate the control? I’ll need to be able to react immediately.” He considered her request for a moment. “I can simply use Federation standard. No need to complicate things further. Getting the controls is important though - unless your interest spans beyond this mission.” Jylliene pondered that. “Let me make sure I have it down from Standard - but I’d like to practice Rihan as well,” she responded, with a glance at him. Nijil put the console into simulator mode. “Daom Itheil idh!” he exclaimed with some measure of urgency. Her hand flew to the control, activating left thrusters on full. “Ie!” She grinned. “Hann’yyo. Onre?” Nodding, he continued, “Hnahn aeh’lla!” Jylliene activated the cloak. They kept at this for some time. What she hesitated on, Nijil repeated later, and she improved. The only one she missed entirely, they repeated several times immediately, and then later. “Siu?” she eventually asked. He pulled up his PADD and answered, “A few minutes past 13:00 ship time; does not feel like it, though.” She nodded. “How long do you want to continue?” “I’m even tired of Rihan,” Nijil said while laughing. “I didn’t know that was possible,” Jylliene replied with a grin. “We have been at this for...what, four hours or so now? I *am* getting hungry.” The teacher agreed. “How about something from the shuttle replicator? Strange as it sounds this...thing reminds me of home. Can’t imagine it does for you.” He looked out the cockpit window to a gray wall at the other end of the cargo bay. The gray and green seemed to clash somehow. The longer Nijil remained in Federation facilities, the more distant Romulus became. “That sounds good. I should try to get comfortable here on the Nei’rrh.” “Good,” Nijil replied, relieved. “Let’s go to the table in the back. A little more suitable.” Jylliene nodded and followed Nijil. “Will you have to be transformed into a Rihan for this mission, or did they decide?” His curiosity was genuine. “Not that I’ve been told. I’m on loan for operating the shuttle, not so that you have yet another non-Rihan “Rihannsu” to worry about on the station.” “Is there an option to buy? You could be my slave.” He joked, only partially teasing; another part dipped in reality. She glanced at him and rolled her eyes. “You wish. What’s on the menu here?” He tapped on the console of the replicator, honestly uncertain of what the vessel offered in the way of food. “A wide selection of dinners, soups and drinks. No Romulan Ale, sadly.” “Probably good that it doesn’t,” she interjected. “I’ll take whatever you have, unless you’re getting soup. I’m a bit hungrier than that.” So was Nijil, and for other things. He perused the menu items for something she’d like as well. If they did indeed take what they had farther, he’d want her to experience what he remembered. Not the current Romulus, now a giant wasteland. The air in the shuttle felt chilled. Of course, he recalled. Earlier he had to take the life support system offline in order to implement the changes. “I think I have something you should like. Are you cold by chance?” “It’s a bit cool in here, yes." One plate of hot food materialized in the replicator. Nijil grabbed the edges carefully and placed it on the table. Then he got his own plate and sat it down. Instead of sitting, he went out of view for a moment. He came back with a blanket of some unknown material and placed it around Jylliene. “There you go, now let me get some tea.” Back to the replicator he went to order his favorite hot tea. Jylliene started to eat. The food was indeed good, and the blanket, nice; she hadn’t really noticed how cool it was in the shuttle while they were training. Now, however, she did. The tea was excellent. She did feel comfortable in here with him, though now more than any other time on the Aegean or on Aegis, she felt like she was in his realm. Nijil dug into his food as well. Some of the tastes he remembered, some not. Even with the hot tea goosebumps could be seen on his arms. Only one blanket was in that compartment - something he’d have to change later. For a moment, he merely stared at his plate as a memory crossed his mind. Nijil suddenly recited, “Don’t you go off to the Galae, Nijil, like your brother. You should stay here and help us on this farm. Business is looking up. You’d do well here. Your brother is chasing a dream and he does not need to bring you along. Now eat your greens, we’ll be getting up early tomorrow.” Jylliene looked at Nijil. “E’lev? Are you okay?” “She didn’t want me to join. Afraid I’d die out here, away from the comforts of home and Romulus.” His eyes started to water. “My brother had already gotten his commission.” She stood up, moved her plate and tea over to sit next to him, and spread out the blanket to wrap over them both. Putting her arm around him, she kissed his forehead. He took the blanket and leaned on her shoulder. “I guess this time she was wrong, even if her heart was in the right place. I really hated her for saying that, but I’d give anything to see them now. I don’t even know if I’m an uncle.” He let out a long sigh. “You are all I have and maybe that little girl back at the station. My apologies.” “No, no you don’t - no apologies for this. I’m here for you.” Nijl, in this for him fragile state, only nodded. “I believe you have the language part down. Do you have a background in linguistics?” He wiped something from his eye. “My mother studied linguistics. I learned a little of several languages. Mostly long dead ones, but root languages of others. It’s not that I knew any Romulan before coming to Aegis - but I’ve learned how to learn languages, if that makes sense? If you learn enough, you’re likely to find one that you already know that has a similar structure that you can plug the new one into." She considered this for a moment and the added, "Don't be too impressed, though. Matching commands to controls is just a matter of vocabulary. Save the compliments for when I'm able to carry on a conversation." “Sort of like understanding foreign ship systems,” he quipped while tilting his head back and forth. “I think I understand.” He then asked, his head still resting on her shoulder, “What element are you?” “Hm? What do you mean?” she replied, stroking the side of his face. “Rihans believe each of us are forged from one of four elements: Air, Ground, Fire, and Water - Jaeih, Avilh, Okhala, and Ihhuein.” He drew each elemental symbol in her hand as he spoke. “I think you can guess my parents.” “Ground - Avilh?” “Yeah. Brother was air. Sister, fire. And I... I was water.” She drew the symbol for water with her fingertip against his chest, over his heart. “I think I can understand that. What would you think I am?” “I don’t believe Fire. At least I don’t think so,” he said, grinning. “You don’t share many traits with my parents, so Ground is not likely. That leaves only Water or Air. I’d hope for a Water, but would gladly take an Air.” He looked up at her and laughed. “I guess it’s all a bit silly once you think of it.” Jylliene chuckled. “Maybe, though recognition of one’s temperament is hardly useless." She pondered that. “I fled everything that was settled and expected of me, and yet, I’m happy here in the security of the rules and directives of Starfleet and the captain - I don’t know that an Air could say that, do you think?” She pondered. “Probably Water - but I suppose perhaps we’ll find out more when we get back to Aegis..?” she added, with a grin. Nijil looked into her eyes and smiled.
  11. [Joint log, Jylliene/Jorahl/Ramson - takes place shortly after the sim, SD 2387.179] Jylliene ran the simulations of a scenario in which the Aegean would use the asteroid to block the link with the Narada, and use that link as a scan. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem terribly hopeful. When she had the computer compare the type of information they were likely to get to what had already been gleaned from the Narada, the probe, the Nei’rrh, and the Aegean's brief “mineral” scans, it calculated a ten-to-fifteen percent chance of finding anything further. How significant that information would be, if they got it at all, would be unknown. There was also the distinct risk of those on the Mist Station finally figuring out that such a scan was far from innocent, and being compelled to act. The communication link was indeed predicted to result in a spike in the station's communications system, which would be rather the opposite of subtle. Wait, a spike in the station's systems? Jylliene re-ran the simulation to confirm. She checked into the load capabilities of the Aegean and Narada, and ran the simulation again; this time, with the ships intentionally ramping up their output to 60% of their maximum. Then again, at 80% of their full load. The resulting spike predicted for the station was something that seemed quite probably capable of disrupting systems fairly significantly. Which systems might be a little bit of a gamble; but if they wanted a distraction on the station, this could do it. The Ops officer grinned slowly as she amended her report to add the last simulations. "SubCommander? The report, sir," Jylliene said, still with a lingering smile on her face as she handed him the PADD. Jorahl took the PADD, other thoughts obviously on his mind. The numbers played out more or less as he had figured, a shot in the dark. The last data set, however, gained more than a passing glance. An eyebrow raised as he glanced at the young Ops officer, then back to the simulation data. “Almost Romulan thinking here. Though, I guess a few things can be picked up when in close quarters for long enough.” Jorahl turned quickly without another word. If the wording took the Trill off guard, he didn’t have time to enjoy it. After a few brief words with Commander Ramson, both turned and headed towards the port bridge exit. As she stood, Kallah said, “The SubCommander and I will be in astrometrics. Lieutenant Kital, you have the bridge.” “Yes ma’am,” Jylliene replied as calmly as possible, watching as they left. The SubCommander’s comment, coming from him, she would take as a compliment. That she now also had the bridge? This was definitely quite a day. Jylliene sat down in the command chair, watching as the relief ops officer stepped up to the console, and exhaled quietly.
  12. [The evening/night after the (so far, what seems to be) temporary return of the Nei’rrh – SD 2387.179. Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene] Jylliene walked down the corridor toward Nijil’s quarters. She was pleased that she’d be able to see him again. Well, and not pleased, at the same time. She thought that the next time she’d see him, the mission would be complete - at least, the part that involved the most direct, immediate danger to them separately - and that she’d be able to relax. Instead, the risk is still before them. They’ll need to grapple with their decision again. They’ll need to say goodbye again. She entered the code and walked through the door. Nijil was lying down, with something over his eyes and ears. Running simulations? Reviewing feeds from the Nei’rrh? Jylliene pondered. She considered interrupting, and walked over to him, slowly, quietly, considering her possible tactics. Nijil remained motionless with his hands across his stomach. He also changed into something far more casual than his uniform. His chest moved up and down, slowly, so he was alive at least. The room seemed less lit than normal, but the engineer always kept things overly dark, only using spot lighting when needed. Jylliene crept up beside him, knelt down beside him, and softly kissed his cheek. A smile emerged over his face, then a laugh. Soon he was back to his dream state. Whatever covered his eyes and ears kept his attention. “A challenge..?” the woman intoned softly. “I think I’m up for that.” She grinned slowly. She eyed the man’s sides and then tickled him. It occurred to her that she actually had no idea if he WAS ticklish, though. Nijil of course heard none of this. The light touch of her lips on his cheek piqued his senses, but the bombardment of pink noise and light kept his body very relaxed. The adrenaline of flying would have kept him up all hours. Months had passed since he last flew. This was his first real mission with a vessel more than a light shuttle. The strange headphone/eyewear combination appeared to be working. He took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. Seeing that he was apparently fairly deeply into the relaxed state he seemed to be in, Jylliene stopped - and instead, she stretched out beside him on the bed, and snuggled against him. Whether he’d respond or not didn’t matter - she suddenly felt greatly comforted simply being with him. The machine started to wind down its magic and bring the young engineer out of his deep relaxation. The lights kept blinking, so nothing looked different from the outside. The pink noise drew down in volume. His vision through the glasses returned to black. In moments Nijil rejoined the universe in a silent dark void. Something seemed different this time. A warmth at one side. He started to move his hand from his colder side toward the warmth. His other arm seemed pinned down, but all at once and in one quick motion he brought his hand together and attempted to retaliate with a tickle of his own. Jylliene squirmed and laughed. “You’re awake?” “I am now. This thing knew someone was around and roused me, albeit slowly.” He returned the kiss and flopped back down on his side of the one-person bed. “Sorry we did not blow the M-2, but it is good to be back.” ‘Even if just for a while,” she replied. “But ie. It’s very nice to have you back at least for tonight, e’lev. “So, how was the Aegean? Not waiting for an explosion of the Nei’rrh on the side of a rock I hope.” “Na. We were simply continuing to gather information from the feeds from the Narada and the probe. I think you gave the SubCommander an idea when you broke our link to get our attention, but I don’t know that it will work out.” Nijil looked surprised. “Oh, I gave him an idea? That’s a first. My other plan was to tap the Aegean, but I did not want hull repair duty after I got back.” “That’s assuming you’d survive to take that duty on,” Jylliene replied, and winced. “I think what you did was the better idea.” “I’ll have to thank myself,” he turned and smiled. “You seem a little tired,” he said raising a brow. “Turn around and face away from me, please.” Jylliene turned over. “Just what do you have in mind?” “Nothing sultry (?) or anything.” He began applying pressure to points on her back. One thing he did not know was if Trills were arranged the same as Romulans, but it would not hurt to try. Both on their sides also not the best position for this, but both were tired as well. “I’m tempted to say that’s a pity, but this is very nice,” she said, exhaling into a relaxed sigh. “Let me know if any of this hurts too much. Some of it will,” he smiled unseen. “Would have been nice to have you onboard, but probably not a good idea. I don’t mean you are not qualified. You had no ears.” He indicated her lack of ears by drawing two fingers along her ear and extending the touch to where the Romulan point would be. The Trill chuckled. “I think we’re all better off leaving that to those who come by them naturally, and have the accent and mastery of the language to match - instead of trying to make me into a Romulan.” “Pity,” Nijil replied in the same tone she said from before. “This is hard, the waiting, isn’t it?” Jylliene sighed, and replied softly. “It is. I was hoping the next time I’d see you would be on our way back to Aegis, and we’d be looking at only a day or two before...being home. But regardless of any of that, I’m very glad to have you here.” Nijil stopped the pressing into her back and gave her a caress. “I have an idea, but I’m not very good at it. Get up.” He released her and started to get up on his side of the narrow bed. Jylliene stood up, wondering what he had in mind, watching him. He moved into the center of the room and urged her to do the same. “Computer, music, um... human music, ah, something to dance to.” The computer chirped and began a song. Some lively music started. “We’re no strangers to love, You know the rules and so do I...” Nijil spoke quickly, “Next!” Another beat. “Young man, there’s no need to feel down...” Jylliene, this time. “Next.” Nijil shrugged. Humans had more eclectic music than he thought. Another song started. “You can’t see it, it’s electric! You gotta feel it, It’s electric...” “Um, computer, next.” A rather different sound this time. “It’s astounding...Time is fleeting...Madness takes its toll...” “Next, please, computer. Something softer, perhaps?” Jylliene ventured. The computer let out an extra chirp and a new beep as if tired of looking. A big band sound started. “Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me...” As the music started Nijil held out both hands. “I’ve only watched this a couple of times.” Jylliene took his hands. “That’s more than I probably have. Do lead on.” He placed one hand on her waist and held her hand with the other. As the unknown song played he tried his best to formulate a slight sense of rhythm or at the very least keep her close. The whole time he kept his eyes on her. Elements he must look a bit foolish. He had no idea what his legs were doing. This is not exactly the kind of song he wanted, but perhaps the next one. The music went on, “If I could fly like birds on high...” She felt a bit awkward, but focused instead on feeling his presence. As in the arboretum, Jylliene tried simply to remember this, to have this memory to keep. It was a good song, whatever the title, but another slow song started. Nijil would later learn it was La Vie En Rose, which did not seem to be in Federation standard. Even still, the universal translator seemed to have trouble with this one. He looked directly into Jylliene’s eyes and made a slight nod. He pulled her close and rested his head beside hers. He laid both hands on her waist and hoped she put her hands in the proper spot. He closed his eyes and started what he hoped was a slow dance. Jylliene had no idea where one’s hands WERE supposed to go, but they seemed to work around his waist. The song was pretty. There was something soothing about the language. Before the song ended he whispered something in the old tongue she’d not understand. His little friend back on the station, if she was still there, would. Maybe Jylliene would later understand it, but he meant every word. After the song finished he had the computer cease playing. He tilted his head toward the bed. “Another big day tomorrow. Let’s get to bed.” She wanted to ask him what he had whispered, but instead just kept them in her mind. Nodding, Jylliene changed and prepared for bed, climbing into what had become her side, and sat up to wait for Nijil, lying down when he was ready. He wasted no time crawling into bed and holding her once more. As they lay in silence he could hear her breathing and heartbeat. “Khnai'ru rhissiuy,” he said to her softly. “Au are more than I deserve.” As he inhaled he held her even closer. “E’lev,” she whispered back to him. “I hope I can live up to that.” Jylliene felt his hold on her loosen as his breathing slowed into peaceful sleep. She closed her eyes. They would have to say goodbye again, yes. But this was worth it. He was worth it.
  13. “I am half-sick of shadows,” said The Lady of Shalott. -”The Lady of Shalott”; Alfred, Lord Tennyson For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known. I Corinthians 13:12 There are secrets that people simultaneously want - and never want - to reveal. Things that people long to keep hidden, to protect themselves from the imagined consequences of such revelations. Sometimes, they are proven right; sometimes, also, the consequences are not as dire as predicted, but deepen over time. Perhaps then it’s actually worse: in the immediate aftermath, the listener tries to act as though nothing has changed in their perception of the teller; but over time, the shift is apparent, and perhaps all the more damaging for not occurring, and being faced, immediately. Sometimes, however, the teller is proven incorrect, and is just as intimately and completely accepted as before. The risk is rewarded, and the secret-bearer rests safely knowing that their true and complete self is loved - or at least, this layer of the self; who has but one dark secret from the world? For the teller, though, as well as the listener, there really is little way to know in advance. Is it better to have no secrets? Ever? All things are known before they can build up into a fantasy of walls, towers, dungeons, in which the most sensitive, secret self is protected - or, if one prefers, in which the inner monster is locked safely away. Barely can one erect even a single stone atop another before the Thing That Must Be Hidden is known. And yet, and yet, aren’t there those who reveal such things later, who open the keep to the right person in time, because they can see that sometimes it is best to give that person the time to know the other self - the better self - before the baser side is shown? Is that not what all courtesy is? Perhaps even what all self-improvement is - hiding one’s worse self until that worse self no longer exists, or at least, is no longer a serious portion, but is left merely as the minor temptations faced, and defeated, by nearly all? Is a world where nothing is hidden better? --------- Jylliene stood at the ops console on the Aegean, watching the light on the display signal that the cargo bay doors had closed. Nijil was gone, and she didn’t know if she’d see him again. His last little message had been a sweet gesture on his part, but it left her shaken inside. She - they - had already said their goodbyes that morning, before the start of the shift. She had mentally braced herself for this moment, knowing it was coming. And then he had to send that message. Focus, Jyll. It was hard. She could put on a pretty fair front of being professional about the situation. But that didn’t necessarily extend to how she was doing internally. Deep breath. She felt the house emblem in her pocket and watched the display as, well, nothing pulled away from the Aegean. Nijil inside a hidden shuttle on a hidden mission. Her own hidden emotions in a (hopefully) professional exterior on a ship with a hidden agenda secreted within its professional escort duty. “The Nei’rrh should be clear of the Aegean,” Jylliene reported quietly. After a brief moment, Ramson nodded, apparently utterly focused on the task at hand; barely responding to Jylliene’s verbal report and, if she sensed the emotions from the officer, not responding to those at all.
  14. (Joint log – well, short log. Branch? Joint branch? Loggette? Twig? Joint Twig? – Jylliene and Nijil) [sD 2387.178, immediately following Nobody’s Fool] Jylliene woke with a start and sat bolt upright. She looked around for a moment, disoriented, then noticed Nijil blinking sleepily up at her. “What do you think of Dr. Davis?” she asked. Nijil stared at her in puzzled bewilderment. “Forget I said anything. Night, e’lev,” Jylliene responded to his questioning look. She lay back down, and fell asleep. Still confused, Nijil quipped, “What did she tell you, e’lev? Jylliene?” The only answer was the sound of peaceful breathing.
  15. [Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene] SD 2387.178, evening. At the table, Jylliene sat eating dinner. Nijil should be back anytime; she heard that he was inbound from the trial run of the shuttle. She had a plate ready for him as well. She had dressed up a bit, and was glad she had thought to take one of her dresses. If this was to be the last night before he took the shuttle out for the mission, then, she wanted this night to be at least a bit special. Usually, Nijil would insist on checking out the shuttle after a run, but not this time. The mission called for this level of attention, but something, or someone else did too. Leaving the shuttle checks to others he rushed back to his quarters. A ship this size meant getting there in only a few moments. After only those moments he stood at his door, nearly walked right in, but thought otherwise. The chime rang. Jylliene looked up, and replied, “Enter.” “Are you decent?” Nijil asked with a grin, happy to be back. He looked for her. Laughing quietly, she replied. “As tempting as it would have been, I think it would have been disastrous for our agreement not to be. Dinner,” she said, gesturing to the table. Flight weary, the engineer gleamed. “Is that the ship special I see?” He walked over to the empty seat and sat. “I ran back as fast as I could.” “Of course,” she said, grinning. “Oh, it looks delicious. I’ve only had one ‘nutrition’ bar all day.” He looked up, matching her grin. “I’m still wired from my flight. On edge on the bridge today?” “Oddly calm. I think everyone coming to terms with things...plans and such. Somber.” Picking up his knife and fork, he replied, “No anticipation of an explosion as I drive the shuttle into the side of an asteroid? Not even close today. Felt great being out there.” Jylliene could definitely see the glow to him. “Flying seems to agree with you. I’ve not seen you this happy in a while.” “You,” pointing a fork at her, “Don’t know half of it and don’t get me started on the thrill of low altitude atmospheric flight. Clears the mind. I’ll have to take you out sometime. Unless you are afraid of heights plus speed,” he remarked with a slight evil smirk. She chuckled. “I’d love to go on out sometime.” “You’d love it.” Nijil drank a good helping from his glass. “Mmmm, this is good, what is it?” “A tea infused with a light mead. Had to bring it in from Aegis. One of the barkeeps acquired it for me.” Jylliene grinned. “It IS good,” she added, and ate a bit more of her meal. “This makes the special a bit more, special. Though I’m surprised this is not synthohol, given the mission.” He too ate. “It’s a very light wine. Low content. Far less than the ale, especially once you mix it with tea as well.” She continued eating. “Do you think you’re prepared for tomorrow, then?” “I think me and the ship are ready to go. I mean look at me.” Nijil beamed even more. “What could be better. Fit for a dangerous mission with a shuttle I’m quite familiar with, my e’lev here in front of me and another waiting for me back on the station. “...I..I’m sorry, I must have misheard. Say that last part again..?” Jylliene looked confused. “My e’lev here...?” He took another bite. “No, the part about back on the station. Unless I utterly misheard you.” Jylliene was peering at him quizzically. “Oh, you mean another waiting for me? Well, I hope she’s waiting for me. We hit it off so well I just...you know perhaps she’s bonded, but it sure didn’t seem so.” He grinned and took another drink. “Is this..the norm for Rihannsu relationships?” Jylliene’s stomach was clenching into a knot. “Well, it’s not mainstream, but far from abnormal.” Nijil finished his bite. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” “..desperate?” She poured more of the drink, and gulped half the cup down. “The Breen dealt us a severe blow. Families gone. Lineages broken. Family is very important to us. In truth this is a main tenant of our culture. This disaster has set our people back for generations. I can’t imagine having my family line snuffed out before its time.” Jylliene finished the other half. “So..I am a ‘desperate measure,’ who is intended to be one of several?” She set the cup down on the table rather firmly. And loudly. “More like highly desired. You know I love you as much as anyone. That will never change. I hope the good Doctor feels the same about me.” “Just a question - wait, Doctor? Doctor Davis, you mean?” Jylliene’s mind reeled. “I fell for or over her in the Arboretum a while back. Whatever they taught her at the Federation medical school worked wonders for me.” He took another drink. “She could get me to talk about anything. Spoke of my family at great length. She was quite the interrogator, by any standard.” “Arboretum seeems to be a good place for you,” Jylliene replied, wincing as she thought of what she had previously imagined had been a special location for the two of them, now apparently just another good place to take his women. “Jussst one question,” she added, downing half of the fresh glass of the infusion she had just poured for herself. “Yes my dear?” “If this whole thing is so deshperate, why the agreement about returning to Aegis? I’d think you’d not want to rishk your lineage dying out on the mission,” she paused, then added, her stomach adding a new knot to its collection, “...or did you alrrrready begin working on that with others...?” “Oh no, nothing like that yet. Our time should be special. Just as my time with her would be. And if I can get over my fear of telepaths, well, who knows. Yes, I should have thought about this before heading out on this mission, but an agreement is an agreement. However, if we agree to ignore our arrangement.” Nijil’s wandering eyes matched his sly smile. “As it is, I have the perfect sholution for you, then,” Jylliene replied cheerily. Pausing, she she stood up, grabbed a padd, and made a few quick entries. “Read thish...thish...is where my quarters were. I’ve got the code here. Let’sh see if the little yogaurt enthushiasts would be happy to shtart your little collection off.” Flinging him the padd, she grabbed the back of his tunic, yanked him out of his chair, and, calling for the door to open, threw him through it. “Off on your misssshion, flyboy! Good luck!” she called out as the door closed. “Out with the basht..bas..guy,” she added in a mutter as she walked back to the table, grabbed the bottle of mead, and took a swig. “Let’sh see...three for three with the men,” she grumbled to nobody. She collapsed across the bed, then added, “Maaaaybe whatshername is shingle. I’ll hafta assshker...” as her eyes closed in sleep.