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"It's that time of year again... Ep. 3"

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Keelah is in the holodeck, the setting is a typical dance studio with a light laminate floor, brightly lit ceiling and a wall of mirrors. She wearing her gym attire and has her hair tied back in a pony tail as she performs her early morning dance recital - which has recently replaced her ritual mok'bara workout - whilst she is flanked by two holographic dancers who mirror her workout:

// Chirp // Keelah throws an unwelcoming glance behind her towards the source of the sound - her combadge laid upon a gym back by the mirror - and continues dancing. // Chirp // Keelah lets out a weary sigh as she breaks the routine and turns towards the mirrored wall, "Computer; freeze program" she calls as she bends down to pick up the combadge. The music halts and the performers freeze on the spot. The combadge sits loosely in the palm of her hand as she taps it with her thumb; still breathing slightly heavily from her workout as she pats her face down with a towel, "Se'Lai." she greets unforgivingly. "Forgive the intrusion Commander." Greets a male human voice - it is that of the Dawnstar's communications officer - he continues, "We have an incoming subspace hail for you." Keelah sighs almost as though she knows what is to come, "Very well, patch it through down here. Se'lai out." She commands as she taps the combadge once more and calls out, "Computer; arch" The holo-image fades away next to her as the doorway arch appears to her side. Keelah drops her combadge back on to her gym back and approaches the arch, towel in hand. Answering the waiting call as she arrives, "Hello mother" she states almost wearily staring at the image of Admiral Se'lai on the screen in front of her. "Hello daughter." She responds plainly Keelah forces a smile, bracing her towel between her knees as she pulls her hair back and tidies her pony tail, "To what do I owe this rare pleasure?" "keelah your query is highly illogical, you know full well it is that time of year for our customary discussion." The Admrial's sense of the conversation comes across as somewhat forced. Keelah sighs, "Of course, mother." She again forces a smile, "I trust you are keeping well?" "I am, though I grow concerned-... Keelah what are you doing? You appear... flustered" Keelah finishes pulling her hair back and pats her face down some more with her towel, breathing almost returned to a normal rate, "Just my morning exercises" she replies nonchalantly. The Admiral furrows her brow "I recognise those surroundings. That is your old dance practice holoprogram. Keelah, have you taken up ballet once more?" The Admiral's gaze drifts momentarily from the screen to image kept on her desk of a 6 year old Keelah wearing a pink tutu at a ballet recital. "Not exactly mother. I have taken up dancing again, but not ballet. I am presently learning a new form which I find most agreeable." The Admiral raises an eyebrow but does not probe further, having no greater desire than Keelah does to extend their conversation beyond requirements, "Very well. Keelah; I must confess a degree of concern for you - I have received some... troubling reports pertaining to your recent activities." Keelah rolls her eyes, "And what would those reports say? That I am happy, socializing with colleagues and finally starting to settle back into a normal life? ... Or would they perhaps talk of an 'evil' V'tosh ka'tur spreading seeds of dissent among the DS13 populous?" Admiral Se'lai frowns, "Do not take that sassy tone with me young lady, it is an undesirable human trait you know better than to absorb." The Admiral takes a breath, "And whilst I have received some... intriguing reports as to your recent activities since arriving there, you know perfectly well to what I am referring. Now tell me my daughter; what is all this about the Legacy?" Keelah drapes her towel across her shoulder and braces herself against the wall - hands flat either side of the screen, "It is true mother; I have learned new information which warrants further investigation. I am taking the Dawnstar out to learn what happened to the Legacy once and for all." The Admiral shakes her head almost pleadingly, "Keelah, why? The Legacy was lost - you know this. It is illogical to pursue the matter further." Keelah frowns, "Since when is Starfleet in the habit of abandoning hope? All we know is that the Legacy was destroyed. We do not how, or why. Until the matter is completely investigated we can not even rule out the possibility of survivors - there are many accounts where marooned officers have survived for longer duratio-" The Admiral cuts her off, "Is /that/ what this is about?" she sighs, "Keelah you know better than to believe /he/ may still be alive." Keelah folds her arms in a huff and turns to face away from the screen, turning back after a moment, "If Starfleet was willing to send a mission out for that purpose I would quite happily concede - and that is /not/ what this is about. It is about learning the truth nothing more. And the truth as it stands is that there are no facts to contradict the possibility of survivors." The Admiral lets out a defeated sigh, shaking her head, "You have always been a headstrong girl, as much as I wish you would not pursue this course I have no leave to stop you. Just promise me you will not allow your uncontrolled emotional state to impair your judgement." Keelah tenses at her mother's derogatory comment - the Admiral knows full well that Keelah is perfectly adept in the control of her emotions. She forces a very fake smile, "If it will set your mind at ease mother; I promise. Now, was there anything else or can I get back to my practicing? I have limited time before going on duty after all." The Admiral shakes her head, "Nothing further my daughter. Live long and prosper." The Admiral displays the Vulcan salute, which Keelah promptly returns. "Go in peace mother" "Oh and Keelah... happy birthday my daughter" With that the Admiral terminates the call. Keelah takes a steadying breath, shaking off the tension of the conversation before dropping her towel back on the gym back, "Computer: reset program... Once more from the top" She sings out as she returns to her position in the center of the room.

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