((Main Engineering, Deck 8, USS Veritas))
After her long trip to Krios Prime, then Duronis II, and finally Earth, there was a certain relief to being back aboard Veritas. Not to say that Captain Roshanara Rahman hadn’t enjoyed getting to visit her parents on Earth in Lahore. It was always good to see them along with her childhood friend Ayesha.
Yet despite lacking the potted plants or plush couches of say the Invicta or the leather chairs of the Garuda, there was the warmth of home that still radiated from the metal deck plating of the deep space cruiser Veritas. And perhaps it was no surprise given her previous profession before captain that Roshanara still felt most at home in the ship’s heart, the engine room.
She walked in and took a moment to look around, trying to see where her intended target was. With no sign of him just yet, she walked forward towards the warp core, admiring the obvious care she could see the crew had taken to it while she was away.
((Engineering Upper Level, Deck 7))
Wil was on the upper deck of engineering on the gangway, checking the diagnostic results of plasma flow conduits. Nacelle 3 was back up and running, but given that he’d been told that before, he’d requested some of the Engineering team to verify that it really *was* back up and running.
Chalmers: There’s nothing in the diagnostics.
Wil rubbed the temples of his head. Not only was the “perfectly” repaired Nacelle 3 giving him a headache, so was his hangover. On his second day back from Freecloud, he was still feeling tired and a little “under the weather”. A bachelor and a hen’s party, almost back to back, was a lot of fun… but he was paying for it.
Chalmers: Sir, I’ve ran this through the computer, twice, I’ve manually checked the summary reports.
He decided against the whole “when you say ‘Sir’ I look around for someone older than me” line again, he just didn’t have the mental energy. He placed his hands on his hips.
Ukinix: ::Sighing:: Alright…
He looked left from the gangway and saw the figure of his Captain. Except… she didn’t have a scar. A few weeks earlier, he had organised Commander Jansen Orrey’s bachelor party, and had hired a high performance small ship, that came with an impersonator as part of the cost. He’d nominated Jansen’s fiancee Raissa to be the one to impersonate. Instead, he’d got more than he’d bargained for...
((Flashback, S.S. Bacchus Marsh - Two weeks earlier))
But then something happened to Wil in a split second. On his way to the ramp, over his shoulder and out of the corner of his eye, he saw a woman, with dark hair, and spots on her skin. The clothing that he could see in that instant, her top, was red. Somewhere in his mind subconsciously told him it was someone familiar – and important. An authority figure…. It was his Captain!
Abyrinthe: Excuse me?
Instinctively and without question, he turned to greet his Captain. He didn’t know she was back from Krios Prime, so this was a pleasant surprise.
Ukinix: Captain! ::Smiling:: Welcome back.
His smile quickly disappeared when he realised that, although she looked a lot like Captain Rahman, it actually wasn’t. Maybe it was the crappy fake spots on her skin. Or the fact that the spots were more akin to a Trill rather than Roshanara’s native Krioisian. Or the lack of burn mark on her face.
Or, maybe, just maybe, it could have been *the fact that she wasn’t wearing any pants, and wore knee high stiletto boots*. Yeah, that was probably it. A look of slight horror appeared on his face.
Abyrinthe: Uh-huh. I’m not in character yet.
There was a confused expression on Wil’s face – while at the same time, Ceciri was cracking up laughing.
Ariadust: Sorry, sorry about this.
Ukinix: ::Squinting eyes:: Wait, *you’re* the impersonator?
Abyrinthe: Look, you didn't mention anything about these scars she's got all across her face.
Wil placed his hands on his temples, and closed his eyes, groaning quietly with displeasure. How could the hire company have got it so wrong?
Ukinix: ::Exasperated:: What is she-
Chalmers: Si- I mean, Lieutenant?
He tucked his tongue into his cheek, before smiling ironically. He kept his eye on “Roshanara” while speaking to Chalmers.
Ukinix: Remember that impersonator I told you about from Jansen’s bachelor party? ::Gesturing with palm:: She’s here for some reason.
Before Chalmers could say anything more, Wil made his way to the one of the ladders, and rapidly climbed down it, while speaking to the impersonator.
Ukinix: Well, well, well. Look who’s here.
The woman turned, revealing indeed her scarless face, and smiled upon seeing Wil approach.
Rahman: Ah, Lieutenant-
Ukinix: What the &%%$ are you doin’ back?
The visitor was visibly taken aback by his query.
Rahman: Excuse me?
He looked down at his feet as he got to the bottom of the ladder, to make sure he didn’t trip or fall - which meant he wasn’t looking at the woman he was talking to.
Ukinix: Well it’s good to see you’re finally wearing pants.
Rahman: Why wouldn’t I be?
Ukinix: I dunno, you tell me. You weren’t wearing them two week ag-
When he looked up and saw her clear confusion, he cut himself off. His jaw dropped a little. The impersonator looked *remarkably* like Roshanara..
Rahman: Are you feeling all right, Lieutenant?
Perhaps she should come back later when whatever *this* was had worn off.
Ukinix: I um-
Still unsure, he squinted a little, and analysed the features of her face. And then suddenly, it was as if he saw the transformation before him.
Ukinix: oO From Froshie to Roshie. Oo
Ukinix: ::Turning head left, still slightly squinting:: Are you-
Rahman: Who’s Abyrinthe?
...but then that formed into…
Roshanara just looked back hesitantly before deciding to just stow whatever that was all about earlier to the side for now. Evidently Ukinix needed a little fresh air of his own off the ship.
Ukinix: ::pointing thumb over shoulder to ladder:: I um - sorry about that before! ::Awkward chuckle:: just a little game, um-
Rahman: I see. Well, before I let you back to your game, I wanted to come see you personally once I got back aboard.
Wil’s eyes stared at Roshanara’s face for a little bit. Her scar wasn’t there. He still wasn’t entirely sure someone wasn’t playing a trick on him… but he decided to play it safe.
Ukinix: Oh! Um - well, I’m pleased. ::Smiling:: Captain. It’s great to have you back.
Rahman: Yes, and I have a little gift for you. Not really a souvenir, but I think you’ll still like it.
Ukinix: ::Raised eyebrows:: Oh?
A smile slowly formed on his face. He looked at Roshanara again, and noted the missing scar. Maybe this was Jansen’s way of getting him back for having him kidnapped by G’var for the start of his bachelor party… his mind shifted back from “Roshanara” to “Abyrinthe”.
Ukinix: ::Hands on hips, looking around at engineering personnel, delightfully smiling:: Alright. You guys. Who’s taking the piss here? C’mon, who’s in on this.
But instead he just got back a set of confused glances around the room and from above. Fortunately, though, genuine Roshie took it more as they didn’t know about her impending announcement.
Rahman: I haven't informed them yet, Lieutenant.
He started to doubt himself again as she grabbed something from her (pants) pocket. With his hands on his hips, he looked back at the woman in front of him, as his smile became less pronounced.
She handed the small wooden box over to him to open. His face became serious as he opened it, to see the contents. He audibly and loudly exhaled as his jaw dropped again.
Rahman: Wil Ukinix, having fulfilled your duties as acting chief engineer of this ship with diligence and integrity in the finest traditions of Starfleet, I’m pleased to promote you to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Ukinix: Holy sh- ::Blinking:: Captain! Thank you! I-
She chuckled as she saw him looking at the small black pip. Well if he’s not going to do it…
Rahman: If you’ll allow me?
Ukinix: Of course!
She reached over and took the pip out of the box and then put it on his chest next to the two existing lieutenant pips that sat proudly against the gold operations division yoke.
Wil looked down, and gave the pip a quick touch, to make sure it was real.
Ukinix: Captain. I - ::pursing lips, smiling:: - thankyou. I don’t know what to say.
The only thing he could do was smile back at Roshanara.
Rahman: That’s quite all right. Congratulations, Commander.
Ukinix: Ah - sh^#, that’s me, isn’t it. Thank you Captain.
And it dawned on him momentarily. His mother was also addressed as “Commander Ukinix” (although she was a full Commander). This was going to take some getting used to.
She looked back at him, amused at this new “free spirit” persona he’d evidently adopted since she was away.
Rahman: Yes, that’s you. All right then, I expect the ship will be ready to depart by tomorrow morning. And that includes her chief engineer. Congratulations, you’ve got the job.
Wil placed his hands behind his back, and smiled even wider.
Ukinix: Aye ma’am. Thank you, Captain.
She gave a final nod before turning around to walk back out, but not before she offered a final suggestion.
Rahman: And Commander, get some sleep. It sounds like you could use it.
Ukinix: Understood. Oh, and Captain?
Rahman: ::looks back over her shoulder:: Yes?
Ukinix: Welcome back.
Rahman: ::smiles:: It’s good to be home.
Captain Roshanara Rahman
CO, USS Veritas