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An Indulgent Fiction

Posted on Fri Jan 5th, 2024 @ 6:23am by Lieutenant Inara Ziro

468 words; about a 2 minute read

Mission: In The Beginning
Location: USS Blackfish
Timeline: June, 2396
Tags: USS Blackfish, Holodeck, Inara Ziro, Sigma Iotia II, Iotian, Backstory, romance

== Holodeck 2 - USS Blackfish ==

The galaxy had been growing considerably smaller as the 24th century marched steadily toward its conclusion. Once, only a few secretive species were known to have cracked transwarp travel. But once the Federation gets ahold of something, it isn't long before the wealth of knowledge is everywhere.

Between the Bajoran wormhole, the few known vestigial Borg transwarp conduits, and the latest technology discovered by Starfleet, the definition of "deep space" had grown fuzzy. Still, as exciting as leapfrogging across vast distances was to the exploration-minded admirals back on Earth, it was the unknown dangers just past Federation territory that drew their attention first and foremost.

To that end, the crew of the USS Blackfish were proud to be chosen to push against the dark edges of the galaxy. On a five year mission out beyond Breen space charting the last stretch of the Alpha Quadrant, Lieutenant Junior Grade Inara Ziro wept at the sight of her distant home.

"Had to pull a lot of strings to get these holo-images." Bragged the man gently stroking her hair. "Your home planet's not too big on visitors. Or exports."

She didn't know what to say. The skyline was just as she remembered it. The light of the moons shimmered in the gentle waves of the great lake before them. Echoing brass instruments carried on the wind from a dozen distant performers in the city. Although the little island they stood on was an indulgent fiction, Inara noticed the blanket and basket carefully laid out on the sand and forgave the liberty. It was perfect.

"'course" he continued, taking her hand and gently guiding her down to the picnic "the real challenge was figuring out which of the five Chicago's on the continent was the one you actually grew up in!"

"You could have asked" She delightedly retorted.

"And spoil the surprise? No way."

Inara admired the man as he attempted to fix her an Iotian-styled Old Fashioned, grinning like an idiot the whole time. It was far from her favorite drink, but it was the traditional Southside beverage of choice, and his enthusiasm for exploring her culture was infectious.

Lieutenant Commander Elliot Caldwell handed her the drink, waiting for her to take a sip before excitedly starting on his own. She didn't have the heart to tell him her planet didn't actually have cherries.

Gracefully setting the glass to the side, Inara rested her head on Elliot's shoulder. She closed her eyes, taking in the chocolate aroma of the blackwood campfires from McCoy Park across the water. The sun began to set. She looked into Elliot's amber eyes as they caught a beam of fiery light from between the towers of the city. A quadrant and a half away, she was home again.


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