STF

What If...

Posted Feb. 21, 2024, 10:39 a.m. by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) (Lucas Foxley)

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in What If…

Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in What If…

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in What If…
Posted by… suppressed (27) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)
The two men conversed quietly in the front seat, the driver glancing back once in the mirror. Rand didn’t know what to say about it all, or how to resume their conversation and too shy to speak in front of her guards so openly. She sat for the drive, her fingers twisting around each other. Finally, she spoke, “It’s not far. We could have walked really.” Bys wouldn’t let her though. In just a matter of minutes, they were pulling around behind what looked like an old boarding house. Bys got out and went and opened the door to the house and went in, the driver opened the rear door and helped Rand out. She waited for Roman and then went inside.

“I will be in my room if you need me Miss Farquharson,” Bys said and left the room with a nod to Alden, after checking the lock on the door. “Thank you, Bys.”

The immediate area was a small mud room. Rand removed her hat, which allowed her hair to fall and cascade around her shoulders. At least right now she knew what she was supposed to do. “May I take your coat?” she asked turning to him in the small space before removing her own.

Miranda

“Of course.” He took his coat off and handed it to her. “So… What’re the guards worried about? What happened?”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

She took it and carefully hung it on a hook. Then she slipped her own coat off and hung it as well. She carried her small bag with her through the next door.

It was a small and cozy kitchen. There was a tea kettle beside the stove already. As if she was anticipating the task of making tea. “Have a seat,” she nodded to the small table and chairs. She moved toward it and filled it with water and set it on the stove to boil.

She stiffened slightly at his question and glanced out a small window though closed curtains. “Sometimes admirers can be… enthusiastic. They set their hopes and dreams on a mirage. They write me letters, they bring flowers and gifts to my performances. Usually they are harmless, just infatuated.” She sighed as she reached into a cabinet for cubs and saucers. “I’ve been getting anonymous letters recently. Making threats, giving ultimatum. Usually they do background checks on the people who write concerning letters, but they can’t find who it is.” As she talked her accent got heavier with a notable strain in it. “Bys is being overly cautious. He takes his job very seriously.”

Miranda

“But you’re not sure. You’re worried about it.” Roman guessed. “Your guard team seems very good. I’m sure if anything does happen they will catch it.”

~ Roman

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

“Do you like cream or honey?” She asked as she pulled out a teapot, a diffuser, and a tin filled with loose leaf tea. Her hands paused as she considered his question. “No, I’m not sure. I might quit.” She didn’t know what else she would do with her life though. On stage she could hide from the world, and at least she made enough to provide for herself. She could help her family, not that they needed it. Randy would come home if she quit. She couldn’t let him give up his dream.

“Both.” Roman replied. “Quit! You can’t let a villain allow you to give up your career.” He looked up at her, “There was an attempt on my life once, not long ago. But I won’t let it change anything.”

Rand wasn’t brave. She was very much a coward, afraid of everything. She ran away when things were too much. That was why she loved acting. She got to run away from herself. Be someone she wished she could be, rather than just ‘Rand’. She didn’t say it, she didn’t want him to think less of her.

She turned and looked at him with wide eyes. Who would want to hurt him? He was so nice. It scared her, the idea of someone hurting this man. It showed on her face. “Is scientific work so dangerous?”

Roman chuckled lightly. “No. Or, not for that reason. No, it was my family name that put me in harm’s way.”

Family name. “Oh.” Recognition flashed across her face. She had seen in the news the attacks on old Brittish aristocracy that still held with ideas of class. “You lost your brother. I am so sorry.” Danger was everywhere. What if this stalker was not a fan but part of that movement?

“Thank you,” said Roman politely, but he seemed a tad uncomfortable. “We hadn’t spoken in many years.”

The idea that something might happen made her physically ill. Her paled slightly and rubbed her arms in the chill. Rand might be ‘just an actress,’ but she was very intelligent. She understood this person was as well. He had to be to make sure his letters couldn’t be traced and he was never identified from the audience. And her security was very good. They should have identifies them by now. “I’m sure it’s nothing,” she said with very convincing confidence.

She poured the tea into pot and while it steeped she placed everything on the table. “Would… would you like a scone?”

Miranda

She sounded convincing, but Alden wasn’t convinced. She was obviously done talking about it though, so he let it go. “I suppose so.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

Rand turned for the small pantry cabinet and took down a tin of scones. She opened it and carefully set a variety of them on a plate with silver tongs and individual plates. She set it on the small table as she sat across from him. She poured the tea into beautiful cups ser on saucers. Her manners were impeccable and called back to centuries past. She set the cup in front of him and offered him the cream and the honey. If he was like her, he was particular about how he liked his tea.

She liked cream in her black tea but not her herbal tea, but she did add a drizzle of honey to it. “Do you have family near here, Cmdr. Alden? Or do they live on some far away exotic world?” She made it sound like quite an adventure.

Yeoman Rand

Roman prepared his tea. As she’d suspected, he seemed quite specific about it. He chuckled again and shook his head. His response was ever so slightly tense. “They’re in Salisbury.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

He seemed like he didn’t wish to talk. Given his recent loss, she thought perhaps she should change the subject. “Mr. and Mrs. Caliano talk about you and Jason all the time. Have you known each other long?”

Yeoman Rand

Roman brightened. “We have. Since we were five or six years old.” He replied, smiling. “It’s Jay, by the way, only his parents call him Jason.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

“That’s a long time.” The only ‘friend’ she had known that long was her brother, and he didn’t count. She smiled, “Well, I’ve only spoken to his parents, so I guess that makes sense. I will remember if I ever see him again.” She offered him a choice of scones before taking one herself. “Did you both always want to enter Star Fleet together?”

Yeoman Rand

“We did. He got me into it, actually, because of his father.” Roman smiled as if remembering. “I don’t know where I’d be without him.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

She smiled, it was warm and genuine. “Sounds like me and my brother. I don’t know where I would be without him. I finally convinced him to go after he wanted instead of supporting me all the time. He’s really making a name for himself. He works with Veterans that have PTSD.”

Yeoman Rand

Roman smiled. “An excellent line of work. Though, dare I say, I hope I never have to meet him.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

The young woman smiled gently as she stared at him. “I hope not. It would mean you had been through something horrible. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you.” She blushed instantly and looked at her tea. “I mean… I wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone.” She quickly explained to cover the sudden stark truth of her first statement.

Yeoman Rand

Roman smiled warmly. “Don’t be ashamed of it, Miranda. It was a nice thing to say.” He sipped his tea. “I count myself lucky. Things could’ve been different. A Klingon vessel came patrolling around near where the Ardent was posted, but we avoided their detection.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

Her eyes darted up and she flushed a very attractive shade of pink when he said her full name. No one called her that, not even her family. It was like the sudden use of a term of endearment.

“Klingons?” Her head tipped to the side, her gaze far away for a moment. “A klingon crash landed on Earth on April 16, 2151. He was chased by a pair of Suliban. The Klingin, Klaang, got away by blowing up a farmer’s corn silos in Broken Bow, OK. Cpt Jonathan Archer and the Enterprise NX-01 was launched to return Klaang to his home world of Q’onoS. It’s a shame they see us as enemies, or maybe prey. I have heard they are very violent.”

Yeoman Rand

“Yes.” Roman looked at her. “Good memory.” Then he frowned a deep frown. “I’ve never met one face to face, nor do I wish to. Seems a good way to find oneself in need of your brother’s services.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

“I hope you never do. My brother never talks about his patients or what they have been through. I can tell he worries about them though.” She lifted her cup and took a sip. “I have a very good memory. I remember everything I read.”

Yeoman Rand

“I imagine that makes memorising lines a breeze.” Roman commented. “I can’t claim I remember everything I read.” He sipped his tea again, his manners perfectly impeccable. “What do you do for fun?”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

“Memorizing yes, but giving them life requires more.” Her voice was a bit wistful and passionate. She loved what she did. She fumbled a moment as he turned the conversation towards her. She covered it by taking a bite of her scone. She was never very great at this. She either shared too much or not enough. She could never figure out where the balance was supposed to be. “I like to read, classics of all genres. When I have time I run cross-country. I enjoy watching theatre as much as I enjoy performing. When I get to go home, I volunteer with the animal rehabilitation center. I love to dance, but unless it’s for a performance or my brother takes me, I don’t get to.”

Yeoman Rand

“That settles it then, I’ll take you dancing before my ship leaves Earthdock.” Roman said matter-of-factly. “You volunteer at an animal center?”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

Rand didn’t almost spill her tea, she spilled it. Luckily not too much and it sloshed into the saucer. Her face turned bright red with embarrassment, and there was a strange shift in her breath. She grabbed a linen napkin and set it into the saucer and set the cup on top of it. “Oh, ummm, well … I don’t dance at clubs and such things.” They were far too wild and put too much on display for her shy nature. “I know traditional ballroom and country dances from the Victorian and Edwardian eras.” She smiled shyly looking disappointed. “Thank you, though. I would just embarrass you anywhere else.”

“I don’t like clubs, either. Bolsterous places full of poor decisions.” Roman said with a shrug. “I know traditional ballroom dances. I had to learn when I was very young.”

Her expression brightened. “Al… alright then. Thank you.”

“I do,” she latched on to the other question. “When I was young, I used to rescue all kinds of animals. Not all of them were safe, and I didn’t really know how to properly care for them. My father made me volunteer with our local vet and learn. I fell in love with it.”

Yeoman Rand

“I’m glad.” Roman smiled. “I work with animals, like I’ve mentioned, and many of them are unsafe. I protect my staff with protocols meant to keep both them and the animals as safe as possible.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

“I was precocious when I was young. I thought if I was just kind and patient enough the animals would let me help them. Usually I was right while I helped them, but instinct and fear got me hurt a few times. Lack of knowledge got the animals hurt.” She had hated that. She really had wanted to help. “I was greatful to learn better. Rules are important to keep people and the animal safe. The animals do better when they know what to expect.”

Yeoman Rand

Roman nodded. “They are often habitual. They thrive when things stay the same as much as possible.” He finished his tea and set the cup down gently. “The tea was very good, thank you.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

Rand understood that. She was the same way. She got along much better with animals than she ever did with people.

Apparently the evening was over. It was very late after all, but she was very disappointed. She smiled though. “You are quite welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.” She stood and set the cups in the sink and placed a cozy over the pot. It was whimsical and obviously hand made. “I’m glad you came tonight, and I got to meet you, Commander.” She realized belatedly he had never given her his first name. Even if he had, he struck her as very formal. She would never dare use it without permission. She clasped her hands in front of her. “I hope I didn’t keep you from your friend.”

Yeoman Rand

“Roman,” he said, a bit quickly, realizing he’d forgotten to give it. “I apologize, I must have forgotten to give it to you. That was rude.” He stood and smiled. “It was my pleasure. I look forward to our next meeting.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

“It’s alright. Names are very personal things after all, Roman.” His name felt good to say, it made her feel warm and smile. “I look forward to it as well.” Rand stood there for a long silent moment unsure what to do or say next. “Umm I’ll … I’ll ask Pater to drive you back.”

Yeoman Rand

Roman was quietly patient while she figured out what to do. Then he smiled and nodded. “Thank you.”

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO

She excused herself from the room and the sound of voices was heard as she spoke to Pater, her driver. She came back and a large built man with almost no neck from the size of his shoulders, shrugged into a coat. “I’ll have the ground car ready in just a moment, Sir.” He winked at Rand in a very brotherly fashion and went through the mudroom and closed the door behind him. “Pater is very nice. He’s happy to do it. He says I don’t use his services enough. I hardly ever go anywhere.” She was rambling.

Yeoman Rand

Roman turned to the man. “Thank you.” Then he smiled at Rand, “I’ll see you later, then.” He followed Pater out and towards the car.

~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO


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