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Essence

Posted on Mon Aug 26th, 2019 @ 6:10pm by Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan

Mission: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Location: USS Majestic, Cassie's Quarters
Timeline: MD07, 0500

The starlight streaked by the window as the Majestic continued its journey towards the upcoming negotiations with the Claddin Empire. Most of the rendezvous with transports bringing additional crew and supplies had been completed, so the ship had picked up pace to a higher warp factor. Their arrival was scheduled to take place within forty-eight hours. The crew was buzzing with anticipation for their mission while also aflame with rumor stemming from the medical mystery aboard the ship.

Where did the implants come from?

What would the Crustillians be like?

Did the Felev appreciate the Federation's "Mai'Aiud" terminology?

These and a million other uninvited thoughts raced through the head of the ship's chief helmswoman as she welcomed the arrival of another hour with her eyes wide open. Although it had only been for a few hours, she had slept - coaxed to unconsciousness by the slow rhythm of the breathing beside her. The warmth of the long forgotten whisky had yielded to the warmth Lilith had found in the shape of Cassie.

"Cass are you awake?"

Silence was the only response.

"Lucky..."

Leaning forward, Lily gently kissed the nape of her neck before reluctantly peeling herself away from her. She zipped up her jacket - it would have to do without the warmth of another person nearby. The starlight was enough for her nocturnal sight to allow her to navigate to and sit down at Cassie's nearby desk. A sudden burst of creativity came to her. She reached in her jacket pocket for her trusty pen and found a piece of paper to leave a note with.


Consider for a moment the trillions of sentient lifeforms spread across the infinite fabric of time and space.

To think that I would be lucky enough to have crossed paths with such beauty and grace...

Well, lucky isn't a good enough word, but you'll have to deal with it because my vocabulary is trash.

You know... this chip in my head is enough, but you just had to come along and add to the disarray in my thoughts...

I like my life a lot more than I did yesterday.

-L

P.S. I know you're busy, and I still can't sleep. And even though I want nothing more than to annoy you all day, I know you've got important things to do. So get some sleep - enough for both of us. You know I'm just a call away.

P.P.S. My hand freaking hurts! Cramp! I haven't handwritten anything in forever!

P.P.P.S. You're the best. Have the best day.


With a final click of her pen, Lilith read over the note and briefly entertained the idea of throwing it away. But when she quietly exited Cassie's quarters, the piece of paper remained on the desk untouched.

A quick glance at her PADD showed two and a half hours before the start of her duty shift. Collecting herself and her thoughts, she made her way slowly to the turbolift and ordered it to the arboretum. She leaned against the indifference of the turbolift wall, wondering why she ever left Cassie's bed.

Maybe surrounding myself with nature will help me sleep, the thought passed through her head.

The doors slid open to the arboretum, and a gust of cool, damp air welcomed her into what was one of the largest spaces on the ship. This early in the day there was no other foot traffic to be found. Lily walked to the replicator and ordered herself a hammock before walking towards a stand of trees in search of two neighboring trunks strong enough to support her weight.

"Oh sh--! Sorry!"

She had nearly stepped on a chicken. As if to ask why she was making so much noise, the hen gave Lily an inquisitive head tile before softly clucking and walking towards a nearby container.

"Yeah, yeah, okay, I'll feed you. It's the least I can do," Sullivan shrugged. She grabbed a handful of a mixture of cracked corn and seeds before sitting cross-legged on the ground next to her feathered friends. A particularly brave hen hopped right into her lap, eagerly awaiting the moment when Lilith would disperse the food.

"Brave girl," Lily lowered her cupped hands to allow the hen to feed first. A few other chickens dropped by, emboldened by their comrade's fearlessness. "Maybe you can come help us negotiate with the Felev," Sullivan mused before sneezing, scattering the chickens across the field. "Or not," she shrugged, spreading out the rest of the food before picking the hammock back up and resuming her quest.

A few minutes passed before she was lounging between two trees, slowly rocking in the artificial breeze that the environmental system had created. The trickling of a nearby stream added to the symphony of rustling leaves and grass - it was a truly peaceful setting.

Still, sleep eluded her.

And then, out of nowhere, Lily began to sing - softly at first, but slowly increasing in volume over time. A little bit of happiness sprang out of her. She was as powerless to stop it as she had been powerless to stop herself from kissing Cassie. Another smile spread as she remembered the look Cassie had given her. The warmth was enough to stave off the chilly morning air.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the door open and saw Alta walk in. She pretended to not see or hear him, swaying slowly. He had two cups in hand and was undoubtedly looking for someone judging by the way he was looking around. That conversation would come, but in the interim, nothing could stop the song in her head from getting out.

So, she kept singing.




Lilith Sullivan
Practically Glowing
CFCO

 

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