((Esa’s Quarters, Deck Five, USS Astraeus))
The days were long, and the work tough, but Esa was glad to finally be out of the cloud. She’d scheduled some time off, used up some of her leave, made plans to spend some time on the planet when they arrived.
Part of her mind wandered, wondering if starship life was still for her. Maybe it was the chip that was messing with her head. Maybe it was her head messing with her life.
Her intrusive thoughts were interrupted by the door chime, and she got up to see who it was. When she reached the door, it slid open to reveal their Chief Engineer stood there with a cake. An extremely large cake.
Kiax: ::Eyeing the cake, grinning.:: Oh! Hello Commander.
Peters: Hey, Esa. I brought you something. :: Hands over the cake. :: Thought I’d stop by and see how you’re doing after the shenanigans on the station.
Esa took the cake and smiled.
Kiax: Thank you. For the cake, and your concern…
She held out an arm, inviting him inside.
Kiax: So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?
Peters: Call it a social visitation? Checking on a friend and trying to not spend all my spare time in engineering.
Kiax: ::Laughing softly:: Yes, we are all a little guilty of that, aren’t we… Noone ever said Starfleet Officers didn’t overwork themselves…
Kiax: Thanks again for the cake… I’ve just brewed some Orange, Mango and Cinnamon tea, if you’ve got a minute to stay?
Esa smiled and plopped herself down on her sofa, adopting her usual position of curling her feet underneath her.
Kiax: Weird question, but do you find space… Lonely?
Kiax: Like, we’re here on a ship with a thousand people on board… And it feels like I know next to nobody…
Kiax: Oh no, nothing like that. I’ve got Andrew, Noa, Trip and Money, Ishka, Wyla… Plenty of friends, but there’s a lot I still don’t know about them. ::Flippantly:: I guess that a part of me still misses Maddi, despite the fact that she broke my heart.
Kiax: Great at friendships, just suck at building meaningful relationships, I guess.
From the other room, Esa spotted her silver Bengal emerge through the doorway and stretch, before padding over to her and meow in greeting.
Kiax: But hey, Noodle appreciates me, so does it really matter?
Lieutenant Commander Esa Kiax
Chief Operations Officer
USS Astraeus – NCC 70652
22/09/2023 22:00 BST