Crisis on the Frontier 4X01
Location: Holodeck 2
Timeline: Shortly before "The Raid"
Thea pulled her hair up in a tight bun. She was wearing stretchy clothing that she could easily move in and she hadn't bothered to cover up her spots with makeup, a decision she was not at all sure about. She nervously untucked a tiny bit of her hair as if that would make a difference about whether they were noticed or not. Finally sighing she left her quarters and made her way to the holodeck, stopping just outside to use the chime in case he wasn't ready for her.
The doors to the holodeck ground open and presented Thea with a verdant urban park. The arch deposited her a small, tiled courtyard surrounded by lush pine trees shading the square and thickets of bamboo ringing the sides. White walls stood in stark contrast with sloping lines evocative of ancient Chinese architecture. Beyond the trees the skyline of Hong Kong loomed over the park. Greg Farragut sat off to the side at a shaded bench along the stone wall sipping tea from a small, ornamental cup. He waved at Doctor Davenport.
"Hello," Thea said when she got close enough. "It's beautiful. Where are we?" She turned in a circle looking at everything before glancing back at him expectantly. Having grown up on a farm in Montana, she really hadn't seen much of Earth before leaving the planet to start her career in Starfleet.
"Hong Kong's Kowloon Peninsula," Greg answered. He looked around at the holographic skyline and broke into a smile. "It's home, or at least a pretty good recreation of it. Down to the typhoons and the ring of the crosswalk signs."
"Nice. I grew up in the middle of nowhere. I can't imagine what life near a city must have been like." Thea flopped her arms out and back down at her sides. "Well, I'm here. Now what?" She pulled a tiny bit more hair out of her bun to hide the sides of her face.
"And where would middle of nowhere be?" He asked. Greg waved his hand toward the middle of the square where a holographic crowd began to assemble in orderly rows. A woman in her forties stood in front of everyone in a loose fitting white robe and watched the group arrange themselves. There was space left for Greg and Thea in the first row.
"On the shores of Flathead Lake . . . in Montana." Thea clarified. "Not many people around during most of the year. They want to be near the cities, where the action is." She shyly followed after the Captain, wishing they didn't have to be right in front. What if she fell over? She'd knock everyone else down if she fell the wrong way.
"You miss it?" Greg asked. "Don't worry, Doctor. They're holograms," He added, noticing Thea's anxiousness. "Just follow her - take it slow and be patient." The woman in front of them began to lead the group through the opening exercises. The movements mimicked martial arts but at a substantially slower pace.
"I never thought I would, but the older I get the more I do. I've seen so much and yet it's home, no place else brings me the same emotions. After my divorce I really wanted to go home, but I didn't." She gave no explanation as to why she had not. Thea took the position next to him and tried to control her breathing. She found conversation distracted her just enough. "You can call me Thea. I really only require the title when someone annoys me." It was a joke and yet it was also true.
"Why not take some leave time? Visit the old homestead?" Greg matched the instructor's movements while keeping an eye on Thea's progress. "Drop your knees a bit and twist on the balls of your feet, not the heel."
Thea was distracted by his question and had to stop and thinking about what she was doing before she could complete the movement. "Yeah . . . sometime. There always seems to be something going on that prevents me from leaving. What about you, how long has it been since you've been home?"
"About a year," Greg answered, returning to the starting position. "Mom and Dad are anxious to see me after the promotion."
This made Thea almost stop what she was doing, she only faltered for a moment though, a brief wish that she was close to her parents. Her mother of course had been gone for many years. "You should visit them then," she said quietly.
"Yeah, I will. Probably later this year," Greg replied. "Mom mostly wants me home to try and set me up with someone." He chuckled and shook his head. "Some traditions don't go away."
Thea gave him a small smile. "It's nice though that she's taken an interest in your life. You're luckier than you know. Maybe if my mother were still alive she would have told me not to marry my ex-husband. I have to wonder how different my life would be if . . . "
"If they were still around?" Greg asked without hesitation. "Probably more different than you can fathom in ways large and small."
"My father is still alive." Thea mentioned. "Still lives in the same house. Has coffee every morning with his friends. But my mother passed away before I was a teenager."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Thea," Greg offered. The woman leading the group said something in Cantonese and the group stopped and began to disperse. "Do you ever see your father?"
"Not in about three years. I've been meaning to go home it's just . . . I don't know how to face him." Thea seemed to completely deflate at this admission. "He is very old fashioned and we have different views on my divorce."
"Pretty old fashioned even by Chinese standards," Greg agreed. "Sometimes you don't need to get someone to agree with you - just don't let too much time pass that you regret waiting."
"Yeah, you're right. I should see him." Thea suddenly glanced around here realizing that the holodeck characters had dispersed and they were standing there alone. "Sorry, I think I talked your ear off, probably wasn't very relaxing."
Greg shook his head. "Not at all, Thea. I have a vested interest in ensuring that my crew are clear headed. If this was helpful then that's what counts."
Thea privately thought that just talking to someone was probably more helpful than the exercise. "Do you mind if I join you again sometime?"
"Of course. I'm here twice a week," Greg said with a nod. "There are some decent programs you can use in your quarters if you want some practice as well."
"Right, well until next time." She bowed her head to him slightly and headed for the door before she said something stupid.
Commodore Greg Farragut
Lieutenant Thea Davenport
Chief Medical Officer