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Rhan K'hal

Taking the Long View

A Rhan & Hakran K’hal Log

The door to their shared quarters swished open, and as Rhan stepped through he saw his elder brother Hakran, legs outstretched, propped up against the integrated headboard with a pillow behind his head. In his paw-like hands was a standard ‘Fleet PADD, and the pointy-bearded Cait thumb-tapped to the next page in the scientific paper he was reading.

Aren’t you all comfy and cozy,” remarked Rhan, who had been worried about his brother’s recent detached demeanor.

Hmm,” Hakran murmured, finishing the paragraph he was on and marking his place before looking up. “I guess I am,” he added. “I spent a good deal of the day walking, my legs are due for a rest.”

Yeah, I saw you wearing a trench in the promenade flooring,” Rhan said. “The way you looked, I kept expecting someone to yell ‘Zombie!’ and charge at you with a cricket bat.” Rhan plunked himself down on his bed, kicked off his civilian shoes, and leaned back comfortably.

With a snort of amusement, Hakran rolled his eyes. He put down the PADD, as he knew Rhan wouldn’t end the conversation here. Especially the “new and improved” Rhan, which had inherited top-tier nagging.

I was thinking,” Hakran said, “and you know very well about what. So excuse me if I was a little wrapped up in the matter.”

Okay, okay,” Rhan replied, holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “’Was’ seems to be the operative word. You haven’t looked this relaxed in almost a month. So spill.”

As Hakran had just picked up his tea, he smiled. “Spilling would be a very bad idea right now. This tea is still hot.” As Rhan harrumphed in exasperation, Hakran continued. “Fine. You’re almost worse than Mother, you know that? She could nag a thorn off a rose, but she’d do it methodically over a period of time. You nag with your usual hyperactivity.”

Yes, I do. So get on with it,” Rhan said, with an accompanying hand motion.

I’m staying,” Hakran said. He tilted his own head at the sound of the words, as it was the first time he’d said them aloud since making the decision. “At least if there’s something to stay for, which is still in doubt.”

Yes!” Rhan exclaimed with a pump of his fist. “So… what prompted the decision. I doubt you’ve suddenly realized how much you love the paperwork.”

Ugh, you would mention that. But no,” Hakran said firmly. “It came down to science, in the end. I just don’t have enough data yet. Every mission I’ve been on so far has been crazy. I don’t know what it’s like to just be a normal department administrator. To oversee run-of-the-mill science. I can’t formulate an analysis on such a small, skewed sample size.”

Assuming we end up with a ship that has Excalibur stamped on it, I don’t think the sampling was that skewed, to be honest, bro.” Rhan’s lopsided grin turned more pensive. “Not that I’m trying to make you change your mind, but I’m pretty sure the ship runs on crazy as much as it does on deuterium.”

Well,” Hakran began. “Even if that’s the case I still don’t have the sample size to prove it. Or to know whether I can adjust to it even if crazy is the status quo.” He sighed, looked up at the ceiling. “Plus, I’ve started making friends here. I never really managed that on the Copernicus.”

I don’t doubt it,” Rhan commented dryly. “Your personnel file used the terms ‘aloof’ and ‘isolated’ so often I almost thought there was a computer error saving the file. But then you’ve always lost yourself in your work. All the way from Calculus and Political Science back in high school.”

It’s just how I operate, and how the hell did you… Oh forget it, you always stick your muzzle where it doesn’t belong, and somehow it never gets punched.”

Heh heh” Rhan chuckled. “Never mind my muzzle. You are finally learning to let your tail sway freely. Besides the fact that I think you’ll be awesome at your job, I think the job will be awesome for you. I’m glad you’re giving it a second chance.”

Gee thanks, portable Mom simulator,” Hakran said, receiving an eye-roll in response. “Anyway, none of this matters if Starfleet scraps the ship and starts shipping us off piecemeal to far-flung assignments.”

True, but you made the decision without waiting for that,” Rhan said, his voice singing with pride. “I’m glad you did.” Rhan smiled mischievously. “It gives me someone to poke at. I don’t think I could get away doing it with the new helm officer. One, she outranks me, and two she’s sorta scary.”

Hakran made a guttural sound of annoyance. “I’m going back to my journal, it’s far more interesting than you.”

Sure bro, if it makes you happy.” Rhan said, bouncing back off the bed and slipping back into his shoes. He was going to have to share the good news. Knowing the ship’s gossip channels as well as he does Starfleet communications channels, he should be able to disseminate it through the whole crew, even scattered all over the station, within a day.

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