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Sneakin' On By To Meet You

Posted on Sun May 31st, 2020 @ 11:42am by Lieutenant Bianca Lee & Lieutenant William Gunnison

Mission: Around The World in 8 Days
Location: A House Outside Seattle
Timeline: Two Days Before The End Of Shoreleave


Bianca checked the readout on her tricorder for what had to be the fiftieth time and nodded. Yes, this was definitely the house where Lieutenant Gunnison was holed up and where he'd been much of the time that he'd been off the ship. All the data pointed to Right. There. She smiled slightly, then blushed slightly as she mentally prepared herself for meeting the Chief of Operations. Yes, she should have done this sooner, the Captain had said as soon as convenient, which meant right away. But Bianca just didn't want to disrupt someone's relaxation instantly and had hoped that the Lieutenant would have returned to the ship, even just for a few hours, where she could have ambushed him.

But that wasn't to be and now she was on the ground again, making sure to handle this before an awkward first meeting on the ship. She'd even come down in non-uniform, a red flowered blouse and a knee-length black shirt, but she did wear her commbadge and yes, her collar, if she flipped it out, would show her own rank if need be. So she wandered her way up to the front door even as she slipped the tricorder into a thigh holster under her skirt and pressed the doorbell.

The door opened a few moments later, and Will's father, Andrew took a look at the young lady standing in front of him. "May I help you, Miss?" he asked. "This isn't about that so-called conservation group 'worrying' about the local waterways again, is it? 'Cause I already made my viewpoints well-known at the lab..."

Bianca looked over her shoulder down the driveway, as if perhaps this man was expecting someone around this time that isn't her. She looked back at him, slightly confused, also recognizing that this wasn't the Lieutenant, "No, suh, Ah don't know anythin' about the local waterways and Ah do apologize about that. But Ah also apologize if Ah'm interruptin' anythin', but Ah'm lookin' for Lieutenant Gunnison?" She put a smile on her face, "Ah've got credible information that says he's here, suh."

Andrew somewhat sternly looked her over. Starfleet, of course, as if the comm badge tucked away in one corner of her outfit wasn't indication enough, though of course, her manner of talk and referring to Will by rank and surname (as Andrew knew most of Will's non-Starfleet friends well enough to recognize them on sight, and they wouldn't have referred to him as such anyway) were big clues.

"How sure are you that this information is as credible as you believe?" Andrew asked. "After all, it could all be a trick to lure young ladies out here away from prying eyes to kidnap them and force them into becoming Dabo girls in an illegal underground gambling ring."

"If ya'll are stuck with kidnapping ladies like me, the underground gambling ring is really hard up for Dabo girls." Bianca smiled up at Andrew, "Ya'll would need to give me a boob job before anyone would want to ogle me properly." She ran her hands down her body and her admittedly small chest.

"However, suh, Ah can assure you that my information is credible. After all, Lieutenant Gunnison is in the livin' room of a house that records show is owned by his father whom," She made a show of looking him over, "Ah suppose you could pass for, suh. Ah suppose you could be some ne'er-do-well that's abducted him and just forgot about his commbadge revealing your secret lair, in which case ya'll would have to indeed be forced to kidnap me as well. Do you feel like trying your luck in that?" Bianca's smile was bright and inviting.

"Well, I happen to know more than a few men - and yes, women, for that matter - who actually go for the, shall we say, less endowed of the fairer sex," Andrew commented. "But of course, that's assuming that I could, indeed, kidnap you. After all, I'm just a humble fellow who's getting on in years." He paused for a moment, before adding with a conspiratorial wink, "Or am I?"

"And of course," said another voice coming, not from within the house, but rather outside behind Bianca, "assuming that said commbadge always remains with the individual that it's issued to, and isn't removed and left sitting around somewhere after some observant folks start wondering who the random stranger is who seems to be using a tricorder to scan the house - some might say illegally, as she would likely be operating without a proper search warrant issued by the local court - instead of simply using the commbadge to make a request for a meeting like normal people would."

The apparent newcomer, dressed in civilian clothes, had meandered on over by this point. "I believe you indicated you're looking for me? Lt. William Gunnison, chief of operations for the Federation starship Astraea. I don't believe we've met, but something tells me that you may be the ship's new strategic operations officer."

"Lieutenant Bianca Lee, at your service, suh." Bianca dipped into a very graceful curtsy to William in acknowledgement that his own query were correct, "And Ah would highly doubt that you'd be very far from your commbadge, since as the Chief of Operations of a starship, you never know when you may be called back to the ship." She smiled up at him from nearly half a foot below him in height, "But rest assured, it isn't illegal and Ah was merely using it to verify that Ah wasn't going to poke my head in on some completely random family instead of my intended 'target'."

She looked back over to Andrew and winked back at him, "But as Ah said, feel free to try your luck and you could find out what else I've got under this skirt than just a tricorder."

"Of course," Andrew said, "if I even thought about trying anything along those lines, there's only one person either of us would have to worry about, and that's my wife. And with that, I'll leave you two to it." He shut the door.

"And to add to it," Will said, "it's a pity that there's no way to have a small portable communications device that could be used to, say, call ahead, and that could be issued to each member of Starfleet on an individual basis so that you don't unintentionally surprise anyone. Some might not mind so much, but such a thing could keep you from doing something crazy like accidentally dropping in on your new commanding officer when they're in the middle of a meal or something like that."

Bianca looked away at that mention, "Well, it's a bit too late to mention that one." She blushed and forced a laugh, "Of course, it was her own damn fault that she left the ship early for breakfast after the party. And it wasn't an 'accident', Ah did it on purpose." She did smile at that.

"And of course it begs the question of what you're feeling is so important that you feel it mandates interrupting people during their time off," Will asked.

"Ah've found that when interactin' with people in their 'natural' environment, such as a family home or relaxation event, that it provides a better observation of their personality and actions." Bianca stated as if it were the most natural thing in the world, "Makes them a bit easier to predict, as it were... And that sounds better than the actuality of it, now that Ah'm actually saying it out loud.. It's not a 'mandate', it's just that Ah'm tryin' to not just meet people for the first time on the ship if Ah can help it." It felt like more an excuse than anything else.

"Oh? And what are your observations about my personality and actions?" Will asked.

"So far, suh, that you're observant of things happenin' away from your immediate area and that you gather information before you interject yourself." Bianca raised an eyebrow by about half an inch, "Or that you noticed your father away for a couple minutes and came to investigate, really have to see how this goes to make a final determination. But my gut impression is the former." She glanced away, "Ah suppose Ah'm really not good at first impressions, this appears to be the second one Ah've screwed up, this is definitely not going the way Ah'd intended it to go."

"I could also sometimes have a bit of help from naturally curious youth who enjoy being out in this," Will said, indicating the rather natural forested area around the house, "just as their fathers and I did at their age, and who, as part of their various outdoor activities, are sometimes in a position to notice incoming visitors - particularly of the unexpected variety - without always being noticed themselves. Thanks, guys." The last statement Will made over his shoulder, and moments later a few youth bounded off from some nearby bushes while making comments like "No problem, Uncle Will!"

"And when it comes to making good first impressions, may I be permitted to promote the idea that perhaps it is not such a good idea to drop in unannounced on other people's personal time?" Will asked mildly.

"Which the Capt'in sorta pointed out to me a few days ago..." Bianca said very quietly, "Ah'm not the most patient sort, if you couldn't tell. Ah'm one of those who wants to get things done and waitin' for the entire senior staff to get back and then get busy tryin' to get back to their duties would mean that Ah would have to compete with everythin' else, and Ah guess Ah just get a bit anxious."

"Being enthusiastic about your work is not a bad thing," Will said, "but at the same time there is such a thing as being too enthusiastic. Calling ahead and asking when we're available to meet with you does work wonders in the reception department. We're rarely so busy, especially between missions, that we can't make time to meet with our fellow crewmembers. Now, since you're here anyway, was there anything in particular you wanted to meet with me over, or was this just a sort of 'stop in and say hello' type of visit?"

Oh yeah, this was probably a bad idea Bianca thought to herself, once again flushing red, "It was really just a stop in and say hello type of visit." She admitted, "Ah know we'll all be busy once everyone is back on the ship and Ah didn't want to introduce myself in passin'."

"Well, hello then," Will said. "You have had the chance to at least get settled in on the ship, I trust?"

"Ah've been on board for almost a week, figured that if Ah spent the time others are using to sit back and relax to get familiarized with the ship and start gettin' into a routine, Ah'd be able to fit in better when everyone got back." Bianca did smile at that, "Ah actually was at the pre-shore-leave party in the Grumpy Goat, got on board a couple hours before it."

"I didn't attend, myself," Will said. "Somewhat long story in and of itself, but among the reasons is that I'd already scheduled to come down here the next morning, and hanging out with my family and the friends who are here on Earth can sometimes be an adventure in and of itself, and so it can help to be well-rested. It's a particularly interesting time for my son. He's come back after the longest single period of time he's ever spent in space, and it's made him something of a local celebrity among his cousins and friends."

Oh Hell, yup, I screwed up. Bianca thought to herself, "That's awesome, Ah hope Ah didn't interrupt that, did I?" She glanced at his eyes, jumping to a conclusion, "Ah did, didn't I?"

"Fortunately, he's with his mom's side of his family right now. A few miles thataway," Will said, gesturing in one particular direction. "Although I do hope you don't plan on crashing that little get-together. If you're really that interested in meeting my son in more than just passing, just let me know, although the Astraea's security chief reportedly didn't have much trouble pulling of just such a meeting in an appropriate way."

Relief flooded Bianca for a moment, "Ah'm not all that hopped up to it, no, Ah don't think Ah'll be runnin' over there, though meetin' him on the ship would probably happen one way or the other. At this point Ah'm thinkin' locking myself in my quarters might be the best thing to do until we ship out to our next mission."

"Might not be a bad idea," Will said. "At least as long as we don't have any bomb threats or anything like that. It might be a bit problematic if something like that were to happen."

"No, suh, that was yesterday. The new Intelligence officer decided it would be a good idea to set some off on the ship." Once again, Bianca's face was flushed red, "Which was why Ah decided to get off the ship today, which has turned into an example of why Ah should invest in a stasis chamber to keep from embarrassin' myself."

"I wouldn't say to go quite that far, but it might not be a bad idea to not be quite so...directly noticeable for a while," Will said.

"Ah think then, that's my cue to depart?" Bianca offered a weak smile with the question.

"Well, then, I shall see you on the Astraea," Will said.

Lt. William Gunnison
Chief of Operations
USS Astraea

Lieutenant Bianca Lee
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Astraea


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