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#1 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 21902.26 @ 18:37 (06:37 PM)

==Evening Before Launch==

 

The holodeck was silent and dark save for the sound of Jenny's slow breathing as she sat on the hard obsidian floor, legs folded and eyes closed. Bryan had suggested meditation some time ago to help alleviate her tensions in ways that gym exercise and her other physical activities with him did not. She'd struggled at first; none of the more well-known religions had provided any answer, especially those that required active prayer or had strict codes of conduct that Jenny knew she wouldn't be able to conform to; 'thou shalt not kill' and its variations being one of the more difficult ones. If she wanted to spend eternity in hell, Jenny would transfer to the Sheridan as a Junior Tactical officer under Jaxx Crandell. More obscure religious followings had also proven less than fruitful, until Jenny came across a piece of historical trivia in which a group of twentieth-century people had declared a fictional religion on a census form; legend had it that the government of the time had been forced to recognise it, though Jenny believed that story to have grown in the telling. Her research had led her to believe that this religion or philosophy (indeed the texts stated it could be one or both) held many of the traditional notions of good or evil, and had links to both Earth Buddhism and Daoism, and that it was actually very well developed for a fictional religion.

 

Footsteps threatened to pull Jenny from her concentration, focusing on expanding her sphere of perception and using her passive senses to detect others; sight could be compromised easier than touch, sound and smell, and the last time she had been distracted she had ended up with several painful raps across the back by one of the three beings that accompanied her every time she used this program. A blindfold was pulled across her eyes and tightened behind her head, and Jenny felt the passage of the smallest being and heard the taps of its walking stick on the surface of the floor as it retreated to a safe distance. Her father and one of his associates had helped write the program, turning it into a font of knowledge as well as an exercise in mental and physical discipline; she was always accompanied by three individuals - the first was a wrinkled old man in black robes with a hunched back, yellow eyes and bad teeth only two of the physical deformities that betrayed the inner corruption; the second was a wizened little green creature who spoke in backwards riddles and laughed at everything. The third was a mystery; cloaked in black and red with face hidden behind a mask, the third figure never said a word and beyond being male, Jenny knew little to nothing about him. Of the three, he was easily the most unsettling.

 

"Begin, you will."

 

Two taps of the little creature's stick, and Jenny rose to her feet, unhooking a fifteen centimetre long cylinder from her belt. This was the part of the program that she'd thought she'd find less useful than training with an actual sword, especially given the weapon could not be replicated outside of the realms of the holodeck, but after a few practice sessions she'd begun to realise she found the exercise to be quite enjoyable once she'd gotten around fighting opponents who didn't obey Newtonian laws of physics. Taking the cylinder in a firm two-handed grip, Jenny pressed the activation stud with her thumb and felt the device hiss and vibrate as, unseen, the three foot long blade of violet energy. Calmly and deliberately, Jenny began walking through the training kata; deadly energy blade sometimes passing mere inches from her head. The drone of the blade was constant in her ears, but not enough to fully block out the competing voices of two of her three holographic companions.

 

"There is no emotion, there is peace."

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion."

 

Finishing one warmup kata, Jenny moved into something more advanced; there were apparently seven major forms of fighting with this weapon, each of which could probably be transferred to more traditional bladed weapons. In addition to the first form, which had been developed using traditional bladed weapons as a basis; Jenny had studied the second, duel-centric form, along with the fourth and seventh forms; the fourth being fast-paced and effective against singular opponents, the seventh being more unpredictable and stemming from the form's design to overpower an opponent with 'fury and malignant grace'. Moving into the second form, then the fourth, Jenny was accompanied by the drone of the blade and the muttered voices reciting the same lines over and over again. More than once her concentration threatened to slip and she risked badly burning herself as the blade passed too close to exposed skin.

 

"There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity."

"Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power."

 

Finishing the fourth form katas, Jenny moved into the aggressive and difficult to master seventh form. This was usually where she failed, the simplest of distractions usually resulting in, had the safeties been turned off entirely rather than just set to a reduced setting, a severed arm or leg.

 

"There is no chaos, there is harmony."

"Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken."

 

Jenny felt her confidence slipping and forced herself to concentrate. Through power she would gain victory and free herself from the bonds of her fear; her fear of the future, her fear of her secret being discovered. Sweat stung her eyes as it streamed from her scalp under the blindfold and despite not being physically tired, the concentration required to maintain the katas was exhausting her mentally, allowing the thoughts she'd been trying to suppress to flood back into her mind. Forcing herself through the pain, Jenny finished the kata and realised that the voices had stopped; they never stopped. There was someone else present, a second heartbeat and a second mouth breathing. Jenny hadn't even heard the holodeck doors open, and wondered if she'd gone over her allotted time or whether the locking mechanism simply hadn't engaged like it was supposed to. Deactivating the blade and removing the blindfold, Jenny followed the gazes of her three companions to the interloper in her sanctum; a small red-headed girl with more freckles than skin on her face. 

 

Leah Wickley.


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#2 Ens Leah Wickley

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Posted Star Date 21902.26 @ 19:48 (07:48 PM)

==Evening before launch==

==Leah's Quarters==

 

"...it was endless and fathomless and dizzying, and there were times when I wanted some defense against its pleasures and its surprises, and I had none. 

 

And though I said her name over and over, to make it natural, she wasn't really Gabrielle yet to me. She was simply she, the one I had needed all my life with all my being. The only woman I had ever loved. 

 

Her actual death didn't take long..." 

 

 

Leah let out a frustrated sigh as she set the book down again for what felt like the twentieth time since she picked it up. The deep, blood-red cover with golden letters reading, 'The Vampire Lestat' had seen better days, having creases and fade lines all along the title. The spine was bent out of shape as well, but besides the flaws, the book held up surprisingly well for being nearly 120 years old. A gift from her childhood mentor Elessa, it was the second novel to her most treasured series. 

 

But it appeared today was not a day she would find enjoyment from it. Not with the constant voice in her head giving her hell. As a counselor, she'd think she'd see that as a sign of anxiety or remorse, but she had been brushing it off since the ceremony back on Earth. She was just assuming it was fatigue. 

After the quick, private talk with Jenny about her concerns after the B'el'th paH incidents, she felt a bit more at ease about her doubts, but even though (thank the goddess) Jenny tried to assure her she had actually been quite heroic, she still felt so much guilt... to a point that her nightmare had returned last night, and she was currently running on two hours of sleep in two days. 

 

Leah had to talk to someone.

 

With a soft moan of melodramatic agony, Leah leaned her head back and stared at the ceiling from her spot on the armchair. "Computer," she said, waiting for the acknowledging beep, "please tell me the location of Commander Jennifer Braggins." 

 

A beat.

 

[Commander Jennifer Braggins is in Holodeck Two] came the reply, and Leah immediately sprung to her feet, and after dressing in a pair of jeans and a dark purple top, headed straight out the door.

 

 

==Holodeck Two==

 

With a final flourish, Leah secured her copper hair into a loose bun atop her head before looking down at the holodeck control panel. She took note of the program file number and security setting, right before turning towards the large doors. Squaring her shoulders, she took the last step forward and the doors yawned open for her. 

 

Inside, Leah instantly felt the intensity of what was going on with the program, and watched as Jenny swung around a strange, glowing weapon with a grace Leah had never witnessed before. She fought between three very distinct beings, one of which extremely small and... green... while the others were humanoid, and quite daunting compared to Jenny. Yet, there was no fear, nor did Leah sense any strong emotions coming from the commander. Jenny was blindfolded, sweating, fighting hard and...

 

Peaceful? Huh... Leah tilted her head curiously as she watched the fight unfold, wincing when Jenny was barely grazed from time to time. Leah stood in awe, until the three beings suddenly stopped and looked in her direction. Leah blinked, and felt heat creep up on her cheeks. 

 

Ohhhh I should I have knocked first... I should have asked permission----

 

Just as Jenny lifted her blindfold and found the redhead standing at the doors a bit dumbfounded, Leah cleared her throat. 

 

"C-C-Commander, I'm sorry to interrupt.... this," Leah weakly gestured at the program with a guilty smile, "But I saw it was just a training program so I figured there'd, uh, be no harm of me coming in to say hi." Leah managed to squeak out the words after a beat, and then took another breath. "I was hoping to continue that talk we had back at the ceremony." 

 

Leah chewed nervously at he thumb nail as she waited to see how the Commander would react to the intrusion. 

 

 

==Tagged, Jenny is==


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#3 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 21902.26 @ 21:32 (09:32 PM)

"C-C-Commander, I'm sorry to interrupt.... this. But I saw it was just a training program so I figured there'd, uh, be no harm of me coming in to say hi. I was hoping to continue that talk we had back at the ceremony." 

 

Wickley squeaked out the words, obviously nervous at having interrupted Jenny's exercise time, and more than a little uncertain in herself following the events of the last few weeks. Though Leah had shown signs of improvement, she obviously still hadn't recovered 100%, and the issue with being a therapist was that there weren't many people she could turn to when she herself needed therapy. Hooking the handle back onto her belt, Jenny made a mental note to get the locking mechanism checked and, and was glad she'd been training in a sports bra and bottom half of her black karate gi rather than something more revealing. Before she could do anything, however, the little green creature took off at a fairly rapid pace, stick tapping on the ground as he approached where Leah stood.

 

"Uncertain, you are. Reassurance, you need. Grounding, yes. Peace. Tranquillity. Yes. Good for the soul, these are."

 

Jenny watched the curious little creature as he paced around Leah and ushered her deeper into the room. The stone archways surrounding the central area were lit by torches built into statues of robed figures, and Jenny nodded to show Leah it was safe for her to enter. The cloaked figures remained silent and faded away into nothing, neither of them had been present for Jenny's first foray into the program either, and upon detecting a newcomer the program was reverting to its introductory state. Jenny had resumed sitting cross-legged on the floor, and beckoned for Leah to join her before the small green creature thwacked her around the back of the knees in an 'invitation' of its own.

 

This isn't going to work with Kermit's great-grandfather wandering around...

 

"Computer, remove characters."

 

The shuffling green creature faded away. Jenny rolled her sweat-covered shoulders and neck before turning to the young redhead as she pulled her sweat-matted hair from its ponytail and shook it free, grimacing as she felt it becoming instantly plastered to her back and neck.

 

"So what was it you wanted to talk about?"


Edited by Cdr Jennifer Braggins, Star Date 21902.26 @ 21:32 (09:32 PM).

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#4 Ens Leah Wickley

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Posted Star Date 21903.01 @ 16:50 (04:50 PM)

Jenny tucked the handle of her weapon back on to her side, but before she could make another movement, the green guy from earlier approached her quickly, and Leah instinctively took a step back. Not from fear, but just startled at how fast he got to her. 

"Uncertain you are. Reassurance, you need. Grounding, yes. Peace. Tranquility. Yes. Good for the soul these are." Leah could only tilt her head and stare at the little green dude, perplexed and also a bit taken aback by his accurate statement. 

"Y-yes... I uh, I came here to speak to my friend who-- oh! Okay we're doing this..." Leah took a few steps forward as he began to gesture her inwards, and she took a glace to Jenny, who immediately gave her a reassuring nod. Leah moved closer, and dropped down carefully to her knees, leaning back on her sneakers.

 

"Computer, remove characters," Jenny ordered, and the acknowledging beep was followed by the little dude disappearing. Leah placed her hands on her upper thighs and quietly observed Jenny, who still seemed very much at peace, if not still carrying that ever-present guard she held on her features.

 

"So what was it you wanted to talk about?" Jenny finally asked after a beat, and Leah's heart pounded just a tad bit harder than a moment ago. She knew she had to get it out, but she was never good at discussing her own issues. It usually was the other way around. Leah gave a short laugh at the thought. Doctors really do make the worst patients, eh?

 

Clearing her throat finally, she gazed up at Jenny's curious eyes. "Well, mainly I just wanted to catch up with what we were discussing before the ceremony started the other day. About how I... about me making a mistake." She paused, trying to formulate the proper words. How I ran like a coward. Curled up in a ball and cried. How I live with the guilt that I abandoned everyone because I couldn't deal... The nightmares... the constant headaches...  Leah took a breath and continued. 

 

"You said I deserve a medal for what I did. How I tried my best to save Jelal's life... which, normally I'd thank you and perhaps agree, but... it's not what I did then, it's what I did... after..." Leah looked down and fidgeted with the hem of her purple shirt. "After he died, it was like my brain went numb. Like it couldn't process the fact that someone died... a real someone, not a simulated someone. Died..." She lifted her hands, and for a moment, she could swear she could picture the image of a bleeding heart in her palms. She shivered and squeezed her eyes shut. You can do this, Wickley. Tell her. TELL. HER. 

"I-I ran. I left Sickbay, an' took off like a feckin' tool, finding the nearest empty room to hide in. I couldn't... I couldn't deal with it. And now, it's as if my own mind is torturing me." She wrung her hands and looked back up. Her eyes were starting to well, but the tears never came. They were already puffy and she looked exhausted. "I can't sleep. I keep having this... dream-- no. Nightmare. That I.... I----" Leah swallowed hard and shut her eyes. She sat in silence, taking every ounce of willpower to not break down again. 

"I'm sorry." 

 

 

==Tag Jenny=

 


 


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#5 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 21903.01 @ 18:14 (06:14 PM)

As Wickley approached and sank down onto her knees, Jenny wondered what had become of the confident girl she'd met on Starbase Bravo months previously; the woman who was excited to embark on her first mission, who was more than willing to (repeatedly) make poor life choices when it came to sexual encounters with one Jaxx Crandell; the woman who had shown so much promise that she'd been promoted to Ensign far earlier than otherwise she should have been. Old Leah had been full of vitality, while current Leah felt more like a helium balloon with most of its gas escaped; barely floating and generally looking deflated and sad.

 

Recent events have really done a number on you, haven't they? Just another crime whoever was behind this will need to answer for...

 

Jenny sat and listened patiently, her expression carefully kept calm and neutral, while the young doctor poured out her heart. It wasn't difficult to see the tears welling up in her eyes, which were already puffy from crying and apparent lack of sleep. How the young doctor was keeping it together, Jenny didn't know, but it was evident that she'd not felt like she could share this with anyone else; after all, the Gettysburg's counsellor had retired and gone into private practice upon being informed the ship was being decommissioned, and base counsellors tended to err on the judgemental side these days.

 

"I'm sorry." 

 

Jenny exhaled in a very long, very slow sigh.

 

"Sit down properly, relax a little. Sitting on your feet isn't going to do you any favours."

 

When Leah had adjusted her position, Jenny continued.

 

"You're not the first person to freak out following a situation like that, and you won't be the last. In fact, I'd be deeply mistrustful of someone who doesn't have some kind of break after their first experience with death."

 

Shifting her sitting position, Jenny straightened her legs and leaned back, supporting her weight with the palms of her hands.

 

"People deal with death in different ways, whether you're witnessing it or causing it; they don't tell you that at the Academy because they don't want people hesitating when the time comes and causing people to get hurt."

 

Still not comfortable in her sitting position, Jenny sat back upright and raised her knees so she could rest her chin on them, wrapping her arms around her shins and clasping her sweat-slicked forearms.

 

"The first time I killed someone, I threw up afterward. Quantum Torpedo up the Impulse Exhaust of a Romulan Attack Craft; eight people dead in the blink of an eye. I wish I could say that dealing with death gets easier, but it doesn't; it will always be with you, you just get used to it after a while..."

 

With a deep breath, Jenny reached out and put a hand on Leah's shoulder and gave it a firm but reassuring and affectionate squeeze.

 

"You have no reason to be sorry, Leah. I'm the one who should be apologising; what you saw, no Midshipman should ever have to see."


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#6 Ens Leah Wickley

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Posted Star Date 21903.01 @ 20:18 (08:18 PM)

Leah sat quietly, not saying a word and staring off to a point just in the distance. One of the flickering flames of a torch on the back wall.... The wheels were turning as she processed everything Jenny had said to her, acknowledging just how true her words rang. The Academy had trained her to be on guard for mental breakdowns and instabilities after missions, how to deal with the panic that can set in or the trauma she may witness in the eyes of those who are injured... but no one prepared her on how to deal with her own demons. Hearing how normal it was to react out of character, that the act of showing that much disgust with death was an admirable trait, lifted a layer of fog from Leah's mind. 

Jenny's hand on her shoulder finally snapped Leah back to reality and she looked square into the commander's eyes. For the first time, she saw the raw, unfiltered concern in Jenny's features, and it made her smile. She wasn't alone, and yes, it's absolutely terrifying to think about, but death will happen. She just hoped Jenny was right, that she will get used to the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. 

"I honestly thought this was guilt eating at my insides this whole time..." Leah let out a small chuckle. "I guess when ye put it that way, it's my body rejecting the nasty memory of what I witnessed. I just never thought it would be that..." She faded off, scrunching up her nose as if trying to think of the right word. She tapped her chest lightly with her finger, between her breastbone. "It's hard to describe, but it's that cold feeling, that starts here and spreads to every limb. Like someone replaced your blood with ice water. It.... hurt. I couldn't breathe..." Her eyes unfocused again, as bits and pieces of memories threatened to surface in her mind. But, this time, she let them. The sensation of feeling Jelal's heart in her hands, feeling his heartbeat. Watching as Liam frantically tried everything he possibly could to save him when he realized Jelal's heart had stopped. The pure panic she felt in everyone in that room was so palpable, she felt like she had been drowning, watching as Dr. McConnelly pronounced the man dead. 

"...it had taken me nearly ten minutes before I could move," Leah began softly, her words laced with a faint sob. "Fight or flight... and flight won. I found a room two sections down, unoccupied, and I locked the door. And I sat there, as I heard people rushing around, trying to save lives, help the crew." Leah placed her head in her hands and let out a long, stuttering breath. "And I did nothing. Did nothing but play that moment over and over in my head until I was sick." 

There was no holding back now. Leah choked out a sob, and cried. Harder than she had any time in the previous weeks. It was... surprisingly cleansing.

When she finally got herself back together a few moments later, she looked back up at Jenny and tried to offer an apologetic smile. "Man, if only I could have had the guts to have told ye sooner. I'd have gotten that out of my system long time ago." She sniffled, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand. 

"Thank you, Commander.... no. Thank you, friend." Leah smiled, a bit warmer this time, and gave a curt nod in Jenny's direction. 


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#7 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 21903.05 @ 13:24 (01:24 PM)

There was really nothing Jenny could say or do for the young woman as she poured her heart out and then briefly began to bawl; she was not a therapist, and her coping mechanisms were distinctly unhealthy both physically and emotionally, they'd likely compound Leah's problem or shock her into an immediate transfer request. Conscious of how the inactivity had caused her clothing to stick to her skin, Jenny rose to her feet while Leah composed herself and pulled the other woman up with her.

 

"I need a shower, and you look like you could use a drink. Come with me."

 

Ending the program, Jenny led Leah out of the Holodeck and up to Deck Two, where her new Quarters were situated across the corridor from Tyra's and adjoining her office. Just visible down the corridor was the entrance to the Bridge, currently mostly-empty, but in several short hours would become a bustling hive of activity as the Artemis readied to leave port and make her way back to Pioneer and whatever adventures awaited. The doors opened with a soft hiss, revealing a darkened interior which suggested that Bryan was not present. A soft rumbling growl from inside the room was accompanied by a pair of large glowing red eyes, Raiju evidently displeased that he had been disturbed.

 

"Lights."

 

The lights flashed to life, revealing large quarters and a few packing crates not yet fully emptied. Several locked cases for weapons of some form were stacked against the far wall, and two guitar cases were leaning against the wall next to the doorway to the bedroom. Raiju rose from his bed and padded across the room to them, the adolescent Thunderwolf sniffing curiously at Leah's hand with a soft rumble, his quills hardened in caution but not raised as if he were ready to attack. 

 

"He won't bite, he's just curious. Picked him up as a cub on Ryla and he imprinted on me, didn't you?"

 

Jenny crouched down and affectionately scratched the big black wolf behind the ears, eliciting a satisfied sound that was more purr that growl.


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#8 Ens Leah Wickley

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Posted Star Date 21903.05 @ 13:53 (01:53 PM)

With the offer of a drink, Leah sniffled away the last of her tears and stood, following Jenny through the corridors and up the lifts to her quarters. Leah took a quick peek down the hall. For a moment she stood in awe, not realizing the Captain and First Officer bunked so close to the Bridge. Then again, logic would dictate those two would be the ones you'd want to be able to reach the command center as quickly as possible. 

 

As the doors opened, Leah heard a low, menacing growl coming from Jenny's quarters, and she quickly turned her attention in that direction. She instinctively took a step back, and for a flash she saw the eyes staring out from the darkness. An instinct inside Leah kicked in and her body tensed up. It could be considered irrational, as of course she was aware Jenny had a pet with her on board. She just never thought it would be that... scary. 

"Lights." Jenny called out and illuminated the room, from which Leah could tell Jenny was still in the process of settling in. But right now, it wasn't so much the boxes or the weaponry that she cared about.

 

The beast was coming directly towards her. 

"Ah... uhh..." Leah gulped, her eyes like saucers as the wolf/beast/chupacabra came up and sniffed at her. Leah stood stock still, not wanting to do anything to instigate the creature. She had never seen anything like him... "P-please don't... g-g-good puppy..." 

 

"He won't bite, he's just curious. Picked him up as a cub on Ryla and he imprinted on me, didn't you?" Jenny commented, kneeling down to give the beast some attention, causing it to lose it's defensive stance and... purr? 

 

"Wh-what is he...?" Leah managed to squeak as she took a very tentative step forward, to be completely in the room. The door swished closed behind her and she all but yelped in surprise. "Ah! I uh... I didn't know you had such a... guard dog..." 

Though, at the sight of Jenny petting it as if it were a normal domestic dog, Leah bravely lowered her hand again, slowly, to the side of the beast's snout. 


Edited by Ens Leah Wickley, Star Date 21903.05 @ 14:02 (02:02 PM).

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#9 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 21903.06 @ 20:51 (08:51 PM)

Apparently dogs and Leah didn't really mix, mainly on Leah's end; Jenny mentally swore, she probably should have checked before bringing her to her quarters, and considered it a blessing that Bryan was likely out walking Fenn or visiting with his sister, otherwise there would be two demon dogs for the young woman to contend with. Though Jenny could see that Leah's hand was shaking in the same manner as the waver in her voice, at least she was trying to make friends. Raiju sniffed the proffered hand and wrist, and gingerly poked out his tongue and gave it a probing lick; sandpaper texture of his tongue no doubt making her skin crawl.

 

"He's a Rylan Thunderwolf, the first of his kind to be domesticated; the zoology people went nuts when I brought him aboard, nobody had managed to get close to one."

 

As if on cue, Raiju sat and opened his mouth to pant, causing his quills to stiffen slightly. The air suddenly began to smell of ozone and the small hairs on the backs of Jenny's arms and neck began to stand on end as static discharge from the animal's quills darted around, barely visible under the fur.

 

"Go on, go lay down."

 

Bumping Jenny's face with his nose, Raiju scampered off to where he had been nesting in the corner and curled into a ball with a chew toy that looked like a filled glove. Inviting Leah to take a seat on the couch, Jenny quickly ducked into the bathroom and stripped off her sweat-soaked clothes before jumping into the shower. Not wanting to ignore her guest, Jenny showered quickly and reached for a towel, only to realise her oversight; she'd not brought any clothes into the bathroom to change into. Normally this wasn't an issue; when she was alone there was no reason to be shy or reserved, and Bryan certainly didn't mind seeing her wrapped in a towel (or less). Leah on the other hand, who knew what she'd say?

 

It's not like you can ask her to rummage around in your bags for clothes, who knows what she'd find...

 

Cursing the designer of the standard Star Fleet Quarters Modules for not making the bathroom an en-suite, Jenny took a deep breath and darted across the room; a towel-clad blur leaving a trail of water droplets behind her. The doors to the bedroom closing behind her, Jenny quickly towelled herself dry and pulled her hair into a tight and damp ponytail. Pulling on a loose-fitting tank top and shorts, Jenny emerged from her bedroom and began to rummage through the bags piled against the bathroom wall. Finally, she found the bag she was looking for with an exclamation of triumph.

 

"What do you prefer? Bishtar Mead, Aldebaran Whiskey, Saurian Brandy or Romulan Ale? I've got beer, too...somewhere..."


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#10 Ens Leah Wickley

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Posted Star Date 21903.14 @ 16:50 (04:50 PM)

"A... Rylan Thunderwolf, huh?" Leah said, a bit tentatively just as the beast sat and panted, and a chill of dread settled across Leah's skin at the electrified sensation. She let out a sigh of relief the second Jenny commanded the dog to lay down, and he complied. She felt her shoulders slump as she took her seat on the couch, waiting for Jenny to come back from the bathroom. Leah's eyes never left the beast, as she watched out of a mix of curiosity and anxiety as he played with his... toy? 

"Good puppy..." Leah whispered a few moments later, not wanting to alarm the Thunderwolf, but also letting it know that she, in fact, was still here and aware of him. It was then a blur of skin and towel flew past her, and she squeaked. As the door to the bedroom closed, Leah let out a chuckle, the image of the towel clad commander fresh in her mind. Well, one thing is for certain, she takes care of herself. Leah bit her lip to stop her smile as Jenny returned a minute later, dressed and heading for one of her travel bags. 

"Don't worry, I didn't see a damn thing," Leah commented while Jenny pulled out multiple bottles from one particular bag. That's a lie, but she doesn't need to know. Though, maybe I should tell her she's got a really nice a--

 

"What do you prefer? Bishtar Mead, Aldebaran Whiskey, Saurian Brandy or Romulan Ale? I've got beer, too... somewhere..." 

Leah looked up and shook the thought out of her head with a smile. "Romulan Ale, aye? I had a feelin' someone like you would have a stash." Leaning back on the couch, she crossed her legs at the ankles, still keeping one eye on the wolf to her right. "Might as well numb all the pain, hit me up." 


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