Splinter Faction And Assisting
It was getting towards late afternoon and Jamie thought maybe he and Chuck could have that drink together. First though Jamie was a little concerned how Heather was reacting to the news of Chuck being her new boss and loosing control over the Science Department. Tapping his Comm "Commander O'Connell to Ensign Devroe, could be meet for a few minutes."
"This is Ensign Devroe, Commander. I'm in Science Lad Three if you want to swing by here" came the reply.
"On my way" Jamie said and with that he left his Quarters.
When Jamie entered the Lab Heather stood out of respect for his rank. "As you were Ensign" Jamie quickly spoke "How are you doing" as he walked up to her.
"I'm doing fine" Heather replied "Since there's no one else in the Lab but us, do you I think it would be alright if I kissed you Commander."
Jamie nodded yes and she gave him a very tender kiss "Umm....I have really missed that. So what's up, you said you wanted to see me." Heather replied.
"Yes...I wanted to make sure you were ok with loosing control of the Science Department with Commander Gillespie assuming the position of CSO." Jamie queried.
Looking into Jamie's eyes "No, I'm fine with it....matter of fact I'm relieved....I don't have enough experience yet and being in a Red Alert situation on the Bridge makes me very nervous. Besides I had much rather be working in a Lab anyway."
Jamie breathed a sigh of relief "That's great to hear...with all of the changes in our lives lately, I just wanted to make sure you're ok. And for the record...I really miss those kisses too." He replied with a smile.
After talking for a little while Jamie figured that he should be going "Well...I'll let you get back to work. I have to see if the Commander wants to buy me that drink he promised; so I should be going." Then he gave Heather a kiss on the cheek and made his way out of the Lab.
"Commander O'Connell to Commander Gillespie, are you up for that drink" Jamie asked.
"Yes, sir," said the voice on the comm badge. "Lounge in 5?"
"Sounds good to me...Lounge in 5 then....see you in a few minutes" O'Connell out. Jamie made his way to the Lounge, but couldn't help thinking that this was the first time that he had been back there since his, apparently, unsuccessful date with Ensign Ferron. He quickly dismissed those thoughts as he now had someone far better and someone that he may be very possibly be falling in love with.
Jamie walked into the Lounge and saw Chuck sitting at a table. Going up to him "Commander, good afternoon" Jamie stated.
Chuck stood and gestured to an open seat at the table. "Please. Let's be informal, if you don't mind. It's nice to have a 'peer.'"
"Thanks Chuck, I imagine it has to tough being the only Commander aboard." Jamie replied as he took a seat "Now about that drink you promised; I'll have a Whiskey on the rocks."
Chuck flashed two fingers to the bartender, who nodded and started getting drinks. He looked at Jamie and said, "For a while, I had this notion of offering you advice on how to be a Command-grade officer, but I realized I haven't been here much longer than you."
"That's kind of funny that you should say that; I've been on this Ship about eleven months already. As much as I wanted to move up in rank, I had no idea that it would be this soon. When the Captain asked to see me, it was a real shock when she offered me the promotion. After a brief conversation, I decided not to let the opportunity pass me by" Jamie explained "Of course I had someone else to take into consideration when making my decision."
"So, the scuttlebutt is true..." Chuck replied with a mischievous grin. "Don't worry, Jamie. It's filed under 'none of my business.' I am happy for you, though." A melancholy look flashed across his face.
"Yes it's true, the Ensign and I have been seeing each other for quite some time now. Actually it's more of a relationship; we've gone way past casual dating." Jamie replied with a smile on his face and a warmth in his heart "By the look on your face, was there someone in your life; if you'd care to share."
Chuck took a deep breath and picked up the whiskey that had just been delivered. "Janine and I met at the Academy. Strong, smart, competitive. We brought out the best in each other. Cohorts in crime..." He took a drink of the synthehol and wished it was the real thing. "I asked her to marry me, just before graduation. I was going to the Farragut, she the Ticonderoga. My dad was captain of the Ticon and promised me he'd look out for her, keep her safe as best he could. We were angling for a joint assignment after our initial postings, but the Dominion had other ideas..."
He took another drink.
"When the Ticon was lost at the Battle of Cardassia, I checked the casualty reports five, six times a day. Dad and Janine weren't among the survivors who were rescued or taken prisoner. Eventually, their bodies were recovered."
Jamie, when he heard Chuck's account, took a long drink trying to think of something reassuring to say but didn't want to come across as flippant. After a few moments of thought "Chuck that's absolutely horrible; I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to bring up any unpleasant memories" Jamie replied "I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to Heather; she has brought out things in me that I didn't even know existed."
Jamie took another swig of his drink and thought maybe it would be a good idea to change the subject "So Chuck....what do you think about our mission" he inquired.
Chuck composed himself and thought. "It's a tricky play for us and the Captain. If we can be neutral, take the side of peace, that's our best shot at success. I wish we were part of a task force and not a lone ship."
"Well....at least we are a 'Battle Cruiser' so if push comes to shove, and I certainly hope it doesn't, we can defend ourselves and hopefully the two planets. If we were just a diplomatic ship, then I'd tend to agree with you concerning not being part of a task force. I guess we'll have to see how things shake out" Jamie reasoned "But yes we have to remain neutral if the talks have any chance of success."
"If I were king of the forest, I'd blockade the system and inspect every ship coming and going. Yes, we're a battle cruiser, but there's only one of us." Chuck took a deep breath. "Is there any additional intel on the system?"
Jamie thought for a moment "None that I'm aware of; being the XO I'm sure as soon as Mystery finds anything out then I'll be the next to know. Have your scans of the Planets revealed anything unusual Chuck" he asked.
"No, nothing out of the ordinary. Mid level destruction, elevated radiation. Consistent with long-term warfare. We're doing a full survey of the system and add that to the database. Maybe, we'll find some military activity." He took a last gulp of whiskey. "The ionization field is giving us fits, though. Still trying to figure out how to burn through that."
Chuck looked at Jamie, a bit concerned. "I just realized something, boss. The level of recent damage isn't consistent with the vessels we found. It's possible both sides are using missiles. But, it could mean the warheads are much more advanced and more potent, or there are larger ships lurking somewhere."
After thinking for a bit "You know Chuck, that ionization field that you can't get through....it's very possible that may contain a/or some Ships that we aren't able to detect. If that's the case we may have our work cut out for us" Jamie replied hoping that he was wrong.
Chuck nodded his head in agreement. "That's a happy thought." He pushed his chair back and stood. "On that note, I need to get back to work. There's an ionization field to crack."
Jamie stood also "Thanks for the drink Chuck, much appreciated. Good luck getting through that ionization field" Jamie replied.
After the Commander left Jamie sat back down and finished off the last of his drink thinking about their conversation, especially about Chuck's lost love. If anything were to happen to Heather he would be devastated beyond belief. He knew in his heart that there was something that he needed to tell Heather; should he wait?"
"Commander O'Connell to Ensign Devroe are you still in the Lab" He asked.
"No, actually I just got back to my Quarters; why did you want to stop by" Heather asked.
"Yes I would if you don't mind" he replied.
"No I don't mind at all; besides it will give me an excuse to see you again."
"On my way, O'Connell out." so Jamie made his way to Heathers Quarters.
When Jamie arrived at her place she was waiting at the door "Please come in" and as soon as Jamie was inside she gave him a big kiss "Have a seat; so how was your drink with the Commander?"
"Good....we had a nice conversation which made me realize something and that's the reason I asked to stop by" Jamie explained.
Heather started to say something but Jamie put his hand over her mouth "Let me say what I want to say before I loose my nerve" he explained "Heather there is no other way to say this, so I'm just going to come out and say it......I am totally and head over heels in love with you! You mean everything to me!"
Heather just looked at Jamie for a moment then a big smile came across her face as she proceeded to kiss him like he had never been kissed before "You just made my day Mr. O'Connell....I am so in love with you too" a extremely happy Heather replied.
The two of them talked for a little while when Jamie realized that he probably should be going "I should go.....tomorrow is going to be a long day" he said although he really didn't want to leave.
The two of them walked to the door hand in hand "Thank you for seeing me on such short notice" Jamie said "I love you."
"I love you too and thank you for making my day" she responded then gave him a very tender kiss.
So Jamie left feeling like a school boy all over again. At least now Heather knows exactly how he feels about her and his love for her.