USS Churchill

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Once Upon A Time, Unexpectedly.

Posted on Sat May 25th, 2019 @ 10:08pm by Captain Mr'isarr & Ensign Harlow Launceston

Mission: Off duty Postings
Location: Transport Vessel
Timeline: Backpost

The transport was loud and the cooling didn't feel like it was working properly. Harlow was already annoyed but the sudden arrival of someone sliding into her seat next to her twanged her already raw nerves, making her cringe inwardly as she inched toward the bulkhead of the vessel, trying to maintain distance between them, suddenly wishing she had worn her uniform instead of opting for casual clothing. At least the uniform commanded some form of respect in most instances.

As the stranger started making conversation, Harlow turned away, staring blankly out the viewport at the stars flashing by, but it was as she felt the cold hand slide suggestively along her bare thigh that she stood up and pushed past him, a feeling of utter disgust washing over her.

She moved through the crowded transport, finally spotting another empty seat near the bulkhead, next to an impressively large Caitian. Procrastinating on it for a moment, Harlow finally decided that it was better than the alternative. At least his sheer size would largely hide her from the rest of the passengers so hopefully the rest of the journey could pass without incident. She paused next to his seat, leaning forward as someone tried to push passed behind her. "Excuse me?" she asked softly, her voice almost barely audible over the background noise. "Do you mind if I sit?"

Mr'isarr was never a fan of transports, always filled, the odour of some questionable and the manners of others…well, on the Homeworld a painful lesson would be exacted. He particularly hated transports because frequently feet were trodden on and in one, only one instance before, someone stood on his tail. Mr'isarr didn’t have to worry about that so much now, he didn’t have to look around to know he was the largest present and now that he was almost fully grown everyone also knew better than to anger the towering feline.

Sat in the seat with his tail coiled about his waist, his attention focused on a PADD detailing his new assignment. He was reading available information on the command staff as well as senior positions; it always helped to know with whom he would be working with. His attention was tugged on by a voice, soft, gentle, clearly female in origin. He looked up, seeing a very young looking, rather intriguing appearing female with purple hair. He knew females of a younger age often tended to style or colour hair to suit a trend or social expectation yet the purple was rather pleasing to his eyes. He stood, instantly realizing the short stature of the female, a customary bow mostly with the head given the limited space in greeting.

Such a greeting was swiftly followed by a growl as he saw one male clearly hoping to bag himself a seat. Not only did the growl dissuade him of that notion but also provided a few precious inches of room around him. “I would be honoured.” To him it was an honour, a female deeming him worthy to sit next to, not afraid or put off by what he was, something he’d fought long and hard at the Academy and SFMC Boot camp.

Not even remotely dissuaded by the growl, Harlow smiled, clearly relieved. As she moved passed him she rested a small hand on his chest to steady herself before taking the seat, a soft sigh of relief escaping as she leaned back, closing her eyes for a moment. Finally she opened her eyes again, turning slightly toward him. "Thank you," she said quietly. "I won't bother you, I really just want somewhere to sit. I'm Harlow," she offered.

Once seated and a glance to make sure others kept a somewhat minimum distance he sat back down again. His tail still curled, the tip bobbing up and down every few seconds as he turned his attention to his new travel companion. “Mr'isarr.” He spoke, slowly since so many had a problem pronouncing it properly.

With Harlow sitting next to him he could also pick up on her scent. Everyone had a scent, part of what he was included a heightened sense of smell which was particularly useful when tracking or hunting, couple this with training and natural talents made this a very effective tool. “You do not bother me.” Picking up on the slightly reserved, shy nature of the female he tried to be reassuring, comforting.

"I hate being on these transports," Harlow commented quietly. "So many people, so much noise..." her voice trailed off momentarily. "I will be glad when someone finally comes up with a way to transport instantly over long distances and I won't have to transport between assignments any more." She glanced down, smoothing the front of her skirt as she found herself consciously aware of his imposing presence. Even though the seats were designed for two, and despite her slight size, his form made their seating arrangements rather on the cosy side. Not that she was going to complain, in fact, she found it quite nice. Casting a sideways glance at him, she smiled again. "New assignment or going home?" she asked curiously.

“New assignment.” He replied softly though loud enough to be heard. Perhaps the first noticeable instance where his lips moved out of sync with the words as UT having to translate the Caitian language and all the parts that made it. Hearing her talk gave the answers he sought without asking, she didn’t like transports, who did? Harlow was right about two things, so many people, so much noise. Turning slightly yet doing so to avoid touching her, since doing so without permission was forbidden in his Caste and even if accidental, measures had to be taken to make it right. “And yourself, if I may ask?” A poised question of asking, if permitted, to get an answer.

"Same," Harlow reached up, tucking her purple hair back behind her ear. "I'm going to Starbase 51 to meet with the USS Churchill, I've been transferred as medical officer." She fell silent again. Socializing had never been her strong point and in truth, small talk and such social niceties just felt odd, almost contrived. "I just hope we get there soon. I want a nice long bath and a comfortable place to sleep."

"I too am heading to the Churchill." The word sounding different when he said it due to the difficulty in his pronouncing the word. "I am to be its new Marine Commander." As if that didn't need stating since he was in uniform and it happened to be green in trim. "Indeed, the chance to freshen up would be appreciated greatly." He looked down to see a little boy staring at him, he could not have been more than 5 or 6 years of age holding a stuffed animal close to his chest. He noticed the infant, like many others on board bore to them a sad expression. Mr'isarr knew better than to smile, doing so would reveal fangs and only add to his intimidating and predatory appearance. So with the tip of his tail, a wave. It was a small gesture, trivial really but as reward if got a small giggle from the boy before the mother picked him up.

Watching the interaction, Harlow smiled slightly, her smile becoming a frown as she watched the mother hurriedly pick up the child to remove him from the situation. "Does that happen often?" she asked softly, looking up at the Caitian's face, her disappointment at the situation reflected clearly in her blue eyes.

"It does." He admitted. "I can not hide what I am, no matter my ways or culture people still see the feline, the predator, an animal." He explained though the slight shift in tone in his voice hinting that the latter was something few would dare and those who did call him such, learned quickly the error of it. "I understand that parents wish to harbour a child in safety, I am a danger. With my size and weight I am a concern for most, if I were to step or fall on someone I could cause significant injury, my claws and fangs are capable of worse. It is what I am, I can not change it, only accept it in the hopes that others see beyond it." It was obvious that he'd gone over this topic many times, very little thought was given to it, it came out smoothly as he spoke even in the words the feline undertones and purrs could be heard.

Harlow quirked her mouth slightly as she listened to his reply. Despite the words spoken there was something about the way he spoke that she found enjoyable to listen to. "I don't like people very much," she said quietly. "People are rarely capable of free thought without being affected my uneducated hysteria." She sighed softly. "Sometimes it's sad that people have progressed so far yet they've barely progressed at all. I'm sorry..." her voice trailed off and she offered him a gentle smile, tucking her hair back behind her ear again. "I've never served with a Caitian before."

"You have no doubt heard of my kind, having now met one, what do you think?" That for him was a loaded question with more than one meaning. For him he wanted to make sure that he had conducted himself accordingly, that custom and tradition were satisfied. In another he hoped that by being himself, not changing his behavior on the grounds she was a female that she didn't find him intimidating, scary or off putting, even if only to ask to sit next to him, using him to fend off others.

"I studied a little bit of Caitian medical before I went to the Academy, I thought it was interesting, but I don't know much about your culture, I'm sorry," she paused for a moment before smiling up at him. "I don't think you're scary though, I think... I think..." her voice trailed off as she quirked her mouth again, turning her hands in her lap as she tried to find the words. "I think you're interesting." she finally offered, aware of how lame it sounded as soon as the words were spoken.

He turned his head towards her, a hint of a smile present on his features but mindful not to expose his fangs. "Thank you, I am honoured." To which he was to get a compliment from a female. While most would not know that females were the dominant gender on the Homeworld, he was pleased that he was at least not scary, to use her description. "Our culture has many facets to it, each dependent on another yet each a place in society." Now was hardly a time for a lengthy or detailed chat about his ways with so many people around, such things are better reserved for quieter moments and certainly less crowded ones.

"Maybe one day you could tell me more? Seeing as how we're going to be serving together?" she asked, unable to hide the edge of hopefulness to her voice. While she definitely wanted to know more about his culture, she found herself realising that the thought of spending more time in his company certainly wouldn't be unappealing. There was something that was just nice about being in his presence.

"At a time and place of your convenience." He replied. Being the female Harlow had the right to determine those things, he, would be at her service. It was no different on the Homeworld where males were subserviant to the female gender. Females were the figureheads of households, they owned the property and invited the male to live with them. They were the authority figures in political and military matters, even the Pri'arch who guided them in religious matters and whos word was essentially law on the Homeworld. Males filled in roles of farmers, artisans, warriors and all at the head of these was a female

Harlow fell silent, watching him, a small smile dancing on her lips as she cast a gaze over his face, her eyes meeting his and for the briefest of moments she found herself tempted to reach out and run her fingertips along the side of his face, wanting to know if his fur was as soft as it looked. Looking away quickly, she could feel color staining her cheeks. "I'm sure we will have plenty of time," she finally said quietly.

"Something troubles you?" He asked noticing the look then the aversion. He wondered if he had said or done something, wondered if his tail have touched or brushed against her, if perhaps he himself had an unpleasant odour to her nose that he himself was oblivious to.

She shook her head quickly, her purple hair flicking around her face with the emphatic movement. "No, no, not at all," she said softly. "In fact, quite the opposite. I... I was just..." she shook her head again and sighed. "I was just thinking is all."

"May I know what?" There it was again, the subservient posture. He wanted to know true but his ways were rather strict, he couldn't touch a female without permission however there were very, very strict instances where such was permitted such as immediate danger to life. Even such an act demanded things be made right even if the life was saved, same went for any requests. May I? Can I. He could not demand from a female, to do so was incredibly disrespectful and punishment was varied, but severe. Since joining Starfleet he'd had difficulty coming to terms having to give orders, especially to females. The classes he'd taken before leaving the Homeworld prepared him for such an eventuality, but it was never practiced on the Homeworld. He believed that through duty, life was protected, through his actions he made safe the females under his command even if such safety was a mindset created to help him carry out his duties with both genders.

"I don't want to offend you Mrisar," she replied, stumbling over his name as she spoke it. "I..." she sighed, the color returning to her cheeks again. "I guess I was being silly, I was wondering if your fur is really as soft as it looks. Sorry." She looked away again, her stomach a knot of anxiety as she waited to see how badly she had offended him with her honesty.

He couldn't help but smile and in doing so the sharp points of his large dominant fangs could be seem. Harlow was not the first to express such an interest, he'd put up with it in the Academy and at Boot Camp. Even as he walked about the campus grounds, the city during liberty he faced the same. "It is not silly." He reassured. "For myself I understand." It was also not the first time he'd used what he was to ease suffering, a friend dumped by a partner, a family loss, failing a test or exam. For these people were his friends and he was honoured to help as he could. Lifting his hand from his thigh he held it out, palm side down, the white fur with black hints of lines adorning the top of his hand. "If you wish." He offered, hoping that such an act might help her settle on this otherwise trying transport.

Reaching out almost tentatively, Harlow traced her fingertips softly over the back of his hand, following the barely visible black lines through his softly furred hand, a thrill of excitement rushing through her at the feel of his fur under her fingertips. After the longest of moments she pulled her hand away, even though she didn't want to, ending the contact between them. "I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable," she said softly, looking up at him again.

"There was no discomfort." However he did pick up on a hint of ease as a result from her. He knew however that as a result of her touching him he'd have to make sure to keep his hand away from his nose as her scent could cause him problems if exposed to it strongly for too long. In a situation such as this however with more males present than females he was confident they would be able to mask her scent for the most part. Sitting back in the chair he relaxed a little, as much perhaps on crowded transport would permit at least, the PADD he was reading tucked next to him with his tail atop of it.

"Thank you," she replied quietly, a soft smile on her face as her fingertips brushed the back of his hand again. Following his lead, she relaxed in her seat, sighing softly. "How long do you think it will take us to get to 51?"

"I do not know I am afraid." Feeling slightly foolish for not keeping better track. "I am hopeful for soon." As if tempting fate a baby started to cry and with it came the known experience of the high pitched cry, which for his ears was worse. "I hope the parents of the offspring is able to silence it." Knowing from observation the frustration and anger that can arise from a situation such as this.

"I can't blame the poor thing," Harlow replied quietly. "I mean, if this transport takes too much longer I might cry too," she said with a shake of her head. "Does the sound bother you?" she asked, noting the slight twitch to his ears as the baby cried.

"It can." Such noises could be difficult to bear and while he did try to be understanding of such things, the discomfort such a crying for him was worse. "The hearing of a Caitian is sensitive." At most times it was a valued attribute, this time not so much. Relieve was not long to follow as the baby seemed to silence itself. From where he sat he couldn't see the baby or the parent though knew what section of the compartment they were seated going by the looks in a given direction.

"Hopefully the baby has gone to sleep and won't cry again," Harlow offered quietly. "So I should remember that you can hear everything, no matter how quietly I whisper?" she asked, her voice lightening slightly. "No such thing as secrets with you around?"

He smiled, there was some truth to that question. "Any secrets are safe with me." Which was true. "And yes, I can hear you just fine." He added hopefully adding to her comfort that she didn't have to raise her voice to talk to him lest she risk being heard by others close by.

Closing her eyes, she leaned into his shoulder, her fingertips resting lightly on the back of his hand as she exhaled slowly, taking advantage of the relative calm for the moment.

=/\= Starbase 51 =/\=

As they were finally exiting the transport onto the Starbase, Harlow fell into step next to Mr'isarr, suddenly finding herself acutely aware of exactly how much bigger than her he really was. "If it isn't being too forward, would you like to have dinner with me tonight?" she asked hopefully. "I'd love to hear more about your people?"

"I would be honoured to." An obvious hint of pleasure to the tone of his voice at the request. "If you would permit me, may I freshen up prior to our meeting and make myself suitably presentable?" Once again the submissive posture towards her in his answer as he was indeed honoured by her request and more than happy to oblige her.

"Of course. I have temporary quarters on the starbase until I transfer to the Churchill, perhaps we could eat there? I don't know about you but I don't think I want crowded places just yet," Harlow replied with a smile. "But if you prefer somewhere else, that's okay."

"If you are comfortable with quarters, I am happy to attend." He replied. "Which time do you wish my arrival?" There was no surprise that people stepped aside for him and in turn her too. Size had its advantages and this was such a time where they shined. Like her he was also acutely aware of the comparative size difference more so now that they were off the transport.

"Does nineteen hundred hours sound okay?" Harlow asked, looking up at him. "My quarters?" Reaching out, she slid her hand in his and squeezed gently. "Thank you, for letting me sit with you on the transport, and I hope I didn't drool on you when I was sleeping," she finished with a quick grin. "I'll see you tonight?" she asked finally as she let go of his hand.

Mr'isarr gave a smile, now a proper customary bow beyond the head that he gave earlier. "I thank you, you honoured me." He replied standing upright again looking down at her. "Nineteen hundred. I shall attempt punctually." He added. Even if she had drooled on him, he didn't care. The fact that she felt comfortable enough do sleep around him, even if he was mostly there to ease her nerves and shield her from others, he served a purpose and that was something he took pride in.


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