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Posted on Fri May 5th, 2017 @ 8:05am by Commander Mercia Kavi & Lieutenant Lucius Scipio Minor

Mission: Dream Catcher
Timeline: Backpost

Mercia changed out of her uniform and gave Molli a kiss goodnight, and promised Khelev she'd return soon. He understood her need to make a positive connection with medical personal. She'd been hurt by a lot of them, and it was difficult for her to trust. A casual non medical interaction went a long way. She headed for the officers lounge and got a drink before she picked a spot among the couches and took a seat.

Scipio's wardrobe was limited. Ceremonial armor or a traditional toga simply was not going to do in this particular situation. Civilian clothes often fell to more formal attire, mostly due to his upper class status on his homeworld. Hence, he was dressed in a light gray suit and white tunic when he arrived in the officer's lounge. The socialite of his youth had all but went extinct since his wife's 'abduction' and now he was a fish out of water in this very social setting.

Mercia glanced up when she saw the doctor and waved him over. Her eyes looked him over with a little surprise at his clothing. It was true most people wore things similar to their root culture, but after so long living among the mix of cultures there tended to be some uniformity to it, it was refreshing to see someone still holding tight to their culture. She bit her lower lip, feeling the keen reminder she had no culture to rely on.

The Doctor smiled politely as he approached the table, taking his seat across from her. "Commander, Molli being her charming self?" He wanted to know how the baby was doing without causing her anxiety. He could tell from their earlier meeting that she truly loved Molli.

Mercia nodded, "A little clingy, but she wants her father more than me right now." she said. The muscles on her face twitched a little realizing she'd just called Khelev Molli's father. He was in fact, though no blood relation, with her being human and him Andorian, still they'd come share a special bond since Khelev had reentered Mercia's life. "Its bed time, so I figured it would be a good time to chat. And please Call me Mercia. We're off duty and i hate being called by my rank when I'm not in uniform." she said. "Do you find it strange being away from your culture now?" she asked him curiously.

Scipio felt uncomfortable addressing a superior officer so informally but felt compelled to conform to her wishes, reluctantly. "Mercia." He said followed by a forced smile. "My first Starfleet assignment was aboard the all Roman crewed Starship Centurion. We continued our customs and protocol aboard as if we were still on our homeworld. I have found serving with foreigners-." He paused, correcting himself. "Other Federation members, a definite learning curve. I am use to strict discipline and order with everyone knowing their place. Socializing below your station was frowned upon and your peers, well they could be your closest friends or tomorrow's worst enemy depending on the situation."

Mercia grunted and looked at her glass. "That is not untrue here either." she commented. "But joy in life dictates that you take the risk... at least that's how I see it." she said. "I grew up with every one being an enemy, it was't until I was about 19 before I trusted any one. That was two people... and not until four years ago did I trust any one else." she said. She shifted, "But I'm trying... hence why I'm trying to just have a casual drink with a doctor." she said offering a little smirk.

Scipio nodded. "It appears we have much in common." The Bajoran waiter had arrived and he ordered Talaberry wine. "My father was a senator. I watched him spin lies until everyone in the room accepted it as truths. If that experience taught me anything was to be suspicious of other's motives. I understand your reluctance, even with doctors. We both need to assess whether we will get stabbed in the back." His wine was delivered and he raised his glass taking a sip. "A Vulcan would say it is illogical." He shrugged. "If it helps at all, Comman..." He paused, almost addressing her by rank out of custom, "Mercia, I have no attention of drawing you into some intrigue or betraying your trust. I for one, fully understand how valuable such a gift once given."

"I'll believe it when I see it." she countered but with a smile. She had a feeling he would understand the sentiment. "I grew up raised by liars and thieves, manipulation was part of survival. I'm always looking for motives, its a part of my nature." she said. She turned her glass on the table casually. "I don't think you are evil because of your practice, but... when injured I tend to avoid medical care because that distrust rises in me. I can't tell you how many times my boyfriend, or even Captain Hawkins has had to drag me in to sickbay. If that happens I apologize in advance for the attitude you will get." she tipped her head, "Even though things were different with Molli being the one on the table... maybe I've started to grow." she said. The last time she was under medical care had been after her captivity, those doctors hadn't caused much issue, but she was to mentally unstable at the time she didn't have the power to fight them like she normally would have.

The Doctor observed her as she spoke, holding the wine glass and allowing its contents to swirl within like a tempest. "You don't like to lose control, to be vulnerable. It is not unusual and you won't be the first patient to feel like a victim in someone else's domination." Another patron in the lounge had a burst of the giggles, garnering his direct but short lived attention before his gazed returned back on the XO. "I am not a clinical psychiatrist, but it is obvious that your past experiences have made you more cynical and suspicious than most. I would leave that discussion for Commander Caldera to dissertate. Though I do empathize, my main concern is having you feel comfortable coming to Sickbay for whatever ailments that beset you, from a headache to Vegan Fever."

"Vegan Fever?" she laughed. "Is that a sickness people get when they don't eat meat?" Mercia teased.

Scipio stared at her with a displeased expression. "Vegan Fever, or more properly, Vegan Choriomeningitis, is a cerebral inflammation that, unchecked is quite fatal. It was indigenous of the Vega Colony before becoming more prevalent across the expanse of the Federation." The Roman explained, finding little humor when it came to the pathogens that were the scourge of his profession.

Mercia chuckled, "Relax Doc... I know what it is." she said. "Not much of a jokester hmmm?"

"No." Scipio replied rather dryly, which matched his expression to perfectly.

Mercia watched him for a long moment before she took a drink. "Well then... that makes things much less fun." she mumbled. "I suppose I feel the need to help you find a sense or humor now."

The Doctor realized she meant it. "Before you decide to take such a challenge, be prepared to endure utter defeat." A smirk cracked his exterior but its life was brief, a meer flicker then gone.

"Oh a challenge!" Mercia grinned seeing that there was some life behind the older and firm expression. "I've been known to pull pranks, some can be quite mean." she warned him.

Scipio seem to squirm in his seat. "Mercia.." He still said her name as if it was a forbidden word. "I guess we can say you are bonding with a doctor without fear or distrust being an unbridgable barrier. I say that is progress." He paused a moment. "Laughter is not the best medicine. That's just being a raving lunatic when a focused mind would be more prudent."

Mercia frowned, "i disagree, through humor I find connection. Well... either that or fighting." she said. "There really is no middle ground with me. It was how I was raised." she added sounding a little glum.

"After my wife was taken by the Borg, I found very little to be amusing." Scipio explained. "Even after all these years, I know she might still be out there as a mindless drone, void of any meaningful existence, of identity. I will not place my personal, frivolous fulfillment ahead of her." The Doctor paused, taking a sip of his wine. "That is why you will lose your challenge."

Mercia listened for a long moment, "Damn... If Khelev lived like a miserable bump on the log if I was assimilated or died I'd find a way to haunt him and kick his ass. Whats the point of me losing my life if he can't enjoy his? I mean... I'd expect him to react and even have struggles, but I'd want him to be happy." Mercia commented.

"Aislin may still be alive. I haven't given up hope of saving her from the hell she is in. has had proof that reintegration is possible." Scipio's voice was filled with wishful thinking. An obsession that had all but consumed him over the past few decades. "I don't expect you to understand.." He finally muttered after taking another sip of wine.

Mercia humphed, "That was a hell of a dismissal." she said. "Look, I'm not going to tell you to let it go... but I will tell you you're a bit of a fool to not enjoy life while working." she said. "If I let my pain make me humorless I'd be living in the fringe worlds, killing for the fun of it.... Or in a high security federation lock up." she smirked. "I'm dangerous... but I learned to enjoy life, if it didn't, I can't even imagine where i'd be, and I feel I'd dishonor those who sacrificed to get me where I am." She shrugged. "To each their own I suppose."

"Sorry, Commander.." Scipio reverted to her rank. "I don't believe this was suppose to be about whether I smile but you relaxing enough in the presence of a doctor. Just so you know, us Romans haven't crucified anyone in centuries, so you are perfectly safe." Another smirk as he took a sip of his wine.

"Whats crucified?" Mercia asked him, noting the smirk and feeling mild relief. "I mean I know its death, but, I never looked in to its real meaning, and I've heard the term before."

"An archaic form of execution where the convict would be nailed to either a tree or a fixed cross and left to die. It was one of many sentences for capital punishment used during the classical period. Not our finest hour though I understand Earth has had its own rather morbid curiosity with taking a life as well." The Doctor explained, finishing off his wine and setting the glass down, his fingers twisting the empty glass subconsciously. "You mentioned Khelev a moment ago. Is he your husband?"

Mercia looked up, "Oh... Um... no.. or yes?" she scratched her head. "We're more than dating... but we're not married. We live together... he's helping me raise Molli..." she said. "Long term committed relationship I guess is the proper term for it." she said. She smirked, "although if any one ever wanted to marry me, it would have to be someone like him. Tough, smart, no bull shit, and fiercely loyal."

Scipio nodded with a smirk. "See Commander, we are bonding without any bloodshed." He smiled, "This has been charming. We should do it again." Not exactly genuine enthusiasm oozing out of him.

Mercia eyed him, "Hmmm." she replied. She downed the rest of her drink. "Well then. I'll see you around Doc." she said standing up. She looked him over, He was closed off, and yet he was blunt, and he was honest. No bones about it. She might learn to actually like a medical professional with him on board. "Good night."



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