809: New Association

by Lara Valera Ryn and Dabin Reece
After First Impressions
Soundtrack: Don't Bring Me Down by ELO

-=USS Serendipity=-

Lara Valera Ryn stepped out of the turbolift, and immediately noticed something that was generally considered extremely disconcerting to Starfleet officers: the deck plates were vibrating.

Normally this was cause for alarm as it indicated some sort of imbalance in the ship's engines or other power system.

However, unlike most vibrations aboard a starship, this one had a melody.

A loud rumbling from down the corridor increased and receded along with the tremors in the deck. She checked back over her shoulder to make sure that she had indeed stepped off the turbolift onto deck six, where her new commanding officer, Dabin Reece, and his science lab were supposedly located.

For a moment she wondered if she had mistakenly stepped off the lift onto some part of the ship where a nightclub was located, but the sign on the door confirmed she was on deck six.

She crept cautiously down the corridor, wondering what manner of man Starfleet had assigned her to, if the horrible racket was indeed coming from his laboratory. Looking left and right, she read the names on the walls.

Commander Lair Kellyn

Commander Keiran O'Sullivan

The music grew louder as she slinked deeper into the ship.

Ba da da DUM….

DA BA da dum…

Ba da da DUM…

DA BA da dum…

Commander Dabin Reece

She stood in front of the door, which rattled slightly in its track, leaving no doubt that the music was emanating from behind it.

She pressed the chime, and waited.

And waited.

She pressed it again, but could not even hear it from outside which meant Dabin Reece was even less likely to have heard it inside.

Lara huffed, and decided to stuff protocol and just let herself in. She tapped the pad, and the door slid open. The shear intensity of sound escaping the room crashed down on her like a wave, nearly knocking her off her feet as the lyrics of the music finally came into focus.

Lara snapped her hands over her ears and gritted her teeth, as she saw Dabin Reece fiddling over a table full of experiments inside the room.

"Commander Reece!" Lara shouted over the music.

Dabin just danced with the lower half of his body, as the upper half continued to work on the bubbling concoction on the lab bench.

"This is Starfleet's way of helping me adjust to a normal life?" She asked out loud, before shouting again, "COMMANDER REECE!"

Reece stopped what he was doing. Did he hear something?

"Computer, pause playback!" He shouted, spinning around. Lara lowered her hands away from her ears. "Oh hi! You must be the new science officer, Lara Valera was it?"

"What was that?" She asked, as she waited for the ringing to stop.

"That was ELO, and if you ever expect the Captain of the vessel to like you, you should probably learn to like it too. Sorry about the volume. I usually keep it around eighty decibels, but when Commander Lair is gone I look to push it up to ninety. Gotta get my fun in before she and Lucky Charm come back."

Reece extended his hand to her in welcome, and Lara offered hers back. Before she could grasp his, Reece snatched his hand away.

"Don't touch me!" He snapped. Lara recoiled in sock and began apologizing, wondering how she had offended the man. "Don't apologize. It's just that your DNA is not on me yet. Follow me please." Reece flipped off a heating plate he was using. "Safety first!"

Dabin rushed from the room, and Lara hurried to follow him. He came to a stop one door down, at the laboratory marked with the name Commander Lair Kellyn.

"Open the door." He ordered. Lara did as she was told, and tapped the pad.

"It's locked, sir."

Dabin sighed. "Six, nine, eight, four, six one." He recited. "She's an utter genius but never changed her codes."

Lara typed in the numbers, and the doors slid open. "Now, open the top drawer of the desk, and tell me if there is anything in it."

Lara hesitated, and Reece urged her on with his eyes. She walked through the door, taking care not to touch anything, as she slipped behind the desk and slid the drawer open.

"What do you see?" Dabin asked, from out in the corridor.

"Some sort of confectionery, in a wrapper."

"Fabulous. Bring it here, will you?"

Lara reached in, took the candy and delivered it to Dabin. Reece unwrapped the Kava rock candy, and popped it into his mouth.

"You know, Kellyn hates it when people go through her stuff," He slipped a small device out of his pocked. "You'll want to use this. It's an ultraviolet sterilizer, guaranteed to neutralize your DNA signature. You better hope so anyway. I promised to stay out of her stuff. A promise, I'm happy to say, I have kept, thanks to you."

He slapped the device into her palm.

There was a small part of her that was mad. Who the hell was this man and what right did he have screwing with her like this?

But that was only a small part of her. The other part - the much larger part - found his antics somewhat amusing, and Lara had to admit to herself that while she had only met two officers here, she had now been twice surprised by them. This was certainly turning out to be one interesting assignment.

Instead of doing as he requested, she replied instead with a "Head's up," and tossed the device back to him.

Dabin waggled the device at her and said, in an almost serious voice, "I'm telling you, Kellyn---"

"---will know it was not really me," Lara playfully interrupted, "and she'll know the true culprit. I'm willing to make a bet on it, Commander. Are you?" She shot him her best mischievous smile.
"Are you implying my reputation around here is likely so notorious that Lair Kellyn will easily deduce that I set up the new junior officer in the science department to commit petty theft?"

"Are you?" Lara asked right back.

Dabin frowned, popped the Kava stick back into his mouth, and spun on his heel to return to his office. Once inside he motioned for Lara to take a seat on a large rainbow colored beanbag chair he had recently replaced the visitor's chair in his lab with.

"Computer, while we are on the subject, please play Notorious by Duran Duran. Twenty decibels."

Dabin plopped down in his own chair, and leaned forward to try and see Lara, who was down by the floor in the beanbag. "Sorry, I'm still working out the kinks in this whole seating thing." He pulled his chair around the side so he could see her, and propped himself up on is elbow on the edge of the desk.

"So, what brings you to the fine and wondrous USS Serendipity?"

Lara relaxed into the beanbag chair. It was not typical of Starfleet, which immediately meant that she liked it. And besides, she had grown use to sitting, not to mention sleeping, on far less comfortable things. Rocks did have a habit of causing kinks, she knew from personal -- and some symbiont -- experience.

Dabin's question was serious, but there was just something nagging inside of Lara that prompted her to give an answer that was truthful, yet anything but straightforward. "Someone has a very twisted sense of humor."

Dabin opened his mouth to respond, and to Lara, it seemed it he were about to protest -- mockingly so -- but protest nonetheless. So she beat him to the punch. "Besides you that is."

“Twisted indeed. Does the Trill Ambassador know that Starfleet sent you here?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

Reece smirked. Surely Admiral Lassiter would be getting a whopping of a protest from the Trill homeworld when they realized where Starfleet had sent the newest joined Trill.

“So you probably don’t know anything about myself or the misses eh,” Dabin said, as he spun around a photo of February Grace he had on his desk.

“No, is there something I should know?”

Reece sighed, wondering what kind of eruption he’d get from Ryn when she eventually found out that February and Dabin Reassociated, breaking the most sacred taboo of Trill and symbiont society. Now was definitely not the time to broach the topic, but no doubt Ryn would find out soon enough.

“Just that she’s the love of my life. Baby on the way soon!” Dabin declared with glee.

Lara glanced at the photo and smiled. A part of her sighed on the inside; so this was the other person she was supposed to know and learn from. But she also took a second look at Dabin's face and saw how truly happy he looked. And Trill issues aside, she could not help but be happy for them, and for what they, unlike she, could look forward to.

"Congratulations are in order, Commander."

"Thank you," Dabin accepted, and if possible, his gleeful smile grew even bigger. He took a long look at February's picture before he turned it back around.

Lara then mischievously added in, "I'm already looking forward to you taking paternity leave so that Commander Lair can fill me in about you."

Dabin's happy smile was replaced with an equally mischievous one, but instead of directly taking the bait, he said, "So, I bet you are wondering what you are going to do around here."

Although his words sounded, and were indeed serious, his tone remained light and conversational. "The thought has crossed my mind at least one or twice," Lara replied, nodded her head slowly. She then added, "An hour, that is. I feel a little like a--" she was about to say 'fish out of water,' but as there were such things, she said instead, "...a Vulcan without logic."

“Funny you should say that. Just wait until you meet the First Officer,” Reece said, before rising out of his chair. “You just got here so I’m not going to dump on you. Yet. Get yourself settled in and tomorrow we’ll talk about The Gateway.”

Lara struggled her way out of the beanbag chair and offered her hand to Dabin Reece once more. This time, he was willing to shake.

“Could you hit the switch at the door on your way out?” He asked.

“Not a problem,” She replied. Lara pressed a button and the Christmas lights ringing the room lit up. She took a long look at them, baffled by what their significance could be, before stepping out into the corridor.

Once she was gone Reece pulled his chair back behind his desk, and sat down with his elbows on the desktop and chin nestled between the back of his hands, looking at his photo of February as he began conversing with himself.

“She’s going to go off like a bipolar volcano when she finds out we Reassociated, isn’t she? Now, come on Dabin you only just met her, she might be very open minded about such things. Besides if she starts any trouble the Captain has your back… Yeah, but this is personal, a Trill thing. I don’t want Zanh Liis involved at all. It’s not her responsibility to come to the rescue. Besides, we have nothing to be ashamed of. We aren’t hurting anyone, are we Bru? If anyone has a problem, it is theirs not ours. We’re all professionals.”

Dabin squared his photo of Bru back where it was before, right beside his terminal, and tapped his badge.

“Daddy Reece to Mommy Grace.”

[Go ahead!]

“Let’s do lunch! Where you at?”


“I’ll be right there!”

LT. Lara Valera Ryn
Science Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Commander Dabin Reece
Chief of Sciences
USS Serendipity NCC-2012