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An Old Friend (with Cmdr. Alexis Agrax)

Posted on Mon Feb 15th, 2021 @ 4:37pm by Commander Aranis T'San

Mission: M1: A Hand In Friendship
Location: Various Locations, Starbase 718

It had been a long day. One of the longest he could remember ever having.

He had been on calls with Starfleet Command, Starfleet Corps of Engineers, various Ambassadors that were going to set up residence on the station and that was really only the morning.

Thankfully now it was the evening and he found himself resting his eyes as he leant back in his chair.

“How many times have I told you not to sleep in your chair?” A voice called from the open doorway from where his yeoman had left it open as he had been going in and out with things. Alexis Agrax stood there looking like she was about to just run off if he said anything negative. They had not parted on best terms with her refusing to reconsider her transfer.

“At 407 I think I am allowed to be a little tired.” Aranis replied rubbing his eyes before opening them. He recognised her voice so knew it was her.

They had worked together long enough on the Cassiopeia and he had a good ear. It would have been a pretty poor show for a race of Listeners if he didn’t recognise it.

“Please come in, Alexis.” he said, gesturing to the chair in front of him.

He let out a small smile, he remembered the good they had done whilst on the Cassiopeia. It was true that he had tried to discourage her from leaving her XO position, the position by his side but she was adamant it was what she wanted. He would never stand in anyone's way, but it had

still left a mark on their relationship somewhat.

The woman moved from the doorway to the seat opposite him and sat down. She was dressed in her civilian clothing as she wanted no fuss or anything. She had merely been two adding on the Cosmos and discovered who the Captain was. “Only 407. Pfft mere baby.” She commented lightly.

“I know, I don’t look a day over 30. Got the good genes from my species.” he joked lightly in return. “How are you? Care for anything to drink?” he asked rising to get something for himself.

“I actually came to invite you out for a drink. I should have messaged but I did not actually know you had left Cassi so this was a bit on a

whim why I am dressed like this and not in uniform.” She admitted with a small shrugged. “But whatever you are fixing is good enough.”

Aranis paused his walk, “Screw it. Let’s go for a drink.” he said, turning to face her. Taking his Starfleet jacket off he left it on the back of his chair and put on a black leather one so he would appear more like a civilian. “I have been up to my eyeballs in Starfleet reports all day.”

Alexis smiled. He must be at his wits end if he was feeling like that. “No Executive Officer to pass it on to?” She teased him a little. She wanted to try and get the light mood back between them if possible. It had been heavy the last time they had seen each other but she had been in a bad place.

“Commander Ral is being kept busy as well.” Aranis laughed. “I will admit that running a station is a lot more work than a galaxy class.” he said as he guided her to a turbolift.

As the lift hummed into life there was a small tension as silence filled the space. “How are you finding the Cosmos?” he asked with genuine interest. He still cared for her and wanted to make sure she was doing okay.

“Well, you do like your Betazoid XOs.” She commented letting the silence reign for a moment before answering his second question. It was not difficult to answer as she still had her commission but sometimes she wondered if she would be better just going off and finding somewhere to just waste away in.

“Fine. The senior team is a great team. Brilliant minds.” She mused.

“I did have one of the finest,” Aranis admitted. “But Ral is a Trill.” he smiled softly.

The lift came to a stop on the promenade. Aranis had walked it a few times and met with some locals since his arrival at the station. “There is a bar just along here I think you will like.” he said, the words hanging in the air. “And I am happy that you are happy on the Cosmos.”

“Really? With a name like that would have thought Betazoid.” The woman responded with a shrug. She did not think she was happy but it was certainly keeping her from resigning at the moment. “Looks good.” She mused as they arrived at where a small selection of bars and things were.

They approached one of the bars and sat down at a table for two overlooking the lower promenade below. “I am sure she will be a capable first officer.” Aranis remarked. There was a part of him that missed Alexis by his side but as with all things, they change with time. “How is Liam?” he asked, changing the subject.

Alexis made a face and shrugged. “I am afraid you would have to ask him about that. He and me… we aren’t together anymore.” She admitted with a sad smile.

“Fair enough.” Aranis replied not wanting to push the subject further. He had heard that Liam had been on the Cosmos but obviously things had remained the same. “Things will certainly be different on a station. I had gotten rather used to flying around and getting into trouble.” he mused as two drinks were placed in front of them.

Alexis had been prepared for questions and having to explain herself and Liam but the man knew better and just moved on. She nodded in appreciation that he knew better than to ask. “I bet. I always liked station life. Slightly calmer and I liked being able to build a life. Maybe it will do you some good.” Alexis mused. Wishing they were there for more than a day.

“Ship life is all I have known from a young age, if you can believe that. Besides my time on Earth, and another planet, I have always felt the vibrations of a warp engine taking me to my next bit of excitement. Here I have already received more PADD, more reports than I ever did on the Cassiopeia, and I have only been here a short time.” Aranis said almost in disbelief on that last part.

The waitress came over and put two drinks down in front of them making Alexis look at her in question. She never just accepted a free drink l. “From them.” She said indicating two Cosmos Officers sat not far away. Alexis knew them vividly from New Rixx and the events that had happened there. Alexis nodded at them before turning her attention back to Aranis.

“You need to find the bases sweet spot. The base still vibrates if you are just missing that.” She grinned at him cheekily starting to feel more relaxed and her old self around him where she could say whatever came into her head.

“Lots of ground to cover. Might find it before my 500th birthday.” he joked as he held up the drink towards the two Cosmos officers in thanks. For a moment he looked into the glass, the liquid swirling around like the seas of home. “I often wonder how I got here. I do not like the pomp and ceremony, the stupid regulations they are coming out with these days and I am not easy to control. So why put me in charge of one of the most tenuous positions in the fleet? Do they think I will turn a blind eye to the Romulans who scream for help? That I will not use force against those in this sector that I deem necessary?” he kept asking himself. “Over and over, Alexis.” he said swirling his finger in a circular motion. “These are the questions I ask myself.”

“Bend or break my friend.” It was the only route left for them to control him in Alexis’ opinion. What else could it be. They had to be seen to manage their officers especially ones who were long lived.

Aranis sighed. “I suppose there is not really a precedent for someone to have 50 years service and still be able to look for hundreds more. I remember the freedom of the 2350’s and 60’s. I think after the Dominion War we started to change, then the attack on Mars, the Hobus supernova and numerous attacks from the Borg, not to mention the tenuous relationships we have now with those both within and without the Federation. We have gone through a lot in those years and I know how to bend but one thing I will not do is break. Never.” he said with steel in his eyes as he downed his drink and then indicated to the waiter he wanted another.

“Yet here you are asking why you think they put you here.” The woman countered. She had lived through those events with different eyes and different opinions than him, the seasoned officer. She had been a child or a cadet through most of those events nowhere near the cool and professional person she pretended to be now.

Aranis shrugged. “Maybe someone wants me to push back a little.” he said as someone rushed up towards him with a PADD. After a quick read and thumbprint the man was on his way once more. “Never off duty it seems.” he remarked.

“Come on, drink up. We are finding somewhere to hide.” Alexis said as she watched the man walk away. This Starbase was no different to the one she had grown up on for a few years or the one she had been stationed on as Chief of Security. “Can I have a bottle of your Betazoid Nectar?” Alexis requested off the passing waitress. The woman smiled at her and quickly ran off to get it.

“We do not get asked for that often.” She admitted with a smile as Alexis pressed her thumb to the PADD and handed over a tip much to the girls amazement and thanks.

“A place to hide with a bottle of nectar and a good friends company. What more can I ask for?” he grinned. “You have a place in mind?” he asked.

“Completely.” Alexis held out her hand waiting for him to take it before she led him to an access panel and climbed in once the computer recognised the Captain. It was not delicate at all with her shoes but she managed to get inside and climb up a few decks before she stopped. “I used to hide here all the time.” She snorted patting the deck next to her.

“Definitely imaginative.” Aranis admitted as he sat down. “You know I am over 4 centuries old and you have me crawling through access panels and through Jeffries tubes like a young man.” he said in a playful tone.

“Well I am sure I kept you active with my tricks so you need reminding just because you are old doesn’t mean you have to act it.” The woman reminded him. She smiled brightly before taking a deep sip of the honey nectar before passing it to him.

“How true.” he said, taking a sip of the nectar passed to him. “By my peoples standards I am not even middle aged yet but sometimes I do feel the centuries on me. My daughter reminds me to have fun every once in a while… I guess my good friend is doing the same.” he said tipping the glass to her.

“I try.” She shrugged it was easy to relax listening to the metallic vibrating and enjoy the nectar there. She didn’t need to think on reports or on security investigations just on herself for once. “I think on a lot of other people all the time and sometimes you need a little bit of you time.” Was her rationale for bringing him there.

“I’ll drink to some ‘me’ time.” Aranis said, taking a drink from the bottle.


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