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[Round 3] Friends & Family

James T. Kolk

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(( USS Ronin - Chief of Operations Office ))

:: The pile of PADDs were still on the desk in front of Jhen. He'd been staring at them for over twenty minutes now, trying to build up some sort of motivation to go through them.

His head was still buzzing from the energy wave that has passed through them in the deflector control room earlier. At the time he'd felt euphoric as the energy had coursed through his veins, felt like he'd be able to fight the whole galaxy single-handedly. But now that feeling was gone, leaving a numbness behind like a dull headache.

The PADDS hadn't moved. It was the same work he'd been doing when the Ronin, along with the Independence and the Ursa Major, had been sucked through the wormhole - crew manifests and quarter assignments. Jack Shepard and Karynn Ehlanii had both been promoted to junior Lieutenants and Jack Kolk had taken on a role in Flight Ops; Jhen made a mental note to see if he wanted some quarters closer to his new workplace. And there was also the suprise appearence of Captain Robin Phoenix onboard - Jhen would have to see about getting her one of the VIP suites sorted out once she left sickbay, it wasn't as if they used them a great deal.

And then there was D'Warte, one of the Ronin's fighter pilots. As far as Jhen was aware he had been the only fatality on the mission. They'd been lucky, but that didn't help D'Warte. The Andorian picked up the top PADD again and looked at it - an itinery of D'Warte's personal belongings; these were things that had meant something to someone, now just a collection of items to be packed up and shipped out to his family. It just seemed so... pointless.

Jhen carefully replaced the PADD back on top of the pile. He needed someone to talk to, an outside perspective. ::

Thelev: =/\= Computer. What time is it in Skalaholdt, Andor? =/\=

Computer: =/\= The current time in the city of Skalaholdt is 19.39 hours. =/\=

Thelev: =/\= Put me through to the office of Councillor Thelev of the Andorian planetary council. =/\=

:: Jhen turned the screen on his desk to face him as he waited for the Federation symbol to clear. He knew he'd left it too long to make this call. As the seconds stretched by he wandered if he was being ignored, but abruptly the screen displayed an image of a female Andorian with long silver hair and dark eyes, wearing an elegant and expensive-looking yellow dress. The woman gave Jhen a frosty look which mimicked the snow falling softly through the windows behind her. ::

Thelev: =/\= ::Smiling sheepishly:: Hello, Frith. It's been a while... =/\=

Fritha Thelev: =/\= ::coldly:: A while? Jhen, I haven't spoken to you in over 6 months! ::pause:: Are you in some sort of trouble? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= No! No, nothing like that. I... I just needed someone to talk to. Things have just been so... constant here recently I've not had the chance to think, let alone get in touch. ::sighs:: I'm sorry, Frith, I should have called you ages ago. ::nodding at the image onscreen:: You look nice, though, is that how the all the councillors are dressing these days? =/\=

F. Thelev: ::She smiled and the coldness vanished from her face.:: =/\= No, actually. I was just on my way out to a charity dinner - the Tholian Ambassador's going to be there. ::Tilting her head:: Now, what do you need to talk about? ::smiling again:: You sure you're not in trouble? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= Ha! No, not this time. ::sighs:: I just wanted to talk to you, not about anything in particular. Just, y'know, talk. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= Oh, Jhen. You're my little brother but you really are an idiot sometimes. I'm always here if you need me - and I always know when something's wrong. So what is it? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= Someone died today, someone from the Ronin. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= ::quietly:: A friend? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= No, that's just it. I've no idea who he was, don't think I ever met him. His death was an accident, I'm not sure of the details. But tomorrow I'll be arranging for all his possessions to be boxed up and sent off to his parents. I don't know, it's one of those things that got me thinking; did I make the right choice? =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= About Starfleet, you mean? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= Yeah. I know it's a dangerous business, and people die out here, but this job I'm doing - it feels almost like I should be impersonal, treat the crew numbers same as the cargo, but I can't do that. I'm not sure if I should be a department head. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= You care too much, Jhen, that's always been your problem. Always trying to take the burden for other people. The family of the man who died will deal with their grief. But that's the thing - it's their grief, Jhen, not yours. Now I'm not saying treat the crew like a bulk order of self-stealing stembolts, but you don't have to take everything personally. The family of the dead man don't need your grief, too, I'm sure they'll have neough to go around. Do what you need do and move on. =/\=

:: Jhen looked away from the screen as his sister spoke. She was right, as she always was. ::

Thelev: =/\= I guess so. I just haven't always felt very... professional since I graduated from the Academy. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= ::raising an eyebrow:: Oh? And why's that? They promoted you to Lieutenant didn't they? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= Well, there was the citicising a superior officer during an away mission thing. But I got an award out of it so... =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= An award? The parents didn't mention that. =/\=

:: Immediately Jhen regretted what he'd said. ::

Thelev: =/\= Ah, it wasn't anything important, realy, Frith. Just, er, something. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= Jhen? =/\=

Thelev: ::sighing:: =/\= It was a Purple Star. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= Purple Star? The one they award for injuries in the line of duty and all that? ::pause:: You haven't told the parents, have you? =/\=

Thelev: =/\= No, they'd only worry. Besides, it wasn't that serious. ::Jhen thought back to Quinn on the Ursa Major, limping her way down the corridor:: No, not that serious at all...=/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= Well, I won't tell them if you don't. ::Glancing at her chrono:: I'm sorry, Jhen, I'll have to go soon. =/\=

Thelev: =/\= That's ok, Frith, you've done enough already. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= What about on the ship? Is there anyone you can talk to there? ::grinning wickedly: Any lady friends? =/\=

Thelev: ::half-smiling:: =/\= No girls yet, no. They're all the wrong shade of blue for me. The crew, though ::nodding:: they're a good bunch on here, all of them. There's a few I'd consider a second family. I just wanted to talk to someone who wasn't onboard for a change. Tell the parents I'll speak to them soon. ::pause:: How's Bryn? Did she get into the Art Academy? =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= Still waiting to hear, but I think she's got a very good chance. Actually, I'm waiting to hear on something, too - there's an opening to work within the Federation Council. It's not quite the President's Office, but it's a start. =/\=

Thelev: =/\= Frith that's great! Let me know, okay? =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= Will do. Anyway, Jhen, I'd better go. You take care, you hear? And make sure you use that holodeck program I made for you! Took me hours, and you're not always the best person with your temper. =/\=

:: Jhen couldn't help but smile - even from so far away she was still looking after him. ::

Thelev: =/\= Yes, yes, yes. I'm using it plenty. =/\=

F. Thelev: =/\= You'd better. ::standing up and smoothing down her dress.:: And don't leave it so long next time! ::she paused and her image gazed out of the screen with tenderness in her eyes.:: Take care of yourself, Jhen. I miss you. =/\=

Thelev: =/\= I will, Fritha. I will. I miss you, too, all of you. Now go on and get to that party. =/\=

:: With a final slight smile she vanished, replaced by the Federation symbol once again. Jhen stared at it blankly for quite some time before he finally stirred and tapped his commbadge. ::

Thelev: =/\= Thelev to Kolk.=/\=

Kolk: =/\= Kolk here. =/\=

Thelev: =/\= I need a drink. ::pause:: And a friend. =/\=

Kolk: =/\= You're not the only one. Double Shot; five minutes. I'm buying. =/\=


Lt. Jhen Thelev

Chief Operations Officer

USS Ronin

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