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Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo & Captain Sal Taybrim - Meeting of the minds


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((Little Risa - Mirra and Flynn’s beach house))


::Something had been bothering Mirra since they returned from the mission. Well, to be fair, after a mission such as that, lots of things would be bothering her. But this wasn’t about the mission. It was about the Captain…she had been well aware of his damaged telepathy, it wasn’t news. But it had been on her mind ever since he reached out to her telepathically in the Thirsty dog.  When she took the time to sit down and think about it, she realized it wasn’t an issue with the Captain at all...it was her. She was desperately homesick. Coupled with the offhand, and entirely innocent comment made by Theo in his panicked realization she was onto his crush, it had settled further in.


So, that was why, at this very moment, she was in the kitchen of the Little Risa beach house she shared with Flynn, putting the finishing touches on the meal of Raixen, her own mother’s recipe. She’d sent the very informal invitation to dinner, and had been quite pleased when he accepted. Just as soon as she plated the noodles, she heard the telltale sound of footsteps.::


Ezo: ~I’m in the kitchen!~


Taybrim: Hello?  ::He stopped, realizing that the voice was in his head and just a tinge of embarrassment followed.  He had just gotten so used to speaking all the time that he defaulted to it - even though it wasn’t the way of his people.  Well, good thing no one could see him blush - though empathy could certainly feel the flush of embarrassment::  ~Hello!  I’m hope I’m not late.~


Ezo ::Turning with a grin, she had both plates in each arm, giving a little head nod in greeting.:: ~Thank you for coming, I hope you’re hungry, my mother’s recipe makes enough for an invading army…~


::Sal lifted his head and sniffed the air a bit.  Ahh, that was a familiar scent.  Raixen, if he wasn’t mistaken - though the key aroma was vilne, a savory spice that was a favorite in the lowlands.::


Taybrim: ~As all good Raixen recipes should~


::She gestured with her head towards the back door, walking with bare feet across the kitchen and carefully sliding the glass door open with her foot before stepping through out on the back patio. The circular fire pit was already lit, casting shadows lazily around the deck furniture::


Ezo ~I thought we’d eat out here, by the fire tonight.~ ::turning her head, she smirked playfully:: ~ although I decided for forgo the dinner chime…~


::A calm breeze blew through the deck, dancing the flames lightly.  Ahh, the blissful late day sun in little Risa.  Sal stretched a little, removing his own shoes and letting his arms stretch out in the loose Betazoid robes.  If he closed his eyes he could almost pretend he was home for a moment.::


Taybrim: ~That’s OK.  I think my own family only used the chime for formal dinners and holidays.~  ::Which was not uncommon among the middle and lower classes - well, those who were descended from such.  Wealth hadn’t been a hardship on Betazed for decades if not centuries.  But traditions were still passed down.::


Ezo: ::snickering slightly:: ~Pretty sure my family only took it out of its dusty old box when my great aunt came for dinner.~


::Mirra’s family was unique in the sense they weren’t steeped in tradition. They respected it, honored it, but weren't necessarily concerned with it. Considering she and her brother weren't bound in arranged marriages, they were something of an anomaly.::


Taybrim: ::He offered her a smile, something that blossomed past the expression and into a feeling, a wellspring of empathy:: ~I deeply appreciate the invitation.  It has been too long since I have partaken in a traditional sit down meal.~  ::a pause and a hint of humor entered his mind::  ~Lunches at the Illogical Eatery don’t count!~


Ezo: ::smiling softly, she bowed her head slightly.:: ~Of course. To be honest, I am surprised it has taken us this long to share a meal together.~ ::grinning:: ~pastries aside.~


::Plates now arranged, she held her hands up in a slight “Tada!” Flourish. Gesturing towards the vacant seat beside her, she settled into the slightly overstuffed cushion of the patio lounger.::


Ezo: ~Please, dig in. I hope it is a pleasant reminder of home…::smirking:: and not a reminder of your previous dinner companion.~


::She of course, was referring to Wannis. That woman was enough to make someone a monk. Praying to the Gods for blindness.::


Taybrim: ::Sal shivered at the thought - both a physical and a mental shiver.  He absolutely hated being a judgemental person, but he had found with Wannis that there truly were people in the universe who could make one’s skin crawl.::  ~This is vastly preferably company to my last dinner.  And by vastly I mean the difference between a sunbathing holiday on Risa versus one on Rura Penthe.~  ::His dark eyes sparkled with mirth::  ~This washes away the memories of the other in the best way.~


::With a mouth full of food, she enjoyed the telepathic advantage of “talking” with one’s mouth full.::


Ezo: ~Well, my motives were entirely selfish. I hadn't realized how much I missed...well...this. Not having to “shield up” constantly. Having a casual conversation without the inevitable discomfort over an errant thought I wasn’t even listening to anyways.~ ::sighing heavily:: ~The amount of patients I have fidgeting, worrying that I’ll dig through their minds, being overly paranoid, thus making me overly paranoid. It’s exhausting.~


::He blinked a little at that, understanding that paranoia.  His own experiences had been somewhat muted - whether it was the perception that Betazoid women were more forceful than Betazoid men (which was true for some families) or whether he had washed most of his experiences prior to damaging his telepathy away with old memories was unclear.  What Sal did remember keenly was how much his ill-fated betrothed struggled to keep her own shields up and how constantly exhausted she seemed.  He had a deep empathy for that.::


Taybrim: ~It is.~ ::He agreed quietly:: ~And frustrating.~  ::Oh yes, he was starting to remember now.  Talking to some people was like pulling teeth - especially when one was wearing a teal collar.::


Ezo: ::grinning:: ~That...and you, dear sir, are terribly out of practice.~

::She nudged him lightly with her leg. Intending to soften the harsh observation. He was, in fact, out of practice. But it was entirely understandable, and not meant as an insult. They both could benefit from a little “homeworld” bonding.::


Taybrim: ::He looked up and shot her an amusedly admonishing glance:: ~I suppose for a long time I had no one to practice with.  I can’t pick up any surface thoughts of those who are not either telepathically keen - or Betazed - anymore.~  ::He paused, looking off towards the skyline while contemplating the complex flavors of the meal before adding.:: ~I suppose I might be able to read them if I dug - but no one would want to test that, most of all me.~


Ezo: ::Smiling brightly:: ~You could always make Theo volunteer for it. For the sake of medicinal science.~ ::snickering, she could imagine the look of abject horror on his face should it ever be suggested.:: ~I bet his head is filled with engineering schematics and perfecting cosmopolitan recipes....~


Taybrim: ::He leaned forward again, offering a bit more of an open mind, a quiet calm to allay worry.:: ~Sometimes the world feels quiet.  Usually it simply feels placid.  Maybe that’s just me putting a positive spin on things.~


Ezo: ::smiling softly. Her heart twinged in mild sorrow. Telepathy was as natural a sense for Betazoid as much as sight:: ~I think that is a brilliant outlook.~


::It was hard to describe what it was like to have one’s telepathy dampened.  Sal supposed it was equally hard to describe to someone who could hear what it would be like to start going deaf.  Well, maybe that was a good description.::


Taybrim: ~Have you ever worked with a patient who was blind?  Someone who used their other senses to compensate?  Perhaps their sense of hearing was sharpened or their sense of touch was refined so they could read with their fingertips?  I did that with my empathic senses.  I compensate for the loss of one with a sharpening of the other.~


Ezo: ::having finished her meal, she set her fork down, and leaned back, folding her legs beneath her.::~Actually yes, but not with sight. A little girl. I met her during my internship. Got a nasty infection, but didn't get medical attention in time, damage was too severe, lost her hearing as a result. But, she made up for it with her other senses. After time, she became so intune with her sense of touch, she could “hear” basic speech patterns. ::gazing into the fire in marvel:: miraculous thing, the body. Dull one sense, and often, the others will adapt. ::smiling:: and no amount of medicine could replicate that.~


Taybrim: ~How true.~  ::He chewed his last bite in thought before lifting his fork in a salute to the hostess::  ~Life is a miraculous thing.  All the better that we have a fantastic doctor to shepherd us~  ::he winked, but the thought was earnest as much as it was flattering.::


Ezo: ::a small amount of red tinged her cheeks:: ~Well, it would certainly be easier if people would stop keeping me on constant alert...blowing off their arms and such~ ::shrugging slightly:: ~Not that it was done purposefully...I hope…~


::Sal’s brows knit.  Oh, the crew and senior staff of StarBase 118 had certainly kept the StarBase 118 medical department - and it’s chief in particular - busy.  He felt badly about that.  Worry and regret tinged his thoughts like a clinging film.::


Taybrim: ~Agreed, I do not want to see a repeat of some of the dark things our crew had had to endure recently.  I am hoping that we will see less and less of the Orion Syndicate from here on out.~  ::He paused and despite him trying to hold it back, one thought - one name still trickled through.:: ~Chennel…~


::It was the first audible sound she made that night which wasn’t positive. A low growl slipped through her lips. Too late to prevent its escape. That woman. That...woman. She haunted Mirra’s darkest nightmares and fired her blood like no other.::


Ezo: ~Gods curse the day that horrible witch crawled out of the fires of hell. ::clenching her jaw:: I used to believe that evil was an abstract concept. Never once expecting to meet it in the flesh…~


Taybrim: I’m sorry.  ::He spoke it.  He paused and his neck flushed a deep pink.  Not only had the first thought that spurred this torrent of negative emotion come unbidden to his thoughts, but his first reaction was to interact in a way that was uniquely not-Betazed.  The backlash was to beat himself gently up for that, silently.::  ~She is truly wicked.  And I am sorry.  Not just for bringing it up, but that we have not yet apprehended her.  It stays in my mind - and on our radar.~  ::Lame, Sal… lame…  He trailed off in thought, watching her to gauge the reaction and where to go next.::


::Releasing her tightly clenched jaw, Mirra cleared her throat awkwardly. The absolute definition of an “over reaction.” Well, wasn’t she about to win host of the year...::


Ezo: ::flushing slightly:: ~No, please. I’m sorry...I...guess...well? We have a bit of a complicated history. ::she grimaced. And shuddered:: ~She had...uh…”plans” for me? I never wished to be a non-telepath more in my entire life.~ ::she shook it off and clasped his hand in both of hers:: ~I know it bothers you. It bothers all of us. Personal history aside, she’s dangerous. Very dangerous.~ ::smiling with encouragement:: ~Never doubt for a second my belief that we will bring her to justice.~


::He looked up, locking Mirra’s gaze for a moment.  His thoughts slowly organized into ideas that were calm and controlled, focused.::


Taybrim: ~She hurt my crew.  She hurt you.  Theo.  Flynn.  Tatash.  She continued hurting.  The team that rescued Lady Shadonna.  The team who tried to apprehend her.  Half my senior staff or more she had hurt.  I do not want to witness her hurting another person, ever again.~  ::He wanted to think ‘I will not’ - but he was the sort of person who did not make promises that he could not keep.  Until they located Chennel and acted, everything was still in that frustrating realm of possibility.::


::Like many times before, Mirra found herself gazing in awe, enraptured in Sal’s determined speech. She knew he meant every single word. Down the the marrow of his bones. This, this was her Captain.::


Ezo: ::beaming:: ~You are a fantastic Captain. Has anyone told you that recently?~


Taybrim: ::He flushed again, this time with a bit of unbidden embarrassment.  Which wasn’t something he showed much.  Usually the diplomat side of him took everything in stride.  Then again there was an art to well timed drinks of water, turns or other stalling tactics to pass the moment and regain perfect composure.  Still, his smiled::  ~That’s why they pay me the big salary~  ::he winked - as Starfleet officers there was functionally no salary, just some extra privileges.:: ~But I’m honored that you think so.  In my defense, I have a fine crew - I would not ask for better.~


Ezo: ::she laughed heartily, happy for the injected humor to lighten the mood. Big salary indeed.:: ~You are not wrong. This crew is amazing.~ ::sitting up formally, crossing her arms and donning a serious face:: ~And that is my professional opinion.~ ::uncrossing her arms, she grinned:: ~I think it is time for dessert, what do you say to some molten, possibly soon to be sacrificed confections?~


Taybrim: ~Molten confections?~  ::Someone had once told him about a molten cake… Sal had thought that sounded dangerous.  He was trying to remember who threatened him with the recipe now.:: ~Are these a traditional sweet…?~


::Mirra leaned over the side of the wicker lounger, producing a bag of marshmallows. A nod to their bonfire activities on Raskor I, once the now retired Commodore Kinney had finally been removed from the playing board. She held them aloft with a childlike grin.::


Ezo: ~Marshmallows!~


Taybrim: ::Grinning wildly:: ~Oh yes!  I’m good at burning those!~  ::a pause, he considered this:: ~They were tasty when crispy.~


Ezo: ::smirking, she reached back and produced two more bags:: ~I am very good at burning them...like, tiny sugary torches.~ ::she was admittedly terrible at this. But, it was ridiculously fun, so she replicated enough to hopefully get a chance to eat a few in the process:: ~I can repair a stripped aortic valve on a rickety escape pod, but apparently a marshmallow is my downfall…~


Taybrim: ~I blame the stick.  You know, right tool for the job and all…~


Ezo: ::snickering slightly:: ~Thank you for humoring me. And your vote of ill placed confidence~ ::smiling brightly, and handing him a skewer:: ~Ready?~


Taybrim: ~Well, if it’s ill placed confidence on you, only know that I lack the same confidence in my own skills where marshmallows are concerned.~ ::He winked and stabbed a marshmallow on the spit:: ~I’m ready as I’ll ever be.~  ::Carefully the stick was held out to toast the edges:: ~Maybe if I’m very patient…~


Ezo: ::biting her lip, she watched the little sugar puff as if it were a live grenade:: ~Slowly…~


::A tiny ‘whoof!’ and the Marshmallow caught flame.  He waved it around, which only made the burning catch faster.  Finally Sal blew it out, half the marshmallow was a crispy blackened color.::


Taybrim: ~Or maybe I just really, really like them partly black?~


Ezo: ::her skewer and marshmallow lay abandoned beside her as she was currently overcome by a fit of laughter.:: ~Or that.~ ::shrugging her shoulders:: ~Perhaps it’s not a Betazoid thing….? Black eyes and black marshmallows. That is what we shall claim anyhow.~


Taybrim: ~I think that’s a grand idea.  It saves … face.~  ::He grinned, and ate the blackened marshmallow anyways.::


Ezo: ::grasping the skewer with renewed determination:: ~My turn…~ ::easing the stick carefully toward the flames, she cautiously scooted the stick closer, only to have it instantly ignite as if soaked in starship fuel. Yanking it back, she blew on the flaming marshmallow in a fruitless attempt of salvage. Glancing up she grinned before popping the blackened confection into her mouth.:: ~Yep. Totally not a Betazoid thing.~


::he leaned forward, watching the process and chuckling as the final product looked extremely similar to his own.::


Taybrim: ~You know what?  That’s a good story and I’m sticking to it.~  ::He grinned towards her::  ~Hey… ::He tapped the bag:: ~at least we have a lot of chances to practice.~


Ezo: ::shoving a second marshmallow to take the place of the destroyed first, she lightly tapped Sal’s skewer with her own in cheers:: ~To practice!~


Taybrim: ::a marshmallow toast:: ~To practice!~



A JP by:

Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Starbase 118 Ops





Captain Sal Taybrim

Commanding Officer

StarBase 118 Ops



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