USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Little People, Big Station

Posted on Mon Aug 10th, 2020 @ 9:12pm by Lieutenant Commander Nolan Marc & Taran Willeg
Edited on on Mon Aug 10th, 2020 @ 9:15pm

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Sirius Station
Timeline: MD0
Tags: Nolan, Taran
2227 words - 4.5 OF Standard Post Measure

Even if they were exchanging one hunk of metal in space for another, it was nice to be able to get off the ship and explore different sights.

With the Vesta in port, the watch, quarter, and station bills were adjusted to permit streamlined duty sections. This provided maximum flexibility in granting shore leave to personnel, subject to the various departments getting tasks done in preparation for their next operation. Case in point, Nolan had pulled duty yesterday. As part of which, he had volunteered for a level two diagnostic on the navigational deflector, in order to give Jack the ability to let a few more of his engineers go ashore. After which, Nolan had worked in the Stellar Cartography lab making adjustments to the navigational plots proposed by Rufus in preparation for the ship's departure tomorrow.

Nolan's duty day had been timed opposite that of Chief Willeg, who may also have been one of the engineers originally assigned to conduct the diagnostic on the deflector. But, it had allowed the man a day with which to spend time with his son aboard the station. And, now that Chief Willeg was performing his regularly scheduled in-port duties in Engineering, Nolan was free to both watch and play with Taran.

The young Betazoid had been excited at the opportunity to be the one to show Nolan around for a change, taking the Okinawa Only by the hand as he eagerly retraced yesterday's steps and recounted embellished adventures of the time spent with his dad.

Days before the Vesta's arrival, Xe'ceda had shown Nolan information about reservations for a large Holosuite entertainment complex. Perusing the available surfing programs, Nolan had booked time for both himself and Taran in a wave simulator that replicated the beaches of Pacifica. Which, had included the ability for Nolan to supply the specifications for the boards.

Now, as the pair were winding their way back through the promenade toward the docking ring, their board shorts and hair were both still damp. They both wore rash guard shirts, though one distinction between the two otherwise ubiquitous children was the fact that the front of Nolan's rash guard displayed a Starfleet communicator. It was an omnipresent sigil, so much so that Taran hardly noticed it anymore even through it seemed inordinately large against Nolan's slight frame.

Aside from random giggling, the two were even being quiet -- uncharacteristically so, in the case of Nolan anyway. The facial expressions and mannerisms seemed to betray that the two were communicating, quite animatedly so, even if not by words.

That was, until a large, adult-sized shadow passed over the two of them.

Halted, the two boys both craned their heads back as they found themselves confronted by a Starfleet ensign in services gold. The way in which he carried himself said security officer even before he'd opened his mouth.

"Where are your parents?"

The Okinawa boy gave a sniffle, kicking head to one side to clear the wet bangs from out of his face. He blinked, a few times actually, as if drunk. Which, was likely a close approximation to the effects of a preteen who'd literally played himself to the limits of his own energy.

Was there a curfew or unattended kid policy that he'd missed in the station brochure? Confused, and more than a little tired, Nolan glanced back up to ask, "Is there a problem, Ensign?"

"Yeah, I asked where your parents are," the man repeated, adopting the fists-on-hips posture of absolute adult authority. Bending slightly at the waist, the man was peering down at them as he curtly stated, "That's a question. I'm expecting an answer."

It's because he thinks I'm Klingon.

There were a lot of cons to having a Betazoid for a friend. For one, it made it impossible to have a private thought or unsaid remark with them around. Even if they didn't say anything about it, the safe bet was that they knew. And, most of the time, it wasn't even that they were trying to know. To them, being a telepath was no different that someone using their eyes to see around a room.

However, one of the pros to having a Betazoid for a friend was that the same was true for everyone else in the room. And, so, I must be causing trouble, Taran supplied meekly, having shied back behind Nolan.

Great. It wasn't enough that the spectre of unquestionable adult righteousness interject itself into their day, it was also a species-ist bastard on top of it all.

Nolan managed to refrain from rolling his eyes at least. "You haven't answered my question either," the Only noted, in a neutral but matter-of-fact tone. If ignorance were bliss, he'd be confused as to why they were even having this conversation. But, he wasn't and that actually made this a tad more confrontational than he honestly cared for. "To your question, his parent is aboard the USS Vesta, which we are returning to."

He paused there, lips pursed as he seemed to waffle over whether he wanted to say the next part. Then, finally, dropped the other shoe. "And he's being supervised by me."

"Oh? Is that right?"

Achievement unlocked: Get the focus and ire off of the Klingon-looking kid. And put it all squarely on the dorky-looking Okinawa kid.

Adjusting his hands on his hips, the level of sarcasm was taken up a notch as the man said, "You're a right little man, are you?"

Nolan was officially too tired for this right now. Kicking his head to one side, again knocking the hair away, the boy's hand came up to lightly brush over the front of the silver and gold insignia prominently displayed on the front of his shirt. "My identification, like yours, is right here," the boy stated, maintaining his neutral tone as he continued, "You might want to..."

"Nice combadge, kid. Is your daddy in Starfleet?"

That was uncalled for. That was unprofessional. And now the sarcasm had been dialed up to an eleven, but it wouldn't matter because adults felt they could talk to kids any sort of way. The problems only emerged when kids tried to say something back.

And, yet, here they were.

Or, rather, here Nolan was. And it seemed the universe had decried that he was going to do battle with Ensign Ignorance. "Ignoring how sexist that question is, my parents have both been dead for more than four hundred years," the blond-haired youth stated. Which was an objective fact. On both parts. Doing his best to maintain his typical science officer tone, the boy added, "Now, if you would see past your obviously limited imagination and accept that, for just a moment, there are lifeforms that might challenge your preconceived ideas about humanoids... this might be a good time to ask the computer for an assist, Ensign."

Honestly, the fact that he was calling the officer by his rank and not the ubiquitous 'sir' should probably have been the first indication that things were not as they seemed.

"Or I take you to Security and contact your ship."

Seriously!? For a moment, Nolan was just stunned into absolute silence. Frozen, as his mind reeled at the realization of what was happening.

The two of them had literally just been walking down a corridor and now what was happening exactly? Because, right now, it looked like they were getting grabbed by Security for looking Klingon on a Friday night.

Nolan had been studying at the Academy when the Breen had attacked Earth, and spent a five year mission on a Nova-class starship that saw service both during and after the war. And, right now, Nolan didn't recognize what Starfleet this ensign thought he was representing.

Nolan was still too taken aback to have reacted, or even realized, that the security ensign had grabbed him by the arm.

...that moment ended when the boy turned his head with the realization that the ensign was reaching a hand to grab Taran.

"Computer, identify me."

There was no please.

Nolan had a habit of saying please. To the computer. To crewmen. To holograms. Hell, even to Martin and he was a doctor.

The tone that snapped from out of the Okinawa boy was unlike one anyone aboard the Vesta had heard come from the typically laid back and casual science officer.

[ Marc, Nolan. Lieutenant Commander, Starfleet Science Division. Chief Science Officer, USS Vesta as of 2380. ]

Nolan had just left the proverbial station. This was Lieutenant Commander Marc. And, as the childish scientist glared up at the ensign, whose turn it was now to be the one frozen and not sure of what had just happened, it was clear that Lieutenant Commander Marc was done with this shit.

Forcefully, Nolan jerked his arm free of the ensign's grasp. Then, placing himself between the man and the Klingon-looking boy, took a step forward as he stated, "If you have questions about my authorization to supervise this minor, I will be happy to provide you the contact information for his parent aboard the Vesta. Otherwise, I'm waiting on an answer to my question."

Rearing back up to his full height, the ensign took a moment to digest the turn of events. The color in his face made clear that he didn't appreciate the awkward way in which his attempts at maintaining a questionable and species-profiling order aboard the station had just backfired on him. Reaching down, the man tugged on his uniform jacket as he gave a curt nod.

"As you were then," the ensign stated dryly, as he started to turn away.

As you were. Again, Nolan's head reeled. The boy found he no longer even remembered being exhausted, because his blood was pumping more now than when he'd been on the surf board with a twelve foot wave cresting over the top of him.

To be clear, Nolan loved the science-y part of Starfleet. He had access to research and experienced things that most researchers just read about in scientific journals or debated like philosophy in universities across the Federation.

He loathed the Starfleet-y side of Starfleet. Uniforms. Chain of command. Combat training. Field medic training. Damage control training. Training training. It was all so military with protocol that did nothing to further research and definitely didn't fit the boy's usual demeanor. Or his body type, for that matter. But he'd had to learn it. And now he had to teach it to the ensigns and junior lieutenants that were assigned to his division as researchers.

And so it was only too easy to recognize that he'd just been dismissed.

Dismissed, by an officer three grades below him. And had probably still been in middle school when Nolan had put the uniform on for the first time.

"Ensign."

At this point, Taran took two steps back, away from Nolan. It was the same, uncharacteristically assertive tone as before. When the man had turned to regard him, Nolan very matter-of-factly stated, "I have not dismissed you yet."

It was a dick move.

It was a dick move and he knew it. He could have just swallowed the slight and they could have both gone back to the Vesta and had dinner.

But neither Nolan nor Taran had done anything to deserve how this man had treated either of them, and, at this point, Nolan was going to be damned if Ensign Doright thought he was going to get the last word in.

The power dynamic played out between them, as neither seemed to want to flinch. Finally, the ensign came to military attention, his hands clasped behind his back. "Will there be anything else?" the man asked. Nolan allowed a pregnant pause to linger, before the man tacked on the obligatory, "...sir?"

"No. I don't think there will," the blond-haired boy stated, before adding, "Dismissed."

A conflicting wellspring of emotion ran through him, even as he watched the ensign turn and walk away. "As you were..." the Only repeated under his breath.

"Are... are we in trouble?"

And now he felt exhausted again.

Turning, the Okinawa boy looked over at the nervous Klingon. "No," he offered softly. Stretching out a hand, Nolan added, "You didn't do anything wrong."

Taran seemed to hesitate before reaching out to take the offered hand. "But..." he began, the question dying in the air as the two started making their way back toward the ship.

"He was just being a jerk," Nolan offered. The only explanation that came to mind.

The Klingon-looking Betazoid seemed to wrestle with that concept for a moment. Looking over at Nolan, the boy just asked, "Why?"

A good question.

One Nolan didn't have an answer for. "I dunno," the Only stated, honestly. "He's an adult. It's kinda their deal."

 

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