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Pinky Swear?

Posted on Thu Jul 29th, 2021 @ 3:46pm by Lieutenant Adora (Addie) Hart & Lieutenant JG Vespa Kale

Mission: Season Two - Incidentals
Location: Science Lab

Addie stood nervously outside the science lab, twisting a blonde curl around her one finger. She knew she had to be here, she knew she had to take this step, but at the same time she wanted to turn and run straight back to her quarters, crawl into bed, pull the covers over her head and stay there until the universe forgot she existed.

But, that was not an option, and instead she was here, preparing to face one of the most difficult tasks she had ever had to take on. There didn't seem to be any real words that suitably expressed the sentiment of "I'm really sorry I shot half of you but I pinky swear I won't do it again! Promise!"

Drawing in a deep breath, she stepped through the doors, her gaze immediately turning toward the dual forms of Lieutenant Kale, clasping her hands firmly in front of her. "I'm not armed, I promise," she said quickly.

The swish of the doors drew her attention. The reason for it caught it. Held it. Vespa stared at Addie for a moment, and one of her forms even took a glance down to check those hands. Unarmed, as she promised. It took a few seconds for Vespa to find her words, but eventually she found them. "So, umm, what brings you to sciences, then?" was the best the binary form could work up.

"I..." A pause and a nervous intake of breath. "I... uh..." she rubbed her palms against her clothes, civilian clothes because she was still relieved of duty. All the practicing of words on the walk to the science lab seemed to have faded deep into the abyss of her mind, to be replaced by a complete blank. "I owe you an apology," she finally said quietly. "I owe you a lot more than that, I can never make it up to you, I know that, but I am so very truly sorry. I..." she sighed and shook her head. "It's a long story, but I wasn't me... but I am me now... and I really am sorry."

Vespa was silent for a while, a look that was a mix of confusion and nervous ran from one face to the next, and then back. "I.." she started, and put down the tricorder she was holding, for fear of dropping it. "I mean, I ... I did the research, quick and... well it..." she shifted focus like an untrained child, back and forth with a nervous stutter almost.

She took a nervous step forward, and then another, her forms in step behind herself. Her thick, fluffy tail was pulled in tight against her, each step almost calculated, planned. She seemed to have an avenue of escape ready everytime she took a step, but after the first six steps, she stopped looking for ways out. She took a pair of deep breaths and held it for a moment. "I... I can't ever forget what you did to me." she started. "Stranded, or as close to it as I've ever been." she didn't want to sound accusatory, Addie was already beating herself up over this. This entire situation was beyond her control, beyond any of their control. Well, aside from all of those who seemed rather well in control. Maybe they were just heavily medicated? Maybe the particulate matter affected them differently? Questions for another time.

"But, I know you didn't mean it and, and in the end, I'll be alright. The mark will eventually fade, and I'll stop feeling so awkward when I notice it." she pointed out. Then came the hard part. "I... I forgive you. I can't ever forget, but I can forgive." and a weight felt like it was lifted off her shoulders. Hesitantly, she offered a hand across the gulf of what little space remained to separate them.

"I can't promise I won't be jumping at shadows for the next few years, so please don't hold that against me."

Addie managed a small smile as she took the offered hand. "I promise I'll try not to lurk in shadows when you're around." She glanced around the science lab and rocked on her heels slightly. "The... the abandonment..." she started cautiously, trying to choose her words carefully. "I felt it. It was stronger than all the anger within the nebula. I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling," she paused again, almost as if she were trying to find the right words. "I understand," she finally offered.

Something in that made one of the forms smile, "Actually, it wasn't the nebula." good, something to distract her!! "I ran an analysis on the atmosphere inside the ship in the vicinity of the nebula and..."

"... while we were all suffering the effects of the nebular mass I couldn't appreciate what I had found. The nebula was full of dust. A very particular form..."

"... of alpha-emission radioactive dust. Harmless, until we breathed it in. Once inside, the radioactive decay of the dust fed into our nervous system..."

"... triggering the release of heightened levels of adrenaline and sporadically triggering our fight-or-flight reflexive cortex." she turned back to Addie. "The nebula wasn't..."

"... mad. It was just full of dust that was killing us, while agitating us, while driving us to exhaustion and flaring our tempers." she pointed out. Then, with the science lesson handled, she paused again. Now, she had to face Addie, and while she technically outnumbered her, a million Dalacari in a fight are an expensive pizza party after for the winner.

"I hope that helps clarify things. I ..." another nervous pause. "I've never lost a friend over an argument. Never been shot before. I don't want to lose you..."

"... as a friend. Can we, start over? I mean, it'll be shaky ground but, I'd like a chance to save a friendship."

"I'd like that," Addie said warmly. "I'd like that very much. Thank you." Another pause. "Is that what you're looking at here?" she asked, motioning toward the active consoles. "The dust from the nebula? Would it really have killed us if we hadn't gotten out of there?"

Vespa expanded the notation, showing various crew members, their intricate and personal biology, and various time frames. "Oh, certainly. Our chief engineer would have become a rage-fueled adrenaline powered abomination in thirteen hours. I'd have gone feral after nineteen." she motioned to the two most obvious deviations from the established norm.

"Though, that's if we survived that long. The constant strain on our hearts from all that adrenaline would have caused cardiac arrest way sooner then that, nevermind the..."

"... neurological damage of the constant mental stress of the neverending ding of our survival instincts. In the end, everyone would perceive everyone as a threat, and..."

"... we'd all likely die alone." a pause to let that terrible thought leave the way it came in. "I'm adding this region's particulate matter to the biofilter and labeling it as..."

"... a space hazard. The biofilters didn't pick it up initially since, well, mildly radioactive dust actually isn't terribly harmful. This particular blend, though, was..."

"... quite the problem. It won't bother anyone else. I mean, once Starfleet's databases get updated with this patch, I mean."

She moved to the side so Addie could get a better look at the console. "Thank you." she said softly. To her friend. Well, new friend. New old friend? Certainly not a Frenemy. New old friend worked, but was it rude to call her Old? Single Instance Lifeforms were so odd.

Addie turned toward Vespa, offering a smile. "No, thank you," she offered in return. "If you're not too busy, want to join me in the mess hall for a drink? I just discovered a recipe in the replicator for a chocolate cherry brownie sundae and it is to d...." her words cut off as she realised what she was about to say. "Delicious. Absolutely delicious!"

"Sounds like a trend setter. I'll let this compile on its own, and come check up on it after that..... everything you said." Vespa smiled a pair of smiles, "Lead the way."


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