USS Adelphi


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Post 34: Getting There

Posted on Sat Apr 25th, 2020 @ 7:03pm by Lieutenant Timmoz
Edited on on Sat Apr 25th, 2020 @ 7:04pm

Mission: Prologue: Back In Action
Location: Vulcan Freighter Ronsirat; Starbase 38
Timeline: MD -2: 1800 hours local

“Can you make Lhoatat?”

The computer ululated in alien grinding noises, like bloated hummingbirds might chirp. “That foodstuff is not on file. Provide a synthesis matrix to continue.” The voice was as dry and desiccated as the Vulcan homeworld.

Timmoz’s frizzy-haired head dropped, bobbing twice in a mix of itchy, repressed irritation and slow to come forgiveness, “Forget it,” he murmured to the machine, shaking his head at it. The Federation had some taste for culinary palettes beyond their own: that didn’t include Orion food. The Vulcans, however, kept to their regular foodstuffs and this brief jaunt aboard the Vulcan transport Ronsirat had proven to be more annoying than any other emotion a Vulcan tightened up on but an Orion reveled in. But, Ronsirat was one of two ships heading toward their transfer point for the Adelphir via Starbase 38.

Timmoz sometimes wondered if there was something more ascetic than bland Vulcan food. Good food provoked emotional responses, and well… what good Vulcan could possibly want that kind of daily temptation? Vulcan cuisine, at best, made one consider texture variations.

Timmoz's dark musings brought a thoughtful smirk at the edge of his mouth: imagine a Vulcan eye-lolling and describing his plomeek soup as simply orgasmic. Possibility of it happening? As likely as Timmoz becoming a Kolinahru.

Still. The scent of the memory of Lhoatat was in Timmoz’s nose, and his brown eyes held wistful longing when engaging the geometry of screens and swooping calligraphic lettering that made up “low,” civilian Vulcan. Orion passion wanted him to slap his palm, irritated, at the non-sentient panel. Cluros taught otherwise. Timmoz considered what else he might order, eyeing in his peripheral vision a pair of Vulcans who studied him. What he wanted was something Orion.

Lhoatat: Timmoz hadn’t had a decent taste since he fled the Borderlands, since he’d come across a trader selling a jar of some on Vondem. Earth had nothing quite akin to it: like… curried beef paste, with a noble rot, cheesy kick on the back-end of the flavor, a bit like Brie. It reeked of the streets and alleys of Botchok. It made a murky, caffeine-kicked umami broth for mornings, and just as easily spread like a stiff butter on a crusty spent rye wafer. It greased the rusty wheels of Orion mornings, the same as coffee fueled Earth’s.

Timmoz pushed his bare shoulder off the dull brick colored console, deciding to simply ignore his rumbling stomach. Turning away meant turning back into the communal area of the Vulcan cargo ship. And Vulcan communal areas were… weird, at least to Orion eyes. It continued a certain logically minimalist aesthetic of utter, boring simplicity. It wasn’t that Orion architecture was better- in truth years away from Botchok made his home people’s tastes seem gaudy, almost obscene, compared to the rest of the Quadrant. But Vulcan architecture offered no awe, no grandeur, nothing sexy. It was neutered.

The neutral beige space was equally neutrally lit by strategic lines of ambient light rather than spotlights or sconces. It was long and fairly narrow, with a trapezoidal brick-colored arch breaking up the space every ten meters or so. Each section was of a slightly varying height: terracing broke up the space into presumably different uses, possibly crew hierarchies. And in turn, each section had subtle terracing as well. Down toward the windows, so one may gaze up toward the interior wall like a shallow lecture hall. Up led toward the replicator hub, and toward curiously shadowed alcoves at regular intervals that Timmoz hadn’t gleaned the use of yet. They reminded him of the intimacy cubicles Netboys and Netgirls would use to contact and please their patrons. He doubted the Vulcans very much used them that way, even if they were one species who fiercely needed a good time between white sheets of linen.

Thank Urqinzhe, Fortune of Trailblazing and Commerce, that Vulcan architecture wasn’t Federation architecture. Federation architecture was just wispy gray with strange abstract pictures of fruit spaced every few meters. Such was the nature of the Federation from an outsider’s eyes: homogenize countless cultures into a tepid paste of inoffensive and the totally forgettable. But then, conveying an aesthetic that didn’t offend a few thousand members or affiliate species was almost impossible.

A shivering feeling of alien dissonance crept through Timmoz’s bones. Strange lighting. Squiggly letters. Voices in low murmurs on a very quiet backdrop. The ashy plainness of their scent. These were not his people. The feeling settled into the base of his spine as a cool discomfort; Timmoz's brown eyes surveyed the denizens there. The ship was both large and sparsely populated. In the weeks since departing Qualor II, Timmoz could remember stepping in here and being the only living thing. Today was different. The room was near capacity. But he could still find a seat.

They all wore asexual, quilted-textured tunics in a warm graytones with matte gold Vulcan broaches pinning their tunics just right and above the right nipple. Assuming, of course, Vulcans had nipples, Timmoz thought. You wouldn’t know a single thing about their anatomy considering their clothing. In that respect, Timmoz stuck out like someone fire dancing at a funeral: vest, leggings, knee-high boots, a copper hammered armlet and a couple of tarnished to black bronze bracelets mixed with a woven bracelet as well. But it felt good to be out of Starfleet wear, if even for a fortnight.

Compared to these overdressed, prudish monks, Timmoz might as well have been naked; their neutrally disciplined glances as he passed suggested such, with the degree of scorn a logical being could so effectively communicate with only an eyebrow raise and a skirted glance away.

Timmoz would be as glad to see the back of Vulcan idiosyncrasies as the Vulcans likely were to see this odd, green-skinned savage who had walked among them since the Depot. Timmoz took a seat on his own and quietly contemplated how different his journey would have been aboard the Evora agricultural transport, his second option.

A lot of ducking through low doorways: Timmoz was sure of that. And he didn’t much care for the taste of chrysanthemums. They definitely wouldn’t have had Lhoatat: it was hardly a Vegan foodstuff. It might've even been offensive; Lhoatat got its brie-like end-flavor from an amphibian-like creature's ambergris.

With conscious effort, Timmoz finally turned thoughts past Lhoatat and Vulcan scorn, and on to something else.

The Ronsirat would dock at Starbase 38 in a few minutes. But it wouldn't stay long. Ronsirat was here to make a drop of refined deuterium fuel, then it's congruous tapered shape and ring drives would take on modular field-inert containers in its lower decks to transport anti-matter to the Bajor Sector. Timmoz wondered if the Ronsirat's modular swap out would include Type X phaser banks. A Vulcan transport full of anti-matter would make a sweet bounty for pirates on the way to Bajor. With a degree of Orion ennui, Timmoz couldn't help but look up the terraces from his window seat and contemplate the possibility that he was looking at a few dozen soon to be dead Vulcanoids. Despite their conservative glances down their noses, they hardly deserved that.

What's wrong with you today? Timmoz asked himself, his olive lips turning into a smirk at his inner dialogue. He leaned his chin on a palm. He slid fingers over and felt the hollows of his cheeks.

His eyes scanned the crew and found, unsurprisingly, eyes that glacially avoided his gaze where they'd been on him before. The cold discomfort in his spine felt like a restless serpent again, feeling the alienness of them and by the same virtue, his utter alienness of them. No wonder Vulcan and the Orion Colonies had never much bothered to trade, much less affiliate with each other. Kolar and Botchok were dark reflections of Vulcan. They had both tamed brutally savage worlds. Vulcan had found discipline, detachment and logic in the effort. Vondem asked itself what it could sell, fuck or at least trade, and for how much.

Well which one of us built an interstellar empire? Timmoz reveled in that. Though those series of empires were gone now. And best forgotten, according to most Orions, Timmoz included.

Now the Vulcans were part of a massive cooperative of do-gooders. And the Colonies? Botchok? Botchok was absolutely, definitively not.

Timmoz smirked to himself on that until he realized once again he'd slipped into a dark reverie. He decided it was the atmosphere: too regimented, too routine, too oppressive. Living with Vulcans was living with a harsh and uncompromising schoolmaster, but they appreciated an efficient government. "You are the one they call Timmoz?"

Timmoz's brown eyes flicked up to a Vulcan male with graying temples. He had the same blank, stoic look with the deep creased lines framing his mouth and the hawkish, up-tilting eyebrows that made Vulcans and Romulans look so similar. He wore the same warm-leaning gray as the rest of his brethren.

Timmoz gave a casual nod, his crossed arms filtering fingers under his pits until he felt dark, damp curls of hair. Almost nervous, he rolled a thin ringlet of it around his pointer finger. The Orion schooled himself to look the Vulcan in the eye- and his ever-present, Clurosian smile. Fell into place, "Yeah." He couldn't but skirt his gaze away, using the sudden movement of bodies as a good excuse.

"A Lieutenant Godai requested I collect you. We are beginning final docking procedures," the Vulcan pointed behind Timmoz. The Orion followed the finger.

“Alright,” he pushed up into a stand, rolling his shoulders to puff out his thin, strong chest under his vest. The Vulcan was naturally unimpressed. Timmoz nodded, his eyes staying on the man even as he slid his smirk to bare a tooth, “Lead the way. Relax. I’ll be right behind you.” His smile widened and he nibbled at his bottom lip.

Yet Timmoz took the first opportunity out of the mess to peer out a window. He found himself looking out at alien stars to a Federation station. It... looked like any other Federation station. And it looked like every other Federation station anyone had seen in a Federation history book going back at least a century and a half.

Like their vulnerable twin nacelles on pylons and a strange disk on another pylon design, it seemed the Federation had a hard time with realizing the rest of the quadrant had figured out their designs' inherent weaknesses. Hmm well... giant floating cubes might send the wrong message... Timmoz mused and he smirked at that.

His people didn't have much room to talk: Adiliron Station, a jewel above Vondem of all places, looked like a thin sword hanging in space and most Orion cruisers these days resembled short, fat knives with flippers. For a moment, Timmoz felt a pang of regret. He wondered if would ever see those scarlet hulls bank and angle their flaps again. He pushed off for the docking port where he'd de-board.

“You are dilatory,” the Vulcan observed. “Your contact on the station has set an exact meeting time.”

Timmoz kept his Cluros-born smile as he raised his brows and shrugged one strong, lithe shoulder. His green fingers reached for the window’s bulkhead and traced it circumference. “Which one is the Adelphi?” He asked with an innocent blink of his eyes. But the Vulcan only raised a brow, sidestepped and gestured that the young man should lead. Timmoz tucked a pair of fingers into the pockets of his vest and swayed into motion. “Just this way, right?”

He could feel the irritation of the Vulcan being swallowed down by his T’plana Hath. Excellent.

The room was small and square: Timmoz observed its lack of decor was even more stifling than typical Starfleet or Federation aesthetic. He quickly surmised it was meant to be. This was, for a lack of a better word, a questioning cell. A detention room. He wasn't in cuffs and the force fields were not online, but he understood what he was stepping in to.

His eyes fell upon the table and two chairs. A shiver crawled down his back, winking his rear iris. He hated this. It was a reminder of his situation, one he was dealing with as well as he could. His enemy had become his friend. Even years on it was hard to reconcile that. "Please have a seat, Timmoz." Came a familiar voice from behind. Timmoz twisted to see its owner nonetheless. It belonged to a young Human man with receding blonde hair. He wore JAG red. "You're looking rather casual since I last saw you." The Human quipped about the Orion's attire.

Timmoz sidled into the chair opposite Godai's. "How are you, Simon?" The Orion opened while the Human twisted in his seat to pull out a few PADDs. Timmoz eyed them, cupping his knees with his hands under the table.

"Fine thank you. This may be the last time we're in regular communication for awhile. I understand you're headed to the other end of the Galaxy?" Simon gave the Orion a fleeting glance then turned back to his work. "How do you feel about that?"

Timmoz smirked to the side, amused by that, "Are you my counselor now?"

Simon paused and pursed his bottom lip, then shook his head. "No."

Timmoz nodded, eyes half-lidding, "I'm fine with it. As long as I don't get assimilated."

"My understanding is the area of space you're heading in to doesn't have Borg activity. Otherwise Starfleet probably wouldn't take the risk. So." The Human folded his hands on the desk. Timmoz immediately knew it had begun. Timmoz sat back in his chair, subconsciously crossing his arms over his thin chest.

"So of course we need to send your 407 dash seven file to the Chief Medical Officer and your Commanding Officer. They are the only two that need to know your status. Your CMO is a woman named Grey. She'll likely be curious why your medical records don't exist before you were sixteen. And the Captain has the right to know based on-"

"- On the fact that I'm a reformed criminal. I understand, Simon." His voice lifted, "We had this same conversation on Qualor II when I arrived there."

Simon continued undeterred, "And there is the caveat in your file that your crimes were not entirely of your own motivation. We are well aware of how Orion pheromones raise aggressiveness. And you were acting on orders of your Tahedrin." Timmoz raised an eyebrow, "And to refuse meant your execution." Timmoz nodded, "Of course as usual, you are denied use of a phaser unless under explicit orders by your Captain and granted temporary clearance by the Chief of Security."

Timmoz again nodded.

"And as usual, your ability to access certain records or communiques regarding the 72th's actions in and around the Colonies is prohibited. And your communications, even in the Delta Quadrant, will be logged and monitored by the computer."

Timmoz wanted to sigh but he held it. He nodded again. "I understand."

"Has any of your family attempted to contact you since you left Qualor II?" Godai asked.

Timmoz shook his head, "No Sir." He smirked, "They all think I'm dead. I assume." He shrugged a nude shoulder, "Except Arra-Nysa."

Simon acquiesced to that, "Be that as it may, the situation may change." Simon picked up a PADD. Timmoz stifled another sigh, instead shifting his footing under the desk. Something wasn't right- this was pushing beyond the normal boilerplate check-in. "Now its unlikely you'll hear anything from them, be that as it may..." Simon bobbed his head, "Your brother Tezred is missing from the detention facility on Rango IX. There was a jailbreak- mostly Markalian and Flaxian smugglers. But the escapees had Syndicate ties... and specifically had ties to the Bilat Caj."

Timmoz shivered down his spine and he nodded. "That's... a problem."

Simon agreed, "And they're fairly sure Vaina was behind the action- along with a number of others. The lieutenant warden and three of her operatives spent a week down on Kolar. We have footage of them interacting with a number of Orion..."

Timmoz smiled to himself, "Oh, we call them gigolos as much as you do. Just the word is different." He sniffed. "So she compromised the leadership of Rango IX... and broke some of her people out."

Simon nodded, "And killed the warden, the lieutenant warden and two security personnel." He set down the PADD, "So Rango IX is on lockdown and under planetary quarantine until they can get the detention facility back under Federation control." Timmoz absorbed that in silence. "If we are able to capture Tezrud and Vaina, we would need you to testify."

Timmoz understood that intellectually, but Cluros muddied the waters of his decision making. He only nodded, eyes dropping to the PADDs again. The holographics that lit up Simon's face made him look jaundiced and eerie. The cruel reality was, Timmoz highly doubted the Federation's ability to capture his mother... or most members of the Orion Syndicate. As intelligent as Starfleet Intelligence thought itself to be, they did not think like Orions.

Simon continued, "So with all of that in place... I can get your transfer finalized and... it looks like you're destined for the Delta Quadrant for the foreseeable future." Simon stood up and tugged his uniform. He extended his hand. Timmoz took it. "Take care of yourself."

Timmoz nodded as he felt a strong, though likely feminine hand wrap his upper arm. He didn't look to confirm. With a gentle tug, the security person led the Orion out of the room. His eyes grazed the graying features of another security officer. He turned the corner and was led away. She raised a silver eyebrow in an almost Vulcan way. Simon joined her in the motion.

A Post By:

Lieutenant Junior Grad Timmoz
Chief Flight Controller
USS Adelphi


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