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Away from it all

Posted on 07 May 2017 @ 4:54pm by Lieutenant JG Catherine Cooper & Lieutenant JG Dean Winchester

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Earth
Timeline: Shore Leave Backpost

Cooper for her part beelined for home, it had been an intense few months and right now all she wanted was a break. She spent the first bit visiting and catching up with family, that had done much to restore her equilibrium. A lot had happened and she'd changed much in the intervening time, it was good to pause and absorb. Currently she was sitting in a bar in Oregon waiting for a shipmate who had found himself at loose ends. Cooper wore her hiking gear and still had her backpack on the floor by her feet from her long distance hike, her campsite still intact in the woods. Her hair tied back, she tapped a foot to the beat of a background song as she sipped a water.

After sorting himself out since the Black Hawk had been destroyed, Winchester along with Rex and a Duffel Bag containing his only remaining possessions, had decided to meet up with one of his Shipmates. After what seemed like forever crossing the States, but in reality was only one Shuttle Ride and a transport, he and Rex had arrived at the bar where she was supposed to be waiting. Walking inside, he walked up and took a seat next to her, Rex laying at his feet. Smiling he turned his head to her and said, "How have you been?"

"Better, forgot how much I missed the great outdoors. You?" She asked leaning back, looking more relaxed then she had in awhile. Being with her family helped but being alone, oddly enough, in nature had done much to settle her. She would always be ready to go at the drop of any hat but had grown over the last few months and the chance to be alone with her crazy brain actually helped smooth things over.

"To be truthful, i have been better". "Couldn't find any of my family, and all of my belongings, except for what i have here", he said gesturing at his bag, "were destroyed when the Black Hawk went down." Shifting his weight, he said, as he reached down to scratch Rex's head, "At least somebody got him out in time."

Cooper nodded, directing a smile at Rex before returning her attentuon to Dean. Thoughts sailing by in their quick manner, she too had to replicate much on the way back. She had left with nothing more than the uniform she had worn and a phaser like many of her fellow shipmates. All she had on the Black Hawk was gone. Fortunately she had traveled for some time and tended to only have duplicates of the important items like family photos, not the originals but the loss was still intense. For Cooper though, it all rolled into one. Her personal losses, the crew, the ship. It all rolled into a great ball of suck is what it did. And she was dealing with it but one thing caught her attention and she commented, "What do you mean you mean, you can't find them?" Trying to remember if there was anything odd about his family she should be remembering.

"Well", Winchester said, "Either they have all gone on some kind of vacation or they have moved off planet, either way i haven't been able to get in touch with any of them". Winchester cracked his knuckles and added, "Belive me when i say its not an unusual situation".

"Well that seems odd.." She leaned forward, remembering from his personnel jacket, "You had a lot of siblings right? And everyone's off planet?" She seemed genuinely puzzled. From his record he had like 6 siblings and some extended family. It made little sense that none were reachable but as he said maybe in his family that was normal. She had managed to warn her family she was coming so during the time to get here a few more extended family had made sure to make time to pop in or at least leave messages.

"It is kind of odd, but to be honest since i have joined Starfleet, we really have not talked much", Winchester said casting his eyes down. After a moment he added, "I reckon they do not like the fact i am a Starfleet Officer, but i don't really care", he said, a smile spreading across his face. Reaching down into his bag, he pulled out a box and reached it to her, saying, "I hope you enjoy that, its the best knife i could find,and the oldest, perfect for the outdoors".

"Why would they avoid you because of Starfleet?" She really didn't understand but she was a bit odd herself and tried to give people the benefit of the doubt. Besides like with many puzzles, she tended to be curious about what she didn't understand, she didn't always get Winchester. Of course her new focus on tactical meant she didn't serve with the security detachments as much. In her usual mental multiple track way, she made a mental note to request more training with those detachments to keep her connections and skills sharp while focusing on the current conversation. She reached for the box unable to stop asking another question, "What's this for?"

"Well, they never have liked Starfleet, or the idea of The United Federation Of Planets very much, and when i joined Starfleet they saw it as a betrayal", Winchester said casting his gaze at Rex. Clearing his throat he added, "They tried to take him as well, but that didn't work'. Glancing back upward as she held the box, Winchester said, a smile on his face, "Its just a gift".

Now Cooper was truly confused, why live in the Federation if one didn't at least support the idea of Starfleet? It was Starfleet that played a large, it felt like to Cooper anyway, role in getting the words and actions of the Federation across to the galaxy at large. To Cooper they represented the best the Federation life style had to offer. Another thought occurred that maybe they were just so worried over the dangers they didn't want him in and couldn't handle the constant threats. Shrugging it off, reluctantly, as something she wasn't going to understand today she moved on. She really hated to leave puzzles unsolved but sometimes couldn't be helped. She opened the box and the knife inside was nice, "Yes and it's nice but what for?" She said trying to remember if she'd forgotten a holiday or something.

"Well", Winchester said, "You never know when you will need such a tool and be in a environment where energy based things will not work, and besides that i have been meaning to get you something for a while now", he said smiling.

She had multiple knives but it was a nice gesture, and shrugged it off, "Well I apparently need to not bite the heads off new transfers when they come aboard more often if it nets this result..." She quipped jokingly, taking it as just a sign of gratitude and ordered another water, hiking was very dehydrating. She put the box to side, not entirely sure about it, and refocused.

Patting his hip, Dean said, "I got myself a few new things as well, things that aren't exactly Starfleet Issue but will do the job just as well". His face already blushed and burning hot from giving her the Knife, he attempted to re-direct the conversation by saying,"You look exceptionally beautiful today".

Cooper made a face then grinned, "You don't owe me latinum you know." she said, as was her habit, keeping it light. She gestured to his bought gear, "Just make sure you clear that with the Chief when we get back, you don't want to be on that carpet. Trust me." She finished her water, looking out the window then back to her shipmate, "So, any plans?" She asked curiously, leaning forward on her arms.

"Oh, i suppose i will go along and serve on the new ship, you?"

Cooper shrugged, "I've not gotten my new orders yet so who knows what will happen. I've had a few friends indicate I have options but nothing's come down the pike yet. Personnel is being it's usual, 'you're on furlough go away until we need you' close mouthed selves..." She quipped taking a drink of water.
She watched a bird fly by the window and gave a small smile. One didn't often see birds of any type in an enclosed environment, sometimes it was easy to forget there were wide open spaces still.

"Oh i know how that is, they always keep us waiting for something", Winchester said smiling, "Then they only call when then need you". "Kind of sounds like a bad novel sometimes doesnt it?"

Cooper gave a resigned shrug, "It has always been thus, there are stories of uniformed personnel in the 20th century complaining about 'hurry up and wait' I think it's an eternal constant." She said, part of her mind taking apart and putting together a phaser to help keep her focused. "Besides we're here to recover from our last mission Starfleet doesn't play with health if it can avoid it."

She might privately think that 2 months seemed a rather long time but that wasn't her call, besides it did allow to catch up on life aspects one neglected while serving in deep space like seeing friends and family. "What are you doing with your time away?" She asked curiously as patrons to the bar/restaurant continued to add to the background buzz as wait staff went too and fro.

"Probably catch up on my shooting skills and refresh my Dog Handler training, you?"

Catherine smiled, "Skills refreshing is in the cards but so is fun and/or relaxing. Like me, I'm camping at the moment, any of those plans?" Winchester was focused and that was good but she found balance to be a helpful thing or she personally would have trouble. She could be either too focused or too scattered, striking the balance between the two had taken a lot of trial and error.

Arching his eye a little he confessed , "Honestly fun and relaxing are two things i dont know how to do very well".

"Balance my friend you need balance..." She looked thoughtful and started to speak again as a waiter came over and asked if they wanted to order food, Cooper placed an order for something called pizza bytes, "They're the best all the food groups in a type ball of dough. Don't even have to think about it..."

"3 Burritos, extra spicy meat, atomic sauce please", Winchester said looking at the waiter.Looking at Cooper he said, "Im more of a Mexican fan myself, the spicier the better. "Way i look back at it is', Winchester said smiling, "If your mouth does not feel like its full of napalm, its no good".

Cooper laughed and shrugged, "To each their own" She said good naturedly. After the waiter left she continued, "We've to work on that all work and no play gives ulcers..." Her mind, now being occupied by energy variances of shield harmonics to slow it down, flipped through some ideas, "Well what do you do to relax?" She asked. She was actually the longest non work conversation she'd had with him. Before when they were so busy not trying to die that made sense but now she was seeing that his world was his work

"I really like to do re-enactments and roleplaying", he replied back.

Cooper's order of pizza bytes came and she offered the bowl to Winchester, asking "What like the World War three guys or something?"

"Na, The Pacific Campaign in World War Two, and re-enacting various Police Shootouts and scenarios in the late 20th and early 21st century".

At his head shake she put the bowl down, "So all combat and war, useful for sure and fun is in the eye of the beholder..." She had a lot of combat training but did other things as well, she found the balance worked for her but she was not everyone. "You a wild west fan?"

"I guess you could say that, although Police stuff is what I really like, it keeps you sharp and you never know when stuff will go down"

Cooper popped another pizza byte in her mouth, "Well there is that, me I like to change it up a bit. I find it keeps my mind fresh..." And so the conversation continued. Back and forth in a conversation flow as unique as the individuals involved. Cooper tapped her foot under the table as the sun set and the music in the place kicked on, soon enough she'd return to her camping trip but for now it was just nice to kill time, not people with friends.


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