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Aristren/Samuel - How people influence the friends you've won (Pt.3)

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((Somewhere Miranda VII))

Something Nestira had always found highly interesting was how other species formed relationships with each other, why they did it, and what those relationships then looked like. Back home, the principle of marriage didn’t exist. When two souls, no matter their age or gender, bonded through joined telepathic exercises or the crafting of basotile, both were well aware of the temporary nature of that bond. 

Her people valued the principle of ongoing progression and development, and it was clear to both partners that after a few decades or one or two centuries, they might very well end up having developed into opposite directions. 

What facilitated the decision to bond with each other differed from couple to couple, and from region to region, but most Rodulans were in agreement that bonding before a certain age was… unwise. Because yes, in the first half of their first century, they too were guided by hormones - just like humans.

But humans couldn’t wait a century before they committed to someone, and Nestira knew that Samuels feelings towards Kayla, who was in a relationship with Lauri and (unbeknown to anyone but her) was expecting a child from someone else entirely, were a very common condition amongst his kind.

She found it… cute. Like small animals were often cute. And now that Kayla and Lauri were already working with - or, for - her, hopefully she could push the young Engineer to join them.

Aristren: Hey! You’re Samuel, right? 

He jumped at the sudden interruption to his thoughts from behind him and turned to see who the voice belonged to. He was greeted by the sight of a rather attractive lady, clearly somewhat older than himself, with a pale complexion and warm red hair.

Samuel: ::slightly nervous:: That's right.

She offered a bright smile, but kept a bit of a distance so as to not overwhelm him. He struck her as a little.. Shy. 

Samuel knew of Nyra. He'd heard about her from Lauri and Kayla. For some reason she was…helping them. He wasn't sure why and that made him nervous.

Aristren: I actually have engineering questions and Kayla said you would be the best person to ask. 

The fact that she had him at a disadvantage also made him nervous. She clearly knew more about him than he did about her. A lot of things made Samuel nervous, in fact. Their whole plan made him nervous. Of course he wanted to get away from Miranda VII, but if they were caught…well, it didn't bear thinking about.

He was trying his best through this whole thing to stay cool and calm, as much to impress Kayla as to not draw attention to what they were trying to do, but he simply did not have Lauri's confidence or Liz' steely determination. He was having to fight against his every instinct to fulfil his part of the bargain.

Samuel: Well, I don't know if I would be the *best* person…

Aristen: ::she nodded:: I know the feeling. There’s always someone more experienced or skilled, but I still think you *are* the best person for this question. ::she paused, gathering her thoughts:: And you’ll try, right? 

Samuel's eyes shifted around. Lauri and Kayla trusted this woman and had told him as much, but he couldn't shake the feeling he was being watched right now. Then again, he always felt like that these days.

Samuel: ::clearing his throat, trying to appear more confident:: Sure, I'll help…if I can.

It was just a chat, right? Just him helping someone out. He didn't have to decide whether he trusted her just yet if that was all it was.

Aristen: Thank you. 

The woman nodded, taking a calming breath. While she might look in control of the situation, she was… anxious. All of this was so incredibly risky for her.

Aristren: ::lowering her voice:: My goal is to help more people - get as many as possible out of here. ::pause:: That is generally a good goal to have, isn’t it? 

Samuel had to stop himself from visibly reacting. He hadn’t expected her to be so up front. 

Samuel: Well, that depends. What kind of scale are we talking about?

Curiously, he was the first who had asked her that question. A very analytical mind indeed. 

Aristren: As many as possible - but that won’t be *our* task. I have to get a report out and Miranda VII blocks all outside communication. 

Samuel: Well, that should be easy enough to get around with the shuttle.

If she was being up front, he might as well be, too. There wasn’t much point in trying to hide their plan from her if she already knew it. Hell, she might know more about it than him by now.

She nodded.

Aristren: Yes. If we can upgrade the communications array in the shuttle, it can automatically send the report once you’ve left from here. 

Because she couldn’t go with them - she had to remain here and continue her work with Yavir Moray, no matter the cost. And she wouldn’t trust them to manually send the message.

Samuel: Sure, we could re-route the signal enhancement module to the main sensor array, that would boost the range of the shuttle's communications.

She hesitated. She remembered Sam’s hope to perhaps one day join Starfleet, and she decided to take a risk - another one.

Because Samuel wasn’t doing this for himself. He was doing this to help Kayla, and Nestira didn’t trust in the longevity of his affection for her. 

So she decided to add another dream. 

Aristren: It would certainly look good on your Academy recommendation. 

This time, Samuel wasn't able to hide the look of surprise on his face. How did she know about his Starfleet ambitions?

After a brief moment of alarm, he realised Kayla must have said something to her.

Samuel: Erm…thanks.

He flashed an uncomfortable smile and it seemed their mysterious benefactor was about to take her leave, but Samuel's curiosity got the better of him.

Samuel: Hey…why are you doing this?

Aristren: What do you mean?

It didn't necessarily surprise him that there were other people who wanted off of Miranda VII. Life here wasn't exactly great for anyone, except those who held the power, but this woman supposedly had connections. Why did she need help from a bunch of kids?

Samuel: I mean, why help *us*? What if we screw it up? It's a pretty big risk.

The statement betrayed Samuel's trepidation about their little venture. Even with Nyra's help, they were still so inexperienced and outmatched by Terra Prime. The odds of them actually pulling this whole thing off…well…he still didn't like them.

Aristren: That… is an interesting question.

And one she had refused to ask herself. It had started as a game, a challenge set forth by Alasafor, and the only reason those children had been selected was convenience.
But Nestira had a.. history that made her fond of young rebels, and made her want to see them succeed.

Aristren: I suppose one thing I have learned is that ambition counts for just as much, maybe even more, than experience. 

Their young age made them inexperienced, but at the same time brave enough to attempt to free themselves from Miranda VII’s pull.

Samuel gave the woman's words some thought. He understood her point, even if he wasn't sure he fully agreed with it.

Samuel: ::with a sheepish, lopsided smile:: I hope you're right.

Aristren: And as to why I am helping… I suppose it’s because ambition only gets you so far. The rest - well, that’s where I come in.

She offered a smile and inclined her head.

Aristren: I’m glad we get to work together. I choose my friends and allies carefully.

Samuel: I'm…glad, too.

And he meant it. Having met Nyra, he suddenly felt differently about everything. There was some comfort in knowing that she was directing them. On their own they probably would have made some rookie mistake that would have gotten them caught, but with another, more experienced pair of eyes, the glimmer of hope their rag-tag group was pinning their hopes on had just gotten a little brighter.

Of course, that wasn't to say that he wasn't still nervous.

She nodded, turned, and left. That made three allies - three more than she had a few days ago.

[End scene]

Future Starfleet Engineer (Hopefully)

As simmed by

Marine Captain Gogigobo Fairhug
The Lightning Aldabrans
Denali Station


Nestira Aristren (Posing as Nyra Altman)
Starfleet Intelligence

As simmed by

Lt. Trovek Arys 
Chief Medical Officer 
Starbase 118 Ops

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