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Old Friends, New Jobs

Posted on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 @ 4:58pm by Captain Gra'sh Jilrak

Mission: A New, Old Journey
Location: Cait
Timeline: MD 1, -3 weeks

Jilrak paused to take a sip of water. He had been practicing his speech most of the morning. He was about to continue when the chime to his office door rang.

“Enter”, he said as he thought, ‘What now?’

The door slid open and Jilrak’s jaw nearly fell open. He couldn’t believe who was standing before him. He didn’t know if he should be angry or happy.

“May I come in?” Emma asked.

“Of course Commodore Beckett”, Jilrak replied somewhat stiffly. “Congratulations on your recent promotion.”

“You can call me Emma”, she said stepping in.

“Well, that would require our relationship to be that of equals and/or that of friends”, Jilrak replied and he went to the replicator and got a cup of tea for Emma.

“I thought we were friends”, Emma said, looking a little said.

“Me too”, Jilrak said, bringing the tea over and setting it on his desk. “But then again, friends usually don’t say, ‘Mind your own damn business you jealous ass’ to one another either.”

Beckett blushed, remembering that day on the promenade when Jilrak questioned her about her relationship with Sage. In retrospect, Jilrak had been right to question her. She didn’t quite realize how much she had hurt her friend until he had actually left a week after her rude comment to take command of his own vessel.

She took a step closer to her former executive officer, “I’m so sorry Jil. I didn’t mean it. Things were nuts, my mother was constantly calling me to nag, then that, it all just came out. I really am sorry though. Can you forgive me?”

Jilrak looked at Emma, twitched his whiskers, and then extended his arms to her. She took his hug and after a moment she stepped back.

“I need your help”, she said, handing a padd to him.

Jilrak went and sat down and looked at the information on the screen. Jilrak’s tail started to swish back and forth thumping against his desk.

“So, what am I supposed to be looking at?”, Jilrak asked. “What’s so special that required you to come all the way out here?”

“For heaven’s sake Jil”, she exclaimed. “look at his age, he is only thirty.”

“Well”, Jilrak said. “In Caitian years, that’s well, let’s see, let me do the math, yeah that’s thirty.”

His friend breathed her frustration in and scowled at him.

“Starfleet has been pumping out Captains left and right”, Emma said. “Some of them shouldn’t have even been made XO, let alone Captain. The morale on the ships with first time captains is the lowest it has been in seventy-five years. Starfleet has either lost or had to scuttle fifteen percent more ships in this time frame as well.”

“So, what do you need from me?” Jilrak asked

“I want you to become his XO”, Emma said.

“Seriously?”, Jilrak said, his tail twitching hard. “You want me to come out of what is essentially retirement on the beach to baby-sit?”

“Just for a year”, Emma said. “Just until I can be sure of what is going on. Please Jil?”

Jilrak’s ears twitched and after a moment he said, “I will think about it.”

“I need to break orbit in the morning”, Emma replied.

“I will let you know by then”, Jilrak said.

“Dinner tonight?” Emma asked.

Jilrak’s tail swished and his whiskers twitched, “I have a date.”

“Do tell”, Emma said with a smile.

“Ha”, Jilrak snorted. “The last time I told you about a date, you gave me no end of grief about when kittens would be coming about.”

--

{Later that Night}

“Gra’sh, what is on your mind?” Zalia, Jilrak’s fiancé, asked.

“Uhm, I got a visit from a friend today”, Jilrak started.

Zaila’s ears lowered and she said, “A friend?”

“Yeah, Emma Beckett”, Jilrak said. “She wants me to come out of retirement, just for a year.”

“No”, Zaila said. “You said that there wouldn’t be any more ships, that we wouldn’t have to go flying through the galaxy. I don’t want a family raised on a starship where at any moment something could go wrong.”

“That can happen anywhere, plus there is no room for families”, Jilrak replied. “It won’t be for long. A year, long enough for me to make sure Commodore Beckett is not so apprehensive about what is going on. Zaila, this is important. Emma is like family to me.”

“And what about the family we are supposedly going to have?” Zaila asked, her ears flattened down fully now. “What about me and what I want? I just want a home and a life here on Cait.”

“I will leave you to your decision”, Zaila said and she got up and left.

Jilrak sighed watching her go, his loyalties torn.

---
Captain Gr'ash Jilrak
Executive Officer
USS Axca

 

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