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Ensign
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 24
Gorel leaned back in his chair with a heavy sigh. He liked to think that someone of weaker constitution might have groaned, or pinched the bridge of their nose, or made some other indication of tiredness and discomfort, while he limited himself to a simple sigh. He was honest enough to admit that it might not be the case, but at least it made him feel better.

The office he'd been given in the Federation Embassy was designed for cases like his, where an officer on temporary duty needed a place to do some administrative work. Of course, being so well-designed meant that it was small and inelegant, struggling to contain a simple working desk and chair, another chair for a visitor, and a small bookshelf. Gorel hadn't bothered bringing in any pictures or mementos to brighten the space, although he did still sometimes look at the bare walls with distaste. His shelf was host to several well-organized datapads, useful when he needed to refer between various readouts while doing his work.

As far as work went, it wasn't too bad, really, although it was certainly time-consuming. He had to familiarize himself with the Yorktown's schematics and specifications, which was made slightly more difficult thanks to the small changes being made daily by the trials crew. In the interests of completion, he'd also decided to study those of the Imperial-class from which it was derived. Being even more thorough, he studied them not only in his capacity as the future captain of the ship, but also from the perspective of an engineer. When he needed or wanted a break from that, he could always go through the personnel files for his ship's prospective crew. The Ministry of Defense had its suggestions for his Cardassian component, while Starfleet had a similar but different list of suggestions for its section. Not only did he need to select the right crew, but needed to make sure that the appropriate balance was maintained between Federation and Union interests. He hadn't even begun going through the dossiers on his Jem'hadar element, other than to note that their First's name was Arak'ukan. Dealing with the Jem'hadar would be a struggle on its own.

His computer chimed in a friendly manner, and he focused his eyes on the screen. The sender data caused him to blink in surprise, then freeze as a few competing emotions filled his suddenly tense chest. He rebuked himself with a small head-shake. He wasn't a child, nor was he even a fresh ensign. Control, control, he must have control.

He keyed his acceptance of the call with a smile, which broke into a full grin when the caller appeared.

"Hello, Niri."

"Hello, Gorel." She smiled back; he always thought her voice gave him an impression of heat. Warm, like it was now, all the way up to blazing when she was in the field. He couldn't resist a twinge of feeling when he saw her forehead was still subtly painted blue.

"It's been a while, hasn't it?"

"Four years since the Venezuela. I didn't even know you were on Cardassia Prime until Legate Eskot told me." Gorel fought to keep his lips from forming a moue of amusement. His uncle pried too much, although in this case it was hard to be upset. She read him, like she always had been able to, and briefly grinned.

"I had no idea you were here, either; last I'd heard you were still at Starbase 211."

"They sent a detachment to escort a criminal to Bajor." She said crisply, her tone disinviting further comment. "We'll be here for three more days to ensure the transfer goes well, and then back into the runabout and back to 211."

"How is your family?" he asked. It wasn't quite the desperation move that it might have been in other cultures, given the importance of the family to Cardassians, but it was close. What was he supposed to say now? It had been years, and he hadn't anticipated having to see her for another few months while the transfer orders got processed. He'd struggled with deciding to add her to his short list, the list which had only just been sent up the chain to his oversight committee for approval (which gave some explanation for why his uncle had interfered). In some ways it was harder to see her again now, when he had just been thinking about her anew, but hadn't had the time to fully steel himself to really meet her again.

"They're good, still on Arawath, still growing yamok. My younger sister just entered the Damar Academy; she's planning on becoming a good little engineer." She made a face; Gorel knew she'd always felt a certain amount of distaste for traditional gender roles. It was part of why they'd first bonded. "And yours?"

"Well, Uncle Eskot you know," he said with a chuckle, "and the rest are good, as well. Still running their starship repair concern, and business is booming." She nodded, and he followed the graceful curve of her neck. He wondered if she still kept her hair in a tight bun.

"That's good, Gorel." She paused. "I'm happy to see you again." Her irises were dark, verging on black. He smiled faintly, wistfully. Things had never quite worked out since the Venezuela, and they didn't look to work out any time soon, either.

"And I'm happy to see you, Niri. In fact, I just recently requested. . . "

"And since we're so happy to see one another," she said, interrupting him ruthlessly, "we're going to dinner tonight. Your uncle, that shameless busybody, gave me a reservation at Kanar. It's at 1900 hours, so you've got that long to find something nice to wear. And I do mean nice." She said firmly, the set of her jaw indicating she would brook no disagreement. His uncle was being a busybody, indeed; Kanar was one of the finest restaurants of the capital, which made it one of the finest restaurants in all the Union.

"You don't tell me what to wear," he said before he could stop himself. Niri's eyeridges rose; he felt his face heat with a touch of embarrassment and a larger measure of excitement; her own seemed to color as well. "But I'll be there at 1900. I hope you brought something nicer than your uniform in that runabout."

"Hmph." She scoffed, with a little toss of her head. "Maybe I did. It would serve you right if I decided not to show up." She hesitated; their eyes met.

"I'll be there." She said quietly, and then closed the channel.

Gorel sighed and looked around his bleak little office. The work that had been unappealing minutes before was now all but revolting. He began to estimate the time it would take to get home, get changed, and get to Kanar; after allowing a safety margin (a very healthy one), he'd know how much longer he needed to work, while trying to ignore the tightness in his belly.

Last edited by thesciencer; 03-23-2013 at 02:50 PM.