Star Trek: Pathfinder
The Siren's Call - Part Six
May 6, 2163
By the time Pathfinder
finally made her way to the gravitational boundary - that limit where warp engines could safely engage without hazard to the vessel they were attached to - Lt. Tegan Webb had been awake almost thirty hours. Never mind the thrill of piloting Starfleet’s newest, most advanced ship - her sleep had been wrecked by her layover at the Phobos yards. Without the constant rumble of a warp powerplant lulling her to sleep she found it nearly impossible to get a good night’s rest, even after two years groundside at Starfleet Academy. Yet another legacy of being a Boomer,
After docking the shuttle, Tegan had barely had time to find her assigned quarters and throw her duffel bag on the bunk before taking her station on the bridge. After so long on the ground, there was no way she would miss the chance to be at the controls for the Pathfinder’s
maiden flight. But now, several hours later, the fatigue was catching up with her. With the ship safely cruising at Warp Six, Tegan at last made her way back to her quarters on C-Deck, wanting nothing more than to collapse into dreamless sleep.
As the door slid aside, Tegan had time to actually look at the room - and realized that instead of a single stateroom, there were two bunks.
Not that Tegan had anything against roommates - privacy was a precious commodity on any deep-space ship, and she had spent all her life surrounded by family and crewmates, often in uncomfortably cramped conditions. For her last year at the Academy s she had been paired with a Vulcan botanist, and over time she had become more of a slob just to see if she could get a reaction. But she had been looking forward to taking a moment for herself, at long last, on a ship she could consider her own. This was not what she had been hoping for.
Even worse was the complete order of her roommate’s possessions. Everything Tegan owned was currently in her duffel or on her person, but given a little time those meager items would spread out all over her quarters. She had never cared much for tidiness. But, if first impressions were anything to go by, her new roommate was just the opposite - the bunk neatly made, a handful of knickknacks spaced precisely on the shelves, a dozen books arranged from smallest to largest, a single padd in the center of the desk. Every surface was depressingly free of dust or grime.
Tegan leaned in to look at the knickknacks. The finger-sized sculptures were translucent, various hues of green or blue, depicting various humanoid figures in martial poses, holding representations of fierce bladed weapons, each figure sprouting a pair of tiny antennae from its head. She reached out a finger -
Tegan yanked back her hand like she had been burned. “Sorry,” she said, turning toward the door to face her new roommate. “I wasn’t planning to break them.”
In the doorway, a young Andorian woman stood with her antennae twitching. “Just - don’t touch those. Ma’am,” she said, seeing Tegan’s rank pins for the first time. Instantly her expression changed to wide-eyed surprise mixed with horror at raising her voice to a superior officer. “They’re very - they’re valuable,” she finished.
“I’ll bet. Representations of your ancestors, right? They’re lovely.”
“My grandfather carved them. He was a gifted craftsman with a blade, whether working in stone or flesh.” The Andorian took a quick look and, satisfied that nothing had been disturbed, extended a hand to Tegan. “Ensign Sarria’tathal Etana, ” she said formally. “Communications Officer.”
“Lieutenant Tegan Webb, Chief Helmsman,” she replied, accepting the gesture. “Look, I didn’t mean to intrude. I was just curious.”
“That’s... fine, ma’am. No harm done. Just ask me nest time,” Sarria said.
Tegan turned to her bunk and picked up the duffle, and the clink of a dozen currencies filled the cabin.
“What’s that?” Sarria said, looking over her shoulder.
“Nothing much,” Tegan said, smiling to herself. “You have your keepsakes... I have mine.”
To Be Continued...