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*((SS Jerico, en route to Krios Prime))*
The Kriosian looked over at her other two companions and nodded before=20
turning back to Del.
Rahman: I'm glad you're here.
del Vedova: For as long as you'll have me, like I've always said.
Captain Ashaba gave an amused look at the group before heading back up=20
towards the command deck.
Ashaba: I'll let you all settle in. It's going to be a bit of a journey,=20
just so you know. We don't have a fancy quantum slipstream drive.
Roshanara nodded, smiling at her civilian counterpart.
Rahman: That's fine, Captain. I think we're quite used to taking things at=
a leisurely pace.
After Ashaba had left, Tristam and Captain Kells went to their two cabins,=
leaving Roshanara and Del to catch up a bit before they'd return to their=
respective cabin mates. They both took a seat at a booth tucked away into a=
corner next to the small galley.
Rahman: You had me worried, you know?
del Vedova: I know, I know.
The words were delivered somberly, not as a mere deflection. Roshanara=20
tilted her head slightly, a look of concern evident as she watched her=20
Rahman: It was just all so sudden. And then Dr. MacKenzie was needed on=20
Duronis. We've picked up a new chief medical officer, Dr. Dassa=20
Alexander-Dalton. Do you know her?
del Vedova: (with a head shake) No, I've never heard her name.
Rahman: Do the doctors say when you'll be able to return to duty?
del Vedova: (again the crooked smile) Well... Let's just say that it's an=
The pause made her think this was indeed as serious as her fears had been.=
But there was something more behind his hesitation. Something from within=
his own doubts.
Rahman: And are you planning to?
del Vedova: (with a slight nod, but...) Also an open question.
Roshanara narrowed her eyes, her shoulders slumping.
Rahman: You are just as infuriating a patient as you are a doctor.
del Vedova: I don't mean it to be. I just mean, I don't know. Honestly, I=
don't. I probably won't be able to practice medicine at the same level, or=
at least not for a while.
The unsteadiness of his voice was unnerving. Rarely had she ever seen Del=
so=E2=80=A6 vulnerable. From the day she first met him, he'd always=
had this =E2=80=9CDevil=20
may care; $#@% the galaxy (sometimes literally)=E2=80=9D swagger. To see hi=
shaken by all this, she reached out across the table to grab his hand and=
del Vedova: But I did come back.
Rahman: You did. But you need to be wherever makes the most sense for you.=
I'm so glad you're here for me. But I understand if you nee=
d some time=20
somewhere to just=E2=80=A6 figure things out for yourself. What you want to=
del Vedova: I want to be back. I do. But in what capacity, and when... I am=
here, but jaunting off with you is maybe not the same as being ready for=20
Rahman: Hmmph. Are you implying something?
del Vedova: None intended. You know!
Rahman: Yes. But maybe you should still qualify for hazard credit=E2=80=A6
That caused him to grin slightly.
del Vedova: I'm here for now, and we'll worry about then later, okay? Now,=
tell me, how are we going to start this misadventure?
Rahman: The same way we always do.
She squeezed his hand cradled in her own.
Rahman: With a promise to each other. No matter what happens, here or in=20
the future, we'll have each other's backs.
*CUE OPENING CREDITS:=20
*Captain Roshanara Rahman*
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