Just a friendly visit from the Captain (Captain Rende Asam & Ensign Laju Eghimea)

Posted April 15, 2022, 3:23 p.m. by Captain Rende Asam (Captain) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Ensign Laju Eghimea (Security Officer) in Just a friendly visit from the Captain (Captain Rende Asam & Ensign Laju Eghimea)

Posted by Captain Rende Asam (Captain) in Just a friendly visit from the Captain (Captain Rende Asam & Ensign Laju Eghimea)

Posted by Ensign Laju Eghimea (Security Officer) in Just a friendly visit from the Captain (Captain Rende Asam & Ensign Laju Eghimea)
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Eghimea walked into the quarters assigned to her. It was large, larger than she had expected. She walked across the wide space from the door to the bed and set her suitcase down upon it. Flopping down next to her suitcase, she reached down with both hands and pressed into the bed as she frowned. “This place feels more like a cruise ship than an actual warship,” she said softly as she stood up and crossed the space over to the dresser.

She reached down to open the dresser drawer, only to have it open on its own. “Even the furniture does their work for them,” she said with a frown. Her meeting with her Department Head went as well as she had expected. She would never understand why they just don’t drop the charade and just admit that Star Fleet is just that, a military. After all, they just fought a major war against the Dominion, and won. Yet, they still pretend not to be a military.

She turned around looking at this fancy room and just shook her head. “I wonder if they have a bar and dance hall onboard as well,” she said with a smile and laughter in her voice.

A spark on the opposite wall caused her to turn around as her face twisted with horror. She watched with terror as fire climbed up the wall and the sounds of alarms rang in her ears.

“We lost the impulse drive,” someone screamed out in Bajoran.

Leaning against the dresser, Eghimea shook her head as she ran her hand down her face. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing, what she was hearing. She closed her eyes and whimpered, “no……please…no….” An explosion echoed in her ears followed by the screams of a woman dying.

The smell of burnt flesh and wires filled her nose. She turned to see the Comm Station in flames and she cried out, “Sheema!” Then snapped her eyes shut once more, “No…its not real….” she begged herself to believe.

“Eghimea,” she heard her brother scream out, “target their portside weapons!”

Desperately, she spun on her toes and ran to the sink and turned it on. Her hand shook as they formed a cup. With all the control she could muster, she filled them with water, then splashed that cold water on her face. She fought to get her racing breath under control as pure panic raced through her mind. Once more, she tosses the cold water on her face.

Within moments the echoes of her memories started to fade, and the fires started to vanish from her vision. Soon, she is alone in her cabin, and more importantly alone in her mind.

Looking into the mirror above the sink, she doesn’t recognize the wounded broken woman with pleading eyes looking back at her. Her eyes slowly closed. As her eye lids closed, they forced the tears to finally fall down her cheeks, “why….” She asked in a whimpered voice, “why did I survive.”

Pushing off the counter, she turned and walked over to her suitcase and opened it. She reached into it and picked up some of her clothes and set them on the bed. She pulled out a small bottle and opened it. She poured a pair of little blue pills into her shaking hand and rapidly took them. The effect was immediate as she felt the echoes fade even further from her mind. She returned the cap to the bottle and hid the bottle in her suitcase. Her eyes took sight of the Klingon made D’k tahg.

Her attention was broken by the door chime to her quarters. Eghimea rushed to the mirror and quickly cleaned herself up. She refused to let anyone see her, well, not at her best. The door chimed again as she cursed her hair for not cooperating. But with determination, her hair was presentable. With a nod, she was ready, and whoever was at the door would see her how she was expected to be, perfect.

She moved with purpose to the door and paused to draw in a deep breath and calmed her nerves. She didn’t question who it was at the door. It didn’t matter, they were Star Fleet, and she was literally the representative of the Star Guard and more importantly, of her family. Standing straight and rigid, she opened the door. “Good day, Captain,” she said as if the entire time she had been expecting the visit from the ship’s Commander.

Rende was a woman in that looked to be in her mid 50s by human standards. In fact she was more in her 500s. She was still fit, toned, and could still hold her own in a physical fight. Though her joints and old injuries made their opinion of that fact well known on many nights. Her chocolate brown hair curled around to frame her face at the base of her neck, and slight wisps of bangs feathered across her forehead. Other than her combadge, Rende wore two pieces of jewelry. The first was a small cusp earing that clipped to her lobe of her left ear in a double hexagon design. The match was worn on Eldorin’s right ear. The other piece of jewelry was a acid etched solid white gold band with the image of a Claddagh on it and the words “Mo Anam Cara.”

Rende seemed to take the woman in, every aspect of her without ever moving her eyes away from her face. She heard the greeting and then felt the determination and grief that warred with each other. Poor child (everyone was a child when you were over 500 years old) she’d been through it. “En Laju.” The tone was equally formal and the captain’s stance reflected her years of military service as both a Federation marine and beyond. By her feet was a decent sized crate. Inside, whenever Laju decided to open it, she would find a duranja (a large ornate Bajoran prayer oil lamp). Tabris had assured her it was correct and would be something most Bajorans kept in their homes. He had also told her that Bajoran ships usually had a central one on board. Rende encouraged her crew to practice their own faiths openly, but she wasn’t sure where she had a space large enough to accommodate everyone and still give them privacy to worship. So she had made one to give to Laju for her quarters. It was the very least she could do for her grandfather. “Might I come in ensign if you aren’t busy.”

Rende, CO

Eghimea nodded as she shifted to the side and took a step back in good formal fashion, “Yes, of Course Captain.”

She glanced over at the bed and her clothes laying on it. Her folded uniforms and unmentionables were all on full display, including that Klingon Dagger resting in the center of her suitcase. She didn’t allow herself a visible frown, instead mentally whipped herself for not expecting such a surprise visit. She hoped that her commanding officer wouldn’t hold it against her. Still, it made for a bad first impression. ‘So much for being the literal representative of her family and the Star Guard,’ she chided herself.

Rende picked up the box from the floor and hefted it. Not quite with ease, but then it was slightly big enough to be awkward. She told herself it had absolutely nothing to do with her age. She set the box down in the living area of the studio style quarters and put her back to the bed. That had nothing to do with empathy but centuries of handling excitable young ensigns, cadets, and privates.

For a Star Fleet Officer, the woman before her was impressive. Then again, Eghimea knew better. Despite what they wanted others to believe, Star Fleet was in fact a very confident and able military force to be reckoned with. Eghimea wondered if her reason for being here was to learn as much as she could and take it back to the Star Guard. Maybe to teach the next generation of Star Guard Officers. ‘If there will be a next generation,’ she thought with a sense of loss.

Without moving her head, she watched this tall woman before her. Every motion, and movement, Eghimea took in. There was a presence about this woman that drew, no, commanded Respect. She watched this Star Fleet Officer, the Captain of her ship walk into her quarters and decided to offer no excuse for the condition of the bed and her belongings. Her eyes begin searching for anything to draw the Captain’s attention away from the mess on her bed as her mind raced.

The ‘mess’ didn’t even register with Rende. If people saw her quarters on most days when Eldorin got going…there was no room to walk. She remembered her quarters with him back on the Bonnie, 2 almost 300 years ago now. Now that was cramped. This space was like a luxury liner and it just felt wrong some days.

“This is a very big ship, Ma’am,” Eghimea said. As her mouth uttered the statement her mind was trying to jam on the breaks. She suddenly felt very foolish after that statement. Her mind tried to calm down and hoped that the damage wasn’t so bad that she couldn’t recover. ‘First Impressions indeed,’ she thought with disappointment.

Ensign Laju Eghimea

Eghimea stood there in silence, she was unsure what to do or say beyond the moment. Her eyes drifted over to the box and slowly scanned it. She was curious for sure, but still unsure what to do. She just watched this human woman before her. The very woman to whom Eghimea would serve during her exile. As she watched the woman, her shoulders slightly slumped as an unseen wave of despair washed over her. ‘Exiled’ she thought with great remorse.

The corner of Rende’s mouth twitched, “It is that, a bit too big to get comfortable in if I’m honest. I suppose it’s a necessity of deep space assignment though. We don’t get planet side much. Then again I remember the mental instability that such voyages on the smaller NX classes caused.”

‘Limited planet side,’ she felt her despair grow. She struggled to push past the unseen emotions and did her best to hide them from sight, “I read about the old Earth Warships. I am not an expert or anything, but I did enjoy reading about the origins of Starfleet,” she said softly trying to hide her sudden wave of being homesick. Her feelings of exile once more threatened to strangle her heart. Though it was true, she did really enjoy reading about Starfleet. While she didn’t much trust the Federation as a whole or as an organization, she did find that humans were so very clever.

“It was quite the era, a lot of good people, worked really hard to create the Federation. A bit naïve too. Going out into space and believing they would never encounter hostility. The universe is far too diverse, and it’s a factor of humanoid nature, that each species thinks their way is the only way. After WWIII, Humans were so sick of fighting they thought that space would provide peace. They assumed all species were seeking peace, but peace isn’t given as gift, it’s won with hard work. It is a goal worth working for, but not for the faint of heart. Peace and comradery and mutual benefit are harder than simply fighting.”

Deciding to cut to the chase. “Your grandfather, Colonel Zado, is a good friend of mine. When I heard you were coming aboard, I had to come and see how you were settling in.”

Rende, CO

Her eyes shifted in surprise and there was nothing she could do to hide it. “You are,” she said as her surprise was echoing in her voice. “I mean, I suppose it was possible. I just didn’t think,” she cut herself off as a new emotion washed over her. Of course, they were friends. Why else would he insist on this transfer if not to watch her and make sure she didn’t embarrass anyone. “I don’t require much, ma’am,” her voice shifting near effortlessly back into her perfect military form. “I will do everything that is expected of me with perfect precision,” she said trying to push back the mixed emotions and replace them with pride.

Rende did grin then, “Spoken like a true soldier and daughter of Laju. Physically we don’t need much, but mentally and spiritually, that’s where we live ensign. As to your performance I have no doubt.” Rende’s gaze turned piercing and implacable, “And make no mistake Ensign, if I had any doubt of that, you wouldn’t be on my ship. No matter who your family is. On the same token, you keep or lose this position on your own merits. Not the reputation of your family. Their reputation and loyalty may inspire and carry you, but it won’t keep or build your career.” Rende didn’t believe for one moment that Laju wanted it to be that way, but Rende wanted to be very clear. She might know the girl’s grandfather and they were friends, but she would be judged on her own merits. It was going to be an adjustment for her. Where she’d served totally with family, now she was alone, and would have to make a new family of strangers. Not an easy task. Better she know exactly where she stood, a firm solid foundation.

Listening to the Captain speak of times long past and even the Captain’s expectations of her were nothing that Eghimea hadn’t heard before. She remembered her first night at the academy. A group of instructors pulled her from her bed in the dead of night and put her through nearly three hours of intense physical workouts and sprints. The entire time, they demanded that she call upon her family’s name to bring it all to an end. Despite the pain, despite the insults, she refused to give them the satisfaction. The worst part was when she found out that it was her own father and brother who had set the whole night of horror up. At first it made her angry, though later she realized it actually made her more resolved to prove her worth.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” she said with a bit of curiosity. “Where do you know Colonel Zabo from,” she asked. The manner in which she spoke his name was as natural to her as anything else.

Eghimea, Ensign

Rende knew Laju was curious and Rende thought it was curious that Zabo hadn’t told her. But a little off balance was a good way to find a new balance after tragedy and it was Zabo’s life and career. However he did not request her silence, so, “That would have been during the Dominion War. He was at the Base ship yard where my husband and I were stationed at the time.”

Rende, CO

She drew in a deep breath, “I am pretty surprised. Did you know that after the occupation, Colonel Zabo went off to fight for the Marguis. His fame only grew despite the propaganda machines against him. When word leaked out that Star Fleet was holding him as a Prisoner of War, there were protests across Vekobet.” She paused then added, “our home. They demanded that Star Fleet be thrown out of the Bajoran system. Men like Commander Laju,” she looked in to the Captain’s eyes as she added, “my father. They worked hard to encourage cooperation between Bajor and the Federation.”

She filled with pride as she continued, “when the Federation finally released him and let him come home,” there were tears in her eyes as if she was reliving the moment. “You should have seen the parades in Vekobet. The Celebrations across Kendra Province were so widespread that even the ruling party couldn’t stop them. They wanted to build a monument to him.” She smiled as she scoffed, “but not my family. No, we don’t get monuments. We get speeches and causes. Colonel Zabo called for a reversal to the scaling down of the Militia. He championed the doomed Kendra project and saw the first of their line leave the construction yards. He even opposed Bajor joining the Federation, claiming that the Cardassians wanted to enslave us with ships and blasters. The Federation would enslave us with seeds and shiny new technology.”

Realizing the inflammatory nature of her statement, she fell silent. Looking down she frowned and silently cursing herself as she remembered who her audience was.

Ensign Eghimea

Rende listened, her face passive. If the captain was offended, there was no way to tell. In fact Rende had strange opinions about politics and politics never offended her, annoying, but never offended. When Laju finished, Rende didn’t speak for a moment. “I did know that actually. Where do you think I met him? Colonel Zabo was being held where I was stationed. I met him when I was taking a turn at guard duty. It was good speech if I do say so myself. Heard him practice it enough times.” Rende shrugged, “In the end they had to let Zabo go. Let him go home. The Marquis were in unclaimed territory and the Federation nor the Cardassians had any jurisdiction there. Those colonies and settlements were their own political and social and cultural entities. The prime directive forbids us from interfering. I told them if they couldn’t send aid for that reason they couldn’t arrest them either. And I told them until the saw it my way.”

“Cooperation between people is necessary for peace, but it’s not easy. And your grandfather isn’t wrong. The Federation itself or it’s people, aren’t out to enslave, but in the end we all are. We can choose to be so loyal to a set of ideals or traditions that we become enslaved and unable to adapt and change when necessary. Or in the case of the Federation you have hundreds of races with their own ideals and goals and customs. They’re all trying to work together and everyone has a hand in it. It’s like the Earth saying, ‘too many cooks spoil the soup’. They become so enslaved to the idea of making everyone happy, they get stuck and can’t do what needs done.” Rende shrugged. “It happens over and over again, and will continue long after the Federation and Bajor are gone.”

Rende, CO

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