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JP: LtCmdr Kaitlyn Falcon & PNPC Lt Vance Sheridan - The Fugitive


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(( Promenade - Keal’s Pub; Starbase 118 ))
::It had taken a bit to fully coordinate, but Nathan had managed to get the repairs to his pub completed in short order. Kaitlyn had even pitched in where she could between shifts; he’d always been a good friend, and she was happy to help. It also gave her a good opportunity to make sure the gang were all okay, as well. It seemed they’d all managed to weather the storm.::
::Now in civvies, consisting of blue jeans and a short-sleeved purple blouse, Kaitlyn grabbed one of the bar stools to relax and enjoy the establishment.::
::She’d barely had time to get situated when a mug of hot chai appeared before her. Kaitlyn looked up to see Vera’s smiling face. The shen gestured to the mug.::
Yanis-Keal: Well, go on. Give it a try.
::Kaitlyn chuckled. She’d introduced Vera to chai back when she’d been working with her brother, and the shen had quickly grown a taste for it. Her more adventurous side lead her to develop new flavor combinations for the tea, and Kaitlyn quickly became her favorite guinea pig. Kaitlyn lifted the mug, raised it in a classic ‘toast’ gestures, and took a sip.::
::It was… interesting, to say the least. It had a couple types of flavored syrup added. Kaitlyn let the flavors mix for a moment… One was… peanut butter, and the other… some sort of chocolate? Kaitlyn finally swallowed the sip, giving an approving nod.::
Falcon: Nice. Very smooth, and a good mix. Peanut butter, and…?
Yanis-Keal: Andorian white chocolate. Took a bit of work to get a syrup that matched it, but I thought it might give a good bite.
::Kaitlyn nodded, taking another sip. Vera certainly had the bite part right. Now that Kaitlyn knew what she was looking for, she could taste it immediately.::
Falcon: Well, I approve. ::Smiles.:: Got a name for it yet?
Yanis-Keal: Not sure… I’ll think on that. ::Smiles back.:: That one’s on the house, in thanks for all the help.
::Kaitlyn lifted the mug once more, this time in thanks.::
Falcon: Hey, I’m always happy to lend a hand.
::Vera’s antenna flicked to one side, toward another patron. The shen looked over to him, then back to Kaitlyn.::
Yanis-Keal: Hey, I’ll check back in a bit, okay?
Falcon: ::Smiles and nods.:: Sure thing. I’ll be here.
::Vera stepped away from the bar, starting over toward the other patron in need. Kaitlyn turned around in her stool, leaning back against the bar as she took another sip of her chai, giving another approving nod. Yep, this blend could work just fine.::
Sheridan: Commander Falcon!
::The computer never failed Vance Sheridan. Few people knew he was in league with it, but he’d been using its ability to locate people to devastating effect lately, dragging in officers who were overdue for their annual psych evaluation, striking like an Arcturan sky cobra when they least expected it. Today’s target was Kaitlyn Falcon, who had managed to escape the counsellor’s chair for rather longer than she should have. There was a note on her file that seemed to indicate attitude problems and issues with interacting with counsellors, which Vance found interesting. He’d decided, as he usually did in these cases, that he was going to make up his own mind.::
::The shout came more as a cheerful greeting than anything else. He waved from a little way across the pub, wearing a smile characteristic of an officer who had just met a colleague and was interested in joining them for a drink. The way she was relaxing did not seem characteristic of a trouble maker.::
::Kaitlyn looked up at the shout, quickly recognizing the man from their brief encounter in C&C. He was their new counselor, if she recalled correctly. She’d also heard about just how bad things had been over on Noguwip, and that he was up and about spoke well of his toughness. She returned his wave, giving a small smile. While he didn’t appear to be on business, past experience had forced her to be a bit… wary around counselors.::
::She’d been surprised by them in bad ways too many times…::
::Sheridan finished his approach, Kaitlyn making sure he had room at the bar. Regardless of what had happened before, Kaitlyn could prove she’d learned how to be cordial.::
Falcon: ::Nod of greeting.:: Sheridan. It’s good to see you up and about. What brings you by?
Sheridan: I finally managed to catch a break between appointments, so I figured this would be a good place to come to get a drink. What do you have there?
::He leaned on the bar next to her, preferring not to take a seat just yet. There was a chance that rumours of his dawn raids on unsuspecting therapy-dodgers might have reached her ears, and that forcing her into a situation where she felt like she was being analysed might not be a good idea.::
::Kaitlyn took another sip of the interestingly flavored tea.::
Falcon: Hot chai, a sweet and spicy tea.
Sheridan: Would you recommend it?
::Kaitlyn smiled, giving a light chuckle and a nod of her head.::
Falcon: Oh, yes. I always recommend people try it at least once.
::Vance looked at the bartender, pointing at Kaitlyn’s cup.::
Sheridan: Hi. Could I get one of whatever those is?
::Nathan stopped mid stride, looking over Kaitlyn’s shoulder at the mug, then over to her.::
Keal: Chai?
Falcon: Yep. I’d recommend starting him with vanilla; nothing too crazy.
Keal: You got it.
::While he was waiting for his drink to be prepared, Vance turned his attention back to the mission at hand. He wanted to just talk to Falcon to see if he could figure out what these issues with counsellors were supposed to be, without mentioning them directly. There weren’t many immediate pieces of common ground that he could think of, so he shot with something obvious.::
Sheridan: So, I’ve not been here for long enough yet to figure out which are the best places to go to when I’m off duty. I feel like this is a good choice… are you a regular here?
Falcon: Well, it’s one of the best places on the station, in my opinion. Although the owners have been friends of mine and my sister’s for years, so I might be biased. ::Points to a table in the far corner.:: In my pre-’Fleet days, that table was reserved for my brother and me whenever we were in the sector. So, I’d say I’m a bit of a regular.
::Vance looked across to the table that Kaitlyn was pointing at. Being a regular was one thing, having a table reserved for you was another.::
Sheridan: So what caught your eye about this pub in particular?
Falcon: The place has a good atmosphere. It’s calm, relaxing, good-natured. All the folks working here are great people. I love catching up with Nathan and Vera whenever I get the chance.
::It had to be pretty good having non-fleet friends that you could visit and forget about everything the uniform brought with it.::
Sheridan: So is that the reason why they stock chai?
::You could get hold of chai from any replicator, but the real stuff was probably much nicer.::
Falcon: No. My twin sister is the reason they started carrying chai. She was chief engineer here when Nathan was setting this place up, lended a hand a few times after he nearly crushed himself under a shipment of furniture. As part of his thanks, and after finding out it was her favorite drink, he made sure to keep a good supply of the best spiced chai he could get his hands on. ::Smiles, lifting up her mug slightly.:: Still does, to this day.
Sheridan: Kind of like a family tradition, then? I call that good customer service.
::Kaitlyn smiled, giving a light chuckle.::
Falcon: I suppose so. Certainly scored him a few loyal customers, I can tell you that.
::Movement nearby caught Kaitlyn’s eye, watching as Nathan returned with a second mug of chai and set it before Sheridan.::
Keal: Sir, your chai.
::Vance took the drink from him, smiling, and took a moment to enjoy the aroma of the spiced tea. Chai wasn’t difficult to get hold of on Earth, but he’d never really dabbled with it before, so this would be a first.::
Sheridan: Thanks. This is kind of a landmark. First cup of chai. D’you want to stick around for the momentous first sip?
::Nathan leaned back against the counter, giving a smile.::
Keal: Sure. I’m always curious about a ‘first taste’ reaction.
::The Canadian grinned, visions of him burning his mouth and having to be rushed back to sickbay running through his mind.::
Sheridan: OK, here goes…
::He lifted the cup to his mouth, blowing on one corner of the drink to cool it before taking a quick slurp - just enough to taste it, but not enough cause any pain.::
::Kaitlyn and Nathan each waited a moment, then spoke almost in unison.::
Falcon: Well?
Keal: So?
Sheridan: You know what, that’s good. You might want to be careful, Commander, or you might have some competition for the chai reserves.
::Kaitlyn laughed, shaking her head. Nathan put on a look of mock offense.::
Keal: Pah! As if I could let such a travesty occur; running out of chai. ::Smiles.:: I’ll just have to stock more.
Falcon: ::Chuckles.:: You won’t hear me complaining.
::Nathan chuckled as well, giving Kaitlyn a pat on her shoulder.::
Keal: Well, I’m back at it. You two have fun, okay?
::The bartender went back to work, leaving Vance and Kaitlyn to talk. Deciding that the moment had passed for the helmswoman to get spooked and flee the bar, Vance hopped up onto the free bar stool.::
Sheridan: I’ll be honest, it’s good to catch a break after all the excitement on the promenade recently. I came pretty close to forgetting what the station outside my office looked like.
Falcon: Well, until recently, you really didn’t miss much. There was a lot to repair, out there.
::Kaitlyn gave a soft sigh, taking another sip of her chai as she leaned back against the bar.::
Falcon: Hell of a lot of fighting out there… I’m not sure how much you saw of it, but it’s not something I’d wish on anyone.
::Vance clearly remembered seeing Kaitlyn doing her level best to empty the power packs of her phasers into the alien entity on the promenade. Considering the creature had shrugged off nearly everything that they had thrown at it, Vance had been very glad for that. Any crew needed people who knew how to handle themselves in a combat situation.::
Sheridan: I should probably thank you for giving that creature hell like you did. I know other people were firing too, me included, but I think your resolve rubbed off on us.
::Kaitlyn actually managed a small smile at that. She couldn’t tell him how she’d managed to build up such a strong and sudden resolve, of course. It was probably one of the only positive effects of that particular part of her life, of those old battles.::
Falcon: I’m glad to have done some good. It was a bit of a gamble, trying to keep my focus where it needed to be. If it also helped everyone else keep their focus, then it was worth it.
::Kaitlyn paused a moment in thought. On the one hand, she didn’t want to dwell on the past events any longer than necessary. On the other… she wanted to make sure Sheridan was okay.::
Falcon: I heard that things on Noguwip were… difficult. If you ever need an ear, I’d be happy to help.
::The oddity of her offering to listen to a counselor wasn’t exactly lost on her, though she kept it from her features. They hadn’t spoken for long, but what she’d seen so far suggested Sheridan was alright. That, or he was a good actor. Regardless, she wanted to make the offer.::
::Vance appreciated the offer, but wasn’t really in a place where he wanted to talk about the Noguwip at that point. He’d already broken the ice on it with Commander Taybrim, and he felt like he needed a decent period of time to heal before he touched on it again. Still, it was nice to know that the crew were so friendly.::
Sheridan: That’s very kind, but could we maybe uh… iksnay on the Oguwipnay? ::He smiled sheepishly:: I’d like to pretend that particular episode was just a very bad dream.
Falcon: ::Nods.:: Happier topics. Agreed, wholeheartedly. So, where are you from, originally?

Falcon: ::Nods.:: Happier topics. Agreed, wholeheartedly. So, where are you from, originally?
::That was a much happier topic. Vance picked up his chai and settled down more comfortably on his seat.::
Sheridan: I’m from Whitehorse in Yukon. Grew up there with a pretty big family who’ve spread themselves out over most of Earth, and a little bit beyond. ::He cracked a smile again.:: It also comes with the added benefit of thinking it’s pretty warm on starships and starbases most of the time. Every day is T-shirt weather!
::That was, of course, rather a large exaggeration. Yukon was not known for being particularly warm, but it was hardly like living under one of the Andorian poles.::
::Kaitlyn gave an understanding nod and smile. Ships and stations had always felt a little cool to her, but she’d always liked it.::
Falcon: Were you close with them?
Sheridan: We were pretty close growing up, yeah. I’m the middle kid of five, actually, so I had an older sister and brother to make sure I wasn’t getting into trouble, and a younger brother and sister to keep an eye on myself. ::He swigged his chai, enjoying the combination of sweet and spicy even more now that it was a little cooler.:: Jonny is the only other one of us who will be joining Starfleet. He’s in his final year at the academy.
Falcon: ::Smiles.:: Oh? Does he have a path in mind?
Sheridan: He’ll be a security officer. He’ll be a good one, too. He was always very disciplined. Kept to a strict routine. I had to teach him how to unwind a couple times.
::He smirked. They had been counsellor and security officer even back when they were kids, it seemed.::
Falcon: ::Laughs.:: It’s such an underappreciated skill. ::Smiles.::
::Sharing stories about family was always fun. Vance was curious if Kaitlyn had any of her own to share.::
Sheridan: So how about you? You mentioned your sister. Are you from a big family?
Falcon: Big enough. Two sisters; one older, the other’s my paternal twin, and one brother, the eldest, plus mom and dad.
::It sounded like their clans were of comparable sizes.::
Sheridan: Whereabouts did you grow up?
Falcon: We were all Starfleet brats. Our parents met on the U.S.S. Freedom-A, and we were all born there. We looked out for each other, and found various ways to keep amused on a starship. Usually without getting into too much trouble.
::He laughed. He could imagine just how much hot water a group of four children could get into aboard a starship. You could probably write an entire series of children’s books about it.::
Sheridan: I guess that explains why you ended up in one of these uniforms. Did many more of you make the same career choice?
Falcon: Actually, most of us went Starfleet. Both my sisters joined as soon as they were old enough, though my brother decided to stick with a civilian life. He went and got himself a freighter and started making a name for himself.
Sheridan: Kind of the black sheep of the bunch, eh?
::He could understand why her brother might have had a desire to be a little different, although that didn’t necessarily have to be the main appeal to remaining a civilian.::
::Kaitlyn paused for a moment, considering that particular phrase. James had always been the odd one of the bunch, excepting Kaitlyn’s flip-flop of career choices, but ‘black sheep’?
Falcon: Hmm… I wouldn’t put it that far. He’s never done anything that would worry our folks. Really, the only people he’s crossed paths with in a bad way are either Orion Syndicate or your standard issue swindlers.
Sheridan: So, do you see him often? Which region of space is he based in?
Falcon: I see him whenever I can. He doesn’t have any particular region he stays in, though he tries to stay close to wherever the family is assigned.
::It sounded like the Falcons all kept in touch, anyway. It had been a little while since Vance had last called home and spoken to his own folks. He didn’t plan on doing it any time soon, either. Not until he had some good news for them.::
Sheridan: Well, if he’s ever around on the station, or any of the rest of the family for that matter, you let me know if people are meeting for chai, OK?
::Kaitlyn nodded. She’d been meaning to try to pull everyone together into a family reunion. Being on the base, it might well be a good time for that.::
Falcon: ::Smiles.:: Sure will.
::As the exchange of stories drew to a close, and Vance’s mug came closer to being empty, he decided they were in a good enough place to pick up on official business.::
Sheridan: So, believe it or not, I’m actually a little disappointed about something work-related, that maybe you can help me figure out.
::Kaitlyn nodded, leaning forward.::
Falcon: Sure thing. How can I help?
::The counsellor dropped his voice and leaned in a little closer. It wouldn’t do for anyone to overhear the piece of confidential information that he was about to bring up.::
Sheridan: Your file says that you kill counsellors. Like, stone dead. I almost turned up here to talk to you in body armour, just in case…
::Really it was a little risky joking about that but, having taken some time talking to Kaitlyn about issues that weren’t work-related first to make an effort to actually get to know her, it seemed more appropriate than bringing the matter up seriously. He felt like she would actually respond in a positive way.::
::Kaitlyn leaned back, giving a slightly amused snort. That was certainly an interesting way to bring it up… Kaitlyn had been wondering exactly how Sheridan would broach that particular subject. She hadn’t worked with him long enough to completely gauge him, but she was willing to let him run for a moment.::
Falcon: Oh, really?
Sheridan: If, you know, you could maybe tell me how you managed to dispose of the bodies without anyone knowing then I’m pretty sure we could submit something to the Federation News Service and make ourselves famous. Like, some kind of team of crime busters or something.
::The suggestion, while still hushed, was theatrically conspiratorial.::
::Kaitlyn’s response came out somewhat dry; not overly joking, but not overly annoyed, either.::
Falcon: You’d be surprised how effective replicators are at destroying things.
Sheridan: ::Laughing to himself:: Seriously, though, you should take a minute to drop by my office when you have time. You’re overdue your review and I don’t think either of us is going to find one of those routine check-ups too difficult. ::He lowered his voice again.:: Besides, if you do then I think I can probably put the record straight on your file. I’m not really seeing the reason why it’s there in the first place…
::He hoped that he’d proven to her that he wasn’t going to be some kind of overbearing psychiatric type who peered at her through magnifying goggles, scribbling on a clipboard and shining a light in her eyes.::
::At first, Kaitlyn was tempted to tell him exactly how difficult those routine check-ups could be. She’d gone through it, after all, and was not particularly interested in repeating the experience. That last part, though, intrigued her.::
::To date, she’d had an XO who considered her a liar, one counselor who responded to the issue with a lecture, and a second counselor who felt her desire to carry a weapon warranted accusal that she distrusted security forces.::
::Sheridan’s jokes suggested that he’d actually read her file, and his comments suggested he was looking past them. If he was willing to do that… then maybe she’d be willing to give him a chance.::
::Finally, thoughts gathered, Kaitlyn gave a slow nod.::
Falcon: Okay. I’ll give it a shot.
::Well, that was certainly a relief.::
Sheridan: Thanks. I’m glad.
Falcon: You’ve read my file. I’m sure you know my feelings on it. But, you’re willing to keep an open mind, so I’ll do the same.
::Vance nodded enthusiastically. As far as he was concerned, there was no need for the session to be confrontational, and he doubted that things would be as bad as Kaitlyn might have thought.::
Sheridan: I appreciate that. Really, I don’t see why it has to be any different to the conversation we had today… only there’ll be less people around. I could even provide chai… although it’d be replicated and probably not quite as good as here.
Falcon: I’ve actually got a few blends programmed in that aren’t too bad.
::The counsellor smiled, feeling like he had managed to make a good deal of headway.::
Sheridan: OK, well I need to swing back to the office, but it was good meeting you. I’ll hopefully see you around some time.
::He intended that to mean outside the counselling office. Kaitlyn was friendly, easy to talk to and didn’t mind sharing a laugh and a joke. That seemed to be a running theme among most of the staff here.::
Falcon: I’m not usually hard to find.
::Admittedly, Kaitlyn’s demeanor had slightly cooled, but she was still cordial. Sheridan really was making an effort to be accommodating, though he was fighting a bit of an uphill battle. She managed a small smile, touching two fingers to her temple in a friendly salute.::
Falcon: Good meeting you, too.
::Vance mirrored the salute. He didn’t expect Kaitlyn to be overexcited about the prospect of a counselling appointment given what had been penned in her files, but it looked like more of a case of two, or three or four tangoing than just Kaitlyn causing problems. Once they had a dialogue going and he’d built up a little trust, maybe he would be able to find out more about what had gotten her written into her previous counsellors’ bad books but, until then, he was happy just to make sure she was clear for duty. He headed towards the exit, already thinking about his next appointment. It was really too bad he couldn’t stick around for another chai.::
TBC
A JP by
Lieutenant Commander Kaitlyn Falcon
Chief Helm Officer
Starbase 118 Ops/USS Albion
&
PNPC Lieutenant Vance Sheridan
Counsellor
Starbase 118 Ops
SIMmed by: Lieutenant Commander Chen
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