After watching the Romulun Chief Medical Officer storm out the bridge, Ensign Isla Danire tapped a few sparkling controls on her console, and the ship continued to fly as smoothly as the space around it.
It wasn’t as though she despised Romuluns, but Isla had grown up learning that they had to be treated as lower-class because of all the hatred they once had for humans like herself. And then, Isla had seen the way Elon had treated the Captain, with less respect for his quiet contemplation, and she wondered whether the Romulun had a secret dislike of him, his position, or any of the humans on the vessel. It made her skin boil with anger, but also victory that the Captain had brushed the Medical Officer off with such grace.
She glanced up quickly as the man himself passed, eager for him to see how efficient she was…but he was busy with other jobs. Unlike most Star Fleet captains, Captain Ian Peters didn’t just like to sit in The Chair when there was work going on around him. He would be checking Lieutenant Commander Telmek’s tactical skills or making sure that ‘spare’ crewmen were nearby on the bridge to quickly take over from an officer if necessary.
Anyway, there was no reason for Captain Peters to look towards Isla. She was just a lowly ensign, straight out of Star Fleet Academy, majoring in piloting. Even her best friends were of the opinion that she was boring; they had taken off and become science officers and married into distant races. Sometimes Isla missed them, but she had a very comfortable life on The Abilene.
Well, apart from the fact that her heart burned with admiration and pride whenever she looked at the Captain. It ached when he shared a joke with someone else and not with her, his rich laughter soaking her soul in depression and joy mixed. But they could never be together; he was the Captain and honourable to his job only.
“Forde to Danire,” came a whisper through Isla’s com-badge, “You’re staring again. Stop it.”
Isla shifted her gaze across to the Chief Engineer, working away at the main science station on the bridge. Catherine Forde was the closest to a companion that Isla had on The Abilene. They were both single and both had their quarters on deck seven, section eight. Although their shifts were often alternate hours, they always managed to find time in the day in which they could chat in the mess hall or challenge each other at rock-climbing on the Holodeck (a sport which both enjoyed passionately). On the other hand, Catherine and her entire family were sporty- she told of a fast-growing Ktarian niece who was quickly becoming a Parisi Squares champion- whereas Isla preferred to paint images of the stars everyday, and often lost herself in 19th century music.
As the girls exchanged looks, a sensor gave a loud ‘bleep’ from Catherine’s station, and the whole ship seemed to ripple with some unknown energy.
“Captain… There is something ahead; a large gaseous phenomenon, or something.”
Captain Peters slid himself back into his chair, ready to command.
“Slow us to impulse, ensign.”
“Aye, Captain,” Isla replied.
Once she was sure that the ship was under her control, Ensign Danire looked up at the looming shape that was ‘on-screen’ in front of her.
“What is it?” She gasped.