Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Parting Sorrow

Posted on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 @ 9:24am by Lieutenant Ingrid Hollister
Edited on on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 @ 11:00pm

Mission: Episode 9 - Empok's End
Location: Flight Control Center - Deck 9 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD005 2000 hrs

Ingrid sat in the pilot's lounge with her feet on the table in front of her. It was late enough at night that she didn't expect anyone to come in; she could be alone with her thoughts. Normally, she would have brought a PADD down to leaf through reports, but no such work accompanied her. She had no intention of doing her job from here on out. She put her head in her hands for a brief moment and then moved the muscles necessary to stand up.

She walked over to the bag she'd brought with her which was sat in the corner of the room. Opening it deliberately, she lifted a tall glass bottle full of brown liquid and a squat glass. Moving back to her seat, she poured the glass full of the strong liquid and downed it in one swift motion. As she felt the fire run down her throat, she filled the glass again.

She couldn't do it anymore; it simply wasn't in her. For over ten years, she had been living a lie. She pretended to be someone she wasn't: law abiding, kind, and..well...human. But she couldn't do it anymore. The truth was she was a monster, and she came from monsters. After she had killed Marek, she went back to her quarters and washed his blood off of her body. She had a moment of clarity she'd been longing her entire life: she was Ingrid Holt, and she had to tell the truth for once in her useless life.

As she brought the glass to her lips again, she heard the door open behind her. She didn't take the time to look, but took another long drag from the glass.

"Ingrid?" Came the voice. She knew instantly it belonged to Khalon. As the attractive man moved around the seats and stopped in front of her, she looked up at him, a blank expression on her face. "I heard what happened."

She studied the man's face; concern was written there. She tensed her brow and replied; her voice was thick and cracking.

"And?" she asked.

"And, so I'm worried about you.." he responded, lowering himself into the seat across from her. "I know I've been pretty upset with you lately because of what you did, but...I mean, you could have died."

She offered a smile, touched at his concern, though it soon faded in the haze of her drunkenness.

"That's sweet, K. It really is. But don't worry, I'm better now than I've been in a very...very long time." she said, her eyes meeting his. She still wanted him, even more-so now that she knew he cared. But the goal of bedding Khalon Price belong to Ingrid Hollister, and she was dead.

"What do you mean?" he asked, looking at her inquisitively.

"I mean I'm feeling more myself, Khalon. I mean I feel alive for the first time since I was 18." she paused, moving her red-painted nails across the glass, causing it to clink annoyingly. "Have you ever felt truly alive, Khalon? I mean windows rolled down, wind in your hair, absolutely aware alive?"

"Normally, when I did, I wasn't getting wasted by myself." he interjected seriously. Then, he smiled. "I was getting wasted with friends."

He reached over and grabbed the bottle unappoletically and pulled it to his lips, drinking straight from it in a throw-back motion. After a few seconds, he removed it from his lips and winced. "That's...freakin amazing."

"I've been saving it for a special occasion." she said, her own lips dripping with the drink.

"And what's so special about today?" he asked, feeling the warmth in his stomach.

She paused for a moment, her eyes dancing around him, then her smile expanded to one of pure joy.

"Today's the day I become myself again. It's the day I leave the Pioneer; it's the day I leave Starfleet." she stopped licking the side of her glass absent-mindedly. "It's the day I stop lying to myself."

Khalon looked at her with an expression of surprise. She was serious. He hadn't known her very long, but he was still able to tell that she had been unraveling for the last few weeks. He saw none of that now. She seemed calm, cool, and collected. Besides the glass in her hand, there was no sign of any problems at all. He could see her differently now as well.

"You wanna explain that to me?" He asked, still confused.

"No." She said, smiling in return. "I just want somebody worth saying goodbye to."

She turned her dazzling eyes toward him. "Will you stay and say goodbye to me, Khalon?"

He gave her a pensive look, but she already knew the answer was yes. They spent the next hour and a half finishing the tall bottle of alcohol and talking about life together. At no point did Ingrid reveal where she was going or why, but both of them treated the evening like it was their last together. After it, she would disappear into the void from which she came.

As the drinks flowed, it became less clear when they had both moved onto the same couch, more unclear still when they had lost most of their clothes on the excuse it was "too hot" in there, and most unclear when Khalon's arm had wrapped around her.

She looked up at him, clearly wasted, and offered a frown.

"I'm sorry I came on to you before." She said, genuinely. Her voice was even thicker now. "You're just so damn sexy and I wanted to see what those hips could do."

They both giggled together at that. He grinned charmingly.

"Well, you can I tell you something?" He asked, looking at her confidently.

She leaned in, returning his gaze.

"I wanted to show you." He said, chuckling again with her.

After several seconds, she pulled herself onto her knees on the couch and moved in close to his face. Slowly, their lips touched each other and a shot of electricity flowed through her body. They kissed again, and she felt the warmth start between her legs. He was just as amazing a kisser as she thought.

She started to think about working her tongue in when a subtle thought crept into her mind. It was an unusual thing for her, a moment of conscience. And, before she knew it, her mind was filled with images of Khalon and Sofia having a happy life together without her. She pulled back suddenly.

"What's wrong?" He asked, the kiss still formed on his thick lips.

"It's not fair, K." She says. "I'll be gone, and...I'm not worth it. You and Sofia have a chance and...we don't..."

Khalon looked at her for several silent moments. For the first time, something was occurring to him that he felt he should have noticed before; she didn't just want sex, she had feelings for him.

"Well.." he said, then paused. Should he tell her he wished they did have a chance? Was it his erection talking or maybe the alcohol? "I'm sorry things aren't...going that way.."

He spoke with uncharacteristic awkwardness as he remembered Sofia as well and felt pangs of guilt and shame at both his feelings and the kiss.

They sat in silence for several moments, no one even moving to say a word. Khalon watched Ingrid and thought she might be crying, but he had a feeling it was barely about him. He reached out to her, placing a hand on her worm shoulder, but she moved away and stood up. Silently, she started putting her close on and gathering her bag.

At last, she was standing, looking at him again, her eyes dancing and a sat smile on her face.

"Khalon, thanks for being my friend." She said, sounding lonely and weak. "Take care of yourself."

"You too, Ingrid." He said, showing both sadness and confusion.

She turned and walked toward the door, her boots clicking on the deck plating. Before she was gone, though, she turned around, her white and red hair dancing with her head movement and flashed him one more of those famous flirtatious smiles. Then she was gone.

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Ingrid Hollister
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign Khalon Price
Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer


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