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A name in a book.

Posted on Sat Aug 21st, 2021 @ 7:18am by Lieutenant JG Tabitha Vale & Lieutenant JG James Eve

Mission: [ARND] #1 The Signal
Location: Deck 7 USS Arendis
Summary: James and Tabitha meet but have no clear recollection of having done so before.
Timeline: Mission Day 10 at 1015

James made his way to the nearest canteen thinking to have a coffee, maybe a bite to eat but mainly to add to his ever increasing notes before relevant information lost its freshness.
He walked at a steady pace thinking over his and Theas work but his pace slowed when he noticed a woman walking towards him along the corridor at a quick even pace, her arms swinging slightly at each step.
Her dark hair was pulled back into a black clasp revealing a face he found more than lovely despite tiredness being so evident. He was certain her knew her, had met her before and more than once although who she was eluded him.He frowned, trying to place her but the name and circumstances remained just out of reach, tantalizing to the extreme.

He stood, waiting for her to draw near before he said:
“Excuse me but have we met?” despite it sounding like a pathetic chat up line.
Perhaps she thought that because a closed lip smile formed causing a dimple to appear on her right cheek, something he realised he expected.

“I.....maybe....” she replied slowly looking at the hair as dark as her own, the short cut beard on a handsome face and dark eyes that she was now certain she had looked into before. “Possibly.” she added silently hoping it was the case.

“I’m James.” he said hoping to see some reaction “..and you are?”

“Tabitha….Tabitha Vale.”

“ you might be in here then.” He opened the thick file he carried, balancing it on his left arm and flicking through pages with his right hand searching for a heading.

“You have me in a book?” she asked sounding surprised.

“ I have lots of people in my book” he replied not shifting his attention from his notes so she watched him continue his search and gave a small shrug as if you say ‘Dont we all?’

“Here we go..Tabitha..Vale..right?”
He looked at her with a pleased smile as she tried to read his script sideways on , not a simple thing given the angle and his style of writing.

“What does it say?” she asked seeing more than her name written there.
James glanced at it then turned so she could read for herself.

“Tabitha Vale…” she read aloud. “ Counselor. We have mutual friends Freya Sandison and Stephen Jacobs. We’ve met before and meeting again will be another pleasure.” A small hand drawn happy emoji followed this statement.
For a second time the dimple appeared as he knew it would

“Well...James...seems we know each other then.” Her smile broke and he wished he knew how far this friendship stretched.
“You know Im a councellor and you are ….?”

“A Law officer.”

“ Oh right, well It’s good to meet you...again “ she said but shook her head as she too tried to recall the last time. "I's so...annoying!" she exclaimed. " I'm sure we know one another..and it says you know Stephen but.." She gave a helpless shrug

His expression matched hers. " I'm the same." he said lowering the file but keeping his finger in the page.
“I’m ok with some people and when I saw you coming towards me I thought I knew you but couldnt grasp how exactly...whether we worked together or whether we’d had breakfast this morning.”

“I think I’d remember if I had breakfast with you.” she said with a sudden seriousness causing him to think he’d overstepped a mark and offended her.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like was a..”

“No no,,it;s my fault, shouldn't have snapped. I know what you meant. “ she interrupted him and after a moment or so asked what he was working on. It was a growing condition that peoples tempers or tolerance began to fray so in a way it was understandable but the small smile she gave didnt meet her eyes which fully convinced him that he had indeed caused offence or upset her in some way which he didnt understand but she waited for his answer.

“I’m working with the chief of strat ops….. Lieutenant Goldfrapp.” he began hoping for some recognition of Theas name but gaining none so he explained the job they had completed and how it was hoped using an analogue radio would help. How the probe had been launched and how they now had to wait for it to clear the interference zone, something that could take more than a while.

She listened attentively. “Just time” she said and nodded an understanding to his last statement.

“What are you doing?” he asked aware of the blank in his notes. "Counselor yes but is that the priority for now?"

“ No it's not.I’m working with the CMO.” she replied. “Scott Fisher?”

“I know that name.” James said raising a hand both looking and sounding a little surprised and pleased.

“Good.” Tabitha said with her dimple evident again in her smile. “Cling to that.”
He felt he light moment put right his faux pas causing him to feel thankful and glad to be back on an even keel.

“It’s simply a matter of keeping everyone on track..waking them, making sure they’re fully conscious and able to function properly. There’s a problem though, similar to yours, time. It cant go on like this much longer for a host of reasons and we’ve had the first instance of someone who can’t be stimulated by drugs or any method. It’s a worry.”

“ Woah...I can see that.” James agreed understanding the gravity of the situation.“Look….I’m on my way to the mess hall...would you have time to join me?"
Tabitha looked pained..” I'd love to but I really do have to be somewhere." Her regret was obviously genuine and James felt it too.
He took a half step back. “Ofcourse, I’m sorry to have delayed you.”

“It’s alright and I'm glad you did.” They observed each other each wishing they could recall previous meetings. "Ideally we'd set another time...and we can try if you'd like."
“ Name it." he replied smiling broadly.

"May I?" she asked giving the book a meaningful glance.

"Surely." he replied handing it to her. " Here...I have a pen..."
The novelty of writing still held a modicum of amusement which showed as she looked at him and asked when would be a good time. "Tomorrow...say...ten hundred in the mess hall? Will that work for you?"

He had no idea what would be happening at that time but agreed to it anyway so she wrote in neat script the time and place adding that if for some reason she wasn;t there...."high possibilty" she said looking at him from beneath lowered brow...that he try the main Sickbay to see if she was there.
He chuckled at the idea of the appointment being forgotten but knew she was correct because everyones grasp seemed to be slipping.
She handed the book back.
"And just to make doubly sure I shall remind myself by writing it here. James...mess hall....10.00." she said slowly as she wrote the information onto the back of her hand. "There you go!" she ended presenting his pen with a flourish and showing her tattoo. "Got it."

"Infallible." he said. "I'm looking forward to it."

"Me too...but I have to go.......see you tomorrow."

Still they paused each with a slight awkwardness each wishing to prolong the encounter.

"Bye." she said quietly breaking the spell and moved to resume her journey.

James watched her walk away but at the corner she stopped and looked back giving a soft smile that he knew and raising a hand in farewell before disappearing from sight.

"Tabatha." he said aloud to himself. "'re Tibbs!" he exclaimed as memory dawned too little too late but he smiled as he glanced back along the corridor to where she had been but moments before not noticing the haggard worried being that walked there now but seeing in his minds eye her dimpled smile.

***End Log ***


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