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JP: Lt JG Charlena Vanlith Lt Cmd Geoffrey Teller - Greater Things Than Distance

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I love the bits of Risian language that @Sophie290999 sprinkled into Vanlith's message. This is a beautiful little sim showing a mentor/mentee friendship continue across the stars. Well done, Sophie and @Geoffrey Teller!


((Personal Quarters, Deck 4, USS Veritas)) 

Charlena tucked her legs under herself as she curled up on the sofa with her PADD. She was catching her breath again after everything that had happened and she couldn’t help but think that there was one person who should know what had happened. 


Opening up her message she didn’t hesitate. 




I won’t get too soppy because I don’t think that will help either of us, but it is definitely different without you. BAXTER pinned at the Chief of engineering office for you. He seems to have finally accepted what has happened. 

However, as far as the mission goes you left part way through it was strange to say the least. Communications were taken down by the Tal Shiar which yours truly helped fix, Wil flew the Veritas, an agreement was reached about the Romulans on Ketar and how they could move forward in a positive light. It definitely was something quite different than what we had done before but I guess what mission is even like the previous one. 

I need to learn how to stay calm when I’m asked to do new things, how do you do that? Stay calm? I just panic throughout, even if I manage to do it I just can’t keep the panic down until afterwards. Maybe I should speak to someone here about it but I couldn’t help but ask. 

I really miss you and part of me wishes you were still here but I couldn’t have asked that of you. You’re truly such a strong part of what helped me feel so at ease here and I will never forget how brilliant you are. I hope you haven’t blown anything up there yet, don’t want them too scared already. 

Chief, and yes you will always be Chief to me, there is something I wished to say to you before you left but I never got the chance, it’s an old Risian saying. Preemari eetee naho spara marinia gau eetau. It translates best as “Teacher I will never stop learning from you.” I truly believe that Chief. Don’t even consider not keeping in touch. I may need my Preemari one day. 

Hopefully I’ll get to see you soon. 


Sara Preemari!



Charlena read over her message once more before she hit send. She smiled up at herself catching her gaze in the mirror that he had gifted her. She couldn’t help but wipe the single tear that fell from her cheek as she stood and straightened her attire. A strong coffee would work wonders now she decided as she made her way out the the Brew Continuum. 


((Roughly 8000 LY away, Duronis System, Embassy of Duronis II))

Geoff Teller sagged into a chair in his wildly lavish living quarters with a sigh.  He had been going almost non-stop since stepping off the shuttle on the world the locals called Til’Ahn, and now that Doctor MacKenzie had been rescued and the Thunder was on its way back, he could finally take a moment to relax and regroup. 

His arm, fully mobile now, had picked up a strange grinding and as he rolled his shoulder around he heard what sounded like a box of pebbles within the joint.  If it had been a component aboard a ship, he would’ve disconnected it and applied a through dose of lubricant. He smirked at the idea - no doubt the Embassy’s medical staff would have a more practical solution once he made the time for a follow up visit.  He briefly considered going now, but found his body was completely disinterested in the idea of getting out of the plush, comfortable lounger. He kicked off his boots in surrender to good sense and grabbed a nearby PADD, content to get caught up on some of the mountain of reports that had accumulated while he was jogging through the forest.  

Flicking through menus, Teller stopped on his inbox and smiled.  It was overflowing with routine message traffic, administrative issues that he was copied on as a courtesy, and all the logistical information that came with running a base and a small fleet of starships.  One message stood out, though.  

A message from a friend.  

As Teller opened the note and began to read, he immediately found himself smiling.  He could hear the young woman's voice behind the words and wondered if she had been hiding behind her hair as she wrote it.  The note itself was touching and it reminded him of the family he had chosen to leave to take on this new challenge. It was not a decision he regretted but, as his freshly healed arm continued to grind, it also wasn’t one that had gone smoothly.  

As he finished the note and put down the padd, Geoff closed his eyes briefly and fought tears.  Charlena had come aboard the Veritas equally full of potential and self-doubt, and it had been one of the highlights of Teller’s career helping the woman find her confidence.  She had grown enormously as an officer during their time working together and Teller was certain she had a bright future. With a grin he opened his eyes, picked up the PADD and began composing a response.  



Hey there Charlena,

Greetings from Duronis II!  I’m glad to hear from you, and to hear that you’re well.  Especially after you told me someone let Wil fly the Veritas.  I assume everyone else on the ship was busy or...I don’t know...actively on fire….to let that happen, and I can only assume you’re quite busy with the hull repair work the ship would need after his ‘expert piloting.’  

I sincerely hope you haven’t written this message from the inside of an escape pod, but if you did check in the rear access compartment in a box labeled ‘critical lifesaving equipment.’  There’s a small coffee maker in there with a few blocks of vacuum sealed beans - perfect for a cuppa as you’re floating through space.  

I miss Baxter - give that scrappy little robodog some ear scritches for me, and tell him he’s a good dog - easily the best one I know, anyway.  

It’s funny, in a way that isn’t even remotely funny, that you guys had a run in with the Tal Shiar.  As it turns out, they’ve been busy lately. Shortly after I arrived here, my new CO Admiral Turner intended to take the crew on a shuttle tour of the planet for some much needed R&R.  A bit after takeoff, a Romulan ground team took a shot at the Admiral and, fortunately, missed. The good news is, the Admiral is fine. The less good news is - the shuttle I was in got shot down, and when I woke up I had about half of it on top of me.  Soon thereafter those same Romulans had a disruptor pistol in my face as they dragged Doc MacKenzie off into the forest as a hostage.  

I don’t want to worry you, and I think some of our mission details are still classified, but the long and short of it is that it worked out - Romulan problem solved for the moment, crew all present and accounted for, and I’m not using burning shuttle debris as a blankie.  I have just the worst luck with shuttles.


Geoff paused the recording and considered his next words carefully.  He’d tried not to focus on just how much distance there was between his new and former posting, but at the moment that gulf seemed unimaginably vast.  He had to remind her, and himself, that they were still on the same team - even if they were separated by duty, time and tides, as naval officers had been since time immemorial.  



I’m proud to hear, but not surprised, that you were able to resolve the communications failure you encountered.  You’ve always been a fine engineer, true, but you’ve also got a clever, creative mind. Those stupid Romulans didn’t know who there were messing with.  Which leads me to your question about dealing with panic.  

I will not hit you with some reassuring pap about believing in yourself.  That’s a decision that you have to make for yourself at some point, and it’s not one that an outside voice can truly influence.  You’re an engineer, and you like to work with practical realities, so here’s one that you can’t argue with or avoid by hiding behind your hair.  

Your record.  

Since you came aboard the Veritas as an Ensign, you’ve been shot at, locked up by an alien defense system and had your brain jambled by a weird psychic box...and that was all around your first mission.  You helped rebuild G’var’s arm, you built a companion for your brother and you helped me keep the Diligent running when a lot of other engineers would’ve thrown in the towel. You’re a damn fine officer and, more than that, you’re a good person Charlena.  I’m not saying that as a matter of opinion, but as a genuine statement of fact.  

It may feel odd, or boastful, or somehow arrogant to take pride in who you are, but nothing could be further from the truth.  You deserve to see yourself for the person you are, and part of that is being honest with yourself about what you’re capable of.  By any reasonable measurement, you’re capable of quite a lot. And that’s how you begin to deal with panic.  

Remember that you have kicked several sizes and shapes of ass, even when you were terrified and alone.  Remember that you’re someone people trust, and that the trust is deserved. Remember that you’re surrounded by people who love you for who you are, and who see you even when you try to hide.  

And if that doesn’t do it, remember that you survived the most intense pub crawl ever conducted on that crappy rustball of a planet.  Stylishly.  

When the panic begins to flair, remember who you are.  You’re enough, all by yourself, to face the challenge. You have.  You can. You will.  

I’m certain of it. 

I miss you, and Wil, and Baxter, and even that idiot C’lem.  Your message put a smile on my face when I needed one, and just this second, the distance between us doesn’t seem quite so vast.  

Thank you.  


Sincerely and Respectfully,

Geoffrey John Teller


Geoff found his vision had blurred at some point and he wiped his eyes before sending the message on.  In his mind, he traveled with the packet of data, first to the local comm relay, then up to the repeater in orbit, and on to the chain of relay stations and listening posts scattered across the Federation until, finally, it found a funny little ship full of the best people Teller had ever known, basking gracefully in the light of a distant sun.  

Teller went to bed feeling better than he had in weeks.



Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Teller

Executive Officer

Duronis II Embassy & Support Flotilla

Rear Admiral Turner, T. Commanding



LT. JG Charlena Vanlith

Engineering Officer

USS Veritas 



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