Leading up to it

Cl.02.04 – “You know you look awfully young for your age, lieutenant.” Commander Denaris handed the Vulcan operations officer an flux spanner which she took from him without straining a muscle in her face. “I will take that as a … compliment.” The female said, trying to apply force to the spanner in an attempt to tightly join two plasma conduits. “Who would have said that your actual age is no less than 58 years of age while you actually look no more than 24-25.” Denaris said. “It sounds almost like you are unaware of the fact that the process of Vulcan senescence takes considerably longer than with most humanoid species.” T’sani replied while exerting herself even more to get a tight junction between the two loose ends. “I am the chief science officer, T’sani, of course I know but… I simply never imagined that the difference between the actual age and how old an actual younger Vulcan looks like would be that large.” He smiled, feeling a bit ashamed for his rather direct and perhaps even blunt way of displaying mere curiosity. “It is a fact that most Vulcans enter Starfleet Academy no sooner than the age of 60 or perhaps even later.” T’sani felt the need to give the commander some background information on Vulcan educational customs. “By the time that Vulcans reach neural maturity at the age of 20, most of us choose an additional educational program at, for instance, the Vulcan Science Institute of the Vulcan Academy of Fine Arts.” T’sani elaborated. “And you complete that course at the age of 60..” I am aware, Lieutenant. “But I have never met a Vulcan who has chosen for a different route.

“Commander, I am having difficulties tightening that junction, perhaps you would could attempt.” T’sani moved out of the way so Denaris could have a try at it. Giving each other some space was quite the challenge. Despite the fact that starships continued to develop and get more spacious, there was one constant, the narrow diameter of a standard Jefferies tube. “Why are you smiling, sir.” T’sani noticed as she moved over. “Nothing…” Denaris said at first. “It’s just… that I am not used to Vulcans admitting their shortcomings.” He said, his smile still firmly planted on his face. “I fail to see where that is a shortcoming, Commander. Though my Vulcan physiology would suggest that I would be able to ‘get the job done’…” but Denaris interrupted her. “There is that Vulcan attitude again.” “I am stating a fact, sir. Vulcan females are approximately three times stronger than a Bajoran male, however, your cybernetic arm should be able to offer the force that is needed to tighten the junction with another 30 microns.” “Well, thank you, T’Sani.” Denaris said, positioning his body so he could exert the necessary force. He took a breath while his motor cortex issued impulses to this bio-neural motor processor which translated the steady stream of action potentials to an optical signal that travelled through the ODN wiring of his prothesis. Several seconds later, the job was done. “There you go.” Denaris smiled. T’sani used a standard issue tricorder to verify wether they succeeded. “Success, commander. I thank your for your assistance.” T’sani made a slow but respectful nod with her head, thanking the science officer for his assistance.

“Commander Nayru and I are about to have lunch. You are more than welcome to join us, Lieutenant.” Denaris was intrigued by his fellow senior officer. Brenn always has been a ‘people person’ and though he had worked with most of his direct colleagues on more than one occasion, his ‘hunger’ to really get to know them was insatiable. “Though I appreciate the offer, I am afraid that I must decline, Commander. I am currently in a rite of fasting. In stead I prefer to meditate in seclusion.” This time, Denaris was honoured with a much shorted nod after which T’sani took her leave by crawling to the nearest exit onto deck 7. “Vulcans…” Denaris muttered before he left the tube as well.

“Can you imagine that?” Several minutes after T’sani and Denaris parted, he found himself sharing a meal with the chief medical officer. Of all his colleagues, it was Fenna who he really had come to known as friend. It was something in Fenna’s personality that drew him to her like a magnet. He had spent quite some time thinking over what that specifically might be and he came to the conclusion that it must be her sincerity. Fenna always spoke her mind, no matter the situation or the circumstances, a trait he apparently found very important. “It’s uncommon but not really unusual.” Fenna did not seem to be very impressed by the fact that the Callisto had a relatively young Vulcan aboard. With a fork, she moved aside several large chunks of lettuce searching for tulaberries and olives. “The Vulcan academies only have so much room for applicants. Approximately 30% is not able to find a apprenticeship.” Fenna muched away the last good bits of her lunch salad. “Shouldn’t you finish that?” She said to Brenn with her fork pointing to his Tellurian seafood stew. She knew Brenn to be one of the most passionate scientists she came to know in her career. He had a deep rooted passion for nearly anything and his tendency to get lost in it completely was showing itself again. “I should yes. Perhaps I should stop talking.” Denaris chuckled subtly, knowing this Fenna was right. “Before you know it, lunch time is over and you’ll regret not having finished your lunch. You know how it works.”

An aural warning that an announcement was about to follow sounded. Immediately Fenna eyed Brenn, proving him that she had a point. “All hands, report to your stations. We are now at yellow alert.” Denaris could infer from that message that they had entered the Tarm system and that they were minutes away from starting their jump sequence. Without a doubt in his mind, he tried to stuff as much of his fish stew into his mouth in an attempt to fill his stomach as much as he could. “You know that that doesn’t look that attractive, don’t you.” Fenna’s uncanny bluntness showed itself once again as she commented on the sight of her fellow PhD graduate lowering himself to a hungry targ after a long battle. “This is a clear case of primary needs outweighing esthetics or ego, Commander.” Brenn managed to actually produce understandable sounds from his rather stuffed mouth and throat. “You might wanna wash that away.” Fenna said pointing to his drink that was not even close from being finished. Denaris muttered some sounds that probably meant something like that is a good idea and with a single gulp he managed to finish it all together. “Remind me not to invite you for a private dinner.” Fenna said, following Denaris in his wake towards the exit of the Ursa Major Lounge. “At least I won’t be plagued by famish the next couple of hours.” Denaris smiled. “…but I will be plagued by rather nasty after images in my sleep while I try to resolve this form of mental abuse.” Fenna replied, causing Denaris to laugh out loud. “You know, Fenna, that is why I like you so much. Your humour is relentless. I’ll be on the bridge now. Dinner tonight?” “Let me get back to you on that.” Fenna smiled, taking the corridor on her right on her way back to sickbay while Denaris headed for the turbolift towards the bridge.

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