Of Mothers and Children
Location: Mess Hall
Meera had hoped to enjoy a decent meal right now, and while she had to give whoever programmed the replicator props for getting the food accurate and not tasting horribly, her mood was slightly soured by what she was reading on the PADD on the table with her.
"Why now? Why start throwing threats like this all over again Mother?" She grumbled, having done her normal thing of checking her personal mail while having her lunch. Sure, she was used to her mother sending demands for her to return to Caju Deloria. Yeah, there was the whole fact that Deloria was the one who was supposed to inherit being the leader of it, but damned if Meera wanted to live by Syndicate rules and mentalities.
Meera had gotten away from that life on purpose. Joining the Marines was just another step for it. Because she fought tooth and nail for her place thus far, she felt all the better for it. She'd EARNED this. But had she been in Caju Deloria, she'd basically have stolen it off the backs of helpless victims sold into slavery after being manipulated.
Add to that her mother's 'glowing' remarks about how Meera's sister was doing over on some independent station near the trifecta of the three factions, and wondering when Meera herself was going to do something as noteworthy... Damn it all, there was that twinge as her pride was hit in a small but important way.
Davmorda stepped into the Mess Hall. Her focus was stuck in her PADD as she scrolled through messages. Primarily, they were admirers from her time at the Academy. She deleted them all upon seeing the sender’s names. One message she would save for later though was from the resident Trill aboard the Tornado. “PO3 Vaimera Gherr” she read, scrolled down, “Unjoined.” Davmorda lost interest and swiped the message away without deleting.
“Just delete it. She’s an Unjoined little girl.”
“I’m still a Trill. She may have an application. She may need a sponsor.”
“You can sponsor her to her grave.”
Davmorda approached the replicator and “Computer, 6 ounce cut of sabrebeast steak and,” she looked quickly around as though a bit embarrassed, “a grilled cheese sandwich, pickle and sweet tea.”
With her plate of a mismatched meal in hand, Davmorda stepped away from the replicator. Looking about, she saw Meera sitting alone and similarly focused on a PADD. Her expression looked as though she wanted something to break her from it though. Davmorda would rather have company anyway.
”You really think this is going to shut me up?”
Half way to Meera’s location Davmorda heard the echo of a child giggling as her last thought was thrown away.
“Excuse me,” she said as the approached the table where Meera sat. “Mind if I sit with you Lieutenant?”
Meera looked up, and nodded. "No regulation against it Lieutenant." She said, waving to the empty seats nearby. "Mostly just checking my messages while I eat." She said, putting the PADD down and actually taking a bite of her food since she'd sat down.
Despite the flavor being exactly as it should be, she couldn't help but blanch a little bit as she bit down. Damn her mother ruining her appetite.
Davmorda sat, took a bite of her sandwich and then started cutting into the steak. “Seems to me,” she swallowed, “that one of those messages has your food tasty foul.” There was something to Davmorda’s food as well, which she quickly deduced was something her nose was picking up.
Symbiontic memory brought on a load of knowledge from her previous host and though Orions serving in Starfleet did generally take pheromone suppressing treatments, a Trill’s nose was a bit more keen, especially a Joined Trill.
“I trust everything is well with you,” Davmorda finished.
Meera gave a small shrug. "Message from my mother. Another one of her demands I return to the Caju and be a proper heiress to it. This one however, is more than just an idle demand. Seems she's got something in the works to force me home. What, I haven't a clue. Ain't intelligence, so I can't even begin to guess what angles she plans to pull." Meera explained, sighing.
Of course, noted in her profile that Davmorda would know, is that while Meera didn't take the suppressant treatments, she did regularly wear a inhibitor on her undershirt to do much the same. It wasn't QUITE the same, but it was enough to keep it from being a problem.
“Well you are a Marine,” said Davmorda. “Coming from a Marine background myself I dare say you can begin to guess. You may not be Intelligence, but you are intelligent. Marine training should provide you with the knowledge to formulate battle plans and to strategize. Do not let not knowing be a problem, but a challenge to overcome.” Davmorda chewed on a small bit of steak and swallowed. “Generate a list of what your mother is capable of. Both what you know she can do and what she can hypothetically do. Order that list by the most probable scenario and prepare from there. Because Marines should never be caught surprised.”
A child’s laughter echoed through her consciousness and Davmorda thought she saw the movement of a child running around out of the corner of her eye. She pressed her eyes shut a moment deciding to ignore it.
Sitting back, Davmorda opened her eyes and reconnected with Meera’s attention. “That is, of course, how Trill Marines are trained, how Refkin performed his duty.”
"No different for Federation Marines. No, the thing that has me worried is the phrasing. I'm thinking she's got an edge I ain't aware of, something she had to have gotten recently because this is the first time her message actually sounded confident to succeed this time." Meera replied, shrugging. "That's what has me upset. I've been away from the Caju long enough that my mother could have done any number of things to get an edge she can use. It's been 16, near 17 years since I ran away and joined the Federation."
Meera huffed. "Suffice to say, this has me concerned, and I'm not sure if I should be worried for the Federation... Or my mother."
“In my opinion,” Davmorda took another bite of her sandwich, “Concern yourself with neither and let what happens…happen. In my hundreds of years I have seen and I have fallen into situations where concern over something was what started an incident in the first place. Therefore, you,” she reached forward and slid Meera’s PADD away several inches, “should do nothing. You are aboard a Federation vessel and are therefore surrounded by friends and colleagues. Orion vessels would not openly threaten or attack a Federation vessel as that would appear an act of war. The only way for anyone to hope to gain an advantage over you, is to get you away from the Tornado. If you do see that scenario a likely one, it would be best to have someone accompany you. A fellow Marine would be a wise choice.”
"Still, it's worrisome." Meera said, sighing. "My mother wouldn't make such overtures, not when she has such a 'good thing going' in the region of space between the Romulans, Klingons and Federation." She says, leaning back and pinching the bridge of her nose. "I know, I know, I shouldn't focus on this so much, but something's up."
“Perhaps,” Davmorda sat back and looked shortly at her mismatched meal. “Perhaps her use of ‘such overtures’ is an act of desperation. Tell me, as I am somewhat unfamiliar with Orion practices, do Orions typically ask for help? Do they ever beg another for help? Or do they seem more prone to verbal violence and even the threat of actual violence as a means to enlist the assistance of another?”
"Depends on what's at stake." Meera states, thinking on it a bit. "As for verbal violence, no. But the threat of actual violence yes. In addition, they're also not afraid to use manipulations of all kinds to get what they want as well. The only benefit I get is she can't hold hostages against me personally."
“I see.” Davmorda thought a second attempting to contemplate a full range of possibilities. “It seems to me that Orions can oftentimes be prideful and prideful people seldom admit their mistakes. Considering your mother’s continued attempts, could it be that she and Caju Deloria may, in fact, be in trouble? Financial trouble? Someone attempting a hostile takeover? This situation could perhaps be a result of some mistake. And her only course is to enlist your involvement, even if it is a the point of a blade.” Davmorda relaxed, picked up her sandwich and held onto it. Before taking a bite, “I only ask as a method to consider all possibilities. Do stop me if I am wrong though.”
Deloria shrugged. "I'd more likely see it as either she's planning a hostile takeover, corporation style, or knocking out a rival Caju. Caju Deloria is one of the who knows how many, mid-level Orion Syndicate Caju's that I'm aware of." She remarked, huffing. "Though, I can't imagine her standing in the Syndicate is overly high since I, her heir, bugged the hell out of the family business and joined the Federation. Much less the Marines."
“Maybe she always thought you would grow weary and return,” Davmorda said. “As she is beginning to realize that is not the case, she is now turning to threats. Remember, you have a Marine friend to back you up should you need. And any threat to this vessel or her crew will be met with due diligence.”
"Only way my mother's gonna find me alone off the Tornado is I'm ordered off." Meera said, grinning. "And I highly doubt she'll come this far out of her Territory. Not worth the costs." She stated. "I better get back to it though. Thanks for the chat Lieutenant." Meera stated, picking up her plate and PADD, and disposing of the first and walking back to the Security office.
’So, the only way to make things interesting is to have her ordered off the ship’
’That is outside of my abilities and you know that. Why am I even considering this?’
Through a small pinprick of Davmorda’s awareness, she felt eyes on her. “Wittle Weffy wants to pway.”
Shooting her head around so fast so as to give her a slightly dizzying spell, Davmorda saw the final glimpse of a child’s foot disappear as he ran off down the corridor as the doors closed behind Meera. Meera did not seem phased by the running child which let Davmorda conclude once and for all that the child was not real.
’That means you are losing your mind.’
Davmorda returned to her meal and pushed the steak away. She only wanted the sandwich.