Task Group Gamma > USS Amalthea

S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?

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Tess tLhoell:
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Their new mission took them deeper into the Gamma Quadrant to pursue the only clue that might give them hope of opening the wormhole. At their past meeting with the Atrosians, Governor Wye had mentioned a kind of primordial whale that, according to Atrosian legends, possessed special powers in relation to the Bajoran wormhole. Tess knew that there were quite a few critics of this theory among her crew. She herself was more skeptical than convinced, but she also knew that there was a grain of truth in every legend. While previously to her assignment in the Gamma Quadrant she would have doubted the existence of 'space whales', she now knew from her own experience that these Ooroyan really existed. The only question was, how could they be tracked down? They didn't know very much about this species. While they had data from 'Urulei', the astrocetus that had been genetically and technologically modified by the Atrosians to function as something they called a 'Finder' to track down and catch criminal escapees, the question was how representative that data was to apply to the rest of the individuals in the species. At least they knew that it was possible to communicate with them telepathically. That was probably their best approach.

Two other things that weighed on her mind was the change in discipline and behaviour of her brother, Benjin. He became noticeably tardy in his duties and seemed overall drawn back and distanced. Tess wasn't sure what was wrong but hadn't gotten around to have a quiet conversation with him yet. Nor was she sure she was the one who should be talking to him. Rayek probably was the more appropriate person to deal with him regarding this.

The other thing was the still ongoing investigations about the explosion of the shuttle that had Lared still not recovered, Rayek severely injured and Verlok even dead. She hoped the cause would be found out soon.

All this was on her mind while waiting for Rayek, whom she had asked to come to her Ready Room. She wanted to discuss her approach with him before calling a meeting with the senior officers.

Rayek tr'Lhoell:
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 16 - Cargo Bay Level 1]

Weeks had passed and Rayek's injuries from the shuttle explosion had healed into a new set of scars.  The weakness he'd experienced from the blood poisoning had all but left him; there was only just the barest hint of toxin still showing in his medical scans and this didn't seem to be something that was going to go away easily.

Presently, Rayek was just finishing up another set of scans of the shuttle debris.  The engineer investigatiors had found nothing conclusive among the wreckage.  Yet Rayek wasn't willing to give up on the search for answers.  He owed it to Verlok to discover the truth of how and why. 

He would have remained longer pouring over his detailed scans if not called away a short while ago by Tess.  She'd given him 10 minutes before he needed to report to her Ready Room, and he'd spent 5 of that already doing the last of his scans.   Saving the scans to his datapadd, Rayek looked over the cargo bay with its floor covered by the organized piles of shuttle wreckage. 

The temptation to remain longer was strong but Tess while he was certain Tess would understand the growing obsession to find answers, he recognized that he had a stronger obligation to the continued operation of the ship.  Turning away from the debris, Rayek exited the cargo bay and sealed the doors, nodding to the security officer stationed there.   He then set off for the turbolift and Tess' Ready Room.

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Rayek stepped through the automatic doors that opening in response to the Tess' order.  He'd made it to the Captain's Ready Room with a minute to spare.  A quick yet thorough glance over the room showed that it was just he and Tess in the room.

"You called for me, my Captain?" The way he said her title was like an endearment.  A subtle way for him to state his affection for her despite the need to remain professional.

Tess tLhoell:
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Hearing the door to the room opening, Tess looked up, a smile immediately settling on her face when she saw her husband. The way he said her rank made her chuckle softly. "Indeed I have, Commander", she said in the same manner. Standing up, she walked over to him and sneaked a kiss from him.

"How are you feeling?", she asked as she gently caressed his cheek. The residual traces of the poison didn't seem to affect Rayek but it still worried her. She had him visit the sickbay more frequent than he probably liked. But she wanted to rule out any long-term effects on his health. "Any news from the cargo bay?"

She then walked to the replicator. "Do you want something to eat or drink? We have quite some things to talk about." She glanced at him over her shoulder. "Have you eaten?" She ordered a ginger tea and a chocolate chip muffin for herself.

Rayek tr'Lhoell:
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess' smile and her returned endearment of his rank brought a grin to his features.  It made his day that she would greet him with a kiss.  His arms found their way around her waist as she caressed his cheek and asked after his health. 

"I feel fine, e'lev.  I am back in top form." he assured her, then being a little risqué he continued on to suggest in a quieter more private tone, "Would you care for a demonstration of how fit I am?"  His smile and eyes said clearly said it wouldn't take much prompting to make his teasing a reality.   

But it wasn't meant to be - not at that moment - as Tess changed subject asking about the shuttle investigation progress. She then stepped out from his light hold to walk to the replicator, querying about food.  Rayek tried not to have his sigh of disappointment be audible.

He answered her questions in the order she asked, as he followed her to the replicator.  "Unfortunately no, nothing new.  Though with engineering's help I've increased the scan resolution by 34%.  I will be reviewing those scans once we are done here." he added. 

The question of something to eat or drink had him considering various options as she ordered herself a ginger tea and a chocolate chip muffin.   The temptation was there to merely reply 'I'll have the same as you'... but her earlier comment about having much to discuss suggested that she was in a work frame of mind at present... play would have to wait, so he kept the words to himself.  "Chai tea and an osol twist, will be sufficient for me." he answered, nodding his head at her final question.  "I stopped by our quarters to check on Fvienn and your brothers, earlier.  They had fresh soup and bread made." One of the perks of their quarters was that they'd had a kitchenette installed.  "It was impossible to resist."

Once his tea and twist were in hand he moved to take a seat in one of the chairs placed in front of her desk.   Though he was curious about what topics they needed to discuss, he sipped at his tea and waited for Tess to broach the subject first. 

Tess tLhoell:
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess was pleased to hear him say he was fine. His following comment made Tess grin; she knew he would follow through on his offer if she just so much as hesitated to decline. Her extracting herself from him wasn't to say in any way that she didn't like his offer, no, she liked too much and she didn't trust herself to resist her husband once they took a step further. Reality was, those meetings were pretty much the only 'alone time' they got in the day. So the notion was very tempting. But she didn't joke when she said they had much to discuss.

Tearing her thoughts away from what might have happened if she had agreed, she focused on Rayek's reply to her question. "An increase of 34% sounds very promising", she commented while the replicator worked on her order. Once that was done she ordered a chai tea and an osol twist for Rayek before she turned to him, smiling as he told her of his lunch with her brothers. "Oh, I hope you guys have left something of it for me", she teased with a grin. "How did you get along with Rah'ul today?", she asked. Ever since Rayek had demonstrated his telepathic abilities to the Ba'ku, he had been extremely wary of his brother-in-law. It seemed to be getting better only slowly.

With both their snacks and drinks ready, Tess returned to the chair behind her desk and carefully put the mug and plate down. On hit sat a rather big muffin, melted and hardened chocolate peeking out of the fluffy baked dough here and there. Not touching either of it Tess leaned back in her chair and crossed her legs as she looked back at Rayek, considering which topic to breach first. She decided to go with the quicker one first, although it also was the one that concerned her most.

"I wanted to talk to you about Ben", she began with a serious face. "His work morale is on a low, I feel it had been deteriorating ever since we came on baord the Amalthea. I'm not sure what's up, I feel like he's avoiding me. But someone has to speak to him. Only yesterday I heard that he showed up an hour late to his shift." Her forehead furrowed with concern.

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