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On Flightpaths

Posted on Wed Jun 24th, 2020 @ 3:12am by Lieutenant Ziara Rrareth & Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick
Edited on on Fri Jul 10th, 2020 @ 5:49pm

Mission: Death in Paradise
Location: Crew Quarters
Timeline: Current

Ziara rang the chime to let Lieutenant Fick know she was there. She needed to square Dream Girl away because it wasn't her hanger anymore. There was a pang of sadness at that. Being able to fly whenever she wanted was part of the reason that she liked being in charge of flight control. However, she wanted to be with Riaan more. So she was here, in charge of tactical instead.

Fick put down the food he'd been working on and wiped his hands on a towel. He stepped closer to the door and yelled so he could be heard. "COME IN! IT'S OPEN!" He went about what he had been doing and started to set the table, keeping an eye on the door.

Ziara walked in the door and noticed the mess. She was a short Caitian, with white fur and black stripes. She wore a Bajoran earring. She wore the yellow of tactical. "I'm sorry to interrupt. I can come back later." She said without the purr that many Caitians put into their translators.

"Nuh huh! Don't go anywhere..." Fick set the last of the plates on the table. "K'Laus isn't even off shift for another two hours. I'm just pre prepping dinner." He grinned and turned towards her. The longer he looked at her the more he was sure that he knew her from somewhere, and that somewhere wasn't the Pandora. "So what can I do for you? You wanna sit? You wanna drink? I know some pretty good Risian drinks!" He grinned at her. It was kinda nice to be taller than someone other than Mindo, since Fick wasn't all that tall either. "I'm afraid I don't really know what Caitians drink..."

"My first girlfriend got me hooked on bloodwine," Ziara mentioned. "I'm the new Tactical officer, Lieutenant Rrareth. I flew my own ship here, a runabout sized racer, the 'Dream Girl.' I parked it where your controllers told me, but I figured I should speak to you about where to park it on a more permanent basis given that it's your hanger."

Fick was about halfway to the replicator and had to stop and stare at her. "You... you have your own ship?" he asked in amazement. "Man... I would give just about anything for my own ship. Your very own ship? I've gotten to fly a few shuttles around here... and once I even got to get into a fighter and fly that... but... what kind of ship is she?" He had totally abandoned the replicator idea and moved back towards her. "A racer, you said?"

Ziara nodded. "It's not a big ship, about the size of a runabout. A five saber design, so not as ultra specialized as a lot of other ones, but that's because she's got to do everything from orbital sprints to interstellar orienteering. It's a good design for courier work and casual trading. I've been fixing her up and doing fine tuning with what parts I have and can trade for when I can when I have downtime, but you know how Starfleet can be. It's a lot slower then I'd like."

Fick was staring at her like she was speaking a language he hadn't heard in a while. "You... you wanna fix it up with me?" he asked hopefully, chewing on his lower lip a little in his excitement. He was practically twitching. "I... I built a Klingon hoverbike... once... well... I didn't really finish it. It's still in the cargo bay. I really, really, really like to build things... mostly things that go, hopefully really fast..." He shifted from foot to foot, practically bouncing.

Ziara looked at Fick for a moment, trying to process what he was telling her. "Sure, I haven't worked on Klingon hoverbikes in a while, but I remember the basics. I was a bit more of a flyboy, but they can be fun. I remember racing down mount Noiz once with some friends of mine. It was a wild ride, I didn't win, but I came close." Ziara agreed.

"But... we can totally work on your ship too! Sometimes I don't have anything to do... I bet sometimes you don't have anything to do either!" Fick apparently thought this was the best idea ever. "I mean if you like to work on ships and I like to work on ships and your ship needs work, then I think we should totally work on it. Don't you?" He was sort of rambling in his excitement.

Ziara laughed, "Yhea, we can work on my ship too. I've got a lot of ideas that I'd like to try, and parts that need to get installed. I got a bio neural gel-pack system, so that means that you have to retune everything once you swap things out. It's the best system available, but finicky as all get out," Ziara said also excited about getting to work on her own ship. "You have any courses you'd like to fly? The Boone-Ty Classic has always been a good pacing one for me when I've got to it," Ziara said, thinking things through.

Fick stared at her. "Courses? You mean in the simulator? I'm a little out of the loop on the racing courses. It's been a good long while." He rubbed the back of his head. "Well... a couple of years anyway. They're always changing them and adding new ones and taking away old ones. I used to watch every one I got a chance to watch. Then at some point I just lost track. Maybe around the time that this Klingon started bothering me..." he joked.

Ziara nodded, "No, not just in the simulator, what's the point of having your own ship if you aren't going to actually fly it? I thought it was kinda average the first time I flew it when I was on the circuit. But the rings have this... pattern to them that's really let you test things out you know? Just the right combination to let you make sure everything works together and push yourself just a bit."

Fick finally sat down in a chair. "Oh man, I would so love to do that. I just... I don't really know how to make that possible. Tell me what it's like... They had some places on Risa that you could fly, but the ships they rented weren't ever as fast as I wished they were... and they wouldn't allow other ships. I mean there was also racing... cause sports..." he chuckled.

"Yhea, it was pretty fun. I know a couple of my cousins ran a scam where they would put me down and then clean up when I eventually won," Ziara said with a fond smile.

Fick laughed. "I hope they at least split their winnings with you! Hey... I was gonna ask. When did you go to Academy? You look so familiar... and it's not from just being on this ship with you. It's from somewhere else. Did you ever race on Risa?"

"I raced on Risa, probably a dozen or so times before I went to the academy. Then eight visits over my four years in the academy for the demonstrations that Nova Squadron put on. Graduated in 2385, flight school, not security, so that might be where we ran into each other, but I was pretty busy," Ziara said casually.

Fick nodded, his brain still searching. It had something to do with the Squadron, but he was certain it wasn't from classes or anything like that. After a few moments of awkward silence while he tried to remember, he managed to also remember the drinks he had offered. "Oh crap!" He jumped up suddenly. "I totally forgot to get drinks. You distracted me with a ship..." He chuckled and jogged over to the replicator. "Oh..." he said when he got there. "Blood wine? Were we going to drink that?"

"Yhea, Blood Wine. Although if I had known that we would be drinking, I might have brought my own, I think I still have some bottles left from the crate I picked up a few months ago. I traded a couple of the bottles to get Riaan and I back on the same ship," Ziara mused.

Fick laughed and got up again. "It's okay. I have plenty. I've sort of always been a fan of Klingon stuff..." he admitted. "I like their food... I like their music... I like their bloodwine..." He disappeared for a moment and then returned with two bottles, one in each hand, both were still sealed with wax. "And I like their men..." He winked at her and handed her a bottle. "Do you need a glass? Or a knife for the seal? Traditionally it's drunk out of the bottle..."

Ziara took the bottle and swiped at the wax seal with a claw to open it. "I'll be fine," she said. "So where did it start for you? For me, we were doing some border trading in the Sundowner, so I was getting a crash course in Klingon, and there happened to be this other ship in the convoy. One salty old captain had his daughter along with him. We did some sparring and well, sparring means you need to get close and one thing led to another." Ziara said with a saucy grin.

Fick laughed and sat down again, taking out a small multi tool and removing the wax seal with it. "I think for me, it started on Risa. Even Klingons go there to vacation sometimes. Everytime they came it was exciting. I guess it was because they were so different than anyone else that came to Risa. They were really loud and usually really drunk and many of them could really throw some money around. I tried several times to get one of the males to be interested in me, but on a whole they don't seem to swing that way. Of course, I did finally find my very own Klingon... but yeah. I think I was 13 when I decided I had to know more about Klingons."

Ziara took a drink of the bloodwine. "Sounds about right. This stuff tastes okay. So tell me, how much do you enjoy hurtling through space in a shuttle, entirely too close to an asteroid, while drunkenly singing Qoy qeylIs puqloD?"

Fick laughed, trying not to blow bloodwine out his nose. "I would totally love that. Not that I get much chance to pilot shuttles or anything like that. I did get to fly a starfighter once. That was pretty exciting." He shrugged. "It's funny how we all scramble to pilot one of these big ships... and I've had my fair share of close encounters flying the big ship... but for the most part, it's pretty boring."

"For the most part. It's a lot less boring when you get jumped by some dominion fighters and your ship out masses a Galaxy," Ziara mentioned.

Fick laughed, trying not to spit out the bloodwine with his amusement. "Yeah... yeah. It's a lot of ship," he replied, nodding in agreement. He was looking at her while he spoke and suddenly his eyes went wide. He pointed at her. "Rigel Cup! You won the Rigel Cup! I knew I knew you from somewhere! Man... that was a hell of a thing!"

Ziara grinned, "That's me, Let me tell you, it was a lot closer of a thing then a lot of people think. The competition was tight and we were all keeping score in our heads as we went through our routine. Delta squadron had pulled off a really good Lethian Starburst, and our routine was technically more difficult, but after a few glitches in execution we weren't sure if we were going to beat their score. So we switched out the thatch weave for a six braid that we had never practiced."

Ziara used her hands to show the motions of the ships as their trails interlaced. "I don't know how to describe it, one moment of perfect beauty as we all wove so close together and in such perfect time before hitting the deck and scattering. I bet we could have pulled a Kolvoord starburst if we wanted to, we were that in touch. That was the moment that pushed us over the top to win the Rigel Cup. It was a huge celebration after that, for me though it wasn't just winning, it was erasing the black mark, the asterisk from Nova Squadron," Ziara said with a fond reminiscence.

Fick shook his head. "Yeah, that. It was amazing though. I always went to those, when I could, that is." He chuckled. "I never really made a squadron. I was really busy taking all sorts of engineering classes as well. I like to tinker." He shrugs. "I also figured I might as well know what's happening when I fly the ship..." He took a long drink of the bloodwine from the bottle. "I'm too much of a nerd to be totally cool." He grinned.

Ziara nodded, "I got quite a bit of it growing up on the Sundowner. Routine maintenance, occasional upgrades, taking care of your ship is just a part of everyday life for everyone. I like it, but between flying and fixing, I'd rather be flying."

Fick chuckled and shrugged. "I guess I'm just a tinkerer. It's more of a hobby for me though. So, what else do you do besides fly?" Fick asked, curious. He took another long drink from the bottle of bloodwine.

"When I'm not flying or doing something like working on the Dream Girl, I'm usually praying, trading, or enjoying the physical pleasures. I believe in Caitian animism with a bit of Bajoran philosophy," she said, her hand going to the Bajoran earring she wore. "I enjoy trading, buying something here, selling it there. I grew up on a Caitian trader, and one of my parental unit was a Ferengi. So I'm one fifth Ferengi in a way. I also enjoy the physical pleasures that others can bring. I'm married to Riaan, but we have something of an open relationship. She has a steady girlfriend, but I tend to bounce around a bit more between partners, genders, and species. I like hunting, but I never really get to do it. You need a lot of room for a good hunt. The holodeck doesn't work as well when you have a very good sense of smell. What about you?"

Fick frowned when the question came back at him and he suddenly didn't know how to answer it. He used to like to do things. He used to be social and had friends, or at least he thought he had. The bubble had changed all that. He didn't seek people out anymore for company. He stayed mostly in his quarters in his free time. He shrugged. "I don't know anymore... to be honest. I've been through a lot of changes recently, I guess. I've found myself a little... isolated. I can't say that I'm not enjoying it... but I used to be pretty social. Now, I spend most of my free time working on my body and meditating. I used to tinker... like I said... I have a Klingon motorcycle to finish, but I haven't looked at it in awhile. I just don't seem to have the drive or the time anymore." He sighed and tipped his bottle back again, taking a long, deep drink.

"Never put your work before your passion," Ziara advised. "It's why I'm in security and not a department head anymore."

"Really? I've always been told that the work was the more valuable of the two?" Fick tipped his head at her, genuinely curious. "I mean... is what I do in my free time that important?"

"Work is important and valuable, I'm not saying it isn't. However, when you ignore your passion, then you aren't alive anymore, you are just surviving. There is more to living then mere survival. Let me explain my example. For me, there is flying and there is Riaan. That's pretty much it. There are other parts of my life, like trading and the spirits that I enjoy, but they aren't what makes my life worth living."

"I was once in your shoes, Chief of Flight control on a Galaxy. I don't know if you've ever served on a Galaxy, but it has huge shuttlebays. For a reason; It's a very busy place, there are shuttles constantly going and coming. In a very real sense, you are in charge of one of the most complex and ever changing parts of a starship. And a lot of paperwork and people work, if you know what I mean. Not only do you have to look over reports and approve changes and what not, but if that shuttle is going to get fixed, you need to talk to engineering. When that pallet of supplies goes missing, you need to talk to operations. Command wants to know when their important visitor is arriving. Science wants to know when the shuttle's going to be available for their trip. Not to mention security to handle the people who are going and coming and the squadron that need clearance to take off. In terms of moving parts that take up your time and attention, Chief of Flight control is up there. It's why we wear red I think. It's also a good training place for command someday. There was lot of discussion about the fact that I'm not career and getting put on the flight control track at the Academy."

"Anyway, as you can imagine, that's a lot of work. I wasn't getting the flight time that I wanted at one point. So I made some decisions about the amount of time I was going to work and the amount of time I was going to spend getting my flight time. When you decide that you are going to only work a certain amount of time, it's amazing how efficient you can be. Also delegation, my rule is that I needed to look at the situation as if I was going to be gone for the next two weeks and they wouldn't be able to talk to me. I was able to get my flight time."

"However, I also had to make a decision about Riaan, we were having some issues, mostly due to us being posted different places and we decided to start looking for assignments we could both put in for that would be good for both of us. I wanted less responsibility, so I transferred on over to Security and looked for an assistant post. Riaan's a comparative xenobiologist, with a specialty in shapeshifters and other morphic lifeforms. The Pandora was it. So now I have the time to pursue what I'm passionate about while still taking care of my job," Ziara explained.

Fick shook his head and nodded while she spoke. "I get what you're talking about. I guess maybe I just haven't found my own balance. It's been tough recently and I feel like I have no time. And I worry about stuff like that with K'Laus and myself. I don't want to get reassigned... I don't want him to get reassigned and I have no idea how we would handle being separated. We've never talked about it, but the prospect terrifies me. I've never really had a reason to be concerned about where I'm serving or who I'm serving with, but I do now." He chuckled and took another drink. "This is my first ship," he admitted. "I was straight out of the academy to here..."

"We are in the Fleet, and the fleet will as a the fleet wants. But generally, they tend to be pretty good about getting you what you want. You might have to make sacrifices, or changes, but the fleet is ultimately volunteer. If you aren't happy, they can't keep you." Ziara said.

Ziara's commbadge chirped and she tapped it. There was a voice that was soft, almost inaudible. "Riaan to Ziara."

"Ziara here. What's up?" She asked.

"I got some time between experiments. I was wondering what you were doing." There was a grin that spread across the Caitian's face.

"I'll be there in five minutes. Ziara out." Ziara said, standing.

"Thanks for the drinks, we'll just have to finish this up later," Ziara said to Vecon.

"You're welcome." Fick grinned and rose from his chair to see her to the door. "Thanks for the conversation."


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