Obsidian Command

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Close, But Not Quite

Posted on 24 Jul 2022 @ 3:45am by Command Master Chief Tāne HaiRoa & Commander Calliope Zahn

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: subspace call- USS Pathfinder XO's office/ USS Douglas
Timeline: MD05 1150HRS
1167 words - 2.3 OF Standard Post Measure

.: [USS Pathfinder] :.

Having gotten aboard, Calliope began with a quick over view that people were in place, working out systems. Lance took immediately to berating people in Engineering, which she decided not to interfere with. It was better if they adjusted to the reality of Lance’s leadership style right out of the gate, she was forced to accept. No sense in softening it. He understood he would be expected on the bridge for the launch, so from Engineering, she swept into the XO’s office on the Pathfinder. It was rather bland, and she didn’t especially care. For a mission like this, there was no time to pansy foot around adjusting the lighting and picking out the art. Functional was plenty good enough. She dropped her bag by the sofa. Maybe she’d have time to find her quarters later. Or maybe she’d be sleeping here between the run of non stop drills they were likely to manage on each shift and within each department and then inter-departmentally. She’d be coordinating it all with the Chief of the Boat shortly. The thought triggered something she’d wanted to do earlier but which had gotten quickly lost in the crazy shuffle.

She looked at the chronometer, knowing she didn’t have a minute. But she had started so impossibly behind schedule, there was nothing for it. Besides, she needed a glass of water and a moment’s pause anyway. Calliope dropped into the chair behind the desk and called up a subspace account, entering a code she’d saved. When the signal started to read as accepted she immediately made the ugliest, angriest face she could muster, sticking out her tongue as far as she could. For a moment, in the faint surface reflection of the screen she mused at how much akin she did actually look like to the green devil-woman in the mural on Loki III. She only leaned into the impression further, almost breaking it with a grin.

.: [USS Douglas] :.

HaiRoa had just returned to his transit cabin on the transport and supply ship USS Douglas when the rooms computer panel lit up.

Answering it, the ship's communications officer informed him he had an incoming transmission from the USS Pathfinder and routed it through.

HaiRoa was not sure he knew anyone on the Pathfinder, then recalled from the briefing PaDD that had accompanied his transfer orders, that it was one of Obsidian Command's garrison vessels

The screen flickered to the Pathfinder's logo for a moment then cleared to display a freckly green female face with big eyes, a smile, and a protruding tongue.

.: [Subpsace channel] :.

"Commander Zahn!" HaiRoa grined widely "Good to see you ma'am and you haven't forgotten!"

He'd first met the bubbly Orion as a fresh from the Academy Ensign aboard the USS Scorpio. She'd joined the Operations Department, where he was Boatswain. He immediately adopted his fiercestwar-faceeyes wide, mouth open, tongue stuck out, right fist raised and yelled a line from the end of the Haka. His Ta moko tattoos exaggerating each expression.

"Ki runga i te rangi, e tu iho nei, tu iho nei, hi! Feel the power Our dominance rises Our supremacy emerges!"

While he recited it, she bark-huffed in support stomping her feet and beating the desk. It was invigorating and seemed to course through her soul. When it ended on the final punctuation, she wondered why she didn't start everything like that.

"I miss serving with you, Chief," she said. " I had you on the wish list months ago, when I was ordering up personnel. They said you weren't available. Then I saw you on the station's incoming personnel manifest this morning. Some timing. I'm heading out on the Pathfinder in... ten minutes. I don't have long."

TaiRoa's face changed, the grin faded. "I was back on Earth for three months... " He paused "I had to take Lilly and Kauri home..." He looked to the side to hide his grief a moment.

It took a moment for the news about his family to register on Calliope's face, her crazy grin sliding into shock. Lilly and Kauri were his wife and son. But the way he looked... something had happened. "Take them home?" she echoed. It was the same way they might have said they were sending someone 'home' when they had the body taken back to their folks after the dust of a fight had settled. She reached for the display and grasped it with both hands around the frame, wishing she could grab her friend in his pain; her eyes swelled with sympathy. "HaiRoa..."

He looked back to the screen, nodded, taking a moment before he could speak. It had been six months and just when he thought he was starting to somehow learn to live without his wife of fifteen years and nine year old son, something opened it all up again. Even just telling an old friend and colleague of their deaths.

"Been ah.. six months, they had gone on a skiing trip , the mountains just outside the Starbase. And ... an avalanche" He looked away again, took a deep breath. "They didn't.. didn't find them in time..."

"No." she tried to deny, as if she could will the thing untrue. All of the crazy adventures they had been on for their missions and made it back on pure spit and fire. And then to lose your family on a vacation trip. The universe was royally screwed. Calliope swore reflexively.

"I had to take them home, couldn't leave their spirits in that place." He nodded to himself "Had to take them home.." He looked to the side for a long moment, wiped his eyes with his sleeve and looked back, his composure returning.

"When I get back, we have a lot of catching up to do. I promise." Calliope rubbed her face to keep from starting a good cry. But there really was no time to give his loss the real sorrow it was due. "Look, I need to tell you. The station is... it's under alert. When you get there, you're going to be reporting in to Commander Zayne. Admiral Sepandiyar is taking command with his support. Zayne's a no-bullshit hard ass. You'll like him. And whatever rumors you hear about me, may or may not be true. We'll play 'confirm or deny' over some shots soon."

HaiRoa nodded taking it in. He had served long enough to know that whatever the alert was, he would find out when he got there. He grinned "Does sound like my kinda Exec. You? Getting in trouble? I find that hard to believe." he winked. "But some shots sound good!" he gave her a wider grin. "I'll have them stacked up when you get back!"

"I'm looking forward to it, Chief." She gave him a loose, little salute as she reached for the end-call button. "Zahn Out."


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