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The Adventurer's Bug - Hope and Resilience

Paula Chapman
 

ON:

== Paradisio, Harkon IV==
==MD 12, morning ==

Morning exercise was something instituted early on by Security, for the greater benefit of all. Particpants has been few in the beginning, but it quickly gained in popularity. As he did every day now when he wasn't aboard, Bruno joined for a sound warm up session, followed by 1.5 miles of jogging. There were different groups escorted by Security. The first one would go slower and cut the run shorter. They were mostly civilians and those recently let off by Medical with a sufficiently clean bill of health.

Things were going well. After the succession of catastrophes hitting the ships, destroying one, morale and tempers had been frayed. Harkon IV had been better on them than anyone expected. Life in the open air, solid ground under one's feet had done a good deal to restore faith in stability. Someone, eventually, would come to the rescue. It was a given. Organizing the camp had kept them busy. Adding the touches that meant some more comfort, creating a daily routine, had brought people together.

Bruno walked back into the camp as the last group broke apart, still coming down from the full run. He spotted one of their medical facilities. One of the converted shuttles had been returned to normal use the day before. Most injured were now as good as new, or in the last stage of mending. Those who remained were a handful that needed the kind of help even the Flambeau would be hard put to provide; still they were stable and bearing through. There had been no fresh influx due to resettlement; minor casualties happened every day on a starship too. A few rashes and the like had been handled.

A welcome sight was Louise Sheppard heading to intercept him on the way to a good scrub down. Bruno slowed to allow her to catch up. They continued towards the senior staff's prefab together.

"I heard your shuttle heading back late yesterday," he commented after their greetings. "I also heard that reports of your findings were not so good."

After a few days, the team of scientists felt their help was no longer needed. Instead of letting them head out on their own, Bruno had ordered a small security escort and provided one of the shuttles still available for a brief transfer to the site, and pick up after 48 hours.

"The site was buried under repeated seasonal growth, seasonal rains and partly washed away by flooding," Louise acknowledged tiredly. "We salvaged what we could. We were very lucky for the loan of your shuttle, Captain. Its sensors are quite a bit more effective than we expected. We were able to map the site and surrounding area thoroughly. We were also able to bring back a full load of samples."

"Will that be enough?" Bruno asked with sudden interest.

"More is always better but as things stand, we happened just in time," she managed to smile. "We have enough to work on a partial reconstruction. To which I can add the planetary data gathered by your ship. Some regions nearby are still relatively untouched, we can infer what the area was like originally."

"I'm really glad to hear," Bruno nodded, stopping by an entrance. "All that work will be done from home I suppose."

"Or not," she surprised him. "All things considered, that site did a remarkable job of withstanding the test of time. You see, we always hoped to find more of them. By the time I inform the Science Institute on Bolarus of the planetary evolution here, there will be an expedition to assess the discovery. And certainly more to come. We can ride their coat tails so to speak. In the meantime, we'll settle at DS-13 to do our work."

Bruno couldn't help a laugh, standing there akimbo, half covered in mud and still sweating from the exertion. She seemed to notice for the first time.

"That was me a few hours back and I know how it felt," she grinned in turn, her chin pointing at him. "See you for lunch?"

"Not today. I'm going back to the ship. What about dinner tomorrow?" he added as she stepped back.

"Dinner it is," she agreed.

Bruno shook his head. She had not even asked how the repairs were coming up.

OFF: TBC

Capt. Bruno Marini
CO
USS Flambeau