"Starting Over"
(Cont. from "Starting The Day")

Setting: USS HATHOR, Access Corridor
Stardate: 63076.0500

Aki paused for a brief instant as she watched Ensign Thomas step through the doorway leading onto the command deck.  Things had gotten complicated during their last mission in so many different ways and the aCSciO had not been certain as to how to proceed from there.

It had been impossible to claim that nothing had happened during the year they had spent in another dimension.  So much had happened that Aki could not fully recall everything; only impressions of feelings and snippets of memories could be recalled.  Part of the aCSciO wanted to run after the COO and simply hug him, thankful that they had survived the ordeal.  Another part of Ensign Mitshiba though had wanted to run away and hide to never be seen again.

It made little sense, but emotions rarely did, just ask any Vulcan.

"You okay?" Eve quietly asked, having walked up to Aki without the Asian woman noticing the arrival of the Cardassian born officer.  It had not required a Betazoid to see that something had been on the aCSciO's mind, and as the ship's CNS Ensign Dalziel already suspected what it was.

"I'm fine," Aki promptly reassured, a forced smile now on her lips. "Just reviewing some of the details of the XANTUL's explosion before I walk in and see the Captain," the Asian woman added as she meet her friend's gaze for the first time.

"I am sure everything will be fine," Eve offered with a gentle grin. "This mission should be a piece of cake and may even give us a chance to enjoy ourselves a little."

Aki thought for a moment before she mirrored the CNS' grin.  The VALLA ROYAL orbital station had been well known for a great many things, not the least of which being that it held a reputation as the most elaborate entertainment hub in the sector of space.  Even in the middle of an undercover Intel operation, one would have to do it on purpose not to find something to enjoy, even if only momentarily.

"Guess the key will be for us not to have *too* much fun and forget about the mission," the Asian woman chuckled dryly.

"I doubt there are any real risks of that," Eve said as she placed a caring hand on Aki's shoulder.  "I suspect that Captain Morningstar is going to keep us well in line and focused on the task at hand."

"Being focused on something specific will help," the Asian woman admitted, her gaze piercing the bulkhead to see in her mind's eye the COO as he sat at his station.  As long as the crew would be busy with the mission, they would have better things to do than discuss the emotional and psychological impact of their last mission.

"Let's go," Dalziel prompted.  "I am sure that Captain Morningstar is waiting for us."

Dawn Bohr
Ensign Akira 'Aki' Mitshiba
Assistant Chief Science Officer