Cr.02.06: The entry chime sounding made the male jump a little, standing in front of his mirror, he called for the person to ‘Enter’ knowing it would be Alyxx, smoothing down his Voyager style uniform, whilst calming his hammering heart.
“Hello, Handsome!” she said on entering, smiling at his red trimmed shouldered uniform minus the rank bar. Although he could make out the shape of her in his mirror, he turned to fully take in her mode of dress; his eyes widening in surprise. The material of her dress was a deep red velvet, from the stand-up collar down to a mid-calf length skirt, with silver embellishments over her shoulders and at her waist. Long sleeved with silver at the open cuffs, with black leggings and boots completing the silhouette. Her dark hair braided with red and silver ribbons through the twist, lying forward over her left shoulder. Smiling she gave him a twirl, causing the dress skirt to flare outwards and then it settled back flowing off her hips.
“Beautiful,” he breathed softly, giving her a dimpled smile.
“Thank you, kind sir,” giving him a small curtsy, before stepping towards him. “Your rank bar,” opening her hand to reveal the Cmdr. rank for non-commissioned officers.
“That’s the wrong rank,” he softly teased, eying the three gold bars across the pin.
“Maybe,” she conceded, stepping close and pinned it on his collar. “You wore a Lt. Cmdr.’s rank bar during your seven years on Voyager,” she informed him, her hands quietly smoothing his uniform across his chest. “Even though your codes were ranked commander.”
“I did?” Alyxx nodded her reply. “I didn’t really notice. Not that it mattered,” grinning at her, feeling warmed by her close proximity. “Shall we go?” taking her arm and hooking it onto his. She smiled at him, her arm looped through his and thus they left his quarters together.
“Captain on the bridge!” was called out, as the pair stepped out of the main turbo-lift. Whyte stood to attention along with the rest of the bridge crew; his white dress uniform jacket making him a stark contrast to everyone else on the bridge. Charles felt the pair made a striking couple and perhaps that was the intention. Ayala joined them in the command centre, his Roman centurion style uniform a contrast of a different kind.
“Very nice, Lt. Cmdr.”
“Thanks Cap!” he grinned, giving his former captain/commander his Maquis rank.
“Red? Lt. Cmdr.!” Whyte asked, puzzled.
“Imperial Roman red, Commander.”
“And breeches with metal shin guards and sandal boots? I think you could have still worn your regulation trousers and boots, Lt. Cmdr.”
“Maybe, Ma’am,” he acknowledged. “I thought the more authentic the better,” standing straighter as the lighting glinted on the silver-grey metal of his Roman armour, around his upper torso. “You look good too, Ma’am,” he smiled, taking in her deep red velvet dress that hugged her figure nicely. Alyxx smiled, blushing at the complement. The four stood facing each other quietly contemplating what was about to happen confident in each other’s abilities and talents. Alyxx Darkka squeezed Charles Whyte’s arm in silent encouragement, then gave Chakotay a quick kiss on his cheek, before joining Marks at the science station.
“Lieutenant,” she said.
“Ma’am,” he responded in kind; thus, setting the tone for the rest of their mission, in the here and now.
“Let’s make history!” Captain said quietly. “Cmdr. What’s our current status?” his tone firm.
At first nothing much happened externally; internally the crew relaxed and responded well to the lead the command four set in their new roles, whilst still running the ship on Starfleet lines. Whyte took to his position seriously and kept up his usual steady calm commands to the various crew on the bridge and throughout the ship contacting heads of departments by their rank and position plus department name. Ayala stood stiffly in his Roman armour, behind tactical, his departments kept him abreast of the security drills that were being conducted throughout their vessel keeping everyone on their toes and alert. Chakotay – Capt. – sat in her chair at times looking a little unsure of himself, whilst listening to the spoken reports going on around him.
Alyxx was enjoying taking in the science telemetry that was coming from the Kylata star and it’s two companions, whilst also keeping track of where the Meridian planet should or could be hiding.
“Ma’am. Our Captain is looking at you very concerned,” Marks whispered to her softly.
“I’m very aware of those twin brown Lazers on my back! Lieutenant,” she replied, equally concerned, looking over her shoulder at the male in the command centre seat. “Time for a break, I think,” she sighed, turning round fully, just in time to see Chakotay look away at anything but her. She grinned as she walked towards him and gently urged him to his feet.
“Commander, you have the bridge,” she informed Whyte, whilst steering herself and her reluctant friend off the bridge and into the Ready Room. “Sit,” she ordered pointing to the sofa seating and made her way to the replicator and punched in her request for her favourite tea for two. “Here drink this,” handing him a mug as she sat beside him. They sat in silence quietly sipping their tea, for a few moments.
“Now, like to tell me what’s bothering you. And don’t say nothing,” stalling him from even opening his mouth. “I’ve been fully aware of twin brown lasers boring into my back for the last hour, or two,” she added pointedly. He had the grace to look chagrin over the rim of his tea mug. “Or say, you’re fine – that’s Janeway’s line,” she added, causing a wide grin to spit across his face at her choice of words. He carefully put down his mug and breathed deeply, before facing her.
“It just doesn’t feel right that I’m sitting in your command chair,” he said, after a pause. “As this is your ship.” The stress he placed on the word ‘your’ wasn’t lost on her.
“I see,” she acknowledged, softly. “Well, I suppose I could always sit on your lap in it.”
“That’s not what I meant,” he countered back at her, his expression solemn.
“I know – sorry,” sighing softly. “Anything else?” looking at him over the rim of her tea mug. For a few moments they just silently looked at each other; it was the strange expression on Alyxx’s face that caused him to frown, realising this is what had been troubling him about her.
“Yes, Alyxx – you,” he said firmly. “And don’t you dare say ‘you’re fine’ that really is Janeway’s line,” he added, making a smile appear on her face. He quietly called her name again as she’d appeared to zone out on him. “You’ve been doing that a lot since you took command of Carenza and returned to Rivendell.” His hand reached out and carefully took her mug from her and placed it with his, and sifted closer. “It’s almost as if you’ve lost something, that you can’t find or have left it behind. Which is it?” he asked kindly.
Alyxx found herself smiling resigned into his deep brown eyes, knowing she’d not get away from the issue.
“It’s Dak, Darkka. I left him behind in the pools on Trillus Prime,” she said, startling him a moment.
“I thought once a symbiont/host joining took place they always had to be joined!” frowning puzzled.
“At one time, that was true; but thanks to Dr. Julian Bashir of DS9 that isn’t the case anymore.”
“I see. How, why now?” he asked, still clearly puzzled.
“It was at one of my counselling sessions for PTSD……”
Deep Space 12:
“Why are you not listening,” sounding exasperated at the human counsellor. “It’s not her, it’s me!”
“Commander?” questioned the startled female officer.
“Hmm! I think I might have an explanation,” noted the voice of Dr. Sofian Ven, who’d been quietly watching and listening to this official Starfleet counselling session. “It is Darkka – the symbiont – who is asking for help; not Alyxx.”
“But Alyxx and Darkka are one in the same, are they not?”
“Don’t talk about me as if I’m not here!” she snapped defensively.
“Sorry, Alyxx,” Sofian said softly; even the Starfleet officer looked contrite.
“Joined Trills are a whole person, that’s true, but sometimes each can speak separately as Darkka and I can,” Alyxx explained calmly. The Starfleet Trill commander, quietly took some deep breaths and then gave an order. “Lieutenant, please leave. Now.” Clearly puzzled by this direct dismissal from the higher ranked officer, the female counsellor reluctantly left her office on Deep Space 12 station in the Alpha/Beta quadrants.
Once the door had closed behind the female officer, the younger Trill stood up and faced Doctor Sofian Ven; gently she took a hand and placed it on her symbiont pouch, where Darkka resided within her. The only outward sign that there was any communication taking place was Sofian’s wide-eyed expression as she listened to Darkka. The two women just stood there facing each other, quietly processing what had caused Darkka to speak out so emotionally, about events that had nothing to do with why Alyxx – the host was being counselled for PTSD.
A few minutes later a third Trill – a male – entered the room, having had a word with the human counsellor, who was worried and puzzled by the events surrounding Cmdr. A. Darkka – XO of USS Callisto and her unexplained arrival at the station. Azar Rohin waited a moment, then stepped forward and held both women in a comforting hug.
“Oh, Alyxx!” was all Sofian Ven said, upset by the revelations that Dak had revealed to her, hugging this troubled younger woman. “Has Dak ever said anything?” she asked softly, her eyes still wide in shocked surprise.
“No,” she sighed, pulling out of the three-way hug. “Only that it happened in the nursery pools.”
Alyxx looked out of the viewports, puzzled. ‘How had she ended up here?’ The last thing she could clearly recall was being on Callisto chasing after another possible Chozo shard, following a Cosmozoan life form – a deep space whale like animal – in the Reach in the Gamma/Delta quadrants.
She couldn’t really recall how that mission had progressed or ended, but she did know, her then Captain C. Aelyn had been preparing her for command training, whilst temporarily in command of the USS Citadel Admiral D. West’s ship, the commander of Rivendell station.
Her father gently called her name, recognising from her body language her puzzlement and disquiet as she stared out of the viewports, so he wasn’t surprised by her question.
“How did I end up here?” she asked, clearly very puzzled.
“What do you remember?”
“Not a lot, it’s all very confusing, jumbled up and disjointed,” she confessed softly, turning to face her fellow Trills.
“I’m not surprised, Alyxx,” Ven said. “The only explanation I can summarise is that Dak took over completely and shut off your own memory centres; especially after the GYor took over your vessel for a second time. But that’s only a guess,” pausing a moment and then added. “We’ll only understand when we can do a counselling session with Dak alone.”
Alyxx turned back to the viewport, deeply troubled, her hand playing over her smooth forehead. “That first time the GYor took our vessel, I lost my Dalmanese traits,” she said, feeling again her smooth forehead, whereas before she’d had the fainter ridges of the Odan family. “Now I get the feeling you’re going to advise that Darkka returns alone to the pools, to be apart from me,” sighing and hugging herself, feeling lost. “The GYor has caused….” She felt her father behind her, he gently turned her round and hugged her to him, thus her tears silently soaked his chest.
“You know better than most, Alyxx; even with the addition of the Chozo jump gate technology; to a Starfleet vessel, if anything happens to you – the host – out there in the Reach, you’ll not get back to Trillus Prime in time to get Dak into the pools. Do you really want that?” he asked her. She silently shook her head.
“I’m going to arrange transport to Trill. And Alyxx, I’ll see if I can find out about Anton,” she added softly. Both father and daughter stared at the woman, startled. “It is my fault that you’ve lost contact with the one you knew first.”
“Sofian,” she couldn’t finish voicing her thoughts on the matter, but quietly moved from her father’s arms to hug the slightly older woman. “Thank you,” her teary eyes expressing her feelings more deeply than any words could. Sofian smiled, uncertainty and said she’d better talk to the station commander, extracting herself from Alyxx’s embrace and leaving. Her father Azar, looking as surprised as she herself did. “What have you been doing to that woman, Papa?” she softly teased him.
“I have no idea,” shrugging his shoulders.
“Did you manage to get transport off DS12?” asked the male voice of her friend, bringing her mind back to their current location.
“Yes and no,” she responded, eliciting a sour expression from her friend. “We had to use an old friend. Trader Hawkes and the Rogue,” grinning at him. Chakotay chuckled, smiling with her.
“DS12, isn’t that in the area of the Briar Patch that’s often troubled by Kzinti pirates?” he questioned, frowning.
“Yes. It’s why we had trouble getting transport, as I needed to visit the planet Nepenthe.”
“Because I need advice, and the person I require it from currently resides on Nepenthe.”
“He might not welcome your presence,” stated the Station’s commanding officer.
“I think he might,” she responded in the same careful tone.
“Fair enough. There’s only one trader ship due out to Nepenthe, to deliver supplies. Rogue,” he said, having checked his manifest, and then frowned puzzled at the Trill officer’s wide grin.
“I guess I’ll find him propping up the nearest bar outlet!”
“Actually he’s just been released from the custody facs.”
“I thought as much,” Alyxx grinned at the Commanding Officer. He ordered one of his security officers to escort the female Trill to that area of the station.
They reached the area of the local brig facilities only to hear someone making a loud complaint.
“Can’t a person get a welcome drink around here…”
“Not unless you want to end up back in these quarters on a permanent basis,” she noted pointedly.
“I’d know that voice anywhere,” the trader grumbled, trying to hide his face from her.
“Nice to see you too….Hawk!” she commented.
“Alyxx how wonderful to see you,” he enthused brightly, yet his expression was anything but welcoming.
“Get yourself out of here,” said the Lieutenant in charge of the Brig.
“Alright, alright. I’m going,” he snapped. Alyxx had informed the security officer that had escorted her; she would manage and suggested he went back to his post.
“Now then, Captain R. Hawkes, I have a little proposition for you.”
“No! No to whatever it is,” he said, still not looking directly at her, as they made their way to where his ship was housed within the station’s docking/hold area.
“You haven’t heard what it is!” she told him and whispered his first name quietly into his ear. He just growled at her. Alyxx pulled him to a stop, close to his ship, turning him to face her. “What have I done to offend you?” she asked him pointedly.
“Nothing,” he muttered.
“Captain? Are we going soon?” asked his engineer, having just emerged from the ship’s hold.
Alyxx lifted the man’s head up so he was looking at her. “Like some more profitable adventures on your trading routes?” she asked softly. “Plus a roundabout route to get even with the Kzinti?” His eyes opened wide at her tone. “I need to get to Nepenthe, plus, Trillus Prime and Starfleet. Then you can add The Reach in the Gamma Quadrant via DS9.”
“That’s quite a scenic route, you’re proposing,” he said carefully, maintaining eye contact with her.
“True, are you up to it?”
“Today!” the male face before her split into a delighted grin.
“You have five seconds to get all the transportees down here.”
“We’re all aboard.”
“One of these days…” he laughed.
“In your dreams, Capitan, in your dreams!” taking his arm as he escorted her aboard his ship.
Chakotay grinned at her. “How did you know he’d bail you out for transport?”
“Because, I’ve bailed him out of too many Brigs since we first met.”
“You’ll have to fill me in on that story,” he smiled. “Did you get to Nepenthe?”
=/\= Captain to the Bridge. =/\=
“Sounds like it’s time for our starring role,” she said, getting to her feet. “Don’t worry I’ll fill you in, once this show is over.” He sighed, stood and looped her arm through his, then they walked out onto the bridge, together.