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Ensign Prudence Blackwell: An Unexpected Reunion


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(( Starbase 11 ))
::Walking onto the dock of Starbase 11 was somewhat surreal. It was only a few weeks past that the last time she came off ship, it was due to being involved in the finding of the Yarhala and the controversy storm that followed. She had tried to avoid people as much as possible as while her involvement was minor at best, she had a feeling reporters eager for a new side of the story would try any lede possible. This time however, among all the families visiting, she felt she could easily blend in, and be invisible for the time being. It was a feeling she wanted to reveal in, but instead it felt like a bitter fruit on her tongue. Rationalization was a protective blanket one could evoke mentally, and that is what she did, convincing herself that the only thing she needed to do was run a few errands and stretch her legs. It was fine. It was all fine.::


Security: Excuse me, Ensign Blackwell? :A young, male, human security ensign stepped towards her, waving his hand to get her attention. 


Blackwell: Dragged out of her thoughts, she looked at the Security officer blankly for a moment: I’m sorry? ::She paused for a moment, and after determining she did not know him, waited to see what he wanted::


Security: Apologies there, I was a bit abrupt. Are you Ensign Blackwell? 


Blackwell: Quirking a brow warily, she nodded: I am.


Security::He broke into an eager grin: Oh Good! ::He then looked over into the crowd and raised his hand, waving:: She is over here folks. Sorry to keep you waiting.


Blackwell:::Rue’s mouth opened slightly, and she walked forward:: Wait..what are you…::her questioon was cut short as she saw her mother, father and brother breaking free from the crowd, and breaking into a half jog towards her. Rue blinked with confusion and then walked around the Security member:: Mom, Dad…Luke? What are you doiing here? 


Mara Blackwell:she was first to answer, not with words, but by walking to her daughter and tightly embracing her:; To see you!  Oh Rue. ::In some ways, Rue and Mara could be looked at as past and future images of themselves. Mara matched Rue in height, hair color and facial structure. The nuance was in the details as Mara had long red-auburn hair that was streaked with white, pulled into a bun with fly away tendrils here and there. 


Rue Blackwell:Returning the hug, she attempting to hide the shock:: Oh! I just.. you didn’t send any message. I just am surprised!


Gabe Blackwell:Walking up to his daughter, the tall, limber man who appeared to be robust even in his fifties, guffawed loudly and patted his daughters head:: Of course you are! That was the point of a surprise visit. 


Luke Blackwell:::He smiled faintly at the near bear hug his mother was giving Rue. oO Well that is one way of making sure she doesn’t just run.Oo ::Turning to the Security officer, he offered his hand to shake:: Thank you very much, Ensign Schell. We appreciate the help.


Security: No problem! I am glad I can help. I’ll be off now but if you need anything, let us know. ::He waved to the Blackwell family and scuttled off to handle other aspects of his duties, leaving the family with each other::


Rue Blackwell::Looking at her father, she managed a smile:: Well you accomplished the surprise part. ::She pulled back from her mother to hug her father, who embraced her as fiercely as her mother, and lifted her up to spin her about::: DAD! I’m in Uniform..D..AD!


Gabe Blackwell: Look at my girl! You are all grown up, but you are still my girl. ::He spun her two turns and then set her down, laughing.:


Rue Blackwell:She was used to space travel, she was used to the harsh landings and the strange inertia one felt being transported, but her father’s “spins” could still make her dizzy..given it was combined with an excessively beating heart and rising blood pressure. oO Calm down. It’s good. This is good. They came to see you. Darcy isn’t here.Oo. ::She managed a weak giggle:: “okay okay, yeah, I’m grown up.”


Lucas Blackwell: The younger man with the tumultuous hair walked to his sister and steadied her gently with a hand on her shoulder. A hundred jokes ran through his mind on ways to tease his sister, but the fear that a joke could turn a stable if emotional reunion into a tempest, he simply smiled:: “Easy there, sis. Dad’s gotten older, but he hasn’t gotten slower”.


Rue Blackwell: She managed to look at Lucas, and not flinch. She saw his smile, and remembered how he’d tousle her hair jokingly when they were young, and give that same smile of reassurance when she was feeling insecure. She did not flinch, but the tension tightened her shoulder and she immediately regretted it:: “ Yeah, no kidding. Hey bro” ::Before he could pulled away, she hugged him and patted his back. Her shoulders felt like iron, tensing uncomfortably, but she did not want this to turn into a dark comedy of family drama:: Good to see you. How’s the art world.


Lucas Blackwell:the hug surprised him, but he returned it eagerly. He could feel the tension in her petite form, and the fact she seemed physically stronger than before. In her rush to make this a happy reunion, her grip was rather tight on his ribs. oO Guess I won’t be winning any brother sister fights any moreOo:: “Good, but hey, I enjoy breathing and that might make it easier if you want more than a one word answer.


Rue Blackwell: Realizing she had managed to put her tension right into her grip, she eased up and backed up, giving him an awkwardly sisterly pat on the shoulder:: Right right. Breathing is a valuable ability. ::For a moment, there was an awkward silence, until Rue said:: So! When did you get here?


Lucas Blackwell: Just a few hours ago – we got guest accommodations and had a look around. Nice statiion. 


Mara Blackwell::She smiled brightly. She had been angry at her son and daughter in law when Rue had been made to feel so alone. It had been her own mother however, that pointed out she was just as much to blame as any of them. She loved Darcy, and felt terribly for her family being lost, but the choices she made..they were still raw. She clasped Rue’s hand tightly. oO I am never letting you go like that again, little flower Oo.


Rue Blackwell::She felt a momentary feeling of suffocation, of wanting to break free, but her mother clasping her hand made her feel anchored, and somehow..safe again in their presence. She cleared her throat and laughed a bit:: Well, I think we can take a tour, Dad. Just don’t touch anything. Speaking of tours, do you guys want to show me where you are staying..and get out of this crowd?”


Gabe Blackwell:: “Absolutely! Let’s head to the hotel. Nice place, and if you want, we can grab a quick bite to eat or something to drink.”


Rue Blackwell: She nodded and let her mother and brother lead her from the docks and onto the streets. She found herself readily to able to chat about banal things that her parents found interesting – the ship, the crew, her room. She deliberately avoideed the conversation about the past two missions, and kept walking with her family. As the came to a hoteling structure, she nodded at the artful way it was designed – looking like a 20th’ century bed and breakfast, with a lovely covered patio guests could sit and eat or chat:: Oh this is nice!


Mara Blackwell: It is lovely! And there is a pool, which has been a nice respite after traveling. Sitting too long still gets to my back these days.


Gabe Blackwell:: Well, least we have a nice week before we ship back home. How about we catch up on the patio a bit more.


Rue Blackwell: Nodding, she decided to take a passive role for the moment. She had no immediate duties she needed done, and well, it was good to see her family. oOMaybe it won’t be so bad.Oo.::As they were seated at a table on the patio, she gave a drink order of an ice lemonade and leaned back:: “ So how are things at home? Gramma and everyone doing okay?


Mara Blackwell: Oh yes. Grandma is refusing to believe she is older than us, and still insists she is more spry. She sends her love and such.


Lucas Blackwell: Arts doing pretty well, I have a gallery showing in a couple of months. ::He ordered a beer as the waiter looked to him::


Gabe Blackwell: Following suit of his son:: I’ll take a beer as well, with lemon. ::He looked to Rue:: Shop’s fine – we keep getting interesting new things all the time, and collectoors looking to find them. I got my hands on an authentic juke box – real beautyy! 


Rue:: Fantastic! That’s pretty cool dad.


Mara Blackwell:::Looking to the waiter:: Ice Tea please :: And then to her daughter:: your cousin Jessie got married to Amanda. Lovely small wedding.


Rue Blackwell: Leaning back, she let them each “catch her up” on the dealings of the family. Commenting or laughing when appropriate, and following through on family jokes. She felt somehow back in sync, like a link in a chain that had been put back in place. She felt her shoulders ease, and sipped her lemonade pleasantly. After two hours of eager chatting, she finally noted her mom starting to lean a bit too much on her shoulder, and her dad’s yawns becoming more frequent:: “Oooookay folks. I think you two should nap. We have a week, and we can catch up for dinner, but I think you all need a nap.”


Mara and Gabe looked to each other and nodded reluctantly. Mara looked to her daughter and squeezed her hand one more time:: “I’m so glad to see you, sweetheart. ::Parental hugs were given and returned, and the folks went up to their room, leaving the siblings to themselves. It was a moment of awkward silence before Rue started to stand.::


Rue Blackwell: Well, I gotta get back..


Lucas Blackwell: Wait….please. ::He put up his hand and rested it on Rue’s forearm:: I..need to say something.


Rue Blackwell:She tried to keep her eyes from narrowing, her lips from drawing into a thin line. She sat back down and looked to him:: Well?


Lucas Blackwell: He looked to his sister and the look on her face. Her jaw was tight and her eyes held a wariness he’d never seen directed at him in the past. That said..he couldn’t blame her.:: “ What..happened. Between us, and with Darcy….Look, it shouldn’t have happened. At all. Darcy…I know its hard and she isn’t fair to you, but I love her…that said, your my sister and..I should have defended you. ::Hee finally spit it out:: I’m sorry. I am really, really sorry. Mom and Dad are sorry…but..well..It’s more my fault than there’s.



Rue Blackwell: She inhaled sharply and looked down at the table, starting at the small grains in the wood as if she could somehow mediate the threatening tears away. She swallowed and looked up and nodded slowly:: “..I accept your apology. And..I get it. I don’t want to be between you and your wife. It ..was never my intent.” ::She let it end at that. There were things that a younger, less mature version of herself would have raged on about, but now..well, she’d rather let it rest.


Lucas Blackwell: Reaching over, he grabbed his sister in a hug and squeezed her, before letting her go. He attempted to speak but was cut off by a yawn of his own:: oooh boy..maybe I need to get sleep too.


Rue Blackwell:She laughed with him, and nodded:: “yeah, why don’t you do that. You look kinda like crap at the moment. ::She stood:: I’ll check in with you later, okay?


Lucas Blackwell: Nodding, he stood up as well:: You better do that. I’ll chase you down if I have to.


Rue Blackwell:::She rolled her eyes:: Oh there’s a threat. ::They shared one mild laugh again and parted ways. Rue managed to finish her errands and walk back to the dock, and then back to her room to try and process the reunion she had just had::


Ensign Blackwell


U.S.S Constitution-B


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