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Heartfelt News

Posted on Sun Jun 9th, 2024 @ 9:35pm by Lieutenant Didrea Zade & Lieutenant Commander Finnley Keating VII

Mission: Character Development
Location: Earth
Timeline: Post-mission
984 words - 2 OF Standard Post Measure

Ray hated the city. The bustling shuttles and various other crafts combined with the sheer number of people moving about made him nervous, and annoyed. More than that though, he was annoyed with the job at hand. Losing a marine was hard enough, but having to deliver the news? Well, that was certainly never fun. On the plus side, as soon as this was over, he could grab dinner with long time friend Quinn and forget about this whole mess over a few drinks. At least the address was a relatively private one, Ray thought as he rang the chime. Though there were plenty of other houses and apartments around, the streets were relatively empty.

A moment later, the door opened, revealing its occupant. L'mei was in dark brown meditation robes, a sign that she was about to be busy. Her straight black hair abruptly stopped just above her shoulders, obscuring her pointed ears. Her dark eyes looked over the man in front of her, not recognizing him. "Can I help you?" She asked, a faint sense that he was interrupting something laced into her tone for the most perceptive.

"Yes, ma'am," he replied, noting the sense that L'mei was not excited about an intrusion. "Did you know a Mathew Letchers?" He asked.

A momentary glimmer of recognition reached her eyes at the name, and she took a moment to observe the man more closely. He held a presence similar to Matthew, a sort of stiff posturing ingrained into someone with a level of Starfleet affiliation. "Correct. You bring news." It was a statement more than a question, acknowledging his purpose here was more than simple solicitation.

"Well, yes, of a sort." The words he knew needed to come next tug hard at his heart. "I regret to inform you that Lance Corporal Letchers was lost in the line of duty, ma'am," Ray stood there silent for a moment, thinking of what to say next. "I...I didn't have the pleasure of serving with him for long, but the time I did spend with him I could tell he was a good kid, and a good marine. I'm very sorry for your loss." He patted his side awkwardly and remembered the ring. "OH! He gave me this. I mean, he gave it to me to give to you. He wanted you to have it."

The Vulcan's eyes widened slightly at the news. She knew it could happen, she just didn't expect it to happen to her. Matthew was young, enthusiastic, starting out his career with the hopes of following in his mother's footsteps. "He was killed in action." Her simplification of his words probably would have been borderline insensitive if it had come from anyone else. She could sense the general discomfort radiating off of him. Glancing down, she accepted the box from him, inspecting the data chip and the ring inside. He was going to propose?

The pang of loss certainly made itself known in her chest, but L'mei's years of training kept the effects mostly contained. Looking back up at the marine, she spoke again, her tone slightly softer than it was when she first answered the door. "Thank you. Are you permitted to share what happened?"

"We were on a mission to rescue hostages," Ray held back a tear that threatened to sting his eye, "but things didn't quite go as planned. We were attacked, most of the unit didn't make it." He looked down and his feet shifted somewhat awkwardly on the ground before he looked at L'mei and let a soft smile escape. "You know I'm not sure who you were to him, but his last words were that he thought about you until the end."

The emotion rolling off of this marine was saturating the air between them, practically assaulting L'mei's senses. "Matthew was my partner. We had been together for three years and two months." Looking down at the box, she stared at it for a long moment before putting it in a pocket that was hidden in her robes. The contents of the chip inside the box intrigued her, and at the same time she knew that seeing it would solidify that Matthew was gone. "You are distressed. If you would like some tea..." Whether the question was genuine was left to one's understanding of Vulcan mannerisms. L'mei was obviously distressed as well, evidenced by a barely present furrow of her brow and the very slight tension in her hands as she clasped them together. Obvious to another Vulcan, that is.

"Oh, no ma'am. Thank you for your time and again, my deepest condolences for your loss," Ray gave her a solemn smile as he nodded his head and turned to leave. He felt a mix of sorrow accompanied with relief at having fulfilled his task. All that was left now was to find some comfort at the bottle of a bottle with an old friend.

"Very well. Goodbye." The door shut promptly after.

L'mei was relieved that the marine had turned down her invitation. With the door shut, she took a moment and closed her eyes. Grief was never easy to process. The Vulcan practice of controlling one's emotions only did so much when the emotion was so overpowering. Her hand drifted to the pocket where she had placed the ring, and opening her eyes again, she strode to her table and pulled out the box. She wasn't ready to see the message he had left for her, so she simply placed the box on the table before returning to her room, where candles and a rug were positioned for her meditation. Moving methodically, she lit the candles before taking a seat on the rug. L'mei took a moment to get comfortable before she closed her eyes, her lips forming silent mantras.

It took a little longer than usual to get into her meditative state.


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