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Posted on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 @ 5:29pm by Lieutenant Commander Christine Descharmes & Lieutenant Limmi Ovim
Edited on on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 @ 5:29pm

Mission: The Time That is Given Us
Location: Temporary Quarters, Seppala
Timeline: Backpost, during Points of Light


"You're a hard woman to track down," Christine mused to herself as she stood outside what she had thought was Kachiko's temporary quarters. At first, the blond counselor had gone to Ovim's previous quarters only to find a colonist family settling in there and no sign of the new Tactical Officer. A quick computer check for her location led her here. She pressed the chime outside the door and waited for an answer. She knew Limmi wouldn't be allowed on duty and unless she had decided to take a walk around the station, she should be found here.

Yet after the doors parted, a young girl leaned into the threshold from their controls. Her fairish complexion aped those of the woman she sought, though her skin was tawnier.

"Hi," she bade through a broad smile. "You're looking for my mom, aren't you?"

Christine offered her a warm smile in return, finding it contagious. "I am," she answered, "You must be Delilah." She glanced into the area behind the girl and asked, "Your she home right now?"

Shaking her head, Delilah explained, "She went for a walk. She said that she wants to become more familiar with the station since it's our new ship's port of call." The girl quietly appraised the visitor, her mien spilling her intrigue. "I've never seen you before. How do you know my mom?"

"I met your mom only a couple of hours ago," Christine said. "Will she be back soon, do you think? Is it alright if I wait inside?" She gave the girl a grin. "Or would you rather I wait outside...?"

Delilah's glare at the elder female was something a parent might direct at their obstinate child. "That would be rude," she insisted, her shortness mollified by her stepping aside. "I don't sense you're here to hurt me." Her face softened in realization of a slight oversight. "I don't know your name, though."

Christine gave her another reassuring smile as she stepped through as she said, "You can call me Christine. And no, I'm not here to hurt you." She glanced around the place discreetly, taking a note of their surroundings. She wasn't going to pry too much, it was Kachiko's temporary home as well. After a few steps inside, Christine pointed at the table. "Can I take a seat here?" She had relatively few interactions with children on the Shanghai over the last three years, there hadn't really been a need for it except in the aftermath of a loved one's death. Now there seemed to be an influx and she realized she might have to brush up on her child psychology.

"Sure." The child had reached the replicator by the time Christine propositioned her for the spot. "Would you like anything?"

"Just water please," she answered as she sat down and made herself comfortable, leaning against the back of the chair. Christine crossed her legs, watching the girl for a minute. "How do you like it here?" she asked.

The girl shrugged and shook her head. "I don't even know what here is yet," she remarked, collecting the requested glass of water from the replicator and leading her path back to Christine with it. "This hasn't been like any of mom's other past transfers. It's really jumbled."

"Oh?" Christine said as she set her padd down on the table and picked up the glass of water. "Why do you think it's all jumbled?"

"I don't think it is," Delilah insisted, her tone grained by exasperation. "I know it is. Something is wrong with the Shanghai, so we can't board it right now. My mom said there's also some kind of emergency on the planet, which is why there's so many people on this station. . .and why we have to share quarters."

"Yes, it is a bit chaotic right now. Captain Sun and the others are trying to get everyone home again. Does being around so many people bother you?" Christine asked and took a long sip of water. "I understand how that can be so jumbled when someone doesn't know exactly what's happening." She nodded and tilted her head, smiling reassuringly. "Do you want to know something, Delilah?" she asked, leaning forward and resting her now-crossed arms on her legs.

"What?" If the goal was to distract Delilah, then Christine succeeded. The girl had fixed herself to talk about how the high concentration of people in a relatively small area was creating a lot of ambient noise for her fledgling senses, only to become completely piqued by what the woman knew that she apparently didn't. At least not through her own cognizance.

Christine gave her another smile. "I think it's jumbled too. I don't know what's going on," she said and shrugged. She sighed and sat back again in the chair, studying the girl closely. "Tell me what your favorite place you ever been to." She wasn't much of a 'child' person. At any rate, not yet but she can at least provide some entertainment. She kept a close eye on the door to the quarters, if and when Delilah's mother should come back.

"I don't really have a favorite," Delilah replied, shaking her head. "I've been to a lot that I really like. I was pretty crossed to have to leave our cabin on Betazed to come here, though."

"I can imagine that would be upsetting," she said, nodding in agreement. "Tell me about Betazed and your mom's cabin. I have never had the opportunity to visit."

"You've never been to Betazed?" Delilah asked, slitted eyes aptly timed in that she scanned her guest right then. "Almost everyone my mom works with that I've met has. Usually by way of Lake Cataria, though. Or Rixx." Her face bunched in a sneer. "They almost, always come up when people bring up home. Kind of like how San Francisco symbolizes Earth for a lot of off-worlders because it's Starfleet's hub. . .even though there's way more to Earth."

"You're right about that," she said, "I don't even like San Francisco and I'm from Earth. But maybe I should make a visit to Betazed in the near future." Christine tilted her head thoughtfully. "What can you tell me about your mom's last posting? Did you make any friends?"

Delilah shrugged. "Sure. It's not really that hard to do on a starship. I met other kids in school, and several of the adults looked in on us to make sure we were doing okay." She angled her head. "Kind of like you're doing. . ."

"Oh?" she said, raising both eyebrows in a questioning manner. "One of them was a counselor like me?" She knew or rather, had an inkling of who it was that had pulled this girl's mother off duty. "What was he like?"

However, Delilah promptly challenged the supposition. "He wasn't a bad person, Christine. He didn't trick me into saying anything about mom. I wanted to."

"Hmm. I see," Christine said, nodding in response. She leaned forward on the table, her hands clasped together. "Are you worried about your mom? Is that why you talked to him?"

Delilah nodded.

"Well, Delilah, I'm also worried about your mom," she leaned in even further. "That's why I want you to tell me what you said, so I can help her too."

"That mom has had a lot on her mind. . .especially after the all of the trouble the Consortium caused. Some of it was really dark. . .not at all like her. My abilities were manifesting, so it was scary and confusing. I didn't know what to do."

"Okay," Christine said with a smile and a nod of her head. "I can understand that. Can I tell you something? I'm not blaming you for this. Whatever was said interfered with your mom's ability to work. I came by to tell her I've arranged for her to return to duty." She paused, tapping her fingers lightly on the table. "Have you told your mom about this?"

Delilah shook her head. "I didn't want her to get mad. Friendly as mom can be, she can also be really uptight about her problems. And there were people on the Oberon who didn't like her because of what she had to do to keep us all safe from the Consortium." The girl's eyes then went wide. "Wait. Mom was relieved of duty?" Her voice quivered. "Oh no. He said that he wouldn't tell anyone else!"

"Delilah," Christine said gently. "Were you afraid your mom would get mad at you? I think you should tell her about this. She needs to know why. We can both tell her together, would that be alright?"

To Be Continued...


Lieutenant Christine Descharmes
Chief Counselor, USS Shanghai

Delilah Ovim
Civilian Child


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