Obsidian Command

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In the Running: Something in My Eye

Posted on 13 Feb 2022 @ 12:34pm by Yuliette Marayan

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Obsidian Command- disembarking SS Wishbone
1381 words - 2.8 OF Standard Post Measure

She waited in line to disembark from the SS Wishbone internally feeling like she was on line for a firing squad. The kind woman who took her credential chip and plugged it into her tricorder was a gold colored Operations Officer with coifed blonde hair and tasteful makeup. It seemed an eternity was packed into the few seconds of waiting for the computer core to check the file entry. The agent smiled as she could see the nervous anticipation of the passenger.

“Sorry you were delayed," said the Ensign.

“It’s fine,” lied Yuliette.

“Did you have luggage in the hold? I don’t see a claim.”

Yuliette disliked the questions about her arrangements, but answered as plainly as she could muster. “No, no luggage.” She even offered a small, forced smile.

“I’m sorry the look up is taking a little longer than usual. When we don’t have a passenger on file in our core, the computer has to sub space with the Federation’s regional Database. It can take a minute depending on the sub space receiver’s processing availability on the other side. Maybe the server is a little busy.”

Yuliette shifted her feet. She reminded herself that if she panicked she’d just draw attention, but still couldn’t shake the feeling that the operations officer might be stalling to buy time. She debated claiming she had to get something she left in the bunk and then finding some place in the cargo hold to hunker down and avoid detection. But it might be over a week until the repairs were finished. It wasn’t the best plan. Luckily, just as she was drawing a breath to nervously make pretense to escape by, the Ensign perked up as the chip lit green.

“Ah! There. Your record checks out. I hope you can find new arrangements. Starfleet has seats for qualifying passengers on some routine re-supply runs, but you’re more likely to get the most timely travel arrangements from a private transport. There’s a network you can log into from the Promenade and the Kiosk agents can assist you if you have any questions. Accommodations for your guest stay on OC can also be arranged from the civilian kiosk. If you have trouble locating it, it’s just outside of the Promenade Security Office.”

“Great.” Yuliette accepted her ID chip back and putting it in her pocket, kept her hand there to hide her own trembling. There was no way in any of the hells she'd be inquiring about a berth on a Fleet resupply.

“Enjoy your stay, Miss Neone.”

Eager to find a way off the station as soon as possible, Yuliette took a direct route to an express turbo lift that lowered her from the docking ring to the promenade in mere seconds. Her eyes flitted around nervously within the lift, trying to spot cameras or sensors in her peripheral vision, and avoiding looking directly up; she shrank her posture even smaller than her already slight frame while tucking herself behind other passengers. As soon as the lift doors parted she darted off.

The promenade was huge. And clean and busy. And well lit. Polished even. For a moment Yuliette stood still, shot through with the impression of being in a metropolitan square in a familiar old memory of a former life.

But only for a moment.

She unfolded a very expensive pair of sunglasses, and with the false security of having shielded her eyes, her posture seemed to correct. Next out of her bag of tricks was a thin fashion scarf which she expertly wrapped around her neck and over her cropped hair, garnering the classic movie star look. She moved into the flow of foot traffic and paced herself, measuring her breathing and trying to will her neves to calm. The center square was not far and the rotating digitized holographic signage for Security and the Civilian Kiosk was highly visible in many languages.

“Hello Neone!” Yuliette jumped a little as an automatically triggered holographic assistant in the form of a cartoon robot projected itself. She relaxed as she comforted herself with the realization that her ID had been passive scanned and triggered the assistant. There was nothing more nefarious to it. "I am the promenade map assistant, at your service! Please state your search query for directions!"

“Um, manual search, only, please.” Yuliette requested, relieved when the hologram receded into a holographic panel of display options.

As badly as she wanted to swipe to get a take along copy, she no longer had any tech of her own. No pads or personal comms or devices. They were certainly convenient, but just as conveniently traceable. Ditching them had been one of the first things she’d been forced to do when it had all hit the fan sideways.

She felt both awe and sadness scanning through the public maps of this Promenade. She wondered if far far below decks they had something akin to the Brown Secor of Starbase 109, with the generations of hydroponics farmers and their makeshift way of life that formed an uncanny blend between the technological and the practical. A sector with their versions of street life and cultural chaos that sometimes merged even while it clashed. She found a hole in her heart for the place she’d ensconced herself in those past months— right up until Bonaventura had offered her passage out. But most of all she regretted never getting to truly say goodbye to some of those who had befriended her. Lanis, for one, since the wise old Bajoran doctor had given her so much perspective and so little hate when he’d all the reasons in the universe to bear grudges against Cardassians. And Findley, the repairman who had continually given her a hand. The so-called sheriff, with no real law enforcement work except the makeshift community election that created the office and appointed it via some sort of drum circle power everyone there abided by. But mostly, the unpaid, unappreciated Deputy Radak. Yuliette had nurtured a soft spot in her heart for that big, quiet fellow. She missed his easy company and the mystery of his eyes hidden behind his scavenged visor… She imagined they were soft and sad. Like his voice.

But she’d had to keep from getting attached.

The last thing she wanted to do was get someone as simple and innocent as that wrapped up in the mess that was her life. Deputy Radak was a man content in his simple life doing odd jobs, looking after people and spending time in his favorite old haunts. He was a fixture in his community. He’d made a life there and she knew in her heart there were no circumstances where he would leave his beloved Brown Sector to follow her on the lam out to the Cardassian colonies. She would never be able to ask something like that. Besides, as much as she planned to avoid ever seeing them again, she didn’t want to have to someday introduce him to the disaster that was her family under circumstances beyond her control. Ultimately, it was better for Radak if he’d never met her at all. She’d told herself that when she’d considered taping a goodbye note to his door, but ended up throwing it out instead, to spare him. If she was just another cold blooded Cardassian passing through, he wouldn’t have to waste any time wondering about what might have been. Her eyes watered behind the dark lenses.

Below decks was no such listing of anything akin to 109’s Brown Sector. Just an extensive medical facility, research labs, shuttle bays, and some storage and communications arrays. The station may have gone mysteriously missing for a couple of years, but it was hardly the mishmosh operation she’d grown accustomed to on her last Starbase stay. By the looks of things, it had been whipped into shape fairly quickly since its recovery.

Clearing her throat of her feelings, she refocused on reading the map, committing some of the passages and surroundings to memory as best she could. Normally she had a nearly perfect recall. But her blurry vision was a limiting factor right then.

-tbc-

 

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