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“Here we are. Deck Seven, Section Three-One Alpha- home sweet home.”
Eli nodded his head as politely as he was able to the Trill Ensign who showed him to his quarters. He knew it was customary to invite guests inside for a tour and he hoped very much that in this particular situation that would not be necessary. His fears were allayed as the Ensign smiled brightly upon opening the door and gesturing for Eli to go inside.
“I'll let you get settled. Welcome aboard the Ares Ensign Goss.” She bowed her head, turned, and left. The doors closed behind her and Eli looked around the very empty room. It was typical of Starfleet design; clean and efficient if somewhat lacking in personality. All Eli brought aboard the Ares was a padd with his official orders on it. He had yet to deliver it to the Captain. The situation on the bridge when he arrived prohibited him from following tradition and so he resigned to wait for a more appropriate opportunity to introduce himself.
His first shift on the bridge had certainly been eventful. Though it was his claim he had no interest in new worlds or new civilizations, the scientist in him always embraced a puzzle, and the Principes were that if nothing else. Their method of scanning intrigued him and he planned to spend the rest of his evening going over the reports from the encounter. The emptiness of the room, however, was hard to ignore. It was, in point of fact, very distracting. This was home now and the idea of it being so barren was unsettling for some reason. Eli wasn't a material person and the acquisition of things had never been important to him. It puzzled him why he was so bothered now.
Eli sat down on the stand issue bed. It was more comfortable than the cot he'd spent the last year sleeping on but it was still flat and impersonal. He sighed, tapping the padd in his left hand against the palm of his right. As he looked around the room it didn't take long for his thoughts to drift to the Admiral and how much he missed her. He felt somewhat naked knowing she wasn't anywhere nearby. His orders had strictly forbade him to make “unnecessary” communication with her via subspace. That, however, didn't mean he couldn't write a letter he had no intention of sending. Standing up he decided to do just that.
“Computer: Begin an encrypted dictation: Authorization Goss, SFC-Three-Five-Nine Alpha Tango.”
The computer chirped in acknowledgment and completion of his command. Wandering aimlessly around the room he began to speak, though he was uncertain he had anything to say aside how deeply he felt the absence of the Admirals presence.
“Ady A... Well, you were right. This ship is certainly an interesting one. Not ten minutes after I came aboard we went to Yellow Alert thanks to what may well turn out to be a functionally retarded species.”
He laughed lightly at this in a somewhat scornful way. As he meandered about the room he ran the fingers of his right hand along various surfaces as if to test whether or not they were structurally sound. For what purpose he did this wasn't clear even to him.
“I haven't officially met the Captain yet. He was indisposed when I showed up on the bridge. I got the impression he is everything you said he would be... you would have been proud of me though- I discovered a completely new method of invasive scanning -and- a way to combat it all during my very first shift.” He smiled honestly with momentary excitement in his voice, imagining that she would be proud of him, and that she would say so if she could. “I reported for my physical as soon as I came aboard and, luckily, they didn't ask why I'm ten years younger than I'm supposed to be. The Doctor was very nice though I didn't catch her name... I'm sure there'll be more time for that later...”
He struggled to keep the dictation interesting. He had wandered from one end of the room to the other and now paused looking out on stars going by at warp. He sighed again and sat back down on the flat, impersonal bed. “I miss you Ady A. If you ever get this letter I'll have handed it to you personally and it will no doubt be a very long time from now. I understand the importance of the assignment you have given me and I would rather die than disappoint you...I just... “
He was a graduate of Starfleet Academy. He'd spent a year in special training after that. He was a scientist his father would be proud of and a man his mother could take pride in having raised were either of them alive. All of that seemed irrelevant. If he let this go on the sorrow he fought everyday to keep buried would erupt and consume him.
“Computer: Halt Dictation.”
The computer responded. He stood up and rubbed his cheek. He took the padd with his orders from Admiral Alynna Nechayev gingerly in both hands. It was the only thing he brought with him that she had touched. “Maybe I should frame it,” he thought caustically. He shook his head at how pathetic he felt.
Music was a double edged sword for Eli Goss. At times it cheered him up and brought him peace. Other times it only enhanced his melancholy. In the quiet empty room a song ghosted into his mind. It was a favorite of the Admirals and she had played it for him many times. He couldn't resist the urge to hear it whatever the consequence to his mood might be.
“Computer: Play 'New York, New York'” The computer asked him to specify the artist as there had been several. He responded by saying it didn't matter and as he did a very somber rendition began to play. He allowed his mind to go somewhat blank as he listened, finding the lyric “if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere” exceedingly appropriate. It garnered a contented sigh from his lungs as it concluded on a soft piano trill. At that he decided to go to the mess. Though he didn't really enjoy the company of other people it would at least get him out of the hollow, sterile room he now called home. At the door he paused, turned around, and looked back at the room. For a brief moment he saw its potential- a metaphor for his situation in life, he half smiled and then left.
“Bularian canapés... I wonder if their chef could make me a real plate of them” he asked himself aloud as he proceeded through the corridor, on his way to the mess.