Chapter Four: Cheye Shana and the flux of time
“I knew you’d come.” The admiral could hear her voice before he could actually see her. “I just wished you had come at a less inconvenient time.”
Turning around, he saw Commander Cheye Shana emerging from the bathroom, wearing only a huge towel. Most likely she had just showered, because her hair looked a little fuzzy and was standing out in every direction possible. Only the gravity that pulled it down a little kept it from looking as if she had just touched a power outlet.
“Mind if I dress myself while we’re having the conversation you came for?” she asked.
The man smiled. “I just wanted to suggest that myself,” he said, while Shana had already vanished behind the closet door.
“You said you knew I was coming?” the admiral asked.
“Yeah,” she replied from behind the closet door that made her voice sound a little muffled. “Well, not exactly you, but one of your kind. To be honest I expected Kesinsky or Schroeder.”
The man chuckled at her words, especially the way she was saying them. “I told them not to mess with my affairs, so you’ll not have to deal with them anymore,” he said. “That is, if you accept.”
She hesitated for a moment. “If I accept what?”
“We have a post for you,” the admiral started, but didn’t manage to explain it further, as in this moment she slammed the closet door shut.
For the first time the admiral could observe the other officer closely. If she were human he would have thought her to be a Latina, but he knew that she clearly wasn’t. Still, the fierce sparkle in her eyes told him that she was as spirited as she looked. Instead of the towel she was now wearing a long-sleeved red dress and black boots. Her hair was now neatly bound back, and didn’t look as fuzzy anymore.
“Nice dress,” he said, ignoring her statement.
“Thank you,” the commander replied coldly. “Reminds me of the good old times. One of the advantages of working on a civilian ship.”
“I’m perfectly aware of your abilities,” the admiral put in with a soft smile. “And I can assure you that they’re not the reason I’d like to have you on that ship. At least, not solely.”
Cheye looked a little more placably now. “What then?” she asked still eying him suspiciously. “And what ship?”
“It’s a new ship,” the admiral replied. “And a small one. That’s why I’d like to have you there. You have more experience in your field of expertise than most others ever could. And your sensibility to disruptions in the flux of time is a nice bonus. Besides we’ve worked together already, which saves a lot of time.”
Shana sighed. “Alright, so you really want me for my expertise. But what’s in it for me?”
The man’s smile grew wider. He had anticipated this question. “We have the best and newest research labs. Instruments you could only dream of now. And just think of the opportunities…”
“Okay, okay, I got it.” Cheye stopped him, raising her hands. “When do you want to have my decision?”
The admiral’s smile became a grin. “Right now would be a good time.”
The commander gnashed her teeth. She knew to be careful with people like him, but his offer was also a unique chance. “Alright,” she finally said, sighing. “I’m in. Best if I inform my captain right away.”
“Unnecessary,” he replied with a smile. “All required paperwork has already been filed.”
Shana laughed. “Yeah, right. I should have known that,” she said. “When will I leave?”
“As soon as you’re ready,” the admiral answered, glancing at his personal timer.
The commander raised her eyebrows. “What, you’re running out of time?”
“Nah,” he said getting more and more uncomfortable. “I just have a bit of a personal problem with your captain, and would like to be out of here before he gets here to question you about those transfer orders.”
Chuckling and shaking her head, she took a bag out of her locker and threw a few personal things into it. “I think he’ll call me when he wants to talk.”
“I doubt that,” the admiral said nervously. “I fiddled a little with the ship’s systems before I came aboard.”
With a soft smile she closed the bag. “Wow, he really doesn’t like you.”
“People in my position aren’t exactly popular with most Starfleet personnel,” he said while typing on a small PADD. “Although in this case, it is mutual.”
And with that, they vanished in a transporter beam.