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Ensign Yael & Lt Blackwell - A bit of plummeting between friends

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OOC: I really relished the opportunity to see more of Prudence Blackwell - and of course, Ashley. :)

((Starbase 118 Ops - Habitat Ring))


Ashley was making his way to the Consumer Sector for some socializing in his off time.  He’d changed out of his uniform and into something sporty.  Black leggings, trainers with a white slash on the sides, and a stylishly washed out gunmetal grey v-neck t-shirt with three-quarter sleeves.  One didn’t need to dress to the hilt to visit Verriars Bar, after all, and it was getting somewhat late.  He expected the Tongo Wheel would be spinning loud by now.


Stepping onto the turbolift, he turned to face the doorway as it closed and clasped his hands behind him, as he was prone to do.


Yael:  Consumer District.  Verriars. 


The electro-stabilizing gloves he wore were no longer hidden… he would normally wear full sleeves, self-consciously, but he was getting better about not worrying about it as he got used to wearing them.  The turbolift stopped not far along to allow another rider on, and he momentarily set his amethyst eyes on the person who entered the lift.


Rue was dressed for relaxation, frivolity, and entirely unprofessionally - but at the same point, she was still modest. She wore a long skirt made of a soft fabric, with pockets - a utility that Rue refused to go without, soft flat shoes and a long sleeved shirt. 


Blackwell::Rue had done some shopping herself. She didn’t attempt to accumulate material goods as a habit - but she did like meaningful things. Trinkets. And she liked to see what the different districts would bring as potential momentos from different cultures. Treasures and the like. She had found a few items - a new shawl for wearing when she was off duty, and a necklace, that she carried in a bag. She stepped into the lift and gave a genial grin:: Hello, there. Thanks for holding the lift”   


Yael:  Good evening, Lieutenant.  No problem.


The Denobulan hybrid nodded politely and smiled that oh-so-cheerfull Denobulan smile at the Human who stepped onto the turbolift, and stepped slightly aside for her to board comfortably.  He didn’t recognize her, but had the passing thought that the cropped haircut she sported was very flattering… and she was *shorter* than him!  Almost nobody was, so he definitely noticed when they were.


Blackwell: ::She smiled to the Denoulan with a bright smile herself. Rue ws intensely used to being shorter than just about everyone, and so she didn’t note the surprise he had. She did offer a warm hand to him:: I’m Prudence Blackwell, and you are? 


He didn’t reach out his hand, avoiding the contact, though his smile remained.  He was about to politely explain he doesn't shake hands, give her his name, when the lift started to move again to take them each to their destination in the closest order, and there was a moment of quiet among the occupants as they waited.  But it was only a moment… the lights flickered.  Ashley glanced upward instinctively to look at the lights, but there was a sudden jerk.  He was thrown to his left… or rather, the lift jerked to the right… throwing him right into the Human next to him, and into the wall.


As they chatted, Rue was quietly aware of an nearly indistinct shift in the lift. She was sensitive to the rhythms and the workings of both space station and the ship. However, she had nary a chance to comment on something being strange when the lights blinked, and then all was a heave to the right, the left, and then she was on the floor of the lift with a Denublian in her lap.


She gasped a bit, eyes wide as she looked to Ashley, her brow furrowed in stew of confusion, worry, concern, and some embarrassment, sprinkled with relief that she was able to break his fall. 


And then she heard a creak. And her mouth opened.


Then the lift plummeted.


It fell just long enough to put them into the air and allow them to free-fall before the safeties slammed into gear, stopping the lift from falling any further, at which point they unceremoniously crashed onto the floor.


The Denobulan cursed beneath his breath as he caught his breath and found himself sprawled on the floor, rather ungracefully and atop the Lieutenant.  His midsection draped across hers, his arm draped across her arm... and he jerked away as quickly as he realized they were in direct contact, but the anxiety that the lift wasn’t stable took precedence.  He pushed up onto his palms and his amethyst eyes shot to the Human in the lift, hoping she wasn’t injured.  He thought he was alright, but that had been quite the sudden ride.


As Inertia floated them above the floor, Rue had the brief thought that it was not the drop that was frightening - it was that sudden stop at the end. And in this case, as physics combined in a hilarious fashion to bring the floor to them rather than they go to the floor. 


And there was a thud. Oh. Rue had promised herself no injuries on this shore leave, and it seemed that was a promise she was going to break - but at least it was not her ribs, which were instead, from what she could tell, bruised. 


She barely noticed Yael moving quickly away to avoid the awkwardness of draping himself over her, sitting up and rubbing her ribs. 


Yael:  Are you okay?

Blackwell: I am, are you? That’s not a normal function of the lift, I assure you of that. 

::She frowned and stood up, wishing she had her PADD with her. Instead, she would have to make due with a bit of wits and intuition. She stood up, offering her hand to help him up as well, and looked towards the panel.::: 


Yael:  Perhaps… we should notify someone.


Blackwell::She rubbed her side and grinned:: Likely, but in the mean time let me see if I can figure out what is happening. Do you want to comm someone while I look? ::she moved over to the panel, taking her hands off her side::: 


Of course, the computer would already be alerting the proper persons of the malfunction.  These things did happen on such a large station.


It was as Rue touched the panel that she was suddenly aware her hands were shaking. She wasn’t normally so...easy to startle, but the adrenaline was up. Her body was simply responding to that. She shook her head, took a breath, and opened the panel.


And then...


The lights suddenly flicked off, and they were plunged now into the darkness.  Thankfully an emergency light blinked to life a few moments after… but not before Ashley cringed, having expected another drop to happen.


Blackwell:::Her heart was pounding in her cheat, a hard beat that was in her ears. She took a deep breath, pressing her hand on the wall of the lift and closing her eyes, her back towards Yael:: Seems like...we are okay.


Yael:  Thankfully… it seems to be holding steady, for the moment.


Though he had a firm grip on the wall just in case… not that it would guarantee their safety, but he felt more stable as his eyes adjusted quickly to the low light.


Blackwell:  Yeah ::She exhaled and turned, looking to Ashley and gave a half grin:: What is your name? I’m afraid I didn’t catch it in the plummeting.

Yael:  Ensign Counselor Yael.  ::pausing:: Ashley.


Blackwell: It is nice to meet you, Ashley ::She offered a hand to shake. It was there she noticed the gloves, and momentarily hoped that she had not walked right into a gaffe::


Yael:  It’s okay… ::he tried to smile through the nerves::... I don’t shake hands.  Nothing personal, I promise.


Blackwell:: I think I managed to bruise a rib or two..nothing worrisome. ::She then took a moment to consider the lift:: But this should not have happened, and we should have had a contact by now.


Yael:  Are you an engineer?  ::noticing now her attention to the panel::  Perhaps we could notify them directly.


Blackwell:::She considered for a moment. Turbolifts worked through the power of alternating electrical currents that allowed the lift itself to ascend and descend. It could break if power was out, if there was a breech in the lines, faults in the channels carrying the currents - there were numerous possibilities. And what was frustrating was that likely the fault was - external- rather than internal to the lift::


Which meant barring her doing something reckless, they were for the moment, stuck.


Blackwell::She hit her comm badge and frowned for a moment as the chirp did not seem to connect. Another clue, and another frustration. Something was jamming the signal. It could very well be the disruption in the current. She exhaled and looked to Yael::  We may be here for a while…


Yael:  ::trying his comm badge, which chirped strangely::  I certainly hope this isn’t a *systemic* problem.  We could be in here for a while if it’s not just the lift.  Can you... try anything from the panel?


Blackwell: Well - ::She turned and looked back to the panel for a moment. She did not have her PADD, but she did have her tricorder - she rarely left without that. She pulled it out of the pocket of her skirt and scanned the controls, just to see if there was any disruption with the lift itself. She swallowed as her suspicions were confirmed:: I think I know what is happening.


Yael:  And that is?  ::curiously, framed by the red emergency light::


Blackwell: The lift seems fine - I think the problem is with the shaft itself. The question is - how extensive is the problem ::she gave a faint grimace::


The Denobulan gave her a concerned smile now, noting her less than enthusiastic expression and tone.


Yael:  … I’m afraid I’m less than technically apt… what do you mean?


Blackwell: Meaning - we know that above us was a rather rough go….below could be as bad if the disruption is widespread.


Yael:  So… we stay put then.  They’ll notice the malfunction soon enough.


He was trying to console them both with the knowledge they couldn’t be lost or stuck somewhere for *too* long without it being noticed. Then he tried not to laugh, though he did chuckle lightly.


Yael:  I… don’t suppose you were in a *hurry* to get anywhere?


Blackwell:::She rubbed her ribs for a moment and exhaled::  Weeellllll...


Yael:  Because if you were, *those* plans are canceled.


A small joke in the face of their unexpected incarceration in the dead lift.


Blackwell: Yeah….::She shook her head and put her hands up:: I guess for now...we get comfortable. ::She smiled, and leaned against the wall of the turbo lift::: 


Yael:  Your ribs are okay?  I kind of… well, *landed* on you.  Quite rude of me.


Blackwell: I wasn’t aware you could control inertia with propriety ::She softly chuckled:: But no, I’m all right. Just a bit banged up.

Yael:  I recently broke a couple ribs, it’s not something I wish on anyone.


Blackwell:::she rubbed her hands together and nodded quietly:: I have had that too, and not eager to repeat it. But I am all right. What about you? ::She smiled back:: Where were you going before this...happened? 


Yael:  I was heading to Verriar’s.  The tongo wheel was calling to me.  ::pausing::  It will still be there when we’re freed.


There was that Denobulan patience at work.  He leaned back against the wall now, less gripping it and more relaxing against it, confidence growing they wouldn’t fall again now that the safeties had caught them.


Blackwell: That is true. I suppose if nothing else, we can call this an unplanned meet and greet. 


Yael: ::smiling::  If you wanted my attention, I offer walk-in hours.


Blackwell::She chuckled and moved to sit down across from him, knees bent. She stretched out her arms and rested her elbows on her knees::  So - we haven’t met before, are you a new arrival? 


Yael:  I’ve been here a couple weeks now.  I was stationed here years ago though, so it already feels familiar to me.  ::pausing::  And yourself?


Ashley took to mimicking her posture, sliding his back down the wall and crossing his legs beneath him to sit, though he kept his back against the wall when he did.


Blackwell: Been here for a bit but still..::She moved her head back and forth a bit:: Adjusting. I came here after a bit of a personal life change and so...been shifting gears from that. ::She grinned a bit:: So tell me what made you join StarFleet, Counselor.


Yael:  Oh, the same old story.  Kid looks up at the stars and asks, “what’s out there?”  I love being out here in deep space.  ::pausing::   I like being one of the first to see what’s newly discovered.

Blackwell:::She smiled softly to that, linking her fingers together:: I can’t say I felt any different. For me there was a family element..more or less to get out, adventure, experience things that you just can’t planetside.


Yael:  It also conveniently puts a few billion AU between me and my father.


That one was more a joke, mostly, despite being true.  But who couldn’t relate to having a somewhat oppressive parent one wanted to escape from?


Blackwell:::She raised a brow to that and chuckled::  That’s also a common story. And while I get along with my mother and most of my family, it is nice to have some distance ::She smiled to that, if a bit vague, and picked at thread on her skirt:::


Yael:  You mentioned a personal life change?  That it was giving you trouble?


Blackwell:::There was a glance from her skirt and to his face, and back again, and chuckled faintly:: Ah, Counselor - eager to listen? 


Yael:  Hey, it’s what counselors do.  We listen.  *If* you’d like to talk.  Perhaps I could help you adjust.


Blackwell: It’s not really that interesting… :her shoulders rose and then fell slowly::


Yael:  Is there something holding you back?  Something you miss where you came from?


Blackwell: My father died ::She finally said succinctly:::


Yael:  Oh… ::pausing::  I’m sorry.

Blackwell: No, it’s alright ::She smiled and exhaled slowly:: It has been a while since he died and while I miss him...it hurts differently now.

Yael:  What do you mean?

Blackwell: I suppose it’s more …:she rubbed her hands together, and quietly popped the knuckles of her right hand:: It’s less of a sharp pang and more of a dull ache that comes and goes. I can forget about it during work, or when I’m busy. ::and a sort of wane smile:: And comes back when I start thinking about calling my family.

Yael:  ::his smile was softer::  I see.  You sound like you were close to your father.

Blackwell: We were very close. My father was in many ways my rock...not a hero persay...but he just always had an affable way of convincing me...that as strange as the universe is, it all fits together.

Yael:  It does seem to have a strange way of working itself out, doesn’t it?  ::nodding::

She pushed her hair from her face and looked down for a moment. Her father had seen the universe as a discordant but glorious symphony - countless instruments and voices all adding into a sublime arrangement that resonated through every single person and being. Even though he never left planet side, and was largely taken with his near obsessive study of strange antiquities, there were also moments that he would widen his gaze to reflect on the fact that beyond the world, there were other worlds and lives happening. He found it endlessly fascinating to look at older works, prior to when First Contact occurred, and to wonder how humans kept their hopes alive even when they thought they were alone. And to him, the answer was simple - they knew instinctively they were not, and it was just a matter of the first meeting happening. He was strange like that. Strange and wonderful.

And Rue missed that.

Blackwell: He just tended to think that..no matter how complex the picture, how complex the work, even if it was madness or chaotic, there was always some unifying thread….so to speak. ::Then she laughed:: Then again, he also did think that ketchup could go on just about everything.

Yael:  ::laughing lightly::  Clearly a mad-man.  ::pausing::  Ketchup is the *red* sauce, correct?

Blackwell: Terran Condiment - comprised of tomatoes, salt, vinegar, a few other things - and not normally what one would suggest for deserts. ::she grimaced and laughed:: So ….how about you? Why a starbase?

Yael:  It’s the most intriguing collection of types of people.  Which makes my job as a psychologist that much more interesting.  It’s a whole different kind of world, far from home.

She knew why she had chosen a starbase - her urge to be in strange unfamiliar places on a constant basis had waned after her father’s death. She felt herself strangely needing an anchor point for her life. The starbase for now, was that.

Blackwell: Well, it - is- different. Certainly you're far from home, but you are also at the same point, we have sort of a static arrangement. Literally, we are a home base.

Yael:  For so many different sorts.  ::he nodded in agreement::

The lights flickered slightly, but the lift held steady.  It was as if the lift was reminding them of their precarious position.  Ashley tapped his comm badge once more but got the same delayed chirp, a failure to connect.  Incredibly odd to say the least.

Rue exhaled in an empathetic sense of frustration. What - was- taking the engineers of the station so long to look into what was happening, and more importantly solve it. Yael was very pleasant to talk with, but somehow spending the rest of their careers in the turbo lift not what she had in mind.

Yael:  Though I imagine you wish you were elsewhere… I’m glad I’m not in here alone

He was realizing how close that had been near to happening.  It wasn’t as if being alone for a few minutes would kill him, but he was already feeling properly trapped in the small space.

She turned to him and smiled gently, but her brow started to furrow in concern.

Blackwell: Why is that?

Yael:  Denobulans don’t do very well in isolation.  I suppose the station is great for those purposes as well, there’s never a lack of people to meet, things to do, events to attend.  I never feel lonely here.

Blackwell: Well, that’s true - I mean we are always surrounded by people unless we are in your quarters ::She considered that quietly, though privately considered that at times one could feel lonely even surrounded, but she turned her thoughts to the Denobian, listening as he spoke:: 

Yael:  When I first arrived they tried to assign me to these sprawling quarters.  Two extra rooms, separate kitchen.  Far too much space for just a place to sleep.  I talked them down to a studio economy suite with a view of one of the docking pylons.  They can give the larger space to a family that needs it.

Blackwell:::She chuckled:: Practical, but also sweet and thoughtful. ::a quick grin to that:: . My own quarters are ...comfortable. Living area is practical, but in my bedroom,  I hung  tapestries and lights to try and create...I guess a sense of privacy and safety. ::She smiled a bit to that:: 

Yael:  ::as if asking for more, but smiling at the thought::  Tapestries?

Blackwell: I like to feel a bit like I’m…::She shrugged a little bit for a moment and looked sheepish:: Like a kid’s fort I suppose ::She wasn’t sure if he would know the reference. Did Denobian’s make pillow forts?:::

Yael:  ::now he chuckled at the vision building in his mind::  A kid’s fort?  Inside your bedroom?

Weren’t kids forts made of wood and put up into trees?  Perhaps he was thinking of the wrong Human custom.

Blackwell: Oh well, Blankets and such over chairs, just a place to hide. Just a place to escape my parents or my brother as a kid ::She laughed:: I suppose it’s a bit silly. But Harmless.

Yael:  Ahhh, I see.   ::he chuckled lightly now that he was getting the idea::  I suppose I could compare my bed.  A ridiculous number of pillows and blankets… Denobulans can tend to *nest in*.  It’s good to indulge in a little frivolous comfort, I think.

Blackwell:: I think we always need time for a bit of frivolity and just being silly. It is what keeps us sane. ::She grinned:: I’ve even known a vulcan prone to a bit of frivolity. He would read salacious novels with me. 

Yael:  A Vulcan reading salacious novels?  Now *that* I’d pay latinum to see.

Blackwell: There can be a lot to learn from pursuits that have quote un quote no purpose ::She grinned:: and even better, you learn it without realizing it and without feeling like it’s work. 

That was the truth. She could reflect on a few points where she had taken time out just to relax, just to do something that was utterly ridiculous, and ended up gaining something she hadn’t expected from the experience. Memories or a knowledge that just could not be planned for.

Ashley was finding he quite enjoyed Lieutenant Blackwell’s company.  In fact she seemed to be a bit of fresh air… stuck in the turbolift, they needed all the fresh air they could get.

Yael:  All we need is a campfire and some snacks.  No weather, so we don’t need a tent.

Blackwell:  That would get their attention ::she exhaled:: the campfire at least ...when the sensors went off ::she chuckled and looked to Yael:: I do like camping though. I don’t get to go often. 

Yael:  Perhaps you could join me sometime?  At Verriars, if you’re into the bar scene or tongo, or on the holodeck?  I have a feeling we’d have enormous fun.

Blackwell: Why not ::a warm smile on her lips and she looked up:: Though for that to happen...we are going to need to get out of here. ::And then she stopped, as she heard a thump on the top of the lift:: ….Let’s hope that is good news?

The Denobulan hybrid glanced up toward the roof at the sound, and a bit of relief ran through him.

Yael:  Sounds like there’s someone above us.

Blackwell: They have specialized devices to come out on the lifts and do routine repairs ::she considered and exhaled, wishing there was a way to see on the top:: 

Yael:  How do we know it’s a crew?  ::he glanced at her with a grin::  Maybe it’s a turbolift monster.  A “gremlin on the wing,” isn’t it?

Blackwell: Well...If we listen closely ::She pressed her ear against the wall and closed her eyes, focusing, and then smiled:: ...Sounds like something is working. We - may- be in luck. Which is good because I was about to take matters into my own hands…::she grinned wide::

Yael:  How so?  I would think the most we could do from in here is *yell* very loudly into the nether.

Blackwell: Climb to the top of the lift and see if I could get a repair done on my own ::she winked:: But you won’t have to see me do derring do just right now. 

Yael:  You’d climb on top of a broken lift, from inside it?  ::he chuckled lightly::  That’s a pretty bold thing to do.

Blackwell: Oh I can be pretty...bold when I put my mind to it ::She laughed softly and shrugged:: I - try- to keep it limited to when it’s absolutely necessary but only when I’m at risk or there is no other option….hence why I’ve been really patient.

Yael:  Starfleet does attract bold personalities.  And that would be better than being in here alone.

Blackwell::She gave a mischievous smirk to that:: If It was just me in here, I would have likely climbed to the top of this thing to see what I could fix on my own. ...So in a way, good thing you were here too as you kept me out of trouble.

Yael:  ::with a bit of humor::  I do apologize for making you hold back.  Your way sounds like a *lot* more fun.

There was a sudden shift to the weight of the lift, and his hands shot out to brace against the wall and floor… but it didn’t drop or move violently.  More, it was shifted, then began to move ever so slowly.

She laughed to that and then binked as the lift began to move again, and she braced herself against the wall...and then as it moved, looked to Yael.

Yael:  I think we’ve been hoisted.

Blackwell: I think so….about time.

There was another sudden shift in the position of the lift as it slowly moved.  Then a mechanical sound began to whine.  There was a chirp… their comm badges both activated, and a voice soon came across the line.

Engineer:  =/\= Who have we got in there? =/\=

Yael:  ::responding with relief::  =/\= Lieutenant Blackwell and Ensign Yael. =/\=

Engineer:  =/\= Anyone need a doctor? =/\=

Blackwell:  =/\= No, thankfully not. =/\=

Engineer:  ::clearly glad there were no injuries, then, with humor::  =/\= When I said I wanted to go fishing this week, this *isn’t* what I planned.  We’ll have you out in a few… bringing you down to the next level nice and easy.  Stand clear of the door. =/\=

Blackwell:::She looked to Yael and smirked:: Well glad they are getting to have a laugh.:::and then to the comm:: =/\= something go on with communications? We couldn’t reach anyone =/\=

Ashley was already sitting near one of the sides, across from the Lieutenant, so he tucked his legs in a little closer, keeping amethyst eyes on the door as the mechanical sound intensified.

Engineer:  =/\= Yeah, comms went down for a few minutes.  Computer malfunction during a routine system refurbishment.  Bad timing with the lift.  Sorry ‘bout that. =/\=

Blackwell:  =/\= Well, I’m just glad we are getting it resolved...though I hope you can find point of error to avoid this in the future =/\=

She sounded cheerful though Yael could see her quietly working through what she might write on a report.

Yael:  =/\= How far did we drop? =/\=

Engineer:  =/\= About seventeen decks, before the safeties kicked in.  Bet it was a fun ride. =/\=

Yael:  ::to Blackwell::  Something like that.

Blackwell:::she smirked:: Oh absolutely.

And after time, there was finally a nice hum where the lift moved to the appropriate floor, and both Ensign and Lieutenant were free of their temporary confinement, on to go about their ways::

Yael:  ::as they parted::  It was nice plummeting to my doom with you.

Blackwell: Let’s do it again sometime! ::and she waved cheerfully and was on her way:: 


Lt. Prudence Blackwell


Starbase 118 OPS



Ensign Ashley Yael


Starbase 118 Ops


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