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Lieutenant Evan Delano – Aftermath (Part 2)


Rahman and Rivi Vataix
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(( Flashback. Stardate 239212.31. New Year’s Eve. ))

(( The Lighthouse Lounge. Starbase 74. ))

 

:: The Lighthouse Lounge had a reputation as being difficult to get into. That was doubly true tonight. This close the the Sol system, New Year’s Eve was a popular holiday, and many of the Starbase’s 200,000 inhabitants were hoping to spend it here. With only a hundred tables, Evan had been forced to call in a lot of favors to make it happen. ::

 

:: And though this was Evan’s first time in the Lighthouse, it quickly became obvious why it was so popular. The lower tier of the restaurant was built around a stage where, tonight at least, a series of jazz performers had been entertaining the room throughout the night. The second tier, where Evan had managed to secure a table, was on a balcony that provided a perfect view of the round viewscreen set above the stage. Tonight, that screen displayed a crystal clear image of a starfield looking towards Sol. This close to Earth, the star easy to identify. Occasional pop out displays would show celebrations of the New Year taking place throughout the sector. ::

 

:: Dressed in tuxedos, Evan and Mei’konda were seated at an elegant square table, quietly talking about everything that had happened over the last few weeks. It had been a difficult time for them. Between Evan’s court martial and Mei’konda’s father effectively returning from the dead, they hadn’t had much time to just talk. And, as Evan prepared for his next assignment, they both knew it could well be a long time before they saw each other again, even if Evan hadn’t been able to share the specifics. ::

 

:: In any case, the night was doing exactly what Evan had hoped. Mei’konda had been tense and as work-focused as ever since taking on the Astreus refit project, but tonight, he seemed more relaxed than Even remembered seeing him since their last shore leave together. Evan waited for a lull in the conversation, then began to ask what he’d come here to ask. ::

 

Delano: So, listen. That assignment I told you about… I got word this morning that it’s about to go into effect. My transport will be arriving in just a few days.

 

:: Mei’konda’s mood visibly dropped as Evan brought up the painful subject. Evan forced himself to continue. ::

 

Delano: I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it was the best thing for me right now. After Invicta… after Ross… I need to find a way to be useful again.

 

:: Mei’konda’s conspicuous silence continued, though Evan could tell it was more a matter of not knowing what to say than of not wanting to say it. ::

 

Delano: But I want you to know, I love you. We’re as good as family at this point.  And I promise, I’ll be back. Eventually.

 

:: He paused, then reached into his pocket and produced a simple titanium ring comprised of scrap taken from Garuda during it’s last trip to drydock. ::

 

Delano: This is to prove that I mean it.

 

:: He held the ring out to Mei’konda, who looked at it with a mixture of trepidation and happiness. ::

 

Mei’konda: Evan…

 

Delano: I know it’s not the best of circumstances, but I’ve realized that if we wait for that, it’ll never happen. And I know now this is what I want.

 

Mei’konda: I… I do too, Evan. But, you don’t even know how long you’ll be gone.

 

Delano: Does that matter?

 

:: The Caitian looked at the ring, then back to Evan. After a long pause, Mei carefully took the ring from Evan’s fingers. ::

 

Mei’konda: No. I suposse it doesn’t.

 

:: As Mei’konda slid the ring onto one of his fingers, Evan had to fight back a surge of mixed emotions as he tried to memorize every detail of this moment. Mei’konda’s tuxedo. The happy expression on his face. The images of fireworks playing in the background. The gentle music wafting up from below. It was as perfect a moment as any he could remember. ::

 

:: As the night continued, people began to stand so they could better see through the viewscreen as several ships lined up in preparation to launch what promised to be an impressive fireworks display. ::

 

oO I will be coming back. Oo :: Evan thought to himself as he placed a matching ring onto his own hand. At that moment, he wasn’t sure if that thought was a promise to Mei’konda or himself. ::

 

===

 

Lieutenant Evan Delano

On Leave

 

ID: T239007ED0

 

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