River of Forgetfulness #127 - Back To Reality

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My first post! Just something little, and apologies in advance for any formatting errors if I've made any mistakes, please do let me know. I'm not sure if the numbering system is for anything posted or just main plot related bits, but anyway.

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<Emmeline's quarters, shortly after arrival>

This day would have gone far better, Emmeline reflected, if only she had drunk a few cups of coffee. Despite the pleasant if somewhat unusual demeanour of Captain McClure, all the delays aboard the SS Future served only to make her far more nervous than she should have been. There were problems at Starbase 47 already? Of course there were, she doubted any Federation outpost was without its share of trouble - but knowing this didn't make her arrival any easier. If that were not enough, when they had at last reached the starbase, the captain had decided to give a speech. Not that there was anything wrong or indeed particularly unusual about this, and she was quite certain it would have been a good one, if only she had been able to pay proper attention, but what she really needed now was-

'Coffee, extra strong. With cream.'

Taking long, grateful sips, Emmeline perched on the edge of the bed in her quarters. The replicator worked well, that was something. She couldn't count the times she had come across faulty ones at the Academy, and had even begun to hazard a suspicion someone was deliberately tampering with them. Replicators could be temperamental, that was for sure. At least she had the advantage of knowing how to fix them.

So, this was it, she though absently. She was Ensign Emmeline Kane, officially. Nothing since her graduation had seemed quite real, it was as if she had never truly expected to get this far. It was what she had been studying for these past years, yes, but it had always seemed so distant. Reality had crept up on her in the dark and she wasn't entirely sure what to make of it.

This posting, on the edge of the Romulan Neutral Zone of all places. She knew what her sister Branwen would say, how terribly misunderstood the Romulans were, that they weren't a bit like the image held of them in the Federation. Emmeline wasn't sure that Branwen had ever met a Romulan. But she hadn't either, so maybe she should keep an open mind. Maybe she had a duty to, for after all weren't the popular perceptions of her homeworld entirely different from the actuality? There was something rather odd about giving the Romulans the benefit of the doubt, especially for someone so inclined to distrust as she was, but it seemed right somehow.

Her coffee finished, she set to unpacking. It hadn't seemed necessary to her to bring many personal effects when she had left Earth, probably as a counterbalance to the amount she had brought when she first arrived her. Her mother had tried to warn her she wouldn't need every item of clothing, tool, or PADD she possessed at Starfleet Academy, but she hadn't listened. Most of it she had sent back home after the first month. With her quarters looking so sparse, however, she wondered if she hadn't gone too far in the opposite direction this time.

A few pictures of family, two plants she just hadn't been able to leave behind, although she hadn't inherited her mother's talent in that field, Emmeline couldn't stand to be without a little greenery a little carved statue from Siduri, the origin or purpose of which she didn't know, but her sister had given it to her before she left for Earth, and she wouldn't part with it. They were the important things, anyway. The rest could wait. Her weariness having been alleviated, whether by the coffee or the mixed and heightened emotions of finally having arrived she could not tell, she was keen to get to work. So she hadn't technically been asked to report for duty yet, but she wasn't about to sit here the rest of the day and she doubted anyone would mind her taking the initiative. Everyone always did, at the Academy. Wanting so much to be noticed that one had to do extra just to keep up.

Emmeline didn't want to be noticed. What she did want, however, was to remind herself of the reason she was here, to make this real. Stepping outside her quarters, she peered at the map on the corridor wall. A little convoluted, but easy enough for her to make out - there was main engineering. Not too far from here, and no doubt they'd find something she could do.

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Ensign Emmeline Kane Engineering Officer Starbase Ronin (SB47)