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That thin grey line

Posted on 09 Jun 2019 @ 11:17pm by Lieutenant JG J Haulval & Commander Amelia Fox

Mission: Shakedown
Location: Starbase 308
Timeline: MD4 1200
1072 words - 2.1 OF Standard Post Measure

Carlie Cross bounded out of the airlock of the civilian transport with Haulval's arm as the tether that kept her from getting lost in the dispersing crowd at the docking port. She was six years old with curly black hair and dark eyes, as curious as they come, and quite excited to see the Starbase first hand. She'd researched it extensively, memorized its Promenade layout, and in her mind had already plotted a course to a shop that sold sweets.

"We have a little time," Haulval, a young Vulcan man, conceded as he allowed himself to be pulled toward the commerce area. For the transport out to 308, he'd dressed in suitable civilian attire of high-collared robes. He was familiar with the shifting political storm that had just hit the station by way of a terrorist attack and he'd no idea what to expect when they arrived. In any case, it was always better not to draw attention to yourself when traveling in unfamiliar territory with... family. He'd come to think of the young girl as family, but it hadn't always been that way.

Charlotte drug him into the sweet shop at last and Haulval reluctantly let go of her hand, feeling a bit regretful as though he had released a new force of chaos upon the universe without its consent. The girl bounced between display cases of jumja sticks, bins of candied Risian fruits and barrels of sugar-spun gagh. She turned her nose up at some of the confections and squealed with delight at others.

Meanwhile onboard the Andromeda, Lieutenant Fox was trying to find our anymore information on the group called The Cetea. They still didn’t know how they got onboard the Starbase and the investigation was making little headway. Amelia decided to bring their new security chief in on the current situation and get his input.

“Computer. Connect with Starbase 308.”

“Connection established.”

“Has Lieutenant Haulval arrived?”

“Affirmative. Lieutenant Haulval is located in the main shopping concourse.”

Amelia was going to tapp her comm badge then stopped. Instead she grabbed a PADD and headed for the transporter room.

Beaming over to the starbase, Amelia made her way to the recreation deck to the main shopping arcade. All though it was quite busy, she was able to pick out who she was looking for. He seemed to be stood browsing a sweet shop which, Amelia thought was quite unusual for a Vulcan.

She approached and cleared her throat. “Excuse me , Lieutenant Haulval?”

The Vulcan turned, one eyebrow cocked upward, and took in the officer for a split second. "Lieutenant Fox," he replied neutrally in greeting, but something in his unspoken mannerisms, as fleeting as it was, seemed to denote he was surprised to find the Andromeda's executive officer here. Which means, he deduced quickly, that she had tracked him down purposely. "We were just about to register our sales transaction and contact the ship for transport. Is everything alright?"

The young girl came up with hands full of bags of bulk candies and clung to Haulval's robes. In the presence of someone she didn't know, even if the woman wore the uniform of a Starfleet command officer, she turned into a bashful mute. Haulval rested a hand on her shoulder as a silent sign of comfort, but did not take his attention from Fox.

Amelia shook her head. "No nothing's wrong but I wanted to meet you and bring you up to speed on current developments as they concern security."

She looked down at the young girl and smiled warmly, suddenly understanding why the Vulcan had been at the sweet shop. She crouched down so she was at her eye level and held out her hand. "Hello Sweetie. My name is Amelia. What's yours?"

"Carlie," she said in almost a whisper, her dark eyes wide and soaking in Amelia as though gauging her personality.

"Charlotte," Haulval said as he looked down at the girl and produced a credit chip, which he offered to her. "Go up the counter and pay for your items so that we can continue with the itinerary."

Carlie plucked the credit chip from his fingers and sprinted away.

"Charlotte has been with me since Yorktown. She's slow to warm up, but once she decides you're a friend you might have trouble getting rid of her," Haulval warned lightly as he turned his gaze back to Fox. "She's also under the impression that I'm going to let her eat all of that candy today."

Amelia stood. "That's understandable after what happened to her. She's beautiful. You must be very close to her."

"In a way, that is true, Lieutenant," Haulval admitted. What he didn't admit was that Charlotte had other needs -- emotional -- that he felt guilty for because he was not as equipped to deal with those. Thankfully, the Rhea had several people who had little difficulty stepping into that position. He expected to find some of them on Andromeda. It had been a major deciding point in pursuing the position on the Galaxy-class ship.

Carlie ran back up, with everything in a tidy little paper bag. She reached in and pulled out one of the pieces and offered it to Fox.

Amelia took the candy "Why thank you Sweetie. That's very kind."

Just then Amelia's comm badge beeped. =^=Reynolds to Fox. Lieutenant is our chief of security onboard now?=^=

She quickly tapped it =^=Fox here Captain. I'm with Lieutenant Haulval now but we're on the Starbase.=^=

=^=Good can you bring him up to my ready room. I want to brief him personally=^=

=^=Aye Sir. I'll bring him straight there. Fox out.=^=

Amelia looked at him and sighed "Looks like duty calls, We better go and see the Captain. Do you want to drop Charlotte of at your quarters?"

"I think that is a good idea," Haulval nodded he and and the girl linked hands and he squeezed her fingers lightly, reassuringly.

Amelia looked down at the girl "We're going to your new home now."

Carlie squeezed Haulval's fingers so hard they turned white, but she managed a smile to the Lieutenant.

Amelia tapped her comm badge again =^=Fox to Andromeda. Three to beam over. Energize.=^=


●● Lieutenant Amelia Fox
Executive Officer
USS Andromeda

○● Lieutenant JG J Haulval
Chief Security / Tactical Officer / Intelligence Officer
USS Andromeda


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