USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Not Really a Reprieve

Posted on Sun Jan 15th, 2023 @ 9:13pm by Tulilah Cel

Mission: R&R: The Reprieve
Location: SB Esquimalt, Temporary Quarters
1223 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

"Wow, someone really beige-washed this," Tulilah snarked, looking around the station temporary quarters with withering tweenage judgment. "Was the designer some species that can't handle color?"

"It's only for a few weeks," her Dad assured. "Just until the major work on Vesta is complete. Which reminds me..."

"I know," she cut in, and then continued almost as if reciting. "You won't be around much. I need to keep myself occupied. You know I'm old enough to be responsible and stay out of trouble." A barely suppressed eye roll accompanied the last. "Not my first rodeo, as the humans say."

Batik chuckled quietly at his offspring. That last part was certainly true. "It's not, but things are little different this time around. The station isn't operational for civilians yet, so the powers that be," he used the phrase with enough mild exasperation to indicate sympathy with objections as to their rulings - heavens knew was going to make things difficult for both of them, "have decided minors can't be here unaccompanied."


The tone of the question alone carried all of the outrage and disgust her father had anticipated. "Hey, I agree," he said, holding up a hand to forestall a tirade. "But this comes from way above my paygrade. It's not completely bad news." I hope "I was going to get one of the other parents outside engineering, but -"

The rest was interrupted by the door swooshing open. "Honey!" exclaimed a woman with long wavy lavender hair and a hovercart with far too much luggage floating behind her.

"Mom?" Tulilah's eyes widened at the sight, then turned to her Dad. "You got Mom? I thought you said the station wasn't open for civilians?"

It was not perhaps the response Safyrah had hoped for from her only child, but she waved it away as she did most negative reviews. "Special dispensation. Besides, I'm your mother. They couldn't keep me away," she said coming in and bending down to wrap Tulilah in a hug. "We are going to have such a good time together."

"Yeah, uh, sure." Tulilah gave a tentative hug back, while glancing over her mom's shoulder to make sure there was no partner following her, especially one who looked anything like Doc Martin. "But I thought you had a contract and couldn't take this much time away..."

Her mom smiled and tucked a strand of hair behind Tulilah's ear. "It's a small price to pay to be here when you need me. After I saw that vid of how the ship came in practically on fire," a cold look up at Batik said 'we will be talking about *that* later', "how could I not drop everything and come take care of you?"

"It was superheated, Mom, not on fire," Tulilah replied, adding with a loyal look up at her Dad, "And Dad and the other engineers got us back safely."

Safyrah's eyes narrowed at the quickly erased proud smile on her ex's face. "I'm certainly glad of that."

"Speaking of, now that you're here, I need to get back to the refit," Batik said, giving Tulilah's shoulder a quick squeeze before beating a hasty retreat to avoid further friction.

Once the door closed, Safyrah turned her attention to her daughter. "You look good. It's such a relief - the news vid looked so scary. When I told the venue my daughter had been on that ship, they had no issue whatsoever with me taking off to come take care of you," she explained, straightening Tulilah's clothes (clearly shopping was going to be in order). "Everyone was so supportive. Well, everyone but Baz, but he's making noises about going solo, so he can just see how well he does on his own for a few weeks." Mom chuckled, winking as if sharing some some prime piece of gossip. "I've already talked to my agent about finding another partner."

She was sure Mom's concern was genuine, but Tulilah also couldn't help but pick up on the subtext there: someone was getting publicity out of the connection with the story. Good thing the station wasn't open to civilian traffic or there would camera crews because Mom's publicist was bound to milk this for all it was worth. Also, the latest eye-candy prop accompanist was history. She smiled a little at that. Firstly, it meant there was no chance of an 'uncle' finding an excuse to pop in for a visit, but more importantly the guy was not named Marty. So, the Doc Martin clone she'd seen in the music room wasn't even from this timeline. Whew

"I'm fine, Mom. We were all sheltered and just got shaken around a bit. Plus, there was a medical station right there if anyone even tripped and got a bruise." She offered a reassuring smile. "So don't worry. And if you have to take some time to comm auditions for a new partner, it's okay. I have friends I can hang with."

"Oh, no, that can wait. I'm looking forward to spending some real time with my daughter! And meeting your friends from the ship." She lifted a hand at a borderline mortified look from Tulilah. "Don't you worry. I remember being your age. I won't be the embarrassing mom who insists on hanging out with them. And I will let you have time to just 'hang' with them on your own," she assured with a cheerful smile as pulled the luggage cart into the bedroom to load. "Besides, I want to meet some of the adults form the ship too."

"Um, the adults?" Tulilah quickly quashed an image of Mom flirting with the officers and moved to help her mother unloaded bags. "You mean, like, meet my teachers?"

"Yes, of course," Mom said, extracting smaller bags with make-up and jewelry. "Though I'd like to thank those medical people for looking out for you so well."

"Sure." Tulilah shrugged, covering a touch of relief. She barely knew the docs who had been in the arboretum so no problem there. Probably. "But most of the crew are on leave until the ship's spaceworthy, so a lot of them have probably left the station."

"Even the CMO?" Mom asked, shaking out a négligée.

No, no, no, no. Several of things ran through Tulilah's mind at the idea of Mom looking up Doc Martin - including several words she wasn't allowed to say and a few she probably shouldn't even know. "He's, um, I mean, there were people outside the shelter area who got hurt. Really bad. So, he'll be super busy and focused on them and he, uh, ...well, he gets pretty grouchy about anyone interrupting when he's taking care of patients." Before Mom could questions any of that, she grabbed a rainbow scarf. "Ooo, this is beautiful! Hey, how about we decorate this place? Give it some color? Because right now it's like where taste went to die."

A smile lit Safyrah's face - her daughter did have artistic impulses after all, and she wanted to share them! Some of her favorite scarves might get mangled, but it was a small price to pay for reconnecting. "I'd love to. Let's see what we have to work with..."

Tulilah smiled a relieved smile. Operation Distraction was a success. At least for now.


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