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Shoreleave 2: New beginnings and old friends 
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Post Shoreleave 2: New beginnings and old friends
Two months have passed since the Sentinel's encounter with the mysterious Gyrian species, a hyper-religious people who despite being trapped within a massive spatial anomaly protested the Sentinel's help because of the sacred nature of the site. The Sentinel's crew had managed to save the alien vessel before it was destroyed but was forced to do so while fighting off a small armada of rogue Klingon and Orion pirates. The ordeal had come right on the heels of Erik's promotion to commanding officer of the Sentinel and proved to be his trial by fire. Ultimately he and his crew had come out on top but Erik had been changed by how close they truly came to defeat.

In the two months after the encounter in the Taevon expanse the Sentinel has completed several successive scouting missions and amassed a worthy amount of data concerning criminal activity on the Federations periphery. Arriving at Starbase 386 the crew is hopeful for a shore leave but duty rarely rests for long.


<<Starbase 386, Office of the Chief of Staff, Day 1 1030 hours>>

Commander Erik Tsereteli wasn't entirely sure why he had been summoned to the Admiral's office but as he heard her voice call for him to enter he knew that he would soon find out. The Sentinel had been at port at Starbase 386 for only a few hours and he hadn't expected to be summoned for a debriefing until later in the afternoon, half finished reports and incomplete conclusions were all that the PADD tucked under his arm had to offer. Erik strode into the expansive office confidently and came to a stop a few feet in front of the Admiral's desk only becoming aware of the others in the room after he did so. Staring straight ahead he snapped to attention and waited to be acknowledged.

The Admiral's dark eyes watched the Sentinel's CO as he entered her office. Olivia thought she detected a bit of nerves or perhaps confusion from Erik, likely due to her request that he meet with her so soon after arriving. Regardless, he was here now and they had business to attend to. "Good morning, Captain. Thank you for joining us, why don't you have a seat?"

Erik lowered his gaze to meet the Admiral's and he regarded his superior for a moment, unable to discern what it was that she intended to discuss. "Thank you Admiral," he said formally before he seated himself in one of the two empty chairs on his side of the desk. While his eyes mostly remained on his superior, he also took notice of a large stylized sun that hung on the wall behind her, gold red and crimson in color; he found its Latin American flair quite different than the cultural art he might find in his native Georgia.

"We have received some preliminary reports regarding your most recent mission and will discuss those with you in more detail later on. For now, we have other business to discuss," Olivia explained. It wasn't particularly her desire to be mysterious, but she hadn't wanted to specify precisely what they would discuss when Erik had first been asked to come to her office. "I don't believe you've officially met Vice Admiral Livian (PNPC) previously, but she is joining us."

Erik felt as though he should stand out of respect for the other Admiral but the situation suggested that he remained seated, instead he gave the other admiral a respectful nod letting his gaze meet hers just long enough for acknowledgment before returning his attention toward Admiral Tavez. "I've not previously had the honor, no," he replied simply. Being in such esteemed company seemed to be an escalating trend, one that the Commander wasn't accustomed to. Erik shifted anxiously in his seat before braving to voice himself, "if I may Admiral, I am curious as to what I owe the honor to?"

Giving him a brief, somewhat mysterious smile, Olivia looked the Captain in the eye, "We have been impressed...and pleased with your work, Commander Tsereteli. You and your crew have done well. As such, I am hereby promoting you to the rank of Captain," Nodding to him, she slid a small mahogany box over to him.

Erik stared at the closed box for a moment as he absorbed what was happening, he had been working toward this moment for more than a decade and now that it was here he wanted to savor the moment. Slowly he took the box into his hands and opened it to reveal a set of four golden Pips, he was a Captain at last. His brows raised and his hand found it's way to his chin absentmindedly as he let out a short sharp sigh, his eyes raised to the admirals and allowing himself a slight smile he replied simply, “thank you Admiral.”

"You're welcome Captain," Kailani replied confidently. She had had several discussions with Olivia about Erik and they both felt the promotion was well-earned. Truthfully, from her perspective, they could use more commanding officers like Erik or Isabel and less like Charles Lysander (NPC).... Hopefully the situation at Starbase 621 would be sorted out soon.

After glancing down at some notes on her PADD, Olivia's gaze moved from Kailani to Erik. "Captain, we appreciate the work you've already done patrolling our borders and surveying systems," she began. Kailani had been read in on the situation previously and had, at her request, been looking for additional personnel for the Sentinel. "Based on the information you've gathered thus far, we have enough to improve patrol efficiency by a significant percentage. You really have a way with finding the trouble zones it seems."

“My crew is very adept,” Erik replied sincerely. He had been given command of the USS Sentinel some months earlier and in that short time had seen much success but it was his crew that enabled him to do so. “I couldn't do what I do without them.”

"We would like the Sentinel to continue on officially with what she's already been doing. However, the expanded mission would involve taking your ship outside Federation borders to explore systems beyond the Cardassian and Ferengi cores and assess them for potential threats," the Admiral explained further. “Are you familiar with our new outpost, Starbase Six-Two-One?”

“I know of it,” Erik admitted despite sounding uncertain. “I know that there's been a lot of controversy surrounding it's construction and it's Captain.”

After seeing Olivia nod in the affirmative to the newly promoted Captain, Kailani spoke up, "Due to the updated mission, I've been looking for some additional crew for you that might be helpful. We also realize that some members are transferring off. Among the transfers is one in particular...a civilian specialist who's familiar with organized crime and piracy. He too, has a way, with finding trouble areas. He's been given the provisional StarFleet rank of Lieutenant and will be assigned to your Intelligence department. There will be a few other transfers as well."

"If I may Admiral," Erik replied briskly though in a mild, professional tone. "I trust the judgment of the chief of staff but I am not accustomed to have civilians aboard my ship, provisionally ranked or otherwise. Can I correctly assume that this individual is knowledgeable of Starfleet protocol and decorum in addition to any technical knowledge?"

Kailani nodded in response and answered Erik's concerns, "The man in question has served aboard Deep Space 9 as well as here. He has also passed some of the more basic StarFleet training programs available aboard StarFleet vessels as well as the bridge officer's exam. I can assure you he is aware of protocols and possesses appropriate technical knowledge, Captain."

"Thank you Admiral," Erik replied with a nod of his own. "As you know the Sentinel has a relatively small crew and it is a concern of mine that personnel without the proper training might adversely affect the regular function of the crew."

"We can certainly understand your concern," Olivia confirmed with a nod towards Kailani, "I would hope you realize we wouldn't do something that we felt would negatively affect your ship, though. Lieutenant Zael (NPC) is being assigned due to the resources and knowledge he has which will be beneficial to your mission."

"It sounds like he will be an excellent addition to the crew," Erik replied though his mind was still caught on the name, Zael. He had heard this name before but couldn't remember when or where. "With respect to the mission," Erik continued. "I was hoping to give my crew a couple days of R and R, they've been through a lot lately and could use some downtime. If the Admiralty has no objections of course."

Shaking her head, Olivia replied, "Of course not. A few of the crewmembers who are transferring over haven't quite arrived yet anyway, as I understand it." She picked up a PADD from the left side of her desk and slid it towards Erik. "More details concerning your updated mission are explained here. We can go over it now if you'd like, or since you'll be here a few days, you can review it and then raise any questions you might have."

"Actually, now would work just fine Admiral," Erik replied as he retrieved the PADD from the table and began to survey it's contents. Listed were several key planets outside of Federation space that the Admiralty had concerns about and rightfully so in Erik's opinion. Starbase 621 was several days trip from 386 and that would give Erik more time to familiarize himself with them. The Sentinel would be at the forefront of exploration and defense in this new region and he would have to be prepared. The would all need to be prepared.

OFF
a JP brought to you by:

Admiral Olivia Tavez (PNPC)
Horizon Fleet Chief of Staff
Played by: Fala Awen

and

Vice Admiral Kilani Livian (PNPC)
Horizon Fleet Director of Personnel and Awards
Played by: Fala Awen

and

_________________
Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:27 am
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Chief Security/Tactical Officer
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Shoreleave 2: New beginnings and old friends
<<USS Sentinel, Sen’s Quarters, Day 1, 1245>>

For the first time in ages, Archana had slept the entire morning away. It wasn’t completely unheard of for the Betazoid to sleep in on the odd morning off, but even then she wasn’t used to rolling out of bed in the early afternoon. Although she’d slept several hours more than usual, she felt neither refreshed nor relaxed. If anything, she felt worse than before, and she was still tired enough that falling right back into bed didn’t sound like such a bad idea.

Archana had just decided to drift off for a little while more when an odd sound pierced through her sleep-addled thoughts. Prying one bleary eye open, she realized it was the doorchime coming from the other room. Likely that was what had woken her up in the first place. Heaving a world-weary sigh, as though it was the greatest inconvenience in the world just to drag herself out of bed, Archana forced herself to her feet. Oddly enough, fatigued though she was, she felt better already just to be firmly on her feet and out of bed. Sticking her head through the doorway between her room and living space, she called out, “Come in,” observing with bleary eyes to see who was so determined to visit her this morning.

Concerned after her friend had missed her counseling session, Darija had had the computer locate Arcana and then headed to her quarters. PADD in hand, she had waited outside, growing more and more uneasy the longer she stood there. When the Trill finally heard a reply, she exhaled in relief and stepped inside. "Archana?"

“Darija,” Archana said with a smile, stepping out into the living room still clad in her loose-fitting sleepwear. “What are you…” Realization hit her, and she groaned in quiet dismay. “Oh no, I missed my appointment, didn’t I? I’m so sorry, Darija.” Beckoning her friend to step further inside, Archana shook her head at her own mistake. “I slept in a little more than usual today. Morning off and all that.”

Smiling, Darija replied, "As a matter of fact, you did miss it... When I didn't hear from you, I thought I should make a house call." Noting the sleepwear, the Trill added, "I can come back later or you can stop by my office later this afternoon, if that would be better for you. I'm guessing I actually woke you."

“You did,” Archana said, her smile wry. “But that’s all right. I probably should have gotten out of bed anyways. I’m just sorry you had to come all this way when the mistake was mine.” The Betazoid idly attempted to run a hand through her hair, then stopped when she realized it would be next to impossible. Although she’d confined it to a braid before bed the night before, her long and somewhat restless night had left it a complete and utter mess. “If you can pardon my appearance, then I don’t see why we can’t carry out your house call idea.”

Darija chuckled, "I don't generally mind taking field trips. A change of scenery can be nice. I'm pretty sure that I can handle the 'just rolled out of bed' look, but if you want a few minutes to change or get something to eat, feel free."

Archana shrugged. “I haven't got much of an appetite,” she said, making herself comfortable on the couch. “But if you’d like something from the replicator, please help yourself.” With Darija, she didn’t usually stand on ceremony. They’d been friends for some time now, and Archana naturally assumed that the Trill would know that she was welcome to make herself at home when in Archana’s quarters. “I don’t usually sleep in this late. It’s made my mind a little fuzzy, I’m afraid. All the same, I really am sorry for missing our appointment.”

Following Archana's lead, Darija also took a seat on the couch. "I'm fine thanks, but I'm pretty sure I know where your replicator is if I change my mind," she chuckled. Sitting her PADD on her lap as she casually crossed one leg over the other, the Trill said, "You don't need to apologize. Everyone needs to sleep in sometimes. Besides, coming here gave me an excuse to get out of my office."

“In that case, maybe you should be thanking me for not making my original appointment,” Archana grinned cheekily. “At any rate, what are we talking about today? More confrontation of past demons, for old times' sake?” Over the past few years, Darija had helped Archana find the peace and emotional stability that had eluded her in the wake of her divorce. But that didn’t necessarily make Archana one hundred percent comfortable with the weekly ritual of spilling all her thoughts and innermost feelings, even if it was with someone she trusted and respected. Half Betazoid or not, Archana didn’t always feel comfortable facing down her emotions, so she usually relied on Darija to lead the way.

"Perhaps I should," Darija chuckled. Settling back against the couch, she said, "Well, what's been on your mind lately? Not that I don't enjoy a good plate smashing...we could certainly give that another go if you'd like...but what's been occupying your thoughts?" She wanted to make the conversation more fluid and natural, rather a forced questioning. By now, the two knew each other quite well and while they had regular sessions, Darija felt it important to keep the familiar connection present.

The truth was that a good deal had been occupying Archana’s thoughts as of late. Her shoulders slumped somewhat, and as she tucked her legs under her, she drummed her fingers on the armrest beside her, simply thinking for a moment. “Darija, what would you do if you…” She wasn’t really sure how to phrase her question. “If you knew that someone you cared for very much cared for you too, but also pretended that they didn’t. No,” she amended with a frustrated sigh. “Not just pretended that they didn’t care, but that you didn’t exist at all.”

Although Darija had her suspicions as to who Archana was speaking about, she decided not to bring it up. Instead, she considered what her friend and asked for a few moments before she replied. "Well, I would probably ask myself why they might be acting that way, for starters. Pushing that person to acknowledge their feelings would likely make matters worse...so I would try to find out what was behind their behavior and then see if I could do something that might help. For instance, if that person had recently lost someone, perhaps they need time to deal with the loss."

“Oh, I can guess well enough what their problem is,” Archana said, a touch of bitterness pervading her voice. “They’re a coward, afraid to face it or deal with it. They’re so intensely focused on other aspects of their life that they refuse to even entertain their own feelings and emotions on the matter.” She sighed again. “I’m not unsympathetic. I know that…caring…for another person can be frightening or overwhelming, or even bring unseen changes. But to pretend like I don’t even exist… I think that's cold, Darija. It’s cowardly and cold.”

It was times such as these that were difficult for the Trill. Part of her wanted to simply sympathize with her friend, the other part felt the need to give sound counsel. While the two usually aligned, it didn't always work out that way. "Maybe it's the only way he can think of to deal with the situation. He may not be ready to move forward or even contemplate it at this point and so, instead of leading you on, he thinks it's better to push you away. Everyone deals with things differently. I'm not saying it's 'right' for him to pretend you don't exist, but perhaps it's all he can think of to do given his current situation."

“I can understand that,” Archana said carefully. After all, It had been a long, long while before she herself had been able to admit that she cared for the person in question. She knew a thing or two about avoiding difficult emotions. “But how long am I supposed to live like this? We were friends before, and I was happy with that. It was all I wanted, and I never would have expected more. How do we move forward even just as friends if he can’t even look me in the eyes half the time?”

"At this point, what is it that you truly want? Do you want to be more than friends? If he's not willing to take that step, are you alright with remaining friends as you were before? And what does he know of your feelings? I don't know what was said between the two of you, but perhaps he's under the impression that you want more and don't want to simply be friends. If you are actually okay with simply being friends, maybe that's what he needs to hear," Darija replied, shifting slightly to lean on the armrest and angle herself more towards Archana.

Archana shook her head. “Nothing has been said between us. That’s rather the problem, I think.” Feeling restless and tired, she sat quietly for a moment before speaking again, carefully considering Darija’s question. “What I want is truth and harmony. I know that sounds trite and insincere, but it’s true. I’m half-Betazoid, Darija, and Betazoids generally can’t stand this sort of…determined and intentional miscommunication. If we could at least acknowledge what is happening between us, I think we stand a chance of returning to the way things were.”

Nodding slowly, Darija replied, "Well, it seems to me that you need to have a conversation with him. Ignoring it won't make it go away, obviously. And if you think he won't speak to you, I could always call him to my office... Regardless, the two of you need to sort this out."

Archana didn’t know if she wanted to laugh or panic at that. “Calling him into your office might not be the wisest course of action,” she said drolly, and incredibly, there was a part of her that wanted to truly confide in Darija, to actually name names. But she didn’t dare: When one was hopelessly and rather pathetically in love with one’s Commanding Officer, it really did complicate things. “But you are right. We do need to sort this out, and I’m sure that, given enough time and the right opportunity, we will.”

"Well, he can't exactly leave the ship, so I imagine you should have an opportunity to speak with him. Still, I don't think this is something that will get easier the longer you wait. I imagine it'll only get more complicated, so the sooner the better," the Trill advised, keeping an eye on her friend's reaction.

“Right,” Archana said slowly. “Well, as I’ve said, if I can get him to talk to me, I’ll see about turning the conversation towards more meaningful things.” Suddenly mindful of the time, the Betazoid gave her friend a comically frustrated look. “I’m afraid I have to report to duty in less than half an hour, and, well…” She gestured to her wildly disheveled hair. “I need a bit of tidying up before I go. To be continued?”

Darija smiled and nodded, "Of course. I'll catch up with you later." She stood and started heading for the door, "Have a good day, Archana; I'm here if you need me."

“Right. Thank you, Darija.” Smiling in return, Archana escorted her friend to the door. As the doors slid shut behind the Trill, Archana scrubbed her hands over her eyes. She almost wished that she could go back to bed, but she knew that was both impossible and irresponsible. The Betazoid straightened up, squared her shoulders, and prepared to face her day, personal problems and all.

OFF:

This JP brought to you by:

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Acting Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor

played by: Commander Fala

and

_________________
Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:27 pm
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