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JL | Cmdr th'Zarath, Cmdr Valeese | "A firm foundation..."

Posted on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 @ 4:21pm by Commander Valeese Stacker & Commander Thelin th'Zarath

Mission: The Round Table
Location: Library

The duty was done for the day and the Andorian Engineer had stowed himself away in one of the libraries on the station, this one primarily focused on older texts and while most of them had been digitized for easier recall by those who simply wanted to read them, there were a collection that were maintained in a purely physical form and it was some of these tomes that Thelin had booked out. He'd also sequestered himself into one of the corners. Designed for people working on larger projects they had multiple tables and a stand for holding open books. Anyone passing the Andorian's position would have missed him if it weren't for the pair of antennae sticking out above the piles of books, his head was down, focused on drawing out schematics on a piece of paper he'd replicated specifically for the purpose.

Corners were her favored place of residence. They were usually dark and out of the way, leaving people a sense of privacy as they went over research or read something away from the solitude of their quarters. Mic had recommended that she not hide, that she see and be seen out and about around the station after the attack - and while part of her questioned his legitimacy, Mic had never steered her wrong in the past. That said, with an old Terran classic in hand, she'd had enough of being seen. Of course her delight in escape, and twist of Mic's 'rules', into a corner somewhere at the far side of the stacks, was quickly and easily deteriorated as her eyes focused through the blur on what was most certainly motion. Blue motion. A twitch, then another... An Andorian. Another curious, creeping stride forward revealed that it wasn't just any Andorian, it was the engineer that had exuded nothing less than the notion that she wasn't exactly his favorite person - and research into his history had given her the how and the why. Another bob, this time in her direction, told her that she'd been caught. "I'm sorry," Valeese offered quietly, clinging to the book in front of her, "It's usually empty here and... Yeah. My bad."

The antennae widened slightly and flattened down against his hair as the Andorian looked up from his work, he tilted his head to the side for a moment but didn't turn, he'd recognized the voice the moment she'd opened her mouth, her mere presence was enough to make the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, "Doctor." he replied simply as he placed his pencil and instruments down, he turned at a careful, deliberate pace and raised an eyebrow at her, "No apologies needed."

As soon as his antennae slicked back into his hair, Valeese felt her pulse rise. Handling him was becoming more and more difficult, and she knew that life wasn't going to get any easier the longer she pussy footed around the tension between them. The tense lines of his mouth and jaw just drove that point further home and she found her fingers tightening along the spine of the novel tucked between it, "Commander th'Zarath..." She breathed, closing her eyes as she found a wave of courage, "I know what your opinion of me is, and I know that it's the same sentiment as just about everyone else on this Gods forsaken station, but I think it's time that we came to some sort of agreement that we can work together without me having to be concerned that you're going to decide to hide my body in some remote nook or cranny." She realized entirely way too late that she was babbling, running her mouth at about a mile a minute when a simple 'can we talk?' would have sufficed, "I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I don't feel guilty for it and I'm not going to wear the responsibility for it because it happened years before I was even around. So please... Don't do the antennae thing. Don't look at me like I'm some kind of venomous reptile. I don't deserve it."

A spine... it was a rarity for any of the Vorta he'd come up against in the past to make themselves heard in face to face situations, especially not around their Engineered lap-dogs, the Jem'Hadar, it bought him a sliver of satisfaction that she'd felt the need to provide an outburst like that, "Doctor..." he began before pausing for a few moments, "That 'antennae thing' you so correctly point out is mostly an involuntary action bought about by my particular mood, I do not trust you, I do not care to trust you. You're a Vorta, you're bred to lie and deceive, designed to be the silver tongue of the Dominion." he paused again before turning in his seat and standing slowly, "You're what? early thirties by the standard Terran calendar?"

"Twenty-Eight, but who's counting." Valeese snorted indignantly, her fingers tightening their hold on her books until her knuckles were white and straining.

"If that is indeed the case then you were very much alive during the Second Dominion War, it was less than a decade ago," the Andorian replied as he unfolded himself to his full height and stretched slightly, "I should know, I was there and as you know full well I left part of myself there."

"So then you know about how the Founders more or less tried to wipe my people off like a bad stain?" She asked, her head tilting as she watched him stand. Her eyes may have widened, her internal warning klaxons blaring that she was very much in close proximity to danger, "A group of them ran, Commander, they ran for their lives and the rest is history. What happened to those who didn't? I'll let you fill in the blanks." He didn't want to trust her? So be it, but she wouldn't run with her tail tucked or cower every time the big blue brute entered a room or happened to be near her. They'd have to learn to survive near and live with one another if the station was going to keep working without a hitch in its stride. "I will suggest that you seek help from Doctor Rush. This is your issue, not mine." you xenophobic prick, remained stilled on her tongue as she fought the urge to shiver.

"And it's an issue that will never be resolved, it cannot be." the Andorian replied as his antennae twitched quickly, it wasn't a passing wound that tore at him and while she was accurate in her participation, or lack of it, and the subsequent treatment of her race by the Founders, Thelin found himself unable to even consider anything but the anger that coursed through his veins at the very sight of her, in his younger days it would have been rage, white hot and burning strong enough to make him take action, years of therapy had already tempered him and his responses.

Tensing up and swallowing the knot in her throat, Valeese smirked and flicked her eyes away from him only long enough to wet her lower lip and nod, "Fine. So be it. It's up to you to figure out how to be professional when I have to treat you down in sickbay and beyond that?" She shrugged, tucking hair back behind the tips of her ears, "Whatever. We'll just pretend we don't exist in one another's social worlds. Deal?"

"You'll hear no argument from me, deal." the Andorian replied with a frustrated exhalation as he moved back to his seat and placed a hand on the back, if it were up to him he'd never have to see her, but she was the Chief Medical Officer so he was going to see her quite regularly, in briefings and when he needed treatment or adjustment for his prosthetic arm.

Another nod, heavier and the ligaments at the front of her throat flexed as she swallowed again. If she didn't know better, she'd have sworn that figment of a knot was going to suffocate her. "Fine." It would be a one word answer followed by no goodbye of any sort as she demanded that her legs carry her away from what should have been the privacy and fantasy into a good story. He didn't deserve a farewell, or the flood of emotion that his words and actions sent surging to the surface. He, like so many others, were the problem - of course it was harder to remember that than it looked and it would take the rest of her life getting used to.

Taking his seat again, Thelin placed his cybernetic hand flat on the table and placed the flesh and blood one down next to it, before it made contact with the surface it was shaking violently and the act of placing it down steadied his arm, he closed his eyes and took several deep breaths in before focusing back onto the stack of books in front of him.


Commander Valeese
Chief Medical Officer

Commander Thelin th'Zarath
Chief Engineering Officer


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