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Almost Personal Log for Stardate 40571.9

Posted on 12 Feb 2021 @ 8:29pm by Lieutenant JG Elise Auray

Shifts had ended and the 'night' was to conclude early with it. The Common was the likely spot to see crew mates and enjoy their presence. Lieutenant Auray had mostly recovered from the scenes witnessed during the recent transporter incident but still found herself desiring a lot more private time. In this particular case, she had elected to pour a glass of synthetic wine and wander her small living assignment. She looked at the various adornments on her walls and furniture. Mostly tacky souvenirs from previously visited worlds and systems. There were "trophies" and prizes from Legir, New Ilas, Trill, Sevara and many others in all forms of clothing and decor. It was a good night and setting in which to reflect. Only one thing was missing.

"Computer.. umm.. is that nineteen-eighties play list still available?"
"All right. Begin playback!"

A music track began to play into the room. Prior to the recent assignment she had been mostly unfamiliar with the particular musical era. But especially after seeing the positive effect it had on several crew mates, Elise was prompted to take a closer listen. She sipped the wine slowly as she meandered about, taking in the song lyrics as they came. While the song meanings weren't entirely lost on her, even the French works could be difficult to relate to. Elise did find them remarkably easy to dance to, however. Especially with no one sentient around to judge.

"You see in this particular composition, the artist's family has insufficient amounts of "money". His job is held up by a strike action, she has ill-paying work... oh do you hear that? She dreams about running off, and is crying at night.. what misery! Today their needs would be met easily by the replicator."

In the absence of another person to speak to, Elise explained her interpretations to her two feline companions whom had been watching her with interest. Luna's apparent following the music lesson was almost suggestive of higher intelligence, while Halifax was merely squatting awkwardly in the same spot on the small couch he had chosen for the past few days. It had for some reason become his new preferred place. Elise chose to stop in front of the Risian Caracal. Luna, curled on an armchair, made a meow-like sound in return. It hardly passed for talking, but it was more than enough for Elise to work with.

"Maybe not all of their needs. There are things we can't replicate. Like.. love. Or dilithium. But they sound like they are very clearly in love. And they didn't need dilithium in their time, so.. what good is the replicator after all.."

Her wandering and drinking lead her back into her bedroom. The walls of this chamber were displaying a number of photographs. She stepped to inspect each one up close as she continued to nurse her wine, and remarked to the cats about another song playing.

"I don't know that I understand this one. It is about dancing obviously. About dancing safely? Perhaps that era experienced a higher rate of dance related injuries. In some places on Earth in that time you could even be put in jail for being caught dancing to this music. I am serious! You know who might understand this better.."

The ancient, monochrome image of Ginette Auray always stood out among the pristine modern captures of Elise and her contemporary friends and family. She sipped with one hand as she picked the aged picture up.

"..or would you? Maybe this is too late for you.."

She smiled sadly as she delicately set her great aunt's photo back down. She resumed her room tour, glancing to the various images that commemorated various crew accomplishments. She shortly then stopped on a much more recent picture of herself and a dark haired young Starfleet lieutenant pinned to the mirror on the wall. A content, empty-headed smile appeared on her face as she looked at the two in the picture gently embracing, but it quickly vanished into shock.

"I can't believe it! I still haven't opened it!"

The tactical chief dashed into the adjoining room. She had polished off enough fabricated wine and now needed both hands in a desperate search. She began to look in drawers, cabinets and all other stores in her quarters.

"After all my sulking, how could I.. it's like I forgot it was even here..."

She paused. Elise turned to look at Halifax, still seated on the couch. Without giving him time to prepare, she hopped across the floor, seized him in her arms and gently but firmly tossed him aside to the next cushion. He gave a whining meow of protest but it was too late. Hidden beneath him was the package Elise had received when the Boston had last docked. Deciding not to put too much thought into Halifax's potentially intentional concealment of the package for the last several days, Elise instead quickly unsealed it and tapped the contents into her lap. It was a handful of picture printouts and a personal letter. With one hand gently deflecting Halifax's intrusive headbutts and the other grasping the letter before her, she read:

Greetings from Sunny San Francisco!

The weather is great, as always. Better than the stuffy air of the Boston, that is. They could really stand to open a window or two. Anyhow, I've got some photos of San Francisco, which are much more interesting than the people in the photo. Ignore the guy on the left, I've heard he has a weird obsession with boats. (Although I think he'd look much better if a brilliant future Captain were standing next to him, especially if she were an Auray.)

Anyways, apparently as part of command school you can take a semester onboard a starship and study under a captain. Well, that's what it says at least. More than likely you'll be studying under someone a little further down the food chain. Regardless, guess whose name I saw as an option? Captain Auray! I might sign up for that, who knows...

In all seriousness, things have been good here. The schooling is tough to get back into after so long out of it, but I'm hoping that I can get through as many on-campus classes as I can so that I can eventually get back onto the Boston and finish my degree off-site. We'll see how it works. I hope you're galavanting across the galaxy and having fun along the way! Send postcards!

- James Fox

Elise Auray had, since beginning the letter, gone from smiling to weeping to both at once. With the reading concluded, she could place it down and allow Halifax to claim the spot on her lap and the attention of her other hand. He possibly understood the potential rewards that came from being present for when his guardian wept. Already Elise's loving hand was reaching out for the space between his ears..

"I'm sorry.. it just felt like I had been waiting an eternity to hear from- wait what did I.. "

After the pause indication sounded, Elise pulled the letter back up and re-read quickly. The momentary deprivation of attention provoked Halifax to swat fruitlessly at her face. The pawing of her cheek didn't get a reaction. She had stopped crying, but still could not shift her uneasy expression from her face. Lieutenant Auray cleared her throat to herself before looking at the impatient Halifax.

"Okay. So.. so even if it were approved, it is only for one semester. That is fine.. just one semester. Not permanently.. Oh Halifax! Papa took command of the U.S.S. Kitimat several years ago and we have barely seen him since then. He said it wouldn't be for long but then no one thought the war would last until now! Do you think that James would languish out there as well?"

The cat did not answer but did take a swipe at Elise's cheek again. She blinked down at him with surprise at his lack of supportive action, and scoffed. With that Elise stood and cleared her throat.

"Computer, let's begin a reply!"

The chime answered, and the response began.

"Dearest James, greetings from.. the great galactic expanse!


Out here the weather is not quite so sunny as California. Instead, we have recently departed from the eye of a voltagenic cyclone! We do nothing simple on the Boston. As you can tell, I received your letter and the pictures. It is a shame about the boy on the left because I think he is very handsome. I have included a few photos of me as well, if you would not mind giving them to him..."

Elise paused and hurried into her bedroom. She made a quick glance into her mirror. Considerable time to prepare for said photos was needed, although she did select a few of the recently taken images of herself and others just to be safe.

"Oh and among these is a new friend we made while storm-chasing: C'LeaO'. She is a Nomad! I will need to explain that better in person. But it is so good to hear from you! It is wonderful that you are well, and better yet that you are making progress! The workload was bound to be heavy but you have built tremendous strength from your time onboard the Boston. Everyone here can't wait to see you again but we know you have been hard at work away on Earth as is best for your goals.


She raced for something to say, as though she were on a limited time to respond. But there were many conflicting thoughts and opinions running through Elise's mind. She didn't want this reply letter to become a novel.

"..and if signing up with Papa and his ship helps you to achieve them then by all means you should. In case there is no warning, I should tell you that the U.S.S. Kitimat operates on the Federation-Cardassia border. It has been there for almost the entire conflict so if you do choose to serve on that vessel then you can possibly predict what it might entail..

As for me. You know how life can be on this ship. There is too much to tell. But one thing.. I think that it is time for me to stop trying to reach the Captain's chair through the arch. I have seen a lot of things recently that are.. complicating my career path. So I have been exploring a change in departments. Again this is going to take more explaining in person! So for now you just get to be excited and curious."

The author puffed a breath out, having nearly run herself out of it. That meant it had gone on long enough.

"I miss you very much. Study hard and come back soon! Love, Elise M. Auray.

That is all, Computer."
"Do you wish to forward the reply to the sender's address?"
"..No. I'll write it out later and send it on the station with the pictures.. speaking of which.. I think I will go to the Common and see if anyone wants to take some with me!"

It had not been very long since she had cleaned up for a peaceful night to herself, but Elise began to pull out a change of clothes for joining her colleagues in. Since these were going to be gift photographs, she was hardly going to approach it lightly. It was going to be a busy evening after all, but Lieutenant Auray would now go about it with a smile on her face.


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