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SD241910.26 || Joint Log || "Welcome to the Madhouse"

Posted on 26 Oct 2019 @ 2:50pm by Captain Mallory Thorne

Mission: Tyr's Hand

=/\= T-Minus Six-and-a-Half Hours...

Mallory kind of felt like she was everywhere at once as these hours counted down. Maybe she was. It would hardly have been the strangest thing going on with this ship lately...

Bran had told her that their plus-one was in sickbay, but by the time she got to sickbay, he had been told that he was fine and thus not a priority and sent on his way. Now the captain of the ship was in search of the Odin's guest, although the computer was only minimally helpful.

Having been dismissed from Sickbay and going largely unnoticed by the crew, Roman found himself a spot near a viewport and settled in. Though he felt tired, the kind of tired that sucked greedily at the remains of his energy, it was impossible to sleep. Assaulted by thoughts and memories, he shifted a chair to face the stars and sat, long legs stretched before him, hands folded on atop his flat belly. He'd heard so many stories over the years and now, seeing it all for himself, brought back tales around the campfire. Laughter and warm camaraderie. Sparks flying upward as though reaching toward the stars. Wanting so much to be a part of that world instead of the one they were in. I made it, he thought and then hard on the heels of that one came another. Now what?

This was the point that the Captain of the USS Odin found.

"You must be my new guest," Mal said with a wearied, worn-out smile as she approached the chair where she found the unfamiliar face sitting and staring out the viewport. "I'm Captain Mallory Thorne."

"Captain," Roman said rising to his feet at once. He brought another chair closer and then arranged the two so that they were angled enough to make conversation possible and then gestured toward one the seats. With an incline of his head, he said, "I'm Roman Gant."

Mal accepted the chair with a quiet "thanks" and then settled down. She considered everything for a moment. "It is...a pleasure, if a surprise, to meet you, Mr. Gant. I wish it was under better circumstances, although from what my chief of security said, I suppose these circumstances are better than those on Earth right now."

Roman waited until she was seated and then took the chair opposite hers. "That would be Lieutenant Bran," he said. "The one who first thought that I, along with ninety percent of the 'apes' that live on Earth needed to die. Given that perception, it's not surprising I suppose."

"Indeed," she said, both wry and noncommittal at once. If she didn't have much larger issues to look forward to, she'd probably have Bran roasting over an open fire at that point... "Our history books don't have much good to say about this long period of Earth's history, I'm afraid."

"History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes," Roman said, quoting Voltaire who had died more than two hundred years before he was born. "I've seen my share and what I've found is that there are good people everywhere. Even in the worst of places and times." He shrugged slightly. "Forgive me, now is hardly the time or place to engage in a philosophical discussion. What can I do for you, Captain?"

She shrugged slightly, feeling slightly ease, in a way, with him. Despite his being a stranger, he wasn't a member of her crew. She didn't have to be captainly for him. "Your presence on my ship is a surprise, so I wanted to meet you before we actually attempt to get the ship back to our own time. I understand there's enough reason to bring you back with us that I'm less likely to be court-martialed for breaking the temporal prime directive."

"Your Commander Shaw," Roman said, "demanded that I come with you and as my cover, shall we say, was blown, I agreed. You could just as easily put me down somewhere else and be on your way."

"We don't have much by way of time or resources right now," Mal admitted. "Besides, who am I to deny a dying woman's last request?" She turned her head to look out the viewport and sighed wearily. "Besides, our home time isn't a bad place to build a life."

Roman grunted, neither approving of the notion or disapproving. His introduction had been less than stellar. He'd been insulted, checked to be sure he didn't need to be quarantined and then left to his own devices. His parents had spoken often of what lay beyond the confines of the world he'd grown up on but that had been youthful imaginings. The reality was, at least so far, much less appealing. And now, his life was to be decided by a stranger's dying wish because there wouldn't be time to leave him anywhere else. "You let me know when I get there then," he said.

Mallory turned back to him, taking in his overall demeanor. She wasn't a counselor by any stretch so she could only guess so far as to what she was seeing, but it seemed a safe bet that he wasn't happy with her answers. Well, if it made him feel any better, neither was she. She wasn't happy with any other this. "Do you need anything in the meantime, Mr. Gant?" she asked tiredly. "I can provide you with a room to give you some space. The replicators are mostly working, so you can get food, drink, clothing until we attempt our return trip."

"That would be good," he said. He did some calculations and figured he'd been up over thirty-six hours and seriously, he couldn't remember the last time he ate anything. Add to that the idea uppermost in his mind at the moment that it would be a good thing to get out of everyone's hair, him being the tagalong and all that. "I appreciate the consideration, Captain."

"Of course," she replied, inclining her head slightly. "I gather you haven't had introduction to my crew and now my ship, and I'm sorry for that. I'll see to it that you get a place to rest and get what you need." She was about to get up but then paused. "Do you have any questions for me in the meantime? I'm sure you have many, but I doubt I can answer them all. I'll answer what I can at the moment, though, if you like."

"Thank you for that, Captain. Really, if you could just set me up with some reading material," Roman said, "that would be enough and preferably, not the tourist's pamphlet if you don't mind. I can use the time to start becoming familiar with my new reality but only if it won't be a bother. I'm sure that you and your crew are quite busy."

She nodded in understanding, still with that faint, weary smile. "That won't be any trouble at all. Your room will have a computer with access to our ship's database. You can find plenty about what is our history and our present." She paused. "In fact..." She got up and walked a short distance to the wall where a computer access screen was. She tapped it a few times and then pointed. "I'll not bother the quartermaster. I'll show you to your room." Truth was, Mallory needed...a break. This was as good as any during this waiting period.

Roman rose at once and followed. He wondered what kind of quarters he would receive but it didn't matter. Food, a bed, something to read and a bit of privacy sounded wonderful about now. Then too, he'd been living completely off the grid, sans amenities, for some time and the notion of modern comfort was a pleasing one. No doubt.

It wasn't a long walk--up a couple decks via the turbolift and then down another hallways--before they arrived at a door. Mal unlocked it and then stepped inside, waiting for Roman to follow. She gestured to the small "sitting room" and the attached bedroom, partially visible from the privacy wall. "Everything is voice activated. There is a computer console where you can find things to read up on," she gestured to the desk-like console, then to the panel on the wall. "That's the replicator. Just step close and ask for what you want, such as something to eat or drink, and it should be able to make it for you. Thankfully, engineering has most of our systems functioning again."

"And you said your replicator can provide me with clothes as well," Roman asked, his sharp gaze already starting to take in his temporary quarters.

"It can, yes," she said with a nod. "Whatever you need to make yourself more at ease here."

"Thank you then," Roman said and meant it. Everything he had known about his life was about to disappear; a place to think about that was welcome. The enormity of that threatened to overwhelm but he maintained control. He'd been in so many difficult situations over the years, discipline had become second nature to him and he called upon that now.

She nodded again. "I'm glad to help, Mr. Gant. If you need anything else or have any other questions, you can use the computer to contact me." With a soft sigh, she took a look around and then turned back to him. "I'll let you get some rest. Things are gonna get a bit exciting again in about six hours..."

He offered up a wry smile. "Story of my whole life, Captain." He nodded slightly, a truncated bow in lieu of a salute. "Until later."


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