With a smirk he took another drink of his coffee and continued to read. If she wanted his company he was sure she'd have asked.
After a few moments, she heard something. She blinked and looked around and gasped, startled to see someone sitting in the chair next to her, "Hello."
Neyes settled his PADD into his lap and turned to face the woman. "Well hey."
She looked around, "When did you come in?"
With a quizzical expression he looked to side to side before answering, "About two hours ago. I think I just blend into the scenery so well you missed me." He smiled a little bit. "You a transfer to the Charon?"
She smiled a bit embarrassed, "I actually seem to not be very observant actually. Sorry about that. And yes, I am. Are you?"
"Yup. I look forward to some good old regular alpha quadrant mayhem for a change. On my last posting there were vampiric telepathic aliens. I think I'll take romulans any day." He laughed a little. He couldn't tell what her specialty was since she was clad in her civilian clothes. "Are you science? Command?"
"I'm the Captain." She looked serious for all intents and purposes.
He smiled, "Oh so you're actually a Romulan? You hide it so well, ma'am." His retort was followed by a quick little laugh. It was nice to have someone to talk to. The trip to the Charon had been peaceful, but that also meant it was a little uneventful. Aside from the AI, Savant, and Robby, he knew very few people on the ship. Usually he'd be alright just keeping to himself for a while, but the length of the trip on the Quantum Fury was beginning to weigh a little on his mind.
She smirked, "No, I don't look Romulan, but any doctor can do that sort of work."
Landon chimed in a little more as they continued their small banter. "I actually don't know a lot about Romulans. They mostly keep to themselves, that much I know. Since they're so far from the Trill system and Earth, it's rare that I even see reports on their activities. Now we're deep in the belly of the bastard's space and I can't shake this weird feeling that something's wrong already. You know?" He stood up and moved to the replicator. "Can I get you something?"
She blinked. Well, that sucked the fun out of her game, "I'm a science officer. Clarisse is my name by the way. And... what are you having?" She thought a moment, "What do you think could go wrong?"
A vast number of mind-numbingly horrible things flashed through his head. All of which he ideally managed to escape, as such thoughts tended to end. After his slight moment of drifting off, he raised his eyebrows. "Who knows. They're Romulans..." He pressed a few buttons on the replicator and a bowl of soup appeared. "I like to think we'll get there and the Captain will greet me cheerfully, extending her deepest regrets to us about how painfully boring this trip has been. Then she'll promote me." He beamed. "I'm having soup."
She chuckled, "Lofty dreams are nice to have. Soup sounds good."
Landon brought another bowl of soup from the replicator and sat down across from the woman. "So we've passed into comfortable small talk and now we're sharing a meal at five in morning. Can I ask you a question?" He set her soup down in front of her and looked at her with a friendly smirk.
Once again she laughed, "Thank you. And sure, you may ask anything." She started to spoon up the soup.
He waited a moment before asking, "What's your name?"
It was easy to get caught up in conversation, and he found it funny that they'd somehow managed to skip that step in the introduction process. Nevertheless, it wasn't too late to ask. He sipped a little from his soup, foregoing the spoon and simply picking up the bowl.
She rose an eyebrow, "I just told you. Clarisse." She smiled, "I think you were busy with soup."
Landon laughed despite himself and covered his mouth. "Ha! Oh sorry. I guess you're right. It's nice to meet you Clarisse." He gave her a little salute. "Ensign Landon Neyes at your service. Chief Engineer."
She gave a nod of impression, "Nice. I'm just a lowly officer myself." She held her hand out, "Nice to meet you Ensign Neyes."
"Officers are never lowly." Landon took another sip. "You should give yourself a little more credit."
She smiled, "Thank you." She sighed, sitting back and sipped at her drink, "What do you on your time?"
Landon stopped and thought for a moment. Surprisingly he was a little blocked about his time off. He normally didn't get any, but recently he'd had nothing but spare time and he couldn't really think of anything he liked to do. "Well... I spar. Keep in shape. I used to run flight scenarios. That isn't really worth my time anymore, I guess." Not counting his recent interruption in the holodeck by Savant, however, he hadn't had much chance to get in a really good fitness program. "As much as I enjoy games and that kind of stuff," he added, "I enjoy a good sweat."
"Well, I suppose not. Best focus on keeping the ship running for those who took up piloting. Still, not one of those sound very relaxing."
"Joined Trill run a mental focusing exercise sometimes. It's become a little trite given how many times I've run it. I still give it a shot here and there though. You?"
"Well, recently, I've gotten into trying out different holodeck programs from murder mysteries to horseback riding. I think I like horseback the most so far."
Neyes rubbed his head, embarrassed. "I haven't spent nearly enough time on Earth. You'd think I would have, given how incredibly involved I've been in Starfleet in the past fifty years, but still. So forgive me if I sound silly when I ask, what's a 'horse'?"
Clarisse blinked in surprise, letting out a laugh, "It's..." She then smirked, "How about I show you?"
Landon looked from side to side. "Show me?"
She stood up and nodded, "Let me see if there's a free holodeck and I'll show you."
Landon had just finally gotten a little settled into the chair, his soup almost done, when she suddenly got up and moved over to a console nearby. He had no reason not to go with her, and he was eager for something to do, so he quickly drank down the rest of his soup and stood to follow her. "One of your programs?"
She huffed out a laugh, "I don't have any programs. But everyone has at least a horse in their database if not a full out riding program." She scanned through, "And we've got several to choose from. What's your scenery of choice? Mountains? Beach? Forest?"
Landon thought for a moment, "Definitely Forest."
She cocked an eyebrow, "Definitely, hmm?" She looked at him amused and then looked back down to reserve the space. "We've got one in about 8 minutes. By the time we get there, the current occupants should be making their way out." She turned to him again as she looked for the exit they needed to use to get to the holodeck, "Why definitely forest?"
"For one, the majority of my planet is a giant forest." He smiled. She was obviously just trying to be friendly, and he had no other intentions for this time. He still wanted to tease her a little, though. "And any other locale would invite you to fall victim to my painfully enticing charm." His eyes batted innocently.
She shrugged as she smirked in what could be construed as teasing as well. "What makes you think locale would make a difference?" She winked. She cocked her head, "Come on, now." She moved toward the exit. As they walked, "What's your preferred hair color?"
He laughed. "I'm 750 years old, Clarisse. You could have no hair at all, and it wouldn't really make a difference. But if I had to choose, I think Landon preffered brunettes before his joining."
She looked at him blinking. Right. Trill. Well, the body before her wasn't that old, but the symbiont was. She smiled, "Well, I was asking so we knew what color horse to pick for you."
"We should just stick with brown then." The thought occurred to him that he'd soon be riding some kind of Earth animal. He was sure he knew what it looked like now that they'd discussed it a little more, but he was less sure he wanted to hop onto it's back and let it run around. Shuttles and ships were one thing, but something with a brain was... unnerving.
"Since we're going to be 'riding' around, I suppose you're going to show me how?" He asked.
She nodded, "Of course. But these aren't -real- horses. They have no will to defy you with and there's always the safeties." She walked toward the door and it turned out there was a minute or so more. "I've never seen a real one myself."
"Are they extinct or something?" He moved with her to the door. She shook her head, "Oh there's many ranches spread around Earth. I just never got a chance to go to one." She smiled and looked around, "Well, this is..." She looked at him a little confused, "What do you mean?" A couple giggled as they walked out, blushing as they saw people were waiting outside. Clarisse chuckled as she walked in and watched as the program came into visual existence. "Well." Landon smiled. "This holodeck apparently gets some 'non-standard' use." Clarisse called up a brown horse and a pinto for herself. She then turned to him smiling brightly, "These are not the real thing, but here you are. After several lifetimes and centuries, you now see a horse." Landon looked around at the scenery. It was a gorgeous open field at the edge of a vast forest, and it took him a moment to take it all in. A few clouds skipped off the tops of mountains in the distance. Had this been real, he'd have been concerned
"Are they extinct or something?" He moved with her to the door.
She shook her head, "Oh there's many ranches spread around Earth. I just never got a chance to go to one."
She smiled and looked around, "Well, this is..." She looked at him a little confused, "What do you mean?" A couple giggled as they walked out, blushing as they saw people were waiting outside. Clarisse chuckled as she walked in and watched as the program came into visual existence. "Well." Landon smiled. "This holodeck apparently gets some 'non-standard' use." Clarisse called up a brown horse and a pinto for herself. She then turned to him smiling brightly, "These are not the real thing, but here you are. After several lifetimes and centuries, you now see a horse." Landon looked around at the scenery. It was a gorgeous open field at the edge of a vast forest, and it took him a moment to take it all in. A few clouds skipped off the tops of mountains in the distance. Had this been real, he'd have been concerned
A couple giggled as they walked out, blushing as they saw people were waiting outside. Clarisse chuckled as she walked in and watched as the program came into visual existence.
"Well." Landon smiled. "This holodeck apparently gets some 'non-standard' use."
Clarisse called up a brown horse and a pinto for herself. She then turned to him smiling brightly, "These are not the real thing, but here you are. After several lifetimes and centuries, you now see a horse."
Landon looked around at the scenery. It was a gorgeous open field at the edge of a vast forest, and it took him a moment to take it all in. A few clouds skipped off the tops of mountains in the distance. Had this been real, he'd have been concernedIt's been some time since he'd had the chance to really enjoy a holodeck program in an outside setting. "I see a lot more than that." He turned and faced her, and the horse. He made a little face. "Ah. Yes. Well. That... is a horse? And humans actually ride these?"
"You mean the scenery? Gorgeous. The horse? Not so much." He squinted at it.
She smiled as he appreciated the scenery, but rose a brow at his critique of the horse. "Haven't Trills ever ridden any beast?"
"Of course. I myself used to have land." He shrugged. "I just haven't seen that many beasts of burden for a while. Space. Duty, all that."
She looked at him a moment, "Was that before or after the joining that you gave up that land?"
With a huff he walked up the animal and brushed it's nose without hesitation. It wasn't that he was afraid of the thing, it was just... outside all the time, and dirty. "I had land more than 300 years ago."
So, when you say you had land... which you?" She stroked hers on it's neck.
He laughed. He always forgot about how his train of thought didn't quite measure up to others who didn't have his perspective. Joining was difficult enough for him to keep up with, and he knew it was worse for those who tried to keep up. "Heh, my 5th host. Reed. She lived on Trill with her husband. This was all of course, long before our own first contact with the Vulcans." He turned back to the horses. "Shall we get started?"
She looked at him with a moment of contemplation before smiling and patting the horse, "Of course. Just watch me." She mounted the horse and nodded to him. "Simple as that."
He turned up an eyebrow. "Huh. Well, ok." Taking a moment to look it over, he placed a hand on the saddle and slipped up and into place on the back of the horse. Given his exceptionally well-rounded martial skills, it wasn't nearly as difficult as he though it could be.
She smiled at him and gave a quick over of how to 'drive' the horse. Before long, they were trotting into the forest.
It wasn't long before Landon noticed the considerable discomfort in his groin region. "So? This is fun for you?" They had nearly reached the edge of the forest.
She nodded with a smiled that said how much. The smile faded seeing he wasn't quite enjoying himself, "What's wrong?"
"I'm bouncing" He said, dryly.
She laughed heartily, then stopped, or tried to as she was still snickering as she spoke, "I'm sorry. Want to just walk or something?"
He shook his head politely, trying his best to maintain a pleasant demeanor, "No no no, I'll be fine. Just takes a little getting used to is all. Where are we going? Exactly?"
She shrugged, "Where ever we want." She got the horse to a run. She stopped at a stream and looked over at him, smiling, "If anything, think of where they could take you."
As if in some kind of oddly induced vision, Landon found himself assimilating her words in a far different fashion than she probably intended. The first thought that came to mind was Lexi. He suddenly realized he hadn't seen her in nearly 6 months, and he wasn't sure if she had managed to survive with the rest of the Intrepid crew. For the slightest moment, it wasn't Clarisse on that horse, it was his fiance. He'd nearly forgotten how much the thought of her made him sick with worry, and how much effort he'd put into trying to push the feelings into the back of his mind. As much as he'd tried to let her go, she was still there.
"I uh..." he closed his eyes and took a sharp breath.
Clarisse dismounted and walked over to him, "What's wrong? Maybe you should get off." She reached up to help him do just that.
Neyes took her hand and hopped off the animal. It had all just hit him so fast. Clarisse had asked where he wanted to go, and even the imaginary possibility that he could go anywhere at the mere thought of it... all he could think of was Lexi. He laughed half-heartedly and quickly wiped at his wetting eyes. "I'm sorry. This just made me think of someone else. When I managed to get back home, she was one of the people I left behind. My fiance."
Clarisse put a hand on his shoulder, "You'll see her again."
"Yeah, well. I'd settle for just knowing she's ok." He took a seat next to the stream. The flickering of light against the rocks just barely beneath the surface seemed to reassure his mind. "Thank you, though, for saying so."
"How do you not know if she's ok?" Clarisse took a seat next to him, playing with a holographic blade of grass.
He lifted his hand and motioned in some arbitrary position in the air. "She's in another Galaxy. With psychotic aliens that feed on people like vampires and whatnot. I can't imagine she's safe, and it's killing me that I'm not there to make sure." He picked up a stone and held it out. "It's like I'm this rock. Here it is, on the shore of the stream, safe and sound with all the other rocks."
He quickly and vigorously tossed it into the stream. "That's the Intrepid right now. God knows what's in that stream, and Lexi's in the thick of it."
Clarisse could only look at him in sympathy, "I'm sorry."
He smiled back, "Yeah... me too." He saw he sitting there with him, doing her best to be supportive. "You have anyone?" He found the question a little more open-ended than he had intended, but figured it would serve the purpose of changing the subject to a lighter mood. At least that was what he hoped.
She gave a sad smile back, "No one like that."
"Family?" He continued.
She rose a brow at that thought and looked at the stream, "I'm the black sheep."
Landon gave her a unsure look, "The black sheep? Really? I thought human families had long since gotten over that particular form of intolerance between each other. Your whole races motto is about being the example for the rest of us." He said, with just a mild twinge of sarcasm.
"Did you upset them somehow?"
She scoffed, "Parents still have high expectations of their children. Especially only children. Well, the father does. The mother is just over protective and doesn't like the extra danger my job entails."
He nodded. "True. Being a parent was never the easiest of jobs, and neither is being a Starfleet officer. I always took them at their worth, each has a purpose. It's too bad your folks don't understand how much this means to you."
She smiled at him, "They'll come to terms eventually." She took his hand, "But to lose a love... If you need anything, I'm here." She released his hand and leaned back on her elbows to watch the clouds roll by.
Landon smiled sheepishly. "We'll be ok." He leaned over and stuck a hand into the water. It was all a hologram, but it was still comforting to be in such a beautiful environment. In truth, he welcomed the company Clarisse provided. There weren't many opportunities for him to talk to anyone.
She was tempted to suggest they go skinny dipping, but it seem inappropriate. Instead she offered him a comforting smile and was just 'there' as they sat in general peace and quiet. =/\= END LOG =/\= Ens Landon Neyes Chief Engineering Officer USS CHARON PO Clarrise Taylor Science Officer (apb Dakabn) USS CHARON
She was tempted to suggest they go skinny dipping, but it seem inappropriate. Instead she offered him a comforting smile and was just 'there' as they sat in general peace and quiet.
=/\= END LOG =/\=
Ens Landon Neyes
Chief Engineering Officer
PO Clarrise Taylor
Science Officer (apb Dakabn)