... A First Impression
On the Horizon
Location: Turbolift Twelve, Deck One
Tags: First meetings
The turbolift held an extra three seconds to let someone else board - the main computer at its efficient finest - and Doctor Khorasani leaned against the safety rail with her elbows while she greeted the young woman in her crisp-edged black uniform with its deep blue trim and flash-badges on the shoulders. “Lieutenant. Going my way?”
“Observation lounge,” the Lagashi woman replied, speaking to both the doctor and the ship’s computer, before subtly shaking herself out of whatever thoughts she was lost in. “Doctor.”
“Everything still calibrating properly after the trip out? As of two days ago you’re officially the individual with cybernetic enhancements who has the longest cumulative time in slipstream. Science wants to know.” Having a patient for whose records she had to make occasional engineering consults was a new experience, but at this point in Jasna’s career novelty was something worth appreciating even when it was inconvenient. At least Lieutenant Li Ling was an obscenely healthy young woman to begin with, even by fleet standards....
“As far as I can tell,” Meifeng replied. “Though if there was a problem on a quantum level, it might affect my on-board diagnostics. I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the reports from the early tests on the Red Hare.” Her reverie done, Li Ling settled into a catlike posture - relaxed, but ready to move.
“Those are the sister-ships to the Vesta, aren’t they?” Jasna shook her head and smiled. “They must be a hot billet. Young Ensigns polishing their applications late into the night and dreaming about making history.”
“For the test cruises. A bit less for the permanent crew, I expect,” Meifeng said. “We don’t tend to like to go that far from home.”
Curiosity prickled up the back of Jasna’s spine, but she reigned it in and settled for a rakish smile. “That sounds like a conversation worth hearing more of when we’re not about to take a briefing. Speaking of which....”
The turbolift doors slid open, and Jasna pushed off the wall to follow Meifeng out onto Deck One. “You know,” she said, not quite changing the subject, “we’re far enough out now that Command is really going to have to work to get hold of us. It’s very ‘a tall ship on a vast ocean,’ don’t you think?”
The idea of that conversation apparently did not agree with Meifeng’s stomach, and she visibly relaxed as it was put aside for the moment being. “I suppose it is. That will make my reports… complicated… but the Executor will simply have to wait for transmission windows. Though… didn’t tall ships usually steer by the stars? There are no stars at slipstream.”
“No, but I’m given to understand that you manage to navigate just as well in spite of that.” Jasna nudged Meifang’s shoulder gently as they started down the hall together. “Don’t tell me we’ve been wandering into the Delta Quadrant blind as the proverbial bat. I won’t sleep as well at night.”
“Sensor data in slipstream is… odd,” Meifeng responded, smirking. “And it is apparently entirely impossible to predict our exit point with more than hectameter precision, which is an unsettling thing when one is used to being able to place warp exit well enough to put the captain’s seat directly below the loveliest microcomet in the system.”
Jasna tipped her head back and laughed, enjoying the private absurdity of the image. Trevor would have appreciated it - she might have to write to him about what he was missing. “You know, I don’t think that is going to help me sleep easier after all.”