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Let's Try this Again (TAG CNS)

Posted Sept. 11, 2021, 9:58 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Brenna Neenna Atoded (Chief of Pets & 2nd Officer (COP)) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Brenna Neenna Atoded (Chief of Pets & 2nd Officer (COP)) in Let’s Try this Again (TAG CNS)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Brenna Neenna Atoded (Chief of Pets & 2nd Officer (COP)) in Let’s Try this Again (TAG CNS)

Posted by Lieutenant Eleyr of House Em’ujo (Chief of Keeping Our Brains Healthy (CNS)) in Let’s Try this Again (TAG CNS)

(SNIP)

Eleyr watched Brenna’s cheeks rust, warning her of the outcome she feared (and secretly hoped) would occur. The great Brenna Atoded had lost the wager to Richard Marsh. A ‘boo’ dared to escape her lips, but it was no match for the formidable sparkle in her pale eyes. “Temerarious of him to challenge you,” her smirk managed to lighten her growl, “but gall makes for a worthy partner.” A flicker of approval passed through her gaze, but it soon tempered to skewed professionalism. “Where is your relationship, now?”

The laughter and humor at the memories drained right out of Brenna. “I don’t know.” She picked up the teacup and put it back down not drinking. Her finger running around the rim absently. “Yesterday was the first time in 8 years since I’d seen Richard. Before that it was the day after graduation, and I broke his heart and mine, on purpose.”

A hungry, harrowed void engulfed any trace of merriment. Eleyr strived to ease her glower, but the result was a warped grimace closer resembling an aggrieved Sehlat than her intended empathy. Shaking her head, Eleyr leaned forward and asked (in as soft a growl as she could manage): “Why?”

Eleyr’s change of demeanor, the soft growl, and grimace was not lost on Brenna and only served to compound her guilt. It’s wasn’t Eleyr’s fault, Brenna felt nor perceived any accusation there. But out of all the decisions she’d ever had to make this was the one that had been most catastrophic to her. Oh Richard was ready to pick life back up from where they had left it. But they weren’t the same people anymore, but there was nothing Brenna would not do or give to Richard.

She sighed wearily. “The day after graduation I was contacted, early, and told to report to the head of the Intelligence department at the Academy. I had been selected for…” another sigh. “There is no glorious way to put it. I was selected for a very dangerous and long term assignment. I was told, bluntly, to put my affairs in order, I would not be coming back. I had mere hours before leaving. I…” deep breath and sigh, “I did not want Richard to wait for me; I didn’t want him waiting for a ghost. So I ended it. It was, without comparison, the hardest thing I have ever done. And I have never stopped regretting it.”

Eleyr wore a grimace like an executioner’s blade — gelid and impervious — but her words echoed without bitterness. “You did what you felt you had to do to protect Richard…” her forehead crimpled into a frown, “…and yourself.”

The counsellor didn’t reserve the right to justify Brenna’s actions nor suggest they were the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ thing to do. Heartache was an eventuality, and she wouldn’t deny the humanity of Brenna’s decision. It was an impossible burden to choose between the torment of fickle promises and the pain of letting someone go. Both were recipes for disaster, but like a duel, disaster tended to be volatile and short-lived. It was the aftermath that mattered the most.

Eleyr took in a muffled, throaty breath. These evaluations were trials designed to gauge reactions to stressors and obstacles. They examined trauma through an objective lens and assessed readiness by (what Eleyr considered) arbitrary standards. Though Brenna exposed a quandary of hers, Eleyr didn’t feel dwelling on the past was the remedy. Sooner than to ask her to delve further into the sorrow and guilt she endured, the Klingon posed another question. “You’ve expressed your regret, at least to me,” Eleyr observed, “where do you plan to go from here?”

Brenna sighed and shrugged. “I don’t know. Hindsight is 20/20 as the humans say. We talked last night, and I know what Marsh wants, I know what we want, but the question is should we. We are not the same people that we once were.”

“It’s true that people change, but…” Eleyr pursed her lips, “…why shouldn’t you?”

Brenna sighed, “Guilt. I feel incredibly guilty about what I did. If we should make another attempt and it doesn’t work, I couldn’t bare to break his heart again.”

(snip)
“I think you are a woman who likes to challenge herself and learn new things. And really one or two people to mentor is more than enough for me. I want to enjoy it not get burnt out on it.”
Lr Cmdr Atoded, CoP

Eleyr scoffed approvingly at her assessment, “I wouldn’t dare dispute a fact.” She waved a dismissive hand, considering the woman’s comment. Burnout was a significant risk for souls of her calibre – ambitious, diligent, badass. Though her Klingon heart ached to push her toward her aspirations, Eleyr bit her tongue. “Then one or two it is. Do whatever satiates your desire without harming yourself.”

“Tell me about this schedule of yours,” she continued. “What kind of chaos do endure each day?”

— Eleyr, CNS

“Well the Emporium keeps me very very busy. Between feeding, medical check ups, socializing the animals, it’s a full time job on it’s own, but Cpt Zarcal has been amazing and managed to get me a small staff though. And then of course there are the officers who need help with their pets. As 2O I usually do a mid shift split to help the transition, but with Zarcal on paternity leave and the previous XO leaving I was on the bridge all the time, every alpha shift. It’s been…over a month with no day off. Well until yesterday and today, and the rest of the week. Remember I said Marsh was arrogant? Well he decided to order me a whole week off and come in, guns blazing, and take over the ship single handedly for his first week.” That though made her laugh. “But between you, me, and that targ jerky, my Intel work keeps me running from one end to the next. And then any perceived emergency means that I have to drop what I’m doing and go to the bridge.” Brenna picked up her cup, drained the contents, and with a speed that defied her small frame she smacked the floor with the flat of her hand, something flew into the air, her cup turned upside down, smacked the thing dazed to the floor and the cup landed on the floor over the top of an eight-legged demon.
Lt Cmdr Atoded, CoP

“Mr Marsh has an ego to satiate the entire crew.” She roared, regard infecting her hearty tone. “It appears—” Eleyr’s tongue twisted, urging her to focus on the flash of pale lightning that sliced the air like a bat’leth to fresh butter. At first, a growl built in her chest, knowing well the adversary that’d come to test her. But Brenna’s speed – a kind that’d give the noblest warrior whiplash – sent a wild grin chasing across her lips. “Qapla’!” She thrust herself from the chair, pale eyes bugging with unfounded excitement. “Tell me you’ve detained that diabolical fiend.”

— Eleyr, (an elated) CNS

Luckily, Brenna’s cup was clear so she was able to confirm that the spider was indeed trapped underneath. She kept a hand on the cup just to make sure the spider wasn’t one of those creepy strong ones. “I have. Oh that was fun, I haven’t done anything like that in ages.” Brenna laughed, “If you could get me a specimen jar I will transfer it and let the entomology lab for study.” Brenna looked up at Eleyr curiously, “What appears?”
Lt Cmdr Atoded, CoP

Eleyr squinted at the brownish spec that bounced about its enclosure, fervently searching for any means of escape. Serves you right, she thought but brushed it away to fetch Brenna a jar. “It appears you’ve got your hands full between caring for the pets, tending to the bridge, intel— and now keeping the person who keeps the CO in line, well, in line.” She returned from the replicator with a medium-size jar and offered it to Brenna. “By the Gods, do you make any time for yourself?”

— Eleyr, CNS

Brenna laughed, “Oh yes. My time is not usually so busy, but with our old XO leaving us and Zarcal on leave things just got crazy. Unless the ship is at alert I always make sure to take a least an hour at the end of my day just for something I enjoy before I go to bed.” She took the jar from Eleyr and with a series of convoluted transfers got the monster into the container and the lid sealed and secured. “Ah there we are.”
Atoded, CoP

“Tell me about these things you enjoy,” Eleyr grinned and stole a step back… just in case the beast made a run for it. From her comfortable distance of three feet (they couldn’t jump that far, right?), she watched the grand transfer from trap to prison. “What do you plan to do with—it, them, spidey?—after your research?”

— Eleyr, CNS

“Music, meditative martial arts, like Mok’bara, I love dancing…I keep the main part of my living area clear so if I feel the urge to dance I can, even if I’m alone. As for this guy, I suppose they will either keep him in a terrarium or return him to his native planet.”

Atoded, CoP

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