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V'Len Kel and Jack Kessler - Avoid Me Now

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((Kessler’s Quarters - Deck 4 - USS ‘Oumuamua))

The day seemed to pass by very quickly for Jack and he was looking forward to seeing Krystal and Lilou. The trip from the bridge to his quarters had been un-interrupted but when he arrived at their quarters he discovered both Krystal and Lilou were not there. Glancing around the living area Jack spied a white card folded in half and standing on it’s two ends on the dining table. He stepped over and retrieved the card from the table and opened it.

            “Taking Lilou to the arboretum to play - Krystal”

Jack smiled. He was happy that Krystal and Lilou were getting along so well and that they were actually here for each other. Jack turned and walked over to his favorite chair and unzipping his tunic he slid down into the chair and picked up a PADD out of habit looking for a message from his parents. He paused and almost tossed the PADD across the room for the thought but stopped and leaned forward. He did have a message, but not from his parents. He tapped on the letter and it opened to the screen. He took in a long deep breath and then let it out slowly as he sat back and read the letter.

USS Io - Stardate 240001.30

“Hello Jack. I know you are hurting and the lack of response tells me it is worse than you are letting on. Since you have decided to avoid this conversation I am forcing your hand. By the time you get this message I will be arriving on the ‘Oumuamua. See you in a bit. Love Michele”

Jack sat up and tapped the message closed. 

Kessler: Computer (beat) Are there any personnel scheduled to arrive aboard the ‘Oumuamua today?

Computer: Affirmative.

Kessler: Who is the individual arriving?

Computer: 1st Lieutenant Michele Winters

Jack’s eyelids slowly closed and he tapped his combadge.

Kessler: =/\= Kessler to sickbay. We have a medical officer coming aboard. Can someone meet me in the shuttle bay to welcome the shuttle? =/\=

Hunched over his desk reviewing several articles from the starfleet medical database V’Len looked up when his combadge chirped.  

Kel: =/\= Kel here.  I can head down now =/\=

Rox: =/\= Is that Jack?  Don’t go anywhere off the ship with him.  He’s bad luck. I almost turned into a wrinkly space wizard. =/\=

Kel:  =/\= Thank you Nurse, I think I can handle it.  Kel and Rox out. =/\= 

Kessler: =/\= Thank you. I am headed there now. =/\=

Jack stood from his chair and headed out of his quarters rezipping up his tunic. It wasn’t that he was not happy to hear from or even to see Michele. The issue Jack was having was that he had created somewhat of a situation by not responding to any of her communications since his parents ship had been lost. Michele was not one to take no for an answer and she was not one to be ignored. 

V’Len toyed with the idea of taking Rox with him so she could learn how to properly greet a new member of the crew.  Ensign Tyber had not only been tricked into doing Rox’s work, but had also taken an unplanned sim in the Cetacean ops pool.  However, V’Len had barely seen Jack during shore leave.  Typically, they would have been on the holodeck solving a mystery, but with the attempted murder of Jack, V’Len Nesre and Wes by the EMH and the loss of Jack’s parents, it seemed like the holodeck was off the table this time around.  V’Len told Rox to watch the sickbay and then told Toz to watch Rox. 

((Main Shuttlebay - Deck 10 - USS ‘Oumuamua))

Jack arrived just outside the main shuttlebay as did his counterpart from sickbay. Smiling he tilted his head towards the main doors and chuckled.

Kessler: You’re in for a treat.

Kel: Am I?  ::looking around in mock nervousness::  Do I need a helmet?

Jack smiled and almost laughed. He was not sure how Michele was going to come off that shuttle. If she was concerned he hoped for a warm welcome and things would go smoothly. If she was mad, he might need a security team to help out.

Kessler: Let’s just say (beat) I know a little about this officer.

Kel:  Another relative?  ::chuckling, then serious:: Are you and Krystal doing ok?  You know if you need anything at all, you can always call on me.  

The two stepped in and up to the forward safety area. The bay doors were already open, and the vacuum of space kept out by the forcefield that would allow the shuttle to enter and land while the two waited. The shuttle was visible from outside as it approached and Jack’s anticipation grew. He felt his heart rate quicked, fear or nerves, he was not sure but the sensation of excitement also back filled the feelings he was having.

V’Len waited and glanced over at Jack.  He seemed somehow apprehensive and V’Len wondered who really was in that shuttle.  Perhaps it was another of Jack’s relations after all.  

The type-14 shuttle entered the bay and slowly came down to the deck with a light thud. The boarding ramp lowered at the rear and Jack led the way towards the rear of the shuttle with V’Len in tow. 

Jack halted his approach as Michele exited the shuttle and stepped around to face Jack and his companion. His eyes locked with hers and for a moment so many questions seemed to bounce back and forth between them silently. 

V’Len glanced between the pair.  He was clearly missing some context, but it was clear that this woman was more than just an acquaintance or someone Jack had met at the academy.  

Kessler: (slightly smiling) This is an ambush.

The five foot, four inch tall human female smiled a deviant smile and lowered her gear to the deck and then stepped up to Jack, brushing her dirty blond hair back past her ears she placed both hands on Jack's head. One on either side of his temples and stood to her toes, pulling his face closer to hers until their lips almost met, then pausing with a tease she lowered herself back down to her heels. There was nothing more in her heart than love for this man but he had been avoiding her since his parents disappearance. He needed rescuing and this was why she was here. 

Jack’s heart leapt to his throat as she grabbed his head and pulled him down towards her as she stood on her toes to meet him. Her slim frame had remained the same in the year plus since they had last seen each other and his gaze fell into her green eyes. She knew how to completely take him off his feet in one movement and yet she paused just as their lips were about to touch, held for a breathless second and then slowly leaned back and away. Jack did not know what to feel at this exact moment but he knew that he wanted to kiss her and then throw her back on the shuttle before things became more complicated.

V’Len raised his eyebrows.  He was glad he had left Rox behind.  

Whatever was going on between Jack and this new officer V’Len was apparently being given a front row seat.  

Winters: It’s good to see you too Jack. (turning to the other officer standing beside Jack and holding out a hand to shake) Michele Winters.

Kel: Ah yes (shaking the woman’s hand) Lt. V’Len Kel, I’m the Oumuamua’s chief medical officer.

Winters: (smiling gracefully at Kel) Yes you are. Andorian and Trill. An extremely rare combination, of course if I read your bio correctly (beat) yours was via a transporter accident. An amazing story, I do hope we can talk about it sometime? (beat) From a medical standpoint of course.

On the one hand it would save V’Len a lot of time explaining what happened, on the other hand it meant he needed to find something else to talk to the new lieutenant about.  He suspected she was not going to be entranced by fungus quite the way Salo always seemed to be.    

Kessler:  (looking between the two and finally resting back on Michele’s eyes) We need to talk about this visit.

V’Len struggled to think of something to ask besides the obvious “how exactly do you and Jack know each other”?  Were they a couple, engaged, married?  V’Len had never heard Jack talk about a wife, not that Kel made a habit of talking about his personal life.  He looked back at Michelle Winters. She wore a green shouldered uniform, so she was a marine of some sort apparently.

Kel: So Lieutenant Winters, you’re a new addition to our marine contingent then?

Kessler: (to V’Len) No, she’s just visiting for a little while.

V’Len was surprised to see Jack scramble to collect Winters’ gear as they began to cross the shuttlebay.  

Winters: (brow furrowed) Not visiting Jack. (to V’Len) I have officially transferred to the ‘Oumuamua. I am a Combat Medic. Graduated Starfleet Academy with Jack and am a fully trained nurse as well as a trained Marine. (glancing back to Jack and smiling) We will remember that won’t we?

V’Len was always glad for more help in the sickbay.  Jack on the other hand seemed somehow less enthused.  

Michele walked past Jack who had as he always done grabbed her bag for her. His father had trained him well and Michele  admired that in him even if he was not happy to see her. Of course this was his doing but she knew how much he internalized things and getting him to talk was something she had experience with. 

Kel: Well, all I can say is thank goodness.  I often end up following Colonel Greaves into risky situations.  He’ll have someone more qualified to assist him than a bumbling doctor who likes to study fungus.  ::Chuckling::

Winters: Let’s not go racing into danger here doctor. I would prefer to get settled into Sickbay before having to patch anyone up in the field. 

Jack felt speechless and for the moment V’Len was taking the heat off of him. That at least gave him a moment to collect his thoughts and then pursue the two as they departed the shuttle bay.

Kessler:  Ok, so you are here for more than a visit. We still need to talk about this Michele.

They exited into the corridor and the door to the shuttlebay hissed shut behind them.  

Jack smiled to himself as Michele continued walking alongside V’Len. She was totally ignoring him now. He wanted to laugh, he had just missed a kiss and had been demoted to bag boy all in less than five minutes.

Kel:  Well welcome, officially to the Oumuamau.  I’m not sure where you’re heading off to, but I’d be happy to show you our sickbay.  I’ve worked to make it an excellent facility.  My colleague Dr. Toz is an amazing physician and our nursing staff (pause) well they’re mostly sane.

Winters:(with a smile and a tilt of the head) Why thank you Doctor. I’m glad someone is happy I am here.

Kessler:  I never said I wasn't happy to see you. 

Jack might as well have been talking to the bulkhead. She had totally turned on the cold shoulder routine and now he was going to have to work to get her to respond. Oh he hated it when she did this, not because she knew she could torture him but because she was so good at it. 

Michele heard Jack but did not glance back or respond. He had avoided her and made her change duty posts just to get to talk to him. She knew what they had agreed to and why he wanted to talk about this transfer but she wasn’t going to change her mind. Not now, not after everything that had happened to him.

Kel:  At the risk of sounding indelicate, how exactly are Mr. Kessler and yourself acquainted? ::gesturing toward Jack::

Michele looked up at the Trilldorian and smiled and then allowed a disappointed look to cross her face. Had Jack really not mentioned her to anyone or maybe the Doctor just wasn’t close to Jack. Well, this was time for a change and Jack needed to come out of his shell.

Winters: (smiling) Well, I can see that nearly three years of dating didn’t earn a mention to your crewmates Jack? And here I thought I was the one to melt your heart (grasping her chest with both hands in a dramatic tone) Well, maybe there’s another girl out here who has your attention? 

Michele smiled devilishly and looked over to the Doctor. V’Len for his part was beginning to understand the terms “third wheel” and “stepped in it”.  Jack had never mentioned Michelle to him though V’Len regarded him as a close friend.  The two options before him were that Jack did not regard him as closely or that things between Michelle and Jack were complicated.  Given all the evidence V’Len tended to believe the latter rather than the former.  

Winters: So does he have a girlfriend aboard I should be jealous over? (smirking and almost laughing)

They continued their journey through the Oumuamua. Entering the turbolift V’Len headed for deck 7 almost without thinking.  Perhaps he subconsciously wanted to get back to the safety of his sickbay.  In any event Michele’s question was not one V’Len wanted to answer.  He was reluctant to bring up Jack’s relationship with Nesre.  Firstly because he was not sure how Michele would react.  Secondly because, after their dinner on Seytoxal, V’Len could not seem to get Nesre out of his mind.  It had been difficult before, it was near impossible now.  He decided to punt.

Kel: Jack and the ladies.  It's a legend that tells itself.  Just ask the Delaney sisters.  

Jack threw a look at his friend. What was he saying? Not the best of ideas V’Len buddy.

Kel:  ::seeing Jack’s look, raising hands::  Kidding, of course.  (beat) When I first met Jack I thought he was part of some celibate religious order.  

Kessler: Ok, ok. Enough is enough. (beat) V’Len, we were very serious towards one another but we both had career goals and knew post graduation that those career goals and a relationship was not going to work as we might like.

Jack paused and turned to face both of them.

Kessler:  I think maybe she should report to Greaves and let him know she is aboard.

It was more of a question to change the direction of the conversation away from the two of them. Although it seemed V’Len was enjoying himself in this conversation a little more than Jack would like.

Winters: Nonsense Jack. I don't have to check in with the Colonel until 2100 hours. He’s in a meeting and I certainly do not want to interrupt that.

The doors of the turbolift opened.

Kel: I seem to have brought us to deck 7.  This is where you’ll find sickbay.  Gator deck, where our marines reside, is on Deck 4.  There are no actual gators of course.  ::nervous chuckle::

Michele shot the Trilldorian a smile at the joke and winked as she then looked back to Jack who stood quietly, reserving his comments. 

Winters: Oh there are plenty of Gators on that deck Doctor. Isn’t that right Jack?

Jack found himself holding back. He did not want to get into a discussion here, in front of V’Len. Although his friend would probably find it humorous as Jack never found himself on the winning end of a conversation with Michele when she put her feet down. She came from a family of very strong willed individuals and having met her brother and sister knew why she did not back down and why she was who she was. In many ways Michele was the first person that he could say he truly loved but at the same time they had an agreement about their relationship and their careers. She had clearly violated that agreement and this needed to be dealt with but again Jack did not see the need to have it discussed in front of V’Len. 

Kessler: ::smiling at V’Len:: And they all have teeth buddy. ::looking back to Michele:: and claws.

Michele grinned knowing Jack was prodding but she too had taught him this game and was ready to play. V’Len spoke next and made a suggestion but it did not play into her next move with Jack.

Kel:  I mean the sickbay is just around the corner if you’re interested. 

Winters: ::looking back to V’Len:: I am sure I will be spending more than enough time there. How about somewhere a little more fun? 

Kessler: ::looking to V’Len:: Don’t look at me buddy. I’m just the bag boy today.

There was really only one place V’Len could think of, but Jack seemed keen to extricate himself from the bags and Michele.  V’Len decided not to allow this to happen, he wanted to see how this played out. 

Kel:  We could grab a drink in 7-Forward. (beat) You two could get a drink in 7-Forward.  

oO Did he really suggest that? Oo Jack knew V’Len had to have been holding back a laugh by the look on his face as he reacted to the look coming from Jack. He should have known V’Len was going to try and enjoy as much of this as he could.

Winters: Sounds perfect ::looking at Jack and then back to V’Len:: and of course you should join us. I doubt he is going to talk much right now anyways.

She shot Jack a grin that told him she was very much enjoying this little torture episode and she was not lettign him off the hook. All Jack wanted to do at that moment was simply lean in and kiss her, take her off her agenda and throw a monkey wrench into her little scheme but that would be giving in to her and right now he was not too happy with her.

Kessler: 7-Forward is this way ::gesturing:: I could use a drink.

Jack tossed her duffle up on his shoulder and walked past both V’Len and Michele leading the way to the forward lounge and letting them follow behind. They could enjoy their teasing at his expense together. He could wait out her game, he knew he had more patience than she did plus he knew exactly how to throw her off her game once they got to 7-Forward.  

They ordered refreshments and found a table along the wall.  V’Len took a seat facing out into the room, while Jack and Michele sat at triangle points facing the wall.  

Kel: So, Lt. Winters, what’s your family like?  You remind me a bit of my younger sister Rosro, so I’m guessing you’re not an only child. 

Rosro, V’Len’s younger sister, had always been tenacious.  While she hadn’t quite settled on a course of study, Rosro was taking the Academy head on.  She was strong willed and firm once she set her mind on a goal, much like Michele seemed to be.  At this point Michele’s goal seemed to be Jack.   

Winters: Two other siblings, an older brother and a younger sister. ::beat:: You learn how to defend yourself when you are the middle child. 

The fact that Michelle was a middle child went a long way to explain many things that V’Len had observed about her.    

Kel: Indeed, and where did you say you grew up?

Winters: I grew up in Austin, Texas on Earth but actually spent most of my time just outside Austin on my family's horse ranch.

Kessler: ::looking from Michele to V’Len:: They own and run the largest equestrian ranch in North America. It’s actually very beautiful and they have some magnificent horses.

V’Len paid no attention to the answer as he suddenly felt a shiver run down his spine.  Across 7-Forward, Hurricane Rox coming toward them.  In her hand she held her signature “blue squale” concoction.  She was walking quickly toward them wearing a broad smile.  V’Len tried not to change his facial expression and reveal how much danger he and Jack could potentially be in.  By his reckoning Michele and Rox were fairly similar.  If they got along Jack and V’len would be in deep trouble.  If they did not get along…they could mutually annihilate each other, likely taking the ship with them.  

Rox:  Eh,what’s up Doc?  

V’Len looked down and rubbed his forehead.  They’d talked about this so many times.

Jack had not noticed Rox’s approach but the look on V’Lens face was ever so priceless. Rox had that way with many people. You either loved her or she was all over your nerves. Jack found Rox a commercial relief and enjoyed her presence although there were times, such as now, that her presence might be a little more disruptive than fun. 

Rox:  ::patting Jack on the head:: Hey Jackie!  ::looking at Winters:;  Hey new girl.  I’m Rox, one of the nurses.  ::glancing at Jack:: Don’t let this guy take you on any dates.  Last time we went out he crashed us on an alien planet and I nearly got turned into a space frog.

V’Len tried not to chuckle at Jack’s very flush face. It seemed that Rox had mischaracterized whatever had happened.

Kessler: ::holding up a hand:: Wait, wait, that was not a date.

Winters: ::eyeing Jack suspiciously:: Really? ::she drew the word out and in a questioning tone::

Rox:  :: winking at Jack:: Sure keep telling yourself that. ::pulling up a stool to sit between Jack and Michele:: So what’s your story, new girl?  New member of Greave’s angels?

V’Len threw a panicked glance at Jack who seemed to be like him trapped.

Jack merely smiled, a devilishly wicked smile back at V’Len and sat back. Titling up his drink he took a long draw of the Samarian Sunset.

Kessler: Rox ::gesturing to Michele:: this is Michele Winters. ::beat:: Michele, this is Rox, one of the ship's nurses.

Winters: ::extending a hand to Rox:: Happy to meet you. I am not sure I am an angel but I am a Combat Medic so I’ll be seeing you a lot in sickbay from the sounds of it. ::she threw a wicked fun grin to Rox and then one at Jack::

Rox:  How fun we can be sisters in science!  ::turning to V’Len::  You’re going to outnumbered sir.

Jack did not know if she should be afraid for his friend or simply happy that he did not have to spend as much time in the same room as V’Len was going to have to deal with.

Kel: I was already outnumbered. ::sigh::

Kessler: ::winking at V’Len:: You could just assign them to Charlie shift.

Kel:  ::quietly:: Tempting. 

Michele smiled, pressing her lips together and without moving her torso, reached her leg out under the table and kicked Jack in the shin. She must have nailed the perfect spot as he jerked back and almost poured his drink on himself.

Winters: Guys vs girls? Really, Jackie? ::she used Rox’s pet name for Jack and then looked from Jack to V’Len to rox:: So Rox, tell me about this date? ::beat:: Does he take many girls off ship to strange new worlds?

Rox: ::pouting and feigning hurt::  I thought…I thought I was the only one.

Jack threw both hands up and looked between the two women.

Kessler: It was not a date. There were others there too. ::beat:: Not a date.

Winters: ::still smirking at his sudden defense:: What’s wrong Jack? She looks and sounds like your type.

Now she was just baiting him and Jack threw a look to V’Len that might have very well yelled run. Michele and Rox were more likely to hit it off and be friends than mortal enemies which for Jack could have been useful. 

Rox for her part very much liked Michele.  She stood up and waved wildly at Koryan to get his attention.  She pointed at her half empty glass and then made a “V” with her fingers.  

Rox: You have to try one of these, they're my favorite.  

Kel: :: looking at Jack, concerned::  I think we have a problem.  

Kessler: ::looking at V'Len and shaking his head:: I think we’re both outnumbered. 

Winters: ::smiling and then drinking down the last swallow off her glass of Oberon:: Of course you are and the sooner you surrender, the easier your lives will be. ::leaning back in her chair and looking out the forward windows at the planet below:: Do they have horses down there?

Kel: I’m not sure, I just went down to the mountains to practice a hobby of mine.  

Rox: What hobby?  You don’t have any hobbies, unless you were collecting fungus.

V’Len decided not to respond and was grateful when Jack spoke up.  

Kessler: After my last excursion ::beat:: I am not leaving the ship anytime soon.

The last trip off the ship had seen Rox almost turned into a rainbow colored oompa loompa, accompanied by dart slinging primates and a temporal something or other that he still had not figured out was more than enough to keep him aboard the ship for a while. Michele on the other hand was still playing with Jack and now that Rox was here, the two of them seemed all too willing to tag team on both him and V’Len.

Winters: ::to Rox while grinning at V’Len:: So does the Doctor here and Jack have their own boys club? Seems like they are better friends than they are letting onto.

The waiter arrived with two tall glasses of blue liquid, each with a small shot glass of brown liquid floating on the surface.  The waiter gracefully slid the try onto the table, looked to each patron, and beat a hasty retreat.  

Rox:  They spend a lot of time in the holodeck together.  Not sure what’s going on there.

Kel:  ::exasperated::  We’re solving mysteries.  I told you that.  

Winters: ::smiling and throwing looks between V’Len and Jack:: A boys holodeck mystery club, interesting. ::she drew that last word out implying suspicion::

Jack grinned at Michele and Rox. They were having fun and as much as Jack hated the idea of Michele being assigned to the ‘Oumuamua he enjoyed seeing her and seeing her happy. 

Kessler: ::grinning and shaking his head:: We solve mysteries, ::beat:: it’s not a mystery club.

Rox:  What you guys do in your freetime is none of my business.  ::gesturing at the drinks::  Try this new girl.  It’s my own invention, Romulan Ale, Andorian Ale and syrup of squill.  The shot is Saurian brandy.  I call it a blue squale with a rowboat.  

Winters: ::reaching for the glass:: That sounds like a fun drink.

Kessler: ::looking to V’Len and simply shaking his head and smiling::

V’Len watched in fascination as both women took long drinks and then sat the glasses down on the table with a snap.  

Rox:  Good right?  You should try one V’Len.

Winters: ::setting the glass down and looking at Rox, making an O expression with her lips:: That is devine. A wonderful balance too. ::looking to Jack:: Have you tried this?

Kessler: No ::holding up his dram:: I like this.

Michele eyed Jack and narrowed her eyebrows at him. He was someone who didn’t always like trying new things but she had broken that shell once and would break it again. Before she could start in on Jack though V’Len spoke up.

Kel: I don’t drink Saurnian Brandy.

Rox:  That’s right, ::smiling at Michele:;  There was an incident at the academy.  Something with noodles right?

Kel: ::moodily::  There was NO incident and we’re changing the subject.  ::Turning to Jack:: That guy you brought back from your date with Rox is recovering nicely.

Winters: ::smiling at Rox:: Noodles? Oh, I have to hear about this.

Kessler: ::looking away from the girls:: Any new information on what happened?

A mischievous smile began to fill Rox’s face.  V’Len was immediately concerned.  

Jack noticed the look on V’Len’s face just as Rox’s voice rose up in excitement.

Rox: Come with me, new girl.  Jack grab her things.

Rox rose and began to head out of seven forward.  V’Len, feeling a bit sorry for Jack, picked up a few of Michele’s items.  They were heavier than V’Len would have expected.  Perhaps Michele had a brick collection she’d brought along.  They made their way down the corridor and back into the turbolift, taking it down to deck 9j and cargo bay area.  The group soon found themselves in a quiet area of the deck near cargo bay 3.

((Outside Cargo Bay 3, Deck 9, USS Oumuamua))

Kel:  Why are we here?  

Rox:  To make sure people remember us.

Winters: This sounds fun.

Michele shot a look over to Rox and then to Jack who looked a bit confused as to why they had come down to the cargo bay. Michele had no clue herself but this Rox seemed to enjoy having fun and even poking jabs at Jack and he didn’t bite back. Jack must consider her a friend since he played along with her suggestions. He had always been a good sport but some people did get on his nerves and Michele knew a couple back at the academy that had done so.

Rox opened the small utility closet near the airlock and handed out the EVA suits. She began putting one on.  

Winters: Are we going on a walkabout? ::Michele said in her best Australian accent::

Kessler: ::smirking:: Knowing Rox, this is a costume party.

Rox: ::teasingly:: Yeah, Jack, we’re getting ready for a costume party.  Yes, we’re going outside. Put your suit on.  

Jack threw a look over to V’Len and then to Rox. It made sense now, and he allowed a smile to crease his lips. Jack had not partaken in this ritual as of yet and had actually dismissed it as something he felt he needed to do. On the other hand this would be fun but Rox was forgetting something very important.

V’Len for his part was unsure what to do, but obediently followed the others.  He’d not spent a lot of time in EVA situations, but he’d had the training and was confident he would not embarrass himself too badly.  

Kessler: ::stepping into his suite:: So Rox, how are you bypassing the security lock outs on the airlock? ::beat:: You know that the bridge will be alerted the minute you try to open those doors?

Winters: ::looking at the others:: don’t look at me. I am so new here I am sure I am not even in the computer yet with access codes to open that door.

Rox smacked her head in mock concern.  The last time she had been here Basilla had been with her and had simply overridden the airlock controls.

Michele finished securing her EVA suit and waited to secure her helmet in place as the others finished suiting up. 

Kel: Jack may have a point. I don't think there’s a medical override for the airlock.  At least no one that doesn’t let the system know exactly who opened the door.  

Rox: Oh come on Jack, don’t be silly.  The last time I was here Basillia used her security access to override the controls and anonymously opened the airlock.  ::gesturing at the door::  Show us your stuff.  

Jack looked at Rox and shook his head in a manner indicating she would get them busted for sure. He then looked at V’Len and shook his head again in a manner indicating that too was not going to work.

Kessler: There are newer protocols in place in the internal sensors that those ideas would trigger. You might be able to get away with them a few months ago but the Colonel had these new protocols instated that prevent those bypasses. ::stepping over to the control interface and pulling the panel open, he removed two isolinear chips and rearranged them:: Now we just need to tell the bridge that this airlock is running a diagnostic mode and sensors are offline.

Rox:  Show off.  

Michele watched Jack from behind and listened to his voice. She had missed the sound of his voice more that she had realized and it was refreshing and intoxicating to hear it now, even if they were doing something against the rules.

V’Len was impressed at Jack’s quick thinking.  He suspected they would need to do a lot of hacking, but instead this seemed like something anyone could do.  

Winters: How are you going to do that without tipping your hand to the bridge crew?

Jack glanced back to Michele and then to the others and smiled.

Rox: Who cares as long as he gets it open.  

Kel: What are we doing once we’re outside again?

Kessler: ::tapping a few sequences into the interface:: Like this.

Jack tapped the last sequence in and the lights in the room turned red and the “Secured” message that appeared on the control interface disappeared. Smiling and knowing he was not going to give up his secret he lifted his helmet and slid it on over his head and locked it in place. As the others did the same he opened the weapons locker and retrieved and phaser and handed it to Rox.

Kessler: I’m assuming you’ll need this to accomplish this next task? ::winking at Rox::

Winters: ::securing her helmet:: Are we going to shoot something?

Rox snatched the phaser out of Jack’s hand and brought the visor of her helmet down with a snap.  She marched into the airlock and looked back to see that the other followed.

Rox: Let’s go people.  Michelle, you’re going to love this.  

The airlock cycle was not slow, but it still took a bit and V’Len found his mind wandering.  When Rox mentioned Michele’s name it triggered something inside his mind. 

Kel:  ::singing:: Michelle, ma belle, Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble, Très bien ensemble.

Winter: ::smiling at V’Len and then looking to Jack:: You never sang to me. I think I like this guy.

Kessler: Then consider yourself fortunate.

Jack was not a person who could carry a tune to save his life and he would not subjugate anyone to that level of torture unless absolutely necessary or insanely intoxicated, which had only happened once.

Rox:  ::stomping a foot::  V’Len cut that out!

V’Len stopped singing immediately.  He’d not even noticed that he started, but it was a habit that particularly annoyed Rox.  

Rox: ::Looking at Michele:: He does that all the time in Sickbay.  He thinks he was a musician in a past life.

Kel:  I WAS a musician in a past life.  Remember, ::pointing to his head:: symbiote.

Winters: ::looking to V’Len:: That has to be amazing ::Beat:: I mean being able to experience all of those life times. The memories must be incredible.

Kessler: ::chuckling:: Were you a detective in one of those past lives? Maybe from Toronto?


The airlock cycle could not conclude fast enough and when it finally did Rox hurried out onto the underside of the saucer.  Above them, or maybe below, the planet of Sexyatol glowed as the sunset fell on the area below them.  Toward the northern part of the hemisphere it appeared that a storm was imminent.  Arching lighting could be seen flashing between black clouds.  

Kel:  ::looking up at the sunset and the storm::  That’s something we don’t see everyday.  

Jack looked away from V’Len and lost his train of thought as he looked at the wondrous sight before them.

Kessler: Sure isn’t. ::beat:: It’s mesmerizing isn’t it? 

Winters: ::turning to Rox:: This was worth the trip out here for sure. This is so beautiful.

The others looked up in awe but Rox headed straight for the nearby panel where she and Basillia had come previously. It appeared no one else had visited to add their name.  

She handed the phaser to Michele and nodded to the  panel. 

Michele looked down and away from the wondrous sight they were viewing which she now guessed was not the reason Rox had brought them outside of the ship. A panel on the ship, worn from time and encounters the ‘Oumuamua had experienced was laden with initials inscribed by others who had come before them. Michele smiled and looked back to Rox.

Rox:  Ladies first.

Winters: ::taking the phaser and slowly engraving her initials:: This should be a tradition on every starfleet vessel.

Kessler: ::taking the phaser next, he looked to Michele and smiled:: How do you know it is not?

V’Len watched as Michelle and then Jack added their initials.  V’Len wondered what to write.  Rox had written RQX which was a neat trick to get her last name in there.  Kel would be easy enough to write, but then it wasn’t the symbiote that was here, it was him, V’Len the doctor.  Maybe he should just put Doctor.  

Kel:  My turn eh?

V’Len accepted the phaser from Jack and aimed it at the hull.  The V seemed o.k, writing with a phaser was tougher than he expected.  He used a dot for the apostrophe for fear it would look like an ‘S’.  The rest went reasonably well.

Kel:  Well, Let’s hope the Zet don’t fire at this exact panel in the future.

Winters: Maybe this panel should be preserved during our next resupply?

Kessler: ::looking at the panel and then back at the storm and the sunset over the planet:: Take it all in guys. We won’t get to see this again for a long time.

Rox:  Welcome aboard Michele.  You’ve got 2 down on your Oumuamau bingo card and you’ve only been here 2 hours.  



Lieutenant V’Len Kel

Chief Medical Officer

USS Oumuamua NCC-81226


He/Him (character and player)




USS Oumuamua NCC-81226


He/Him (player)

She/Her (character)


Lt.jg Jack Kessler

Asst. Chief Tactical Officer

USS ‘Oumuamua



1st. Lt. Michele Winters

Combat Medic

USS 'Oumuamua 



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