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Lt Cmdr Richards - Killing Time


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((Promenade, Starbase 118))


:: Alexander once again found himself wandering the promenade deck alone whilst his wife, Marissa, was away on a botanical mission to Pedarves Three. Her civilian team had been attached to a Starfleet expeditionary force owing to their knowledge and experience in the field of Xenobotany. Under normal circumstances he would have been left with their son John However owing to the fact that Marissa was liable to be away for several months and Alexander was due to rejoin the USS Gemini when it returned from whatever mission it was away on, the happily married couple had made a decision to leave John with his grandparents back at the Tycho City lunar colony. ::


Richards: oO Hrmm, the air temperature is off by about 2 degrees Celsius. I must remember to to make a note of it to Lieutenant Toral before I depart. It might be something as simple as a misaligned coil in the environmental control systems or could be something more serious. I’m sure they haven’t worked out all of the kinks from the interior rebuild following the events one year prior. Oo


:: Coming to his favorite bench on the station which, as usual sat empty mainly because of what Alexander considered the soothing hum of one of the station’s massive Plasma generators. He pulled up beside it and stretched his arms, yawning loudly as he did so. ::


Richards: oO So little time spent on this station yet so many memories both good and bad. Nice to see some stability in the new CO, Commander Page. There is no way that he can make as much of a mess of this station as Captain Rogers did. Oo


:: He let out a little chuckle as he mused on a situation where he found himself knocked from his chair after Rogers had managed to smash a giant aquarium in the restaurant of the same name. His laughter stopped abruptly when he remembered that in the confusion, Solok had been pushed over a railing and for all intents and purposes killed by the fall. Very soon however a smile returned to his face as he recalled the moment the senior staff of the USS Drake stood up for he and his wife after she had been accosted by the door staff at the seedy establishment Rogers had chosen for a promotion ceremony. ::


Richards: oO What is it with that man and trouble. It seems to follow him wherever he goes. Oo


:: Thinking of other memories, Richards found himself saddened that he had not made the time to meet up with colonel Whale whilst he had been here. From the things he had heard, the man with a tough exterior yet heart of gold was working his charges well. He knew the colonel was a no nonsense man and had every faith that he wouldn’t pass any man or woman who was incapable. ::


Richards: oO So many people, so little time left. I guess i just got too wrapped up in my own little world. Oo


:: That of course was very much the heart of the truth. To an outside that may have seemed selfish but to those who knew him, they would understand. In all honesty the death of Vanessa Driscoll on Rathos had left him feeling empty and drained. There was now an indelible mark in his brain, a constant reminder of his own failure as her department head to protect her from harm. He had vivid memories of the argument at the mission briefing for their trip to Rathos of himself speaking up, saying just how bad an idea it was to place a mobile lab on the surface. A lab that had been brought aboard by the ships then mission specialist without even consulting him. Yes it was a medical research lab but with the Gemini having no CMO at the time, the final call regarding the lab should have been his. ::


:: Of course all that was moot. The fact was that with everything that happened on the surface of Rathos, the fact the away team escaped with only one death was nothing short of a miracle. Every time he came back to it, it always boiled down to solitary thought that rode through his mind, that it should have been him. Starfleet regulations and his disability be [...]ed, it should have been him and not Vanessa on the surface of Rathos. It was a mistake he was never liable to make again. If he found himself in a position where he was the most suitable candidate for an away team, his name would always be at the top of the list. No more hiding, he was a Starfleet officer, a job that came with inherent risks. ::


:: Marissa of course knew those risks and was fully supportive of her husband. She had practically begged him, along with his mother and father, to stay in Starfleet, since he had considered handing in his resignation soon after departing the Gemini. There may have been a slap involved, a tearful argument with boiling emotions but logic and sense won through, as they always did when his loving wife was involved. ::


Richards oO I seem to recall the term ‘you are not a quitter’. Oo


:: Looking out across the sea of smiles Alexander sighed once again. Repairs following the ion storm had been swift. Thankfully he had been at Tycho during the whole debacle but he had heard through the grapevine that things had been tough for a little while. Grek, his boss whilst he had been working as a barman following his resignation from Starfleet many years ago had assured him that it would take more than the events of the past few years to cause him to abandon a most profitable endeavor. Alexander took that to mean that the poor little Ferengi had too many black market investments in the sector to walk away unscathed should he shut up shop. ::


Richards: oO At least i still have my source for a certain type of Contraband. Oo


:: A chirp from the LCARS panel on his chair brought his wandering mind back to the here and now. He had hoped that it was a note saying that the Gemini was on her way to dock but alas that wasn't to be. The message still brought a smile to his face as it was from his wife. Although short it let him know that despite the massive instability going on in the Galaxy at the moment owing to an experiment gone ary that her team had arrived at Pedarves Three safe and sound and were beginning their expedition. ::


Richards: oO Well that’s a huge worry taken off my mind. I think she’s going to enjoy it out there. Oo


TBC


Lieutenant Commander Alexander Richards

Sabbatical

USS Gemini
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