Taking Wing by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels

Taking Wing by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels

Author:Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels [Martin, Michael A. & Mangels, Andy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Science-Fiction:Star Trek
ISBN: 9780743496278
Publisher: Star Trek
Published: 2005-01-02T08:00:00+00:00

“I’m certain he didn’t mean anything by it, Will,” Troi said in a hushed tone. She was nearly overwhelmed by his intense feelings of frustration.

“I wish I could believe that, Deanna,” Will said just as quietly, his brows rising like thunderheads as he walked alongside her down the corridor. “But he’s been critiquing my command style since the moment he came aboard.”

Troi put her hand up to his arm, stopping him. “No, Will,” she said once she was satisfied that they were alone in the curved passage. “I’m certain he didn’t mean anything by it. You have to grant that I can read into these things a bit more reliably than you can.”

She could hardly wait for this element of their first mission to be over with. This morning, uninvited, Admiral Akaar—all spit-and-polish, as usual—had joined them for breakfast in the mess hall. His unsolicited criticism of Titan’s off-duty casual clothing policy had rankled Will, leading to their hasty departure after the meal.

Troi lowered her voice. “Look, Will, I’m not wild about his presence here either, and neither is Christine. And I know how he feels about your placing me in your command crew. But until the conclusion of this mission—your mission—you need to ignore his slights and to focus. It’s not worth the frustration to dwell on this.”

Will let out a long breath through his nose, his puffed-up chest and shoulders deflating a bit. His expression softened as well, and he appeared to be about to say something when an odd gurgling noise came from the doorway just ahead of them down the corridor.

The door slid open, and the gurgle became louder as Ensign Aili Lavena stepped out, drops of water from her boots spattering the carpet in the corridor. She was attired in her modified uniform, which included the hooded hydration suit that kept her skin from drying out in Titan’s standard M-class environment areas. The door to her quarters closed behind her, once again muffling the aqueous background noises coming from within.

Lavena looked down the corridor and saw Will and Troi standing there. “Good morning, Captain. Counselor.” Her voice sounded slightly muted behind the transparent rebreather mask that loosely covered her face. A small cloud of vapor rose around its edges as she spoke. “I hope the waterlock system didn’t startle you. Some of the landlubbers seem to find it a little disturbing.”

Troi recalled having seen the engineers making the retrofits that had enabled the Selkie conn officer to enter and exit her nonstandard-environment quarters. But neither she nor Will had actually heard Lavena’s customized ingress/egress system in operation before. It certainly stood to reason that the tons of Pacifican seawater the system had to restrain wouldn’t be completely unobtrusive. It sounded disconcertingly like the flushing of a humanoid commode.

“Not at all,” the captain said. “We were just having…” He paused momentarily, and Troi noticed a peculiar if fleeting emotional undercurrent that almost broke the surface before vanishing utterly.

“We were just having a conversation,” he said, his composure once again rock solid.



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