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Cmdr Kael Thomas, "Thoughts of past and a Dinner distraction/Every


Maxwell Traenor
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((USS Darwin, Deck 7, Personal Quarters))

::Kael was a creature of habit. He liked to maintain a schedule and achieve certain things while on every shore leave. It’s not to say that he didn’t like the touch of spontaneity or surprise but just that his shoreleave tended to look much the same every time. Which is why he was sure that no one would be surprised by his need to visit the Gym as much as possible during shore leave. Although, he hardly imagined anyone particularly cared to give it a thought. Entering his quarters he realised he had failed to organise with Ensign Logan to join him, and made a mental note of it next time. Working out alone wasn’t a problem for Kael, but doing it with someone else allowed him to push his boundaries a bit higher.::

::Showering and getting changed Kael sat on the corner of his bed, put on his shoes and pondered the rest of the day. Having just worked out food was his first plan of attack. There were a few places on the Promenade that he favoured but he had heard there was a new place open. Deciding that is exactly what he was going to do, he stood up and headed for the door.::

Renos: =/\= Captain Renos to Commander Thomas =/\=

Thomas: =/\= Thomas here =/\=

Renos: =/\= I’m holding a little get together tonight for all of the senior staff and a few friends. I felt the crew have had to deal with so much recently that it would do us all good to enjoy a meal together. =/\=

::Smiling as if the Captain could hear his thoughts about food, Kael was glad the crew was getting a chance to get together. They had worked incredibly hard of late and any opportunity to recognise that would be most welcome.::

Thomas: =/\= I think that’s an excellent idea. Is there anything I can do to help? =/\=

Renos: =/\= It’s all arranged. I’m about to make the announcement to the rest of the crew. All you need to do is turn up at 20:00. Oh and it’s a dress white occasion. =/\=

Thomas: oO Dress whites? Oo

::Kael had been around often enough to know that wearing dress whites almost always indicated something else was happening tonight. Not one to raise conspiracy theories whatever the reason was for tonight, he was enthusiastic. The man actually liked the idea of dressing up formally, but he would have rathered, if the Captain wanted a formal attire to be allowed the freedom of civilian dress.::

Thomas: =/\= Understood Captain. I’ll see you there. =/\=

::Having checked the time recently, he knew that he had more than a few hours before the event. His dinner tonight would not derail his plans to have an amazing lunch right now and proceeded immediately to the Promenade.::

((20:00 - Deep Space 6, Deck 21, Function Room A1))

::Kael always ensured he had plenty of time to dress himself when the occasion called for dress whites. So formal was the occasion that looking as though you’d spent about 30 seconds getting ready was obvious to all and entirely unprofessional. Taking pride in one’s appearance didn’t seem unnecessary to Kael, but important. Particularly in his case, being a senior officer it was important to set a good standard to model for the junior crew. Finally satisfied with his appearance, he stepped into the room.::

::The room was large and well dressed with decorations and people in various places around the room. Central to the room was numerous round tables already housing well dressed staff. Immediately in front of the middle set of chairs it was hard to miss the stage setup which at least confirmed there would be some announcement or platform for a speech. Unsurprised by it all, Kael turned to Captain Renos who was just inside the door.::

Renos: You look so smart your mother would be proud!

::Kael’s eye twitched every so slightly. It was entirely involuntary but brought on by the reference to his parents. Very seldom had anyone made reference to Kael’s parents during his career. The single reason being that they were not a presence in his life. They had chosen to remain on Earth and were in various conditions of ailing health. Captain Renos had certainly never met them and the reference to them certainly caught him off guard, and took his mind back to them. A place it hasn’t been for some time.::

((Backsim - Several years prior))

((USS Vigilant, Personal Quarters, Deck 2))

::There were a few days of shore leave left, and Kael was planning today, to just spend them in the Gym and the Holodeck. He thought about seeing if anyone would want to come along, but decided he's just wing it. He was ok with heading out on his own.:

::Dressing in his casual Gym gear, he grabbed a towel and headed towards the door, when he was stopped by his communication terminal.::

oO Incoming call from Mum. Wonder what she wants? Oo

Thomas: =/\= HI Mum =/\=

Jolaina: =/\= Hi Kael, how are you? =/\=

Thomas: =/\= Yeah good. ::Pausing a moment, and asking the question he knew his mum was waiting for.:: How's Dad? =/\=

::Kael had a good relationship with his Mother, but his father clashed with Kael often. It wasn't that they didn't like one another, they just were so similar. Throw in that Kael never seemed to match up to his expectations tends to create for fiery discussions.::

Jolaina: =/\= He's good. You can talk to him if you want? =/\=

Thomas: =/\= Nah Mum, I don't think we have much to discuss for a few years. =/\=

::Their last discussion was during Kael's leave of absence. Kael spent a few months at home, when his dad became quite ill. His dad had a difficult time accepting his compassion, and simply used it as an excuse to attack his career goals. Had Kael been a rational observer of it all, he might have realised that his dad was under a great deal of stress, and his ego couldn't allow his son to be helping him. But he wasn't, he felt the

target of an unneeded attack from someone he was trying to help. The situation remains unresolved.::

Jolaina: ::Making a face displaying her disappointment, she move don.:: =/\= Well, when are you coming home? =/\=

Thomas: =/\= DO we really have to do this again. How well did coming home last time work out? =/\=

Jolaina: =/\= You know what your Father is like, he doesn't really mean that stuff....=/\=

::Kael wasn't really sure if his mum was naive or genuinely believed that. Her face indicated however that she did believe it.::

Thomas: =/\= As a matter of fact I think he does. =/\=

Jolaina: =/\= Ok, ok, well, have you spoke with your brother lately? =/\=

::Kael hadn't spoken with his brother since the last mission. He knew he was going on something also dangerous himself. He assumed it ended up fine, as he hadn't got that fated call. Nor did his mother open with this question.::

Thomas: =/\= Not for a while. Why's that? =/\=

Jolaina: =/\= He's not responding to my calls. =/\=

::His mum had a propensity for blowing things out of proportion. Anthony was extraordinarily busy, as was Kael. There wasn't always time to report in. Kael was ok with assuming he was fine, and talking to him whenever he could.::

Thomas: =/\= He's Chief of a Department mum. He doesn't always have time to answer every call. =/\=

::A fact she knew all to well having been in Starfleet herself for the majority of her working life.::

Jolaina: =/\= I guess. I only want a few minutes though. =/\=

::If Kael wasn't on a video call, he would have smiled to that comment. His mother rarely was only wanting a few minutes. ::

Thomas: =/\= Yeah, well, If I speak to him, I'll make sure he gets in contact with you. =/\=

::Kael and his Mother both knew, that no one controlled Anthony. Of the pair, it was clear that Anthony had infact inherited their Father’s stubbornness.::

Jolaina: =/\= How are you going anyway? Still Chief Engineer? =/\=

Thomas: =/\= Yeah. It's going well. We just got a few upgrades, which could change our discovery of the region. =/\=

::Kael was going to say what it was, but he didn't know if this communication was being monitored. He didn't need anyone else knowing the Vigilant now had a Slipstream Drive.::

Jolaina: =/\= That sounds exciting.::Pausing:: We are very proud of you, you know. =/\=

Thomas: =/\= I know mum. =/\=

::Speaking on behalf of his dad had become the norm for Kael’s mum. His father and his relationship so strained that Kael could not remember the last positive thing his father had to say about him. His Mother now entirely shouldered the burden of trying to mend that gap.::

Jolaina: =/\= Well, that's all I really wanted to say. I'm glad your doing OK. Please come home for a visit soon. =/\=

Thomas: =/\= Thanks Mum. I'll talk to you later. =/\=

::Deliberately ignoring the request for the second time.::

Jolaina: =/\= Bye Kael, Love you! =/\=

Thomas: =/\= Love you too Mum. =/\=

::As the link closed, Kael took a moment to pause. He did love his family, and he did miss them. But they were fine without him ,and he knew his mother never really dealt with the fact that him and his brother both moved away. He could imagine living with his father, was moderately difficult for her. ::

::Getting up from his chair, he moved towards the door, and out to the Gym just like any other day..::

((Present Time))

((Deep Space 6, Deck 21, Function Room A1))

::Turning his head back to the Captain, he warmed to the comment. It was a nice one, and one meant with no ill intent despite the complexities of the comment for Kael.::

Thomas: Thank you Captain.

Renos: You get the best seat in the house today. Come on, let’s get settled and you can tell me about how your shore leave has been.

::Renos led Kael over to the middle of the three front row seats. There were enough seats for 5 people and Kael thought nothing of the other occupants. Simply assuming it was likely other Darwin crew yet to arrive or someone important from the Station. Sitting comfortably on the chair, Kael got to talking with the Captain; a too rare of an event for the two of them. ::


::Sipping from his recently filled glass of wine Kael was enjoying himself. He had only been here for a few minutes but he’d already gotten to share and learn much more about the Captain in that short time then he thought they’d managed since launch. Kael wasn’t one to strike up events or conversations like this, but he wasn’t one to shy away once invited either. Grateful for the opportunity, he had to stop talking as the Captain made a move towards the stage area.::


Renos: Since it's been a while with the crew I just wanted to share a few words. Excuse me.


Thomas: No problem.


::Renos stood up and took place at the centre of the stage a short distance from their table. With a gold curtain backgrop the Captain certainly popped and yielded a great presence. It took mere moments before the room took notice of an impending announcement and ceased their conversations.::


Renos: ::With a Clap of hands the Captain got things underway.:: Ladies and gentlemen, crew of the USS Darwin, it’s my great pleasure to be back in command and with you all again. We’ve been through some incredibly testing times together this year and got through it as a team. I couldn’t be more proud of you all and felt we all deserved a moment to enjoy each others company and reflect upon our successes.


::Kael could not have agreed more. The last few missions had been trying and difficult for all involved. The Captain in fairness had probably shared the brunt of that with the health concerns. The chance to get together and celebrate the crew's great work and their bond with each other was an excellent opportunity and further highlighted the great things the Captain was doing.::


There are a few people I’d like to recognise today beginning with a man who has been the Darwin’s backbone since the day it launched, as in originally launched. A man who has an unrivalled sense of justice and always wants to do the right thing. Whose hard work, dedication and passion are unrivalled.


Thomas: oO Mmmm Oo


::The pit of Kael’s stomach churned. There was a crescendo building and Kael felt it centering on him. He expected dramatically for there to be a spot light that might track to him any moment requiring him to have to slink under the table. Kael could handle surprises but only so long as they weren’t centred on him. Looking up at the Captain, he had no idea where this was going, with the only certainty being that his anxiety was building.::


Mister Thomas, you’re been with the Darwin and with me since the beginning of our journeys and I couldn't have got through it without you, so get yourself up here so you can get what’s been coming to you for a long time.


::It took a few seconds for Kael to register the request. His head was busy spinning with what this could possibly be all about. Standing up, Kael moved with enthusiasm and thinly veiled curiosity stop stand up near the Captain who made no effort to hide a smile..::


Thomas: Thank you, for the kind words Captain.


Renos: You’re an outstanding officer and it is my absolute pleasure to promote you to the rank of commander with all the rights and privileges that go with it - but I’m not going to pin you - no. I was pipped at the post by some very important people.


::The announcement alone was enough to almost floor Kael. He’d worked hard these last few years but never felt as though the giddy heights of a Commander promotion were yet within his grasp. His heart racing at the news Kael did not need to wonder long about the Captains other final piece of information.::


::As the veil fell, three people appeared in it’s place. His family. There was his Father. Completely stunned for a moment, Kael baulked at what to do next. Torn between appropriate behaviour and wanting to run to his family and the realisation that they were barely a family he was stuck. In the back of his mind were all the times he slammed the door on his father, the times they yelled abuse all the times that his father didn’t care about his development or his existence. His anger at the man kept his feet planted like boulders bolted to the ground. His indecision was ultimately assisted by his father moving. Kael’s father moved towards him with the traditional rosewood box in his hands. Had Kael met his Father's face however he might have realised that something was different.::


Thomas: oO Dad, how is this possible? Oo


::Kael’s father had dementia that Starfleet Medical to their credit had tried for years to cure or at least provide a remedy. They had been unsuccessful from Kael’s knowledge and the evident worsening of his Father's condition. It was his Father’s condition and attitude, even during his most lucid moments that drove Kael away and to break off most of his contact. That’s not to say that before his dementia he was a shining example of a man, but it was his cutting comments during the last few years that destroyed their relationship. ::


::His last engagement with his father was one of anger and frustration not unlike all before it. To see the man in front of him, his Father, now looking at him with life in his eyes was too much for Kael. The deep seated hatred, resentment and anger were gone from behind his eyes. Replaced was his Father, smiling from ear to ear with a face that Kael hadn’t seen since he was a little boy. Something inside Kael gave way. The little [...] inside of him that held back all of this resentment and anger broke. Tears streamed down his face despite his wishes to hold them back. He’d never expected to see his dad again least of all like this, least of all with the look of pride on his face.::


::His Father still surprisingly silent replaced the half pip on his collar with a full one. Kael wiped his eyes with the back of hand and turned to his father. The strong, stubborn man who raised him, now shared the same red eyes as Kael. ::


Reynold: Congratulations son.


::They embraced longer, and harder than Kael could ever remember. The tears fell from their closed eyes onto one another’s shoulders as though they were meant to. The void in their relationship that Kael once felt was impossible to mend had all but closed in this one moment. He cherished the embrace and the moment for as long as he could. Opening his eyes he saw his family, he could see Anthony and his Mother with their arms around each other looking at the bonded pair. Kael smiled at them with the deep knowledge that they were closer to being that family unit his mum had always tried for.::


::Pulling back from the embrace naturally Kael looked at this father, who by all rights shouldn’t be as lucid and as clear as he is right now. His eyes were alive and the cloud that was on his mind lifted. He knew that question would get an answer shortly, but right now, he developed a sudden realisation he was still standing on a stage, and the applause was alive. Wiping his eyes as though he was a little boy on his shirt sleeve, and turned around to compose himself.::


Renos: Congratulations again Commander. ::Grinning::


::Captain Renos. The J’naii that Kael didn’t even know before his most recent posting on the Darwin had done more for Kael than almost anyone he had known. The simple act of bringing his family here, to bring them together had changed his family. From this day forward they had a new shot at it and for that Kael wouldn’t never forget what was done here. What Captain Renos had done for him and his family, without even knowing it.::


Thomas: Thank you Captain, but this time, a handshake won’t cut it.


::Kael hated involuntary hugs and contact. But none of that apprehension would stop Kael's riding of emotions right now. Renos was his Captain and he wouldn’t ever consider hugging his Captain, but right now, he considered Renos a friend. Friends deserve a hug.::

===============================================================

Commander Kael Thomas - First Officer, USS Darwin-A NCC-99312

Academy Statistician, Calendar Master, Training Officer

V238010KT0

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