(( First Officer’s Quarters, Deck 2, USS Atlantis, nearing Illara Prime ))
Serala: Ensign, I don’t know how I can thank you enough for your last second help.
Callahan: Don’t give it any thought, Commander. I have a child myself and there’s been more than one time I have relied on my fellow officers to watch over her while I was on duty.
Serala smiled at that. She had seen the little raven-haired beauty a couple weeks ago as she and her father were apparently on their way to some shore leave activity on the station.
Serala: Where is your little girl, anyway? Tracy, wasn’t it?
The Ensign smiled in pleasure, apparently delighted that she had remembered her name.
Callahan: Yes, ma’am. The pride and joy of my life. She’s currently right outside your door. Hopefully minding her manners.
Serala walked over to the door as she responded to him.
Serala: Yes, I know that feeling. :: She cut a glance at Little Bean, fast asleep in her bassinet :: I still have a hard time separating myself from her.
Callahan: Well, it gets easier. Not much, mind you, Commander, but it does.
Serala chuckled at that comment and patted the young man on the shoulder. The door to her quarters opened and she looked outside. The girl was sitting on the floor holding some kind of doll. Serala found her smile growing and found herself thinking about when T’Saara would hold such a doll in her little hands.
Serala: Tracy? Come on in here little one. :: she had to suppress a chuckle at the shock and near terror on the girl’s face as the mean Romulan woman was talking to her. :: Don’t worry, Tracy. It’s okay.
Callahan: Come here, honey. It’s okay.
The girl ran past Serala and straight into her father’s waiting arms. He hugged her close as if to reassure her that they were both okay - that the mean green woman wouldn’t hurt them.
Serala: Well, thank you again, Ensign. I will return as soon as I can.
Callahan: Anytime, Commander.
As the door to her cabin shut behind her, the Captain’s voice came over the shipwide address.
Thoran: =/\= This is the Captain. We have arrived at Illara Prime. All away teams being final preparations. Shuttles will be departing to the surface within the hour. =/\=
(( Timeskip - 30 minutes, Main Shuttlebay, Deck 11 ))
Serala stepped into the shuttlebay and saw the two Type 11 shuttles waiting on the launch pads. Making the age-old mistake of assuming, she headed for the B’Hala. Ensign Zarax saw her mistake and moved to intercept her.
Zarax: Excuse me, Commander.
Serala stopped in her tracks and looked at the Orion woman, quirking one eyebrow in curiosity.
Serala: Yes, Ensign?
Zarax: Well, I think there was sort of a mix up on the Bridge, but your team is going in the Elysium.
The Elysium? Who had made that mistake? Serala didn’t quite hate that shuttle, but that memorial plaque bothered her immensely. And from what she had learned through the ship's scuttlebutt, it had been updated to include Stevok’s name. Oh, the plaque itself was a wonderful tribute to those fallen 27 - 28 now. But Serala had always felt responsible for those deaths. She had been the Tactical Officer on duty that fateful day and felt she should have detected that cloaked vessel much sooner. Logic told her that was irrational, but she couldn’t get past the idea. Those deaths were on her. It had prompted her to develop a tactical program that utilized the unique characteristics of the Expanse to locate cloaked vessels. But that day still weighed heavily on her heart.
Serala: I see. Thank you, Ensign, for helping me not look foolish for boarding the wrong shuttle.
Zarax: Yes, ma’am. Sorry about the mix up.
Serala: I’m pretty sure it’s not your fault, Ensign, but thank you for the sentiment.
With that, Serala altered her trajectory and headed for the Elysium. The Bajoran Duty Officer, Vase Ope, was already in the pilot’s seat and appeared to be running through her preflight checks. Serala caught a glimpse of the plaque, and as if the Elements were conspiring against her, her eyes landed on Stevok’s name. She reached her hand up and touched it, as if she could touch him vicariously. A tear leaked from her eye and she was glad the Bajoran Lieutenant was busy with her work and wouldn’t notice. She decided to wait for the others outside the shuttle, and as she exited she wiped the renegade tear from her cheek.
Lt. Commander Serala
Training Team Member
Image Collective Member
Community History Team Member
USS Atlantis NCC-74682