Letting the Cat Out
Location: XO's Office
’They sound like an old married couple who went through a bitter divorce and now they are forced to work together.’
’Enough out of you.’
Davmorda stood before Caradan’s desk while the Changeling looked over the crew report she had drawn up. Surely the Lieutenant would appreciate a new set of eyes on the crew and not someone who had worked with everyone for some time now. She saw how the Changeling reacted to some of the wording. Not all of the crew was painted in a good light. Davmorda was honest and straightforward. Many rather enjoyed that trait as there was little room for error, beating around the bush as they say.
There was even a few paragraphs detailing her observations of the XO, the very same that was currently reading the report. Davmorda did not see much reason for Commander Shaqdac to hate the Changeling so much, but she understood his reaction. As one who fought in that war, he would certainly retain some bitterness.
Rex’s previous host also fought in the Dominion War, but Refkin’s experience was different. The man actually enjoyed the fighting. Though he never met a Changeling face to face, many Cardassians, a few Jem Hadar, and a Vorta died by his bare hands.
Through symbiontic memory, Davmorda felt that the circle was now complete. There was a twinge of desire to add one more kill, but she knew that desire resonated from Rex itself. Davmorda shook that thought away. ’Enough I said.’
“You will see,” Davmorda spoke as the Changeling sat back, finished with her review, “that I still have a few reservations about Lieutenant Mindo. Many of his files are sealed, though Captain Takato did attach her notes saying that all was well. I generally like to get my own feel for people. Additionally, he seems to have an issue with authority.”
Caradan found the last remark confusing as Mindo never showed any problem toward her. Actually, their relationship was quite the opposite. “Perhaps you are too new to him. Believe me, those sealed files are sealed for a reason. I do not know their content, but I do know something of the situation. You may not have much in the way of trust for a Changeling, Lieutenant but trust me as the First Officer, everything in those files is of a personal nature and does not pose any threat to this ship or crew. Mindo’s…Lieutenant Mindo’s aversion toward you must have stemmed from his lack of familiarity with you on top of your quest for those sealed documents. You will find that a level of tact and personability will go a long way.”
Davmorda could feel a slight bit of hostility toward her as well. It was expected however as Commander Shaqdac seemed to confide in her more than the Changeling. There were times the commander seemed to ignore Lieutenant Eunidas entirely for the advice of his Yeoman. Perhaps the Changeling was right and Davmorda needed to try a little more tact in her approaches.
“I will keep your words in mind,” Davmorda said with a nod.
’I would much rather run my hand up into that head to see if it has a mind of its own.’
Both of their attentions were redirected as a chime from the door.
The door whooshed open and there hovered Mindo. In his hand he held a small box wrapped in green paper, much the color of Caradan's favorite. The bow was a deep red.
Once Mindo saw the Yeoman he froze. "Uh," he stammered for a second, "I have a package for the XO. Sort of a late 'promotion' gift from me... me and Engineering, of course. With our kindest regards." He hovered into the room and handed the small package to the new Executive Officer.
“Min…Lieutenand,” Caradan started as she stood with a smile. “You shouldn’t have. You and Engineering that is.” She shot her attention to Davmorda who just stood there, observing. “I was the Chief Engineer before my field promotion to XO.”
“Yes. I am aware,” said Davmorda. She turned to Mindo. “Lieutenant, it is agreeable to see you again.”
’You sound like a Vulcan. What kind of personability was that?’
“How has your day been,” Davmorda asked, with a shallow smile.
Mindo was now aware of the fact that in this case his lover was instead the First Officer of the ship upon which he served. His behavior in this situation would reflect on both of them.
"The day has been just fine. Had an eight hour shift with nothing out of the ordinary yesterday and so far today is going smoothly as well. The ship is in perfect condition." Except for the listening bugs all around... probably in this room Mindo silently added. "How is your day, Lieutenant?"
“As expected,” said Davmorda. “Still getting familiar with the crew. Filing reports, running errands, being a Yeoman.”
Caradan thought to open the package Mindo gave her, but quickly thought about it. With Mindo’s short surprise as he entered, did he really intend or even think that someone else was in the office. With that being the theory, was it truly a standard gift from her old department or could it have been something from just Mindo, something more intimate? “Mindo, I can’t wait to open it. I will the second my shift ends.”
Davmorda noted how familiar Caradan was using Mindo’s name. The Changeling dropped his rank and referred to him solely by name, but spoke it as though a grand amount of joy resided behind that name.
“Why wait?” Davmorda asked. They were all on duty at the moment, but “What is a few seconds. I won’t tell.”
"Go ahead," said Mindo, hoping Ms. Rex had no clue what it was once she saw it.
Caradan shot her eyes back and forth between Mindo and Davmorda a few times, but she ultimately decided on Mindo’s trust. “OK,” she looked down at the package, “I shall.” Caradan pulled at the loose end of the bow and it unraveled nicely. Working at the packaging, the sides lifted easily and, a simple tear later, the wrapping paper laid on her desk. She saw a box and, lifting off the top she saw a slender stone the size of a manual control joystick. It shined and sparkled, not able to decide what color it was.
"It's an Elanin Singer stone," said Mindo. "It sings a different song for the one who holds it. Go ahead, pick it up."
Davmorda looked at the stone. She had never seen one herself and could only imagine what song it would play for her. Since her joining, though, she wondered if the resulting music would be for her, for Rex, or for the two as one.
Caradan reached into the box and hovered her hand just over the stone for a moment before grabbing it. Lifting it from the box an unfamiliar tune started to play, but its melody and rhythm seemed to resonate with Caradan all the same. The music flowed from one chord to the next, waved in both pitch and tempo, almost like the music was attempting to fold over upon itself, return to its origins, but remain evolved nonetheless. Caradan could almost hum to the tune, but it changed again. She could not put a thought or a name to the tune as it seemed to be a number not knowing what it was. An ever evolving and ever changing tune, always random, and never repeating.
As the music continued, “This is foreign to me Mindo. I do not know this song. But,” listening to it a little more intently, it’s flow and melody, “I doubt anyone in the galaxy has ever heard this exact song.”
Caradan could not take her eyes off this wonderful gift, nor her ears off the sound it produce. “This is wonderful Mindo. Thank you.”
Mindo took Caradan's hand and put both of their hands on at the same time. The song that was playing faded and was replaced with another. It was very rich, beautiful melody and had more of a repeatable rhythm to it. Like the song had found something that gave it solidarity and common ground on which to stand and mold itself. The song somehow sounded complete. Mindo smiled. "That's our song," he said.
Caradan smiled widely. She looked from the stone in their hands to Mindo, looking at him longingly.
“Is there something going on,” Davmorda spoke up, providing a bit of ruin to the moment, “between you two, I mean?”
Mindo sighed. How could he be so foolish? He was so eager to hear their song he'd forgotten about bitsy-pants. If she found out, which most likely had already happened, she would tell the Commander, and then there'd be a mess on everyone's hands. So, he could admit their love and tell the truth, or lie somehow in a desperate attempt to keep their relationship. Mindo guessed Davmorda wouldn't believe a lie, and would want to believe the truth. Davmorda's dislike of the two was not lost on Mindo. And he knew his dislike of Davmorda was not lost on her. Mindo had to take care of the yeoman's suspicions. Lie? Or truth?
The song continued on its wonderful journey as Caradan looked into Mindo’s eyes, saw his concerns and worries. If there was one thing Caradan had learned from her time away from the Link, it was that there was no greater feeling than having someone stand with you in the face of uncertainty or adversity.
Caradan started into a slow and shallow nod. “Yes,” she said and then tore her eyes from Mindo to look at Davmorda answering the question that was asked. From the limited time she had to get to know the Yeoman, Caradan learned there was little to no ‘beating around the bush’ as they say. “There is something going on.” The music from the stone started to repeat a rhythm as though it felt more complete. “We are both still figuring out what it means though.” She looked back at Mindo.
Davmorda sent her eyes from one to the other, back and forth. The truth was inherent but not spoken, therefore not proclaimed. “Whatever the situation,” she said, “it is none of my business as long as it does not affect the workings of this ship and her crew.”
Caradan withdrew her hand from Mindo, still holding the stone. The music returned to its original ever-changing tune; flowing and beautiful. “I believe the workings of this ship and crew are a responsibility in my job description Lieutenant,” Caradan spoke up. “Not yours. Besides, whatever the situation, there are no regulations being broken. Are there?”
Davmorda did not have to search her memory to say, “No.” She did however ask, if “This was not going on while you were Chief Engineer was it? With Lieutenant Mindo as your direct subordinate?”
Caradan could feel the quest for anything detrimental, anything the commander could use against her. In a manner of speaking, it was truthful when she said, “No. Not that it would matter now anyway. Here,” she held out the Elanin signer stone toward Davmorda, “care to give it a go?”
’Both of you hold it. Let’s see what musical craziness spews forth.’
“No, thank you,” said Davmorda.
’Oh come one. You, me, and that thing. Throw the little one in for kicks.’
Davmorda shook that thought away as quickly as it forced its way into her thinking. She retrieved her PADD from Caradan’s desk. It still had Mindo’s profile pulled up along with her report based on their previous meeting.
Mindo took Caradan's hand in his. "It's time for me to go. I've got a warp core to take care of." Though self-aware in front of Davmorda, he leaned in and kissed Caradan. "Enjoy the stone."