Because Kai is still snowed under and because no one wanted to record with me, I decided to forego the podcast this week and try something else. Below is a JP that Kai and I wrote back in August.
The background: Deep Space 10 (Kai’s sim) plays host to some of the commanding officers of Task Force 47 and one or two from Task Force 72. This very important meeting is to share intelligence about an insidious new terrorist organisation referred to as the Order of the 12. The JP takes place during a refreshment break, giving our two characters an opportunity to meet and chat.
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Note: Kai is a dick and made my character out to be an old lady. Worry not, I set him straight on that matter 😛
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Having dismissed Commander Dalma back to her duties, and after giving Talarn some time to prepare himself, Hunter had decided to spend the remaining time of the interval mingling with his guests. So far, he hadn’t been a very good host. Standing in a corner flanked by two executive officers didn’t make him seem very approachable, but business was business and he had things that needed to be done.
Walking slowly round the table, he looked at the officers who were in deep discussions; most the Admirals had paired off and the other commanding officers were talking with the people they had brought from their ships. Except an old lady. Captain Adler was alone and Hunter decided to rectify that. With a fresh glass of ice cold water in his hand, he wandered up behind her, “Enjoying the time out, Captain?”
“Yes. I was in dire need of one of these,” Bettina said before sipping her coffee and savouring the flavour. “Almost as good as the cup I had this morning,” she told him, a sparkle in her eye.
“I’m glad we could cater for you,” Hunter told her, offering out a little raise of his glass in a respectful salute to the experienced woman. He knew little of her, but he felt like there was something about her that needed investigating.
Bettina smiled politely. “Thank you for your hospitality. My ship is almost crewed and stocked, and I intend for us to leave tomorrow,” she said.
“So soon?” Hunter queried, “you can’t like my hospitality that much.”
“The sooner we leave, the sooner we can get through the corridor and into unexplored space,” she replied. “That is what my ship was built for.”
“I envy you, Captain. Such a mission is what Starfleet was created for,” Hunter smiled, standing by the window and staring out at the stars, every so often a ship or shuttle coming in to view as the station continued to rotate on its axis. “Not that I mind commanding this station, but I did love my time on the Venture.”
She watched him wistfully stare at the view outside his station. “I’ve done my time on a starbase,” she told him. “It was more than enough to let me know I didn’t like being in one place. But I already knew that. I just had to bide my time before I could claim my ship and get back out there.”
“I suspect that when my tour is over here, I shall feel the same way as you do,” the station commander smiled. “Sure we have support ships attached to the base, but its not the same as permanently being out there, among the space lanes.
“I understand you have family aboard,” she said, changing the topic.
“I wouldn’t go that far,” he replied, she seemed to know a fair bit about him. He hadn’t advertised the fact that Emily was still on the station or that she had links to him. His daughter had yet to turn up with her grandparents – delayed by the important traffic to the station. “It’s complicated,” he mused.
Bettina nodded. Her children were grown by the time she joined Starfleet. The death of her daughter and her immediate family had been what prompted Bettina to sign up. Now all the only family she had left was one granddaughter and the girl’s mother and her own complicated relationship with her children’s father. “I am intimately familiar with complicated, Captain,” she assured him.
“Tell me, Captain,” Hunter gestured to a pair of chairs and walked over, sitting down, “do you think there is a place for family… for romance… in the life of a Starfleet Captain?”
“Commander Mar has a family and seems content,” Bettina said. After considering the question she added more, “As for the second part of your question, that depends. Personally I don’t screw the crew.”
Hunter liked her bluntness. She was refreshingly honest and not afraid to speak her mind. “Nor do I, but I am finding someone to share my time with to be increasingly difficult. Everyone needs someone to go home to at the end of a long shift or someone to shoot the shit with, even CO’s.”
Bettina threw her head back and laughed. She patted Hunter’s hand and smiled. “Why do you think they invented holograms, civilians and COs outside of your chain of command?”
Hunter laughed a little at the mention of holograms, “I don’t think it would be the same with a hologram somehow… and civvies never seem to understand just how difficult our lives can be.” She did have a point about other CO’s though. Was that the key to happiness? To date someone of the same position. “Don’t think I could do long distance with another CO…”
She flapped her hand at him. “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Sometimes you want someone to come home to, sometimes you just want a quick shag and for them to leave. Personally, I’ve done all of the above,” she admitted.
If he had been drinking, Hunter would have surely spat the liquid out. She really wasn’t afraid to tell it how it was. She would be a force to be reckoned with out there in the unknown and that made him feel a little bit more comfortable. “Well, we’ll see how things pan out. I guess if there’s ever a chance of meeting someone, it would be at a place like this,” he smiled.
Bettina nodded, then asked, “Anyone here from Task Force 72 take your fancy then?”
“No,” the male responded. There wasn’t anyone in the room that did. Had she not been his superior, Walsh might have done, but no. “Besides, this is too important a meeting for me to be making eyes at people,” he concluded.
“Then I won’t tell you I’ve been making eyes at a few people,” she told him.
“Oh really?” he queried, relaxing a little bit more. He didn’t mind discussing her interests. “Who might they be?”
Bettina searched the room with her eyes until she found the one man who had made a lasting impression on her. She nodded once in his direction. “I think he will be too hard to break and while it would be fun, it’s not something I could accomplish by tomorrow.”
Nodding slowly, Hunter was surprised at her choice but that was down to her. Different people had different preferences. “Right,” he pushed himself up out of the chair, “I thank you for the chat Captain, but I should get prepared for this final session. Please, help yourself to any refreshments and food during the briefing.” He bowed a little out of respect and bid farewell.
“It was a pleasure,” she said. Then as an afterthought, she said slyly, “If you want some company afterwards, I’ll be in your arboretum. No strings.”
“I’ll…” he paused as he turned back to look at her, “I’ll think about it…” he smirked, before walking around the table once more and returning to his space at the end of the table. Staring back down the table at Adler, a curious smile upon his face, he pondered just how intriguing she was…
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I wonder if we should discuss the JP… It’s a pretty good filler JP. Doesn’t do anything to move the plot along but it does offer some insight into the two characters and their personalities and in Nathan’s case, his feeling of loneliness. It also shows interesting interplay between the two. I’m not sure if it is obvious in this JP, but Nathan is Bettina’s superior in terms of the Task Force’s totem poll. While Bettina divulges she has more life experience, Kai is able show that his character is willing to listen to a subordinate/colleague when they provide help.
This JP happened during a special event and I tend to play up during these 😛 Let’s face it, even though this is a formal gathering the COs are interacting with colleagues, those who know what the burden of command feels like. They don’t have to put on their CO faces for the benefit of their minions. So I take that and run with it. It helps if your character’s personality is built that way though 😛
As a standalone, this JP is slightly lacking. Mostly at the beginning. It does not show the reader (who may be unfamiliar with the particular characters, that sim or even Star Trek simming) what is going on. The introduction could be better. You might say, but it’s a JP in the middle of a mission, it doesn’t have to be. But look at it from a newbies perspective. What if this JP is their first exposure to both the sim and Trek simming? This can be easily countered by including a bit more information in the opening sentences, ie full name and rank, perhaps even a mention of the location. Since this JP was made on a Nova site, some of this can be forgiven.
Conclusion: fun, frivolous JP with some revealing of character.
What do you think? Share, discuss or just point out typos, spelling and other grammatical errors in the comments section 🙂