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USS T-Durant Mission TDRP1740 - Prelude: "Needs of the Many" (191012)

Posted: 191013.1701
by Evelyn Rieko
Evelyn had been to his ready room and he was not there! She stood outside it, wondering where he could be. Maybe he was in his quarters packing. She tapped her combadge, =^= Computer, locate Captain James T Hode =^=

Computer: =^= Captain James T. Hode is in sickbay =^=

Evelyn walked quickly to the turbo lift and went to sickbay. After getting the news and her orders from RADM Toocool, she felt the need to see Jim. She had to talk to him before he left. She walked into sickbay, almost running, then stopped when she saw him. She just stood there for a moment looking at him.

Jim had finished up with the doctor assigned to do his 'Fit for Duty' exam, which he felt was highly unnecessary but, at least it gave him something to do other than face the burgeoning problems and decisions that clouded his mind. He sat on the biobed, everyone else had gone to get ready to greet the Admiral or be in the lounge for his 'going away party' which the Admiral had allowed only 30 minutes for... finally he slipped off to stand on his two feet, but paused there. It was blissfully quiet. He sighed softly... and then the door slid open. Evelyn...

Evelyn stood there looking at Jim, she smiled at him even though she felt....sad. What were his plans? Where would he go? Maybe to his Precia Araina...or another Starfleet assignment. "Jim, this is all so sudden! I thought you would be here for a much longer time. Now you're leaving." She had so much she wanted to say to him, yet she didn't know how to say it all....and his Farewell party was starting soon. This is so unfair to move him around like a chess piece. Then suddenly she blurted out "Where are you going? What are your plans?

Jim just looked at her. She was... thoughts of her were whirling through his mind. Her. Araina. The Durant. A new command. Or, should he retire and follow through on his promise to return to Cronon. Once he thought this was all so clear. He could see Araina's face in his mind as he told her he would return. But in this moment, the dismay on Evelyn's face reflected his own. It was sudden. Unexpected. Yes, he knew one day the Admiral would either return to the Durant or resign her command... but whenever he saw her, whenever he was giving his reports, she didn't seem to age a bit. He stood there, a bit woebegone. And finally, muttered. His accent more pronounced because he was upset. "Don't know, ducks. This is bonkers."

Evelyn walked closer, listening as he spoke, she loved the sound of his voice and his lovely British accent, she would never hear it again, she was pretty sure of that. He could go back to Cronon now, get married and have children with Araina....but could he leave Starfleet? He loved Starfleet too obviously, he may stay in service, maybe Captain his own ship after proving how good he is in that position. She smiled when he said this is Bonkers. "Yes, this is bonkers! It is sudden and you really haven't had time to make plans or decide what you will do. You have many options... maybe take some time to decide." She sounded calmer than she felt. "Jim, I would like to know what you decide.

[Jim]: For one wild moment he considered requesting to stay on the Durant as First Officer. But standing there, looking at Evelyn in her new command uniform, that thought vanished. He couldn't do that to her. Or himself, he supposed. After commanding the flagship for so long, to step down and be her XO... that was not the typical career direction. He almost smiled at himself. But his heart was tight in his chest. "I guess... I suppose the Durant has become my home." He looked around sickbay. "When I asked for an assignment, this was the last one I expected. I was proud. And hoped to do a good job," he faltered a little, remembering some of the times he had felt less than adequate to the task. "I didn't expect... well lass, truth be told I didn't expect to... I didn't know..." he shook his head, "Darn and blast." His upbringing, his natural reticence... finally he just looked at her and said, "I didn't expect to feel so close to..." he didn't say 'you' but perhaps she would understand it. She seemed to have an intuitive sense that was rare. If he said it he felt like he'd be breaking convention, breaking his word to Ariana, maybe breaking himself.

Evelyn combed her fingers through the ends of hair..feeling anxious, and sad. She looked into his eyes listening to him and nodding... when he said he was proud when he got this assignment, the Durant is the flagship of Starfleet and yes he should be proud, " Yes Jim you should be proud, of the job you did as Captain of the Durant. It's not easy to come onto someone else's ship and work so well that it becomes your ship. It has been your ship for so long and now you have to hand it back to RADM Toocool.. and in truth, it is her ship.. but in service, it is yours too. I know the crew will miss you so much..." she swallowed, "as will I ."

[Evelyn]: She blinked a few times holding back tears that were suddenly in her eyes trying to escape. Then he said he did not expect to feel so close and his expression and the look in his eyes as he said that, said so much more than the words. Her heart fluttered... she inhaled and exhaled to steady herself.. he cared for her.. she could see it in his eyes and feel it. She knew that he knew how she felt about him even though she'd said she'd only wanted to be his friend. It was obvious how she felt. Now she knew for sure that he felt something for her too...However, he is taken..engaged and they both knew nothing could ever come of it. She looked into his eyes and said, "Jim, I understand how you feel. I feel the same." Then she said..."You will be missed."

[Jim]: "Thank you," he said in response to her ascertain that he should be proud. Standing there looking at her he was reminded of a holonovel he had seen based on Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility'. There was a scene where Edward, who secretly loves Elinor, but now engaged to Lucy, comes to see Elinor, who secretly loves him. They sit a meter apart and speak in guarded words about friendship. In that scene, you feel like they have never been more apart. And that's how he felt right now. Evelyn was a meter away from him. And a universe away from him. She said he would be missed. His heart lifted and then fell. "The needs of the many," he quoted half under his breath. In his mind he saw himself reciting:

'I, James Tiberius Hode, do solemnly swear to uphold the regulations of United Federation Starfleet as well as the laws of the United Federation of Planets, to become an ambassador of peace and goodwill, to represent the highest ideals of peace and brotherhood, to protect and serve the Federation and its member worlds, to serve the interests of peace, to respect the Prime Directive, and to offer aid to any and all beings that request it.'

[Jim]: Nothing in there about falling in love with alien queens. Or anyone else. "The needs of the many, Evelyn," he said, sensing her emotion, and moving forward almost without thinking, to take her hands. "The Admiral returns because... the Fleet is facing a dangerous enemy. One we, I think, encountered during my deployment on Durant, perhaps not overtly, but now I start to see the string of events and the possible connection between them."

Evelyn's breathing changed as he took her hands in his, she felt suddenly a little breathless, but she had a lot to say in a short time she went on "Of course it's necessary for RADM Toocool to return and I have read classified info also about the dangerous enemy we face...the Romulans. We obey our orders but that does not make it any easier to say goodbye. Because I don't think I'll ever see you again. Something I've been wanting to tell you. I thought we would have many days to have tea and chat and get to know each other better, even though we know each other pretty well now... but the little things like..I don't know if you have a favorite color..or a favorite book, or poet...or.." She laughed and said "so many things I don't know, but no need to know those things now.. our paths will probably never cross.. we will not keep in touch.... but anyway ...I'm rambling...I wanted to tell you that you are a wonderful person, and I'm glad I was under your command... when I joined the Durant I came from the Protector a green Ensign, and I moved up to Lieutenant under Toocool, but then she left. I have grown and learned so much from you. I met you as a Lieutenant and say goodbye to you as a Commander. You helped me in so many ways. Thank you."

[Evelyn]: "One last thing I've wanted to say. I know I'm saying a lot but I won't have another chance to say these things. You are a wonderful person. Even though it has not been talked about much because in an indirect way it may be infringing on the prime directive..but we all know that you are a huge part of the reason the planet Tramlu has its freedom. You helped to free a planet of people from oppression just by being yourself! When the Precia bonded with you or whatever that process is called, but in your vows...officers that were there stated in your vows it was stated that the Precia changed her mind about fighting against freeing Tramlu because off what she could feel and understand about you and your values and attitudes. That's something you should always be proud of. I'm proud of you." She laughed, "There, I think I've said everything I wanted to before you leave!"

Jim nodded to her as she spoke, his fingers holding her hands firmly, letting her know he was there and listening. "Thank you, love," he said softly as she told him he was wonderful, and that she was proud of him. "I too am proud," he said, looking at her lovely face. "I am proud to have watched you step up the ladder, vice chief, chief science, acting XO, and now, in your rightful place as First Officer of the Flagship of the Fleet. You worked hard. You earned it." He nodded again, looking down at her hands, not daring to let his emotions show in his eyes.

[Jim]: "If I... if we had... if the Cronon and Tramlu mission had not occurred..." yes, if he hadn't met Ariana... would he want to take Evelyn in his arms now? Tell her how he felt about her? Ask her to come with him, or join him on his ship as soon as possible? More than that, he was leaving a command he was proud of, even with the memory of those mistakes he had made and decisions he regretted. His jaw worked. A tear escaped from one of his eyes. He bent over her hands, lifting them to his lips. "Always be as you are, Evelyn. Beautiful, inside and out. Someone who is passionate and open and intelligent. I know one day you will have a command of your own. Be proud of who you are." Then he let go, and moved towards the door, his back to her, his face blanched and wet with more tears. "Live long, and prosper," he whispered as the door slid open and he stepped through it.

Evelyn felt really good about all the things Jim had said to her... 'beautiful inside and out.' He'd kissed her hands. She pressed her right hand to her lips touching the area his lips had touched. The things he'd said about her made her really happy. Yet her voice was filled with sadness when she responded to his goodbye, alone now in the room...she sadly and softly said, "Peace and long life."

Re: USS T-Durant Mission TDRP1740 - Prelude: "Needs of the Many" (191012)

Posted: 191013.1728
by Evelyn Rieko
ImageJim and Evelyn by st1pr2, on Flickr