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Ens. Casparian - Three sneezes (NT)

2020-05-13 19:59:24


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((OOC: the 2020 writing competition entry re-written for sim post, plus a
tiny addition at the end.))


((Long distance federation transport vessel docking at Star Base 118))

((a few weeks ago, just before final Academy exam))

Cadet Romyana Casparian stood at the back of the bridge of the long
distance federation transport vessel from where she could see the
spectacular view of the Trojan class II Starbase growing bigger and more
beautiful on the large view screen.

The ship moved carefully closer toward the upper section of the base,
preparing for the docking maneuvers. She was totally amazed by the enormity
of the structure as it quickly occupied the entire view screen and
continued to dwarf the entire ship.

Then the view screen snapped into focus on an impossible sight - a blue
planet she immediately recognized as Earth.

Casparian: oO The Starbase was nowhere near Earth! How could this be? Oo

A voice from her past spoke to her, and when she turned to look, she saw
her good friend Cadet Nommi Jarr suddenly standing next to her. He sure
wasn't there before, he couldn't be, he was back on Earth. Then Rom=
yana
remembered how only a little while ago they stood, exactly like this, side
by side watching the view screen when the transport ship approached Earth.

Jarr: We will beam down to the Academy directly from the parking orbit?

Casparian: Yes. To San Francisco, the city. And finally we will take the
monorail to cross the campus grounds.

Romyana whispered to not disturb the bridge crew.

Jarr: ::with a slightly worried tone in his voice:: Oh, I hope we don=E2=80=
=99t
make any mistakes and get lost.

Casparian: ::reassuringly places a hand on his shoulder:: Don't wor=
ry, I've
done it before. I've lived in this city for 2 years. We won=E2=80=
=99t get lost.

For him it was the first time, though Romyana was returning from her cadet
cruise to finish her fourth year. They had met on the deep space station
and during those months became inseparable companions. Two young and naive
students whose mission seemed to be to give their mentoring superiors
headaches, while enjoying a carefree life. She'd been ecstatic when he got
the news that he was accepted to the Academy.

((Timeskip))

The two Cadets had arrived at the entrance of building FD3 on the Starfleet
Academy grounds.

Casparian: Well, this is it, the first year student dormitories. ::looks up
at the facade of the high-rise building:: My room is in the thin high
building way over there. ::points at a building at the opposite side of the
Academy grounds:: The petty officer will fill you in on the rest. ::nods at
the entrance of the freshman's dormitories::



Jarr: So, where are you going now? You still have some free days left. How
will you spend them?

Casparian: ::shrugs:: I haven't thought of that yet.

Jarr: Maybe you can visit your family. They live in this city, you told me
once.

Casparian: ::frowns somberly:: Hmm, maybe. Though, I think they are not
very eager to see me.

Jarr: And you? You must have missed them. Just go and see them... ::with a
slight croak:: while you can.

Nommi tried to convince her and placed a hand on her shoulder to convey the
importance of the last couple of words, which made Romyana decide to follow
his advice. He had lost his father a few years ago and he used to say that
=E2=80=98you don't realize how much you love a person until he is g=
one, then it
will be too late'.

Casparian: All right then. ::upbeat:: See you tomorrow!

So Romyana put aside her stubbornness and went to see her mother and
father. They both had positions at Starfleet Headquarters at the moment, so
that is where she went first. It was right next to the Academy campus, she
walked there through the park.

It was a calm and sunny December day and it had been snowing the day
before, so the grass was all covered in snow. It had been a long time since
she had seen snow and her nose felt cold and tingly in the freezing air. At
that moment she felt very content being back on Earth.

It took the Ensign a while to find the whereabouts of her father and
mother. Father had a free day and was at home, in the center of San
Francisco. Mother was in her office, some floors up in the Headquarters
building. Romyana went to see her first, as it was nearest.

When she announced herself to the secretary, she was told to wait. The
Ensign took a seat in the waiting lounge, but it took more than an hour
before she was called inside the office.

Secretary: ::monotonically:: The Captain will receive you now.

Anxiously Romyana stepped inside the office and approached the desk. While
doing so she noticed the stern expression on her mother's face didn=
't
change. The Captain didn't show any sign of gladness for her daught=
er's
return. About halfway to the desk Romyana halted and croaked a greeting.

Casparian: Hi mom.



Mother: ::expressionless and stern:: Have you forgotten how to address an
Officer, Cadet?

The young Cadet knew her mother was never one to show much emotion due to
her Vulcan upbringing, but her mother was also half human and had been able
to show some kind of tenderness when Romyana and her brother were young
children. This certainly was not quite the welcome she'd expected. =
Without
showing her reluctance she stood at attention.

Mother: So tell me, they have sent you back home because they couldn=E2=80=
=99t use
any inexperienced students out there.

Casparian: No, Ma'am. I have returned to finish the last of the fou=
rth year
classes, Ma'am. ::hopefully:: And I thought I might as well come an=
d see
you again.

Mother: You might as well. ::dryly:: Ah, has it been a year already then?

Casparian: More.

After a short tense pause, her mother spoke, again with complete lack of
expression or compassion in her voice.

Mother: You have seen me now. Thank you for the announcement, you are
dismissed, Cadet.

She wondered what had changed for her mother to become so distant like
this. Was she still angry at her for what she did over a year ago? Despite
the insecurity and hurt that Romyana felt due to her mother's cold =
words
she kept her head high, turned on her heels and calmly left the room. Her
mother remained ever emotionless.

As soon as the Ensign closed the office door, tears came to her eyes.
Partly angry, partly disappointed, she marched out of the building into the
park and sat down on a bench, in a quiet corner near the water. There she
sat motionless for a while, staring across the water surface.

She wanted to scream, throw something or maybe even punch someone - instead
she counted slowly to seven. It was a trick her grandmother taught her on
one of the rare occasions that the Vulcan relative left the home world to
come see her -mostly- human grandchildren.

After sitting on that bench for a while - maybe half an hour, maybe a few
hours, she didn't really know - she heard a familiar male voice in =
the
distance. The Cadet looked back over her shoulder and to her delight she
saw her father approaching. She quickly wiped away her tears on the cuff of
her uniform sleeve before he'd see.


Father: Romyana? What a nice surprise and wonderful coincidence to see you
here!

A smile came back to her face and he gave her his typical cheerful grin.
Also a Starfleet officer, her human father had always supported and
encouraged her to achieve the best in life. He sat down next to her on the
bench, blew a hot breath on his hands and folded them in his lap.

Father: Well.::with genuine curiousness in his voice:: How was it out
there? Did you like it?

Casparian: Oh yes! ::a joyful glint came into her eyes as she remembered
the good times on the deep space station:: It was wonderful, just as you
had always told me. I met many people and different cultures, most are very
kind. And I've learned so much.

Father: The adventure you have been waiting for for so long, hey? I am glad
it was as you expected.

Casparian: It was better than I expected!

Father: So you are finishing your fourth year classes now. Have you
prepared well?

Casparian: Yes, I am confident about them.

Father: You have had a lot on your mind there, I'm sure. But you m=
ust try
to score highest. ::he spoke encouragingly but with a serious undertone,
indicating it was not just a gentle suggestion, rather a serious
expectation::

Casparian: Yes, I know. ::answers reluctantly and with some effort produces
a thin lipped smile::

I will still go for top grades.

Father: Oh I'm sure about that. I don't expect any less.

It was his way of encouraging her and telling her that she should try her
best. He was trying to help, but for Romyana this only worked oppositely
and increased pressure on her rather than boosting her confidence.

Casparian: Why are you out here? You don't have to work today.



Father: I thought I'd come and see your mother. ::he looked out acr=
oss the
lake and the snow covered campus grounds while he explained.:: I was
planning on taking her out to lunch, and it is so beautiful to stroll
through the snow.

Casparian: Oh, well. I have to warn you then, she is in a bad mood today.
::downcast:: She still hasn't forgiven me.

Father: You have paid her a visit then? In that case, a good lunch is just
what she needs. ::he laughed the matter away.::

Romyana laughed too but she was not amused.

Father: Well, I must be going now. I don't want to anger her too. :=
:he said
whilst getting up from the bench.:: Oh, and do come by to have a drink or
something. Your brother will be pleased to see you again. Goodbye.

Then he marched away along the yellow path in between fluffy white and
sparkling snow. Romyana sneezed. She thought it'd be best if she we=
nt
inside her dormitory before catching a cold. She sneezed again and stood up
from the bench and strolled through the snow, making the bottoms of her
trouser legs cold and wet.

She sneezed for the third time and found that she was back on the bridge of
the transport vessel again. On the view screen the starbase's huge =
dry dock
area was revealed as the docking bay doors slowly opened.

Casparian: oO It was just a daydream then. ::sighs:: I'll miss you.=
All
three of you. Oo

((Timeskip))

The ship had arrived at the station and it was time to disembark. Usually
Nommi would be waiting for her just outside the airlock when she'd =
come
back from a field trip, but she realized that would no longer be the case.

Admittedly, they could always write or call, but still she'd miss him and
his ever present positive attitude nonetheless. She'd have to build=
a new
life with new friends now, but she knew she could do it, because she=E2=80=
=99d done
it during the cadet cruise and she'd do it again on the Starbase.

Casparian: ::whispers to herself:: Don't worry, just smile.

With a wide smile and joyful anticipation in her eyes, he stepped out
through the airlock door and onto the starbase, ready for the final exam
and whatever adventure may follow after that.

((END))


--=20
Ensign Romyana Casparian
Engineering Officer
Starbase 118 Ops
O239703RC0

** * * Don't worry, just smile! * * **

--=20
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