387: RSVP: Regrets Only

by Tryst, Reece and Grace
Concurrent with For This One Wish

-=Bridge of the Serendipity=-

Vol sat in the Counselor's chair aboard the bridge, which was currently manned by most of the senior staff aboard the Sera. They were currently orbiting Earth, awaiting for news from their Captain and the Chief of Security.

Vol pondered intensely on the matter of their recent CMO who had apparently called it quits to return to his...former lifestyle. Vol would miss Avery, besides the Captain, he was the only Senior officer to have not one, but two sessions with the Counselor. In his time of knowing the Doctor, Vol had no suspicions that Avery would do as he did. Which is why he had a difficult time believing the story which was now circulating the Sera, the story that had been extracted from the current events, only at face value.

"Deep in thought, Counselor?"

Vol snapped his chin up from its resting spot on his fist, to look at the Second in Command, who now sat in the Captain's chair just one seat away from him. Vol didn't respond with anything other than a nod.

"Only you in that mind of yours?" Salvek referred to the previous incident of being taken controlled over by the Sylph.

"If you could read my thoughts Commander, you'd think otherwise but yes, it is only I."

"Being embodied by a female hmm? It's a dream come true, isn't it? I know, I've done it." Dabin Reece chided in from his station. Vol couldn't repress a small curl of his lips.

"You can say that."

"Oh?" Dabin turned, and was now at complete attention. Vol let out a quick breath from his nose, indicating that he was now suppressing a chuckle.

"She was intent on speaking to the Commander, and doing what she thought was the right thing to do. That doesn't discount her immense curiosity however."

"You're killing me here Doc." Dabin was eager to have his own curiosity satiated. "She didn't want to know if it was Vol or if it was Memorex, so what did she want?"

"The Sylph are an all female race. The Healer who took control of my body momentarily, was very curious of how my... physique differed from any she had encountered before." A small pause, before Dabin finally asked.

"Meaning she wanted to know what it felt like to have a---"

"That's enough Gentleman." Salvek thought the conversation immature, and useless to continue. He ignored the stifled laughter from the other males on the bridge, even as February Grace was heard to comment.

“Ah, being a man. Been there, done that, do not miss the accoutrements.”

"You should know better than to tempt him like that." Salvek admonished.

*Oh, but it's so much fun.* Vol kept the thought to himself, as he nodded silently in understanding and bit his finger to force him to think better than to continue the topic at hand.

Dane was the next to speak, to report a hail that was coming from the planet's surface.

"It's from a private residence Commander."

Salvek turned to raise an eyebrow at Dane, who simply shrugged and could offer no explanation.

"Is anyone expecting a call from home?"

No one on the bridge yay-ed or nay-ed, and Dane added that,

"It doesn't specify an addressee, Sir."

Salvek exhaled, and decided that it was worth the risk.

"On screen then, Ensign."

"Aye Sir."

The Starfleet insignia appeared on the view screen, as the bridge officers waited in anticipation of what was to unfold. Salvek remained seated, Vol had retracted into his own private thoughts again, and Dabin had a goofy grin on his face which hinted that his imagination was running rampant.

A moment before the insignia was replaced with a young looking woman with short blonde hair and green eyes, Vol had resurfaced from his thoughts and let his mouth drop open.

The woman now on the view screen spoke with an immensely wide grin on her face, and a glint in her eyes.

[Vol. Darling are you there?] The woman then gasped with joy as she pointed admiringly at the Counselor, whom was rubbing his temples. [Oh, there you are! I'm sure you were just about to inform me of your ship being in orbit, but as soon as I found out. well, I thought I'd beat you to the punch!]

Salvek and the rest of the officers on the bridge looked at the Counselor as he finally stood up and walked towards the view screen, hands held behind his back.

"Consider yourself a child-beater than."

[Oh dear.] The woman obviously appreciated Vol's sense of humor as she cackled. [Don't say that, you'll give your fellow officers the wrong impression of your fabulous mother.]

*Too late.* Dabin thought, and February snickered.

*At least she seems like a hell of a lot more fun than my mother will ever be,* Bru thought back.

This of course answered the question as to why Vol's mother had hailed the Serendipity and not Vol exclusively, she always had to make the best first impression possible.

"I would never do such a thing, as I already know that you yourself could only offer the best impression."

[Don't make me blush now you, you know how red I go. Why I make--]

"Mother, I'm sure there's a point to this stunt of yours."

[Oh, there you go again with your brutal honesty. Of all the qualities you inherited from you father, did cut-throat-]

*Mother!* Vol stomped his foot down, albeit telepathically.

[Alright, alright then.] The woman now looked at all those officers on the bridge, which made some of them obviously uncomfortable. [Greetings to all of Starfleet's finest, I am Valerie Satz. I am here to cordially support the invitation I'm sure my son has already extended to each of you.]

The woman turned around and stepped out of the viewer. Vol took the opportunity to subtly turn his gaze behind him to address his Commanding officer.

"My apologies Sir, my mother with all her eccentricities, could very well pass for being Betazoid."

Salvek sighed, wondering how long this woman intended to occupy the bridge of the ship.

"She seems nice enough, I see where you get it from, Counselor." Dabin said.

Vol rolled his eyes without turning to face the Trill, making a mental note to make a similar comment if ever he were to encounter Dabin's parents.

The woman came back into view, and was setting something down on a table in the background. it was veiled, box looking, and appeared to be quite heavy.

[Wait until you see this Vol, your father sent it to me just today. I had to approve, as I'm sure you expected.]

Vol had gone from lovingly annoyed, to stone cold. His jaw clenched and his eyes would not blink no matter how hard he willed them to. He felt as if a heavy stone was slowly growing in the middle of his chest, and the dam that was holding at bay an array of emotion was beginning to falter.

[VoilĂ !] The veil came off, and revealed a very finely crafted blue stone hued chest. It was decorated with silver beading, and near the base was a face, which for the time being remained inanimate. Vol's mother approached the view screen again.

[Would you like to take it to her yourself, or shall I bring it? Hurry, my shuttle leaves momentarily.]

There was a long pause, before Vol finally cleared his throat.

"We... we have to remain in orbit for a short time Mother."

[Capiche, I understand. I'll see you, all of you at the ceremony in eight days.]

"Mother, the journey to Betazed alone will take longer than eight days..." Vol objected. "Even at maximum Warp..."

Salvek gestured discreetly for Vol's attention, and Vol took note and immediately sought a way to put his mother on hold. His eyes fell on Reece, payback is a sweet thing to unleash.

"Mother, this is our Chief Science Officer," Vol waved a hand in Reece's direction. "He's very much interested in Betazoid Ceremonies, I've witheld telling him myself, as I knew you would be able to deliver much better answers to any questions he may have."

Reece shifted his eyes to glace toward Vol. "Exsqueeze me? I want to know what about the who now?"

[Oh! I'd be delighted, what was your name m'boy?]

"Dabin Reece," the Trill replied tentatively.
*How did I end up talking to this person?* He thought to February, who was now doing her best to suppress a smirk. *I'm so scared!*

*Man up, Reece. She's just Vol's mom...* Bru thought back.

*Yeah well some mothers eat their young in the wild you know...* Reece shot back nervously.

Vol saw that his Mother was now solely looking at Reece and turned to see what the XO wanted.

The Vulcan leaned closer to the Counselor. "We could be to Betazed with several days to spare, Counselor, if we take the journey in the Alchemy."

"Is that even a possibility?"

"A very good one. We have orders from Admiral Vox to take the Alchemy out to stretch her legs. I would submit of course that this offer is pending approval from the Captain upon her return, but barring any unforeseen obstacles we could have you to Betazed in four days and six hours."

"Plenty of time to go shopping for a tux!" February blurted excitedly. Then she remembered the tradition of Betazoid weddings and paused. "Wait..."

Vol turned back around, smiling forgivingly at February Grace. He then turned his attention to Dabin, who looked like he was about to burst into tears from the mere sound of Valerie's voice.

[Then, the next part of the ceremony is completely up to the couple and is outlined before hand. Being that Betazoid's are a very honest race, they don't believe in keeping things private, even matters that other races prefer to do behind closed doors. So, the couple decides whether or not they would like the guests to leave or not, and then they begin to engage in what Betazoids call---]

*Mother, I'll fill in our now mutual friend on the rest later. For now you have a shuttle to catch, and we have matters to attend to here.*

[Alright dear! I'm so happy this day has finally come! When your brother told me he would not be going through with his---]

*Goodbye Mother.*

The woman sighed, albeit with a loving smile on her face. [Ta ta, loved one!]

The view screen went blank again and Vol turned around as if in doing he could finally breath again after holding it for so long. He leaned back on the railing that was in the center of the bridge and quickly collected his thoughts before standing up straight again and turning around to look at the officers aboard the bridge.

"Consider yourselves all cordially invited to..." Vol inhaled deeply, before letting the breath escape him a second later. "...a wedding ceremony hosted by the Tryst family, members of the Ninth house of Betazed." Vol was purely diplomatic at this point, polite to the point where it was painfully obvious he'd much rather be anything but.

"Permission to depart from the Bridge." Vol made eye-contact with the XO.

"Permission granted." Salvek said as he stood up, trying to analyze what the Counselor was feeling.

"Thank you." Vol approached his abandoned chair, snatched up a PADD from the armrest, and made his way to the Turbo-lift, with steps that would make anyone wonder weather he was trying to punch holes into the ground.

"Counselor," Salvek began just as the doors to the lift opened. "It is your wedding ceremony, is it not?"

"It is." Vol lowered his gaze to punch something into the PADD he held into his hand. February stood up from her post and looked across the bridge to the Counselor.

"Congratulations Vol."

"Hold on that for the time being, if you would, Lieutenant Grace. I for one refuse to send any bonding gifts if they're to be in that most ridiculous looking chest."

Ensign Vol Tryst
Ship's Counselor
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Commander Dabin Reece
Chief Science Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


LT (sg) February Grace
Senior Flight Controller
USS Serendipity NCC-2012