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Lt Una Ryan | "Little Squirt"

Posted on 242002.06 @ 14:45 by Lieutenant Una Ryan

Mission: Genesis
Location: Earth Space Dock

When the orders came down for Una to transfer to the USS Vindicator, she couldn’t believe how quickly things progressed. It was a whirlwind of official business and diplomatic red tape, getting her room packed up and her personal belongings being transferred over.

She glanced around her empty quarters aboard the space station. It had been home for a few years now, she was eager to leave it, but not the friends she had made. Now there wasn’t even proper time to even say goodbye, that detail made the usual stern officer get a bit of a lump in her throat.

Una had already messaged everyone that she wanted to say goodbye to and hoped she hadn’t missed anyone. Her message was met with disbelieve and objections that she must be joking. Those that could get off their shift were going to meet her at the airlock. She carried her uniform bag by its shoulder strap and left her quarters for the last time.

She smiled as she got to the airlock where the Vindicator was and there was a small crowd partially blocking this entrance to the mighty ship. She was surprised so many of her friends had made it and felt her throat get tight as she started to receive their hugs and handshakes. “Geez you guys, I’m shocked by this.” Una felt a warm swell of tears threaten to spill over the banks of her eyes.

A tall Bajoran man gave her shoulder an extra squeeze, “Wow Ryan has feelings, she might even like us.” The joke was met with warm chuckles all around and she swiped a tear before it could fall, “Damnit Nayres,” She cursed him with a smile. He handed her a small four-inch pot with a hearty looking jade-colored succulent. “I sent you some instructions in a message that you’ll no doubt ignore.”

They stood around, recalling shared memories among the friends, nobody really wanting the moment to end, but feeling that it would. They said goodbye to friends and colleagues often in this career, but it never ceased to stab at the ticker at the moment that it happened. “Well guys, I’ll be in touch, we can get together to video calls.” Una said, meaning it when she said it, but someone called, “No you won’t, but that’s ok, we’ll call on you.”

There was a ruckus from the corridor and Una turned to see a blonde woman jogging towards them, carefully cradling something and out of breath, “Oh good, you’re still here. I know I said I couldn’t make it, but the commander couldn’t stand to me sulking any longer and relieved me.” Una was thrilled to see one of her closest friends, Olivia Spencer.

“I’m so glad you made it Liv, was sad I wasn’t going to see you again.” She grinned, but that grin dropped when she saw what Liv was holding. Her voice was tight and stern and Una carefully said, “I told you, I can’t.”

From Olivia’s arms a wild-looking gray tabby with bright green eyes and tufts of long fur sticking out from all points of him meowed in protest of being held. He pushed his large, furred paws against Olivia and tried to wriggle free. “Too bad, he’s a gift. I promise you, you’ll love him. He’s the perfect fit for you and cats are really easy to care for.” Spencer had been trying to offload her litter of forest cats since they had been born. Una had been asked to take one almost every day for the last twelve weeks. She received a quick kiss on the cheek from Spencer and a squirming kitten was placed in her hands, “I have to run. I’ll miss you, Una. Call!” Ryan’s gray eyes were wide and her jaw hung agape as Olivia ran away, leaving her holding the beast.

“Well, I gotta go too.” Another of her friends said and the small crowd that had already thinned. They all quickly disappeared, knowing that Ryan would try and pass the kitten off to one of them. “Oh, this is fantastic.” She said, lifting the creature up to eye level. He defiantly pressed his front paw against her forehead, putting as much distance between them as he could, giving up for the moment on escape, the little brat actually sighed.

Ryan didn’t have a clue what to do, so cradled him like a football in the crook of her arm and went to board her new assignment and put her things down in her quarters. She figured there would be someone on her new crew that would fall for the supposed cuteness of the creature.

Ryan got checked in, followed the directions to her new quarters and dropped her bag in the bedroom and the cat on the bed. “What do you even need?” She asked as the wildly furred thing found delight in pouncing on the bedspread and started to smell everything. Una ran an exacerbated hand through her hair and got to work, consulting the computer on exactly what to setup for the creature.

She had only just finished getting everything together when she was paged for an away mission. She couldn’t protest of course, but at looking at the kitten she had no idea what to do. She also had only barely skimmed through her new department’s roster. Ryan quickly communicated with the names she recalled, asking them to meet her in the transporter room as she had a parka replicated based on the weather there, making sure her team matched her.

“Crap squirt, I gotta go. I don’t even know, are you good?” Una called out, “Computer, how long can I leave a cat?” She was almost in a panic until the computer reassured her that with food and water and a place to relieve itself, the cat should be fine until she got back. He was already swatting one of the wool balls she had replicated for him across the floor and chasing after it with vigor. “Just…. I’ll be back.”

Lieutenant Una Ryan
Chief of Security & Tactical
USS Vindicator

 

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