Off Duty

Posted on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 @ 9:45pm by Lieutenant Kate Ross

739 words; about a 4 minute read

# Off Duty

Kate walked into her quarters and looked around. She set her PADD down on the desktop and looked at the sad pile of shipping crates that comprised her possessions. She exhaled a breath she wasn’t aware she’d been holding in.

“Well, I suppose I could knock that out…”she mumbled aloud, to no one.

She walked over to the first container and unsealed it. It was a mixture of personal effects from her time on the Exeter and from the Academy; lectures on computer tapes, her water bottle from the Field Hockey team, a holopic of Gamma Shift from the Exeter…

She began pulling the items out of the container and finding a home for them, one by one.

She found another holopic…this one from the time that Beta Shift took R&R together on Risa. Kate chuckled at the nostalgia; she’d been allowed attend on that trip only because she’d been dating the Beta Shift navigator at the time. But that relationship had been cut short because Siv had been killed in the line of duty. Siv Ch'izhenek…Kate had had a lot of feelings for him; she felt a twinge of guilt because she hadn’t thought about him in quite some time.

Kate set the holopic on the desktop and moved on to the next container. This one held the bulk of her off duty apparel. She’d brought two outfits with her in the duffel bag she routinely traveled with. However, she’d already worn those on her limited excursions here on the station.

She began unpacking the clothing, organizing them into neat piles. A few were reminders of off-duty times spent with her team, while others were only for her own leisure. Each piece brought back a memory, making the task feel less like a chore and more like a journey down memory lane.

Her hands brushed over a particularly faded t-shirt, memories immediately flooded back. It was from a charity race she and Siv had participated in together. Holding it close, she could almost smell the sea air of that day, hear the laughter and cheers from the crowd, feel the adrenaline rush of the race. She folded it carefully and placed it at the top of the pile.

Next, she found a pair of worn-out jeans, the denim softened from years of wear. They were her comfort clothing, the pair she'd slip into after a long shift or during a lazy weekend. The jeans reminded her of the countless hours she'd spent lounging in the common room with her fellow officers, discussing everything from the latest mission to the most mundane aspects of life. She placed them next to the t-shirt.

Then, a collection of uniforms from her time at the Academy caught her attention. Each one represented a different stage of her journey, from newbie cadet to seasoned officer. She remembered the sense of pride she felt every time she put on the uniform, the feeling of belonging it gave her. She carefully hung them in the closet, a silent tribute to her past.

As she continued to unpack, she found various other items - a pair of hiking boots from a trip to the mountains, a dress she had worn to a formal dinner, a jacket she had bought during a cold winter. Each item had a story to tell, a memory to share. And as she relived these memories, she felt a sense of peace. Despite the challenges and hardships she had faced in her career, these tokens of her past reminded her of the good times, the camaraderie, the sense of purpose.

Finally, the last container was empty. Kate looked around at her now furnished quarters. It was no longer just a room, it had become a home, filled with fragments of her past. She smiled to herself, feeling a sense of completeness. Maybe starting anew wasn't so bad after all. With her past laid out around her, she felt ready to face the future, whatever it might hold.

Kate nodded at her work and then glanced at the chronometer. She decided a quick gym session might be in order. She went to the appropriate drawer and grabbed her PT uniform. She quickly scrambled out of her work uniform and into the PT’s, planning to hit the arboretum on Deck 16. Maybe a little “fresh air” would be good for her…


labels_subscribe RSS Feed