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An uncomfortable silence sat between them as they ate. The entire Durandus family was bullheaded. Typical family arguments that seemed trivial to other families often lasted for months, but his time it was more than trite bickering.
“So when do you return from holiday leave?” her father said finally, attempting to avoid the elephant in the room and get them through at least one meal unphased.
“My shuttle leaves at 0800 tomorrow morning.”
The silence returned. The clinking of silverware echoing through the dining room.
“I just don't understand why you're doing this. You have a perfectly respectable job. Why do you need to go throw it all away and risk your life on some ship?”
“What?” her mother continued, setting her silverware down and wiping her mouth with her napkin. “I can't just let my only daughter run off on some ill-conceived notion of saving the universe.”
“Mom. We've been through this already. I'm tired of the bureaucracy and politics. The Thales is a great ship. Every doctor I know would love to have this post.”
“So let them have it,” Her mother retorted. Her father rubbed the bridge of his nose as he tried to stay neutral while her mother continued. “Don't you remember the hell you went through on the Hermes? That ship is the perfect example of why you shouldn't be out there.”
“Who are you to say what I can and can't do? The Hermes was my family. Sure, it's dangerous, but it's a part of being a Starfleet officer.”
“You can be a Starfleet officer on Earth. I could even talk to Derek and get you a position here at the Betazed Outpost.”
“Ha,” Kay scoffed, pushing her plate away. “Do you really think I'd want to take a position on the same starbase as you? I'd rather take my chances on Tau Cygna V.”
“Honey, there's no need to be disrespectful. You're mother cares about you. She just wants you to be safe. You did have a hard time on the Hermes. I remember how stressed you were. The Thales could be very much the same way.” Tarkis looked between them, hoping to ease some tension.
“How dare you!” Pricsilla screamed, knocking her chair over as she stood. “Don't you forget who helped get you where you are. One call and I could get you reassigned to Ktaris!”
“You know what,” Kay threw her napkin on the table and stood. “I'm tired of you trying to run my life. You've been hovering over me ever since I enrolled at the Ministry. This is MY life. MY decision. If I die out there, saving lives, it's my choice!” She leaned over the table, glaring.
“I won't let you throw your life away. You aren't doing this.”
“Pricsilla…€…” Tarkis said cautiously, seeing the anger boil over in his daughter's eyes.
Kay laughed. “Try and stop me.” She said tauntingly. “Do it and you'll lose your daughter anyway.” She stared at her mother a moment, daggers in her eyes, then turned away.
“Kay,” her father pleaded. “Be reasonable.”
“I'm not the one being unreasonable.”
Pricsilla was still too flabbergasted to respond. Watching in a bitter silence as her only daughter snatched up her things.
“I'm taking this position. Thales is to report to Starbase 47 on SD1701.23.” She opened the door, stopping as she sensed her Mother's demeanor change slightly.
“Please...” Pricsilla's voice was softer, wavering a bit with the fear that she may never see her again.
Kay stood in the doorway, her back still turned. Silence returning between them.
“Goodbye, Mother,” she said, walking out the door.