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2 points((Shuttlecraft Verne - open space)) ((Time-index: Two and a half hours before the ceremony.)) :: It was a strange feeling. Sitting alone in a shuttle with a view of a million stars just outside a window. Nelis was sitting in the right pilot seat pressing a few buttons to cure his boredom. He thought to himself of the freedom he had with a shuttle and a pilot's control panel. On a big ship he went where the captain wanted him to go, but with a small shuttle like this, he was really flying. Of course, the computer was doing all the work; Nelis himself hadn't ever flown such a thing. Nelis had been sitting in this shuttle for over twelve hours now and he would be for just about six more. Six more hours before he could see that old fellow. :: :: He hadn't exactly told that old fellow, his husband, that he would be coming to the Columbia. Sure, he had mentioned that he'd been writing a formal letter to request a transfer, but he said that could take months. Then suddenly, he was called to the chief's office that his request had been approved by the XO; only two days after talking to Pholin. He wanted to say it to him so badly, he wanted to deny every regulation there was to share the most exciting news in ten years. But the transfer approval of the XO came with one condition, he was to share it with no-one. :: :: Now, he understood the secrecy of the mission they had been on for the last two years; they were dealing with information and enemies that would cause chaos and destruction throughout the Federation. He had been on those kinds of missions before, and although they were challenging mentally, the whole army of counselors helped to deal with that. What really bugged him is how he couldn't even share with one person that he had been transferred. Like that would cause any harm! :: :: So, that meant: sitting alone in a shuttle for 18 hours. Normally he would just grab a book or two and enjoy life, but he was excited. He was going to see his husband without a stupid screen in between them for the first time in twenty-one months. He was going to a new ship, with new people, in a new region. Not that he'd been seeing much of it, he would be repairing conduits in different jefferies. He had once enlisted in Starfleet just because he wanted to fix things, and he still loved doing that. It was just... :: Nelis D.: oO Ben ik jaloers? Oo (Am I jealous?) :: The Dutchman had encouraged his husband to join Starfleet; it was his dream! But now he actually saw what Pholin was doing, and what Nelis could've been doing for the past twenty-or-so years. It bugged him. Pholin was just in the fleet for a week before he went down to a planet to save his captain. Nelis had never been on an away-mission in his entire career. Now that was exactly the reason he enlisted, so he wouldn't have to throw away four years of his life to become a "Starfleet officer". He would have responsibilities, he would have to be on the bridge, he would have to go down to planets. Twenty years he was satisfied by that, but his officer Pholin had maybe changed that. :: Nelis D.: oO Soon I will see him, only six more hours... Oo ((Pholin's Quarters - Deck 9, USS Columbia)) ((Time-index: Two hours after the ceremony)) :: It was a strange feeling. Sitting alone in fresh new quarters with a view of a million stars just outside the window. Pholin was lying on his bed glancing through the one window in his new room. The Operations department had arranged Lieutenant's quarters within the hour. Pholin had packed his few belongings and left for Deck 9. He was closer to the science labs now... hurray. He sighed, he had been trying not to think about it for the entire hour he had been laying there. Exactly 53 minutes ago he received a call from the Denobulan National Waters Organisation, more simply known in the family as "work". :: :: Both his parents and his single brother were in the Navy, all on the submarine Pak'cha, and had been for way too long. Pholin hated any large bodies of water, which in his childhood quickly determined he was not fit for the Navy. Of course, his parents had been devastated. Family tradition, and all that. Luckily, his smaller brother was happy to join and so the tradition lived on. Three happy Denobulans were under the water 27 hours a day for 6 months at a time. His father was the captain, so he stayed on the entire year. Now, since it was winter all three of them were happily sailing the seas currently. :: :: Emphasis on were, past tense. The DNWO wasn't just here to chat: the Family Spokesperson had informed him that the Pak'cha had gone missing in the line of duty. Assumed lost. No sign of the ship on any sensors. The moment the woman on the screen said that, his head started spinning, he was disoriented, he was confused. Pholin listened to the woman but didn't respond. His brain had turned itself off. Pholin didn't speak, Pholin didn't cry, Pholin was just there. The woman said she would be calling back and ended the call, leaving Pholin alone. :: :: So, that meant: lying alone on a bed for 53 minutes. His night shift had actually already started, but he had called in sick. He was told to report to sickbay but didn't want to. They'd see him being in this state, he would have to talk to a counselor. He would have to think about his family. He would have to realize that they were not there. They were gone. No way to contact them. No sign that they were anywhere near Denobula. They could've been eaten by ka-cheeys. They could have drowned. A tear streamed down his face. Two more followed, then it didn't stop. His entire life had he been with his family, and now it could all be gone. :: Duyzer: oO Ti kalem ra-gundai ah? Oo (Am I alone?) :: The Denobulan had begun to realize what had been told fifty... four minutes ago. He did not like it, he wanted to change it. Pholin looked in every corner through his window hoping that - somehow - Nelis would be there. He didn't want to be alone. He had been missing Nelis for ... about two years. The ship he was posted on was highly-classified, so much so that Pholin didn't even know what ship or class of ship he was posted on. The poor fellow hadn't gotten any shore-leave until last month. He wanted to hug him and cry in his arms. :: Duyzer: oO Soon I will see him, only a couple of months... Oo