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Cooling Her Heels

Posted on Fri Apr 1st, 2022 @ 2:41am by Lieutenant Ashlesha 4827/A

Mission: Paranoia Nebula
Location: DS9

Ashlesha hated Deep Space Nine. She hated the fact it was so...un-Starfleet, the crowds in their vast array of civilian uniforms filling up the promenade and the Cardassian architecture. Most of all she hated that here she had no purpose, that she was supposed to be a tourist until Sunfire docked. Several times she had taken a walk around the place but she had quickly discovered her curious nature caused uncomfortable stares and she found herself reliving the early days of the Academy where she had to repeatedly explain that no, she was not triplets and yes, she was a clone, but no-

In the end Green and Violet stayed in her quarters and Gray went out on excursions. Well, she thought wryly, at least she was getting some reading done. Earth history was fascinatingly violent, especially English and she was deep into a book regarding the history of the War of The Roses.

She passed a church or chapel for the local religion where people worshiped a rock or something and suppressed an urge to look inside. She was bored, but not so bored as to ogle at the locals as they practiced their local customs. There was a tailor's shop but she had plenty of uniforms already and her civilian clothes-what few there were, suited her just fine. There was a sort of museum where one could indulge in the fascinating history of 'The Emissary' and his exploits and Ashlesha had a feeling she should know whom that was but she had likely been immersed in a book when someone had tried to tell her. Finally she found herself wandering into (sigh) Quark's.

The smarmy owner smiled as she took her place at the bar. Smiling that disconcerting snaggle-teeth grin, he asked, "Your sisters aren't out and about?"

She was about to explain-again-her nature was but instead she suppressed a sigh and instead said, "Beer. Please." realizing that she could not possibly be more vague she added, "Terran."

"Coming right up!" Quark replied as he turned to a replicator. As Gray waited at the bar Violet was running through sit ups while Green another chapter on the book she idly thought of how inefficient a monarchy was as a system of government. She smiled and thanked the proprietor as he placed the tall glass of golden liquid before her with a flourish and wished he would go away.

Of course he did not.

"Might I interest you in a holosuite?" he inquired, "I have a wide variety of programs to suit, from the mundane to the," he smiled suggestively, "exotic." He caught her expression and quickly switched gears, "Of course, if it is..." he paused, then brightened, "...history you like there is a vast array of programs regarding your planet's history. We had some amateur historians here that relived some of your world's violent periods."

Ashlesha's eyebrows lifted in sudden interest, "Really? Were there any programs for the War of-"

And then she heard a snippet of conversation nearby and a word: Sunfire. Ashlesha absently thanked the bartender and made a beeline for the table where several crewmen were seated at a table eagerly scanning a PADD. They all glanced up at her and noted the pips on her collar.

"May I," she said in a tone that expressly said 'Give me' as she held out her hand. The crewman quickly handed the PADD to her. Gray scanned it.

Green stopped reading and Violet paused in mid sit-up.

"...Wow," Gray murmured as she read through the damage report. Sunfire was a mess. She was already imagining what would be needed to get her fully spaceworthy again...


Gray's head snapped up, she stared at the crewman who had spoken. His expression looked...concerned. Ashlesha realized she had been grinding her teeth. All of them. Gray jerkingly handed back the PADD and stalked out of the bar, fists clenched. Fixing Sunfire was a helluva job, one meant for a universe class engineer.

And that was no longer her job any more.

She knew in the long run this change of career was good for her. It still felt wrong. She was comfortable in an engine room, working under the glow of a warp drive. And maybe that was the problem, that she had grown too comfortable. Being a good officer was meeting challenges, to be pushed beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis. In a way being CEO on the Bellephoron had become...easy. She had learned every element of that ship, had known what was wrong almost before it happened. And on Sunfire she would be the new guy, every day would be a challenge for...months.

She was going to have to explain to people that no, she was not triplets, over and over and over...

She sighed. Then grimaced. This attitude would not do. If she kept this up she would be picking fights with Sunfire's CEO in no time, cause people to avoid all of her while she felt sorry for herself. She was still a department head, darn it. And her new ship would need her.

Gray purposefully strode the promenade as Green and Violet began the arduous task of packing. Sunfire would be here soon. Ashlesha wanted to be on board her at the soonest opportunity...


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