Finishing her prays to the Prophets, Cambil opened her eyes and blew the candles out. She had found that if she did not take the time to calm herself at the end of the day she felt restless. Her mother and father always insisted that her and her siblings took time to thank the Prophets for their day before they ate. As such she had never stopped that ritual as she became an adult.
Standing up from her kneeling position, Cambil made her way over to the replicator and ordered tuwaly pie with extra rekja along with mapa bread. Tonight she was spoiling herself after the news of the ship’s new assignment. Heading to the Delta Quadrant was something quite different. She was gutted they weren’t heading to somewhere like the Gamma Quadrant as it would have allowed her the opportunity to visit Bajor and cross through the celestial temple. Maybe one day? She hoped. Taking a bottle of springwine out she poured herself a glass and sat down, alone at her table, to enjoy the meal while reading one of her favourite novels, The Rebel’s Desire. It was set during the occupation and the protagonist, a Bajoran rebel, fought for the attention of his cell’s leader. It had become a recent bestseller on Bajor and rumours going around was that it was going to be turned into a holonovel by publishers Broht & Forrester.
Her husband had taken their sons on a camping trip in the ship’s large arboretum as part of some school field trip. So tonight she would have the entire place to herself.
The door chime interrupted her meal and read. She wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up so was pleasantly surprised to find T’Rani at her door. The Vulcan lieutenant commander apologised for disturbing her superior at such a late hour but presented to her the weekly conn report. Grateful for it, Cambil took the PADD from the pilot. “T’Rani I appreciate your efficiency in bringing this to me but it is several days early and you don’t need to deliver it to me in person. A message with it attached is sufficient.”
“I know that ma’am, but as I had a free evening I wanted to get ahead of my workload.” T’Rani said, remaining cool and calm as ever.
Cambil had known the woman for over eighteen years now. She had seen her train as a cadet and rise through the ranks to be the exceptional officer she was now. Never had she sent in a report so early in advance of its due date or in person. “Did you want to come in?” She offered the pilot.
“The offer is generous; however I do not wish to impose myself upon you ma’am.” T’Rani remarked and bowed her head as she turned to leave from the doorway.
“T’Rani,” Cambil called for her and then pointed with her left hand. “Get in now and that’s an order.”
Not wanting to disobey the first officer, T’Rani complied with the command and entered the large quarters that belonged to Cambil. Like the captain’s quarters it was pretty huge with an impressive living area that had several armchairs and sofas along with a long glass dining table with eight chairs dotted around it. Going off from it was a private area which was an office like area and then the bedroom. T’Rani was aware that the bedchambers in these quarters were slightly larger than hers and came with a luxurious en-suite bathroom with a walk-in wardrobe. Also like the captain’s quarters, there were extra bedrooms for the commander’s twin sixteen-year-old sons along with a family bathroom. Dotted around their quarters were family photographs, a Bajoran shrine as well as other items that were precious to them.
“Take a seat.” Cambil insisted towards one of the armchairs. “Are you still a fan of Deka iced tea?”
“Indeed I am.” T’Rani responded.
Walking over to her food replicator, Cambil called for the Bajoran tea to be made and on her way back picked up her glass of springwine. Handing the tea over to T’Rani, the commander sat on the sofa opposite to the Vulcan. “It’s been a long time since you and I have shared a moment like this.”
“I believe it has been twelve years, give or take a few days.” T’Rani remarked as she sipped on the flavoured tea. “Thank you for the tea.”
“So what’s this really about T’Rani?” Cambil said inbetween her own sips. “Last time we spoke like this…”
“Yes I know, I had returned from Vulcan and discovered that…” She paused. “I could not have children with S’Tefe.” T’Rani’s discomfort was becoming more apparent.
“And I thought you both resolved that matter?” Cambil enquired. “If you don’t mind me prying?”
Sitting up straight, T’Rani obviously wished to discuss the matter. “I am finding it difficult to comprehend S’Tefe’s actions recently.”
Smirking at that notion, Cambil knew all too well how hard it was to work out her own husband and that of her sons sometimes. That said the latter were teenagers and she had never figured out teenagers. Seeing as both of their husbands worked as teachers on the ship in a civilian capacity that held some sort of connection. “I don’t always comprehend Naprem’s actions but that’s marriage. Sometimes you get along and sometimes you give each other your space.” She explained, “Take right now, I am loving having the whole place to myself while they’re on that field trip. I take it S’Tefe is on it as well?”
“Indeed, however my concern is over the fact he is more bothered about his work than our marriage.” T’Rani stated.
“Is that unusual then?” Cambil asked as she placed her glass of springwine down on the coffee table between them.
Appearing more uncomfortable, the pilot persevered with her answer. “I feel that he wishes to have a conversation but is apprehensive about it.”
“Us.” T’Rani said. “I believe he wishes to separate.”
Shocked to hear those words from her, Cambil sat up and made her way over to T’Rani. She sat on the arm and took her hand into hers for comfort. She knew the Vulcan woman would not appreciate the gesture entirely. “T’Rani are you serious?”
“I believe so. For some time he has made remarks about family life and missing being on Vulcan.” T’Rani shared. “I believe he would prefer to be on the homeworld then here and with our new mission orders to the Delta Quadrant, I am uncertain he will want us to remain on the Odyssey.”
“T’Rani, I know you may not want to hear this but then you need to ask him.” Cambil advised. “You can’t go on not knowing.”
Standing up and smiling down at her former student, “However as both of our husbands are occupied elsewhere I insist you join me for dinner tonight and then perhaps we can go for a walk down to the cetacean labs. Walking under the aqua labs always helps me calm my thoughts if meditating or praying about it doesn’t work.”
“Thank you ma’am, I appreciate the gesture.” T’Rani said and stood up.
“Now, I must insist you try some Bajoran spring wine. I know it has a lot of flavour in it, more so than most Vulcans like but I promise you it is good for the soul.” Cambil said with a friendly smile as he made her way over to the replicator and ordered more food for her guest. “Then for dessert, I am taking a page out of Counsellor Dunan’s book and ordering us both a slice of chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ice cream.”
“If you insist.” The pilot said as she took a seat at the dining table.
“Oh I do T’Rani.” Cambil said as she programmed the replicator. “I do!”
The auditorium was pretty sparse as the evening meals were slowly being finished and those that remained were waiting for the main bar to open. Sat in the corner by the large windows were Commanders Duncan and Hunsen with Senior Chief Petty Officer Court. The three men were just finishing their dinner and were guessing what their next adventures would bring.
“My money is on Starfleet wanted us to find the Klingon colony that Voyager established before it left the Delta Quadrant.” Court remarked in between mouthfuls of his cheese and bacon burger.
Disagreeing with him, Hunsen shook his head as he gulped down some pasta. “No way, I reckon Starfleet wants to establish some more friendly allies. I was reading about a species known as the Quarren. I reckon we’ll go there first.”
“Wait a sec,” Duncan said looking up from the mug of tea he was drinking, “aren’t the Quarrens the people that attacked and kidnapped the Voyager crew and wiped their memories for them to be part of their workforce?”
“Yeah, but Voyager sorted that one out so they might like us.” Hunsen suggested.
Both Duncan and Court burst out laughing at their friend’s train of thought.
“Seriously Tremt are Starfleet really going to send one of their state-of-the-art ships to a place that may enslave everyone on board?” Court questioned and he looked across the table back to Duncan. “What do you think Max?”
“Huh?” Duncan said, court of guard by the question and quickly stumbling his thoughts. “Oh, well I think it will be the Borg.”
“The Borg?” Court and Hunsen both said in unison.
“Ah man, don’t you think the Federation has had enough of them?” Court asked in almost disgust.
“And I’m sure other ships may already undertaking that job.” Hunsen remarked. “Come on, you must have looked at the Voyager database to see who we may make second contact with?”
Duncan shook his head, “I’ve not had time to look over it yet.”
“I’m so glad our chief diplomatic officer is prepared!” Hunsen teased his friend.
Court sighed in disbelief. “I can’t believe you’ve not looked yet.” He then pushed more of his burger into his mouth. “Such a let-down.” He said with his mouthful.
“Quick your nagging, I will have plenty of time to review it before we arrive at Barzan.” Duncan said. “That said, you never know we may not end up in the Delta Quadrant.”
“What’s that got to mean?” Court asked, almost sounding hurt that Duncan didn’t believe their Delta Quadrant adventure would take place.
Placing his mug down on the table, Duncan explained his theory. “I just think something else will come up and will require the Odyssey to take a diversion first. It always happens with us!”
Shaking his head in disbelief, Hunsen wasn’t having any of it. “No you’re wrong, we will be in the Delta Quadrant by this time next week. Mark my words!”
“Is that before or after the Klingons invade or Q Continuum decides to return and place the Federation on trial again?” Duncan asked. “I know I’m not sounding optimistic about this; it’s just I reckon something will happen between here and then.”
“Let’s place a wager on it then.” Court suggested. “If Max is right then we have to bring him his dinner every night for a month.”
“Add breakfast and it’s a deal.” Duncan offered.
“Fine and if we win then he has to bring us our breakfast and dinner every day for a month.” Hunsen added.
The three men all shook their hands on the bet and returned to their meals, still laughing at what may happen next.