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Cavann & Nicholotti: Family Matters

Segolene LeMarnix

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((Holodeck 3, StarBase 118))

Able: Hell if I know. She's an impressive looking ship with a nice doctor and a decent XO, but that's all I know so far. Her service record's certainly impressive. As for the rest, look me up after the first tour and I'll tell you!

::Thera smiled at the young engineer.::

MGia: Wise words.

Able: So, Thera was it? What kinds of things do you end up dealing with in Security here? Can't imagine a place like this is exactly a hotbed of crime...

MGia: I am new here, but I am sure we do have a lot of dark corners. There is always a place for crime. But I was reassigned due to my specialty.

::B'Sara got herself a little lost in the conversation, watching the pair of them together with a slight mixture of jealousy, amusement, and feeling like she had just been upstaged by the Andorian woman... although Able was about her height, and had a wonderful dark color for a skin tone, and such an easy-going nature... oO Am I falling for this guy? Oo ::

:: She was debating whether or not MGia swiped her thunder when her senses kicked in, feeling someone step in next to her. Glancing over, she blinked, feeling suddenly owl-like, looking at Captain Nicholotti shooting a smile at her. oO Uh oh.... what did I do? Oo ::

Nicholotti: B'Sara?

:: B'Sara had a sickening feeling this was about the R&D Lab incident, gulping while looking briefly back at Able and MGia. Now she was thinking maybe she *should* try that horrid burning drink again. And licked her lips before biting on them. ::

Cavann: Captain Nicholotti.

Nicholotti: I know we've met before, though under darker circumstance, and lighting conditions. ::The smile turned into a bit of a grin.:: I thought maybe we could try that again.

:: B'Sara closed her eyes a moment, mostly to cover her attempts to beat down her suddenly beating heart and stop her emotions from playing the worst case scenario. oO Don't panic... don't panic... it's not that bad... I'm not the reason Science looks like the remains of Pompeii... Oo Although, as bits of the events played out in memory, she perked up again thinking about what she suspected was... ::

:: So, what was she supposed to do? Oh hell... protocols managed to go "poof" in B'Sara's memories, even though she had just came out of the Academy. There was something decidedly not fair about that. She looked at the Captain, feeling a little helpless and extremely nervous, and trying really hard not to fidget, although she wished she had one of her hand tools. ::

:: And then Captain Nicholotti stuck out a hand. ::

Nicholotti: I'm Kalianna. Walk with me?

:: B'Sara stared, feeling somewhat dumbstruck the Captain would take such a personal approach, before following the Captain's gesture to the water edge. She didn't know what to think, and her mind was spinning, both from Greg's touch to her back, which brought feelings and things she wasn't sure she was ready to deal with, as her mother came to the forefront, of all things. She had so very few memories of her birth mother. But she remembered B'Selle used to hum to her at night at bedtime. It was that humming, something old, something familiar but never could put her finger on it... that made her feel safe. But that was before her mother was gone, before she met the crew of the Independence, and before she met and found David. oO No... not David. Dad. Oo ::

::And so they walked. Kali realized, in the moments of silence that seemed to follow, that she’d not really had much of a plan. To talk? Was that it? She glanced over at B’Sara and tried to come up with something, but something already seemed to be going through her mind. Slowing as they approached the water’s edge, Kali watched her continue on as if trying to hide the tears she’d thought she saw.::

:: B'Sara had to force herself to stop the tears welling in her eyes, hesitant. She wished she didn't know what she did, but it didn't stop her from breaking apart from the group, including the Captain, and walking toward the water's edge while wiping her eyes. ::

::If Kali hadn’t had a plan before, now she was even less prepared to know what to say. There was a need to make some kind of a good first impression, or second as it may have been, just because of her importance in the life that she’d just found, but for all the experience as a Starfleet Captain she had, Kali was speechless.::

::After a moment, she stepped forward and put a hand on B’Sara’s shoulder.::

Nicholotti: It’s alright...

:: Shivering slightly at the touch, B’Sara had to block her empathic and telepathic sensations as she stopped at the water. She stared out over the body of water as she felt a separation from her thoughts and emotions. oO Finally! Oo The training paid off. Whatever happened, at least she would handle herself with dignity and as any officer here would. She didn't know why the Captain decided to appraoch her and single her out, but thinking of her dad, she didn't want to be an embarrassment. And realized, suddenly, that what she did from this point forward, would reflect. She hadn't considered that, but then again, no one told her that her dad was found, either. ::

:: Water was good for thoughts. Maybe it was the ebbs and tides (even though it was a holodeck simulation), but it forced several things that B'Sara hadn't considered. Secretly, she admitted to herself a part of it was getting back here to find out what happened to her father. But apparently, he was found. Even though she had somewhat of a hard time as her premonition from years ago came to the forefront, and all of that was burning in the forefront of her thoughts while she stared at the water, feeling helpless, and confused. ::

::There was silence, but sometimes no words were spoken. Sometimes just a state of being was enough. Kali followed her gaze out into the water and watched the waves come in. Time, at least for now, was something she had, and she couldn’t afford to blow this...::

Cavann: ...if this is about what happened down in Science, Captain, I’m sorry. I tried... I tried to jettison the assembly before it blew.

Nicholotti: ::Raising an eyebrow.:: Science?

::Kali blinked for a moment and recalled, somewhere in the back of her head, something about a lab in a report. But she’d not gotten down through the rest of the Victory when they had arrived back to the station, so it was still very disjointed in her mind. She smiled reassuringly.::

Nicholotti: No, not about science. I just wanted to talk.

::B’Sara looked over at the Captain then, the confusion even moreso now. She felt bad. Livingston at least was willing to let her make up for it, and she just assumed that the report was made, citing her admittance she was at fault. And that just made her feel worse. oO Starfleet... I’ll be lucky if they don’t boot me out after this. Oo. ::

Cavann: I thought this was about what I did with the R&D lab...

::Shaking her head Kali couldn’t help but feel off for not being able to just come out and say what she was thinking. Some things required...more. And though she was still at a loss, she was trying. This was different than how things had been with Rowena, and more important in some ways.::

Nicholotti: No one was in the lab, and it will all be fixed soon enough. We can worry about that later when I have all the pieces, but don’t worry about that now.

::Her own gaze wandered from the woman next to her back out to the water. Instinctively, her hands found their way behind her back, where she clasped them together lightly.::

Nicholotti: There will be time for that then. This is more important.

:: B’Sara turned to look at her Captain sharply, surprised. What could possibly be more important than her somewhat illegal lockpicking skills... although she didn’t mention that to Livingston, and felt bad, since he had been so nice, and she really liked him. A part of her felt that if Ben found out she hacked security, it would dim her in his eyes, and she didn’t want that. But she also didn’t know how to explain that it was somewhat personal as well. These were the times she hated Starfleet protocol. ::

Cavann: ::a hollow laugh:: More important than my actions, Captain? ::after a moment:: ...I wish I could take it back. It’s my fault.

::In a way, it was heartbreaking to see her tormented by it. Whatever the actions had been hadn’t shown up in the same report Kali had read, and though they might at some point in the future, it wasn’t what she was trying to do here. With a sigh, she turned around and looked back up the beach towards the crowd.::

Nicholotti: Kalianna. You can leave ‘Captain’ out there somewhere. ::Gesturing towards the doors.:: This is not the Hub, or the bridge, and I am not on duty.

::Her eyes wandered between people and movement, allowing her only glimpses of the main thing she had in common with this girl. And Kali wanted so badly to make things right and to just, perhaps, share a moment, that she’d seemingly led B’Sara down a path that only resulted in worry and regret.::

Nicholotti: We have something in common that is more important than an R&D lab. Something that has me out here trying to just talk, but I fear it’s hard to leave the rank behind even when the uniform is.

::Kali sighed. Perhaps she was trying too hard anyways. They said the truth was always the best route to take, so maybe she would try it.::

:: Something in common? B’Sara blinked, shaking her head as she backstepped in her thoughts, feeling that she missed something important along the way. This wasn’t about her actions in the R&D on the Victory? That left her feeling even more confused, and uncertain, not sure what to do in this instance. What the Academy taught her was to develop a working strategy, based on what she was given. She wasn’t used to this... a commanding officer who went out of her way and not in a command capacity.. ::

:: B’Sara wasn’t sure if that was good or bad, and while hating herself, extended her senses at her Captain, so she could at least get a feel. She felt a strange conglamorant of emotions at play, and none of it was related to the commanding officer and newly arrived officer. If anything, B’Sara felt that this was something extremely personal, and instantly hated herself for using her abilities to read her Captain. ::

Cavann: Captain... I’m sorry. I kinda read you... I don’t make a practice of it! I’m sorry! But I’m really confused right now.

::The look on her face was enough to make Kali wonder if she was capable of handling this on her own to begin with. Frowning, she tried to figure out another way to say it, but it all came down to just saying it. Moments ago they had walked down to the water’s edge in a kind of silence, where words, perhaps, were not needed. Yet now, there were words Kali grasped for but couldn’t put together. And so, for a moment, she was quiet, watching the officers up near the bar, while collecting her thoughts.::

Nicholotti: I’m sorry, you shouldn’t be. Can you do something though?

::Somewhat amused, Kali fell more into herself than trying to do what would make the best impression. The grin she was known for appeared slightly.::

::Bewildered, B’Sara arched her brows (still wishing she could pull off that one brow raise her dad was able to), uncertain what this was about. But she wasn’t about to disobey a request or an order from her Captain. ::

Cavann: Yes, ma’am.

Nicholotti: Say Kalianna.

:: Time, at least to B’Sara, came to a standstill. She stared at the Captain, uncomprehending, and at a loss to why the Captain would ask her to address her by her first name. Whether the shock registered within her features, she didn’t know. But this was perhaps the strangest order she ever heard of, and for a few moments, seriously debated the wisdom of calling her Captain by her first name. That just seemed.... wrong. ::

Cavann: ::working her mouth a moment:: ...Kalianna.

::Finally seeing that it could be done, Kali laughed.::

Nicholotti: Very good. Now that we’ve got that... ::her smiled faded and a serious look appeared.:: B’sara, I don’t know how to say it other than to say it. And the pained looks that have crossed your face are making me regret trying to find any other ways.

::Her eyes moved from B’Sara, up towards the bar area, and back down towards the water again.::

Nicholotti: I suddenly find myself in a place I’ve not been before. And you’re a part of it. ::Now she turned and actually pointed up the beach.:: I’ve fallen for your father...and...

::And she lost her words.::

:: A million things hit at once, and B’Sara wasn’t sure what hit first in that moment. Hearing the Captain say she was in love with her dad and pointing him out, or having this dropped out of the blue without any kind of clue that made her feel a mixture of anger and... what? She found herself breathing harder, and staring back at the water, unwilling to look at the Captain for the moment, but feeling a rage unlike anything she had felt before. ::

:: He was HER DAD... and yet... B’Sara blinked. Too much too fast... her tutors and her counselors warned her about this. She found herself gasping and instead of looking at the water, she looked up into the holodeck’s starry lit sky as she felt her tears betray her and burn her eyes while streaming from her cheeks. Everything screamed at her to yell... she wanted to, so badly, right in this moment. What right did this woman have... a woman she didn’t meet until Sickbay... and under aspicious circumstances, who was her Captain... come to her and tell her that she loved the very person that she had based her life on. Jealousy didn’t begin to cut it... she felt like she was being cut off... and within, felt a boiling rage outside of her character... ::

:: No... as if she was somehow being replaced. She couldn’t stop herself then, and grimaced before losing the rush of tears that just broke. And she found herself crying, and hated herself for it. She promised herself, and distanced herself... and yet, her emotions got the better of her. ::

:: What right did she really have? David never knew her real mother. Hell... she never had a real mother. ::

Cavann: ::somehow finding her voice, sounding small:: ...okay...

::The reaction was far from what Kali had hoped for or expected. Immediately she ran through things in her head trying to figure out if there had been another way, a better way... something that would have spared B’sara. And though there may not have been the connection between them as there was between her and David, she found herself heartbroken and searching for a way to fix it. In strange ways, this had brought her far from her stance as a Captain. Everything else was background; all she cared about was the girl in front of her.::

Nicholotti: I’m sorry... it’s not supposed to be like this...

:: B’Sara felt small. She had this grandiose scheme of coming back and finding answers, but all she felt she managed to do was become an interloper right now. ::

::Now, Kali second guessed every move, and every word. She didn’t want to make it worse, but her new heart ached to make it better. Unable to imagine what was going through her head, she struggled with what to say to someone who wasn’t saying anything. Strangely enough, tears of her own fell.::

::Reaching out, she took one of B’Sara’s hands.::

Nicholotti: Why? I... Now I don’t understand.

:: B’Sara ripped her hand from Kalianna’s grasp and did turn on her then, heaving while delivering her red, tear-ridden eyes on a woman she barely knew, who was also her commanding officer! ::

Cavann: Don’t you?! Do you even know? Do you even know what I’ve been through! ::heaving, and suddenly she couldn’t stop, even if she wanted to. :: They wouldn’t tell me ANYTHING! They wouldn’t tell me if he was dead or alive... your stupid classified protocols! He was MY FATHER... the closest thing I ever had to one. And I have to come here to find out he’s alive... and now with someone else that I barely know and is my commanding officer. How am I supposed to feel? Hell... I screamed at him and told him to his face that he was an imposter...

:: And she folded, losing every bit of composure the Academy taught her, feeling suddenly exposed and hating it. She fell onto her knees and cried, staring down at the water. It wasn’t the Captain’s fault... it really wasn’t... but after watching her biological mother murdered, and left at the mercy of a Son’a who was only after genetic perfection... all B’Sara had was David, and the ship crew... and Starfleet. Who gave her a reason, and a purpose, and a drive to be something more. ::

B’Sara: ::whispering:: ….just tell me why.

::Kali stood there and listened to it all spill into the open. Things that couldn’t be read in reports, or found in everyday conversation. And when B’sara fell to her knees, Kali followed into the sand. If it were possible for her heart to break further, it would have; she felt even more at a loss to fix things that she’d not known about and likely didn’t even have access to. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to try like hell to fix them anyways.::

Nicholotti: I don’t have answers... but I will find them. ::For a moment, Kali hesitated, but then moved forward and wrapped her arms around her.:: Just let me. Let me be a part of this.

::As her own tears fell faster, Kali held B’Sara tighter.::

Nicholotti: Let me be a part of your life.

:: She remembered... maybe it was the simple touch, or feeling arms wrapped around her again, but she remembered her mother, B’Selle, and the moments when she felt the love unspoken passed between her mother to her, even if she hated what her mother had become. She turned, breaking down and found a shoulder, while unfamiliar, she knew she had wanted so much... it wasn’ t fair. It wasn’t fair! Before she even knew what family was, that had been taken away. She refused to think of herself as an orphan. She wasn’t... David made her feel like she was wanted, that she would be accepted... he didn’t think she was a freak. But deep inside, she felt she was. A freak, made by the designs of a woman still on Starfleet’s 10 Most Wanted. ::

Cavann: ::crying:: This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.... he’s all I have. You don’t understand... you don’t understand... I don’t have a family. He took me in... he took me, when I had lost everything. Please... please don’t take him away from me. I want my father... I want my family. I want so much to have a family...

::Still holding her, Kali let herself melt at the words and the raw emotions behind them. Rocking her gently, she spoke softly.::

Nicholotti: I won’t take him away, he’s not going anywhere. ::Her own tears drew tracts down her face, but that, nor the fast beating of her heart mattered.:: I want a family too.

::Pushing B’Sara’s hair behind her ear and trying to look at her directly, with just as much raw emotion in her eyes as she could feel from the girl in her arms, Kali felt as if she were closer to that now than ever before.::

Nicholotti: I... I believe we might make a pretty good one... If you wanted to give it a try...

::She smiled now, despite the tears, despite the fears that were there, offering a kind of reassurance that came not from the Captain, or a friend, or a fellow officer. There was something deeper about this, and in so many ways, it filled holes that Kali didn’t even realize existed.::

:: B’Sara felt raw, and exposed, and not necessarily in a way she liked. She heard her words, but outside of David, words were just words. She had heard it as a child and the stupid reassurances from Dr. Riley. She felt herself back in the same situation again, but this time, she wasn’t a child. She sniffed, bringing her emotions somewhat into check, although that was a tenuous barrier. After everything... after having to fight through the coursework on Betazoid when she arrived, and having to fight to earn the right to attend Starfleet Academy, despite her actual age... she didn’t know anymore. It was hell on wheels to have the phyisical appearance and mental growth of an adult and only having lived eleven years. ::

Cavann: ::staring into Nicholotti’s eyes, unwavering:: Give me a reason to believe you.

Nicholotti: B’Sara, I can’t live without your father, and... I can’t live without you either. Let me be there...

::Kali stared back.::

Nicholotti: Look for yourself.

:: Something within her eyes, something about the intensity that drove the Captain made B’Sara abruptly nod. That was open permission to go inside, if she read the Captain right, and she didn’t hesitate to open her empathic and telepathic abilities and extend them to the woman in front of her, dipping into the whirlpool and storm of emotions that at first, took her unaware. B’Sara dipped in further, hating herself for doing it, but at the same time, the protective nature inherent that would fight if anyone ever threatened her or her dad kicked into full gear and she found herself descending into a whirlpool of clashing emotions, fears, hopes, and a desperate need to feel loved. Which rocked her to her core... feeling the raw bitterness of hopes destroyed and left with only the career, and a title that scared most away. Within that moment, she understood then... it was so much like her father to act as he was wont to, often times unpredictable, but always bold and direct. She felt Kalianna’s raw emotions, feeling the streams fork at the rapids, and was hit with a profound guilt for dumping all of her emotions on someone who only wanted to have a family of her own. A family of her own.... ::

Cavann: ::after a moment:: ...how does that work? I’m just an Ensign under your command... isn’t there a conflict of interest?

Nicholotti: There is more to us than the uniform...

::Though for the longest time, Kali was certain there was nothing else in her world. Now, that outlook had decidedly changed. It was something she was willing to fight for too.::

Nicholotti: Orders are orders, as much as we might hate them. ::Words from another time came back to her.:: But at the end of the day, I’m just Kalianna.

:: B’Sara composed herself, drawing in the torrent rage that had taken her, and took a moment to bring it all under some kind of semblance of control. She could still feel her Capain’s emotional turbulence, despite withdrawing, and in that moment, she hated her abilities that her father once said she would master, although at the time, she didn’t believe him. oO Score one for dad for being right. Oo ::

Cavann: ::feeling old, despite being young:: Rank aside... what did he do to change your mind?

::For a moment, Kali thought about the question. Before David Cody, and after the departure of Colt, she’d been certain that her life was set on a course to be dedicated to Starfleet. Those around her had found luck in a more personal realm, and while she’d never been jealous, there were days she had wondered what it was like. Then, one night, he’d asked her to dance, and it changed her whole world.::

::And all he’d done was be himself.::

Nicholotti: ::Smiling.:: He promised he wouldn’t let go.

:: B’Sara closed her eyes, feeling those exact same words in a different time and place before she headed for the Academy. Say what one will about her father, he kept his promises, no matter what. The Morgan communicator she wore on a necklace hidden from the rest of the world was proof of that. And she had to figure this out... or rather, she needed to decide and make a decision that still made her gut churn. ::

Cavann: What are you asking me here?

::What was she asking? To let her in? To give her a chance to be that which never was... the questions grew exponentially in the wake of the emotions that had flowed. When Kali started this, she’d had no idea of a plan for things, and now she was even more lost, but now it didn’t so much matter. Now it all seemed to fit into the promises that the future could hold.::

Nicholotti: Family. It’s the one word, I think, that covers it all. I want to build a family with the ones I love. Your father, and you.

::And now there was no need to prove the earnest look in Kali’s eyes.::

:: There was the heart of it all. Watching her biological mother murdered, perhaps, set in motion much of this. If Dr. delaSouza was to be believed, she was the product of the geneticist’s mad schemes and her mother suffered for it, killed by the doctor who took her in and framed the Gorn Invasion to make her death appear as a casualty of war. It was the Independence crew, by and large, who rescued her. But it was Starfleet as a whole the shaped her motivations, and want to become an officer, like all of those who helped her out. What Captain Nicholotti was asking, however, had nothing to do with Starfleet at all.. and B’Sara long ago accepted the dad she always wanted. ::

:: A mom on the other hand, she hadn’t expected this. ::

Cavann: You don’t even know me... I can’t call you mom... not yet. Please don’t take that the wrong way... I lost my own mom a long time ago. I’m not saying no... I’m not saying it isn’t possible... but I don’t know you. What I know is my dad did something stupid, and brilliant... and I saw the results the night you and I first met... that woman i saw... she was you, wasn’t she? Some kind of clone.

::Now that was a torrent of thoughts, statements, feelings, and questions. Mom? That bit had shocked her a bit. Working on getting her not to call her ‘Captain’ would be a good start. Getting her to be alright with Kali being in her life, and in David’s life, was as well. It wasn’t your perfect family, but it was good. It was... family. Kali could only smile and try to get everything, and try to keep up. It wasn’t exactly the meeting she’d envisioned, but sometimes the universe had its own way of shoving you down the paths that needed to be walked.::

Nicholottti: All I ask is that you don’t call me Captain, at least not when you don’t have to. I understand, in a way, and all I ask is that you give this a chance. Give me a chance.

::It was all part of the fight to not let go...::

Nicholotti: And that was Anya, my... clone. ::She smirked slightly, trusting this Ensign...this girl...besides, an explanation was the least she owed her.:: You’ve picked up more than his smile. ::After a moment, she sighed.:: I suppose we will address all of that... soon enough.

::B’Sara had to make a choice. Walker didn’t believe her, and half the time, she wasn’t sure if she believed herself. But if the Captain was hanging the rank, and was really hoping to forge something that she never imagined in a million years, then this was the place to start. She read her father’s padd, and his work... remembering what happened the last time they spoke. ::

Cavann: ::drawing a deep breath:: No. We do this now. If you love him as I do, I need you to hear me out, no matter how crazy I sound. I don’t think anyone else will believe me.

::Kali’s look turned serious, and somewhere in those eyes she could see how deep this worry went. Sitting back slightly, she nodded, suddenly concerned for David before ever hearing what she had to say. Something about the urgency in his voice at times, the visions he’d spoken about, and even her own glimpse of the white tendrils that day in her office. She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear what was coming, but if it was this important to her, to the girl who held such a special place in David’s life, then Kali would hear her out. Despite the warmth of the beach, a shiver ran through her.::

Nicholotti: Alright... you have my full attention.

::And Kali let everything fade into the background. At this moment, right here and now, this was what was important. B’Sara, and David; the beginnings of the family she’d wanted, perhaps, but had given up on finding.::

:: Grim, B’Sara searched herself first, wondering if this was even a good idea. ::

Cavann: Every person has a distinct feel... it’s like a emotional blueprint, their mindset, that’s uniquely them. You’re familiar with Betazoids and their abilities?

::Kali nodded. She’d spent plenty of years with Jaxx and had learned a lot from him. That was one area where she did not lack knowledge. Beyond that, she was still a doctor, so she had the benefit of both sides of information.::

Nicholotti: Yes, I’m fairly experienced with them.

::Kali’s eyes never left B’Sara as she spoke. If this was the first promise she’d make, she’d make sure that it was kept. Her focus did not stray, though her anxiety did as all of the urgency, and the clouded expressions, and her concerns for David started coming to the forefront of her mind.::

Cavann: Maybe one of these days I’ll tell you what Dr. delaSouza did. That’s how I made your... um... twin, I guess. ::shaking her head, shuddering slightly:: I read some of dad’s notes. I wouldn’t want to be him if the Ethics committee ever got wind of his little stunt... anyway, my point is even with your, uh, twin, she has her own unique feel that’s different from you. Call it mindset if you want, maybe that’s the best way to describe it...

:: B’Sara trailed off. She sounded like a nutjob here. oO That’s all I need. Oo And she was babbling, one of the things she hated about herself. She shook her head. ::

::Read his notes? There were many questions in Kali’s head now about how she had done that, but then something clicked in her mind. She was her father’s daughter, and in a way that worried her. David could be more than resourceful, and thus far, she’d not seen anything stop him. He had pulled off some amazing things, one of which was Anya, another of which was how easily he had broken through Kali’s shell. And B’Sara had obviously picked a lot of that up.::

::What she was saying made sense, and Kali turned her attention from the notes and Ethics committees to the ‘feeling’ B’Sara attributed to Anya and how it was different from her own. What was she saying...?::

Nicholotti: She’s become her own person, the moment she woke up. I’m not sure how, but she’s not me. Maybe at one time she was supposed to be me, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

::Indeed it hadn’t. Kali recalled the proverbial kick in the chest those first moments had been, and how hard it had been to come to terms with the idea that those immediate actions had been Kali’s final thoughts and feelings made manifest in a place where the same bounds of pure experience had not been built. The clone had made leaps and bounds in her growth, at least in her mind, since that moment and with each minute became less Kali, and more Anya. At this point, there was no way not to view her as her own, unique, individual.::

:: B’Sara blinked. Her throat felt scraped and raw while she sorted through a myriad of thoughts, feelings and emotions before jerking her head in David’s direction. ::

Cavann: That’s cloning. It’s not my field, but I know the theory. Replication down to the chromosomes... but the issue is say, Mickey died, and his wife knew there was a way he could be brought back. So you grab a bit of his DNA, maybe you have his molecules on file. Everything about him, right? So we make a clone duplicate of him... but right away, there’s going to be something a little different. Little things at first. Tastes, food preferences... formal shirts instead of T’s. There’s no such thing as a perfect clone. They will always be a little different, until an emergent mind forges his or her own unique personality, while similar, is vastly different from the original. So she didn’t get Mickey back, she got Mike instead. Does that sound crazy?

Nicholotti: ::Smiling reassuringly.:: Go on. You don’t sound crazy at all yet.

::It was an attempt at humor, and the conveyance of a message that said it was okay to just be herself, whatever that entailed. Kali had a vested interest in this and now it ran deeper than herself and her crew. That, in and of itself, was a strange feeling. The sudden idea of what might have happened had she fought for Rowena, and if Makal had stayed around, kicked her in the head, so to speak, but she quickly dismissed it. That opportunity had been long gone, and long dead.::

::B’Sara glanced back, seeing the bar, but couldn’t see David. She could feel him though... ::

Cavann: I look at him... I see him, and it feels like David. His mind, his emotions... but it’s like the package doesn’t quite line up, even though it’s same features I’ve looked up to since I can remember. At first I thought... ::a nervous laugh:: I thought he might be something like a false face.

::She didn’t want to revisit the “incident” in the brig, and cleared her throat, feeling her cheeks flush. ::

Cavann: Any case, I can’t pin it down, but there’s just something off. Sounds crazy, right?

::Kali looked at her and thought about what she had said. Something was... off. Crazy? No. This was his daughter, and seeing as she had picked up the mannerisms that David often showed, if anyone could see something being amiss, this girl would be the one. In the back of her head, something clicked, though the significance of it was still lost on her. The brief moments where David had seemed far away, distant, pained even, and with what he’d told her she could certainly see where something might have seemed off.::

::And hadn’t he said that it was only since he’d been found on that planet...?::

Nicholotti: ::Softly.:: Not at all. You know him best. If you say something’s off, then... ::She changed the focus.:: What do you think it is?

Cavann: ::shivering, in spite of the warmth:: ...I think something happened to him. I don’t what, or when, or who or why. People don’t just vanish off starships without leaving some kind of trace. ::smiling a bit:: Dad calls it Locard’s Principle. It’s true. There’s always an exchange of something. I couldn’t get access to all of it, though. ::suddenly diverting her attention back to the Captain:: Where was he found?

::Blinking for a moment, Kali recalled the vague information she’d read surrounding David Cody when he had first come aboard. It had been in the middle of the shadow crisis, which was soon followed by the attempt on her life, the creation of Anya, and the chaos in Thracian space. The result of it all was that reading reports and files hadn’t been at the top of her list. Still, she did recall some of it, on account of its strangeness.::

Nicholotti: A planet near the edge of the galaxy. Alone.

::Which made it all so much more strange. Not only had the universe gone to great lengths to bring him here and now, but he’d disappeared from a starship and ended up on a planet no one had ever heard of before.::

:: B’Sara stared at this woman, who she had just joined her crew, blinking at she heard something that made her feel hollow inside, as if somehow there was some kind of echo from a crazy dream, or maybe another life from the time she was a child and suffered a horrible nightmare of things like facedancers, and invisible creatures called Ixvapyans who swarmed and bombed her home. At the edge of the galaxy... she closed her eyes. Dad said something once, the last time they had been together, hadn’t he? ::

:: Alll of a sudden, B’Sara couldn’t breathe, holding herself close and found herself staring at the water, hearing her Captain’s words. ::

Cavann: At the edge of the galaxy...

Nicholotti: I don’t know all of the details, yet, but I know they traced some kind of signal to that planet, where they found him.

:: Signal? The only signal Starfleet officers had were their combadge. She glanced sharply up at the Captain. ::

Cavann: ::almost disbelieving, whispering:: You believe me...?

::Smiling reassuringly, Kali pushed the other side of the girls’ hair behind her ear and let her hand settle on her shoulder.::

Nicholotti: I’ll help you find what you’re looking for. We’ll figure this out.

::Of course part of that would be talking to David himself. She wondered how he would take this, or the fact that Kali’d caused such emotional distress for his daughter. She frowned slightly, hoping with everything she was that she could not only help, but build something here. It was almost a desperate feeling deep within, as if something she’d always wanted was just within her reach and somehow she could capture it, or cause it to flutter away.::

Nicholotti: I promise, B’Sara.

::B’Sara bent forward, trying to put her thoughts in order and remember events that happened almost three years ago. Before she left. Before she left for Betazoid, and before dad left in the Independence to chase after the USS Phoenix, stolen by the Grendallai and the Ixvapyans. She knew that much... and she suddenly knew there was one Independence member left she knew to go to. ::

::But she had to be sure first. She swallowed, and looked up at the Captain, or this would be mom, or something... she didn’t know what. ::

Cavann: I need to see her.

Nicholotti: ::Puzzled.:: Who?

Cavann: I need to see your twin and ask her something. And then Commander Breeman.

::Things started to connect in the eyes of the girl who had, moments before, fallen to pieces. Perhaps all she needed was someone to believe her, though Kali wasn’t quite sure she liked the idea of where these things were leading them. But ignoring something didn’t make it go away; if something was wrong, she needed to find it, and fix it, no matter the fears of losing the idea of a family that she’d just found...::

::No, she wouldn’t lose that. She refused.::

Nicholotti: Alright. We can talk to Anya tomorrow... why Commander Breeman?

Cavann: ::managing a sad smile:: He was there when my dad disappeared.

::That made sense. Kali nodded slowly.::

Nicholotti: We also need to talk to someone else. David.

::He would be able to tell Kali things she’d not thought to ask. Perhaps they could get to the bottom of this and it would be nothing. Maybe it was just a bad dream.::

:: Yes. There was that, too. B’Sara sniffed, wiping her eyes and had this horrid vision she now looked like a wreck. She wasn’t much on the cosmetic side of things, but did wear some. She choked up a chuckle as she found a measure of composure. ::

::Kali smiled. Whatever it was, they would all have each other. All she could do was build on what she had started here; leaving, stepping away, going back to the way life was before she met him... all of that was well outside of the realm of possible. He was her sun, and B’Sara only made the scene more wonderful. It was family, and she’d fight for it with everything she had.::

Cavann: ...so how much of a train wreck do I resemble?

Nicholotti: ::Shaking her head.:: Probably less than you would imagine.

::Certainly it was noticable that something had happened, but Kali figured it could be much worse. Still, she wondered if there had been another way, a way that would have avoided such problems and emotional reactions. Turmoil had been the last thing Kali had set out to create, and yet somehow... ::

Cavann: ::smiling:: If you’re carrying, mind if I borrow some of your make-up?

::Blinking, Kali pulled her mind from the past and looked at the smiling face before her. Unable to help it, she smiled back and shook her head.::

Nicholotti: You could, had I brought it, but generally I don’t. ::Glancing around.:: It’s thinning out a bit though. We don’t have to stay....

::B’Sara glanced around. Granted, they had been sidetracked, but she hadn’t realized the crowd began to thin out. She ran a hand through her hair, tucking it back. ::

Cavann: They’re not going to say anything?

Nicholotti: I don’t think anyone will question where you’re going if the Captain goes with you. ::Grinning.:: Well, almost anyone.

::There was David, and he would probably wonder, especially if he got a good look at B’Sara’s face. Kali tried not to worry about that conversation though. Hopefully he would understand what had happened and the way that the strongest bonds were formed.::

::B’Sara felt tired all of a sudden. Leaving sounded like a good idea. She nodded, and let the Captain lead the way while trying not to feel conscious of whatever the tears did to her features. She hung around the other side of Captain Nicolotti as they passed within her dad’s peripheral vision. She sure as hell didn’t want him to see her like this. ::

Cavann: ::lowering her voice:: Where are we going?

::Kali only smiled and avoided any potentially questioning looks as they walked, intent on not getting sidetracked or caught up in the normal ‘captains’ politics. She looked over at B’Sara and spoke, realizing only after how complex this had all become in the blink of an eye. At one point, her family had been her crew, but this ran deeper. Suddenly there was more to her than the uniform. Suddenly she wasn’t her father, married to the corps and lost in a pit that was work and had taken over any semblance of love for his family. A brief look of distaste for the memories ran behind her eyes, but the smile remained.::

Nicholotti: My place. ::She shrugged slightly.:: Home.

::B”Sara blinked, quiet a moment as they exited the holodeck before nodding. ::

Cavann: Sounds good to me.

::And then they were on their way, the holodeck quickly left behind them as the two women, not in uniform, wove their way through people coming and going in relative silence. Home wasn’t far, but for the first time in as long as Kali could remember, it was farther than she wanted it to be. Actually wanting to be there was something new, and knowing David would be close behind them only made everything sweeter. Life itself, it seemed, had found a new path and it lead to places she’d never imagined.::

Nicholotti: I was hoping you’d say something like that... ::Smiling again.:: Things are different now. You’re not alone. Not anymore.

::The sentiment was something she told B’Sara, but also herself. For a long time she’d felt alone, in the office centered in the Hub. Then David came along and twisted everything upside down. Even now the upheaval continued, though difficult at times, Kali wouldn’t trade the end results, the process, or the need to build for anything easier.::

:: Alone. B’Sara tasted a bitter pill. She knew that long before coming to Starfleet. She even had a plan, but of course, that plan died back halfway through her studies. She blinked and felt her eyes widen... what she had set out to do, because she knew how he felt about her. Her heart thudded realizing everything was back in play again. ::

Cavann: No. Not anymore, not ever again.

Nicholotti: C’mon. Let’s go dig up some answers.

::And with that, Kali led the way home.::


Ensign B’Sara Cavann
Science Officer
StarBase 118 Ops


Captain Kalianna Nicholotti
Commanding Officer
Starbase 118

Edited by Segolene LeMarnix
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