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Meeting the Neighbors

Posted on Mon Apr 1st, 2019 @ 8:32pm by Lieutenant Colonel Kachiko Bayushi & Reiko Bayushi & Lieutenant Limmi Ovim & Delilah Ovim

Mission: Points Of Light
Location: Infirmary, Seppala Station

The hatch slid open to admit Kachiko, adorable little Reiko looking up at the Betazoid and her child stepping in.

"Hi Mom!" the girl chirped from her bed in the far corner.

She glanced at the tall blond lady before meeting the young girl's gaze, "Hi! I'm Reiko!"

The girl's enthusiasm heartened Limmi into smiling.

"Hi, Reiko. I'm Limmi Ovim. And this is my daughter Delilah," she said with a glance at her darker-complexioned progeny, who advanced from the refuge of her side.

Where Kachiko was the epitome of pale, Reiko had more traditional Japanese human looks, golden skin, dark eyes and black hair.

The child-sized teen smiled up, "Hello Miss Ovim. And double hello, Delilah. You're the cutest!" Reiko was enthusiastic and animated while talking. Then she looked at her mother, "What's going on, Mom?"

Kachiko sighed mentally, having let it slip her mind that Reiko was getting very practiced with her telepathic talent and that not telling her immediately was the wrong plan. She gave Limmi a glance before speaking, "I was reviewing files when I read Miss Ovim's. She is a single mom out here with a little girl. You remember those days, ReiRei?"

Reiko nodded.

"So, I invited them to share our quarters here on the station until the Shanghai puts back into space.," Kachiko sat on the side of Reiko's bed. In response, the excitable teen gasped and bounced in the bunk, "Ooh! Me and Delilah could have all kinds of fun!"

"Of course, you'll have to continue to behave, ReiRei. I know how much you and your cousins like to get in trouble," to which Reiko pouted, "It was only once!"

Kachiko laughed and turned to look up at Limmi, "Some of the older girls in the colony were harassing Cai for her Orion blood. When they attacked Cai and Hiroko, Reiko managed to end the fight without hurting the other girls." Kachiko looked proud before addressing Delilah, "That's what I was talking about, sweetie. Sometimes, you're going to have to protect yourself and it is better for everyone that no one is hurt."

"Indeed," agreed Limmi, both relieved and slightly anxious at there being a concrete reason behind Kachiko's offer to instruct Delilah. Tormentors could be a very valid trial of childhood, but Delilah had yet to mention any, and the prospect of it coming to fruition here aroused her motherly worry over how she would cope if faced with them. "A bully's parents are more apt to come to the table open-mindedly if the only harm done was to their purported angel's pride. Better yet, it might encourage the bully to accept responsibility for their actions and not involve them at all."

Ever-heedful of her mother, Delilah's eyes roved from Kachiko to Reiko and back in the midst of asking, "Did any of those girls' parents get involved?"

"One mother did," Kachiko sighed. "She was told by her daughter that Cai had attacked. Unfortunately for them, everything had been captured on video. ReiRei just 'poked' the girls' pressure points. The lying girl actually punched Reiko in the face and gave her a black eye before Reiko got to her. There were seven girls in total."

"But truly, ReiRei is a calm and pleasant girl, whose just a few months short of earning her Registered Nursing degree. She is usually helping out at the infirmary in the colony," Kachiko smiled now, lightly ruffling her daughter's dark hair.

"Of course, once the colony is available again, you will both be more than welcome to join us at our home there, which is a bit offset to give us some mental peace," Kachiko noted, to which Reiko grinned,"I have the best garden and there's a fun pond nearby, if you like to swim!"

"I love just about anything outdoors," declared the younger girl, smile broadening. "My mom and my dad both have houses out in nature. We were actually renovating my mom's on Mount Mija on Betazed before she had to come here."

"And she was pretty crossed over having to leave it," Limmi amended. "I was too, but not as much as Delilah," she half-joked.

"I can't blame her," Kachiko remarked."Normally I would have preferred to stay in civilization, particularly in Japan or San Francisco with my sister Karsel'lyn. But I was given this assignment, particularly as my sister was also heading out this way. I thought that Karsel'lyn would need some family along, though this was before she knew that she had family outside of Captain Sun and young Cai."

"Her Orion father re-entered the picture, after she thought him murdered when she was a a little bit younger than Reiko," Kachiko frowned."I don't want to discuss what she endured here around young ears. Her Orion half-sister had been tasked with looking for her and instead, Lyn and the Shanghai found her. Now the sister, a brother and father are on Golovin, prepping to dock with the station until this issue is resolved. They too were caught up in the temporal wave that kicked us five years into the past."

"Once they're all set up in their own settlement, they'll be offering a place to relax and enjoy yourselves," Kachiko looked up to Limmi. "While they are Syndicate, they're mostly good people. I have studied them and gathered enough information to know long before ever coming here. I recommend that you watch yourself, Limmi, but it shouldn't be a problem. They also understand just who is in charge of the planet and they know enough about me to know that they do not want to incur my wrath, or Captain Sun's."

"Well it would appear that we form a danger zone of sorts," Limmi chuckled. "Several of my first missions and some subsequent ones involved curtailing the Syndicate and other cartels' attempts to infiltrate war-stricken sections of Federation territory, so I'm familiar with the Syndicate. And I expect some of its members know of me, as I was pretty ardent about keeping them away from Betazed. The cartels are no match for Starfleet martially, but they can be as effective as any of the major powers at intelligence-gathering or covert operations."

Delilah turned toward her mother. "Does that mean they'll try to hurt you, mom?"

Limmi clutched her daughter's shoulders out of recognizing her concern. "No, dear. The Syndicate takes a lot of care around Starfleet because they're much weaker martially. They can be disruptive, but if they provoke us or one of the other major interstellar powers, it'd go very badly for them." Limmi's explanation was quite rudimentary, which Kachiko certainly knew. Nonetheless, it offered the general gist of why the Syndicate was a relatively minor concern in the grand scheme of things.

"That should not be an issue, Limmi," Kachiko smiled. "The head of the Syndicate here is Commander Lylyl-Llytherraias' father and he is one of the decent ones. Which I know because I'm the one who discovered that he was still alive and then kept tabs on him."

Then the small Marine looked at Delilah, "Don't worry, sweetie. I won't let anyone hurt your mom."

"I don't know if you can stop anyone, Kachiko," Delilah ruminated aloud in earnest, gaze sharpened by the thought-incited tilt of her head. "But if you could make sure that this. . .Mister Lylyl-Llytherraias and his Syndicate stay decent, my mom should be able to keep everyone else in line."

Limmi hung her head, her expression mired by amusement with her daughter's antic.

"Sweetheart," Kachiko grinned at the young girl. "I'm the officer in charge of the defense of this system."

"Which means it's my job to watch over your mom, the Captain, Commander Lylyl-Llytherraias, Reiko and you. You would be surprised what I'm capable of, sweet Delilah," Kachiko had taken a seat on the side of Reiko's bed, the teen leaning into her mother. "Besides, I think that the Commander would be very crossed with her father if he did something."

"And hell hath no fury like a daughter scorned," quipped Limmi, feeling warmth radiate from a sense of conviction stemmed from the memory of when she'd last seen her maternal grandmother. During a brief look to Kachiko, she transferred rather than verbalized an expounding of her daughter's wariness, a thin smile punctuating the underlying sentiment.

"She's watched me endure a lot in recent months and I've not entirely succeeded at keeping it to myself. She's leery. . .not specifically of you, mind."


Kachiko transmitted to Limmi an understanding feeling quite briefly, before turning those vibrant eyes to little Delilah,'~Dear child, there is much you and your mother do not know about me because the information is very secret and classified. I have the ability to do very terrible things, if needed. I am a highly trained shooter, after all. I desire most to protect children and their parents above all else, like you and your lovely Mom. I promise that the Captain and I will do our utmost to take care of you both. Okay?~' Kachiko was sure to key in both Limmi and Reiko on the telepathic transmission.

Delilah cut a gaze to Reiko. "Your mom is really persistent, isn't she?"

Reiko swung her legs over the side of her bed and remained there a few seconds before standing slowly. She hesitantly stepped forward and hugged Delilah, "I know it's hard being out here in the middle of nowhere away from everything you know. Pretty soon, we'll get to go back to the planet and you and your mom will get to start your own new home here. Don't think of it as your only home but a home away from home. My home is on Earth, in Japan. Or wherever my mom is."

"You and your mom will be welcome to stay with us if needed," Reiko continued after a brief pause. "You'll have me and CaiCai and Hiroko to help you with stuff. There's another little girl you will probably be meeting, her mom is a colonist. Her name is Alex and she's just a sweetie, just isn't used to being around people she doesn't know."

"I'm almost a nurse, too, if that helps, Lieutenant Ovim?" Reiko looked up at the girls mother. "Also, those lights seem to like and trust me, so I can be sure they know to leave Delilah alone?"

"Lights?" Delilah peered about inquisitively, her eyes ultimately stopping at her mother. "What's she talking about, mom?"

"Something I'm admittedly not totally up to speed on myself. . ."

"I have the most experience with them, but I should let my mom explain," Reiko said. After which, Kachiko sighed, "From what we know, an intelligent species landed here some time ago and utilized what is believed to be a pocket of time to hide from the Borg."

Reiko perked up then, "They're humanoid, and from what I was able to tell from the visions they gave to me and the doctor, they're really really small. Kind of like faeries from Celtic myth."

"The lights are the glowing insubstantial orbs that they are apparently able to use to interact with us from their pocket time." Kachiko cut in to explain.

"Everything for them is so much faster than it is for us. It's like they're on fast forward," Reiko was again physically animated as she described things. "It's why I'm in here. The way it was so much information at once almost overwhelmed me. The Doctor was there, too and he is who said I needed to come here to recover."

"I could see such a development unsettling civilians," acknowledged Limmi, brow and eyes scrunched in contemplation. "But a total evacuation of the colony? Surely there's more to it." Given that an armed expeditionary team was currently on the planet. . .

"There were tens of thousands of them, from what I was able to see from the air," Kachiko remarked quietly."They seemed to be attacking the buildings and other things from our end of the galaxy. This was causing power and communications disruptions, so we chose to take a safe course and evacuate until we knew what was happening."

"So you guys wanna move in with us?" Reiko asked, not really wanting to discuss the orbs right now. "Bubba likes kids, so he'll love you, Delilah! He's my big kitty. He will just demand pets every now and then."

"Don't most pets?" ribbed Delilah, smiling faintly.

Kachiko laughed, "As in he won't take No for an answer. Bubba will do everything possible to get you to give him attention when he desires it." The Marine smiled, "He is also a big smooshy cuddler. He may request to sleep in your bed with you."

"He is a big Maine Coon, the largest domestic breed from Earth," Kachiko noted. "He was a gift from an old Marine Commander I served under years ago. Bubba is about fourteen kilograms, last we checked. So when I say big, I mean it."

"Fourteen kilograms?" muttered Delilah, eyes narrowing in incredulity. Yet her smile persisted even as she declared, "That's not a domestic cat. That's a puma."

Her mother chuckled.

"You want to meet him?" Reiko asked, before sitting back down on the bed, looking to the far side of the bed, making squeaky noises through pursed lips. A moment later, a large cat with a lion-like furry mane, his fur pattern very reminiscent of the Earth Raccoon, hopped up next to the teen. He pushed his head into Reiko's offered hand, his purring audible across the room.

Slowly scritching the top of the cat's head, Reiko looked to Delilah, "This is Bubba. Don't worry, he's a big softy, especially with kids."

"Okay, so he's not a puma. He looks a lot like a bobcat, though," the younger girl ruminated, nearing them at Reiko's tacit behest.

Bubba noticed the young girls approach, turning his big head to gaze at the child. He let out a trilling chirp of a meow before stepping to the edge of the bed, setting his behind down and awaiting Delilah's arrival.

Reiko grinned, "Looks like he wants to say hello, Delilah. He's a Maine Coon, a breed from Earth's North America. They have been domesticated for six hundred years, at the least." Reiko had done significant research into the breed."They actually look like the earth animal called the Raccoon, which urban legend used to state that these cats were cross-bred with, which isn't biologically possible."

Kachiko looked up at Limmi, whispering, "It weirds me out a bit when she starts talking like a doctor. She's only thirteen!"

Despite continuing to spectate, Limmi angled herself enough to murmur through a small smile, "If that and throwing herself at the occasional bully have been the highlights of thirteen for her, I'd say. . .be less weirded-out and more proud."

"Believe me, I am. Especially after watching the security video of the fight," Kachiko smiled as she watched Delilah interact with Bubba.

"Pick up something for your own repertoire from there, too?" asked the Betazoid, her tone buoyed by jesting intent as she observed the girls. Well, half-jesting. She knew children could be quite inculcative, which Delilah bolstered with intellectual burble about how Bubba exhibited none of the behaviors she'd observed of raccoons. The younger girl was very familiar with the species, disliking it immensely on account of having experienced it as a pest on Earth.

Kachiko smiled back at Limmi, enjoying the banter she was getting from the gorgeous Betazoid. She sensed Delilah's dislike of raccoons, "Don't worry, Delilah. Bubba isn't a Trash Panda, nor does he act like one."

Meanwhile, Bubba was gingerly sniffing the girl, before meowing again and pushing the top of his head into Delilah. Reiko smiled happily, seeing that her big boy liked her new roommate.

"Trash Panda?" Limmi regarded Kachiko with a baffled gaze.

"The raccoon has similar fur markings to the Panda species, a large bear-like marsupial. However, the raccoon is also well known for getting into garbage containers to forage for food. Hence, 'Trash Panda.'"

"Oh." The tactical officer hadn't heard that one despite her father and her daughter's dabbles in zoology.

"I assure you, Bubba shares none of these traits. He is a large cat without the fear of water and has a love of people, sometimes getting a bit too trusting of strangers," Kachiko shrugged as Bubba arched his back into Delilah's hand. Kachiko had already been able to discover that the cat was able to differentiate children from adults by their scent. "He is quite protective of Reiko and I imagine that he will be the same of Delilah as well."

"Sounds like we're going to get a trial for cat ownership out of this," chuckled Limmi. "Delilah has always wanted a cat. She even knows want breed she wants. But I've insisted on waiting until she's old enough to partake in caring for it."

"She's about the age Reiko was when she first got Bubba as a kitten," Kachiko smiled."ReiRei was nine. In fact he was a gift for her ninth birthday. Though Bubba is unlike most cat breeds, so your experience will be different with other cats."

With that, the door chime sounded. Kachiko spun on her heel, looking at the hatch, "Enter."

A woman stepped in, Chinese in appearance, her dual heritage given away by her upswept pointed earlobes.

Kachiko stiffened to rigid attention, "Vice Admiral!"

The woman arched an eyebrow, "Kachiko, I am retired. You need not stand on formality with me. I came to consult with you about the colony and hoped to finally meet your child."

Kachiko nodded. "Aye." Turning to look back at Reiko, Limmi and little Delilah, "Lieutenant Limmi Ovim, Delilah and Reiko, this is Vice Admiral Yu Xsin Chen, retired. The Vice Admiral was the head of Operations for the Ninth Fleet and then the head of Starfleet Intelligence. I served as her immediate assistant for a few years."

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance," the Vulcananian woman nodded politely. "I chose to become a colonist as that is how I grew up, on a border colony with the Cardassians. That and I sought to separate myself from regional politics, which would have been impossible had I remained in the Federation proper."

"Is that even possible, Admiral?" queried Limmi of Chen's latter point, lips wryly askew after returning the acknowledgement. "Every exploration initiative launched in the span of my career has incited a territorial dispute with a xenophobic neighbor. My ex-father-in-law gave thought to retiring in the fringes, but feared it'd amount to being all but recalled in the face of a regional conflict."

"I have thirty-one years in service in Starfleet, Lieutenant," Yu Xsin gazed impassively at the Betazoid. "I cannot be recalled."

"Not to mention that Starfleet does not tend to bother retired flag officers," Kachiko remarked. She seemed pleased with the Admirals presence.

"I am retired now and no longer an Admiral," Yu Xsin stated. "I have chosen to be Yu Xsin, Miss Ovim. I am but a simple colonist, now."

Limmi's smile briefly broadened despite flushing at the clear misconstruing of the point she'd sought to make. "I didn't mean it in the literal sense, ma'am," she directed to the elder woman, having thinned her smile out of earnest. "Rather, some active personnel do perceive opportunities for advice, consultation or even facilitation in past leadership." She cast an inclusive gaze to Kachiko. "I know it's poor form. My former father-in-law began numerous transmissions informing beseechers of such after retiring as CFET. I'm not defending it, but I understand the context; this is arguably one of the more turbulent periods in our operational history."

"I understood from the outset that the local proximity of a Starfleet installation would result in individual officers seeking advice and I fully intend to provide it as requested," Yu Xsin offered the Betazoid a faint smile.That smile softened and grew as she watched the young child interact with the large feline.

Meanwhile, Bubba was continuing to beseech further attention from young Delilah, rubbing back and forth against her motionless hand.

It was enough to distract the girl from her mother's subtle mortification. Shaping her hand so as to comfortingly scratch the cat at his next pass, she laughed, "Yes, I see you."

"Mmmrrrp!" was Bubba's trilling response to the girl's words, purring unceasingly as Delilah granted him the physical attention he sought.

"You're just as pretty as my mom said that you were, Yu Xsin," Reiko said, seemingly entranced by the elder woman.

"I am?" Yu Xsin looked surprised."Your mother has spoken of me?"

"Yup!" Reiko chirped. "You were who made Mom the Intelligence office that she is, or something like that."

Off to the side, Kachiko sighed silently and sat down.

The corners of Limmi's mouth twitched in amusement.

Arching an eyebrow, the Vulcanian woman looked mystified. "I see. Kachiko, I will find you this afternoon, after midrats. We have much to discuss regarding the colony."

She then appraised Limmi and the two children, "Apologies for the intrusion into your personal affairs. I bid you all good day." With this, the retired Flag Officer spun on her heel and exited the compartment.

"I want to know how she got to the colony without me knowing," Kachiko groused quietly.

Mindful of her discretion, Limmi projected as she approached, "She's bound to have wealth of cover measures at her disposal given her former rank and standing." Upon sitting next to Kachiko, the Betazoid persisted with, "Just as I have other means to see that something is bothering you. What is it?"

Kachiko looked up at the much taller beauty, '~Everything about everything out here is bothering me. I am used to staying on top of everything going on around me, but since I was given the assignment of the head of System Defense, I have been out of the loop. This thing going on down on Golovin, the Protectorate, the Admiral suddenly appearing? It's all giving me heartburn.~'

"You worry too much, Mom." Reiko had picked up on her mother's emotions, if not her thoughts.

"I have to worry, sweetie. It's my job, after all," Kachiko reminded the girl.

"You're more than worried, though," Limmi ruminatively amended of Reiko's commentary despite nodding in agreement with her mother. "You're taking these developments personally, Kachiko. I can appreciate some of the reasons why, but in the same token, you're not being fair to yourself."

"I have to be hyper-vigilant about these things," Kachiko sighed. "I'm trying to determine where I lapsed and how."

"I will address that later," Kachiko smiled at the Betazoid. "Right now is family time."

 

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