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Topic: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance (Read 412 times) previous topic - next topic

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CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0950 hours. ] Happenstance

[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @FollowTomorrow

The adrenaline of the past few hours was finally starting to wear off, leaving Morgan feeling sweaty and tired. His hair was stuck to the back of his neck, his shirt clinging to his back. There was blood on his collar; he'd tried to scrub what he could off his face, but he'd almost certainly missed some. What he wouldn't give for a shower and a 12 hour rest. But instead, the Helmet been catapulted from an unwinnable fight to a mutiny to fighting off boarding parties to running around and trying to keep the ship together even as they hurtled through space at warp speed, the poor abused hull creaking and groaning at the exertion. Morgan's feet had barely touched the ground (sometimes not at all) as he bounced from emergency to emergency, dealing with the fallout of everything the Helmet had been put through in the battle, the reintegration, the escape...

And now their hour was nearly up. No rest for the wicked; they'd need to be ready when they came out of warp. For what? If the last couple of days was any indication, anything from Taskforce Archeron to a full-scale Borg invasion. Who knew anymore.

So Morgan was heading back to Engineering, because no matter how tired he was there was always more to be done. That was his job, and he was going to do it. Simple as that. Being busy was helpful, being tired was good, being focused and dedicated and unable to think about anything but the job at hand was necessary. Give his thoughts too much free reign right now and he might just lose it.

He rounded the corner towards Engineering, only to come face-to-face with Lieutenant Suq travelling in the opposite direction. It may as well have been a bucket of icy water thrown over him; Morgan felt his chest contract as he flattened himself to the wall to let the Lieutenant pass. The irony! He'd been so busy focusing on not thinking about anything he'd nearly walked into the very thing he was trying to avoid. If he believed in justice he might call it poetic.

The Lieutenant passed with little more than a mumbled apology from Morgan, but he took a moment to move from the wall. He needed to get it together, he was no use to anyone like this.

It would have been all too easy to turn, continue on to Engineering. The Lieutenant hadn't seemed injured, he'd clearly handled himself, Morgan didn't need to turn this into a thing goddammit.

He'd never been very smart.

'Sir,' he found himself saying, turning before he even really knew what he was doing. 'When we were boarded I left you to face them alone, please accept my apologies.'

Maybe now his head would shut up about it.
  • Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:16:33 PM by Auctor Lucan
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0950 hours. ] Happenstance
Reply #1
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

He took for granted how easy it was to walk. One foot in front of the other, shift your weight, the momentum let his other leg swing forward--that was walking, normally. Right now, for Suq, walking was dragging his leg, still totally deadened by the phaser shot, leaning heavily on the wall. His other leg had feeling but was weak, so he had an exaggerated double limp.

He wasn't sure what happened in engineering after they went to warp. He passed out. Someone else shot him, maybe, or maybe the first shot got to him eventually. Either way he went down faster than a boulder. He only just woke up, and seeing as how his leg was still numb, he thought maybe he ought to...do something about it. Not sickbay, he couldn't trust the doctors, but...something. As long as he was out of engineering.

So as he limped, he grumbled to himself about how much he hated his job, hated this ship, hated being boarded, hated being chased...He continued to limp by Morgan. It could only be called walking by the very polite--in all honesty, he just now scraped himself off the floor. He still looked like he should be on the floor. Morgan's face looked like...he had seen a ghost, maybe? Suq wasn't sure. He was far too wrapped up in sulking, so he continued the slow trudge by.

He wasn't too far away from Morgan when he heard a 'sir', and he had a feeling it was directed at him. He stopped, propped his shoulder up against the wall, promptly slipped and fell on his ass, and continued the conversation on the floor.
"Hi Morgan." He mumbled. "It's fine, shit happens, uh...Mind, uh, helping me up? My legs, I got shot a little bit." He continued to lay on the ground, looking both exhausted and Done with a capital D. He was glancing over at him, his usually shining eyes all dimmed with tiredness.

"Prolly be kinda nice to have someone to walk with me too..."


Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #2
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

The silence that followed Morgan's confession was enough for him to peel his gaze up from the floor, and the sight that greeted him was like a manual reboot of his system. He had... drastically misjudged the situation.

The lieutenant looked terrible. His gait was stilted and lurching, his balance completely off, and his general appearance so disheveled Morgan wouldn't be surprised to learn the man had been in an unconscious heap for the last hour. In fact that was probably more than likely, he realised. And heavens, he'd just judged the man to be uninjured! He'd been so damn caught up in his own head, so self-absorbed he hadn't noticed anything around him -- not Suq's approach, nor his appearance. The lieutenant looked like he should be recovering in a sickbed, not staggering around hallways and being accosted by well-meaning petties. Morgan had been so desperate to unload his woes that he hadn't realised Suq was already buckling under his own, quite literally.

As the lieutenant sagged against the wall, Morgan crossed the hallway in an instant, only stopping as he reached Suq to hover by his shoulder and assess the man's injuries. He looked exhausted, his gaze glassy (shock? Morgan's mind questioned). Not for the first time, Morgan wished his medical knowledge extended beyond helping his sister revise for exams, a basic first aid course, and a week of desperate prayer. Two of those were at least kind of useful, he thought, but even of those neither were a suitable replacement for real medical care. The lieutenant needed a doctor.

At Suq's request, Morgan crouched to offer the man an arm to stand. 'Of course, sir.' He'd need more than an arm if they were to make it all the way to the nearest sickbay, especially if his assessment of his wounds were correct (what counted as being shot a little bit, Morgan couldn't help but wonder).

'You need medical attention, I can accompany you to the sickbay... ?' He left it open, not wanting to presume. It was an empty question, the answer more than clear -- yes, Suq needed a doctor, and yes, he could do with a hand getting there -- but after everything that had happened with Medical, Morgan could understand being more than a little leery of the prospect of putting oneself in their charge. It was up to Suq.

Then again, leaving the lieutenant lying in the corridor wouldn't exactly be ideal either.
  • Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 05:31:39 PM by fiendfall
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #3
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

"I just need to walk it off--" He grumbled as he tried to pick himself off the floor. He had one leg that just refused to cooperate. He didn't even have the pins-and-needles sensation that he'd normally get if feeling was coming back, though he suspected the more he made himself use it the better he'd be. He took Morgan's offered arm and once more, he was back on his own two feet. He wobbled like a toddler, or a drunk, or both.

"I'm not going to sickbay." He decided, "I'm just gonna...walk it off, I guess. You could join?" He turned over to him, smiling and leaning his head on Morgan.

Dang, Suq thought. This man had gorgeous eyes.

"Wouldn't mind having someone to chat with. Sounds like you've got some guilt on your spirit to work with. Guess we could...yanno, talk about that?" He shrugged, then tried to get the two of them walking on some sort of strange course. He was shorter than Morgan, so most of his walking was him clinging to the officer's arm.

Gorgeous eyes or no, Suq had to be wary. This gentleman wasn't from the Resolve, so he could be Bugged. He could try to force him to sickbay anyway, and the doctors would hypo him with who knows what. Perhaps mind control medicine. He wouldn't know until he dug the truth out of him.

He was so, so tired though. He hoped Morgan was just another wonderfully handsome human man.

"Where'd you leave to, after we were boarded?" He asked, trying to sound just curious, but he was not a very good liar. The overall effect though was just one of exhaustion. All he wanted was a nap.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #4
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ][/b]

It took them a moment to manoeuvre the lieutenant up into a standing position once more, one of his legs dragging like so much dead weight. Even when he was up, he swayed on his feet, unbalanced, like a baby deer unused to movement. Morgan wanted to wrap an arm around his waist to brace him, but didn't know if the contact would be unwelcome. He didn't want to overstep, nor injure the lieutenant's no doubt bruised pride further.

Suq's insistence on no doctors was not exactly unexpected -- surely he would already be in the sickbay if he was planning on going -- but still, made things tricky. Morgan understood the rationale, but the idea that the man was just going to 'walk it off' was... if not unrealistic, then at least unhealthy. It was perfectly possible to 'walk off' all manner of injuries, given a lot of time and a lot of determination, but when medical attention was so readily available it should be unnecessary to fall back on such a non-ideal solution. But then, so much of this situation was non-ideal, so really what was one more thing at this point?

The Efrosian was leaning more and more heavily on Morgan, and he shifted to better support him as they started to move down the corridor. Suq was doing a valiant job of walking, and Morgan tried not to hover too obviously. He just wanted to be ready if the man's knees gave way, so he wouldn't end up smacking his face on the wall on the way down. The last thing Suq needed was a concussion on top of all this.

Unless of course, he already had one. Morgan found himself eyeing the lieutenant more carefully, Suq's exhaustion suddenly thrown into a new light. Maybe he should ask him what his full name was. Although, Morgan himself didn't know Suq's full name off the top of his head, so he wouldn't be able to confirm. The year, maybe? Then again, he seemed perfectly capable of forming sentences. Hopefully Morgan was just paranoid. Was he paranoid?

It occurred to him he didn't know where they were going. 'Uh, Lieutenant? If you're not going to sickbay, where do you want to go?' You should probably lie down, although maybe not sleep just in case, he continued in his head.

Suq's attempts to make conversation were almost sweet, and Morgan was more than happy to oblige if it helped him. The topic, however... His gut twisted. This was all his fault. It was almost laughable that he thought he could, what, undo any of it just by offering Suq an arm after everything was already over. But Morgan had no desire to dump his guilt on Suq; he could return to stewing in it later, alone, when he wasn't in danger of dragging anyone else into that quagmire with him.

He shrugged his free shoulder, tried to feign nonchalance. 'I'm... not much of a combatant. Better at fighting fires than boarders.' And also I froze, and also I calculated that your life was unimportant in the scheme of things, and also I'm a coward, but who's counting?
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #5
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

His bad leg still wouldn't bear weight. He could get it to swing forward in an imitation of walking, but he had to be careful to keep it under his center of balance or he'd floor it in the most literal way. He frowned down at the thing, his uniform a little bit burnt where the shot grazed his thigh. His skin was too dark to see bruises. He hoped there weren't any.

"Well...we're just walking." He explained, remembering that many Federation personnel liked to have a tangible purpose to their movements. Walking for the sake of it, holding hands just because, braiding someone else's hair because you felt like it were all weird. So he had to go a little bit further with his explanation. "Walking off the numb feeling in my legs. I figure with enough time I'll be able to feel the one again." He leaned his head on Morgan's arm. Humans were always so pleasantly chilly, compared to the Efrosian body temperature anyway.

What was strange was that Morgan didn't elaborate on why he left. It made him suspicious. What was he off to do? Was Suq about to uncover some sort of conspiracy? Did Morgan sabotage part of the ship? It would take a lot of delicacy to discover the petty officer's real intentions...
"We have an automatic fire suppression system, you know. Are you hiding something?"

Yeah, real smooth Suq.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #6
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Ah, so they were wandering. Walking without a destination, walking just for the sake of movement. Morgan generally preferred to have a clear goal in mind, even one as nebulous as 'survive'. But he supposed Suq's logic checked out, even if he hadn't thought the man had meant 'walk it off' quite so literally. And his movements didn't seem to be getting any easier, his injured leg still clearly troubling him, but perhaps it was too early to tell if this would help. At the very least the lieutenant was no longer on the floor, and no longer struggling to walk by himself, so this was technically an improvement already.

The man's suspicion was unexpected, but, he supposed, perhaps not unwarranted. His head was still spinning from all the betrayals and discoveries of the past few hours alone. Besides, Suq didn't know Morgan from Adam; they worked in the same department, sure, but the lieutenant had clearly joined the Theurgy while Morgan was in stasis, and he'd only been awake a few days (days!). Considering they were currently living inside the most rollercoaster conspiracy theory Morgan had ever even heard, let alone come into contact with, he supposed a good dose of suspicion could only be healthy. Not that suspicion was something he was really very good at -- he'd always been too damn trusting for his own good, and even after learning the hard way it was something he'd never quite managed to shake. But he understood the impulse, and wouldn't begrudge Suq a little wariness.

Still. Morgan was many things, but traitor he was not.

'I know,' he said lightly. 'Though I find relying on automated systems only works until they fail, and the EPS lines have been up the spout all day. Between the fight and re-integration, there was plenty of fire to deal with.' He hoped that would suffice. He hadn't done anything wrong, not technically, but he knew his unwillingness to talk openly was what was arousing Suq's suspicions. He didn't mean to be cagey, he just... he just didn't want to dwell on the past few hours, that was all.

He should lighten the mood. 'I can give you my full report,' he said, aiming for joking. Deflection was not his strong suit, perhaps.
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #7
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

As Suq wrestled with paranoia, he looked up again. Why did this human have such gorgeous eyes? They reminded him of...he's not sure who, exactly, someone important. But god, what pretty eyes. Why did the suspicious people have to be so attractive?

"Yeah, full report would be nice." He decided, thinking maybe he'd get nothing useful out of this line of questioning. If Morgan meant to sabotage, really the best place to do so would have been engineering; exactly where he was supposed to be at the time.

As attractive as Morgan was, Suq did not actually feel like having sex at the moment. Something about running on fumes made him feel just a little un-sexy. Regardless, sex was important on Efros. It was social interaction, it was good fun, it was polite...and it was a way to read people. After all, what lies could remain hidden among the pillows?

That last bit was a saying among his kind, and he hummed the tune that went with it, his double-voice suddenly becoming audible as he used his second voice to sing along.
"...You've got such gorgeous eyes, you know." He smiled up at him, not looking very attractive himself. In fact, he actually just looked like shit. He hopes Morgan would respond well to the flirting; he could never tell which humans were okay with it and which weren't. And some had the audacity to have preferences, which made the game so much more difficult than it had to be.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #8
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

The lieutenant took him at his word -- which was only fair, he supposed. He had offered after all, and he'd only been half joking. If it would put Suq's mind at rest, and end this line of questioning, he'd be more than happy to oblige. There was something safe about hiding behind the formality of a report; it gave him a moment to collect himself and put everything together, rather than scrambling around answering each question as it came. And there really wasn't that much to say. It was the work of a few moments to run down the events of the last hour: containing the plasma leak, ignoring the borders and the danger they posed to anyone but himself rerouting the EPS lines, and then, after reintegration, being sent to put out a fire only to discover a gravitational malfunction. He hoped that would suffice; there honestly wasn't much more he could offer. Unless of course the lieutenant wanted to psychoanalyse him, in which case Morgan might as well just put Suq in touch with his therapist and have done with it.

He was halfway through a wry smile at the thought of how that encounter would go when Suq pulled the proverbial rug out from under his feet and sent him flat-footed with surprise. 'You've got such gorgeous eyes.' The man must have a head injury, to swings-and-roundabouts from suspicion to flirting so fast. Unless that was just the sort of person he was...

'Uh,' was Morgan's eloquent reply. Today had been such a rollercoaster -- scratch that, the last few months had been a rollercoaster (what he could remember of them, at least) -- he felt like his brain was still trying to catch up with the first unexpected thing that'd happened, let alone the latest in a very, very long line. Then again, just the thought of comparing someone suddenly flirting with him to someone suddenly staging a mutiny was pretty ridiculous. He was being ridiculous.

Worst (best? Worst.) part was, the flirting wasn't exactly unwelcome. It was... flattering. Would have been a lot more flattering if he wasn't at least 80% sure it was just a result of a head injury, but still. And Suq seemed nice, when he wasn't interrogating Morgan. The man certainly wasn't unattractive, either -- in fact, if they'd met when Morgan was a shiny new recruit, he'd probably have flirted back enthusiastically, probably ended up tumbling into bed with him, followed by a six-week relationship that would've ended awkwardly. That had pretty much been his MO at the time. These days, though? No, it wasn't unwelcome, it was just... different.
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #9
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

He grinned, and even laughed a bit. He was a troublemaker, always has been and always will be. He loved throwing people for a loop. Morgan's response just tickled him, so much that he laid his head back on Morgan's shoulder.

"What, not used to compliments?" He offered him a sunny smile, his best one. "Or just not used to me?" He watched his face. Over time, his walking was starting to improve. Though he couldn't feel his leg, he could now make it bear some weight.

"Call it a cultural thing. Efrosians point out when someone's attractive. It's rude not to. You're attractive, so...you know, I've got to say something. Unless--" Oh no, the thought hit him. Morgan must not like Suq like that. Damnit.

"You're uh, straight? Or you don't like short men, one of the two." His face fell. He really, really hated being ruled out totally because he's a man, or because he's short. Typically both. It never used to happen on Efros, and even though he's been in this culture for so long, it still stung a little. It's not like he could change either of those qualities.

"Sorry then..."
Damn, now how was he supposed to seduce the information out of Morgan?

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #10
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Suq's laughter wasn't surprising, to be honest -- after that display, Morgan would be the first to admit he deserved it. And Suq wasn't wrong, on either account: Morgan was no more used to compliments than he was the lieutenant, and he hadn't expected one to come up with the other. He'd just come here to apologise, and now look where he was. Holding up a superior officer and getting told how pretty he was.

What a day.

'More out of practice than anything,' he said, lightly. Out of practice, sure, and also not 100% on how to take a compliment in these kinds of circumstances. Then again, Suq's cultural explanation had helped. He hadn't met many Efrosians, but he knew different cultures could be much more blunt than he was used to about these things. For all he knew, this was a totally normal thing for Efrosians, and he was getting all turned around over the cultural equivalent of a handshake.

Then again, Suq's next question suggested otherwise.

'Not straight,' Morgan clarified, although he wasn't entirely sure why. It was all academic, anyway. He doubted either of them were looking to pursue anything right now, other than some idle distraction at most.

Suq's next assumption had him smiling, though. It was true; with a foot and a half difference in height between them, they must look like quite the pair. But it wasn't... it wasn't a bad thing. Suq was just... pocket-sized. And... sweet.

Apparently the last few hours had left him more than a little loopy.

'No need to apologise,' he said, wrestling his thoughts away from cute tiny boyfriends. 'You just, ah, surprised me is all. Not five minutes ago it sounded like you were gearing up to court martial me.'
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #11
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Morgan pointed out the sudden shift in emotion. So he was suspicious, after all. He'd have to think fast, lie like the Cardassians to get this situation moving.
"Kind of hard to tell who's trustworthy anymore. But if you're volunteering to give me a report, well...liars don't want to leave a trail like that, right?" He reasoned. If it were two weeks ago, Suq would've genuinely believed what he said. Now, it's like nothing is correct anymore.

"I guess also...I kinda want to trust you. I just...want that comfort, you know? I want to believe not everyone's out to get me." Oh no, now he was just spilling his heart out. Not that it was that big of a deal, but if Morgan was a parasite...what would he do with that information?

Actually, probably nothing, considering he's not the only one who feels that way. He hoped that, if Morgan wasn't straight and he wasn't acting all weirded out by Suq, that maybe things were going right. He hoped, and he sighed, and he reached up to hold Morgan's hand and wrap it around his shoulder if he could.

"Sorry about that."

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #12
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Suq was being... surprisingly honest. Surprisingly open. His voice faltering over the words slightly, tentative and genuine. Morgan couldn't help smiling at the man; his honesty was sweet, and his need to trust... Morgan could understand that.

'I think that's brave,' he said, gently. 'Choosing to trust. I'm sorry I ever gave you reason to believe otherwise, but I'm not here to hurt anyone. I understand the suspicion, though -- these days, that strikes me as common sense more than anything.'

Of course, at no point had it occurred to Morgan not to trust the lieutenant; perhaps it was because he'd seemed so helpless, injured as he was, or perhaps it was because he'd put himself in danger so willingly before. Or perhaps it was just because it wasn't in Morgan's nature to be suspicious of those around him unless they gave him good reason to -- a trait which sounded much more noble than it was, considering it was mostly based in obliviousness on his part. Obliviousness, and an iron determination to believe in good people, in spite of everything.

Suq seemed like good people. And he'd been open with Morgan, more so than perhaps either of them had expected. The least Morgan could do would be to get over himself long enough to offer the other man the same courtesy.

'I left earlier because I felt bad,' he said. 'I left you to fight alone, and I didn't see what became of you, so when I was no longer needed in Engineering I... I wanted to get out. I went to find something useful to do, somewhere else, so I could sort my head out.' He huffed out a laugh. 'I ran away, basically. I should've just said that, when you asked. I'm sorry I didn't. And I'm sorry I didn't help you, before. Maybe some of this... all of this could have been avoided.'

He hadn't explained before, hadn't wanted to drag Suq into his own personal quagmire of guilt and regret, not when the man was injured and had more than enough of his own troubles to deal with. But it would've felt wrong, cheap even, to respond to Suq's explanation with anything less real and true, so here they were. He hoped Suq would understand he was only trying to make things right.
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #13
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

And...just like that, the truth came falling right out, into his lap. It was so hard to stay suspicious, but so hard to put it away too. Of course Morgan was afraid. Suq was afraid. Everyone was afraid.

For a moment, Suq was quiet, twin drives of fear and the desire to reach out battled inside him. He didn't want to trust. What if it was that awful, awful darkness, the anti-spirits? What if something dreadful lurked just under Morgan's consciousness? But what if he was just a man, a man being thrown into a situation he was never prepared for, never told about, just seeking some sort of connection. That was just Suq's weakness wasn't it? Connection.

He didn't know what was right. There wasn't any way to tell. All he knew was what came natural to him. He used his arm around Morgan's hips, originally there to keep himself from falling, and he rubbed his back with his hand. It was meant to be comforting.
"...We all get scared sometimes. Engineering's a hot place. The heat keeps some people out and draws some people in..." He spoke, his voice softer and gentler. He sounded old when he spoke like this.
"...when the fire really starts going though, even the best of us will run sometimes. So don't be ashamed of being afraid, you know?" He patted him, "It just means you've got your senses about you. Engineering's hard. Boarders always go to us first. You just...have to keep trying. Trying to master that fear is all."

He offered him another smile, even though he was uncertain and afraid. He had to keep trying to master that fear. He ought to listen to himself more often, he supposed.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #14
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

It felt perverse, for Morgan to accept comfort from Suq like this, to listen to the man's words of wisdom, to feel his hand on his back. He shouldn't be making the lieutenant walk on eggshells, not when the man could barely walk at all. But despite Morgan's best efforts, he did feel comforted, foolish as it was.

He had been afraid. It seemed so obvious, now Suq said it. But in the moment, when everything narrowed down to a single impulse, the drive to make it through, no matter the cost... That felt more like determination than fear. He supposed the two weren't mutually-exclusive, but it was so far from the knock-kneed fear he usually felt, so cold and calculating in comparison... Not that it necessarily made it any better: leaving someone in danger because you were afraid, versus leaving them because you valued your own life above theirs. Whichever way you sliced it, he'd left, and the fact that no one had died as a result was little more than a happy accident, one which he couldn't rely on happening again.

He'd been gifted this life, twice over; the least he could do was use it right.

'Thank you,' he said softly, not wanting to interrupt the companionable quiet. 'I want to be able to handle the heat. I just want to be useful.'

He wished he was braver, nobler; he wished he didn't just rely on the kindness, the sacrifice of others to see him through. He wished he was stronger, strong enough to keep not only himself afloat but carry those around him when they needed it.

Boarders always go to us first. And Morgan always let them.

But Suq hadn't. The lieutenant had squared off against the enemy with nothing more than a hyperspanner. He'd faced them alone and unarmed, and held them off long enough for security to arrive. He knew it didn't always work out like that, knew logically Suq was lucky to be alive, just as he knew that all too often sticking your neck out just ended up with it being cut, but heavens, if he hadn't been given this second chance to use it, then what was the point? He'd survived too long on the charity of others; he was little more than a cuckoo in a life not his own, a life gifted to him out of kindness and steel. He wondered what Nuran would say, if she could see him now.

'How do you do it?' he found himself asking Suq, looking down at the shorter man. 'Run towards danger, rather than away?'
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #15
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

The more he got to know Morgan, the more he started to feel like seduction wasn't necessary. If this is what parasites are like, vulnerable and hurting just as in need of companionship as anyone else, then there wouldn't be a schism in the first place. He couldn't be bugged--but Suq couldn't help but worry anyway.

Then Morgan asked him what he does to go towards danger, and he had to smile a little and laugh. He was fully aware just how poor he coped with stress and fear.
"To be honest, not well. I shut down, usually." He admitted, with amusement in his voice. "...I guess after a while, being on the Resolve, it just was an every-other-week sort of thing. And I was acting chief engineer too. If I left, well...that'd mess a lot of people up, I think..."

He paused, considering his time as a leader, wondering what advice he could give Morgan. It was hard being a goldie sometimes.
"...I guess in the end, I do it because I have to. People rely on me. We're a team, after all. And it'll take a lot more than Rom--I mean, boarders...it'll take more than boarders to break up my team." He returned his gaze finally, a more confident smile on his face. Already, he felt emboldened. Exhausted, but like he could do something again.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #16
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Suq's self-deprecating laugh, his honesty... it was endearing. It was nice, to be able to talk so openly about something so personal. Morgan felt like his feet had barely touched the ground in the time since he'd first boarded the Theurgy; there'd been no time for reflection, and he'd liked that. Keeping busy helped; idle hands, and all that. But perhaps a little reflection wasn't so bad.

And the lieutenant was a good man. What he said -- People rely on me... Responsibility, no matter how large or small, was part of Starfleet, part of Morgan's job ever since he first boarded his first spacecraft, wide-eyed and eager. Responsibility and trust were the currencies a ship operated on, Theurgy even more so than usual. It had been hard getting his head around that again, and moments like these proved he still had a long way to go. He'd gotten used to following his instincts, even when -- or, especially when they told him to go to ground.

But then, those instincts had served him well. And besides, it wasn't like he had run or cowered in a corner, useless to everyone. He'd continued his work, the work the crew was, yes, relying on him to do. He wasn't a fighter, he knew where he was most useful, he knew where he was needed. And if it had been a decision born out of logic, these justifications might have held true. But it hadn't been made through logic, it hadn't even been a decision at all. It had been that old instinct, and he couldn't let that bleed over. Other things might come too.

He was shaken from his thoughts once more as Suq brought up his old ship, his old team. He spoke about them with such determination and pride; it shouldn't have surprised Morgan as much as it did. Of course Suq felt that way. Probably most of the crew felt that way, for their own definition of 'team'. He'd almost forgotten what that was like.

He shrugged one shoulder. 'I guess I'm out of practice. I've only been out of cryo a few days, and even before that I wasn't on the Theurgy long. And with everything that's happened... There hasn't been much change for team-building.' He smiled, sheepish. 'Do you have your team from the Resolve?'
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #17
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

He was starting to feel more like he would be okay ralking to Morgan, but the paranoia just wouldn't stop. Twin spirits of doubt and trust wrestled inside him, and he worried it would be eternal, as matters of the spirit tend to be.

He started to feel as if the doubtful spirit was winning and it made him feel sick. He didn't want that one to win, but he did. But he didnt. but he did.

"My team..." He took a deep breath, changing gears to another topic. One that also made him sad, afraid, worried. "...Morgan, in my culture, we don't speak the names of the dead in case we summon their spirit to our side. It's better to let them rest. I will not summon them here today, with us...."

"For those of us still alive, I guess...I don't know. It's not safe to simply trust anyone. After all, what if....what if....I mean, how many people on Theurgy have parasites in them and we don't know yet? How many of my own will be bugged and I won't know it? What if...I just wake up and I'm bugged, and I hurt my team? We're....we're fractured. My team, my people,  thise that are alive, we're fractured and scattered around a big ship full of people who don't know us and who could just as easily try to kill us. Just like they did at the starbase."

He realized he just spilt out so much more than he meant to. Morgan only asked about how his team was. Not his emotional conflicts. He took a big breath, time to redirect.
"Don't worry about it. You just came out of stasis. You're allowed to be shaky on your legs. Speaking of..." He glanced down at himself  putting some of his weight on his leg now. He was walking better, much better, but he still leaned on Morgan. For comfort, rather than actually needing it.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #18
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Morgan didn't realise he'd walked into a sensitive subject until Suq stopped to take a breath, and he instantly regretted asking. He hadn't meant to pry, had only been interested. He should have seen this coming; those kinds of questions rarely went anywhere good. But Suq had spoken about his team in the present tense, and Morgan had wanted to believe it hadn't ended in tragedy. He'd only heard about the Battle of Starbase 84 in his whistle-stop debrief of the three months he'd been in stasis, and he knew even less about the trials the crew of the Resolve had been through before that. But it was probably a safe bet that there had been heavy casualties. Something that was fast becoming a theme on this voyage.

He was getting whiplash from having to constantly re-evaluate 'normal'. It had taken him a long, long time to deal with the fact that what had become normal for him was shocking to many people, to learn what he could and couldn't say in certain circles, learn what would kill a conversation, what observations were abnormal, what was accepted and expected. The one time he'd been home had been a disaster; it'd been too early in that process, and what had seemed a simple comment to him had reduced his sister to tears. Even when he returned to duty, he'd had to be careful, had found it was safer not to say anything than take that risk. He'd forgotten what was disturbing, had become so inured to the traumatic he didn't realise it was upsetting until it was too late.

And now it was all happening again, in the opposite direction. He couldn't keep up. All he could do was feel his way through this darkened room, not knowing there was anything there to break until it was shattered on the floor. He really, really didn't want to break anything. Not when Suq was still leaning on him, even though his gait had eased. Not when the man's words betrayed such pain and turmoil. Morgan wanted to hold him in gentle hands, not twist the knife.

'I'm sorry,' he said. For his loss, and for making him recall it. He would not have Suq disturb the spirits in his head on his account. He wanted to offer something of his own, but couldn't find the words to do it, couldn't risk blundering into something sharp and unhealed, like doing surgery blind and just hoping he didn't make it all worse.

So instead: 'It must be hard, not having anyone to trust. It sounds lonely.'

Perhaps he should've tried the surgery.
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #19
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Perhaps he shouldn't have dropped all that on Morgan. He just wasn't very good at being distrustful though. Despite his fears, Suq was a man set in his friendly, open ways. Suq rubbed Morgan's back, smiling and trying to give him comfort for the awkward he walked into.
"Morgan. Morgz." He leaned on him again, but out of affection rather than a need to walk.
"I hope you never have to get to this point. But there's this place where so much pain and loss has happened. But you probably will. And...I guess when that happens...You feel less lonely talking about it. And you just...learn to hold onto every moment you have with everyone. It's...hard not to trust." He admits, finally. "I'm scared that everyone I meet on this ship is bugged, but like...I can't not care about them. It could be the last time I talk to you for as long as either of us live." He finds himself speaking as the thoughts come to him, processing things as it happened.

"Like, I don't want to trust you. You could murder me and everyone I love. You could betray me. But also...Yeah, I am lonely. I'm really lonely. I lost my first family, the one I was born into, and now I keep losing what's left of my Resolve family, and it's going to hurt like hell if I ever lost someone here...But I can't not trust. I just can't."

He was walking on his own now, staring down at the ground.
"...I'm sorry Morgz. I think I need a therapist."

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #20
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Morgan could say with some confidence that he'd never been called 'Morgz' before, and it made him smile despite himself at the absurdity of it all. Here they were, hurtling through space, ping-ponging from the frying pan to the fire, and talking about pain and trust and loss and fear... and the lieutenant was rubbing his back and calling him Morgz. It was surreal. It was ridiculous. But it was also kind of nice.

Suq was right in what he said, though; Morgan hadn't reached that point. The things that pained him still hurt to think about, let alone give voice to. Many of them he'd never spoken aloud at all, he just swallowed them down to sit heavy in his stomach. Those he had talked about were confined to the four walls of his therapist's office, and those hellish afternoons where she'd reached into his gut and twisted it all up, where she'd had him pull out his own ribs. Looking back he understood that it'd helped, but that didn't mean it hadn't hurt, too.

He was glad talking could help Suq. And what he said, about trusting despite himself, about caring... Morgan understood that, understood the turmoil the other man was describing, was exhibiting, even as he pulled away to walk alone.

'There's space for both,' he offered. 'I... You can trust and still stay cautious. You're right, someone on this ship probably is bugged, that's just maths. But that's, what, maybe one or two out of hundreds? If 99% of the people you come across are safe, doesn't it make sense to trust first and evaluate later, rather than the other way around? You keep your eyes open, your ear to the ground, and in the meantime...' He shrugged. 'Assume people are trustworthy until they give you reason not to, I suppose.'

He found the probability comforting, if nothing else. Even untrustworthy people could be trusted to act a certain way, if you knew their motives. People were all just machines, creatures of habit acting on their programming. And he had to believe everyone had the potential in them to be good, they had the script even if they weren't running it. He had to.

'I think everyone on this ship probably needs a therapist,' he said lightly. 'The counsellors are going to have their hands full next time we're out of combat for more than five minutes.'
  • Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 07:00:29 PM by fiendfall
PO1 Morgan Song
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #21
[ Lt. JG Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

"Yeah." He sighed, guess there's room for both. They were not happy bedfellows, trust and doubt. Trust is what got people killed, but he knew now; he couldn't not trust. It was who he was. He had a feeling Morgan was the same too.

Therapy, he hadn't seriously considered it. Therapists weren't a thing on Efros, at least, not where he lived. Therapy was for other people. He joked about needing one, but his best friend was a therapist. He knew the types of questions they asked. He knew how hard their job was.

"The therapists need therapy. Shit, we just need a vacation. Six months, minimum. But...at least for now, until we get vacation... Let's lean on each other for a while?" He looked up at him through his eyelashes, watching his handsome face.
"Morgz, sounds like you've got some hurts to talk about too?"

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #22
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Morgan had no doubt Suq's assessment was correct; it had to be impossible to listen to every crewman's woes without taking some of them on your own shoulders. Heavens, time was he would have been buckling beneath the weight of hearing Suq's sorrows, let alone anyone else's on top of that. How the counsellors did it he would never know. Iron-clad compartmentalisation, he supposed. His was watertight, at least.

'It can be good, to have someone to put you under a microscope like that,' he said. 'It's tough, and it doesn't work for everyone, but... Maybe it's something to think about, next time there's a chance.'

Suq was leaning on him more heavily now, but it felt comforting rather than burdensome. The man's gait had eased considerably, and he'd already proved he was more than capable of walking by himself. Morgan was no longer so much a crutch as... well, a companion. For this short moment, there were in an oasis, the eye of the storm. The danger would return, and with it death and destruction, but for now there was calm.

'A holiday...' he said wistfully, thinking to the beaches of Xiamen he'd visited as a child; the soft white sand, the slow breathing of the waves, his cousins' laughter carried away on the breeze. 'Sounds nice. Once this is all over, we'll have plenty of time to rest. Somewhere warm.'

And in the meantime... Let's lean on each other for a while.

He twisted out a smile. 'Everyone on this ship has some hurts. I... I only hope to wear mine with grace.' He glanced down at Suq, saw the tiredness etched into his face, the wariness, but the concern, too.

He looked away. This was what he'd wanted, wasn't it? This was why he'd spoken to the lieutenant in the first place, why he hadn't simply passed him in the corridor, caught in his own head and oblivious to the other man's distress as he had been.

'I don't want to let anyone down,' he found himself admitting, and with the admission came something else, like a valve pried open. 'I'm not brave enough for... for all this. The last time my ship was boarded, I... I let them take me, and I let them kill my crewmates, and I'm only here now because I was too coward to make a stand, to... to do anything. And I did the same today, I let you face them alone, and I can't, I can't do that again, I can't let myself. The Theurgy, the crew, our mission... It's all too important.'

He couldn't let them down, not again. But he was so, so afraid his stupid, frozen fear wouldn't give him that choice.
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #23
[ Lt Jg Suq | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

For once, Suq felt like his age. Like he had some wisdom on him, instead of the boyish foolishness that he approached life with on a daily basis. It was great fun being foolish, but it was good being wise too. Balance in all things, he supposed. Morgan needed the wise Suq right now. Foolish Suq already had his moment, with the silly seduction plan.

He had his hand rubbing his lower back, a gentle smile on his face. Morgan was expressing fears that were so common. Suq had them in his own heart somewhere. That didn't make them any less paralyzing. Of course Morgan was scared; who wouldn't be.
"That's alright, you know? All of it. Being scared, being cowardly, making mistakes. Maybe you did run away, and you wanted to do something else instead. Personally I was probably fated to get shot regardless of whether or not you were there--but that doesn't matter much. You're doing your best, right?" He raised his eyes to meet his, looking for confirmation that this was indeed the case. Sure, he was tired, but he was smiling too.

"You're really passionate about the right thing. That's good. Have confidence that you're doing the right thing, okay? Even when you get stopped up. And if you can't muster up a way to feel confident in yourself, that's okay too. I'll have enough confidence in you to cover your share."
  • Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 04:26:21 PM by FollowTomorrow

Re: CH03: S [D06|0950] Happenstance
Reply #24
PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | USS Theurgy ]

Every moment since Morgan had woken from stasis had been filled with danger and fear and urgency; to have an oasis of calm and gentleness meant more than he could have realised. Suq was being so kind, so soft, speaking words of wisdom Morgan's own heart whispered to him, but to have them given voice by another lent them a power and strength he could never have given them alone.

And Suq's smile, the gentleness in his gaze -- the tiredness, the uncertainty, the worry too, yes, but all receding, fading to quiet -- the warmth of his body leaning on Morgan as they walked together in companionship... Morgan couldn't help smiling back, matching that softness.

I'll have enough confidence in you to cover your share.

Was this the same man who mere moments ago had been protesting that he couldn't trust anyone on this ship, who had looked at Morgan with such suspicion, who had admitted to fears of betrayal and murder lying round every corner? This man who was now speaking with such kindness radiating from every word. Morgan's chest felt warm.

When was the last time he had shared a moment like this with anyone aboard this ship? A moment of connection, of understanding. Time was stretched for him, but even so. He couldn't remember. It was nice. Just to talk.

'Thank you,' he said, earnest, quiet. 'That.. means a lot, actually.' A bubble caught in his throat; he wanted to say so much more, to express his wonder at how wise and kind Suq was being, but he didn't know how to find the words. He settled for determination, instead. 'I don't want to let anyone down. I won't let you down, next time.'

He wouldn't. He had always clung too tightly to the people around him, when he had them. He knew that. It was high time that meant something reciprocal, something he could act on, something he could act for. People were relying on him. He wouldn't let that trust --Suq's trust, his confidence -- he wouldn't let that be in vain.

He looked down at Suq, watching the shorter man as they walked. Marvelling at all the statistical improbabilities that had led them here. 'How are you feeling, now?'

ooc: with huge apologies for the delay, should be back to my regular schedule now!
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