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A Long Sleepover

Posted on Fri Mar 4th, 2016 @ 3:05am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Petty Officer 1st Class Vartog

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Klingon Embassy

The trio approached the entrance to the Embassy; daunting to many but familiar and comfortable to them. The young targ was calmer than usual for which Soraya was grateful. The girl however....

"Am I going to be bigger when I'm five?" Annabella asked as she tried to pull her mother faster.

"You're a little bigger every day."

"But will I be even bigger?" the child insisted.

"Did you feel bigger when you turned four?" Soraya asked.

"I don't know. I think I did..." Anna answered. Soraya laughed and they stopped at the door. The guard looked fierce but stepped aside and let them in. After all, they were expected.

The inside of the embassy had an unusual feel. There was a tension in the air that was not normally present. Haqtaj and Vartog were deep in conversation with another Klingon official and Soraya didn't need the tightening of Anna's hand to tell her that all was not well. However, as soon as The Ambassador turned her face towards the little girl it became all warmth and smiles.

"My puqabe'!" She roared rushing forward and flinging the little girl into the air effortlessly. The child instantly dissolved into giddy giggles and the air of the room relaxed. The Klingon official nodded to Vartog and left without another word. Haqtaj placed the girl on the ground again and looked at her critically.

"She is thin," she stated in an accusatory manner. Soraya knew not to take offense at the tone; it was the only way Haqtaj could show her feelings in public. "You must feed her more live food, instead of the stale replicated rations."

The doctor smiled. "She does love gagh, but her new favorite is porridge."

"With cream and sugar!" Anna added, holding her arms up to Vartog now.

Vartog held his arms out to the girl. “LoQ wa’,” he said, cheerfully. Anna squealed with delight as he picked her up, and she wrapped her arms around his thick neck and hugged him as tightly as she could.

"Daisy likes porridge too," Anna added matter-of-factly from the tall Klingon male's shoulder.

"How will she grow strong enough to conquer the galaxy on porridge?"

"Could she just conquer a small planet or a moon?" Soraya asked with a laugh.

As I recall,” Vartog commented, “the Scots conquered much of Earth for the British Empire. Porridge must have had something to do with it.”

"Pah!" Haqtaj said, reducing thousands of years of proud heritage to a single derisive syllable. "It is just as well you will be spending time with me. We will walk a warrior's path, you and I, Annabelle of House..."

Haqtaj hesitated suddenly aware of the social faux pas she had committed. Traditionally a House was named after the male patriarch. Haqtaj did not know Anna's father and was aware that, with Wolf on the scene but not yet bonded, discussion of him could be complicated for humans. At the same time naming her house after Soraya would be insulting. Finally she settled on the only compromise she could find.

"... House Delrisa."

Vartog was not about to let Haqtaj’s comment pass without response. “Next time we have some time for the holosuites, I’ll run a famous Scots battle for you. I guarantee the skirt of the bagpipes will set your warrior blood aflame.”

"What's a back-pipes?" Annabella asked.

Bagpipes,” Vartog said carefully. “B.A.G. It’s a big bag with pipes attached. You squeeze the bag and air comes out which makes sounds in the pipes. One has holes like a recorder so you can play music, the others just make sounds from the air that goes through them.”

The girl listened to Vartog, her dark eyes wide. Soraya smiled, grateful for this extended family who so enriched her daughter's life. A soft thump turned the doctor's head: Daisy had dropped for an impromptu snooze.

"Well she's made herself comfortable," Soraya remarked.

Haqtaj barely glanced, "Targ can sleep anywhere. When are you leaving and how long will you be gone?"

"We depart tomorrow, and I expect to be gone for four weeks. I don't know when Wolf will be back," the doctor replied. Her voice betrayed her worry but she tried not to think about it. Wolf knew what he was doing.

"Then," Haqtaj straightened, "I had better clear my schedule. Vartog, find out what time she is in school and such like. Schedule all meetings for those hours, and free up the rest."

“Standard school hours are 0900 to 1500, Madame,” Vartog replied crisply. “The school week is Monday through to Friday. Annabella will also be assigned work to do at home in her own time. She will likely require assistance with it. I will speak to Mrs Molington about the likely nature of such assignments.”

"Anna, say goodbye to your mother; she may not be able to call each day, this time, but I am sure she will try."

"You have to go, mommy?"

"I do, but I'll be back. Don't I always come back?" The child nodded. "Until then Aunty and Mr. Vartog will take care of you, and you have Daisy with you, and Miss Dana has Nero," Soraya said. Vartog shifted her in his arms and Soraya kissed her on the cheek. She turned to the Ambassador, her eyes carrying the pain of leaving her child behind.

"Soraya Qapla!" Haqtaj wished her success and honour.


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