Starbase 118 was a sight to behold. As T’Semrik stepped out of the airlock, she was amazed at the immense variety of people to be seen wandering up and down the halls. She shifted her hand’s position on the handle of the plain black roller case that contained everything she owned and took a deep, calming breath. Mentally she reminded herself You can do this. She was the daughter of an officer of the Vulcan Science Commision and a Rigelian wild woman - all she had to do was make her way through the crowd to the holodeck and she’d be fine, right? The young brunette pulled her broad shoulders back in an attempt to allay the twinge of fear creeping into her mind. T’Semrik had grown up first on the rural planet Rigel V, and later on Vulcan, away from the cities in her Father’s ancestral home...neither of those places ever subjected the young hybrid to the immense throng Starbases were famous for. Throughout her two years at the Vulcan Science academy, and even during her four year stint at Starfleet training, T’Semrik had continued to dislike crowds, whether they be complete strangers or her fellow classmates. She much preferred to stay in her study, limiting herself to speaking with a handful of people at most. The concept of walking through hundreds if not thousands of strangers? Petrifying. The other passengers from the transport moved past her, glaring at the odd young vulcan as she stood in front of the airlock. She had to get to the holodeck…
A loud squeaky bark broke T’Semrik from her thoughts, and a tiny white paw scratched at her black-clad leg. The cadet looked down and smiled at her companion, a little tan and white fennec type creature named Sparks. The young brunette squatted down and picked up her furry friend, allowing a smile to break out on her youthful, round face as Sparks yipped and climbed onto and across her shoulders before snuggling into the crook of T’Semrik’s arm. Once he was settled in, Cadet T’Semrik closed her vivid green eyes and took a deep breath, calming the emotions and allowing logic to reign once more. She then began her descent onto the promenade of Starbase 118.
Colors, textures, sounds and smells all blended and jumbled together in a cacophonous symphony as T’Semrik made her way towards the holodecks. Customers mulling and haggling over prices and wares, dabo girls shouting and cheering, pungent perfumes from a Borellian scent dealer who had sprayed a little too much on a potential buyer's wrist - it was both nerve wracking and exhausting. Her long legs carried her quickly through the crowds, and sharp reflexes kept her case from getting tangled among the swarm of feet, tentacles and paws. The Rigelian could feel eyes watching her, gauging her every move - she looked down at the chrono strap on her wrist to check the time. A frown accented the upward curve of her vulcan brow; there was a new message from the steward regarding the simulation. She slipped through the crowd as quickly as she could and sat down at a table in a small cafe to see the message. She drew a breath of relief from the chaos. The cafe was quiet; she liked quiet. She stared out the window at the star-riddled sky and relaxed into her chair, listening to the jumbled sounds and feeling the subtle vibration of the deck plating as people wandered to and fro.
“So what’ll ya have, mista?” a skinny young Denobulan girl asked, pad in hand, her bright red hair tied back with a garish yellow scarf. She chewed absently on a sweet pop as she waited for T’Semrik to order. The cadet thought for a moment before finally ordering a small Utaberry crepe and a Vulcan Spice tea, one of her favorites from back home. Bored and jittery from the flight over, Sparks jumped down from T’Semrik’s lap, napkin clasped in his tiny muzzle as he claimed his new chew-toy. Catching sight of the tiny animal, the Denobulan’s eyes went as wide as saucers. “Ooh, he’s so cute! His mane is so fluffy and white!” To the cadet’s horror the waitress reached down to pet the fox - but T’Semrik shouldn’t have worried. To her surprise, Sparks leaned into the waitress’s eager hand, yipping and purring like a small kit. His large ears swept back every time she petted him, and his tail wagged back forth so fast his whole rear end wagged with it. The Denobulan looked up, grinning from ear to ear as she continued to play with the creature. “His fur is so soft, and it tickles - what is he?” she asked.
T’Semrik held back a chuckle. “Sparks is an Arubian Babchi, or lightning fox. He has this fascinating ability to create an electrical charge with three subcutaneous organs along his spine. He typically doesn’t like being touched by strangers...but he seems to like you a lot.” Sparks chirruped once again, and went back to wrestling with his napkin.
Once the waitress was out of sight, T’Semrik patted Sparks on the head, receiving a delighted purr in return. She then turned back to the original reason she had stopped, and activated her padd to check the message from the Steward. Perhaps they had progressed the time for the simulation to now? She read the text, and then turned off the device with a sigh - instead of progressing it, the simulation was to be held in three hours, not half of one like T’Semrik had thought.
Well, at least she had a bit more time to acclimate and stretch her legs before plunging into the simulations. Perhaps she could even look for something to get her Father for his birthday...or perhaps a new crate for the little fox. His other had broke in transit to the Starbase, much to the Transport captain’s chagrin. The cadet couldn’t help but laugh at the memory of the Captain’s face when he attempted to roughly pull Sparks from under his chair in the mess hall - he had leapt back from the shock, eyes wide and fingers numbed, and Sparks had practically flown into T’Semrik’s arms. Later on, the babchi had befriended most of the crew, but it was a rough start. Hopefully the new assignment was a bit more...understanding. With that thought she settled in with a novel, Sparks cuddled in her lap and Vulcan Spice tea in hand to wait for her long-anticipated Cadet Cruise.