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Topic: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion (Read 482 times) previous topic - next topic

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EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion

EPILOGUE: SUPPLEMENTAL [ DAY 06 | 1150 HRS. ] LOSS OF DEVOTION


[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Security Checkpoint | Battle Bridge | Dck 08 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
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Dealing with them was an exercise in futility. They simply would not listen.

"Are these the last of them?" said Ida, standing next to Adam Kingston in the corridor, about to head to the closest Security Checkpoint in order to coordinate the efforts of the department from there. She checked the list again, browsing it with her fingertip.

Petty Officer Dylan Cobb
Petty Officer Peter Hildebrandt
Crewman Cabrera
Crewman Luther Ford
Petty Officer McPherson
Crewman Rishan
Crewman Mirisha Bailey
Crewman Linda Smith
Crewman Pedro Sanchez
Crewman Michael Shive
Crewman Jason Fring
Crewman Hank Thomas


"Yes, Deputy, the rest of these... 'Devoted' died in action. The one at the top is their leader," said Kingston, and Ida thought it strange to see the man back on his feet - the memories of the man not fond ones because of the Niga Incident. Apparently, Kingston had been thawed on the Stallion, and to her surprise, it seemed his close brush with death had improved upon his conduct. The pinkskin added. "That is, of course, if you don't count Sarresh Morali himself."

"I don't. Reports says the officer from the USS Relativity wants nothing to do with his followers, and he even attempted to make them stand down at one point before the Savi found us," said Ida and handed the PADD over to Kingston. "Have you confirmed that they've all been confined to quarters again?"

"I checked myself, Deputy. They are all accounted for."

"Good, I will speak with Lieutenant Morali, even though I am not sure he cares. If I were him, I would at least try to take some responsibility for them, and actively try to deter their fanaticism. Dismissed, Kingstron, and I will be heading to the Security Centre soon. Good to see you back on your feet."

"Thank you, Deputy. Wish it had been under better circumstances," said the bitter-looking pinkskin. They both knew what they spoke about.

"Aye. Though if he is with his Prophets now, he will not see us loose pace." Ida was surprised how easy it was to speak of Wenn Cinn, having expected the loss more keenly felt. Was it because of how she'd managed to say what she felt in that message - unheard or not - or was it so simple that she'd already lost him once?

Kingston left her, and Ida turned to walk in the opposite direction. "Thea, please give me the location of Junior Lieutenant Morali."

Wherever the time-traveller was, she would make the man address them. Something far too overdue.


OOC: Hope this works, @Brutus ! Recommended that Morali asks Ida what happened to Sel, and we take it from there. End your post with Ida appearing through the door wherever he may be? :)
  • Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 04:00:40 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #1
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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"Come on, come on, you damned bucket of bolts," barked Sarresh Morali, as he raked his hair back, feeling the brittle fibers running through his fingertips. He stalked away from the one console, across the lab, and punched up a command on another screen, growling in frustration. The system crunched the numbers, ran the calculations, and still came up with nothing he could use.  "Blast you to the depths! What good are you if you cannot tell me what happened? Computer, Yet again - where is Ryuan Sel?" as easily as that he switched gears.

The Temporal Affairs Officer stood, in the confines of the lab he'd helped design, still wearing the Savi encounter garb that he'd been given on the Versant. He hadn't bothered to change. He didn't want to go to his quarters. He'd pushed off the assistance of the Savi robot that had beamed over, and once the disorientation of the flood of repressed memories from the engram encoding had worn off, Sarresh had immediately began querying the computer for the location of the one person he'd been unable to stop thinking about while he had been in captivity. The only person that, as far as he was aware, believed in him. Trusted him. Valued him.

Captain Ives clearly did not, in his blind hubris and strick addiction to rank. And Morali discounted the devoted as a reliable source of support.

But the computer continued to answer with the same, useless response. "Ens. Ryuan Sel cannot be located at this time." No location information. Sarresh growled in frustration. The computer's ability to track down someone without a combadge on - that had to be it, she had to have lost her badge - was disappointing. About as bad as the information his machines were telling him about the new fork in the time stream.

The funny thing about this particular fork was that it was the first major positive shift he'd seen. Compared to the trillions of deaths he'd felt when the Engram programing in his mind revealed the original course of history, the Borg Invasion of 2381, the resulting losses were undeniably the better trade off on a grossly divergent scale.

Provided, of course, that the parasite threat to the Federation, and frankly, all of life in the Universe, was dealt with.

This one time, the abberation in the flow of history had resulted more from the work of the Theurgy than the machinations of their unseen foe. He wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that. In theory, his mission from the Relativity was to counter parasitic alterations of the time stream and keep things as close as possible to how history was intended to unfold. This...was a major divergence. He was trying to map the consequences as best he could,.

And trying to find his missing paramour. "Sel, dammit. I know you missed me too...where are you?" The chronological mappings he had were quite detailed, but his efforts to refine the stream to the point that he could track the history - and future history - of a single individual were frustratingly limited by the technology he had available. As his most recent endeavour showed.

Just then, the doors to the lab slid open, which shocked Sarresh, because there was a two factor security lock out on this room. You had to have a certain level of access to open it on a regular basis, due to implications of the Temporal Prime Directive (that he supposed they'd just grossly violated) and Sarresh had specified an additional layer on top of that, not wanting to be disturbed.

"Who the fuck do you think you are, barging in like th--"He stopped, seeing Ida zh'Wann stride in as the doors shut behind her. He stood up a bit straighter, his hair askew, and a calculating look on his too human face. His eyes - fully human eyes - narrowed slightly. "Maybe you can prove more useful than this damned computer," he stated, speaking rapidly before Ida could inform him of why she entered this restricted lab. He didn't care about that any more.

"Where is Ryuan Sel?"
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #2
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
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Having overridden the access with her security clearance as Deupty, Ida had stepped inside and been verbally assaulted by the eccentric scientist. Only the fact that he'd straightened and clearly realised his mistake kept him from a response in kind, but Ida's antennae had lowered along with her browridge, staring at the man while she ambled through the lab.

Ida was no scientist, not by a wide margin, so whatever data was on display behind the former Ash'reem didn't make any sense to her. It might as well have been in a foreign language with the AU systems broken. She dismissed it all as she folded her arms underneath her chest, about to inform him about the fate of his followers. But instead, the man asked a question about one of her officers, and the delivery of the question suggested that the answer meant far more than whatever experiment he was working on. Ida saw that he hadn't even changed out of the Savi uniform, and she might as well confiscate it from him as well. One thing at the time, however.

"Today, I lost many officers, not even able to fight at their side until the very end, after we were beamed back aboard," she began to say, the dangerous frown she'd worn gradually lifting. "My Mistress-at-Arms was one of them. Ensign Sel was killed in action whilst defending this ship. Reports are still unclear, but her death has been confirmed."

The obvious question was, of course, why he'd asked her about Ensign Sel, but she did not pose it. Instead, she remained where she stood, feeling like the scientist's reaction and words would reveal that without any prompt from her.

Ida would need time to mourn all those she'd lost in her absence. Preforming her duties after loosing Wenn Cinn and all the others was like trudging water in an ice-hole, keeping yourself afloat. By Lor'Vela, it was difficult not to cast blame upon herself for not being there. "As far as I am aware, there has been no time set for a memorial service dedicated to the fallen."
  • Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 10:02:48 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #3
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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Belatedly, after he asked his question, he remembered fully where he had last seen Ida zh'Wann. On the Versant, having just stunned Hi'Jak, the Klingon hybrid scientist that had, alongside Sarresh, hacked the Savi ship' systems, and raided the chamber with the Omega Device that was used to shut down the apertures the Borg were going to use to invade the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Hi'Jak had been summarily shot on Ives ordres, which lead Sarresh to protest and further sully his relationship with the shape shifting captain. Effectively shut out from the being that should be holding him in the highest confidence, Sarresh had not really interacted with zh'Wann from that point on. Only the fact that the robot V-nine, had confirmed that Hi'Jak lived had removed the lingering suspicion that Ives had the scientist (spy?) executed.

For a moment, just a flicker in time, he wondered if Ives had sent zh'Wann to do his dirty work again. But no. Sarresh still served too great a purpose for him to be stunned in such a fashion. Might damage his already fragile mind, Sarresh knew. Can't mess with my engrams, can we Captain? You can hate me, but you won't kill me. Not after the hell you forced upon me to keep me alive when I wanted nothing more than to die.

Unkempt as he was, he still stood up straight, eyes boring into Ida, willing an answer. Maybe the Bajoran was on duty, guarding survivors from one of the other ships. Maybe she'd been injured but then...the computer would have known that, wouldn't it? Surely, Ida would tell -

She told him. And the world dropped out from under Sarresh.

"No," he protested softly. "No, you have to be mistaken...she...she can't be. Not again....not again" He staggered back, looking for a seat , finding a console again. His hand swept across it, and the displays behind him shifted in reply to the random mashing of buttons. His knees clacked together and then gave out entirely.

He was back in the pool of water, on Theta Endrani, swimming as the acid ate his eyes from the inside out, his body burning away as he tried to save Ami'kris. Except now it was the fiery Bajoran woman, melting away in the sea of acid. Looking up at him, her face asking why he had not been there? Calling his name. "Saresh. Please...." A word he'd heard from her lips before, a heated plea in a moment of lust, that he doubted any man had really heard from her. But now it was a pained one as she dissolved into gore before his eyes.

He didn't hear the words about a ceremony. She'd spoken them before he'd spoke, but those had not registered. He would not even know how to mourn her. What her way was.

Sarresh starred up from where he'd fallen to a heap on the floor, his face cast in light and shadow from the ever changing displays. Those too human eyes looked at Ida, but saw only empty space, a gaping maw of grief and loss, his only true companion in this forsaken century, opening once again to consume him.
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #4
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
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Belatedly, Ida realised that her words had caused the Temporal Affairs Officer some kind of shock. She had not understood how close the pinkskin had been with the Mistress-at-Arms. She tended to not involve herself with the off-duty affairs of her officers, giving them the respect of not ascribing qualities to them based on who they happened to see after their shifts ended. Sure, she'd known that after the Vasser mutiny, Sel and Morali had been seen together, but not much beyond that, and she certainly hadn't thought she'd cause Morali the kind of harm she had in telling him about her demise.

When he collapsed, Ida had quickly went to his side, eyes a bit widened as she checked to see if he'd hurt himself in his fall. He seemed to unhurt, at least physically, and while it may have been easier to call for Medical, she knew that there wasn't much they could do for him. Not beyond giving him a shot that calmed him down. No, she had caused this hurt without meaning to. She'd try to speak with the pinkskin first.

"Easy now... Breathe. I'm sorry," she said, knowing loss keenly herself after what Wenn Cinn had done. His death may have been of his own choosing, but both Cinn and Sel had died protecting the ship and the Federation. "I should not have told you so bluntly."

She crouched at his side, ignoring the displays that cast light over them both. She reached out and wrapped her hand around his shoulder where he laid, in a gesture of comfort, even though it was not her foremost skillset to provide such. "Ensign Sel was a fine officer, and she died in the line of duty. She fought to protect this ship, and while reports are still coming in, she thwarted the Borg with great success. She secured one of the transporter rooms, clearing it from drones, and thus enabled the crew to use the room in order to get abductees from the Versant back. I am sorry for your loss... Many of us share it."

She remained there at his side, her antennae drooping by weariness, feeling the depression of loosing Cinn when seeing Morali's reaction. While their relationship was entirely different from that of Morali's and Sel's, Ida had felt a strong bond to the lost Chief of Security. A bond now broken a second time. She clenched her jaw shut and frowned raising her free hand to rub her own eyes clear of their wet blur.
  • Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 11:21:20 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #5
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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At least at first, Sarresh didn't understand where he was any more, or who he was with. He heard Ida's words, of course. His ears functioned and his brain registered them in the abstract. The sorrow that was there, peeking through. His own sudden breakdown was cracking the woman's facade as she was forced to deal with feelings she did not want, reflecting in ways she did not, in company she probably did not desire.

But - at least at first - he wasn't cognizant of this fact. It didn't make it to the surface of his mind. For he was seeing someone else, something else. Somewhere else. A shower, two bodies holding each other, whispering things to each other that they would not say in public. The taste - spicy. The feeling. The emptiness when they parted.

The flicker of a flame. Red metal catching the light, along the curve of an ear. Dainty ridges, points of flesh reaching from the button nose to the brow. Long hair turning to bared scalp. Ryuan Sel. His lover. Such a hard woman who let him in anyway, despite the oddity of it. The 'mis-match' as a human colleague would have called it. He felt and saw her there, against him....

...and then she was gone, and he was back in this place.

Pressure on his shoulder caused him to look up. His cheeks were damp. He didn't remember crying. Or falling to the floor. Sarresh was aware now that Ida had sat by him, her words came to the forefront of his mind and he rapidly played catch up with the past few moments of his miserable existence.

"Why am I not surprised?" Sarresh spat out.  "She never had a lick of common sense. Always went where it was dangerous." She had cleared out the transporter rooms. She'd very liked played a hand in saving him, he realized. He hadn't been able to save Ami'kris. And now Sel had perished in the process of getting him to safety. Sarresh found that this hurt in an entirely different way, and he sniffled like a child, swallowing back a fresh round of tears.

Anger and grief warred across his features. Perhaps the largest sign of his dismay was that he had not shrugged off Ida's touch. The time traveler was never exactly the kind of man to welcome contact, avoiding it as deftly as most Vulcans. A tactile man, Sarresh was not. Yet he allowed this touch, and pretended that he didn't see the way that Ida's antenna drooped. He knew she wasn't mourning Sel. He assumed no one would mourn her like he did.

Tactile he was not, self absorbed, that was something he had become since returning to this cursed time. All it does is take, and take, and take.

Eventually, he managed a hoarse,  "I am so sick of grieving. Of having anything that matters constantly ripped away. Again, and again." His head thumped back against the console, and he swallowed.  "I know I should care that others have lost as much if not more...Its hard to see past my own grief." At this he looked to Ida, and his expression softened. The too human eyes glistened.  "What is it the Vulcan's are fond of saying? I Grieve with thee?"
  • Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 11:16:17 PM by Brutus
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #6
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
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The comment about a Vulcan saying made Ida want to scoff at their pretentions wording, having cleared her eyes with the back of her hand.

"While I don't share many Vulcan views, there is another saying that I have found myself thinking about during this voyage," she said, and rose to her feet. She reached down to clasp her hard fingers around Morali's forearm, to help him back on his feet. "They say 'In accepting the inevitable, one finds peace'."

The lights from the displays shifted over her uniform and his Savi infiltration suit, and as grim as the situation was, and how deeply the loss was felt. The pointy-eared had the right of it. "By Lor'Vela, it's not something I was raised to believe, warring against the odds being more true to how I commonly think. I would scorn the Vulcans when they seem to predict the outcome with their math. Their statistics. They would think themselves superior before a battle is even fought, arrogant until the last... when they find that the future is not set. Not even the past, as it would seem..."

She glanced towards the data behind Morali's back. No, still just gibberish. She shook her head at it, and looked back into the man's pinkskin eyes. She found herself wondering if he would keep them or not, because they were given to him by the Savi. She had yet to make her point, however.

"That being said, when you have lost, be it a battle or a loved one, there is naught to be done about it. What use is there to dwell on it more than you have to? I try, as best as I might, to put my errors and my losses behind me... for there are more battles to fight, and surrendering the will to continue the mission is equal to defeat." Her antennae angled forward a bit, in determination. "If I am defeated, I would fail my oath to this crew. Between those choices - potential victory and being a craven oathbreaker - my choice might be difficult, but nonetheless certain."

A bitter smile she gave the pinkskin. "I grieve with thee... but I will not surrender."

The unspoken question was, of course; Will you?

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #7
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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In accepting the inevitable, one finds peace. Sarresh turned the words over in his mind a few times. He concluded that it did seem to be the kind of thing one would expect from a Vulcan. It combined their harsh application of logic to their surprisingly spiritual nature about such things. A human saying about strength, serenity and wisdom nibbled at the back of his brain, but he couldn't put it together. Theirs was as slightly more poetic way of getting the same point across.

The problem, Sarresh concluded bitterly, is that my very presence gives lie to the inevitability of reality. After all, the time line has changed so much already. And I know it. All the dead of the Borg, what might have been - that is perhaps the only good change. And yet...it costs so much. TO be able to take one more step back, not terribly far.... It was a fruitless indulgence in a doomed 'What If' scenario. He couldn't do it.

Oh, he could cobble together the technology. Steal the Allegiant in a pinch and sling shot himself around the sun if it came to it. A temporal transporter would be better, of course. Similar in functionality to the kind used to transport between this universe and the mirror universe - or others if one had the proper frequency - it could instead transport - and recall - a temporal operative to the past. Or the future, theoretically, though the folks UpStream tended to be able to prevent incursions.

Usually.

It didn't matter. Unless it was vital to the greater mission he'd been sent on, Sarresh was fairly certain the damn encoding in his brain would not let him make such an attempt. As he listened to Ida wax on, he concluded that his happiness, and the life of Ryuan Sel, was not, in fact, vital to the mission. And that was the point of all this machinery around him, wasn't it? The thrice accursed mission.

He thumped his head back against the console. Would he surrender? If he were truthful, he just didn't know. Ida's words were stirring, and he was sure that, somewhere in whatever afterlife Sel might find herself in, she'd want for him something better than wallowing in self pity. But wallowing....spiraling. As yet another thing was taken away from him, by his own actions or the choices of others...it was an easy trap to fall into.  What was the point of 'saving the future' if his own was crushed utterly in the process?

What was the fool who volunteered thinking? If only I could see into that mind again, to understand...

Aloud, Sarresh said softly, "You do not strike me as the type to surrender at anything, Lieutenant." He was privately pleased to see that in his grief he could still string a whole sentence together, and even sound relatively composed. The gaping wound in his chest sapped much of his spite at the moment, leaving his voice even, if a bit passionless. The pain...oh it was going to gnaw away at him. He could feel it starting already. He wondered if now that he were fully human, alcohol would be the key to numbing the pain.

That's how they did it in all the history vids, wasn't it? Damage their liver to the point that they didn't care? But no. He was fairly certain the encoding would prevent even that level of self harm. And anything more drastic would be denied him as well, would it not? For a brief moment his hand trembled at the thought of swallowing a phaser blast, but then it seemed to lock in place, freeze, as if even that notion was enough to trigger some hind brain reaction, stitched into the depths of his repressed conscious.

"There's no easy way out of it. No surrender as you put it." he reluctantly concluded with a hollow smirk of his own. Just misery. He'd have to see just how much of that he could drown.
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #8
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
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Ida had held her hand down to Sarresh Morali so that she might help him back on his feet, the gesture in tandem with her words - meant to bolster the pinkskin's confidence.

Though just as her outstretched hand was ignored, so did he remain in despair over his loss. Ida knew she was no counselor, and she knew that wounds as deep as the time traveller's did - ironically - need time to heal. She dropped her hand, and looked away, listening to his laments, and almost regretted how her sympathy had made her feel the loss of Cinn as well. Look ahead, not backwards. There is naught to be found there but grief.

"No," she said soon after Morali had spoken. "No surrender. No retreat. But for that to work... there need to be hope." She looked back at the man that sat propped up against the wall in his lab, and her antennae angled towards him. She had something to say to him that she hoped he already knew. If not, he needed to hear it.

"That's why the Devoted praise you as a saviour. Not because you are some kind of deity. I think they know how absurd that would be. By Lor'Vela, it's just an easy way for us to dismiss them as lunatics, scorning them for seeing you as some kind of messiah of old Earth. The reason they praise you is not even because you served on the Relativity. Not directly, anyway. Not because of whatever skills or knowledge you possess, even if that is the real merit you actually hold. It's what you represent to them that make you hallow, just like the faiths of old inspired species to grow."

Slowly, Ida crouched down to his level, the light of the LCARS data streaming across her frame in the lab. She looked down towards her calloused hands, contemplative. "This crew is at the end of their wits, hounded and persecuted by their brothers and sisters in a fleet that has abandoned them, but you...  you represent hope to them. That's why the Devoted supplicate themselves to you and put you on a pedestal, because without you, they cannot believe that there is a future for them. Without you, there is no one at the end of this ordeal that travel back in time and pull them back on their feet. This is why they praise you instead of Wenn Cinn... who came back from the dead to actually save us - on this 'holy' mission by the Prophets. Surely they would praise him instead of you, all things considered?"

There was no spite in her tone, and when she looked up, she hoped he'd see how she did not hold it against him. "I think it's not just the Devoted who are relieved that you are - in fact - still here with us. You may not know it, but you are a testament to the fact that we aren't mad - that the Infested are real. I will die - again - protecting this crew, and this crew needs you, perhaps far more than you need them. I only ask that you do not surrender, because if you do... I think there are more than the Devoted that will loose the will to fight."

Ida gave the pinkskin a rare, grim smile, before she straightened back to her feet. "But not I... for I told you already. I will not surrender, even if you'd make my fight that much more bitter if you gave up."

She turned to leave, but stopped, since she had yet to tell him why she'd come. "The Devoted are confined to quarters once more. I suggest you speak to them, and take your responsibility. They are desperate for hope, and only you can make them rationalise their needs... and make them conform to protocol once more. How? I have no idea, but they are desperate for your word. Perhaps giving them what they want will make the difference?"

Oh, she knew Morali's loss would make any such endeavour chafe... but perhaps they could help him as well?

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #9
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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In something of a cosmic irony, for once Sarresh wasn't trying to be rude on purpose. She had held a hand out to him and he had not even seen it. The man couldn't blame anything other than his own self absorbed state, but there was no intentional slight on his part, this time. Simple grief, quite accurately blinding him to much around him. The consoles were all a blur to him in that moment - unshed tears would do that.

Still, he saw Ida step away and heard her talk. Watched her turn back around, with purely normal sight - no visually enhanced insight from artificial implants. Now he was let with 100% organic vision to take Ida's mood in. Which he found rather lacking in the moment, as he knew little about Andorian physiology and psychology, and wasn't great at reading their non verbal queues. Those old, borrowed eyes would have at least provided some scientific insight he might have been able to break down.

"Hope?" he asked in confusion, but to his credit (or his depression, perhaps) he did not sling some sarcastic comment out to follow the question. Instead, he listened, not his strongest suit, from where he sat, pulling one of his legs in against his chest and hugging it tightly with his right arm. The knee made a suitable resting place for his chin as he leaned forward to listen, curiosity mixing in with his loss now.

What he had not expected was for Ida to bring up those damned fool idiots that saw him as some kind of savior. True, she was saying they didn't really think him a god, but their actions made him think otherwise. This was why she was looking for me to begin with,wasn't it? Sarresh asked himself, the grief stricken look bleeding away to something a bit more neutral. She'd just bared a bit of her soul with him, and attempted to console him in his sorrow, so he was a tad more receptive than he might otherwise have been toward this conversation. It didn't make him any more likely to consider these Devoted as anything less than fools at best, but it purchased Ida his attention.

"I don't want to be a bloody symbol. A symbol is the last thing anyone should want, and especially me. The could damn well do better. Wenn Cinn, exactly as you say," Sarresh agreed as he met Ida's gaze, the two eye level now that she'd come down to him again, crouching. He didn't want to be the reason people found hope. She went on though, and he let her say her piece, less than a foot away. He could see it in her eyes - she no longer blamed him for all the havoc the Devoted caused. That was a surprise.

And again, he thought about, for just a moment, ending it all. Swallowing a phaser blast. But damn her, she'd thrown a gauntlet at his feet. "Fuck," he swore the human  oath in frustration and placed his hands on either side of himself, pushing up to his feet, one of his legs slightly numb from how he had come to sit on it. To Sarresh, it sounded like she was asking him to embrace these imbeciles. The same men and women he knew she had wanted to chuck out of an airlock.

"Do you really think they'll listen? I want nothing to do with the buffoons. They should all be locked up, they're as bad as terrorists. And I've tried to tell them to stop, instead of just ignoring them, and what did that get us? More mutiny. They didn't fucking believe me. Why will they now?"

She'd shaken him, with her kindness, and carefully pointed argument. Not the bluster he expected. Part of him hate her for it because she had dropped onto his shoulders responsibility for the damned moral of the whole fucking crew. Now he had that to deal with.

Except....he already had that to deal with, didn't he?

"Ah...hell," he said again. He needed a drink. A lot of them. He wouldn't forget Sel, he knew that. And he wouldn't drink himself to death. Nor would he try. But if he were going to do this..."They won't listen. You'll see. This will end about as bad as nearly everything else I try." A mirthless smile passed over his lips. "But it's not like I can fuck them up any more than they already are, right?" What the hell? he thought, shaking his head, and tugging his jacket down a bit straighter.
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #10
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
[Show/Hide]
Ida had turned to leave in the end, but it seemed Sarresh had been stirred by her words, and straightened his uniform. Perhaps to look representable? Ida interpreted it like he had heeded her words, and was ready to confront his followers again. This time, perhaps with the right kind of attitude to disarm them, and to find their rationale in his words.

"Good man," she said, looking at him over her shoulder, and then turned around to face him again. "Before I take you to them, there is something else."

Her blue eyes lowered to the Savi infiltration suit. "Take it off," she said, the order not unkind but opening up for no debate. "All those suits are being confiscated for scientific study and reverse-engineering. Whatever Savi technology there is to be derived from their low-profile systems, we will try to make sense of it. You can give it to me, and you can replicate a new uniform. I'll wait while you change."

So she stood there, cocking a hip while she waited, and folded her arms underneath her chest. Her antennae and eyes followed his movements now and again, but primarily, her thoughts were of the Versant, Wenn Cinn, and what might lay ahead during the Theurgy's voyage. She also thought of the Devoted, and hoped that Morali could talk them back to their senses. Perhaps it would help to just tell them the truth as he knew it? They were desperate, but they acted out of fear, so perhaps some reassurance would be enough, as long as it came from their 'saviour'.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #11
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
[Show/Hide]

Sarresh wasn't exactly used to praise from someone that wasn't a brain addled worshiper of every step he took, so when Ida called him a 'Good Man' it took him a moment to process. He actually stood up a little straighter. Funny, how the praise had the effect of pushing away the sense of loss (albeit momentarily - this was not the kind of thing he'd get over swiftly). Of course, then she had another request, which caused Sarresh to tilt his head to one side, like a curious bird.

"Oh? What might that be?" he found himself asking, sounding a bit nonplussed. His eyebrows shot up high on his forehead when he got the answer. She wants me to what??? Ohhhhh.

He looked down at himself, at the attire he was wearing. It certainly was not a Starfleet uniform. That was fair. He'd not bothered to change after he'd beamed aboard. There had been too much to sort out, Sel to find, and memories of the deaths of billions to assimilate into his mind, as well as scans to be run for additional time aberrations in the local vicinity. 

So being asked to strip out of the Savi provided garment and hand it over for confiscation and cataloging for later research came as something of a surprise, even if the reasoning was quite sound. There was also the small problem that Sarresh immediately pegged onto.

The Savi ally had provided the captives with a protective jumpsuit. They had not provided underclothes. He was as naked as the day he was born. Or reborn, in his case, as he'd not been born a human.

Sarresh let his head resume its normal tilt, and he eyed Ida for a moment, only one eyebrow raised this time. It was clear that the Deputy Chief of Security was not about to let Sarresh go to his quarters to change. He was not leaving this room in this attire. And then he gave a shrug of acceptance. "Well, alright then. That makes some sense," he agreed. This won't be awkward, nope, not at all.

He reached up and undid the zipper-analog for the suit, pulling it down swiftly. This wasn't some kind of strip tease, he told himself. Get it done, and get some new clothes. Simple as that. He stepped out of the suit, one piece at a time and did a quick and professional job of folding it. He was a scientist after all, no point in being messy, and never mind the mess he'd make of his quarters later when the grief was sure to return.

"Here," he said, handing the pile of collected Savi garment over to Ida with a ghost of a smile fluttering across his face. "They're all yours." Divesting himself of the attire, he then padded across the floor, feeling the carpet under his feet (the experiments in this lab didn't call for an easily washable grated floor) as he moved to punch up a new uniform in the labs replicator. He had to type in an override to generate the clothing he needed.

"Computer. Access physical profile of Lt. jg Moralli, Sarresh. Replicate one full uniform to specifications, including footwear, undergarments, appropriate rank insignia and functional communicator." This last part of the request would take a moment, as the overrides put in place called up files that would not normally be on hand. The former Ash'rem rested his hand on his hip and tapped his bare foot on the floor with some impatience,

Soon enough though, Sarresh had his new clothes, as they materialized in a swirl of light. Thankfully the undergarments were on top, and the insignia and communicator were off to one side. Wasting no time at all, Sarresh started to dress, bending down and beginning with the socks, moving his way through the rest of his clothing swiftly. If he was self conscious about being naked in front of a colleague he didn't show it. In truth, he was bemused by all this, but far more concerned with sorting out just what the fuck he was going to tell his personal cult of crazies.
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #12
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
[Show/Hide]
While she might have been thinking about the greater ramifications of the development to begin with when the Junior Lieutenant began to remove his Savi infiltration suit... Ida soon realised that she'd forgotten that they had all been bare by the time the Antecedent named Ectand had given them the suits.

Of course, she was Andorian, and up until she went into exile and left the Andorian Guard, she had been living as according to customs of her people, where bare skin was not stigmatised in any way. Yet since then, she had spent time as a freelance artist and bouncer - before she joined Starfleet - and her appreciation for beauty in her artwork was in stark contrast to her stoic seriousness about her duties. Her appreciation for anatomical studies aside, there was was also the way in which Human males... flaunted their genitalia outside their bodies that sent very strange signals to her - just like it likely did to all Andorians. The unsheathed phallus - no matter arousal - made Ida clear her throat and avert her eyes from it when she accepted the bundle from the time traveller.

The reason she wasn't amused... was because the events during the Theurgy's journey. Too often, she'd been taken advantage of, the most recent time being on the Versant, where she'd been manipulated to breed with other Andorians, just because the Savi wished to catalogue their mating habits. She blinked, and the image of IrnaShall ch'Xinya in the darkness behind her flashed before her - remembering his hands on her hips and his vigorous thrusting. She remembered how the chemicals in her bloodstream had made her moan and arch her back - the aphrodisiacs undermining her resistance.

She knew she needed counseling. She had known it since memories from Niga had begun to resurface at any time she engaged in intimacy with someone else. The latest time it happened she'd panicked and left, which was before the battle at Starbase 84. Since then, it had been the Savi that had forced her into coitus once more, and as she watched the human getting dressed... she wasn't sure she'd ever let a male or a female close to her again. She appreciated the sight from an artistic point of view... but there was no desire. Only aversion, all lust undermined by trepidation.

When he was finished, she said nothing, and led the way out of the lab and towards the section of junior quarters that housed the Devoted. When she'd collected herself, she pulled up a small PADD from her pocket and handed it over to Morali.

"Here are the ones remaining that we know of. Do you wish to speak with them all at once, or infividually? If you'd address them as a group, I recommend a cargo bay, and Thea can help with site-to-site transportation."


OOC: The list is at the top! :)

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #13
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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She was coldly professional throughout the whole procedure, such as it was. Or so Sarresh decided. Not being well versed in reading Andorian Physiology, he was once again at a loss to decipher the silent signals of unease and distance that Ida had thrown up while secretly observing - or willfully unobserving - the former Ash'rem's nudity.

It certainly didn't help that Sarresh barely understood human non verbal queues, and that his body often gave the kind of queue that would have made more sense in one of the awkwardly shuffling Ash'reem.

All the same, the moment passed, and the Andorian Security chief strode out of the lab, with every expectation that Sarresh would follow suite. And thus he did, falling in step as expected. The doors wooshed shut behind him, and sealed themselves with a small, magnetic hum that the now human ears could just barely pick up, compared to his previous set. They walked down the hall in shared silence, until the finally addressed him, passing over a small PADD from her pocket.

As she spoke, his eyes - all organic and lacking enhancements he found himself missing, to his ire - flicked across the list, searching for names he remembered.

Quote
Petty Officer Dylan Cobb
Petty Officer Peter Hildebrandt
Crewman Cabrera
Crewman Luther Ford
Petty Officer McPherson
Crewman Rishan
Crewman Mirisha Bailey
Crewman Linda Smith
Crewman Pedro Sanchez
Crewman Michael Shive
Crewman Jason Fring
Crewman Hank Thomas

"Bugger," he muttered the word, another human term he'd picked up at some point in his unremembered past. He stared at the list, his gait matching Ida's, and looking far more human than his initial attempts at walking post surgery had been. He'd finally started to form the proper muscle memory for the simple act. "I'm not sure that I can recall ever meeting any of these people in person. One or two names sound familiar, but that doesn't exactly count for much.

"And I don't rightly think jabbering at them all at once will do much good,"
he said with a small sigh, looking back up at Ida as they walked, taking in the tilt of her antenna and the straightening of her back, controlling her posture and unconsciously mimicking it himself.

"As I recall it didn't go to well the last time I tried to talk to a large group at once. Their perceived proximity to each other fed their psychosis, or so it seemed to me. As much as I do not look forward to the next few hours, I think this may be better dealt with one on one."
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #14
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Brutus 
[Show/Hide]
Ida nodded after Morali had made his choice. It sounded like a good plan. So, she held out her hand to retrieve the PADD, and opened  the security clearance subroutines from the handheld device, flicking though the features while they walked the corridor.

"Very well, I will give you clearance to enter their quarters individually, and the posted security guard in their corridor will be waiting outside at any time you are visiting them. If you prefer, the guard can come inside with you, if that feels safer, but if you need him, you need just call for aid or hold your fingers against your combadge for three seconds. I don't believe they are a threat to you, of all people, but I would not be doing my job very well if I let you see them unaided. The one at the top of the list is the last remaining 'leader', if you will. Apparently, it's the same person that accidentally shot the Chief Medical Officer, and revealed how he was one of the Infested."

Strange to have learned that, Ida thought, knowing Doctor Nicander had been aboard the ship since it was commissioned.

"Perhaps you should save him for last, after having seen what kind of resolution you can give the others?" she suggested, thinking that the other cultist might be less set in their beliefs. Soon enough, they reached the corridor where the Devoted were housed, and she turned to the guard standing there. "Lieutenant zh'Ptrell, Sarresh Morali here will be speaking with the Devoted. Make sure you stand ready if needed."

"Aye, Chief," said the other Andorian, a bit younger than her and definitely more bubbly and smiling. Ida could hardly stand her, even if she was a zhen like herself.

"I will leave you to it," said Ida and turned back to Morali, giving him grim smile, inclining her head. "The closest one behind that door is Crewman Mirisha Bailey. Good luck, time-traveller."

Ida walked away then, hoping that she had come to deal with the Devoted once and for all, but she wouldn't assume anything until Morali notified her about the progress made. In fact, Ida did believe it might do the pinkskin some good too. She could but hope he'd be convincing enough. She had opted against offering her condolences again, but since Ryuan Sel had been on the Theurgy for as long as Ida had, she also felt the loss. As far as ridge-noses went, having lost both Wenn Cinn and her, at least Varder Ridun had survived aboard the Allegiant...

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #15
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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Analytical eyes glanced down at the outstretched hand, and it took a second for Sarresh to discern what Ida was after. A human might have appeared embarrassed at the gaf, but Sarresh displayed no such typical expression, though his eyes blinked in an almost frog like fashion as he handed the device over. The warm colored orbs darted about, as he continued to follow in the security chief's wake, silent for the moment as listening better fit his mood than talking himself.

Knowing that this would only delay his grief, that it would be sure to return full scale in some short order did not detract from Sarresh's determination to - for the moment at least - apply himself fully to the task of dealing with the blithering souls that seemed to have pledged themselves to his cause. The definition of insanity, he recalled, is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. He had been surprised to learn that most species had some flavor of the saying in their colletie colloquialisms, and that the human one translated almost word for word to the Ash'reem verse, though Federation Standard lacked the musical lit of the whistles and clicks of his native tongue.

Formerly Native tongue, he corrected, his face falling slightly. He forced it back into compliance, lest the Andorian think something she had said had caused distress or offense. She had done enough of that already, and it was a curious affection that Sarresh did not wish her to perceive herself responsible for some other grief as well.

At this rate i'll be a blithering fool myself, wrapped up in giving a damn about others, he chided himself, half heartedly.  Catching her words however, the now human man felt his eyebrows arching up high on his forehead. "I can't believe the daft man actually did some good. I'd make a crack about miracles but that might seem a tad self serving," it was a weak attempt at humor, and he knew it. Sel would have scoffed at his efforts, and that errant thought struck a blow that he had to work to shove away. "I'll defer to your judgement on that matter. I have little experience when it comes to dealing with cults. Despite being the focus of one."

Thus established, he tucked his hands behind his back, working over the names in his head and trying to put faces with names. Having failed to do so, he scowled, until an expression of surprise passed over his face. Lt. zh'Wann was talking to another Andorian of similar rank, apparently Lieutenant zh'Ptrell. The later, while bearing superficial resemblance to the former, was a completely different sort of Andorian. She smiled at Sarresh, which might make her the first person to do so upon seeing him in their presence. His own prickly nature was not unknown among the crew of the Theurgy by this point. Most greeted him with a nod at best, or outright stares at worse.

Managing a nod and half a smile that he didn't really feel, he listened to Ida and the other Andorian, then turned to zh'Wann as she departed. "Thanks, Deputy. I've a feeling I'll need it," he mused, tilting his head to the side slightly and giving a shrug of his shoulders. "What do you think my odds are, Lt. zh'Ptrell?" he asked the other woman, who stood now by his side  as he walked toward the first door. Mirisha Bailey, he thought to himself, wondering who this person was and why they'd fallen into his thrall.

"Better than mine, Mr. Morali. Not like that says much of course. Half of these folk are nutters." she replied cheerfully.

"Oh, joy."
  • Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 08:32:02 AM by Auctor Lucan
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

  • Zodiac
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #16
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy Attn: @Brutus
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"Don't worry sir, they might be nutters but some still worship you, if they haven't "Lost the faith" so to speak." Zark said with a grin. "Might score you some points, assuming you're okay playing the role that is." Although the security officer was only partially joking, it could very well be a sound tactic depending on just how devout some of them still were to the man.


Looking at Sarresh, Zark shrugged. "Although if I'm being honest sir, it wouldn't be a good idea to go in with just that angle to work with, might be better to just go in assuming you have no sway over them whatsoever and rely on good old fashioned interrogation techniques." She said as her antennae twitched slightly before continuing. "Now forgive me for being forthcoming here sir but I'm going to assume you don't know much about interrogation so allow me to give you a few pointers. There isn't a step by step guide to questioning someone and getting the information you want unfortunately, although things would be so much easier if there was." she sighed before shaking her head.


"The key to interrogation is being able to spot a truth from a lie and getting the person you're questioning to tell you what you want to know, be it by getting them on your side so that want to tell you or by tricking them into slipping up and revealing something they didn't want too. Luckily there are things to help with that.


First: Generally speaking, people are idiots and be it fear, ego, trust or mistrust they can all be used to break somebody and get them to slip up. If one of these screwballs for example are afraid of being hurt, tell them that your scary Andorian friend here will break their face if they don't tell you what you want to know. I won't do that obviously but they won't know that."
She said with a grin.

"Second: Play to their ego if they're on the arrogant side of life. Praise them for what they did, if they think they've outsmarted you, let them believe they have, congratulate them on the fact they got one over on you and that you're impressed since it's rare that somebody does, things of that nature, kiss their ass basically" She added as she went through her mental list of advice.

"If some of these people do still believe in you then simply asking them to tell you what you want to know might work, and if they don't worship you that doesn't necessarily mean they trust the others, so play the old "I already know because one of the others already told me." card and tell them that if they confirm it that it will help their case over the others who are remaining quiet, you'd be surprised how often that actually works." 

The Andorian paused and shrugged "Then of course there's the old silent treatment trick, just go in there, silently sit down opposite them and stare them in the eye without saying anything, even if they ask you a question. Some people just hate the silence and will start getting nervous and start talking just to break that silence and the tension that comes with it. It really all depends on the person you're dealing with. Now I know plenty of others but I doubt we'll need to go into any of them and if we do then we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Zark finished with a shrug, giving him some time to think on what she had said so far and ask any questions he might have, better to get those things done out here before going in to question their prisoner after all.

"Finally let me give you some pointers on how to tell if somebody is lying, that's the key. First of all the whole looking to the right if someone is lying and left if they're telling the truth isn't always 100% accurate, so while it's a good thing to note it's not the only thing you want to go on. Instead focus on things like how long it takes them to answer a question, if for example I was ask you what you did yesterday you should be able to remember that with little hesitation beyond a few moments, if it takes a longer time than necessary to come up with something that could well be because they're thinking up a lie to tell you they were saying. However if I were to say something like did you rob the Grand Latinum Exchange on Ferenginar yesterday that should be an immediate "No of course not" answer....at least I hope it would be." She chuckled.

"Other things to take note of: Body language and posture, are they twitchy and nervous when they talk or calm and collected? There are also subconscious things like avoiding eye contact or covering their mouth when they answer a question. Psychologically speaking there's a natural tendency to want to cover up a lie so if someone covers their mouth when they answer that's a pretty good sign, same with eye contact, especially in this unique case. If they worship you but don't want to tell you the truth, they might not want to see your reaction to the lie they just told you and will look away so watch out for that.

Zark took another moment to pause so that Morali could absorb what she had told him before continuing. "Another thing to keep an eye on are their hands and face, are they fiddling with anything, be it an object, a thread on their uniform or biting  or licking their lip? This is simple science, you ask them a question that causes a spike in anxiety due to the fact their answer would incriminate them, that in turn triggers the autonomic nervous system to react and try to get rid of that anxiety. Sensitive areas like the ears and other surfaces of the face can have the heat drained from them subconsciously making them feel cold or itchy, same with the wringing of the hands, all good indicators that you're on the right track. She finished, taking a moment to glance down at the rifle in her hands, just to make sure it was ready if needed before looking up at the "cult leader" and smiling softly.

"Sorry for the exposition sir, but that really is the basics that you need, don't worry about the rest, I'll keep an eye on those and we can always step outside to discuss things we spot, might actually help relax our suspects or make them more nervous, either way it plays into our hands. She said before grinning an even bigger smile "So feeling confident? You look confident, I'm sure you'll be fine." she said, still smiling as she started keying in the door code.   

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #17
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Zodiac 
[Show/Hide]

What followed surprised the weary time traveler. He had expected to turn, and walk through the door to deal with this Crewmen Bailey, and whatever particular delusions she had in an effort to get her to agree to be a reasonable Starfleet officer. All he really wanted was for her to do the little things: follow the rules, stop trying to murder people, and be a productive member of society. Instead, the Andorian decided that he needed advice on what was to come.

She was, of course right.

Sarresh was throwing all his focus onto this, in an effort to ignore - or delay - the grief that would wash back over him if given a chance. Losing Ryuan Sel was going to tear him apart over and over, and whatever he could do to pretend to be a functional adult would be far more welcome in the short term than the gut wrenching pain that was festering. The problem there was that, despite having agreed to talk to these people, he really didn't know what, exactly, he was doing.  He saw Zark's face contort into a look of deep thought and concern as she gathered herself and made her short case.

"No, by all means," he said without an ounce of his usual sarcasm. "Please, elaborate." He crossed his arms tight over his chest,  and stood up straight, too human eyes focusing on the blue skinned lieutenant. His knowledge of security protocols was woefully inadequate, which had been something of an amusement for Sel. He also knew very little about her department, beyond that she held the position of Mistress-at-Arms, and got to deal with all of the weapons. That genuinely delighted her.

Who she worked with however, was utterly unknown to him. There was the Bajoran....the other Bajoran. He was dead too though. Wenn Cinn. He'd sacraficed himself. There was Ida zh'Wann. He'd dealt with her before. And there had been Sel. That was the extent of his knowledge for the department. He shook his head and refocused, realizing that as he'd watched the security lieutenant speak at him, his mind had drifted and wandered down a meandering trail that had very little do with the matter at hand, and everything to do with grief.

Damn

Frowning now, he nodded and stopped his musing. The more that Zark talked, the more he wished he had a PADD to take notes on. But Ida had been the one with the PADD and she'd taken it back, because it contained all those subroutines that someone like him probably should not have access to. Failing that, he'd have to rely on his memory. Repressing a grimace, he started ticking things off on his fingers as she spoke. A wry grin passed over his face when she told him that he needed to remember that people were idiots.

At last, someone with a proper world view, he thought to himself as he reached up to rub his chin. There was stubble there, thicker than he'd expected.

"I doubt any of them will be any more or less afraid of you than me, if they really are dumb enough to consider me deification," he noted. "And unfortunately not talking to them has done me no good at all. They just go off and be crazy when I'm not telling them to do something. The problem, Lieutenant, is convincing them that I'm acting on my own volition, and not under duress. To date, the only occasion I've ever actually tried to talk sense into these idiots, they didn't listen and tried to destroy the entire ship by threatening to detonate the pockets of gas surrounding the vessel in that accursed nebula. MY track record isn't exactly great."

That was something of an understatement. Still she seemed to have faith in him, so forced himself to try and be personable (something Sel never gave him grief for failing to do). He gave her a small, tight smile. "About the only thing that I am currently confident about, Lt. zh'Ptrell is that this isn't going to be all that informative. If we can manage to get at least one of them to promise not to kill anyone and behave, I suppose that will count as a win." Her pep talk notwithstanding, Sarresh had very little faith in what they would accomplish.

Still, Sel would want me to try, he thought, deciding she wouldn't want him to take out his grief on the bubbly Andorian. He watched as she punched in the access code, and waited for the two tone electronic confirmation that the doors were no longer sealed. Tugging his jacket down into place, the dark haired man squared his shoulders and tried to project the air of confidence that Zark seemed to believe he had.

When the doors slid open, the room was mostly dark. There was a faint light coming from further in, flickering back and forth on top of a coffee table across the room. Normally these quarters would be shared by two crewmen, but from what Sarresh could tell, only one bunk was currently in use, with the standard blue blanket hanging half off of the top bed. The crewmen - woman - wasn't in the bunk, but sat curled up, with her knees tucked up under her chin on the other side of the table, the candle there casting shadows across her features.

Sarresh thought she might have been a blonde, but it was hard to tell. Her hair was dirty and unkempt, loosely falling about her face. Her eyes reflected the light from the table candle, two bright points in a pool of shadow. All in all it reminded Sarresh nothing so much as an overly emotional teenager, one of the constants of the universe that stretched across most sentient species. He half expected her to tell them to leave, or shout that 'they just didn't understand.'

Which was ironic, since Sarresh couldn't actually remember his own childhood, or any specific Ash'rem teenagers that he'd surely had to have known during his adult years before his tenure on the Relativity.

Shoving that aside, he stepped into the room without being bidden, trusting that the Andorian would follow after him. Marshling himself, he took a breath and asked. "Crewman Bailey. Do you know who I am?"
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

  • Zodiac
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #18
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy Attn: @Brutus
[Show/Hide]

Judging by the expression on Morali's face, the massive information dump had been a little overwhelming but to his credit he handled it well, at least that was the impression he gave anyway, and in this situation that skill could come in handy, just because you might not believe something doesn't necessarily matter as long as whoever you're trying to convince does, whether Morali would be able to pull it off or not...well they wouldn't have long to find that out.

The Andorian kept her gaze on the Lieutenant as he spoke to her, listening intently to him as he told her that not talking to did no good since they went off all crazy like if he wasn't telling them to do something and even then it would seem they didn't believe he was actually acting on his own. Zark had to admit, she didn't envy the man. Evidently being a cult leader isn't as easy as you'd think, who knew? Zark thought to herself with a mental chuckle.

"I admit...that first attempt resulting in the whole trying to destroy the ship by blowing up gas clouds around a ship isn't exactly a good start." Zark began "But that only makes you 0-1, that doesn't mean this time will go badly. For one thing now you're just dealing with one person and not a group, in a contained space and if you pull it off then you tie the game 1-1, think about it." she smiled before listening as he continued speaking.

When he was done she shrugged, although her positive smile was still spread across her face "Maybe you're right. Maybe we won't get any new information, but you never know, maybe they'll surprise you. What I do know is that as long as we try there's a chance but if we don't try at all then there's no chance whatsoever and I don't know about you Lieutenant but I would rather take a chance with even the smallest odds of success than not take the chance at all with a guaranteed failure. Besides like you said if at the very least we can get at least not to kill anyone and behave then that is most definitely a win. Granted it might not be the biggest win the galaxy has ever seen, but take a look around you at the situation we find ourselves in, any win is a good win right now." She said and smiled with a wistful sigh "Now if only I could bottle all this optimism and sell it huh, I'd be swimming in Latinum for the rest of my life!" She grinned at him before hitting the final number on the code, hearing the panel give it's two tone confirmation that the door was no longer sealed. "Good Luck Sarresh." She said as she glanced over at him, watching how he tugged his jacket into place and squared his shoulders, if he didn't feel confidant in himself he at least looked as though he did and that was a good start.

When the doors hissed opened Zark watched the Lieutenant step through into the room and followed a few paces behind him, her hands gripping her rifle firm but loose, in a lowered, not threatening stance, her finger laying lightly to the side of the trigger, ready to use it if necessary.

The room was mostly dark, albeit with a faint light coming from deeper in the room. If what Morali had said was true and the cultists thought the he was a puppet being manipulated into doing the other's bidding then an armed security officer with him wouldn't exactly help change their mind on that. With two slow strides, Zark slipped into a darkened corner of the room, her antennae perking up slightly. She wasn't entirely sure how concealed she was in the darkness but she at least could see Crewman Bailey from this position and was within arms reach of Sarresh if she needed to grab him and pull him out of the way if necessary.

The former standing a few paces into the room while the Crewman was sat very much like an upset teenager and she couldn't but wonder if she was sad, upset or fuming angry, since all three of those emotions could be applied to that position and that unknown could be a potential threat, earning Bailey Zark's full attention as she observed the woman like a hawk.

When Sarresh asked Bailey if she knew who he was, Zark's eyes narrowed slightly on the woman, watching for any movement of sign of recollection, even in the darkened room. To Sarresh's credit it was a good opening question, basic but good. Zark had to admit to herself she was more than a little curious to see how this would play out.
  • Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 05:57:38 PM by Zodiac

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #19
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Zodiac 
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She knew who he was. It was impossible not to. The man out of time. The one that had come back. The one who would save them all. He was the reason that she, and others, had earned the name 'The Devoted.' He was Morali. Aloof, cold, stolen away by the Savi. Back. Returned to them. Another sign that if anyone would see them through this wretchedness, it was he.  Not alone - clear enough by the blue skinned guard behind him, the one that had lingered at the start of the corridor in the row of quarters they'd been dumped into, their personal effects transferred. The brig, without being the brig. But it was him none the less...

But why is he here? Mirisha thought, the expression on her face one of shock and confusion. He never bothers with us. Never. He stays apart. Leaves us to carry out his will...but....

"Why?" she asked a question of her own instead of answering out right, but Sarresh thought that was, in itself an answer. She knew who he was. The awe in her voice was unmistakable, just as the confusion was writ large. Her hands had something in them, he finally saw. A hat of some form. The blond was holding onto it like it was some sort of security blanket, a talisman to ward off that which sought to harm her. Or so Sarresh thought as he looked at the girl in the chilled room.

Resisting the urge to rub his arms for warmth - for she had the room set quite cold - Sarresh took a step closer, and the light from her window cut across his uniform. Though his head was still cloaked in darkness his chest and torso were lit, the light catching on his combadge. Casually, he slid his hands into his pockets and took a relaxed stance, one foot cocked up with the heel resting against the other foot. He looked around for a moment, then, thinking about what Zark had suggested before, he shrugged his shoulders a bit.

"Why do you think I'm here?" he asked instead, turning it back again on CW Bailey. "You do know who I am. And I know what I represent to you. So, give it a bit of thought, and you tell me. Why do you think I am here, in this room, with you. Now?" Sarresh laid the question in front of the girl - for in the dark light, curled up as she was and clinging to some cap in her hands, she looked childish, not like a Starfleet officer - and waited to see what she would come up with.
  • Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 01:09:54 AM by Brutus
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #20
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy Attn: @Brutus
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From her position Zark remained still, observing everything like a hawk, her eyes focussed solely on CW Bailey. They had already taken away most of the prisoners possessions away from them and had stripped all the rooms bare of anything that could be used as a weapon to harm any member of the crew or themselves while in captivity, therefore she had nothing to worry about in terms the woman rushing to grab a weapon to harm Sarresh, nor did she have to keep an eye on the man himself, only the blonde haired female sat across the room.

Even in the reduced light, she could see the woman watching the man, a look of combined shock and confusion on her face. Given The Devoted's belief in the time travelling man, the Andorian understood the look. She imagined if she had ever come face to face with a God...or at least someone who she believed to be one...her saviour, she too might well have a similar expression on her face. The shock at having your God standing before you, addressing you personally and confusion at why such a being would be talking to you of all people. Especially considering from what Zark knew, The Devoted believed that Morali kept his distance from them and left the cult to carry out his will by themselves....like most other religions believed their God's did.

At her worded question, Zark felt her antennae twitch in the Andorian equivalent of a human eyebrow raise. What an odd question to ask? Surely the woman knew who he was? Hell based on the expression on her face it was clear that she knew who he was, most of The Devoted knew of the man...or perhaps her question was in response to whatever she was thinking inside her head? While she pondered the meaning of the question, Zark noticed the woman had something in her hands and cursed herself for not spotting it sooner, feeling herself straighten up slightly before realising that it was only a hat and felt herself settling back into a more relaxed stance.

As an Andorian, especially one who had grown up in one of the more colder parts of Andoria, which was saying something Zark hadn't really noticed the temperature of the room, it certainly wasn't cold by her definition but she could see how it might be considered a bit...chilly by Human standards, not that CW Bailey or Sarresh showed any signs of feeling it, at least not physically from what she could see.

Her eyes briefly shifted over to the Lieutenant when he took a few steps towards her and started speaking, asking her why she thought he was here and nodded slightly to herself, he had been listening after all and that was a good start, answer a question with a question, see if he could get an answer, establish a dialogue. Which he followed up by stating that the woman clearly knew who he was and acknowledging his own knowledge of how the cult viewed him before asking her the question again. Good, very good he was off to a fine start so far, granted it was his first question but a very good one to kick off with.

Shifting her gaze back to Bailey, Zark had to admit that she too was interested in the answer, assuming the woman did indeed answer it and if she did, not only what she thought but also how Sarresh would react to it.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #21
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Zodiac 
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Mirisha did not look at the Andorian woman in security gold, the same rich yellow that she herself had worn as  a member of Operations. She had not been in uniform since she had helped with the assault on the loudmouth. Justice had been dealt....or had it. In hindsight, she wasn't so sure any more. But that was past and this was now and she was facing the man from the future. All of time contemplated in 3 seconds.

So no, she did not look at the Andorian, even though she could feel the cold eyes of the cold woman falling on her. Attention focused in, not quite a glare. She (Mirisha) felt as if on display in a zoo. The weight of The Morali's eyes pressed down on her to the extent that the guard was not but a mere inconvenience. To be noted, filed away, and ignored. He demanded all of her attention, and thus unto Him she gave it.

Across from here, Sarresh forced himself to keep from tapping his fingers against the side of his leg, inside his pocket. He waited with struggling patience for the girl to reply. Sarresh hated to waste time, which was somewhat oxymoronic, given the fluid nature of time, and his ability to traverse it almost at will. Save for the damn memory engram encoding, he noted, a ghost of a frown passing over his too human features, fading into the nothingness of shadow. At best Mirisha would have seen a flicker tugging at his lips, nothing more. His face was still cloaked in darkness.

"I...do not know....You do not like to talk. Not with us. Not with anyone," she confessed, and Sarresh had to chuckle at that. For a psychopath, she was quite insightful, or so he found her to be. Nodding, he pulled a hand out of his pocket and made a little circular motion in her direction. He'd seen human's do so before, and the message seemed to be conveyed easily enough. Mirisha continued, slowly and deliberately. Both were aware of Zark's presence but up to this point, neither addressed it again.

"Are you being forced to by Captain Ives? Is that it? Has he ordered you to come to us?"

That earned a derisive snort, one of which Sarresh regretted. The falling out continued to grow between Ives and he, but the time traveler had made a promise to sow no dissention. Never mind that Ives ignored perfectly good advice and could not see past their own prejudices. They needed a counselor, and a damned good one to pry their head out of their ass. Neither here, nor there, Sarresh.

"A reasonable guess, but no," he informed her, taking a step toward Mirisha. "I have not seen the Captain since we were returned to the Theurgy and fled down the transwarp conduit. I do not expect to speak with them in any capacity in the near future, either." He shrugged, deciding that this had been phrased well enough to not violate his agreement, nor give any insight to the disappointment and shared (or so he thought) animosity between time traveler and ships captain. And he was pleased that he had used the truth in such a way. After all, Ida had merely suggested he talk to the Devoted, not ordered. And in his grief, he'd latched on.  Now at least, he had something to focus on other than the gnawing sense of loss.

"Then why? You only ever deal with us when ordered to. Why bother now. We are so few. We are confined. We failed you."

Suddenly inspired, Sarresh spoke. "Oh, yes. You failed rather spectacularly," he told her, shocking her, as he moved, and pulled a chair near, folding himself down into it. A leg crossed at the knee, and his fingers steepled so that the tips brushed his chin. "But you have all been doing that from the beginning. Do you understand?"
  • Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 06:13:33 PM by Brutus
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #22
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy Attn: @Brutus
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|Zark remained where she was, keeping a watchful eye on the prisoner and Morali, both of whom ignored her for now, which was fine as far as she was concerned. She had nothing to add to this conversation and even if she did, the Andorian knew that she wouldn't get any answers, nobody would except for possibly the time traveller a few steps away from her. No she was here simply as a guard, to keep an eye on Mirisha, guard Morali and intervene if anything happened, preferably before anything bad happened.

When the former Operations officer asked if Sarresh was being forced by Captain Ives Zark couldn't help but roll her eyes. They had assumed the same thing the first time around that he was being forced by the Captain and hadn't listened to his orders, it wasn't true then nor was it now and yet the same question was asked. Evidently Sarresh felt the same given the snort she heard from him, although it also seemed to imply that he and the Captain didn't exactly see eye to eye, that caused her Antennae to twitch slight. She wasn't privy to all the goings on on the ship but since the man was still allowed to roam free and do his job, it must be all right, after all you didn't have to like somebody to work with them, still it was interesting.  Then again the snort might have just been an act to try and sway the woman, which might work.

Still when he told her that he had not seen the Captain nor expected too, her antennae twitched again, curious but again something that fell into the category of "Not any of her business". The security officer was brought out of her thoughts when Mirisha responded, pointing out that Morali only ever dealt with the cultists when ordered too and Zark had to give the woman credit she had a point there.

It was however Sarresh's response that surprised her the most. More than likely he was simply playing the part but if he was he was doing a damn good job of it. Gone was the man who a few minutes ago didn't know the first thing about interrogating someone and here stood a cult leader disappointed at his followers failure. If Sarresh could keep this act up and make it look believable then they might actually get something out of this.  

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #23
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory Lab  | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Zodiac 
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Sure enough, it looked to Sarresh as if Mirisha had taken a smack clear across the face, the way she'd jerked back into her seat, eyes wide and mouth agape. She just couldn't fathom the words that he had said, and in a moment of bitterness, Sarresh found himself of no mind to remind her, or ease the sting of the words. He just sat there, feeling the presence of Zark behind him in the darkness, tapping his fingers on his chin and letting one of his feet bob up and down in the shocked quiet of the moment. He could hear - or more accurately feel - the hum of the engines around them, for at this point they had not yet made Aldea and were still under their own labored efforts.

Of Zark's thoughts and observations, Sarresh knew nothing, and mostly cared not. He imagined that she would let him know when they left this room to carry on with the next prisoner, and the one after that, and the one after that. Too many damned cultists, he thought, but that was as far as his line of thinking managed to go, before the non com across from him finally spoke.

"We...failed to  interpret your will, your -" was about as far as she'd gotten before Sarresh cut her off, his face falling into a scowl.

"My will? There wasn't a damn thing to interpret. I have one job, and one job only," he barked, his voice rising sharply in the otherwise quite room, enough to send the girl curling back into her seat, her legs tightening in against her chest. It came upon Sarresh then like a bolt of lightening, something striking deep, as his own thoughts on the matter broke out past his desire to play things coy and cool. "And that job is to keep those damned worms from using their upstream knowledge to change the past. Your present. I've fucked up quite a bit, just so you're aware. Some ways its been small, Others its been damned massive. To the tune of billions of lives..."And two mighty important ones to no one but me.

Falling back into his own chair again, for he had come up off it half way in his anger, he swiped a hand across his face, hiding his features. The anguish of Sel, and the muted sadness for Amikris. Gone now, and nothing he could do about either, though the pain gnawed at his soul. Countered to that were the billions he spoke of - that should have died, and instead would not, in this particular forking of the time stream. How then did he feel about that? "Even fucking up, we delayed the Borg invasion, if not outright stopping it, so there is that. But!" He snapped a finger up and then pointed it at her. "It would have been a hell of a lot easier if you lot had just kept your heads down and done your damn jobs. That was, and is, my bloody will. I don't need a cult. I don't want a cult. I want Starfleet officers doing their damned jobs to the best of their misbegotten abilities!"

It was not lost on Sarresh that Captain Ives likely thought the same about him. To his mind however, Ives forgot, or just seemed to not care, that Sarresh was more than just a Starfleet Junior Lieutenant. Ives didn't see it that way, but removed from,and inserted back into time as he was, Sarresh couldn't help but see it so.
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1150] Loss of Devotion
Reply #24
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark | Temporal Observatory Lab | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy Attn: @Brutus
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Things were going pretty smoothly so far and based on Marisha's body language she wasn't going to do anything, at least not to her "leader." The woman clearly respected the man and was intimidated by him so she allowed herself to relax a little. Still paying attention of course, just in case something did happen but relaxing enough to perhaps look a little less intimidating.

What the Andorian hadn't been expecting however was for Sarresh's sudden, angry rise in tone, which had caused her antennae to shoot straight up in surprise and how she hadn't jumped out of her skin a little was a miracle, she thought even though she felt like she should have, much like how Mirisha had curled back in her seat and pulled her legs even closer to her chest, curling in on herself. That alone was enough to tell Zark that the woman was clearly going to be no threat to them, she was terrified of Sarresh and his anger at them, not that she could really blame the girl after that outburst.

Relaxing herself she leaned back against the wall, her antennae slowly starting to lower themselves back to their usual position now that the original shock had passed and listened to the man speak. She had to admit that she was surprised that he was admitting to his mistakes, from an interrogation point of view it wasn't a good idea to expose your own weaknesses to those you're trying to extract information from, especially those who believe you're a god. Then again it was possible that showing that you're not perfect and can make mistakes, just like them could help that wasn't always the case. Either way it was pretty clear that that outburst wasn't something he had planned but just his own anger breaking through, she might have to have a word with him about keeping his cool.

Zark could understand it of course, she would feel the same if she had a bunch of people attacking and killing people in her name too. It was clear the time traveller didn't want a cult or need one. Like he said, he simply wanted people doing their jobs the way they were supposed too. Then again he was a time traveller, and while Zark didn't know the extent of his knowledge that knowledge did give him power.

The security officer turned her attention back to the young woman, still curled up in her spot and wondered what the woman would have to say in response. If anybody might well tell them something after that, it might well be her...assuming she wasn't too scared to talk after that outburst for fear of angering the man even more.