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Showtime Pt. 1

Posted on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 @ 6:47pm by Cassandra Leblanc-Reed & Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan

Mission: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Location: USS Majestic, Docking Ports
Timeline: MD09, 1030

I cannot believe Captain Saulitis let me do that.

Approximately half an hour had passed since Lilith had brought the Majestic to within docking range of Claddin Station. She was still riding the buzz of successfully pulling off the maneuver using manual flight controls. Having arrived in style to the station, the mission could now begin in earnest. Judging by the schedule laid forth by the negotiating committees, meetings would be taking place with breathtaking frequency. The following days would be busy for the diplomatic crew, and the thought of how little time she could have to see Cassie took a little bit of the edge off of Sullivan's adrenaline rush. Still, Lilith refocused her energy and pressed forward towards the docking ports.

"Morning, good morning, hello," Sullivan greeted a group of three engineers as they passed by on the deck ten corridor. The general malaise of the long journey had given way to a buzz of excitement now that the crew had reached their destination.

"Hello Lieutenant, on the way over to the station?" One of the engineers walked beside her as they continued towards the docking port.

"No, not yet, just swinging by engineering to be a part of the commotion. Don't worry, I'll stay out of your way, I'm just curious about the final stages of the docking procedure is all."

"Ah, well, you're in luck ma'am. I'm precisely the person assigned to ensure everything is complete. Come on, I'll show you."

Walking side by side, the two crewmembers approached the starboard side docking port. The external housing extending from the station had been attached, but there were still several steps to complete before the doors could be opened. The ship's environmental system didn't take kindly to breaches in the hull under normal operations, and there was the issue of preventing any sort of contaminant from spreading from ship to station or vice versa.

As promised, Lilith kept herself out of the way and observed the beehive of activity, but her attention was stolen away from the proceedings by the arrival of a familiar face.

Cassie had just entered the docking ports, her heels clicking on the floor, a red velvet case crooked under one arm, her PADD in her other hand. She was accompanied by three security officers, as planned with Lieutenant-Commander Lhaes. She was sure nothing would happen, but it was still standard procedure.

She was greeted by crewmembers wishing her good luck for her upcoming meeting, all of whom she thanked individually. It was almost as if she were being treated like a rock star, and she tried not to let it get to her head.

"Oh, she's baaad to the bone," Sullivan grinned, turning away from the engineer. Her face lit up as she walked over to the approaching figure. "Hey you! You look like a million bars of gold-pressed latinum - you are absolutely stunning in that dress."

Cassie smiled, then waved at Lilith when she saw her. "Thank you, it's my 'I'm going to meet a powerful head of state' look. They don't usually accept anything less than perfect." She crooked her head in slight confusion: Lilith was the only one in red, in a sea of gold uniforms. "I'm assuming you're also supervising here?"

"No, nothing like that. The petty officer here was kind enough to let me satisfy my curiosity. Oh, and I came to wish you some wholly unnecessary luck," Sullivan grinned. "I know you've been working your ass off, you're gonna be great over there. Go and be awesome like you always are. I'll make dinner later and we can celebrate."

"I'll do my very best. And dinner sounds delightful," Cassie responded. Eating food with people she cared about was always enjoyable. "Hopefully this won't take too long. But some people have a tendency to make you wait, and I've got a feeling she'll be one of them."

"Like, intentionally?" The pilot's right eyebrow arched toward the sky.

"Common tactic, really," Cassie said, almost dismissing the notion; she was used to being made to wait. "People usually use it to try to make their opponent nervous, especially when they think they have the upper hand. I just think the practice is a waste of time."

"Oh, I get it. It's kinda like saying 'I'll get to you when I can get to you' or 'you're not important enough for me to move my schedule around,'" Lilith stood bolt upright and spoke in a robotic tone, mimicking an individual chained to tradition. "What a ridiculous spectacle," she relaxed and spoke again in a normal voice, "I agree, it's a complete waste of time. Can you imagine how fired my ass would be if I did that? 'Oh, no, I don't feel like flying today. Think we'll be thirty minutes late to everything.'"

"Indeed. Unfortunately, I can't afford to be even one minute late to this one. Everything's been timed since time of dock, to the second."

"Are you taking the High Matriarch a gift?" Lilith's attention turned to the package that Cassie was carrying. "What's in there?"

"Oh, this?" Cassie responded, handing her PADD to one of her escort. She now held the case in both hands now, and carefully unlatched it. "It's a replica of a Fabergé egg. You know, those eggs they used to make during Imperial Russia?"

"I've only ever seen them behind glass. Come to think of it, I can't seem to remember what museum it was. The ancient aerospace museums were more my thing," Sullivan shrugged. "But I digress."

Cassie delicately opened the case to show Lilith. "Anyway, they were usually commissioned by the tsar, but offered as a gift to the Empress, or the Empress Mother. So, I figured it was fitting since they were being given to women. It's been customized so that when it's opened, it'll show a few miniature paintings of charitable organizations the High Matriarch is known to patronize. And here," she explained, gently tapping the top of the case, "is the Mai'Auid national bird, instead of the pelican that's on the original. Pretty cool, huh?" She then closed the case shut and locked it.

"Why do I feel like I want to cry?" Sullivan had been staring wide-eyed at the gift, noting the intricate detail. Smiling, she turned back to the diplomat before continuing her thought. "I'm impressed. I don't think I've ever seen anyone put that much thought into a gift, especially for someone they haven't met yet."

"Thanks. It's part of the job, really. The devil's always in the details..." she responded, blushing. It was true, it was part of job, an often overlooked one. "Let's just hope the High Matriarch is just as impressed."

The duo was interrupted by an approaching member of the engineering team.

"Ma'am, not to intrude, but the docking port has been cleared. You are free to egress whenever you'd like."

Cassandra smiled; everything was going according to schedule. "Thank you, Chief." She turned back to Lilith. "Showtime."

"Well, everything is down to the minute, right? I'd better not keep you any longer. Good luck over there, I'll see you later," Lilith grinned.

Cassie nodded. "Thanks," she said, subtly squeezing Lilith's hand. "I'll see you when I'm done." She then walked away with a confident step, heels clicking on the floor, security officers in tow.




Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan
Chief Flight Control Officer

Cassandra Leblanc-Reed
Diplomatic Officer

 

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