USS Cerberus

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Courages

Posted on Thu Jul 9th, 2015 @ 8:23am by Lieutenant JG Wade MacKnight & Lieutenant Aoife Gallegos

Mission: Shore Leave: Risan Masquerade
Location: Masquerade Ball
Timeline: June 29th, 2391 - 2005 hours

ON

Wade had come to the Masquerade party stag. It had become his Modus operandi to come alone rather than risk rejection. He had never had that much luck asking women to events such as the party thrown for the benefit of the crew. He was dressed well. The fitted black tuxedo followed his contours well and the silken collar reflected in the rooms light. In all he was a striking figure. His shirt fit him perfectly as well and the black silk bow tie set the elegant yet understated look well. MacKnight adjusted the silver French cuffs more to ensure they were as perfect as all the other details in his wardrobe. The mask he chose to wear was simple and elegant. It was a black, half mask that covered the area around his eyes and a bit of his nose. The material was satin like his tie with no adornment and tied with just as simple silken ribbons behind his smoothly shaven bald head. The only accessory he was missing was a pretty little thing on his arm. That could not be replicated and holograms that were not sentient made for poor dinner conversations. His face wore the broad smile as it most often did oblivious to the notion that what had become the norm in his world was anything but normal.

From the fringes he stood holding a drink, a martini of some sort that was a pale blue boasting a stir stick attached to an uttaberry berry though a little larger than the ones he remembered. The drink was on the tray of a passing waiter offering beverages to those he passed and seeing it was one of the last two and both the same he opted to try the translucent concoction.

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Scene: Ship Corridor
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Aoife had spent the last thirty minutes getting ready. Normally, it wouldn't take her that long to head down to a party, but she needed to make her outfit from scratch. All the pre-made concoctions were not to her liking. That took most of her time to get ready. Seeing that she was one of the newest crew members, she wanted to get there early, not on time and definitely not late.

As she bustled her way through the ship towards the transporter room, her mind wandered. This was a bit more than what she was used to from the back waters of the Federation. There was just simple outfits; that all changed when she went to the Academy and had been exposed to the greater universe out there. Yes, she was a quiet reserved one, but she at least had good taste. The transporter chief on duty took a sharp inhale as she walked through the door. "Yes, to the nines, see you there," she said as she stepped up on the transporter pad. He nodded and the glittery of the transporter wave took over and deposited her down outside of where the masquerade was going to happen.

The low light caught the star sprinkles in her blonde hair. This was her glam that she had chosen for the night. The only other jewelry she wore was a deep blue, dragonfly enhanced silver torc around her neck. The blue in the dragonfly wings echoed the three tone blue off-the-shoulder dress that she was wearing. The detached sleeves caught her movement and fluttered past her as she took long strides towards the building in the distance. The two toned dark and light blue corset fit her lithe body like a glove. The low waist gave way to a lavenderish blue chiffon dress that billowed out from her waist. The same material matched the floor length sleeves she wore. Lace enhanced the edges of the corset and the waist contrasting to the smooth finish of the satin material that the corset was made out of.

A slight breeze fluttered past her picking up the edges of her dress revealing the jeweled champagne colored sandals that adorned her feet. The feathers in the asymmetric dark navy blue and champagne colored mask fluttered around the back right of her ear tickling it. Silver and jewels trailed around her eyes matching the lace pattern that enhanced the fringes of her dress. She entered the room noticing that only a few people had already made their way there. She made her way to the bar to get herself a drink first.

Wade held up the glass to his lips and took a sip of his drink. His face puckered and his eye brows pulled together as the flavor of the beverage reached his palate. The man glanced at the drink puzzled by its unpleasant taste. He shook his head slightly and noticed the young woman in blue as she approached the bar. To his left the scientist noticed the waiter approaching again just in front of him giving him the perfect opportunity to discard his drink among the other empty glassware. The dark haired man noticed his movements and gave him a displeasing look before dashing off to his destination.

The science officer chuckled as he watched the short waiter vanish out of his view. Wade took in a deep breath and glanced over towards the bar, “better try the bar,” he mused in a low tone.

With a gentle pace the officer made his way towards location where the barkeep stood cleaning a glass with a white rag. The human make leaned over towards the Andorian, Pardon me sir but could I have an Altairian brandy?”

His eyes traveled over to the blond not far from him and he offered a broad smile, “have you made your beverage choice miss?”

Aoife had noticed the newcomer to the bar area asking for a brandy. She hadn't paid much attention to him until he directed a question to her. "Uh," she stammered a bit before continuing, "no, I haven't. I'll take a sour cranberry vodka," she finished directing her attention the bartender in front of her. She knew that the only people here dressed up for the masquerade were those of the crew. Figuring now was good as any time there was, she turned and smiled extending her hand. "EEfa Gallegos, Chief Engineering Officer," she introduced herself.

The man tilted his head said accepting the extended hand, “Wade MacKnight, Assistant Chief Science officer.” He smiled broadly at the blond woman and nodded, “welcome to the crew.” As the bartender produced the beverage he requested he turned to face his new acquaintance.

She took her drink as the bartender slid her drink over the smooth bar surface. Nodding her head in thanks, she turned to face the science officer. "Thank you for the welcome. I am looking forward to getting to see the Cerberus' at work and to know the crew. I thought that more would have been here by now. If you're on-time, you're late was the way I was raised." She laughed lightly at the comment she made. "Though I am looking forward to exploring Risa's non-touristy areas more than this shindig."

With a laugh of his own Wade nodded his agreement with the woman, “well Lieutenant, I’m not one to be fashionably late myself either.”

He took a sip of his alcoholic beverage and glanced around the rather vacant facility, blew my resolution already, he thought as he remembered telling himself he was no longer going to allow the opinions of others dictate his actions.

“Non-touristy,” Wade began trying to change the subject back to the woman and get it off his own rather self-criticizing ones, “what sort of areas did you have in mind?”

"I guess we are of the kind that is far and few between for timely arrivals," the woman replied to his statement. "As for non-touristy stuff, to be honest, I haven't figured that out exactly yet. I know that they have some off the beaten path areas and to just request it. Between arriving less than twenty four hours ago, getting settled from the move and taking the promotion from Assistant to Chief, I haven't had the time to really delve into it. I plan on doing that tomorrow after the traveling lag settles down.

"The non-touristy stuff leads to exploration away from the general public. Leads to the quiet reprieve when you arrive at a tourist trap resort. Hopefully will be able to find some landscapes to climb and wishful to some camping under the stars," she finished. A twinkle in her eye gleamed a bit as she described the potential she wished for on her vacation. "Do you have anything planned for your R&R?"

Wade breathed in deep and tilted his head as he replied, “I have a few books I need to read and,” he added, “I thought I might do a little shopping.”

"Sounds like a relaxing way for a vacation. I trust the reading is fun reading and not work reading?" she replied in jest.

“Depends on what you consider fun,” he said with a hint of intrigue in his voice. The man smiled broadly, “you go camping often?”

Taking a sip of her beverage before replying, Aoife stated as she rested the glass down on the smooth surface of the bar. "When I can get the chance. When you spend your day in and day out in a tin can, it's nice to get out and enjoy the freedom camping out in the wilderness can provide. Fun is a relative term. I find technical specifications enjoyable. I guess I let the engineer in me shine..."

The Science officer nodded as he listened intently to the Engineer. His eyes drifted for a moment as a waiter showed back up to fill his tray. “Hadn’t really thought about the start ship being a tin can ,” he offered looking back at the attractive blond woman and chuckled, “spent most of my life in tin cans: starships, space stations and research centers.”

Much of the statement was true though he was referring to his assumed identity more than the real story of his youth. Nearly eight years of his childhood were on earth though if truth be told his home was is ”tin can." After that it was off to a space station once again.

“Probably the closest thing to camping I’ve personally experienced,” he offered in a little more serious tone, “is the course of survival offered at the Academy.”

"Yes, it's all tin cans. I grew up on a deep space station. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the stars without the atmosphere, but it's nice to have sunrises and sunsets. I remember the first time I felt the wind through my hair," she reminisced. "I have friends who grew up on Earth and are stationed planet side longing for the travel of space, and there are others like me that enjoy getting out as much as we can planet side. Longing for what is on the other side of the fence." She took a sip of her drink as she glanced around noticing that a person or two started filtering through the door. "And that survival course has nothing on backpacking your way through the remote countryside. I personally enjoy getting out. Deep woods camping is fun, but as much as I enjoy a hike, I rather have the conveniences of shuttle camping. Can set up a base camp of operations that way. Sometime you should try it. I would probably recommend starting out on the holodeck if you aren't used to the bugs and wildlife."

Wade grinned at her reply. He knew full well what the wind felt like as it brushed against you, it was the memories of his childhood that kept him from enjoying it that much. "I'll have to try it," he stated letting his eyebrow raise a little as he spoke. "You see," he began again, " I'm an exobiologist and I have gotten out in nature but most of what I've done really wasn't roughing it all that much."

She laughed as he stated the 'roughing it'. "There are times roughing it is a nice reprieve from our amazing technologically dependent lives we lead. Don't get me wrong, I develop and maintain the said technology. It's still nice being able to camp outside with the comforts and convenience of a shuttle and it's also nice to be able to blaze my own path."

Wade nodded as he listened to the engineer. He caught himself staring at the glistening blond hair and chided himself for his rudeness , "you do have a point." he drew in a breath and looked down for a moment before raising his gaze again, "so where were you stationed before?"

"As of a couple weeks ago, I was the assistant chief engineering officer on the Cosmos. I'm looking forward to learning the Cerberus and all her quirks," Aoife laughed as she finished. "We didn't do much exciting stuff. Just go do lots of Cargo runs and deep space missions so long transits. You? Anything exciting?"

“My last post was to the USS Donaldson,” the expression on his face changed as he replied to one that barely had a smile and the twinkle in his eyes faded as the painful memories, “I was a science officer, an Ensign when she went down.” He sighed and continued, “lost way too many people and the incident was is still under investigation.”

She lowered her drink as he spoke and could hear the pain in his voice. She was no counselor, but she had served in the war. It took one to recognize it. "I am sorry to hear about the ship and the loss of so many people. Hopefully, the investigation will wrap up soon and you can get some resolution about the incident that happened. There are many times throughout the years that there is unnecessary loss for whatever reason. The only way I have been able to make my way through it is to know that I was left alive for some reason to carry on. So I do. It's hard to come to that realization and it's hard to find that purpose that drives us through when it seems like it's all for not. From what I read in the logs, the previous mission wasn't all that sunshine and roses either. Are you doing okay with all of it?" she asked genuinely concerned that if he wasn't coping with it, that the bottle would eventually break.

"Better," he admitted letting a faint smile cross is dark face. "I took the kidnappings harder than I probably should have," he admitted, "but doing better." His smile broadened as he sat his empty glass on the bar counter, "just too close together I imagine."

This was indeed partly true though if they had lost a few crew members to a battle or other calamity it would have been different than having them be abducted. Their kidnapping and torture were hit too close to the events of his own life and he knew that was the trigger and yet another thing he needed to work out in his own mind.

"But for the most part things ended well," he added in an attempt to brighten the subject, "we got them back and brought relief to some needy individuals and that is really what it is all about isn't it?"

"Yes," Aoife replied to his question. Sometimes the needs of the many did outweigh the needs of the one. "Just remember, as much as the needs of the many will outweigh the needs of the one, it an be flipped on its head. The needs of the one outweighs the needs of the many." She had to learn that the hard way at a young age. She was seeing the battlefield when most people were just fathoming the concept of joining the academy. "Looks like a few more people are starting to arrive." She nodded towards the entrance where a few more people were littering in. "So on a positive note, you are now on shore leave, at a ball. It seems like such an odd concept for where we stand in time."

Wade nodded and smiled, "it is a positive note isn't it." he watched as crew members made trickled in dressed in their party best. Each seemed as if they were having a good time, ready to relax and enjoy the evening. "I think it is even more unlikely that it is on Risa."

"I haven't been to Risa in many years. Actually thinking about it, it was shortly after the war. I do have to say all this," she said having already set her nearly empty glass down so she could wave her hands over her gussied up appearance, " yeah, all this is definitely new..."

The man smiled, "I can't say I don't enjoy it. "He chuckled, "Sort of thought of tropical beaches and clear water more than cocktails and black ties."

"True to that," she Aoife agreed with him on that. Risa was more of a resort than anything else. "Well, I guess this shindig is to start off a great shore leave and force crew interaction. Tomorrow though, tomorrow I'll be enjoying this vacation away from everyone else," she finished laughing. She didn't mind social interaction, yes, she was a bit awkward with it, and sometimes it was strained more than not.

Wade looked to the barkeep for a moment than decided it might be best to hold off on the hard stuff for now. The night was still young had he wanted to keep his wits about him. "Great idea," he admitted with a smile, "many of us are fairly new and getting us to mingle around something other than may help us work as a team better."

"Definitely. I think that we should probably do that instead of hiding in the corner drinking the drinks and avoiding the rest of the crew that have come in. Though I'm not quite sure I'm really up to it," she said as she looked around his shoulder and saw more and more people filling in. "Yeah, there's now more people. No way to hold an intelligent conversation with all of them. Statistically won't even be able to greet every single one of them...." she finished her drink and ordered another one. "Liquid courage, right?"

"I may need more than just liquid," he laughed, "why don't I introduce you two some of them I already know, that might hake things easier for you?"

She laughed with him at his statement that he needed more than just liquid for the courage as she had felt the same... "You know what, that might be a bit easier on the nerves if I have a friendly introduction. Shall we?"

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Lt. Aoife Gallegos
Chief Engineering Officer

Lieutenant JG Wade MacKnight
Assistant Chief Science Officer

 

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