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Getting Into the Thick of it

Posted on Thu Apr 1st, 2021 @ 12:50pm by Lieutenant JG Mai Lestra & Lieutenant Chase Thatch & Lieutenant JG Roger Magnus

Mission: Swarm
Location: Arboretum, Deck 30
Timeline: Directly after the events of BOGO

Magnus exited the turbolift after saying goodbye to the Captain, realizing that he was in the arboretum. He looked around taking in the plant life for a moment before finally calling out. "Computer, locate Lieutenant Lestra" he stated out loud, waiting for the computer's reply.

The computer replied with it’s feminine, if emotionless, voice. “Lieutenant Lestra is located in the Deck 30 Arboretum.” That just so happened to be the one Magnus and Chase had entered.

Chase stood next to him as he typed more into his PDA on his arm. "Well, seemed like an interesting group so far." He said looking around the place with a smile. "So your looking for your assistant?" He said questioning, realising he did not pay much attention to their conversation trying to be respectful.

Hearing the computer's response, Magnus motioned to his friend towards the center of the arboretum. "It turns out that the counselor is here on deck 30, that was lucky! I'm going to be heading this way if you want to join me for the walk Chase" He stated as he began walking through the vegetation.

Chase nodded as he followed, touching the plants as they passed. He felt a little heartache at that. It had been a while since he felt actual vegetation. He was fascinated by this marvel of bio engineering. He looked down at his wrist and realised just how much work he had made for himself. Granted he didn't mind in the slightest but a different feeling arose. A sense of excitement and joy he had never felt since the accident that he tended to keep under lock and key. He found himself gazing around while they stumbled around.

Tucked away into a secluded corner of the arboretum, Mai Lestra sat with her eyes closed and her breathing steady. She’d recently gotten off her duty shift, and having changed into something comfortable, headed down to the arboretum to relax. Once there, she looked around in contentment at all the vibrant colors and different plants. She walked over to a quiet, lonely spot of the arboretum and sat down on her knees, surrounded by green grass and beautiful trees. Closing her eyes and setting her hands down in the cool grass, she began to breathe evenly, in...and out. She often found that meditating like this helped clear her mind and destress her after a bad day. This also may have been due to the natural religious instincts of Bajorans. Meditation like this made Lestra feel like she was just a little closer to the Prophets.

Soon, she was quite lost in her meditation, completely oblivious to anything and anyone in the arboretum, the quiet noise of trees rustling being the only sound to be heard in her quiet little spot.

Magnus walked through the vegetation, looking for the counselor. He couldn't believe what they had managed to do to the place-he'd never seen anything quite like it. Then again, he had never been on many space stations. Unable to find the counselor (she seemed to be quite well hidden) he again called on the computer for assistance - "computer, please specify the exact location of Lieutenant Lestra"

"Lieutenant Lestra is in section 12 of the Deck 30 arboretum, approximately 6.4 meters northwest from your current position," the computer answered within 5 seconds.

"Perfect" he said, walking in the direction that the computer specified and calling out to the lieutenant "Lieutenant Lestra? Hello?"

Chase smirked. "Huh..that's handy. Umm.. computer. Where in the dry dock is the Royal Oak located please?" He said chuckling a bit of embarrassment. "I should have asked the Captain before we got off.." he said with a slight smile.

As prompt as ever, the computer quickly replied to Chase's inquiry. "The Royal Oak, registry NCC-2013, is located in section 29 of the inner dry dock."

Lestra heard Magnus calling her name, but filtered the noise into background sounds. Her thoughts and her mind were clear, and everything was perfectly still and peaceful. She was subconsciously diverting anything that could distract her to the back of her mind.

"Chase" Magnus began, "why don't you go check out your new project while I look for the counselor, we have counselor things to talk about and it might be a bit dry for your taste" he said as he took a moment to look around for the counselor in the brush. "I'll catch up with you at the Nogura's reception ok?"

Chase nodded. "I understand." He said and gave a small wave before heading off to try and get to the dry dock.

Now that he was alone again, Magnus focused on finding Lt Lestra. He continued in the direction that the computer had indicated, finding a small clearing with a figure in in center, sitting peacefully. "Lieutenant? Is that you?" He asked, as he crouched down a few metres away from her, trying not to spook her.

Lestra flinched at the sound of the close voice, losing her train of....well, her LACK of train of thought. She sighed and opened her eyes, blinking a few times to adjust to the light. She looked in the direction of the voice, tilting her head in curiosity.

"Yes, I'm Lieutenant Lestra. May I ask who you are? I don't recognize you, so you must be new." Her voice and skin tone vaguely reminiscent of Earth's Indian people.

Now that she had seemed to be back to reality, he got closer and held out his hand. "Yes actually, I am new. Lieutenant Magnus, the new Chief Counselor for DS 12. I just arrived less than an hour ago" He said. His uniform was still slightly rumpled from the shuttle flight, but appeared to be well kept otherwise. "My apologies for the interruption, but I had wanted to make your acquaintance before the reception tonight. I hope that's alright".

"No no, it's fine. It's my fault, really, for expecting to get and peace on this station given the past few days," Lestra replied, sighing again. She stood up, smoothing out the wrinkles in the soft fabric of the clothes she had on, then reaching out to shake Lieutenant Magnus's hand. She was wearing a plainly tailored black-and-navy pair of pants with a matching shirt, both of which were quite loose and fluttery. She never really liked the stiffness of Starfleet uniforms, though they were by no means uncomfortable.

"Well, I won't take up much of your time Lieutenant" He said. "Really I just wanted to get a quick run down from you of any recent goings on, how things have been, and if there is any particular way you've been handling things. I have a bunch of files to go through and I will read what documents we have of course, but I wanted to hear what you had to say first." he said, shifting his position, putting his right hand on his hip and raising his left hand up to block the artificial sunlight.

"In all honesty, my job's been rather...." she thought for a moment, trying to find the right word. "Uneventful? I guess? Even with the arrival of the Sixth Fleet and the recent personnel reassignments, no one's come in with anything worse than a case of butterflies in their stomach," she finished, smiling slightly, borrowing the human phrase.

"Well, that's good to hear" He said, now squinting due to being unused to the light, even if it was artificial. "It sounds like our work here won't be too difficult" he suggested, half jokingly. "How long have you been here on the station?" He inquired.

"Only a few months. I was one of the last to arrive before the official launch of our mission. Since we've lacked a chief counselor in that time, I haven't really had anyone to report to, which kind of made me the acting chief counselor in a way."

She looked her new chief up and down, noting the extremely slight limp he had in one leg whenever he turned or shifted his weight. She also listened to his voice, trying to place his Terran ancestry. "Pardon the question, uh, sir," she said hesitatingly, remembering that Magnus was technically her superior officer now, "but what part of Earth are you from? Even after all this time around humans, I still can't figure out which of you come from where," Lestra finished, smiling.

"Well, thank you for the question Lieutenant. I grew up in the area that used to be known as Canada. Nice place, nice people, like most places on Earth I suppose." He said, tilting his head to the side slightly as if pondering something. "How about yourself? You are Bajoran right?" He asked, his tone smoothing out a little to provide a platform for Lestra to answer the question.

She nodded, the telltale Bajoran earring on her right ear wobbling slightly. "That's right. I was born and spent a lot of my childhood on Bajor, but when I was about 8, my parents decided to move to Earth. That was about two years after the Dominion War. We settled on the continent known as Asia, in the former country known as India."

"Ah ok, so you lived on Earth for a while too, interesting!" He mused "What made your family leave Bajor for Earth then?" He asked, now curious. He knew Bajor was the center of attention during the war with DS9 protecting it, and that many had fled during the war, but he was curious why they left after the war.

"Ehh, well," she began, pausing for a moment before continuing. "My father used to run a small farm back on Bajor, which provided for almost everything our family needed. Our village wasn't a very big one, so life was tough, but we almost managed to pull through. Although the war never came directly to Bajor, commerce slowed nearly to a standstill around our area. We couldn't sell any of the crops we grew, and by the end of the war, we were almost ruined. So, after several failed attempts to start the farm back up, father decided to move us to Earth, since you humans long since abandoned the use of currency. Once there, he set up a successful business in antique dealing, and my mother decided to pick up writing, and published a book on the war just a few years ago, actually."

"Fascinating" He said, listening to the story with great interest. "That must have been hard, making such a drastic change like that. What was the book called? I would love to read it" Magnus asked.

"Well, I was too young to really know what was going on," Lestra replied. "Earth will always be my home, even if I am Bajoran." She thought for a moment about the second part of his statement. Truth be told, she couldn't immediately recall the title of the book. "I believe it was The Dominion War: Citizens of Conflict or something akin to that."

She reflected Magnus's question back at him. "What about you? What do your parents do?"

"Well" he started, "My parents are shop keepers on Earth. They're getting older but they love what they do-they own a flower garden which is also a tea shop. It's a beautiful little place in my hometown, the people there love it." he remembered, visualizing the place in his mind and giving a slight smile.

Lestra smiled sadly. "I'm glad your family is well off. My parents...they'd worked that farm from years before I was born to years afterwards. When they lost it, it was like losing a part of themselves. Father took it hardest. That farm was his father's, and his father's before him. Took them a long time to adjust to Earth."

She stopped, looking around at the beautiful scenery, at the synthetic sunlight, the tall and graceful trees, and the rainbow of flowers. "I don't think they've adjusted fully, even now." She looked backed at Magnus, shaking her head and laughing a little. "Ah, here I am pestering you with existential crises of my family."

Magnus chuckled a little before saying "Don't worry yourself at all Lieutenant. It's good to talk about these things. I'm sure that what your family went through was really difficult, but your parents sound like strong people. The important thing is that they managed to make it through that crisis, and it sounds like they have been able to thrive on Earth. Maybe one day they will be able to return to Bajor!" he said, looking off into the distance as he finished his last sentence.

She was silent for a long moment, brushing her hand through a patch of tall, yellowish grass that smelled faintly of the flowers that surrounded them. "Maybe, if the Prophets will it." She scrunched up her nose, adding more wrinkles than were already there. "Though, if I'm being honest, Earth is my home. I was only 8 when we left Bajor, I hardly remember any of it. I wasn't a farmer like my father, nor a writer like my mother. I have no connections there, besides my birth and the Prophets. Earth is my home, and always will be."

"I suppose then" He started, pausing for a second "that what your parents did, they did for you". Magnus stopped, folding his hands behind his back, thinking about how much courage one needed to leave a place of strife and travel the galaxy to find a new home.

"I suppose so," she said, repeating Magnus's words. She looked up into the synthesized sunlight of the arboretum, squinting. "We should probably get going. I'm meeting a friend in an hour, and I don't want to hold you up, sir."

Magnus suddenly realized what time it was. He didn't want to be late to his first function aboard DS12. "You're right, I should get going. Need to get ready for the Nogura's reception later." He said, starting to look for the entrance he had used to enter the room. "It was really nice meeting you Lieutenant" Magnus stated.

Lestra reached out one hand for Magnus to shake, smiling warmly. "A pleasure as well, sir. I look forward to working with you. I can only imagine the problems we'll encounter during our stay here."

Magnus shook her hand "Hopefully not too many problems" he said, giving a jovial laugh. "I look forward to working with you in the near future, see you later!" He said as he disappeared into the brush.


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