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Planet Hopping: Cure for What Ails Ya

Posted on 18 Apr 2017 @ 12:43am by Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh
Edited on on 18 Apr 2017 @ 12:47am

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Deep Space 11
Timeline: Shoreleave

There was controlled chaos as repair personnel still ran about trying to deal with the battle damage, crews multiple ships and station personnel went about their priorities. Trying to dodge around the debris that still littered the station on parts, trying not to look at the phaser fire scorch marks on the walls.

It was at one such scorch mark that Lt. Jg Gemma "The Archer" Alexander stared absently. Her red hair loose, for once in recent memory not having to worry about fitting under a flight helmet. She leaned against the bulkhead waiting for her friend, a duffle bag at her feet and hands in the pockets of the sable colored Black Knights flight jacket she wore. Battered green cargo pants with black boots and a black v-neck completed her civilian wear.

Jewel blue eyes kept a lazy appearing but alert watch around her, it had been a rough period of time. First just surviving the battle had been hard then there was the clean up afterward. Being poked and prodded by medical, then briefed, debriefed, rebriefed. Then there was the damage to her beloved Valkyrie, finally the repair crew chief had booted her out like a doctor with an over anxious mother.

Alexander had helped some but lacked the knowledge currently for the advanced repair and even if she'd been permitted to stay orders were clear. Everyone, for their peace of mind, was to get far, far away or else. She'd be ordered in no uncertain terms to go somewhere and relax.

It was hard to see a way as the loss of her fellow crew, pilots, and ship weighed heavily. It was why she was going on this trip, she needed time to get her head on straight before showing up at her family's doorstep. She focused on her breathing and keeping her mind blank until her friend arrived.

Ap'eth's first outfit for shore leave was a pair of denim shorts with a red and white top and a pair of sandals. She had a bag slung over over shoulder as she walked up to her friend. "So, I say we catch our first hop to someplace that lots of beach. How about it Gemma? Feel up to a week or two of nothing but sun and sand to start off with?"

Gemma picked up her bag, "I'll be happy with anyplace not shooting at us, I can see you are already on the beach..." She grinned briefly as they started walking. "Got lucky and we were able to score a runabout, I'm thinking we'll work our way inward..." walked into the TL with Ap'peth and gave it their destination, "Few suitable planets along the way, not Risa but nice enough."

"I may be part Klingon, but I'm also part human. And with a body like this, why not the beach?" Ap'eth started laughing and fell in beside Gemma. "It sounds like a plan to me. And I don't think there's any place that could compare to Risa. But we have to start somewhere."

They left the TL and dodged people hurrying to and fro, checking in with the harried flight ops officer before going to their runabout. Gemma continued as though no time had passed, "True enough, not a huge fan of sun..." She gestured to her pale skin, "but I do have spf Dracula so I should be ok and it'd be worth it for some of the view..." She said with a little, knowing smile as she thought of the others on the beach.

"Oh, I agree entirely. The view on the beach is the best thing," Ap'eth said. She took a seat in the runaoubt. "You'll be fine, especially with your spf Dracula, as you call it. Besides, if you start to burn, you could always find a nice little cabana with a cabana boy to bring you drinks."

Gemma laughed and had a pleased smile, "Now that sounds like my kind of vacation.". She tapped a few keys on the console, then pulled out shades from a pocket putting them on. She turned to Ap'peth, "It's light years to La'ren, we've got full power and permission to leave, every travel song ever written, space is dark and I'm wearing sunglasses..."

Ap'eth laughed as she settled in to the chair next to Gemma and checked the screens. "Everything is looking good from Ops to the engines. La'ren is it? I haven't been there before. What's it like?"

Alexander thought about, "Like Risa lite, it's closer and on our way in so an easy stop. Also the touristy bits are more spread out instead of the entire planet but rules are looser. Still safe enough..." She added, "But say a little more forgiving to pilots on leave..." She winked and smiled then, "Oh and it's a planet of islands. Everyone gets places by boat if they have to leave their island for another, not because they have to they just like the water. Which by the way means the water related sports are EPIC..." She said. "You want to fly out?" she asked, among pilots who got to fly was always a topic and to offer flight, a courtesy.

"It sounds like a nice place to visit," said Ap'eth. "And nah, you go ahead and take us out, Gemma. The fact that it's all islands sounds fun. I can only imagine the beaches. But I would definitely like to try some of those water related sports."

Gemma nodded and flew casual, after taking off her shades and putting them away, "You can rent sailing boats and island hop or fly with nothing but a small kite on your back..." She ethused as they cleared docking and headed out into space. Once they were a safe distance she entered warp toward their destination. After doing that she spoke again, "A good first stop I think..." She grinned over at her friend and fellow pilot.

She watched as they headed out into space and then engaged warp. "Island hopping would be fun. But...flying with nothing but kite on your back?" said Ap'eth. "That sounds dangerous. I like it! Let's put that near the top of our to do list." The stars began to streak by as the two friends headed out to shore leave. "You mentioned sailing boats, there are places that still do that?"

Gemma grinned, "I knew I liked you..." She said in response to the kite reply, "And yes generally for tourists but some of the locals rather like it. They're not movers. You're tired you sleep, you're hungry you eat, you need to be somewhere and you'll get there...eventually but what's the rush..." Even the locals way of speaking was slower, as though even conversations were not something to be rushed. "They believe the moment should have your full attention and one shouldn't rush things. Interesting people, very live and let live..." She said leaning back but keeping one eye on the readouts out of habit.

"Oh, now I think I could get used to that," said Ap'eth as she relaxed a little. "I wouldn't want to make it a life, but a shore leave...yes. That sounds perfect. It will definitely be a change from the rigors of flight schedules and duty shifts and training scenarios and CAP... I'm already liking this."

Gemma nodded, "I agree it would drive me crazy after awhile but a place to unwind, it's the best on this side of the galaxy in my opinion." By now she was leaning back in her chair as she talked, "After the mission we had, best not to let the grass grow under our feet..." For too many of their shipmates wouldn't feel the grass or anything else ever again. Times like that Gemma liked to remember what life felt like so as not to get too trapped in her own musings.

"You have a good, if not interesting point, about the grass," said Ap'eth. "After these last few weeks, an unwind session is in store. Oh! Speaking of relaxing, I brought a few things to drink from the station. Let's see," she said, pulling up the bag, "I have some bottles of kava juice, tonic water, and soda. It really isn't much due to the battle. But still... Thirsty?"

Gemma grinned, "Sure..." And from her bag pulled a bottle with a dark brown liquid in it, "Been saving this, proper whiskey from home, none of that syth business..." She said in her British accented english, "For later when I'm not flying..." Even pilots had standards and she put it away. "But I'll take a Kava..." She checked the readouts, "Going to be about a day before we get there..." As though musing what to do with the time but also stating a fact.

Ap'eth handed Gemma a Kava. "Whiskey... I'm not sure I've had that one. Especially the real stuff. So, a day huh. We'll split the flying and nap taking. Or whatever you want to do." Ap'eth opened a bottle of the tonic water and took a drink. It wasn't quite what she thought it was going to be. She wrinkled her nose at it wondered if it would taste better with some Kava juice mixed. "Ooh, I didn't think water could taste like that."

Gemma laughed, "Tonic water is a weird thing, it's usually to be mixed with other liquids She took the Kava juice and opened it, taking a drink. "Whiskey makes everything better, have at if you'd like." She sounded like she'd rather but sitting in the pilots station she couldn't quite risk it. She glanced out the window as the stars streaked by and smiled at a memory, "You would be surprised how many hours I spent trying to figure out, as a child, how one could survive warp on the hull of a ship just so I could air guitar." She shook her head, "Rather disappointed to find it's not possible....."

Ap'eth have her friend a wry look after she explained the tonic water thing. But then she burst out laughing as she tried to picture her new friend doing that. She hadn't laughed like that in a long time. "Oh, I think I will have some of your whiskey," she said as she reached for the bottle. "Anything would beat this water right now. But...air guitar...on a ship's hull at warp?"

Her tone was full of humor but long suffering, this was not the first time she'd heard the comment, "I was 7! And really didn't get the forces involved, seemed epic though and I wanted to be epic. " She laughed, her voice a little wistful as though disappointed the laws of physics would not allow her to air guitar on the top of a star ship at warp.

"I also had a plush fox that fought off bad guys with a plush rapier, don't judge me, Sir Mcfoxy and I had many adventures..." She said in mock seriousness but couldn't hold the face as she grinned and took a drink of the Kava juice, "You have weird kid stories?" She asked curious but laid back, flickering her eyes over the consoles out of habit but all was green.

"Oh girl, growing up with one Human parent and one Klingon parent gave me lots of weird kid stories," she said, laughing. "One in particular...I remember getting to school once and unpacking my lunch in front of the other kids. Gagh. And that's the sound the kids made, too. Then they started laughing. You know what I did? I started eating like a mad Klingon. Then I looked up, part of it hanging out of my mouth, and eyeballed each one of them. You could have heard a pin drop. I sucked in the last bit and stood, fists on the table. 'Maybe today is a good day to force feed you! Kneecaps or gagh! Your choices!' Oh man, they scattered. Of course, I ended up in all kinds of trouble."

Gemma laughed, a rich and joyful sound, "Oh wow I wish I'd have seen that..." She calmed with a grin, "That's the way though" Gemma smiled again, "Here, a family motto for you 'to thine own self be true and damned the torpedoes' course that was my Great Grandmother and she was always a bit odd though, always wore kilts but a smart one none the less..." She said with fond musings.

Ap'eth set the bottle down, content for the moment. "Indeed," she said. "Don't get me wrong, I love my human side. But the Klingon blood comes in handy sometimes, especially in battle. So, was your great grandmother a tactical officer?"

Gemma nodded, "Back when warp 4 was the height of technology and torpedo tech's carried duc tape for combat repairs..." She grinned, "Or so she always had said. Our family have had members in the military oh since past forever and a day. Never ones for sitting on the side lines were we".

Ap'eth shook her head. "That had to be an amazing time. So it sounds like you have it in your blood for always being on the move. Bet that's what makes you a great fighter pilot, too."

She smiled as she doodled something that looked suspiciously like a space suit on a star ship as she replied, "Well they had their own challenges to be sure, as my father says. It always annoyed him how some oldsters would belittle the current generation, he always says 'Just because the challenge is different does not make it less'" She paused for a moment trying to get a pencil line just right then said, "And aye we sit still well enough until we don't..."

She gave a small grin, "And after what we've been through I'd say you were a pretty fair pilot too. I wonder if we can be the first to break the old saying of 'There are old pilots, and bold pilots but no old, bold pilots..." This time her smile was one that reflected complete confidence, almost arrogance.

"You know, I think that's a pretty good idea. Let's see if we can be the first ones to break it," said Ap'eth. She resealed the bottle that Gemma had offered and put it back down. She then rummaged through her bag until she found something that could pass for a drinking container. "So, tonic water gets mixed, huh. Let's see if fizzy Kava juice is any good." She then proceeded to fill half with tonic water and then opened some Kava and poured it in. She gently swirled it so as not spill any and then took a drink. "Ahh, not half bad. Not half good, either, but not half bad."

Gemma nodded, "See best to mix it with something..." She said fleshing out her drawing, the figure in the space suit now looked like her. "We some tunes, how do you feel about the Blues? Jazz? Symphonic Rock?" She loved music, couldn't sing very well but loved it nevertheless.

Ap'eth watched as she finished her drawing and grinned. She had to be a good artist to get that detail to look so good. "Symphonic Rock? Hmm, lets give that one a shot. Since I'm trying new things, might as well as music to the list."

Alexander nodded as she activated the tunes and put on Nightwish's Passion of the Opera . She leaned back as the music filled the runabout. Great music, a good friend and a beach paradise at the end, this was going to be a great trip.


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