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You handled that well...

Posted on Fri Feb 14th, 2020 @ 12:37am by Lieutenant Mica Rue

Mica groaned as a nut pressed into her cheek from where it had lain on the counter. She wanted to move, she really did. But hours of drinking had impaired her ability to move even one finger.

So instead she sat there, slumped over at the bar of a seedy underground pub, listening to the rustle of conversation and movements of the patrons.

"I'm cutting you off." the bartender barked. Behind the counter, he pressed a button on a machine. The smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the space. When it was ready he slammed the mug next to Mica's head, eliciting another groan.

It hadn't been much of a challenge, to steal the family car and drive it to the bad part of the nearby town. The car itself had been a breeze. After all, she WAS an engineer. The destination had come up by chance, and although she knew her brothers would track her down fairly quick, Mica reveled in the brief time alone.

What the woman hadn't counted on, was the fact that she hadn't drunk herself under the table in a very, very long time. That, and she had left in nothing but strappy sandals, a thin shift, and a tiny bathing suit.

The offers had been frequent, and in varying degrees of rudeness.

So now, hours later, the once proud starfleet lieutenant was a washed up has been, drinking away her problems. Almost passed out on the counter. Leaving little to the imagination of what direction her life was going.

"Planning on staying here all night?"

At the voice Mica groaned again, rolling her head so her face smooshed straight into the counter. "Whadoyawant?"

Yolan chuckled, pulling the coffee toward him to take a sip. He coughed after, putting the mug as far away from his as he could reach. "Someone had to come get you. I got the short straw."

Mica made an inaudible noise. She heard something get placed next to her head.

"Here." he said, then pushed the coffee closer to her. He tapped the counter once. The bartender nodded, grabbing a glass and filling it.

When Mica finally lifted her face from the counter, Yolan was still watching her. "I brought you something."

Through her blurred vision she saw a padd resting between them. "What is it?"

He pushed the coffee closer. "Your answer."

The woman lifted her head, putting one elbow on the counter, cradling her face in her palm.

Yolan lifted the delivered drink to his lips, sipping gingerly. "It's not right, what Selin said." he sipped again. "We are all proud of you, mom and dad the most. They may have wished that you could visit more, but they never wanted you to leave starfleet."

Mica was silent and watched her big brother.

"And it wasn't fair that he didn't tell you what happened to them. I brought the official report, figured you'd want to read it."

His sister didn't lift her head, but rubbed her face with her other hand. "I can't read it Yolan, my eyes are screwed up."

He chuckled. "I'm sure. That's what happens when you go drinking for five hours." His smile slowly disappeared as he reached over, turning on the tablet. He skimmed the words only a moment before switching it off again. "You really want to know?"

"I do." Mica held up a finger to the bartender. He shook his head. She lowered her hand.

Yolan took a sip, then passed his glass to his sister. "You need this more than me." Taking a deep breath, he waited until she had drunk deeply. "You know mom was in a cave-in. It was an accident, just wrong place, wrong time."

He watched Mica drink again, her eyes vacant.

"When they got her out, she had a lot of injuries, but they thought it would be an easy healing." His eyes clouded over. "I found dad and got him to the institute where they were treating her. And I assured him it was going to be fine."

"But it wasn't fine." Mica placed the glass down.

"No," He mumbled. "When we got there, hours later, she was...she was mom. For a little bit. Then she started acting strange; slurring her words and treating us like she didn't know us." He shuddered visibly with the memory. "The doctors rushed in and took her out of the room. It was so fast. We were asking questions and interrupting the doctors, and trying to calm Selin and get any information we could. We didn't even realize that dad was in trouble until he fell to the ground."

Despite the pounding in her skull, Mica did lift her head then. Her proud, hardworking papa had fallen? "What was it?" she asked, morbidly enraptured by the story.

Yolan blew out a large breath. "His heart. The staff rushed over, they tried to save him, but..." He looked down at his hands. He had removed his father's ring then, put it on his finger for safekeeping, but he couldn't quite bear to take it off. "They had just gotten him placed on a bed to remove the body when the doctor told us they had lost mom, too."

Mica swallowed hard. "The symbiont?" she whispered.

Her brother shook his head. "They wouldn't tell us. You know they don't like the family reconnecting with the new host. They wouldn't want us tracking them down..."

Mica grew still. Her brother was right. They would probably never know if a piece of their mother lived on in another trill. Maybe it was for the best, that way.

"Now we need to continue on, Mikey." Yolan took back his glass, eyeing the last of the purple-hued liquid. "We need to band together, as siblings, and figure out where we are going. We need to figure out how to continue our lives from here."

"How do we do that?" His sister sighed. The alcoholic buzz was starting to dampen and her temples throbbed.

Yolan downed the drink, slamming the glass on the counter. "First, we get you sober. Then, we find you a nearby transport."

"A transport? Where are we going?"

He turned to her, resting an arm across the bar. "Not we, Mikey, you." at her confused gaze, he glanced around the establishment. "Wonder why you came to this place today, Mikey? You could have picked any club or gallery to come to. Instead you came to the one place on Trill where all species are welcomed."

"It was convenient for my mood." she mumbled, resting her head in her hand once more.

"It was starfleet." Yolan nodded. "Every different culture in here screams it. You miss it, and I'm sure they miss you. You need to get back, Mikey. We're fine here. Us boys will survive without you."

"What if I'm not ready to go back?" she asked quietly.

Yolan stood. "Then go to the technology building. Selin arranged that meeting, there's no harm in seeing what they have to offer, is there? Spend an hour there, two. Spend two or three days if you need. At least then you'll know what direction you want to take - a new life, or the old." Holding out his hand to her, he smiled. "Either way you need to live."

Staring at his hand, it took all Mica's will power to reach out and take it. Hopping off the bar stool she stumbled, held upright by the firm one-armed embrace of her brother.

As they made their way out of the dive of a bar Mica saw what Yolan had said was true; this was the place where she felt most at home, with a variety of species and languages around her.

Now it was time to see if her future lay in the past or in the comfort of a home she had never given a chance...


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