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It's Only A Matter of Time

Posted on Sat Jun 8th, 2024 @ 1:15am by Captain Maho Takahashi & Commander Ichika Misono & Lieutenant Commander Kurumi Ebisuzawa & Yaeka Sakuragi

1,665 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Junichi Koyama
Location: Ready Room, Deck 1

While Maho had been willing to grant temporary asylum to the child known as Yaeka, Commander Ebisuzawa had been adamant about not letting the young girl out of her sights. Unfortunately, this came right into conflict with the civilian ban, which had been in place since the Myogi's 2382 recommissioning. As such, Maho had requested to meet with Commanders Misono and Ebisuzawa to discuss the child's fate once she had been cleared from Sickbay:

The chime of the ready room rang loudly.

"Enter:" Maho answered the chime.

The doors opened and Kurumi walked in. Clutching to her was little Yaeka. "You wanted to see me Captain?" She asked. "Also, you'll understand if Yaeka here is a little... clingy at the moment."

Ichika glanced down at the little girl and smiled. "Trust is something that comes with time, Commander," she explained, reaching out and gently ruffling Yaeka's hair. "And it may take a little while for that trust to be fully regained, especially given everything that she's been through, but I have no doubt in my mind that if we show her kindness, she'll learn to trust again."

Yaeka flinched at Ichika's touch and scurried quickly to the opposite side of Kurumi, keeping her eyes locked on the first officer. Kurumi noticed this and placed a hand on Yaeka's shoulder to reassure her. "No one is going to hurt you here Yaeka." She assured her softly. "I promise you."

Maho sighed. This conversation was already going to be difficult to have, but it was going to be at least tenfold such to have with Yaeka around...

"Commander; once the issue at hand is taken care of, Yaeka will need to be relocated elsewhere:" Maho explained. "Whether that be sending her to live with her uncle or entered into the foster care system, she will not be able to continue residing on the Myogi."

Kurumi pondered for a few moments. She looked down at Yaeka. "Do you know this uncle?" She asked her.

Yaeka nodded, but seemed to grip Kurumi tighter. "Yeah... But he's scary." She said. "I want to stay with you."

"Well?" Kurumi said.

Maho sighed.

"Commander; the Myogi has a 14 year running tradition:" She explained. "No civilian has called the Starship Myogi home ever since the last permanent civilian resident disembarked the Starship Rising Sun. If this is the course of action you wish to pursue; then perhaps it is time that you start looking for a new assignment."

"With all due respect. That includes you as well right? If no civilian is allowed on this vessel, that includes your child as well. Does it not?" Kurumi asked as she crossed her arms.

"She does raise a valid point, Captain," Ichika agreed. "By your own rules, your child would have to go and live with a relative if you wished to remain in command of this vessel."

Maho sighed.

"It is true that I have been reconsidering this policy, given my current condition." Maho said, looking down at her belly. "However, it is not a change that I am willing to implement on a whim: I've already broken a lot of Miyahara-era policies just to keep morale up on this vessel, and the few that remain are all I have to maintain any semblance of normalcy in these uncertain times."

Kurumi glared at the Captain. "No offense Captain..." she started. "But this is your ship now. Not Miyahara's." She started. "Are you formally denying a request from a child for assylum as a political refugee? Bear in mine, if she returns to the surface... Which is what you are suggesting... Her life will be in danger." Kurumi paused for a brief moment to allow that to sink in. "You are more than willing to ensure that old out of date policies of some disgraced Admiral stay intact even though it means a death sentence to a child..."

Kurumi pulled her comm badge off her chest and threw it on the desk. "If that is what you are suggesting. Then I will resign right here, right now. I will also submit a formal protest and complaint with Starfleet Command."

"Captain, if I may have a word with you, please?" Ichika whispered.

"Of course." Maho responded before turning back to Kurumi. "Hold that thought for one second, Commander:"

Maho then allowed Ichika to lead her out of the ready room. They stopped just outside the ready room on the bridge, allowing the ready room doors to swoosh shut behind them.

"Maho," Ichika began with the utmost sincerity. "While I understand your wanting to hold onto the past- especially in a galaxy where the things that we hold dear are becoming increasingly out of our control- I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't put your sense of pride ahead of doing what's right."

"Your point, Commander?" Maho asked.

"Think of the message it sends across to your crew- heck, for that matter, your friends, your loved ones, your own flesh-and-blood daughter- that you knowingly and willfully sent an eight-year-old girl into a dangerous situation because you were unwilling to change your ways," Ichika pointed out. "Is this really what you want to be known for? Just another jaded old salt who couldn't change with the times? Because if I were your daughter, Maho, That's not the sort of role model that I'd want in my life."

Maho sighed. Several seconds of silence passed before she finally spoke again.

"Alright, I suppose yet another Miyahara-era policy can bite the dust." She conceded. "It was only a matter of time before it would anyway-!"

Before she got the chance to finish, Ichika reached over and pulled her into a hug.

"Ulp..." Maho grunted as Ichika embraced her, clearly not expecting Ichika to do so. "Watch the bump, will you, Commander?"

"Thank you, Maho," Ichika expressed. "I know that change can be difficult to accept, but for better or for worse, it's how we grow as a society; and whatever the changes may bring, I just want you to know that I'm here for you- because I'm your friend."

Maho sighed.

"So, how are we going to break this to Commander Ebisuzawa?" She asked. "I know, what if I phrased it to suggest that this was always in the plan?"

Ichika glanced over at Commander Ebisuzawa, then back at Maho.

"Tell her it's a test," she recommended. "A way of determining what lengths she was willing to go for the child."

"Brilliant:" Maho said. "We'll go with that, then..."

Maho then turned to re-enter the ready room, Ichika following close behind.

"Well, Commander:" Maho addressed Kurumi. "You've passed the test."

"Test?" Kurumi asked tilting her head to one side slightly.

"I had no intention of actually forcing you to give up Yaeka." Maho said. "I wanted to see how hard you were willing to fight for her. I can see now that the two of you have grown quite attached to one another, and you're willing to threaten resignation to protect her. I would likely do the same in your situation, and can respect your decisions."

Maho leaned back in her chair.

"As it was only a matter of time before this would happen;" She continued. "Starting next duty cycle, civilians will once again be allowed on the Starship Myogi. It will take time for full civilian integration to occur, so don't expect infrastructure like teachers and school rooms to pop up overnight. But I think we can agree that it's a step in the right direction."

Kurumi blinked a few times in surprise. She took the comm badge back off the desk and pinned it back on her chest. "Thankyou Captain." She said giving her a low bow. Yaeka also did the same, bowing low in thanks.

"It is our sincerest pleasure, Commander," Ichika smiled.

Straightening up Kurumi spoke again. "One last thing Captain. I would like to start the legal process of becoming Yaeka's guardian..."

"Of course." Maho nodded. "Now, since Yaeka still has living next of kin, Ichiro will need to sign off on the adoption papers and forfeit his right to a kinship adoption. However, I believe he will be easy to convince."

"I highly doubt that he knows that Yaeka is even alive." Kurumi replied. "However leaving her in his care would put her at danger, so if we make this clear I'm sure he'll sign her over."

"Then we are in agreement." Maho said. "I will get in contact with Ichiro and inform him of your plans, and hopefully we can get the ball rolling with your adoption. Until then, best of luck, Commander: I hope this process goes as smoothly as we think it will. Unless there's anything more you need from me, you are dismissed."

It was at that point that Yaeka broke free of Kurumi's hand, ran around the ready room desk and hugged Maho tightly. "Thank you Miss Captain." She said in a cute voice. "Thankyou for letting me stay with Kurumi. I promise to be good!"

As Yaeka hugged Maho, she felt movement within her belly, as if her own daughter were approving her actions. She wasn't sure what came over her, but Yaeka hugging her plus the movement melted her heart, and her usually stern lips curled into a smile.

"~D'awww... You're welcome, sweetheart..." Maho cooed rather uncharacteristically.

Kurumi looked over at Ichika and gave her a soft smile. It was a very heartfelt moment right now.

"In trying times such as these, I think we could all use a change of pace, Commander," Ichika smiled back. "These halls are long overdue to be filled with the laughter of children once more..."

Posting by

Captain Maho Takahashi
Commanding Officer
USS Myogi

Commander Ichika Misono
Executive Officer
USS Myogi

Lieutenant Commander Kurumi Ebisuzawa
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Myogi

Yaeka Sakuragi
Civilian Child


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