USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Cousins Togethers

Posted on Tue May 9th, 2023 @ 10:48am by Lieutenant Njalia Sayffier

Mission: Shakedown Shake-Up
Location: Equismalt Station - Cafe
Timeline: Prior to Nelson shakedown
1182 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

[A post between Lt Njalia Sayffer, USS Vesta, and Lt, jg, Astrja Kyan, USS Gwydion.]

Njalia waited in the tea shop. Her datapad told her that Astrja’s shuttle had docked twenty-two minutes ago. So she should be here at any time. . . and there she was with a rolling case. Njalia stood and waved.

Astrja was moving at speed, she had been on shuttles for the last sixteen hours and could not sleep, so she had read everything about the Reliant-class ship she was assigned to. Seeing Njalai was such a relief, she did not want to admit it, but she was so very nervous about this post. And Njalia would know what to say to reassure her, it had been that way since they were children. Njalia was the sensible one and she was the wild child. She waved back and made her way over to the table.

Njakia smiled, Astrja was much as she remembered, slightly disheveled and always on the go. She pulled her cousin in an embrace. “It is so good to see you, Az.”

“You also, Jalia,” said Astrja holding her cousin close for a moment. “You have done well, full Lieutenant on a top-of-the-line ship.”

“As have you, Chief Ops almost fresh out of the Academy,” Njalia said ending the embrace and gesturing to the chairs and table.

Astrja sat. “Yes, about that . . . Can I rely on you for help? I hope I am up to it but it is a big step . . .”

Njalia looked at her cousin, it was so rare to see her armor of self-confidence dented by anything. “Of course, you will have my aid and all of OpsNet. We work together.” She paused to thank the server as she delivered a tray with a pot of Andorian The and scones.

“Oh thank you!” Astrja said. Though Njalia was not sure if it was for the offer of help or for the food -which Astrja immediately set to eating- or both.

“Long shuttle flights?”

“Yef,” answer Astrja around a mouthful of scone and jam. “And the replicators onboard the second shuttle had been removed for a full refit. So, it was just water and a ration bar for that leg of the journey.”

Njalia nodded in sympathy. Ration bars kept you going but they were no one’s idea of an ideal snack. “So, you know I am going to ask, did you ever get your QAI working properly?”

“Godf? Um, no,” Astrja had the good grace to look embarrassed.

“You know, you still have the record for the lowest passing grade in the Understanding AI class at the Academy,” said Njalia with a grin.

“And I only got that because of your last-minute tutoring, not my finest moment at the Academy,” sighed Astrja.

“You made it through, that is what matters,” said Njalia before taking a sip of The.

Astrja nodded. “But why do you ask?”

“A properly functioning QAI is immensely helpful to a Chief Ops, on this, I speak from experience,” said Njalia. “So, hand over your files, Ice Maiden and I will go over them and send you a functioning QAI to help you.”

“That would be wonderful,” said Astrja stirring sugar into her The.

“You will have to promise to treat it properly and make sure to keep it updated.”

Astrja had a flashback to discussing her first pet with her mothers. She nodded, “Yes, Jalia. I am mildly more responsible now.”

“I would hope so,” said Njalia raising her cup of The. “You know, it is sort of amazing that we both made it. All those years ago, playing together, planning, dreaming, how we would join Starfleet.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Astrja wrapped her hands around the The cup. “I would never have made it without you, Jalia. You were always there for me, in school, in the Academy, now.”

Njalia smiled. “As long as I have breath in my lungs and heat in my body, I will stand beside you and fight by your side.”

Astrja clapped her hands in delight. “You remember!”

“We watched that show together almost every week for three years, Az,” said Njalia. “But it is true.”

Astrja nodded. “So is my other promise from back then. I would still be part of a marriage group with you.”

Njalia looked down into her The.

“Oh, still no luck finding anyone,” said Astrja.

“No time. The Vesta was the first time since the Academy I was in the same place for more than two weeks and our last mission, my first aboard, was . . . intense,” explained Njalia.

“No time was your excuse at the Academy too, Jalia,” Astrja reached over and took her cousin’s hand. “You are not an iceberg or a Vulcan, you need friends.”

Njalia nodded. “I know, I am just not good at that.”

“You can learn, you are good at learning,” said Astrja with a grin.

Njalia sighed and smiled back. “At least I have you, Az.”

“But you need more, promise me you will at least try.”

“Yes, I promise. Now, let me have your QAI.”

Astrja pulled out an Academy-issued datapad and handed it across. Njalia looked at it and at Astrja and shook her head. “Nevermind, I do not want to know how or why you still have this.” She took it and tucked it into her satchel hanging from the back of the chair.

Astrja shrugged. “People just give me things.”

“I remember. So, how long are you on station?”

“Just a couple of hours, the Quarter Master promised me a tour then aboard the Gwydion and away into the starry sky!” Astrja just could not help but be excited by the prospect.

Njalia smiled. “It is thrilling, is it not? You will be great, Az, everyone loves you and you are good at your job when you put in the time.”

“I know, I know, I promise to keep focused,” said Astrja. “There should not be so many distractions aboard a starship, right?”

“Let’s hope not,” said Njalai with a smile.

Then talk turned to home and family until Astrja’s comm badge reminded her of her appointment. “Well, snowflakes. Sorry, Jalia, I did make the appointment and I do not want to miss out on it.”

“I understand, Az,“ said Njalia taking her cousin’s hand and giving it a quick squeeze. “Ask them if they might have time to give me a tour in the future.”

Az smiled as she stood. “I will.” She stepped over and gave Njalia a tight hug. “I love you, cousin. Thank you for being there for me when I needed it.”

Njalia hugged back. “We are family, Az, in spirit as well as blood. Now, go and make Andoria proud.”

Astrja smiled and grabbed up her satchel and snagged her rolling bag. “I will . . . and more importantly, I will make you proud of me, Jalia.” She winked and dashed off.

“Stars guide you, Az!” Njalia called out after her. She stood, left a tip for the server and shouldered her satchel and headed back.


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