Posted July 1, 2020, 11:09 a.m. by Lieutenant Pretha Oberon (Security Officer / CRIT Leader) (Melissa Aragon)
Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in De’ja Vu… Dinner and a chat… This seems familiar! (CO)
Posted by Civilian Vorraye Anders (Diplomatic Attache) in De’ja Vu… Dinner and a chat… This seems familiar! (CO)
He nodded and took a bite, delaying the inevitable. Finally, he started talking. “Ok… but promise you keep it to yourself, ok?” he said an edge to his voice that meant he was serious.
She frowned slightly in concern but nodded. “Of course, Alex. I give you my word.” She didn’t realize she had used his first name.
“Brooke and I were put together by a mutual friend. She was a singer, and our friend thought our mutual love of music would break the ice. And it did. We really hit it off. We had a great time. I was in Command school at the Academy at the time, and she was on Earth doing some recording and acting. So we were close in proximity. Even when she traveled, I’d just shuttle over to wherever she was and we’d spend whatever time I had off together. She was…” and he looked out the window with a look of accepted loss on his face, “… she was amazing. Super smart, talented, charismatic…” and he looked back at Raye and smiled a half smile. “We grew really close… started talking about marriage, trying to work out the logistics… both of us even opted for doing the long distance thing… but I got picked up to be the XO of the Ark Angel… she got even more notice for her singing and acting… I give her credit. She tried. Even said she’d quit after the next record… next movie… but there was always ‘next’… and I knew she didnt want to give it up. And I wouldn’t ask her to. That just wouldn’t have been fair. Eventually, the comms became more and more infrequent. Then one day I called and her manager said she was getting married.” and he shrugged and took a large drink from his glass. He set the glass down and grinned. “I sent flowers. Thought it polite. Signed it ‘From Your FIRST Fiance’.” and he laughed loudly. “She wrote a song and gave it that title.” and he laughed again. “Wonder if I’m entitled to royalties or something?” and he looked at Raye directly. “So that’s why no Mrs. Cochrane.” and he raised his glass to her. “To answering the call of the Black.” and he nodded his head to the vast emptiness outside the window.
Her mind ran in circles. He had been as close to marriage as her. Though they had actually tried. She smiled and raised her mug to his toast and took a sip. It was then the name and song put themselves together. She set her mug down and leaned back a moment watching him. It was almost like she was trying to see him back then. Smiling and laughing with a debutante, or the public version of it. She leaned forward on her elbows and cocked her head. “Do you mean Brooke Carter? The singer and actress?” She was pretty sure she knew the answer but she wanted to be sure. She hated assumptions on her life, she could do him no less a courtesy. Her look wasn’t shock or even surprise, it was genuinely curious and she kept her voice low to keep others from hearing.
He smiled a sly smile and shook his head as he downed the last of his beer. He sat the glass down and looked at it a moment before raising just his eyes up and looking at her and nodded slightly. “Yep. The Brooke Carter. Well, now she is the artist formerly known as the wife of Brad Clooney. Too bad that didn’t work out for her, huh?” and he chuckled. “Maybe a wee bit bitter at times.” and then he smiled broadly and laughed.
“It’s healthy, I’m sure,” she smiled. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out. The Dark can be a cruel calling. For myself, I am glad I landed on a ship that has a Captain who cares for it. I’ve been with Captains who see the chair as either a stepping stone or a burden. I’m glad you see it as neither.” She finished her fish and sighed. “Gods that was perfect. I’m not sure I’ll be able to top that with the lunches and dinners I plan in the future.” She laughed as she lifted her Guiness, now half empty. “Or we’ll be eating a lot of fish and chips.”
After another sip, she smiled. “So more cheerful things.” Her look was kind and sincere. “So, tell me about the funniest thing that’s happened since you were the XO of the Ark Angel.” She leaned back comfortably in her seat and sipped her drink. “You tell me yours I’ll tell you mine.” She laughed.
Cochrane chuckled and took a drink of wine. “Fair enough. Well…” and he thought a moment and then smiled. “Well there was the issue that arose when my bags and those of Captain with a very similar name to mine got mixed up as we were traveling from Star Base One to DS 4. Suffice to say that the dear Captain apparently has a proclivity for certain… aids and devices… within their personal activities; and the bag containing those arrived in my cabin, not theirs. Didn’t help we both had the standard issue carrying bag. So when I opened it to get a change of clothes… well… let’s just say I knew very quickly I had the wrong bag. And then there was a knock on my door and I answered… unfortunately leaving said bag open where the good Captain could see it as the door opened.” and he laughed.
Raye laughed. “Oh, the poor man. How embarrassing. I can’t imagine how it would be to be ‘discovered’ that way. And by a peer. Poor dear. I’m sure the Counselor on that trip earned her rank that week.” She shook her head at the idea. She grinned at him over her beer. “So I take it there was no such interesting paraphernalia in your luggage?” She grinned, teasing.
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