Previous Next

Pretty Maids All In A Row, Part Two

Posted on Mon Sep 9th, 2019 @ 6:05pm by Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan & Captain Jane Saulitis & Cassandra Leblanc-Reed

Mission: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Location: Arcana Lounge
Timeline: MD07, 1800


She looked up from her salsa-laden chip, and noticed the older man's hesitation. "You've got something on your mind, Alta. What is it?"


"You women think you're so smart," he teased. "What makes you think I'm thinking of anything?"

"Body language. We're experts at reading it," she responded, twirling a finger in the air. "Occupational hazard, sorry."

"I was honestly just trying to come up with something to talk about and the only thing that pops in my head is your backgrounds. Where you come from, your childhoods. But that's not why we're here." Alta leaned back in his chair to look at both of them.

"It isn't? We've been living together on a starship for the last week, there's no harm in getting to know each other. I'll go first," Lilith offered. "Stop me if you have questions. It's a short story. It was a dark and stormy night on rough seas in the middle of an uncharted ocean...oh right, that's a different story," she paused as the waiter approached their table.

"Anything else for the table?"

"Oh, another water would be lovely," Lily handed him her glass for a refill. "And, um, is there any chance that I could get a little, tiny, molten chocolate cake? And maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream too."

"Ah, good choice. I'll get that put in for you. Anything else?" the waiter turned to Alta and Cassie.

Cassie smiled. "I'm still munching on these, thanks," she said, pointing at the still half-full plate of nachos.

Alta shook his head. "I'm fine."

"Now, where was I? Oh, right, my story," Sullivan continued. "I was actually born in the shadow of Starfleet, just a few kilometers outside of San Francisco. My parents run a civilian engineering firm that has several contracts with Starfleet, so our family has lived in the area for many generations. Anyway, I'm the youngest of four, and the oldest three are all boys. Vic is the oldest, he's a counselor on a starship now. Pat and Jon are twins, and they both work at the family company.

"I played a lot of sports growing up as a kid. Our parents were okay with us playing outside and competing on various sports teams, but they always pushed us to focus on reading and studying just as much as the athletics. Long story short, I worked hard, played hard, and studied hard as a kid. Kept me out of trouble. Dad's company is the reason I first got into flying. There were a few flight simulators I 'snuck' into. The technicians all knew me, so they just looked the other way.

"So, skipping ahead a few years, I actually ended up going to Stanford University in nearby Palo Alto. Took me a little while to figure it out, but hanging out with the quiet kids that study instead of party is a lot better for you in the long run. I majored in engineering, but somewhere along the way, a damn recruiter from Starfleet got a hold of my contact info. He was persistent, I tell ya. Oh lord, here comes trouble," Lilith paused her narrative as the waiter returned.

"And here we are Miss Sullivan," he placed a plate in front of her, on top of which was a decadent looking cake adorned a scoop of ice cream. The entire affair was drizzled with chocolate syrup. "Does everything look alright?"

"Hnnggg," Lily bit her lip. "Yes, yes it does. Thank you."

"My pleasure, I'll be back to check on y'all in a bit."

"Anyway," Sullivan picked up a fork, "junior year I started dating this guy who's a flight instructor at Starfleet Academy. It never got serious, he wasn't looking for that and neither was I. However, he did introduce me to flying - for real this time, not just a simulator. So after I graduated, I called that recruiter back. Sixteen weeks of OCS and a bunch of really boring training later, I was a commissioned starfighter pilot. Fast forward two fleet rotations, and here I am, sitting next to my friends and watching my ice cream melt. The end."

"Huh, and how do you think that you will cope with flying a starship instead of a fighter? They're quite a bit different. Majestic's a medium sized starship and won't respond to your every touch the same."

"I'm counting on it," Lily responded between bites of cake and ice cream. "Honestly, it's a different challenge. It isn't about the flying anymore, it's about being part of a crew and exploring the galaxy like I signed up for. Plus, if the captain needs a pilot for something down the line, I'm pretty versatile."

"Will be interesting," Alta smiled at her.

Cassie glanced left and right when the chatter stopped. "I suppose it's my turn. Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, I, youngest of five, was born on the SS Dresden, one of those long-distance transports. My whole family was ironically coming home from Casperia Prime for the scheduled delivery when I decided to come out.

"Anyway, my father is a photo-journalist, and operates," she paused, counting on her fingers, "four? photography schools around the Sol system, my mother teaches at La Sorbonne in Paris. Faith and Shamek, first batch of twins, are the eldest, and my paternal half-siblings. She's XO on a starbase somewhere near the Romulan border, he's in the Romulan navy. It's complicated."

"Oh, wow," Lily interjected. "How cool is that? Half-Romulan half-siblings. Family reunions must be a good time, huh? Twins must run in the family then, huh? Wait a second, you don't have a twin, do you?"

Cassie shook her head. "No, I'm the only single. And I've never actually met Shamek in person, but he and Faith apparently keep in touch. Jonathan and Andrew, who are also twins, are my full siblings. They run an architectural firm in New York, and have satellite offices pretty much everywhere now. I lost count.

"We were home-schooled by my mom, since we travelled a lot for dad's work. Every docking, planet-side or otherwise, was considered an educational field trip, and we were expected to write on every single one of them. So, I mostly wrote about languages, literature, what little of the politics I could manage to pick up from people. Summer vacations were very limited, and we all finished our high-school equivalent at sixteen or seventeen. So you can imagine how green I was when I decided to attend the University of Alpha Centauri, despite having already seen most of the quadrant and being fluent in about ten languages.

"I did a double-major in Linguistics and Pol Sci, joint Master's. Dated this fantastic Orion girl who's now a director of the Orion Chamber of Commerce. Internships here and there on the planet. And that's where Alta is supposed to interrupt with a funny story about how he once lectured and inspired my whole thesis!"

She turned to Alta. "Yes, you may brag."

Alta laughed. "I'm not going to do any such thing, I don't know where you get your ideas. Me inspiring, not the least little bit."

"Suit yourself." Cassie munched on the last several nachos, sipped some water to wash them down, and cleared her throat. "I got my first real job in Paris upon graduation, moved up the ranks. And now, here I am, after being chosen, unbelievably, from thousands of applicants, for a civilian position on this very ship. To be continued..."

"And am I ever glad the odds worked out in your favor," Lilith smiled, portioning off another piece of cake with her fork. "I adore your family Cassie, and I'm certain they are very proud of their daughter for accomplishing so much in so little time. Go you!"

Cassie blushed. "Thanks. Yeah, my parents are pretty proud of all their kids. They talk about us all the time, I'm told."

"Oh, and will you pretty please help me finish the last bit of this cake? My eyes were hungrier than my stomach. I promise I don't have any cooties," Lily chuckled, holding the cake-laden fork at its midpoint.

"Thought you'd never ask." Cassie took the fork and gobbled up the piece of cake. She had been eyeing it for some time, but was simply too polite to ask for a bite.

"You know," Sullivan slid over next to Alta, speaking loudly enough that Cassie could still hear, "I think I kinda have a crush on that woman. Seeing how you're her favorite professor and all, I was wondering if you could put in a good word for me. I want to ask her out on a date. Like a real one."

He laughed. "I don't know her very well . . . and she's sitting right there so I think you just did." He grinned. "Ladies, I really should be going, it's getting late and I still want to have that chat with Mariame. I'll let you two figure things out."

"Alright Alta, good luck with Mariame. I'm definitely rooting for you," Lily wrapped an arm around him and gave him a side hug. "You'll have to let me know how it went after. If you want to celebrate or commiserate, you know who to call."

Cassie smiled. "Good luck with Mariame, Alta. Fingers crossed it goes well."

"Thank you, have a good evening you two lovebirds." He placed a hand on Lily's shoulder for only a moment and then stepped away toward the exit.

Lilith watched as Alta walked through the door, a bemused expression on her face. His mood was a stark contrast to the last time that they were in the lounge together some four days prior. She slowly shook her head, laughing at the ephemeral nature of human emotions. The sound of a fork hitting an empty plate brought her back to the present.

"He's cute in his own way, isn't he Cass? I think his chat with Mariame will go well, don't you?"

"He's adorable," Cassie admitted, smirking. "Time will tell how it goes with him and Mariame."

The waiter reappeared, collecting the empty dishes and used silverware from the table before taking them to the replicator to recycle them. Soon, the dinner crowd would give way to the late night revelers, and the cycle would no doubt continue to repeat itself for many evenings to come. But for remaining two women sitting at the table, their time at Arcana was nearing it end.

"Well, I think it's about time to get out of here," Lily moved to stand up. "I know you have a ton of stuff going on with the meeting tomorrow morning and the negotiations coming, but I still wanted to ask you for a favor if you don't mind."


"Can I come with you? Maybe spend the night? I'll be quiet and let you focus on work, I promise. I just..." Sullivan paused, trying to think of the right thing to say. When she did speak, she used a small voice that carried a hopeful tone. "I just don't want to be alone right now, and there's no one else I'd rather spend time with. So, what do you say?" she extended a hand towards Cassie to help her stand.

Cassie took the offered hand and rose from her chair. "Aren't you lucky, I haven't quite run out of favor tokens today," she responded with a wink.

Alta Sulitis
Jane's Father

Cassandra Leblanc-Reed
Diplomatic Officer

Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan
Chief Flight Control Officer


Previous Next