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Old January 2 2013, 02:51 AM   #104
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"

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Starbase 101
Conference Room

“While I still might not like you,” Lt. Commander Helen Norrbom half-joked, “I detest him.” She flung her wrist dismissively at the door. Tension was still thick in the room, in the wake of Security Advisor Cormac Sullivan’s exit.

The dour Sullivan had been accompanied by a taciturn Saurian from Special Affairs and an inquisitive young Xindi-Arboreal Starfleet Intelligence agent. Sullivan had dominated the discussion, which consisted of mostly dressing down both Donar and Commander Norrbom over their failure to secure the polaric ion generator.

“Of course the Tholians are going to be tight-lipped about their involvement,” Sullivan had said, his white eyebrows reaching toward the stars, “Wait, do Tholians even have lips, or mouths?” He had pointedly demanded of one of his associates. The Saurian had merely blinked while the Xindi had consulted the personal display device she held.

“You just gave one of our longest-running adversaries a weapon of mass destruction,” he had brayed, prompting Helen to get out of her seat to dispute the man. The only thing that had held her back was Donar’s surreptitious, but iron clad grip on her forearm. He had warned her with a sharp expression to remain quiet. She had been forced to sit there while the saturnine Sullivan ripped them apart.

After he was finished, he informed them that both that Starfleet would be keeping a close eye on the Tholians to see if they violated the weapons ban. Since there were no signs that the Tholian warship had even made it out of the Caldera Expanse, it being littered with subspace tears and all manner of nasty anomalies, Helen wasn’t holding her breath.

Sullivan had then raked them both with a querulous gaze and told them that he also would be keeping a closer eye on Erickson. Helen hadn’t been unable to stifle a groan, which the older man had misinterpreted as fear. He had gifted them with a small smile before sweeping out of the room.

“That wasn’t so bad,” Tai shrugged.

“Are you joking?” Norrbom said. “He might be a blowhard, but he is the Federation Security Advisor.”

“Have you ever been stared down by Fleet Admiral Shanthi?” Donar asked, nonplussed.

“Hmmm, no,” Helen answered. The Angosian shrugged again.

“As I said, Sullivan wasn’t so bad.” He quipped.

“You know, I’m really starting not to like you again,” Norrbom remarked, “Sir.”
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USS Erickson
Birdland Lounge
January 2378

The entire room erupted into cheers, and for the first time tonight, it wasn’t because of Lt. Commander Kalnath’s jazz quartet. Standing in the lounge’s entrance, stood Captain Redfeather, flanked by Counselor Dendron and Commander Norrbom.

The bruises had thankfully faded, and the captain looked resplendent in a flowing stately black gown. Norrbom wore a brassier electric blue dress that showed off her long, toned legs. Dendron was still in his uniform. The captain waved, her smile beaming.

Everyone stood for the trio, clapping even when they arrived at the table at the front that had been reserved for them. A table had been left empty for the captain ever since her injuries, Redfeather being a frequent visitor to the lounge.

Donar thought it was great to see Captain Redfeather finally being able to partake again in the life of the ship. Tai was also glad that he could hand the reins back to her. The repairs were almost completed on Erickson and a new assignment would be coming soon. The ship needed its real captain back.

He looked down after feeling a soft squeeze on his bicep. Juanita placed her head against his arm. She sniffled and he could tell she had been crying. “Is everything okay?” He asked. She looked up at him, wiping her tears away.

“Yes,” she nodded, “It’s just wonderful that your captain made it and is doing well. I guess I just got caught up in the emotion of it all.” He shook his head in understanding and pulled her tight.

“I guess I should leave you two lovebirds alone,” Commander A’nurd said. He had been sharing the table with Tai and Juanita. While the crew had extended downtime, Tai had finally decided to join A’nurd on one of his excursions to one of the starbases’s taverns. It had turned into a frequent thing, as both men had perused almost all of the station’s myriad lounges. Tai did it more for camaraderie than the food and drink.

“You don’t have to go A’nurd,” Juanita had said. She had become taken to the Munzalan more quickly than Donar had.

“That is very gracious of you,” the engineer bowed deeply, his tail curling behind him. “But I must spread my joy around,” he said, his tail angling in a direction across the crowded room. Tai followed it to a table occupied by Lieutenants French, Jilicia, and Brocc, along with other members of Hazard Team. Catching the Angosian’s gaze, French lifted his glass, which prompted the others to do so too. Donar did likewise.

“Just make sure you don’t leave this ship before you tell me goodbye,” A’nurd told Juanita, before he grabbed her free hand. Unfortunately, Juanita’s vacation was nearing its end and Donar would soon have to part ways with her again.

“That’s a definite,” she said, smiling. The couple watched A’nurd flit through the crowd. Tai started to sit back down, but stopped when Juanita squeezed his arm again.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“Nothing, nothing’s wrong,” she said, sighing with relief. “For the first time, in a long time, everything just feels right.” She leaned back against him, melting into him.

“I couldn’t agree more,” he said, “I couldn’t agree more.”
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