Obsidian Command

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Called Away

Posted on 17 Jul 2022 @ 4:46pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Lieutenant Commander Lance Quinn

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: Lance's Office
Timeline: MD05 HR1135
858 words - 1.7 OF Standard Post Measure

"Sorry I'm late..." Lance mumbled, a half-apology that he mostly meant. He felt drained from recent events, in particular these new demands that were being put on him.

When he darkened the doorway, Calliope's head snapped up and the holo projection on her arm auto minimized. “Lance,” she said his name earnestly. “Lock the door.”

"I beg your pardon?" he responded, surprised by her urgency. Although he did as she asked, he remained uncertain as to her motives.

“Admiral Sepandiyar has ordered a special reconnaissance mission for the Pathfinder, searching for further evidence of this race’s presence. Captain DeHavilland gave me a name for them- the Pyrryx. It seems they’ve had other incursions into UFP space in recent months. The Admiral has ordered DeHavilland to lead the mission and he’s seen fit to post me as first officer on the Pathfinder.”

"A reinstatement? At least...a partial one..." he mused. That was definitely a surprise. "I'd heard something about this mysterious alien race, but I wasn't aware there was a proactive investigative mission being proposed."

“There’s more.” Calliope handed Lance a small padd. “Your orders are to head up Engineering for the mission.” She gripped the padd a little too tightly, unwilling to give him the assignment, but she was left without any choice.

He blinked, feeling the resistance in her hand as he took the padd and noted the orders. "You...are bringing me along?" That was surprising. Not only was he supposed to be managing the engineering functions of an entire starbase, but he was also not the 'field trip' type of officer one brought along for something like this. His mind was cast to young Elli-Navine, a far more likely candidate for such tasks - though obviously indisposed. "If this is so that I can keep an eye on you..."

"If only that were the reason." Calliope bit her lip in a thin smile and shook her head. "But you've seen the tech. Corvus thinks we're likely to need your exceptional expertise. I can't disagree with her assessment, as much as—" Calliope stopped herself short, a dark cloud seeming to settle behind her eyes with the seriousness of the situation. The last thing she wanted to do was undermine Lance's self confidence minutes before shoving off on a dangerous mission. She raised both hands open before her. "Look, the entire purpose is to gather information and head back. I hope its boring as hell and nothing at all turns up. False alarm." She let her hands fall to her sides. "Or if something *is* worth scanning, I hope we're in and out and you get a computer core full of readings to bring home."

"How delightful," he shrugged.

Lance's indifference wasn't reassuring to Calliope. She pulled in close to her husband and took him by both sides of his open duty jacket in her fists, looking up at him as if she could will him to understand. "I need you to stay safe, Lance. To stay close to the security details. If trouble starts..."

"I fought off an invasion of this starbase, too, you know. Those grunts with guns wouldn't have made it anywhere without my brains steering the way," he said. It was a comment made out of levity but also to try to reassure her. He shared the sentiment of not wanting to be anywhere near actual fighting, and would do everything to make sure that was what happened. But he was also her husband, and he would do his utmost best to continue to protect her, in any circumstance.

"I know," she said, quietly, reminded that while she had fallen apart, Lance had held together. She exhaled and repeated it with more conviction, smiling back up at him. "I know."

"Do you want to keep our reservations for this evening?"

She shook her head. "There's no time. I gave the reservations to a friend. The Pathfinder has already been under preparations. Everyone is boarding now." She held back explaining that Corvus had put off giving her orders until last minute and likewise Lance, probably out of the same avoidance as she would have put two and two together herself. Lance had a good working relationship with DeHavilland and Calliope didn't want to undermine it now by pitting his loyalties with one another. It would be better to point the blame to the source, with a little respect. "Admiral Sepandiyar just moved the launch up to within the hour. Probably to give us the best chance to stay ahead of any possible entanglements."

"Ah, Admirals. No consideration for meal schedules." He sighed again, resigned to this life of chasing her around the galaxy. "Nice of them to keep me so well informed, too. I suppose I'll make do with just the one-" he noticed she had brought two duffel bags with her. It was yet another thoughtful gesture, one that he welcomed. "Well. All we need now is sandwiches."

Proud of how well he was handling the quick changes, Calliope folded a hand into his and passed him his bag. "We'll grab some tuna on the way."


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