Catching up and Moving Forward
Posted on Wed May 20th, 2020 @ 9:56am by Captain Enalia Telvan & Lieutenant Mona Gonadie & Hera & Commander Rita Paris & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox & Ensign Briaar Gavarus & Ensign Fiona O'Dell & Petty Officer 2nd Class 'Big Ethel' Jablonski & Jaeih Dox-t'Aan & Artan Pirate Helev t'Liun
Edited on on Sat May 23rd, 2020 @ 6:42pm
Return to the Core
Location: Flight Deck, Conference Room, USS Hera
It had not been quite the full two weeks of rest and recovery on Lieutenant Mona Gonadie’s home planet of Miradon that had been planned on for the birth of her three girls with the Hera’s Romulan Flight Chief, Lieutenant Commander Mnhei’sahe Dox, but circumstances dictated that the trip be cut short. The U.S.S. Hera had gone missing, pulled into a realm of space known as the Undrheim, and upon discovering this, Dox had collected her new family and their crewmates from the ship and took off in the Artan Bird of Prey, the Golden Ghost, to find their missing friends.
Thankfully, but by the time they arrived at the last known coordinates of the Hera at Galorndon Core, the mighty Nebula Class Starship had returned, along with three D'deridex class Romulan Warbirds that flanked her like an entourage.
The group from the Hera, which included Dox, Mona, Petty Officers Jablonski, and Liu, the Vulcan refuge Az’Prel, Dox’s mother Jaeih, the Goddess Hera herself and NOW, the three newborn girls, transferred back to the Hera in the smaller craft, Dox’s own J-Type freighter, the Khallianen. As the smaller ship came to a landing in the expansive landing bay of the great starship, the Golden Ghost and her mistress, Commander Helev t’Liun, bid their farewell and left back to their own business.
Parking on the deck, Dox was at the helm and began powering down the smaller craft as the group returning home from their pilgrimage began to disembark, one by one. There to greet them on the flight deck, was the Hera's Captain, Enalia Telvan. Her First Officer, Commander Rita Paris, and the two blue-clad misfits of the R&D department, Ensigns Fiona O’Dell and Briaar Gavarus. In Gavarus’ arms, their tiny toddler, the Minotaur, Minerva O’Dell.
After the rest had disembarked to greetings and hugs, where appropriate, Dox and Mona came down the ramp last, with the convertible, three-seat hoverpram holding their newborn triplets, Hlai’vana, Amihan, and Tala.
Sitting in a triangular grouping in the pram, all three girls were wide awake and looking around the massive flight deck with their big, copper-colored eyes, cooing happily. Looking over at Rita, Dox had a light smile at the end of the ramp as she spoke. “Lieutenant Commander Mnhei’sahe Dox and family, reporting for duty, Commander. Permission to come aboard?”
"Permission granted, Lieutenant Commander. I'll waive formality this time for the new little crewmen," Paris said somewhat stiffly, before her gaze betrayed her, and strayed to the pram, at which point her professional composure evaporated like steam, and she was bent over with her rear in the air, cooing at the newborns in a voice that threatened to give the children early onset diabetes. "Hello! Hello there, you three! Welcome to the Hera! I'm your Auntie Rita, and this is Auntie Enalia. Welcome to the universe, little explorers! Hello!"
Enalia tried to maintain her composure as well, but after a few moments, she too couldn't help but grin happily as well, leaning down to get a closer look at them. "Those have got to be the cutest kids I have ever seen. Welcome back, all of you. And to the three of you, welcome aboard. It's a pleasure finally meeting you."
Smiling, Dox looked at Mona and chuckled slightly as the most curious of the three, the blue and green feathered Tala reached up with tiny grabby hands to the two smiling executive officers and squeaked out, "Ann?"
"Holy Shhh...CRAP." Briaar Gavarus said with a start, while bouncing little Minnie on her hip, standing a bit back from the rest. "They can... like... sorta talk? They're, like, 2 weeks old!? You guys weren't trapped in a time warp or anything too, right?"
"Ah, no..." Mona began, glancing over at Dox with a chuckle. "Due to the bond, they already understand our first languages and can speak some basic words. It's a Miradonian trait."
"As I understand it, they begin developing early in the womb and picked things up from the both of us telepathically," Dox said as she reached over and snatched up the black and red feathered Hlai'vana, who was rather quickly trying to climb out of the pram. "And this one keeps trying to fly a little more aggressively than her sisters, in spite of their bones being a bit too dense to pull that off, really."
But little Vana wasn't sitting still in Dox's arms as her eyes lit up and a massive smile crossed her face. With a musical trill, she spotted little Minerva in Briaar's arms and started laughing and pulling towards the fuzzy Minotaur. And as she did, Ami and Tala picked up on her excitement and started bouncing in place.
For her part, Minnie seemed equally as excited, reaching for the chicks and tugging at Briaar's grip while Hlai'vana wriggled a bit more deftly, starting to get out of her Romulan mother's grip. "Hnaev... calm down, Vana. Let me just... put you... down."
As she juggled with the tiny tot, Dox grinned nervously towards the person closest to her, Rita. "Uh... heh... help."
With surprising deftness, care, and speed, Rita moved in to snatch Vana up, literally taking her up over her head then 'flying' the child around to distract her before settling the excited youngster on her ample hip that seemed rather made for the task.
For a moment, the little chick with the jet black feathers with twin red streaks in it looked up at Rita with a tilted head, thrumming. Each new experience was something the children were absorbing and clearly fascinated by. For her part, Vana would always associate Rita Paris with excitement.
Stepping over toward Gavarus, Rita got the two close enough to interact a bit, keeping a watchful and wary eye on the situation as the child's mothers worked to free the other two. As Mona and Dox got control of Ami and Tala, Hlai'vana reached over and put her tiny hand on the end of Minnie's muzzle and began to thrum, rather loudly. And as she did, her sisters joined in.
For her part, Minnie seemed to be a combination of giddy and transfixed as she put her tiny, three-fingered hands gently over Vana's hand with a smile and a light mooing.
"You could just put Minnie in the pram, you know?" the ever-sensible first officer suggested.
"Indeed, Commander. A capital idea." Jaeih Dox said, stepping back onto the deck from the break room where she had taken some of the children's things. "Come, Miss Gavarus. That pram you built is large and strong enough to carry all four and even Miss O'Dell is the need ever arose."
The last line said with the slightest of smiles for the pint-sized test-pilot, who the elder Romulan was quite fond of and tended to show it through their occasional sharing of friendly barbs.
"Wahhhhl, I'm nae that drunk yet, but the night is young, Mrs. Dox," O'Dell shot back with a grin.
Taking Minnie from Gavarus' hands and giving her a quick hug, Jaeih carefully and delicately placed all four children in the pram, to which they immediately began to play, rather gently. As with the Captain's daughter Moira, the generally rough and tumble Minotaur was being exceedingly gentle with the chicks, even as they all seemed fascinated with her fur and horns. "There you go. I know you've wanted to meet them for quite some time, Minerva. Now, play gently."
The quantifiably adorable sight elicited a warm and unguarded smile from the seasoned intel operative before she caught the others looking at her. "Hrumpf..." Jaeih cleared her throat, resuming a more authoritarian posture, but almost looking ever so slightly embarrassed.
Sidling up to Hera, Rita Paris placed an arm over the elder goddess' shoulder, squeezing her gently in a side hug. When she spoke, her voice was low and conspiratorial, although it was pointless. Half the people in the immediate vicinity had heightened hearing anyway. but it was polite to speak de sotto, when attempting to be subtle. "Your doing, that they all get long together? They'll always have good coordination, good teamwork... they'll always be your children too, won't they? Your gift to the universe?"
"Well you know what they say about people like me working in mysterious ways," the matronly goddess replied with a wink and a return of the side hug. "But yes, it does warm the heart seeing children playing happily, does it not? That alone is a precious gift and a power unto its own."
Noting that her question had gone unanswered, which was in and of itself an answer, Rita Paris smiled, watching the future take root in the present as the trio of avian Romulan feathered chick met a playmate for the first time- a playmate so wholly unlike them. Furred, horned and hooved, she was durable and sturdy, bones thickening even as the pudginess she'd missed out on as a baby began catching up with her. The big brown eyes sought those copper eyes as the minotaur babe gently interacted with the, and they with her and one another, communicating in simple sounds and gestures that seemed almost instinctual to them all.
In the pram, the children of the Hera played as their natural curiosity was afire. They all seemed to mutter incoherently and Minnie seemed as fascinated by their feathers as they were with her horns and fur. The curious Tala was crawling around trying to get a look at the tiny Minotaur's tail while the more rambunctious Hlai'vana was excitedly trying to climb up Minnie's horns. As usual, the golden-plumed Ami began to let out a melodious thrumming while the adults watched happily.
"Well, seems Daycare 1 might not be a battleground after all, Mrs. Dox," the ancient astronaut opined. "That should come as something of a relief, no?"
"Well, Minerva is getting stronger every day and can still evade the ship's scanners if she feels so inclined. And these three are still trying to fly quite regularly, so I think in spite of the extremely welcome lack of any animosity between them, I will have more than enough to keep me busy." Jaeih replied with a legitimate note of pride in her voice as she was finally embracing her role in helping raise the children of the future. It was a role she initially dismissed as beneath her, but was now understanding fully why Rita had suggested it to her. "It shall be quite the.. invigorating challenge keeping up with them, to be sure."
"That's the spirit, Mrs. Dox. I can think of no one better suited to the challenge... which reminds me, we should meet when you are settled back in. There have been developments while you were away, and I need to bring you up to speed." Raising her hands in mock surrender, Paris shook her head. "Positive development, Mrs. Dox, positive developments. We'll talk."
"I look forward to it, Comm.. Tala, that is a tail, not a chew toy," Jaeih directed, switching gears back to the children as Mnhei'sahe Dox found she needed to actively compose herself. Watching her mother who had been so cold and cruel in raising her, finally becoming the parental figure for which Dox had always wished for, was somewhat overwhelming as she squeezed Mona's hand. The life of love, a happy family, a successful career, and a caring parent now helping her raise her own children was far more than she'd ever dreamed, and she paused in that moment to appreciate that life was surprisingly good, and that she had much to be thankful for. Tucking the high emotions away for a moment, she straightened her crimson uniform top and composed herself professionally.
Looking up to the Captain and First Officer, the young Flight Chief had a more professional demeanor, "As soon as we found out that you were missing, we made our way back here. I'm extremely glad that you were able to get out of that predicament. That said, I have to assume there is a story and a half behind the three D'deridex-class Warbirds parked here with us?"
"Aye mum. Cap'n cut a deal with 'em, anticipated treachery, had an ace up her sleeve and forced 'em to play nice until cooler heads prevailed. Hell of a story, but I'll let them tell it," O'Dell volunteered as Ami chewed on her finger, her simple phrasing encapsulating the mission with a somewhat skewed but not wholly inaccurate summation of events.
Raising an eyebrow, Dox nodded slightly. "Looks like I have some reading to do on the department reports, to say nothing of my catching up on my own." Looking over, the returning flight chief had made a mental note that Ensign MacNielle had been at the dock controls and wanted to get caught up on what she had missed while away. "That said, I think I can speak for us all when I say that we missed you all and it's good to be back."
"Indeed," Jaeih said with an ever-so-slightly mischievous expression as she prepped the pram and took the diaper bag from Mona. "It is quite good to see all of you who could not make it. But rest assured, In spite of the cultural restrictions, we were still able to procure a significant number of holos of the trip."
There was a noticeably strange tone in the cagey intel agent's emphasis on the words 'could not', which prompted a slight and subtle glare from Dox, as it was to be kept a secret that Rita Paris had found a way to attend, albeit it briefly and from the gilded Commander's own future.
Maybe. Possibly. With time travel and Rita Paris, one could never be sure.
"Well, you have about three hours to read them and get briefed before our holo-call with Admiral Meowlth." the Trill captain interjected with a wry grin and a nod to her Romulan Flight Chief. "We're discussing the future of the crews of those three D'deridex as well as the captain of a Freight Eagle. They helped us immeasurably, and I don't want their involvement with Rendal to reflect poorly on them."
"Aye, mum. Me pal Garnak was vurrah instrumental in savin' the Hera, and if not for the courage of his fearless men, heroic bravery and cool head, the entire fleet here woulda been lost!" O'Dell chirped in somewhat unexpectedly. "Cap'n told me to be press-ready, L-C."
With her stomach tightening up ever so slightly at the idea of being required to be in an official meeting with the Admiral in just three hours, Dox shook it off and managed a smile for the tiny test pilot whose enthusiasm was still gratifying to see. "Sounds like quite the story, Miss O'Dell. I look forward to hearing it... and meeting your friend."
Looking over to Jaeih, Dox was already working out what all she needed to attend to. "Mother, could I impose on you to help Mona and the kids get settled?"
"Of course. Attend to your duties, and I shall attend to mine." Jaeih said with a smile as she put her hand on Dox's shoulder encouragingly and with no small amount of mostly hidden pride at her daughter.
Turning back to Enalia, Dox nodded. "I'll review the reports now, Captain. Thank you."
Pulling out a PaDD with all the data, Enalia handed it off to Dox and gave her a pat on the shoulder. "Thank you, and don't worry too much. The reports that make it to the embassy and High Command will be curated by Starfleet Command first. This is just the first meeting, after all."
"Bridge conference room. Don't be late."