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Aiming and Shooting

Posted on Thu May 2nd, 2019 @ 1:32pm by Lieutenant Limmi Ovim & Ensign Jane Sinclair
Edited on on Thu May 2nd, 2019 @ 1:33pm

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: Seppala Station lounge

ON:

Ensign Jane Sinclair had spent the morning with Captain Sun, performing maintenance on shuttlecraft Mayweather. The shuttle was ready to go back down to the planet, but first Jane needed to eat. She thought about finding Shaila again, but she knew the botanist was busy helping with displaced colonists, so she instead went alone to the lounge, grabbed a sandwich and glass of apple juice from the replicator, and found an available seat to enjoy her meal. She hoped someone else would come and sit with her. She never liked eating alone.

It wasn't an ambitious ask for the circumstances. Other officers and support staff along with some of the displaced colonists had the same general idea, thus the lounge mirrored many of Seppala's habitat sections in harboring higher-than-usual occupancy. If it wasn't quite full, more than enough people were spread across its various accommodations to demand a little focus of a meandering Limmi Ovim in finding a spot to have her meal. With all the single seats procured by parties either looking to expand their table or improvise around not being able to get one, the Betazoid was left to scout for one sparsely populated enough to share.

If the occupant(s) didn't mind of course.

Her efforts found potential fruition in the form of a mid-lying table taken by just a fellow female Starfleet officer in a red-accented version of the peculiar uniform she'd begun to see since arriving. Along with gauging her receptiveness to company, her swarthy beauty drew Limmi's interest. The appreciation was platonic, mind; the ability to admire someone else's attractiveness without angst or lust had been ingrained in her people's psyche for centuries.

A short trek through some of the room's bustle put the Betazoid within earshot.

"Excuse me, Ensign?" Limmi had sensed unfocused anticipation from the brunette, a positive sign to which she was accustomed. "Do you mind if I join you?"

Jane looked up at the woman standing in front of her. Almost as tall as herself. Blonde. Very pretty. She looked very friendly and inviting. "Please!" she exclaimed as she finished swallowing the bite of her sandwich. "I'm Jane Sinclair, Chief Flight Control Officer of Shanghai." She reached her hand across the table for a handshake.

Limmi accepted Jane's hand as she settled into a chair, grinning at the coincidence of encountering a shipmate. "Limmi Ovim. Eventual Chief Tactical Officer of the Shanghai," she ribbed of the ship's inactive status. And her own to a lesser extent.

Jane laughed at the 'eventual' joke. "I'm in the same boat you are, Ms. Ovim. Or may I call you Limmi? I'm assigned to helm Shanghai but came aboard as she was returning to Golovin. I've been aboard but haven't sat at my station yet." She took another bite from her sandwich.

The older woman took a sip of her faintly steaming drink. "Limmi is fine," she asserted through a smile and a bolstering nod. "We're going to be among the most collaborative of the crew. Even if our relationship doesn't transcend the professional, I'd rather the most pressing concern you have working with me not be figuring out which title best placates my ego." She shook her head and chuckled, "Deities know I'm going to have plenty whose are."

“Most collaborative?” Jane asked, thinking it through. “I guess you’re right. We need to work together so that strong shield segments and weapons firing arcs are facing the enemy. We each need to keep each other in mind as we work.” She smiled widely. “And Limmi, it is! And I hope our relationship does transcend professional. I hope we can be friends as well as bridgemates. On Proxima, people usually try to be friends with coworkers. Dates back to old colony times before terraforming, when there wasn’t much space and you couldn’t afford to not like someone.”

"Much of that is also applicable to starships. Especially those on extended deep space assignments," Limmi spoke with the subtle weightiness of personal experience. She reached for her own sandwich. "Is this your first tour?"

Jane nodded as she sipped her drink. Setting her glass down, she looked back at Limmi. "I enlisted and served as a mechanic at the maintenance yards on Proxima for a number of years before entering the Academy as a pilot. Flying is my dream, maintaining is my hobby. How about you? Been on many tours?"

"Five ships' worth," answered the telepath after swallowing the first bite of her sandwich, "many of which were in similarly remote parts. There might've been a few more if I hadn't taken maternity leave. Still, I've been a part of Starfleet long enough to need to mind what historical references I use in casual conversation."

"I don't get the sense of there being much of a gap between us, though," she surmised, canting her head. "You have a new grad's zeal, but it isn't as. . .raw. Unfiltered. And you said that you're ETO. I'm going to guess. . .27?" The seemingly banal, relatively predictable subject of age had proven a solid conversation catalyst for her over the years.

Jane smiled. “Turning twenty-eight in a couple of months. I was quite a bit older than my classmates, which meant fewer invitations to parties, but a cooler head.” She picked up her sandwich, but before biting, asked another question. “You said maternity leave. Do you just have the one? Tell me about him. Or her. Or them.” She thought wistfully of her young cousins who called her Auntie Jane, whom she’d gone too long without seeing.

Naturally, the invitation to discuss her child extracted a broad smile out of Limmi even as she chewed. "Just one. A daughter. Delilah. She's eight, going on fourteen at times. Her extrasensory perception has manifested a few years early, so she can be hyper-aware of her surroundings. Arguably the last thing she needs at such an impressionable age, but she's coping well." She took a draught of her beverage. "She loves nature. Acclimated as we'd become to my last posting, I accepted my reassignment here in large part because of the colony. I wanted her to have more opportunities to be planet-side as well as somewhere she can grow to identify with rather than having to constantly acculturate to new ships and regions of space."

“If you need someone to watch her one night, do let me know,” Jane offered. “I miss so terribly being an aunt. The hardest part for me leaving Proxima was leaving my extended family. And Colony life is great! I was just telling the Captain about how we kept our colonial heritage even though Humans landed there almost three centuries ago. I do hope she’s managing her senses well. I sympathize.”

Although Kachiko had already struck up a supportive rapport, the Betazoid found the potential for a similar relationship with Jane heartening and reassuring. "We've barely been here a day yet are already building up a nice little support system," she chirped, extending a hand toward Jane in inclusion and acknowledgement. "I think it's all going to work out." A bite and swallow of her sandwich later, she then asked, "Have you ever thought about having children of your own?" A potentially touchy subject for some women, Jane's embracement of it inclined Limmi to explore it in more depth.

Jane nodded. "I'd love to have them, one day. It's great what they can do with genetics these days. Any two people can have children if they really, really want them." She took another sip of water before realizing she missed a key detail. "The traditional method doesn't exactly work with me. Not particularly attracted to menfolk."

Limmi chuckled out of amusement with Jane's dubbing of men. Sexuality was another attribute Betazoid culture perceived more relaxedly than many others, though its biological facilitation ensured that heterosexuality remained the dominant institution. Her early attraction to her ex-husband practically set her preference, leaving her curious as to the dynamic of a same-sex pairing.

"Why is that? If you don't mind my asking." Despite the honesty of her question, it occurred to Limmi that it might've come off as critical. And that the last impression she wanted to cast.

Jane shrugged. “I don’t mind you asking. I can’t really explain it. I’ve dated men, but they don’t interest me.” She leaned in close and gave Limmi a big smile. “And they smell,” she joked. She sat back. “I’ve just started dating one of the colonists, a woman named Shaila. We’ve only been on one date so far, but I like her.”

"How so?"

Jane couldn’t help but laugh. “I thought you were Tactical, not Counseling, Limmi,” she said. “Kidding. To answer your question, she has this passion for her work that really comes from the heart. This drive and fire behind everything she does. And she’s beautiful. And to hear her speak...that accent...” She jokingly fanned herself.

She took it in stride, yet Limmi's face remained flushed well after the department quip. "Sorry," she offered. In retrospect, she couldn't help thinking how obtuse she must've sounded, which prolonged laughter originating from Jane's theatrics. "I'm. . .not quite sure what drove me to interrogate you there."

Jane waved the apology off. “Don’t worry about it. I never really thought about it anyway, and it’s probably good to consider one’s feelings every now and then.” She sipped her drink again. “If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to Delilah’s father?”

"I don't think I can mind given my interrogation of your relationship," prefaced a smirking Limmi with a muted chirpiness. "He and I were married but drifted apart over our aspirations for our family. He wanted me to resign after having Delilah, to focus solely on raising her." She shook her head. "I wouldn't."

“Good for you!” Jane said. “No need to resign. My mother was Starfleet, working in the maintenance yards while raising me. Her siblings worked while raising their families too. No need to resign from one’s chosen life. Kids are so much more resilient than we give them credit for.”

Nodding, Limmi added, "And civilian life isn't the gateway to safety so many think it is. My father was a civil scientist and a shining beacon of Betazoid pacifism, yet Cardassian radicals abducted him and his team during a planetary survey when I was 10. During my second year in the academy, the Dominion subjugated Betazed. He was killed during the occupation."

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Jane said. “Proxima was threatened in the war but never seriously attacked. My family was safe, though we lost dad to a shuttle accident when mum was pregnant with me. He was a pilot, too. Mum taught me everything she knew about shuttle repair and maintenance. She refused to let mechanical failure take her daughter like it took her husband. Strong woman.”

"So, what does your mother do now?" Limmi queried. "Other than worry about you, of course."

“Same work, actually,” Jane answered. “Repairs and maintains shuttles at the yard. She’s one of the best. You mentioned your father, but what about your mother? I understand Betazoids are matriarchal?”

Limmi's affirming bob hung as her only response for a moment. Her recent leave back home revealed that her mother's invalidity had come no closer to resolution. . .

"I think she'd still be a civil planner given a choice," she finally began, forcing a smile. "She loved helping people and communities recognize and tap their potential. Her mother disowned her for refusing to marry someone intended to bolster her delusions of socioeconomic prominence, so she was also very driven to prove that one can accomplish great things without privilege."

“I noticed your use of the past tense,” Jane said. “I’m sorry.”

"It isn't quite what you're thinking," Limmi said of having sensed Jane's interpretation. "She partook in the Betazed Resistance's psionic attack on the Dominion invaders. She wasn't killed. But she's been in a coma since, and the doctors aren't sure if she'll ever rouse from it."

“I heard about that,” Jane replied. “Well, I hope she’ll recover. In the meantime, you have your little one, and the family of crew aboard Shanghai. I’m new to it myself, but I like these people.”

Shaking her head, Limmi explained, "I've not touched basis with many of them yet; we arrived just before the tactical team went down to the planet. I've been briefed, but the situation is one where events quickly compounded. It doesn't help that I also arrived to having been relieved of duty."

"Oh?" Jane asked, a bit surprised. "What happened there?"

A shrug led off Limmi's reply. "I'm not sure. I'm Tactical, not Counseling, remember?" she teased, the recycled refrain perfect for conveying the responsible party from her perspective. "Lieutenant Descharmes and I are in the process of ascertaining who did or said what in order to incite it."

“Well, Christine is the best, so you’re in good hands with her.” Jane wiped her mouth and placed her napkin on her empty plate. “It’s been nice talking with you, Limmi, but I should get back to the shuttlebay. Let’s do this again sometime, yeah?”

"Mind the trouble you get into until then," Limmi said, her mien having hardened, though not so much as to mask a small smile. "The captain maintains Security and Tactical as separate departments, so I don’t receive any 'get out of the brig free' cards."

“But I need those cards!” Jane replied with a wide smile. She stood and picked up her tray.

Her tone light in mock apology, Limmi bade, "It was nice meeting you, Jane."

“It was nice meeting you, too, Limmi. See you on the bridge.” Jane left the table, dropped her tray of dirty dishes at a receptacle, and left the mess hall.

:OFF

Ensign Jane Sinclair
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Shanghai

Lieutenant Limmi Ovim
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Shanghai

 

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