Guardian Station

Barzan Sector

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Post 11 - Bedside Manners

Posted on Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 @ 7:30pm by Captain John McBride & Commander T'Lara

Mission: Episode 1: Changing of the Guard
Location: Starbase 38 - Level 351, Civilian Quarters & Level 3, 'The Circus' Strategic Operations Centre
Timeline: Mission Day 01 - 2200 Hours

[Starbase 38 - Barzan System]
[Level 351 - Civilian Permanent Quarters]
[Mission Day 01 - 2200 Hours]

Gaila Dolletta reclined on the bed, her left arm extended over her head, her right arm across her body so that her hand rested softly on her abdomen. The rumpled sheet was gathered around the foot of the bed, but the Orion woman seemed unconcerned; confident even; about her naked form. The sweat glistened on her skin as she blew a rogue comma of dark green hair away from her forehead.

"Why the hell does this keep happening?" she asked herself quietly, her tone a combination of surprise and annoyance.

"Because, my love," said McBride from the other side of the bedroom, "for all your many, many positive traits, you are simply unable to resist my sheer animal magnetism, my matinee idol good looks and my strong arms and muscular chest." He grinned at her as he pulled on his uniform trousers.

Gaila rolled onto her side, propping her head up on the heel of one hand as she watched him get dressed. "And we have great sex," she prompted.

"We do," McBride agreed with a nod. "We do indeed." He pulled his shirt on over his head.

"I just wish..." Gaila began. McBride said nothing, knowing exactly what the woman's unspoken words were. He moved towards a full length mirror to check his appearance, slipping his jacket on as he did so. Ignoring Gaila's unfinished request, he cleared his throat.

"I'm going to be busy tonight so I won't be able to come and see you in the bar for a drink. Tomorrow though?" he asked.

"We'll see," came the reply, Gaila's tone petulant. "If you're not already planning to see that big breasted Betazoid who runs that cargo dock. Or that Dabo girl at Dolo's Place..." She frowned, her jealousy getting the better of her. "You're old enough to be her father you know."

"I'm old enough to be her grandfather actually..." McBride said with a smile.

"You bastard!" Gaila hissed, hurling one of her boots across the room at him.

McBride deflected the missile harmlessly with one hand and made his way over to the bed. "Now, now. There's no need for that. You know you're the only one for me, eh?" he asked in a conciliatory tone.

Gaila grunted in reponse, rolling onto her back and crossing her arms defensively across her chest. McBride bent down and kissed her quickly on the mouth. "I'll see you tomorrow night. No Betazoid cargo captains, no Dabo girls."

Another grunt. McBride grinned in response and made his way towards the door.

"Bastard," Gaila said quietly.

"I know. I'm a bastard. I'll see you tomorrow?"

"I suppose so," she replied - annoyed with him, but more annoyed with herself.

He blew her a kiss in response and was gone.

From experience, McBride knew that it was thirty two steps from the door of Gaila's quarters to the turbolift. Then three hundred and forty eight decks straight up. Exiting the lift car, he strode along the main companionway of Level 3 to the restricted access bridge which led to Strategic Operations, adjusting his uniform collar as he went. Biometric security systems scanned his height, posture, facial structure and ocular capillaries as he crossed the bridge, the double doors of Starbase 38's Strategic Operations Centre - also known colloquially as 'The Circus' - parted at his approach with the characteristic swoosh sound.

The Circus was two levels high, occupying a segment of Levels 2 and 3 with an office mezzanine around the upper level. What appeared to be a huge viewport which filled the majority of the outer bulkhead was in fact a viewscreen which maintained a panoramic view of the wormhole location wherever the Starbase happened to be on its rotational axis - a consideration made all the more useful now since Admiral Knox has requested that the Starbase be rotated so that his office overlooked the actual wormhole location upon his arrival earlier that day.

Half a dozen officers and specialists worked the gamma shift at consoles around the huge compartment, all of them dressed in the regular red uniforms of command-track officers, and all of them experts in their fields. One large holo-screen showed the command staff and senior officers of the station and McBride noted that a number of faces were updated on the roster where earlier that day they had been blank - Admiral Knox obviously, plus the new Chief Engineer, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Officer were all flagged as having reported aboard in the last few hours. He smiled as he recognised the image of the latter.

A Vulcan woman fell into step beside him as he approached the curved flight of stairs which led up to the office suite. She nodded in polite greeting.

"Commander T'Lara," McBride acknowledged her as they both began to ascend the staircase.

"Captain," she replied. T'Lara handed him a PADD. "I trust your off duty hours were... restful?"

McBride grunted something unintelligible in response.

"Your uniform is creased, you retain the residual odour of a cheap Barzan scent that is currently en vogue amongst the civilian populace of the station, and your right cheek displays traces of the same shade of green lipstick favoured by the female Orion proprietor of The Last Chance Saloon."

"Your point being?..." McBride growled.

"None which I am aware," T'Lara raised an eyebrow at McBride's tone.

They reached the top of the stairs and the door to McBride's office. "Good. What's this?" he snapped, holding up the PADD she had given him.

"It contains the arrangements for the Tholian diplomatic party. As you requested."

"Good," McBride said again. He walked into his office without a word, the doors closing behind him and leaving T'Lara at the top of the staircase. He walked towards the large desk and tossed the PADD onto the desk top.

"Computer. Open a channel to Captain Kudred."

"Channel open."

"Kudred. McBride. Welcome back. I've got a half-decent bottle of malt in my office if you have time to come and help me drink it?"

A Mission Post by

Captain John McBride
Chief Strategic Operations Officer - Starbase 38 /
Starfleet Tactical Command Liaison - Delta Exploration Initiative

Commander T'Lara
Assistant Chief Strategic Operations Officer
Starbase 38

Gaila Dolletta
Proprietor, The Last Chance Saloon
Starbase 38


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