==Chief Engineer’s Quarters, USS Artemis==
==Shortly before departing for the Alpha Quadrant, post-mission==
“Come on in,” Benjamin called at the door chime. He held a piece of the Artemis up with a micro-tractor, trying to line up the nacelle up just right with the cross-brace as he put a small layer of glue on. It was tedious, building the tiny Ares-class kit, but he’d always enjoyed it whenever he could get the time. Of course, that was less and less often these days.
However, after he’d worked himself nearly to death both on the way to the Delta Quadrant and while they were near New Talax, he’d been advised by multiple people to take more personal time as they travelled back to the Alpha Quadrant. When Cera, both of the Colsos, Ori, and Nathan all agree, he thought sarcastically. He’d gotten the distinct impression that, if it had needed to be it would have become an order, so he’d admitted defeat before it had to get that far.
Besides, he reasoned, this is a return trip. The entire engineering staff has done this slipstream traversal before; they don’t need to be watched that closely this time. It didn’t hurt that he was only going to take a few days, and that he still had the shift reports on his daily reading list. But he knew that Sanderson and Ori could handle the place; and if they needed him, they both knew where he was.
He finally got the nacelle in place, and he sat back with a sigh of relief as he admired the very unfinished ship. The old Ares had a lot in common with the Luna and the older Akira, with the under-slung nacelles, but Benjamin couldn’t help but admire the blockier styles of the mid-2200’s aesthetic. He was about to pick up the next part when he realized he was forgetting something.
Someone cleared their throat behind him, reminding him vividly of what he’d forgotten. He quickly set down his tools and turned around, almost jumping out of his chair. “Sorry!” he said quickly, before he realized who was in his quarters. “Commander Silran? What are you doing here?”
The Romulan first officer of the Luna chuckled and crossed his arms. “No need to apologize,” he said. “I’m the one intruding on your time off. If I need to come back…”
“No, no, it’s fine,” Benjamin said and waved a hand towards the living area. “Have a seat if you’d like; can I get you something to drink?”
The Romulan waved him off, but sat down in a chair, his green-grey civilian clothes blending a bit with the dimmed light in the room. “No, I’m fine,” he said as Benjamin sat down on the couch across from him. “I actually came to talk… creatively, I guess would be the best term.” Benjamin couldn’t help but arch an eyebrow, not sure what he meant, but fortunately Silran didn’t keep him waiting too long.
“I had dinner the other night with Captain Colso, and somehow the subject came up that you had become something of a weaponsmith,” he elaborated, hands steepled in front of him.
Benjamin couldn’t help but chuckle. “I mean, I guess so?” he said. “I’ve made a couple of weapons for a couple of friends, guns mostly.” He grabbed a padd off of the end table and found the plans for the ones he had made so far, handing it to the commander. “A phaser revolver was an interesting technical challenge to solve, even if it’s really little different than a regular Type 2. The pair of training weapons were honestly a bit of a joke after Cera mentioned that Tyra’s and Commander Brag—” Benjamin cut himself off before correcting, “I mean, Commander Crawford… well, Jenny’s kid, both of their kids, would likely inherit something of the ‘gun nut’ gene from their mothers, and learning how to use a gun early could be useful.”
He laughed again and waved a hand before walking over to the cabinet to get himself a glass; the conversation was proving to be something he’d want a drink for. “As for the last one, well, my friend Nathan was working on a costume and needed a weapon, and he thought it’d be useful in other settings too so he wanted it functional.” He poured a small measure of alcohol into a glass; a quick offer to the Romulan was greeted by a small nod, having changed his mind now that he was serving himself. “I tried to argue that a shotgun with an ax attached wasn’t exactly the most practical of weapons, but he insisted.” Glasses poured, he walked them over before sitting down across from Silran again and taking a quick sip – about the only way to handle the alcohol he had made. “I did at least make the ax removable, and made heads both for show and for practical use.”
“I see that,” Silran said, holding the glass away from his face as he looked at the padd. “Did you make the ax head by hand?”
“No, I didn’t,” he admitted. “I hand machined several of the internal workings of the guns, but I don’t know much in the way of actual smithing. For the ax head, I just had it replicated, though I did finish some of the details by—are you okay, sir?”
Silran was sputtering in his chair, carefully setting the glass down where he had taken a sip. “I’m alright,” he rasped. “Elements, what was that?”
“Umm…” Benjamin started. He hadn’t been thinking when he poured the glasses, and should have picked something besides his personal vintage.
“Nevermind,” he said, “I’m not sure I want to know.” The Romulan coughed a couple more times before he tried to speak again. “Next time we meet, remind me to bring my own drinks.”
“Next time, sir?” Benjamin asked, eyebrow raised.
“Yes, next time,” Silran replied as he handed the padd back. Benjamin glanced down as he realized that it wasn’t showing the blueprints he had given to the Luna’s first officer. Instead, it showed a pair of swords, one with a distinctly green blade, the other with a greyish tinge. “I thought you might like to learn the art of sword smithing, and I would love to teach you.”
“You made these yourself?” Benjamin asked, looking intently at the pair of swords.
“Well, I made the lower one, anyway. The top blade, the green sword, was made by my father’s captain when she was promoted. She taught him the art, and he in turn taught me.” He paused for a moment, as if lost in thought or memory. He almost took a sip from his glass but caught himself as the smell hit his nose again and thought better of it, back in the moment. “Maybe I’ll tell you the story one day, but for now let’s just say I know how to make swords and that it’s an art I think you could learn and do well with.
“And, since we have nearly three weeks of doing very little,” Silran added with a lopsided grin, “it seemed like something good to fill the time.”
Benjamin just smiled and nodded, staring at the two weapons on the padd’s display. He knew it wouldn’t be easy – smithing was hard work, physically as well as mentally – but he couldn’t wait to get started.