Roosevelt Station

CR-483

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Post 4 - Of Friends, Love, and Commanding Officers

Posted on Sat Jul 18th, 2020 @ 10:29pm by Captain Suzanne Garcia & Lieutenant Clara Knecht & Commander Eden Starling-Enigma
Edited on on Sun Jul 19th, 2020 @ 12:30am

Mission: In the Shadow of Thanget
Location: USS Dreadnought, Captain's Private Dining Room
Timeline: January 13th, 2399

Lieutenant Clara Knecht smiled across the dining room table at her friend. The same one who had gotten her through her Ensign tour, who had become her best friend aboard the USS Dreadnought for her entire time aboard.

Weirdly, it was the then-Captain's wife.

When Clara had first come aboard Dreadnought as an engineering officer, Garcia had seemed imposing, even intimidating. The wife of an Admiral who had used every trick in the book to stay close to her beloved throughout the majority of her somewhat storied career. The stories people told about her when she wasn't around. It all seemed to Clara like far too much to handle.

And then Clara ran into Garcia, sweating, in a pair of overalls, doing the engineering job Clara was assigned to. When Clara, in a small, almost scared voice, asked if she had done something wrong for the XO of the ship to come down and handle it for her, Garcia had just laughed. "No. I was just bored. I like fixing things."

Thus came the beginning of a friendship that would last for the next four years, with Clara and the Commander at times inseparable, except by emergencies or by Captain T'Vrell herself.

Back in the present, Sue finished chewing a bite of her dinner, then tilted her head at Clara. "Something on your mind, love?"

Clara replied with a shrug, and another smile. "Thinking about how we met. How it led to the most wonderful friendship I've had in my life." The widening smile said something more, to Sue, but she didn't express it aloud. Not here, not now.

"Aw. I love you too." Sue slipped from her seat, behind Clara, and hugged the woman from behind, planting a kiss on the top of her head.

And it was at that moment that Clara's commbadge chirped. "Enigma to Knecht. If you're free, I'd like to meet with you in my quarters."

Clara squeaked, willing the blush to leave her face. "Y-Yes, Commander. I'll finish up here."

Sue laughed, tapping her own badge. "Clara's having dinner with the ship's Captain, Enigma. I'd prefer if you came up to my private dining room."

"Captain Surval taught me never to go against the preferences of a captain on her own ship. I'm on my way." The comm went silent.

"Sue, get off of me. It's probably not a good thing for you to be doing...this whole thing you do...when my new CO arrives."

"I outrank your new CO," Sue replied, leaning down to kiss the corner of Clara's jawline. "I'll stay here until she gets here. Then we can go back to businesslike."

Moments later, the door chimed, to which Sue replied "Come in," in a singsong voice.

The door opened just in time for them to separate, and Commander Enigma stood outside for a moment before stepping through. "Captain Garcia," she said as she entered. "I might remind you that, while most on your crew cannot hear you through the door, I very much can." She looked to Clara and offered a smile. "And sympathize with you, Lieutenant. I've had a few lovers who delighted in embarrassing me in front of senior officers as well."

"Ha," replied Garcia, grinning. "I knew you had a sense of humor buried in there somewhere, Commander. Feel free to get yourself something to eat or drink." Garcia sat back in her seat, all while Lieutenant Knecht did her best to collect herself.

"Ah...Thank you, Commander," replied Knecht, once she got herself back in order. "I think it's something beyond delight, for the good Captain, here." She offered Enigma a faint smile.

"Lieutenant Knecht was just telling me that you haven't yet been introduced," Garcia said, with a much less devious smile. "Would you prefer I leave you alone for that part? I'm happy to cede the dining room to you, or to be here."

"I'd hate to put you out," Eden said on her way to the replicator. "One jumja stick, tulaberry flavor, and a glass of chocolate milk." The two items appeared, and she made her way to the table. "Besides, if you already know my Chief Engineer, I'll find value in what you have to say."

"Fair enough." Garcia smiled and nodded to Clara. "I think that means it's on you to start on introductions, my dear."

"Captain, if I may say so? You are the absolute worst." Then Knecht cleared her throat, turning back to Enigma. "My name is Clara Knecht, Commander. You...already know that." She took a breath, eyes closing a moment, then found her center. "I've been aboard Dreadnought since 2395, and my very good friend here-" She motioned to Garcia. "-saw the opening and recommended me for the position."

"And on her rather emphatic recommendation, I chose you for the position," Eden said. "She must very much think you deserve it to be willing to part with you. Roosevelt is a unique engineering challenge, Lieutenant... Breen systems are stubborn beasts, and even if we had technical manuals for them, the Breen written language gives the universal translators even more trouble than their oral language does. Even with the work of your predecessors to draw on, you'll be writing a lot of the book here yourself."

"That is the reason I recommended her," Garcia chimed in. All business again, in a flash, just the same as Enigma's previous encounter with her. "She's an excellent problem solver and a talented engineer. She'll make a fantastic addition to your crew, Commander."

"I'm very much looking forward to the challenge," Knecht confirmed with a smile. "Writing the book's gonna be a unique challenge, though. I got dinged more than a few times at the Academy for doing my work very well but not being able to explain it properly. I'll have my team for proofreading, at least."

"Make sure you take the time to enjoy the pleasures of station duty, though," Eden said. "I spent years on this frontier, and visits to Roosevelt were always welcome, if very cold and dark, relief. The Mall is a wonder, and the strength of the communications array makes it easier to keep in touch with distant loved ones than on a starship."

"That does sound really wonderful," Knecht said. "Starship life can be challenging. Some people here were lucky enough to grow up with it, so they didn't have to adjust at all." She chuckled. "I do hear Roosevelt's a bit of a downer, though, and given the circumstances, it seems like I'm going to agree."

"The dark gets to people," Eden said. "Though much less since the Mall was opened up. Find friends, find hobbies, and make sure you take time in your work to do things that matter to you... those were the things Admiral Jenner told me when I asked him how he managed years on Garen Epok."

"I'll keep it in mind. Sounds like good advice. Thankfully, the things that matter to me are often solving mysteries. It'll be a nice good portion of my work whether I like it or not." Knecht smiled.

Eden looked to Garcia. "I like her, Captain. I think I'm going to keep her."

Garcia smiled - not the clear, jovial smile she had carried with her through most of her time with Eden. There was a profound sadness behind it, and Eden could have told that just from seeing her face. The emotion she projected to the Commander, though, was loud.

“I like her too, Commander.” The air of professionalism dropped, and Sue grabbed for Clara’s hand as she spoke. “She’s gonna be a real asset to your crew. She’s brilliant.”

“Sue...” Clara’s voice was small, and she was having an even harder time not showing how she felt on her face.

“Clara, this is an amazing opportunity for you. If you dare say you don’t have to go all of a sudden, I’ll drag you onto the station myself.”

“...Alright. I don’t think the Commander would let me drop out at the last second anyway.” Clara smiled at Eden, then looked back to Sue. “I think she and I probably have some mission-specific needs to discuss, and I don’t think I can do that with you here making me sad.”

“I love you, Clara. Spend all the time you can with me before we get to the station.”

“That was the plan.” Clara turned back to Eden. “Shall we move to another venue?”

"My quarters? That's what's playing the role of an office, at the moment." Eden rose before looking to Sue. "Thank you for your hospitality, Captain."

Sue smiled and nodded to Eden. "You're very welcome, Commander. Have a good evening." There was a quiet crack in her voice as she spoke, but Eden could see that she was doing a remarkable job of holding back the absolute storm of emotions behind that tiny waver. When the door slid shut, the tears began.

 

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