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So Long and Thanks for Nothing

Posted on Sat Jan 13th, 2024 @ 7:15pm by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant JG Ryland Dedeker & Lieutenant JG Jaya Maera Garlake & Ensign Nandi Chakma & Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake & Commander Arianna Frost & Lieutenant Commander BaoJun Qiao & Lieutenant Commander Finley Chu & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong & Lieutenant Calderon Jarsdel & Gunnery Sergeant Roderik Kos & Lieutenant Commander Leonora Wolf MD & Lieutenant Teejay & Warrant Officer Laena ben-Avram

Mission: Season 1 Interlude II (E5.5)
Location: Villa 17 | Temtibi Lagoon, Risa
Timeline: ID 8

So much for a vacation. They hadn't even lasted a week on Risa before duty called them away. Even then, there had been little time for rest and relaxation. Why did it seem trouble followed them no matter what? Akiva let out a sigh and tried to keep his thoughts straight. It had been a transformative week for him personally. He and Laena were, for all intents and purposes, separated and starting from scratch. She still hadn't said a word to him since the day before. Neither had Ari, for that matter, though he felt they were on more stable ground.

Nothing was easy. Perhaps it never would be.

An incoming transmission came in from the medical center and was patched through to Akiva's room on Villa 17. When Akiva answered, he saw Storr with a newborn cradled in each massive arm against his chest while Jaya bounced on her toes to comfort one who was being fussy.

"Good morning. I take it you aren't being discharged today," Akiva said, ripping the bandage right off the bat.

Jaya shook her head no while lovingly shushing the baby in her arms.

"No, friend, we're actually on our way to prison," Storr said steely-eyed and with an exaggerated sigh. "The doctor said that since the triplets weren't napping, they'd have to be jailed for resisting a rest," Storr continued with a straight face. It held for only a moment, though, before the slightest of grins cracked into a face-full smile, and his laughter then barreled over the comm.

"You deserve to go to prison for that one." Akiva couldn't hold back a grin. "The SFMC has provided notice that they will be overseeing your transportation to Earth, but would you like any supplemental support from our end?"

Jaya knew what Akiva meant. "Noooo," she sang out in an overly enunciated tone of a mother talking to a baby. "The simpler, the better from here on out, I think."

While he didn't exactly agree with that, Akiva looked back at Storr for his input. As the ranking officer between the married couple, the decision was ultimately Storr's from a logistical perspective.

The colonel just gave a gruff nod. Jaya had spoken his mind from their earlier conversation.

"Very good, then," Akiva said. "See you on the other side."

After saying his goodbyes to the Garlakes, Akiva straightened his uniform and prepared his belongings for transport. Gone were the vacation clothes. Today he was Captain ben-Avram again and he was looking the part. Carrying his bags out to the common area where Laena and Ari had already gathered their luggage. Laena was seated outside on the wooden portico with a steaming mug, bouncing one leg over the other as if she had not a care in the world. Akiva couldn't be certain, but it appeared Fin was with her. On the other hand, Ari was playing referee between Mrazak and a Division 14 officer who was not Arex but argued like him anyway.

"You will wait until my people have vacated the scene," Mrazak said in an imperative tone. He was also dressed in uniform, all the better to throw his weight around.

The D14 officer appeared ready with a rebuttal.

"Cut it!" Ari interjected. "We did your job for you. We clear out first." She crossed her arms on her chest. "You're both fuckheads, let's be real." Ari sighed inwardly. Regardless of what she personally thought, she would always back up her crew to other units, regardless of what they had done.

Mrazak gave a glowing smirk. "Off with you now. The scene will be yours soon enough." As the forensic specialist from Division 14 shuffled away, Mrazak turned his smug satisfaction on Ari. "Well done, Frost."

Ari rolled her eyes at him visibly. "Let's be clear, you're both fuckheads, but you're my fuckhead, ergo, I back you." Ari groused at Mrazak and stepped past him.

"Thank fusion that human lifespans are so mercifully brief," Mrazak said to her back.

Having just come on the scene, Akiva looked between the two of them and decided Ari would be the better fount of knowledge. And not just because she was closer and already heading toward him. "What was that all about?"

Ari shook her head and chuckled at Mrazak's quip. There was definitely no love lost between them and she was more than fine with it, so long as they both worked for the same side.

To Akiva she said, "oh D14 wanted to clear out first but we called dibs because we showed them up. The for-spec bowed down and we have priority clearance to leave." Ari explained with a sigh. "I'll be glad to be off this place."

"So much for paradise, huh?" Akiva mused aloud. "Never thought we would have a direct conflict with Division 14. It's my understanding our agencies steer clear of one another, and now I see why." He watched Mrazak walk off in order to pick another fight with another intrusive D14 officer. "Could you imagine if he had run off with his evil twin? T'Sen, I think it was."

Ari chuckled as she headed for the beam-out spot. "Please, running scenarios in my head is second nature. You know I do that for a living." She said with a smirk in his direction. "It's a wonderful scenario, but it never ends well. You coming or what?"

"Sure," Akiva said. "Let's make the rounds and ensure everyone's ready to go."

Laena had been first. She carried her single bag over her shoulder and didn't give Akiva a second glance beyond her cordial greeting. "Good morning."

"Uh huh..." Akiva chewed his lip and went to check on the others.

"Did I forget something?" Nandi pondered aloud. "I feel like I forgot something!" Between her bunking with Cal, her things had spread across two different rooms which resulted in a morning-long scavenger hunt to collect and pack everything.

A gentle scan of her mind and Cal took both Nandi's hands in his own. "You didn't forget anything," he told her, calmly and affectionately. "Unless you count me," he added with a wry smile. He was definitely going to miss this. There had been way too much time between being loved and being put through hell, and Cal hoped rather optimistically for some more downtime in their not too distant future. He doubted that would happen, in all honestly, but it was occasionally nice to dream about such events. "We could pretend you forgot something if you wanted. Maybe check around here for a little longer..." His fingers curled in Nandi's hair now, his other hand at the small of her back. "Steal a few minutes?"

The suggestive tone and physical contact sent chills up Nandi's spine. "Wh-what did you have in mind?" she asked, a catch in her breath. As if the fluttering of her heart didn't give away her

Words weren't necessary. Giggling and moans were answer enough.

Akiva knocked on the door. "Twenty minutes!" he called out, not wanting to acknowledge whatever was happening in private but not wanting to delay either. "Don't... don't be late!"

While Ryland and Sophie had gotten comfortable back aboard the Phantom, they still had to come back to the villa to retrieve their belongings. For his part, Ryland had strewn everything positively everywhere which was no help to Sophie.

"Come on, Soph..." Ryland whined. "Just shove it all into one crate and we'll sort it out later."

“It won’t fit into one crate unless we fold it!” She told him, still trying to quickly fold his clothing. “How did you manage to make such a huge mess? I never even unpacked.”

"Because this was supposed to be a vacation," Ryland said. "You act like you've never had one before. Make messes, don't clean them up, live loose and free until life catches up to you and tells you to get your ass back work."

“It’s not much of a vacation if you don’t like the location,” she groused. “It’s possible to unpack without making a huge mess.”

"It's also possible for you to shuttie," Ryland teased. "But where's the fun in that?"

“It’s also possible for you to actually help instead of shouting at me,” she pointed out irritably.

"And miss out on you bending over one or two hundred times?" Ryland quipped. "Pass."

“Then stop complaining about how long it’s taking!” she countered.

"The only one complaining here is you," Ryland said. "But keep at it. I like it when you're angry." His eyebrows gave a waggle. "For later."

“One of these days I’m going to throttle you,” she promised irritably. “And not in a good way.”

"I'll be the judge of that," Ryland said with a grin.

She gave him a withering look. “Trust me on this one,” she said acerbically.

A knock came at the open door. Akiva poked his head inside. "Are you all about done in here? We've got to clear out soon."

"Yeah, yeah," Ryland said, waving him off. "We'll just be another minute." Or ten. Who could know?

Rodi's seabag and hiking backpack stood by their door. There was only an ancient-looking coffee making device left out. It sat on the dresser the two men hadn't used. It emanated a very pleasant, nutty and earthy aroma. "Bao, coffee." Rodi declared as he pushed the plunger down, clearing the grounds from the water.

Bao padded over barefoot, his uniform jacket laid across the barely used bed along with his boots and socks, everything else having been unceremoniously stuffed into the bag. He smelt the aroma and slid himself behind the marine, giving him a quick kiss. "Thank you, Rodi," he said. He stepped back enough for the coffee to be poured and passed around. "I had a good time with you this week, abductions and rescue missions aside," he added.

"Hmm." Rodi replied as he poured the coffee. The smells tickled Rodi in a rather pleasant way. He took a deeper breath from the brew as he lifted it to his nose. "It's trips like these that make me wonder how life would be as a civilian." A gentle sip of the coffee, the same as always. It was far too hot still, and while his stomach was cast iron, his tongue wasn't. "But then we get in a scuffle, and things make sense again all of a sudden." Rodi had truly enjoyed his time with his boyfriend. But he might have enjoyed fighting for his life too. He wasn't entirely sure which he enjoyed more.

The Lagashi released the urge the laugh at the marine. "I cannot imagine you as a civilian," he said, contemplating the nature of his boyfriend. He knew their philosophies were not always in alignment, but sometimes things worked well. "The snow-goose does not bathe every day to make itself white, nor does the crow blacken itself every day to make itself black. This life is who we are. For now, at least."

Akiva knocked. "Twenty minutes!" he called through the door. At least they had the sense to keep it closed, unlike some people.

Leah was dressed in short shorts, a tank top and a light, cotton, long button down shirt which was completely unbuttoned and fell down to her knees. There was a big straw, sun hat on her head, eyes covered by large sunglasses. Her duffel bag was on her shoulder. Her feet were bare and being gently lapped around by the moderate, crystal clear waters of the bay. Her hand was in Teejay's. "Can you believe all of this started a week ago? So much has happened, it feels like it's been forever. Like we've been forever." She said with a chuckle and looked over at her dark skinned vulcanoid partner.

For his part, Teejay's attention was very much diverted away from fungus, chaos and the previous week and very much towards those short shorts and open shirt. "I could happily stay here longer," he returned. "Mushroom free, heavy on the Leah-time...." he pulled lightly at that big straw hat and beamed a grin. Like Leah, his feet were bare, while his shorts were longer and lairy with bright coloured flowers and patterns. The short sleeved shirt mismatched with his shorts, oranges and greens displaying animals in a jungle and being open to allow his torso freedom to soak up sunshine.

"We could pretend we're stranded," he suggested. "Alone in the universe, just us surviving on what we can catch with our bare hands, dependant on each other..." he stopped talking and planted a wet kiss on her neck. The subsequent grin was childish in its effusiveness. "Or maybe we're pirates? Space pirates. Wild and free."

Leah giggled as his lips met her neck. "I could do pirates." She said with a grin as she returned the favor, sucking on his neck a little, leaving a hickie. "But I'd miss poking around dead bodies with you too much."

"Bear with me," Teejay adopted 'dramatic-thoughtful pose' and pretended to overthink things. He gently rubbed that recent new mark to his neck, but appeared far more proud than concerned. "Forensic Space Pirates!" He enthused, with mock secrecy in his open tone. "We roam the universes seeking out the mysterious circumstances of the dead and buried and bring them answers. We solve mysteries and have a lot of sex," he added, hefting Leah up from the ground and holding her high for a second or two, strong hands at her hips. "You're gonna need a pirate name," he said, seriousness abandoned now. "A really good one."

Leah squealed as she wrapped her arms around Teejay's neck. "Ooh, I've got one, Lady Sandripper! I've always wanted a pirate name!"

Akiva rolled his eyes as he overheard. "HaShem b'Shamayim," he groaned. Risa had a certain reputation but still. He knocked on their door. "Twenty minutes!"

Once everyone had their things packed, they gathered together in the central area of the villa between the four huts. As far as vacations went, this one had been weird. They weren't even going to back to the transporter pads. The Phantom was on standby to beam them all up from here.

"Last call," Akiva said to the group. "Once we leave, we aren't coming back."

“Is that a promise?” groused Sophie, dressed once again in her long sleeved, but flowy shirt, long pants, closed toed shoes, and large brimmed hat. She’d hated Risa before they’d even arrived and now, she’d just as soon blow it up as leave in peace.

"Yes." Akiva was far more direct than he'd intended to be. Tapping his combadge, he said, "Ferrofax, bring us up."

Without fanfare, the Memory Theta field team and administrative staff beamed out of paradise.


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