USS Adelphi


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Post 22 - Lamenty Fresh

Posted on Mon Dec 21st, 2020 @ 9:27pm by Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant JG Chaali

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: USS-Adelphi, Ten Forward Diner
Timeline: Day 2, 2045 Hours

[Ten Forward]
[Day 2, 2045 Hours]

It’d been two days of catting and mousing in the nebula. The Adelphi would briefly show up on the Vidiians’ sensors, prompting the organ thieves to pursue the Starfleet vessel deeper into the azure mists. In their great Harvester ships, the Vidiians would invariably find the Adelphi and attempt to gun her down — at least insofar as disabling her engines and weapons. This, in preparation for another attempt at securing the Ambassador-class vessel with those damned grapplers of theirs.

So far at least, Captain Kodak and the relief bridge crew had led the Vidiians on a hastened and chastened hunt through the gaseous anomaly. Spanning several lightyears in size, the nebula provided ample room to run until — momentarily safe — the Adelphi would slow in an effort to better effect repairs. At least, of course, until the Vidiians found them once again. Strategically hitting the Adelphi's port nacelle during each and every encounter, the plasma wake made the ship much easier to find than she otherwise should be.

Sitting alone in a booth in Ten Forward, Captain Kodak found himself lost in the miasma of his own thoughts. Hopes for enough time to repair the nacelle’s plasma leak — as well as their currently disabled weapons — broiled through the Chameloid’s mind as he considered the silver-flecked surfaced of the hotrod-red booth he sat in. With his people down on the surface of the planet and beyond hope of rescue anytime soon, Kodak couldn’t help but worry for them, though it did little good. He could only hope that, somehow, the Adelphi would find a way to avoid their pursuers long enough to retrieve their people once repairs were complete.

“Well if it isn’t my favorite Captain,” came a warm, rumbly voice from nearby. Henry Dobbison had come alongside Kodak’s booth, an empty tray held between his left arm and the trunk of his body. Standing almost two meters tall, the chestnut brown-haired man looked down at Kodak with kind, ice-blue eyes and a grin three parsecs wide. Despite being well into his thirties, Dobbison had a youthfulness about his expression — if it weren’t for the short, well-kept beard he wore, people would likely mistake him for an early 20-something.

“Can I get you something to take your mind off things?” Dobbison asked, taking advantage of a quiet night in the diner-bedecked lounge to lean against the booth, elbow propped atop the seat across from Kodak. “Chocolate shake? T-bone steak? A horga'hn, perhaps?” he winked, that grin of his spreading even wider as he mentioned the famous Risiian fertility statue. Clearly he was attempting to lighten the Captain’s mood…unless there was something more to it?

Kodak looked up at the man and smiled thinly in reply. “I think I’m alright for now, Dobbison. Holding my replicator rations close to the vest, so to speak. But I appreciate you asking,” the Captain nodded formally. That should have been the end of the exchange but the man’s appearance held his gaze like a tractor beam.

Today the server — a favorite of Debbie’s and the proprietor’s second-in-command — wore a jumper in black-and-tan that could almost pass for a Starfleet uniform circa the 2370s. The honey nut-brown shoulders gave way to onyx, which flowed all the way down the garment until it met shiny, shoe polish-black boots. The uniform-ish outfit even featured a slight, open vee-neck that made some wonder if Dobbison were trying to callback to his previous career as a Starfleet officer. The only thing dispelling the illusion was that — rather than a dark undershirt showing through the open vee — slightly tanned skin and a soft bed of chest hair was visible.

“Alright well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me, Sir,” he smirked, oddly stressing the word as he nodded with a knowing smile. “You can call me Henry, by the way. I’m not an officer anymore and I don’t mind.” Dobbison met the Captain’s look and returned it with one of his own, a moment of warmth passing between them. “Sure I can’t get you that milkshake? The ration's on me...” Henry offered kindly.

With a laugh, Kodak shook his head, breaking himself from Dobbison’s eye contact. “All good here, just going to sit with my thoughts for a bit. I promise not to loiter too long, though,” the Chameloid smirked, eyeing the rest of the diner. It wasn’t remotely busy but, he thought, maybe his quarters would be a better place to sour up than Debbie’s.

“I mean, it’s not like there’s a wait for tables right now. And even if there was,” Henry grinned down, “you’re the Captain. I doubt anyone would dare say anything. You let me know about that horga'hn…I mean, milkshake,” he chuckled, starting to move off. “I’ll keep an ear out,” Dobbison laughed, turning away and moving to the bar. He took station behind it, taking an order from an ensign seated there.

The Chameloid’s golden-yellow eyes watched the bartender’s movements with interest, not-at-all noticing the Bolian-blue face of the woman seated nearby. The whole exchange with Dobbison had taken place in her view, though Kodak was quite oblivious to such. Quite oblivious to a lot of things actually, but especially Dobbison’s attempts at not-so-subtle flirting. Pulling his eyes away from Henry, the Captain looked instead out at the swirling, cerulean gasses the Adelphi was presently passing through as the Night Shift oversaw repairs upstairs on the Bridge and down in Engineering.

Something cerulean on her own cast a shadow over the Captain's features a few minutes later: icy blue eyes much like Dobbison's scanned the pensive features of the Captain. She kept her thoughts to herself, musing on the ancient legends of the Chameloids in galactic lore. So they really do exist, she pondered. I wonder why this shape? What's it mean to him?

Unceremoniously, Lieutenant Chaali dropped into the booth opposite the Captain. Her skin nearly matched that of the gasses passing through space in the background. "Your mouth says no-no, but your eyes say, "I want to get lost in that chest hair," she said with a sly smirk. Then she produced a PADD, tapped it and a holographic display of the Adelphi appeared. Red spots flashed along its blue and white display- the damage from the latest attacks.

Chaali sat back: she was donning another one of her wigs- this one looked as if it should have been plucked off Cleopatra herself. It was Vulcan-severe and black, atop it was layered a segmented shell of copper. She'd flecked her eyes with nuances of metallic copper eye shadow as well. "So, do you want to talk about men, or the port nacelle?" She smirked into one cyan-colored cheek, nose wrinkling almost impishly.

Kodak was startled away from his window-side view, golden eyes shifting to peer at the newly arrived interloper. It was Chaali -- a woman whose skills he'd grown very reliant on and admiring of. She could juggle departments and their power needs like no one else. Looking at the holographic wireframe of the Adelphi, though, he sighed at the sight of all the damage.

"Do you remember the days of reliable sonic showers? I miss those," Kodak smirked then, accompanied by the gentle rolling of his eyes: a mock gesture partially visible through the net of luminous lines glowing between them. "I'd say the port nacelle needs the lion's share of attention but the discussion would be the same as always. Seems like every time we get a system back online, they knock it back out again. So might as well be men..." Kodak trailed off, his lips forming a frown. It was a considered risk -- talking to a subordinate about such matters -- but in the middle of a nebula with few others to talk to, why not?

Chaali flicked her wig's coppery shell with a blue finger to dislodge the Vulcan, lustrous black wig from her nasal ridge's bifurcation. She sensed hesitant. "I'll go first. There are days I'd love Lieutenant Timmoz's skant to be just a little higher on those long legs. But I respect Lieutenant Oliveria's his real interest. You can smell it when they see each other. But that doesn't mean I don't look." She smiled and folded her arms on the table. "Your turn."

Kodak half-chuckled at the idea of Timmoz' skant riding higher than it already did. "I've a feeling Debbie would skin you alive if you tried anything more than looking," he smirked, thinking of the motherly way the Ten Forward proprietor doted over Oliveria. "And am I so transparent in my attraction to Dobbison?" the Chameloid wondered, knowing that's why the Bolian had come over. Regarding the cerulean woman before him with wide eyes, he reached forward to deactivate the holographic projection from the PADD. His bangs lifted ever so slightly as he blew air upward along his lower lip, "I'm not even sure it is attraction, to be honest. He just...talks to me in ways no one else does. Or maybe can, given all our respective roles," Kodak explained. "Though I do admit, I tend to go for the more hirsute types..."

Chaali shifted just enough to watch along where Henry Dobbison had been. "Oh please. You're a perfectly attractive man, Captain. And you're also perfectly alive." She smiled, her purplish-blue gums and bright teeth flanked by a purple-lavender tongue. "What's not to like? Strong, burly build, those golden eyes..." she leaned toward, "Is it true? You're a Chameloid?" She smiled, "Is this the form you were born with?"

Kodak found himself a bit uncomfortable, suddenly having such compliments heaped on him. But he smiled appreciatively and nodded as he said, "Thank you for saying so, Lieutenant. And yes," he half-chuckled, "I am a Chameloid. Fabled shapeshifters of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. No relation to the Founders of the Dominion," he was quick to add by rote, as if he'd had to quantify that particular fact many, many times in his life.

"As for this form," the Captain shook his head, "no. I looked human enough when born but as I got older, I looked more and more...generic. Never really felt like 'me' when I'd look in the mirror. I don't know much about my people but I like to think we're biologically driven to find a form that best suits us. So I picked this man's visage from the Federation database," Kodak explained with a shrug. "He was an actor hundreds of years ago on Earth. He's been dead for so long, I didn't think he'd mind me borrowing his face."

Chaali absorbed it all with curiosity restrained as best as her Bolian nature allowed for. "So what's stopping you from finding some companionship?" She asked seriously, lengthy fingers folding in front of her.

Kodak, it seemed, had to give that some thought. Why didn't he seek out someone to share his life with? The answer, as always, popped directly to mind. "Relationships are complicated. If you let yourself care about someone too much, it's easy for them to slip past your guard and ruin your life." Spotting a passing-by server, the Captain gave in and asked for a beer, offering Chaali the chance to order as well before continuing. "I actually had a boyfriend once. I was very young," he smirked in recollection. "He was cute. And nice," the Chameloid half-shrugged. "But back then, shapeshifters were public enemy number one thanks to the Dominion, so I kept my true nature to myself as much as I could."

Chaali listened, declining the chance for a drink. She fished at the copper shell of her wig again and diddled fingers against her lengthy earlobe while she listened. Her gaze stayed on the man.

The server returned then, setting down the requested item before disappearing once more. Taking a long sip of his beer, Kodak sported some foam on the hair covering his upper lip. A flick of his lower lip removed the foam as the Captain explained further. "When things got serious enough, I had to come clean about myself. Felt horribly dishonest to hide that I was a Chameloid from him. And after how kind he'd been, I didn't think he'd react the way he ultimately did. He reported me to Federation Security," Kodak dismally laughed, rolling his eyes. "Of course, they already knew about me and nothing came of it -- beyond both of us moving on from the relationship, that is. But it amazes me how much shapeshifters are distrusted even today."

Chaali mused, resting her chin on her palm, "Well, there are a lot of myths about your kind... and the Founders didn't do shapechangers any favors. For some people, it's hard to adjust to a person that could be anything. Humanoids like permanence." She shrugged, "But the crew doesn't seem to mind. Have you talked to any of them about it?" She tilted her head with curiosity, wig swaying. She eyed his beer.

"That's...a good question," Kodak mused in response, taking another frothy sip of his lager. "During our little jaunt to the find the Grail," the Chameloid reflected back on the crew's recent holodeck misadventure, "I shifted myself into a frilly dress to play the part. Got some strange looks, though it's possible that was due more to being a man in ruffles and lace than showing off shapeshifting prowess," the Captain chuckled. "What about you, Chaali? If you don't mind me saying so, you're quite charming and -- by anyone's standards -- very beautiful. Any Antonys to your Cleopatra?" he winked mischievously.

The Bolian smiled, eyes down, "Oh I have co-husbands back on Bolarus. They work at the Bank of Bolius. Huuk wants to leave accounting and work on the casino cruisers," she pointed out. Chaali filtered fingers through the Cleopatra dangles of her wig, "Neither one are very Antony. But they're reliable men." She smiled, her purple-blue gums and teeth showing, "I remember you and your dress. Maybe," and her eyes strayed to Hobbison again, "he would like to be your Lancelot? Or at least a fawning admirer."

"Must be hard," Kodak lamented, "being so far from your co-husbands. But I'd be lying if I said we weren't majorly benefitting from your sacrifice. So thank you for that," he nodded to Chaali, his eyes full of intense gratitude. "As for my Lancelot, well..." his eyes then flicked again to Dobbison and back, "maybe." Several long moments of thought passed and then, as if stepping through a door with no going back, the Captain stood. "Thank you for the conversation. And the encouragement," he smiled down at Chaali. "I believe I have a man to see about a milkshake. Thanks for the company, Lieutenant," Kodak nodded before moving off towards the bar.

=/\= A joint post by... =/\=

Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer


Lieutenant JG Chaali (Timmoz' NPC)
Operations Officer


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