|=/\= Begin Log =/\=|
Sam sat in the corner of her shared quarters, shoving food disk into her mouth. She had a PADD in her free hand, and was busy studying the personel files for the Charon, mostly the Captains. She had most everything memorized, down to how the Captain liked her morning meal. It was a good distraction from the busy to and fro of even this small ship. She had no idea how she was going to manage on a larger vessel.
Aria's marines, for the moment anyway, were off perusing about the ship, celebrating in one form or another their commanders win over the Romulan. Aria, however, fresh from talks with the CMO, Savant and that very Romulan, was not in such a party mood.
Careful, tired steps brought her back into the small accomidation that had been provided for the marines, her hair in disarray, shoulders low from exhaustion, bruises visible on her face, neck and arms. She had won, but it hadn't been free. "Oh," she looked over to the frail looking woman, "well hello there."
Sam looked up at Aria, once again getting a small wave of jealousy. The woman had the body of a whore, no doubt got at least wined and dined before bedded. "Hi" Sam said softly, then noticing the woman's posture and appearance. "Are you ok?"
Aria shook her head but smiled. She most certainly was not 'ok' but anything serious had been healed in sickbay. "Just the medals of victory. Usually costs you something to obtain it."
Sam shook her head. No medal was worth that. She could at least offer her something. "Do you want some water or food disk?" Sam asked, spotting the few she had remaining, which she was more than willing to give the other woman.
Aria tilted her head and peered down at the odd item, alledgedly edible. "What exactly is a food disk?" She had honestly never heard of such a thing. Contrary to stereotype, marines didn't actually eat crap. Especially when posted on starships, they had their pick of replicated foods and, should they wish to spend the rations, could often have quite tasty meals.
"Oh, it's just a concentrated travel food. It's popular with pirates, because it's portable and stays fresh. I guess you get use to them." She felt a little silly now. Of course someone like Aria wouldn't want food disk. Sam blushed. "I could get you something from the replicator."
Aria waived her hand dismissively. "Nonsense," her voice smooth, inviting interaction. "Pirates?" She grinned, "Jade probably knows exactly what they are." The marines delicate hand was held out, shaking from time to time for a number of reasons.
She looked down at the girl, eyes crackling with warmth. The marine, for all her bruises and cammo, presented an incredibly enticing figure. "If it's good enough for him, it is for me. May I try one?"
Sam nodded, and held one out, then answered the woman's question. "Olympus IV was overrun by pirates over 100 years ago. I was the leaders personal slave until the Marines liberated the colony." She watched Aria then, curios to see her reaction to the food disk.
Aria examined the disk carefully, wondering if it had any sort of flavoring to it. Most likely not, but that meant she wouldn't have to hide any look of displeasure. Pearly teeth clamped down on the disk, biting a piece to be analyzed by her taste buds.
Her eyes darted up and to the side as she chewed, rolling the food across her tongue, hmm-ing as she did. She swallowed the piece and licked her lips, tongue sliding slowly across the bottom border of crimson. "Not what I thought but not what I feared either. Is this what you lived off of?"
Sam swallowed. She'd certainly never seen that reaction to a food disk before. It made her uncomfortable, but she pushed it aside. "When I could steal them." Sam answered honestly. "I just wasn't feeling up to anything, but needed to eat, I knew these were safe."
The marine paused a moment in thought to spare the time to give the girl another once over, those jade eyes scouring over her like noxious acid against a weak metal. She took a seat in the bunk closest to the girls corner, wincing as she sat, pain lancing through her thigh.
"What was it that brought you into collusion with pirates, if you don't mind my asking?" Her interest in pirates was a particular one, spawning from her own brothers past allegiance with raiders.
"I was born on Olympus IV" Sam shrugged. "Nobody remembered before the pirates were in control. I was chosen by Bal'tok, their leader, and taken from my parents before I can remember. Do you need a doctor?" Sam then asked noticing her wince of pain.
Aria shook her head. "Been there, done that." She took another bite of the food disk, obviously unmoved by it's lack of tantalizing taste. "So you're telling me you basically grew up in a feudalistic hell hole?"
Sam had never heard it put quite like that. Yes, the pirates internal structure was feudalistic, and yes it had been a hell hole. "Yes. But I didn't have to work the mines. I was educated." Sam defended herself, unaware at the flare of ego she didn't know she had on the matter.
Many made the assumption that Aria was a shallow brute due to her aggression and provocative manners, but while those assumptions were not without kernals of truth they didn't mean she lacked empathy.
"I see, so you considered yourself a 'lucky one' by comparison?" The faintest sigh escaped Arias lips; she really didn't know how to feel about the girls story. She certainly wasn't trying to be combative, but was very curious.
"I was lucky." Sam shuddered slightly, remembering the times she had accompanied Bal'tok to the mines. Suffocating heat, long hours of manual labor, on top of the starvation and dehydration.
Aria nodded. "I suppose in a sense you were lucky. Your'e alive after all." She leaned back against the metal wall, resting her back a moment. "You said marines came? How did that happen? They just showed up out of nowhere? What unit?"
Sam's smile brightened at the giggle, and she relaxed a bit more. "Be a yeoman." It was the simple truth. Sam had never planned ahead past finding the next meal in her life. Joining starfleet had been the most far reaching thing she'd ever tried.
Aria offered the girl a sweet smile, a far cry from the more teasingly predatory smiles she gave people. "Have you ever thought about joining the marine corps?" The girl had been a victim for so long, Aria was curious if she had ever given thought to being the warrior for once.
Her eyes widened. "No, I couldn't do what you do. You're brave and strong." A little bit of hero worship coming through in her voice.
Aria grinned. She wouldn't call herself brave anymore, feeling more like 'vicious' was the appropriate adjective. "Well, certainly not with these," she consumed the last bit of food disk, "you'll never gain weight." She wondered if it was just vitamines webbed together with fiber. "But you could be, if you wanted it badly enough."
"I just want to reach the Charon and do my job." Sam picked up another disk and looked at Aria. "They are pretty crappy aren't they?" She blushed, never having stated that out loud before. She'd had enough real food sense to know the truth.
Aria laughed again. The girl was really quite pleasant, agreeable almost to a fault. "Why not replicate something with a little more," her eyes looked up as she looked for the right word, "-thrill-?"
Sam blushed more heartily. "I'm crampy. It all sounded nauseating, but I needed to eat. I've been trying new things though. Have you ever had biscuits and gravy?" She asked with a smile. "amazzzzing"
Aria really hadn't ever seen anything quite like it. She really hadn't dealt with civilians all that much, and those she had met always had at least an average life. The smallest things seemed incredible to this girl. "I have indeed," she replied, crossing one sore leg over the other. "You should try red velvet cake."
"I will" Sam eagerly took the suggestion into memory. "Thank you."
"What do Marines do when assigned to a ship? You are assigned to the Charon right?" Sam asked a bit timidly, but Aria had been very nice, so she was more willing to voice her curiosity.
She waived her hand dismissively, her wrist flicking sharply. "No thanks needed." She planted her hands firmly behind her, elbows locked as she leaned back. "Yes, I'm headed for the Charon. Special assignment, as usual." She sighed, the slightest of nips at her bottom lip could be seen as she thought a moment. "If we're assigned to a Fleet ship its usually for a specific mission or action. Sometimes we are assigned to frontier Fleet ships more as a precaution than anything."
"Ahhh" Sam nodded, understanding. Glad to have that bit of curiosity taken care of. She watched the woman sitting there. hips, thighs, breast. She was beautiful. Another small wave of jealousy washed over her, but Sam pressed it aside, feeling guilty for it. Aria had been nothing but kind. "What do you do off duty? Umm, besides fight." She lowered her voice at the last word. Wanting to get some ideas for herself, but certainly none that involved...that.
"And drink?" She laughed at her own comment. "I'm not an alcoholic, I promise." And it was true. Few held a command rank for long with a vice like that. "Depending on who you spoke with, you'd get very different answers to that question. Some silly; others incendiary." She shrugged, not really ever having given a leisure activities list a thought.
"I'm a sucker for new sights, so if we get shore leave I'm all over that, adventuring and what not. Seeing new sights, mingling with the locals," she gave a brow wiggle at 'mingle'. "Otherwise I just like to socialize. I'm a gambler by passion, so I play cards. Or I read by myself. What do you busy yourself with?"
Sam listened intently, but frankly none of her ideas seemed particularly appealing, scary more like it. The cards maybe, she might ask to watch sometime. "work" Sam answered. There was always work to do, she could keep her mind busy easily enough.
Aria wasn't totally surprised by the answer. She could see a girl like this burying herself in her work, hiding behind it. Given her up bringing she understood that the mundane to her was new and scary to Sam. "Join us sometime," she offered, wondering if she could break the girl about of her shell. "I'm curious, did you request the Charon post?"
Sam gave a tiny smile, then nodded. She'd have to learn to play cards. "No. I assume they just sent me where a yeoman was needed?" It was a half statement, half fact. Sam thought that was how it worked at least.
It struck Aria as surprising that such a girl would be sent to a ship that had regular need of marine special forces, but at the same time thought it might be good for the girl. No rest for the wicked or for the frail, it would seem. Maybe she would toughen up. "I feel your pain," she said. "I would have preferred to pick my post, but such is not a luxury for a line officer."
"I'm not sure where I would have picked had I been given a choice. I would have stayed with the 9th brigade I suppose." She had almost begged Colonel Scully to do just that. But the 9th brigades Commanding Officer was too much a gentleman to take Sam as slave or consort, which now that she was a bit further removed from the situation, she was glad of. "The Charon is well thought of. I had many classmates tell me I was lucky."
The Colonel grinned. "Then I suppose I should feel lucky as well." Her head lulled back, a tired breath escaping her. Everything ached. "I could be worse though," she added, "I could be stuck behind a desk. No way I could handle that."
Sam scrambled up and got a blanket, hurriedly bringing it back to Aria. "A desk is bad?"
Aria's head snapped back up from its lounged position, but she was too tired to make any other sort of moving reaction. The act had caught her off guard. As a line officer, she did everything for herself. "Uhm, thank you?"
She quickly realized though that her surprise might be taken by this girl as disapproval, so she quickly moved onto answering the girls question. "A desk is boring," she clarified. "I want to be active, not sedentary."
"Oh ok." She did understand, in a way. Being sedentary left you too much time to think, it was better to be active. But Sam didn't have a need to do that physically. She got tired too easily still. Her work had never been physically intensive, but she did like to keep busy. Sam could see Aria was tired now, so she went and turned down the woman's bunk, and replicated a cup of tea. Then she made herself 'invisible' going back to her corner quietly to curl up with her PADD.
Aria rested her hands behind her head, fingers interlocked, trapping her satin black hair. She twisted and writhed, stretching toned muscles and tormenting wounds. "Why do you sleep in the corner?" the deceptively feminine woman asked, eyes now half open. She really did find herself quite fascinated with Sam.
"I'm just use to it." Sam answered. "At least you can't get snuck up on."
The marine nodded. She certainly could relate to that, plenty of sleepless nights worrying about that very thing. "That's why I sleep with this," she patted the empty hip holster for her DZ-99 phaser pistol. "Well, I will once the security boys give us our equipment back."
Sam gulped, If the holster was any indication, it was an impressive weapon she normally held. "I guess that would work. Why do you have to wait on security?"
That was a very good question. She had never been asked by a Fleet captain to submit her equipment to inspection. Ever. "You know, I have no idea. It was the captains doing." On bases equipment was tracked by the armorer and quartermaster, but when sent to a fleet ship they were effectively 'on mission' and were supposed to have their equipment on them. "Perhaps he doesn't trust me."
Aria suddenly became curious about something, but rather than try to prod at the issue delicately, she decided to dive right in. "Do you trust the captain?" The question may have been pointed at the Romulan but 'captain' was really just a substitute for 'anyone'.
"On the quantum fury? Or the Charon?" Sam asked, her curiosity again peaked.
Aria's eyes widened for a split second, realizing she hadn't been specific and had even half forgotten where they were headed and who captained there. "Both," she finally answered. She had met the Charon's CO before. They already had a history grounded in venomous snipes and mostly hollow threats.
Sam shrugged. Frankly she didn't 'trust' anybody, well perhaps Scully, but even that had been tentative. "I'm sure they are both capable Captains, but trust? I don't know.'
Nodding, Aria figured it was the most detailed answer she could get for that particular question out of the girl. The Romulan CO's were most certainly capable enough, and that worried the marine. They were -very- capable of a very many things. "I have doubts but," she caught herself, deciding to choose her next words carefully, "I can't do anything about them."
It occurred to Aria that Sam had probably only been to two places, Olympus and Earth. "Are you nervous? To go exploring, I mean."
Sam listened, wondering what Aria could have doubts about, but before she could ask, Aria asked a question of her own. "No. I'm exciting to go exploring. I'm just nervous I will mess up and get..fired?" She asked the last word with a question, checking the correct use of the term.
She chuckled, thinking to herself what the yoeman would have to do to get 'fired'. "Reposted? Maybe...depends on the captain, but kicked out of Starfleet? Naw unless you're managing a war pcore or on the bridge, screwups are taken rather lightly. At least that's what I'm told."
Sam smiled, not quite sure that was the case, but a little assured anyway. "Well, hopefully I won't get reposted, or fired. It's been exciting so far."
"Just wait," her voice a foreshadow passing over the two of them, "'till the action starts."
=/\= End =/\=
Colonel Aria Falcon
Marine Force Recon