Characters: Ensemble, canon and original. This is for UDC 9 ~ Week One - provided by Mira_Jade 1. Adamant "Christine, how do you like the job at Starfleet Medical as chief of nursing? I am not looking forward to trying to pick a replacement for you this late in the game in our tour and who could replace you anyway and put up with the nonsense we healers get up to in order to destress?" "Thank you, Doc. That means a lot. The work is stimulating but involves less patient contact than I like and more documentation than I prefer, to say the least." Christine didn't tell McCoy but she was seriously considering returning to the Enterprise, which decision became more solidifed with each passing day. When she did eventually return, his gladness was not just that of a friend or a valued colleague. "Christine, I need hardly tell you that I was adamant to never embark on a romance after Jocelyn! But ... now, I'm starting to be open to the notion." "Really?" she asked in honest surprise. He snagged a second helpful of chocolate hazelnut cake. "Yes, coincidentally, with you." She flushed with no little pleasure. 2. Abide Each time Spock returned to New Vulcan, Nyota wondered if the tug to abide there and help out would prove stronger than his commitment to the Enterprise, to Jim, to herself? She wrote him this question towards the end of one such visit. "I'm not one to harp or retain a grudge or you-did-this-to-me list, but I cannot help but wonder. The need there still remains although it may not be as urgent as previously." "Nyota, as our time together continues, my connection to you - your essentiality - that is what validates and reaffirms my initial decision. My place is at your side." This response filled Nyota with euphoria and a deepened adoration. 3. Afield Jim liked to go to the beach after sunset and watch the stars come out, alone or with a lady companion. He dreamed of far places and open spaces amongst the stars. Adventure and discovery beckoned. Little did he know that he would have adventures beyond even what he could imagine! Once on the Enterprise, the starfield still held an appeal, even and especially at warp speed. the starlines were exotic -- painting a mosaic of space and time. 4. Aghast Jim was absolutely bursting with pride and self-congratulation. Not only had he beaten the Kobayashi Maru program when no one ever had even come close, but his "work around" had not been discovered, or more accurately, come back to him. At least, not right away. Oops! The jig was up! Jim was aghast at the realization of who had discovered his little 'prank.' "Jim, what'd you do?" his close friend, Nate Stovall sent in an urgent message. "You wanna get booted out of the Starfleet?" "I can talk my way out of it, just you watch!" Jim rejoined in a confident reply. "I can charm them out of the trees, as usual!" 5. Aforetime "Jim, I am so pleased with what I am hearing about your first year's progress on your five year mission. I must admit that at the first, I almost had my doubts, but my initial instincts about you indeed proved to be valid. You have earned the respect of your superiors and the loyalty of your crew." "Thank you, Captain Pike. That means a lot coming from you. I owe you more than I can express ... you gave me a chance with very little if anything to go by." It was this sense of gratitude that impelled Jim to do his very best.