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Rhan K'hal

The Dominator

The Dominator

A Rhan K'hal Log

(Takes place the morning after the night with the Captain at Quarks)


After a much needed shower to clear the alcohol-coated cobwebs from his brain, Rhan greeted the morning with the slightest touch of a hangover. Considering his libations had taken on more than the Captain's proffered "drink or two," he was thankful his head wasn't worse. It had been a fun evening, especially seeing the usually staid Asher Swain letting his proverbial hair down for a while.


Today's activities however offered him less joy, as the tow-ship Tortuga would arrive and he would have to coordinate activities between them and the maimed Excalibur. That was thankfully more than an hour away, and while he sipped a warm glass of g'ehli (a Caitian dairy-based stimulant beverage) he would go through his morning routine.


First, and by far the most annoying of his morning ablutions, was to re-tame his mane into order. Rhan wasn't especially vain, so he sported a style that would "wash & wear" as easily as possible, but Caitian male manes had a tendency to get rather scraggly without routine maintenance. Thankfully there was an entire line of manecare products available to assist with that.


Next, Rhan sat down near the room screen and called for his messages.


"You have 11 communiques," the computer voice intoned in its impersonal way.


"Play first message," Rhan ordered.


"Hello, Rhan, it's your mother," the message began, with the gruff-looking female Cait popping up on screen in her security gold uniform, a spartan office wall her backdrop. Her voice was low and a bit gravelly from years of barking at junior officers in training drills. "I heard that the Excalibur is going to be at the Aje'li Fleet Yards for repair."


"I knew it!" Rhan exclaimed. "It hasn't even been twelve hours since I found out, and she already knows."


"I called a friend over in Personnel," Kharill continued. "There will be an opening soon at the Rahj'ret training base for a temporary communications officer while the regular officer is on maternity leave. If you want it, all you have to do is ask. Just don't take too long, she'll start her leave in two weeks." Without any further ado the message popped off.


"Ugh," sighed Rhan. "You'd think I'd get a chance to at least look at the postings myself before she interfered. Computer, play next message."


"Rhan, it's your mother. While you're on Cait, you should drop in on the extended family so they don't forget we exist."


"They might want to forget us," Rhan muttered.


"I put together a list, it's attached to the message." Again the message ended abruptly.


"Computer, display attachment," Rhan said apprehensively. As he feared, the list was a long one. "Saggy primate testicles, that's going to be like one a night all during the Excalibur's repairs!" Rhan complained. With a frustrated growl, he ordered the computer to move on to the next message.


"While you're there," his mother began without bothering with any greeting or identification, "there are some products that the Caitian markets here in San Francisco just don't supply or they're too low in quality. The list is attached, grab what's on there and send it home." The message ended.


"Why me?" Rhan asked the Universe. He didn't get a reply, but then he figured if there was someone that answered those types of questions they were probably as frightened of his mother as he was. He downed the rest of his g'ehli, ordered another from the replicator and sat back down. Pensively, he ordered the playback on the next message."


"I just got word, your sister got her Ph.D. You should pick something nice out for her while you're on Cait," she announced in the briefest message yet.


Rhan smiled at the news about his sister, yet simultaneously tugged at his freshly coiffed mane as the frustration of his mother began to mount. "Oh, let's just get this over with so I can jump out of the airlock. Next message."


"Rhan!" Exclaimed a pretty, petite, cream-furred Cait; an ebullient grin shining on her fine-boned features. The background was clearly the K'hal family room back in San Francisco rather than the austere office belonging to his mother. "I got my doctorate! I just got word. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited! Wee!" Mren, Rhan's next oldest sibling, danced around the room going in and out of sight of the camera, squeeing all the while. Finally she settled back squarely into view and continued, still bouncing. "Mother says you're going to be working on Cait for a while. I think I might hop over there myself, I'm sure she's got half the population of the planet down for you to visit and I can help. I could use the vacation time anyway, and it's been forever since I've been to the homeworld. Anyway, let me know after you get settled. I got my doctorate, wee!" She squeed again, dancing out of sight as the message ended.


Rhan's frustration with his mother disappeared for a bit as he grinned at his sister's antics. While she was very sober and serious when she was in school, studying or anything remotely professional, her "off-duty" personality was bubblier than a bath on Risa. While it irked that his mother had apparently decided his next few months for him, it would be great to see Mren. With her studies at Oxford she'd been nearly as difficult to see as his two brothers in Starfleet. While close to all of his siblings, he was closest in age to Mren and was much less reserved overall, so they had always been close.


"Computer, compose reply."


"I'm so glad for you, Sis! I know you've been working your tail off for that. As for being on Cait, it hasn't even been a full day since I got word about the repairs taking place at Aje'li, so I haven't even contacted Personnel yet. But you know how mother is. I'll send you a note when I do get things done officially and figure out what I'm doing where. Don't party too hard while you wait.


"End message and play next," Rhan said.


The next message, in fact the next three were reports from the skeleton operations crew that were offloading supplies to DS9 before the Excalibur leaves. Rhan signed off on them and forwarded them to Commander Hawthorne before moving on to number 9.


"Rhan, it's your mother."


"Of course it is," Rhan said to the room wearily.


"I found this wonderful little apartment you can share with Mren outside of Rahj'ret. It's all furnished and much nicer than those plascrete cubes they call housing at the base. I've attached the details. You should contact them right away, I'm sure someone else would love to steal it," she opined gruffly before cutting off the message.


Rhan had so much growl in his voice that he had to repeat his order to the computer to move to the next to last message.


"Based on the activity on our comm log, I'm sure your head is about ready to blow by now," came the amused and melodious voice belonging to his father. The view was the same as the message from Mren, in the K'hal family room. "I hope you're coping with everything that happened, I know you were fine when we talked a few days ago but it can kick in later. In any case I'm very happy to hear that you at least won't be heading back to the Gamma Quadrant. Though I won't follow your mother's lead and assume you'll be going to Cait."


The handsome older Cait, his fur a much darker and earthy hue shining in the room's mood lighting, smiled in an engaging, lop-sided manner. His demeanor was always a hit with the undergrads taking his astrophysics courses at the Academy. He was no stuffy academic, and minus the whole felinoid thing, would have fit in well in San Francisco back in the 1960's.


"If you do end up serving on Cait in the interim while your ship is in Aje'li, I do hope you and Mren can enjoy some time there. It's a lot different visiting it as an adult without your parents... well, parent, setting a rigid agenda," JoLan said before chuckling.


Rhan chuckled too, remembering the last visit to Cait while he was still in high school in San Fran. His mother practically slept with the PADD outlining their schedule.


"In any case, I hope you're well, and can enjoy a little bit of downtime. I heard the battle was quite a nasty affair, and rumor has it you and your shipmates had a much more interesting time before that. Take care of yourself, Rhan. Love you."


"Love you too, Dad," Rhan replied to the image of his father before it blinked off screen. "Computer, play last message."


"What's this I hear about you stepping out with some doctor from the Excalibur?" His mother asked, causing Rhan's jaw to drop to his knees. "You know I'm supportive of you and I'm sure she's a very nice woman, but you do remember how difficult it can be for Caits and Humans to interbreed, I hope." The message again ended abruptly.


After hauling his jaw back into position, Rhan emitted a string of expletives that would've landed him locked in his room for a month if his mother were to hear them. Indignant, he ordered the computer to start recording a message.


"For the love of... Mother. First of all, I'm not 'stepping out' with anyone. Yet. Dr. Dubois and I are just friends at the moment. We may or may not be moving our way to something more, but it's a little damned early for you to be calling me reminding me of genetic compatibility. And how do you even find out these things? I understand that you have your whiskers embedded all over the place at home, but this... Argh." Rhan took a few seconds to just breathe.


"As far as my next assignment and living arrangements, I appreciate you looking out for me. I do. But please for the love of all that's alive give me a chance to do things on my own. You raised me to be self-sufficient, so give me a chance to try it.


"I very likely will put in for the communications officer position at Rahj'ret. If so, I will look into the apartment. If so, I will try to visit all the family but I may try grouping them together in bunches so I don't spend every night of my time there going to someone else's house and ringing the bell. If so, and Mren is coming for a vacation, she can deal with your shopping list and bring things back home, because unlike me, she likes to shop.


"There," Rhan said, before letting out a long sigh. "I think that covers everything. Now stop shooting off messages at me like I'm a training target, or I'll have to hire people to break into 'Authorized Personnel Only' doors at Medical to keep you busy. You know I'd do it. Love you, Mum." Rhan finished, blowing her a kiss via the camera.


"Man, it's not even 0800 and I need a drink."

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