A New Arrival
Idols of Fortune
Location: SB 417, Main Concourse
Summary: Dr Valencia Helnir welcomes her niece, Ens Freya Sandison, to Valhalla where the young science officer has been newly posted to.
Timeline: Date 2399-09-01 at 1300
= Main Concourse =
As soon as passengers were given permission to leave the Cruiser, Freya Sandison was on her feet eager to be gone.
Her Starfleet pass caused no problem as she left and at the other end of the gangway her details were checked by a very thorough young man who took his responsibilities extremely seriously but she stepped onto the base at last clutching a holdall in one hand and a padd of instructions in the other.
The place was teaming with people but even that didnt spoil her pleasure at this beginning of her new life.
She considered it as such being a new position in a new place with vast opportunities lying ahead.
The concourse was huge.
Even though she had read details of the base over and over, Freya was still overawed by the sheer size of it. Full grown trees in summer leaf were dotted throughout the cavernous room. She stood beneath one listening to birdsong. No birds ofcourse but a very pleasant touch to add their notes.
Walking backwards wasnt perhaps a wise way to go but she was looking up at the height, turning slowly to make sense of the scale.
"Wow" she murmured to herself but this was now her home and there would be plenty of time to come here and stare she told herself but for now she should be looking for a dear face, the one person she would know in the thousands here.
"It's impressive, isn't it? Not quite as big as Earth Spacedock, but definitely much nicer," Valencia Helnir said with a twinkle in her eye. "Come here, you. Give me a hug."
"Annie Figg! " Freya exclaimed dropping the holdall carelessly and stepping forward arms outstretched to deliver the required hug with great enthusiasm. A few seconds passed until the embrace ended.
"How is my favourite and only goddaughter?" Valencia said as she held Freya at arm's length and looked her over. "It's so lovely to see you in person. Holos don't do you justice."
Beaming with pleasure, Freya regarded the woman in much the same manner seeing the resemblance always present had grown a little.
"I'm really well and 'so' excited with..well, everything." She laughed and asked how Valencia was in return.
"All the better for seeing you. Work is keeping me busy, as always, but I'm never too busy for you, Little Figg," Valencia smiled. "Tell me, what would you like to do first? Take a tour? Settle in? You're welcome to stay with me while you get your own quarters sorted, of course. I have a guest room with your name written all over it, and the apartment has a view of the atrium."
It was all very well to look forward to a new independent life but the offer was too tempting to refuse so..
"I'd love to stay with you, thankyou. " Freya replied but hastily added ' for a day or two." as though to show she wasnt planning anything long lasting.
Bending to pick up her holdall she suggested Valencia could maybe advise on decoration and furnishing if that was a possibility.
"...and shall we have a bite to eat? I'm famished."
"I know just the place," Valencia replied. "It's a quaint little restaurant on the Promenade called 'Candlesticks'. It has an arty, rustic atmosphere to it; feels like you've gone back in time 400 years."
"Sounds good...lead on." Freya replied liking the description and the personal reccomendation.
The Promenade was a short turbolift ride away and when they stepped out of the lift, it was clear it was the place to be on the starbase. Though not overly crowded, people bustled about, going about their daily lives and business.
"It's starting to get a little bit busier than usual," Valencia explained to her goddaughter. "The celebrations for the 150th commemoration of Risa's Federation membership is starting in a few days and a lot of visitors to the base have started to arrive."
"Ah I see. What sort of events are planned? Do you know?"
"I haven't gone through the full schedule yet, but there's quite a lot," Valencia replied. "I know there will be music and theatre peformances, as well as cultural exchanges and classes on Risian culture, quisine and art. Speaking of, have you painted anything recently? I still have one of your works hanging on the wall of my office."
"Really?" Freya asked obviously pleased at this news. " I dabble about now and then...I completed a series of Ilex Im quite pleased with.
Perhaps we could go to the theatre if it sounds interesting...or music." she added knowing Valencia enjoyed a wide range.
"Why not both," Valencia suggested, but then caught herself, adding, "if you want to?" She was eager to spend time with Freya but had to remind herself that she was no longer a young teenager fascinated by her cool aunt, but had grown into an independent young woman with her own interests and claims on her time... not to mention the fact that she was a Starfleet ensign, something Valencia still had to get used to.
As they approached Candlesticks, a familiar face caught Valencia's attention and she turned to Freya, "I have to introduce you to a friend of mine. If you're not in the mood for other company, we can go somewhere else, but you'll like him I promise." Placing a hand around Freya's shoulder, Valencia ushered her forward and then waved at the man sitting at the tables just outside the restaurant. "Stephen!" she called to him and smiled.
Freya looked with interest at the tall slim man as he got to his feet returning Valencias smile before transferring his gaze to her. A quizzical expression crossed his bearded face and a flash of recognition appeared on hers.
"Valencia.good to see you." he said bending to kiss her cheek and smiling down at her.
"I'd like to introduce you to my niece, Freya Sandison... or Ensign Freya Sandison, I should say," Valencia smiled, glad to finally introduce Stephen to the young woman she had often talked about to him over the year.
"We've met before." he replied with a slight questioning tone holding out his hand .
"We have indeed." Freya replied taking his hand and shaking it..
Valencia looked slightly bewildered and glanced back and forth between the two. "You have? This I have to hear. Stephen, do you mind if we join you?"
"Ofcourse not, ofcourse not." he replied indicating they precede him to the table where he'd been seated before. As Freya sat down Stephen held Valencias chair for her, a touch of old fashioned gallantry Freya found charming. He sat equidistant from them so that each had a third of the circular table.
A half empty cup of coffee sat before him but a new one was soon ordered from the waiter who stood nearby eager to be of service with Jasmine tea for Valencia and milky coffee for Freya.
"Which department are you a part of?" he asked her wondering what she might answer but replied "Aahh" and smiled a little when she told him:
"Im a phytological sciences officer...a Botanist." and smiled a mix of pride and self conciousness but Valencia wanted to know how they knew one another.
"We met in London." he said speaking to Valencia but looking at Freya.
"My first exhibition." she added " Only small but at the Piedmont Gallery."
Valencia nodded remembering the excited calls she had had from her niece at the time. The exhibition was indeed on the small side but the gallery was well known none the less. It had been a great start for the young artist.
The waiter returned with their drinks each set down with care. Stephen continued the story.
"I turned in on a whim because it was a damp dull day and found the most beautiful thing." Stephen explained his eyes smiling at Freya.
"Do you...do you...still have it?" Freya asked hopefully.
“Ofcourse.” he replied with a smile.” I’m very fond of it. The subject gives many possibilities to ponder on. The reflection in the raindrop where the figure is part hidden or distorted. Is that how he..or she...chooses to portray themself or is it how we see others with only a hint of what they really are and so much hidden away.”
She sat with her teaspoon poised over the mug.
“I...don’t know.” she said slowly after a few silent seconds passed. “ I didnt think of it like that...it was just an idea for a reflection.”
He chuckled again at her wide eyed look.
“It’s a clever idea.”
She lifted her mug to take a sip, observing him over the rim as she did so and wondering if he always thought that way.
Valencia had been watching the exchange between the two with a twinkle of glee in her eye. Never in a million years would she have expected they would know each other, nevermind have such an interesting backstory. "How fascinating," she said. "Stephen, you'll have to show me this painting. I'm sure I'd have recognised it if I'd seen it at your place before."
"I have it in my bedroom." he replied simply " but you're more than welcome to look at it."
"I'd love to see it," Valencia replied, then looked at Freya. "Wouldn't you like to see where it ended up?"
Freya paused but moment glancing from Stephen to Valencia and back. "Well yes...yes I would if you dont mind." she replied.
"Not at all, we can arrange a time to suit you both." came the pleasant responce.
"Well then, let's have some lunch and set pick a date," Valencia smiled as the waiter approached. They placed their various orders and continued their conversation through lunch, each as curious to learn about the other two's relationship as the next.
= End =
LtCmdr Stephen Jacobs
SB 417, Valhalla
Ens Freya Sandison
Phytological Sciences Officer
SB 417, Valhalla
Dr Valencia Helnir
BRI Senior Director
SB 417, Valhalla