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CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

[Connor Matthews | Sickbay | USS Theurgy]

Fire. Fire rained down from the sky like rain. Fire erupted from the ground in jets of flame, alike to pillars supporting a building. The jets shot up at least fifty feet in the air, seeming to graze the black clouds, touching by the tips of the flames. Bodies lay around the ground, covered in ash. Bodies of his comrades. As Connor walked around, he identified each face. Engineering team. Security Team. Even the Captain. All of their bodies strewn about. The ground was soaked in the crimson blood. Screams could be heard from the near-dying. Screams of agony. Screams of despair. All of them rang through his head as he walked about, trying not to step on the dead. Some he couldn't even tell if they were his comrades, their bodies and faces twisted out of proportion. Out in the distance Connor could see the USS Theurgy, destroyed. Black smoke billowing out of the giant holes that had been made. Fire danced in large amounts upon surface, and even more bodies lay around it. Then Connor saw it. He saw the one body that made his skin go stark white, and every hair on his body stand upright. The body had holes through the chest and stomach. The right arm was twisted out of place. The eyes were wide open staring right back at him. They were devoid of all life. What Connor was staring at, was himself.

Connor awoke with a start. His eyes, before shut, now wide open. He banged his right arm against the railing that this bed provided, causing him to curse silently. He looked at his arm, trying to figure out why it was causing him so much pain. He looked to see that it was completely wrapped in gauze. Connor took in his surroundings. He was in the Sickbay. He hadn't been here often, but he had been here enough times to know what it looked like, and it certainly didn't look like his quarters. Connor was confused. Why was he in the Sickbay? Why was his arm wrapped up? Connor was buzzing with questions. He looked around to notice that there were others too. Many others. What exactly happened to all of them? Connor took a moment to clear up his head. He tried to see if he could remember anything about the day before, yet there was a mental block. He knew there was some type of information there, but retrieving the information was a problem. Then it came to him. In slow images, frame by frame.

Connor had left his modular shelter to help someone, but who was that someone? The civilian he had been with during the Ishtar Incident. Why was he going to help her? She was going to die, either by Reavers or by the environment. Why were Reavers there? The USS Calamity was attacking both the USS Theurgy and the USS Harbinger. Why was his arm in so much pain? It had been burned when he had been running towards the civilian. The fire hadn't burned his arm though, so what had? The heat from the pulse cannon's blast was close enough to burn his arm. Why was he suddenly in the Sickbay? Because he had become unconscious soon after he had saved her. Connor now felt relieved, but he needed to get back to work. He had to wait to get a report of how long this would take to heal. He waited.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ USS Theurgy | Main Sickbay | Deck 07 | 1700 hrs. ]

A short slender woman in a blue collared Starfleet uniform was checking the biofunction monitor of the patient across the aisle from Connor.  She turned around to reveal that she was Doctor Maya, the ship's neurosurgeon and a fellow ensign who Connor had met aboard the Theurgy.  She was holding a PADD in one hand and making entries into it with her long spidery fingers.  She had allowed the severe pageboy haircut her people favored to grow out a bit, allowing her onyx bangs to cover her arched upswept eyebrows and her raven black locks to conceal her pointed ears.  Only her pale white skin that had almost a greenish tint indicated her extraterrestrial origins.  That and her strange behavior.

In Connor's experience, Maya's body didn't react to her emotions the way a human body would. Her eyes didn't tear up when she was sad. Her lips didn't involuntarily curl in a smile when she was happy. She didn't blush when she was embarrassed and her face didn't contort into a frown when she was angry. For a human, the body not only reacted to feelings, but often enhanced and reinforced them as well.

For a Vulcan, that wasn't the case.  Although Ensign Maya claimed that she had left her homeworld in order to have the freedom to experience her emotions, she often came off as a bad actress going through the motions. The psycho-suppression system responsible for the Vulcan suppression of emotions was located in the mesiofrontal cortex of her extraterrestrial brain and after a lifetime of discipline it was hard to turn off. The advantages were numerous. She would always be able to think clearly, without worrying about her emotions running away with her at a critical time. She would have the perfect poker face, for the emotional stimulus required to illicit a visible response out of her would have to be so intense it would be unbearable for a human.

But her emotions would lack depth, wouldn't they? Her feelings would always be muted. Could she really feel happiness, or merely contentment? Could she truly feel anger, or merely irritation? And could she understand the more subtle emotions like gratitude, friendship, or loneliness, or would she not even be able to feel them? Did she truly feel love?

When her emotions troubled her she would express them so quietly and subtly that it was easy to believe that she didn't have feelings at all. She was neat and orderly, quiet and well-behaved, yet since coming aboard she seemed to be a fish out of water at times, as if she had been raised in a sheltered environment and wasn't familiar with the cosmopolitan United Federation of Planets and its cornucopia of peoples and cultures. 

Still, the one thing she had going for her was that in Connor's experience, she never judged.  She was extremely open minded and willing to immerse herself in other cultures.  The only culture she ever expressed dissatisfaction with was her own.  She considered herself a rebel but Connor couldn't remember meeting anyone so polite and conciliatory.

At any rate, Doctor Maya's presence indicated at least one good thing:  She had managed to get off of Theta Eridani IV without being injured.  Apparently everybody else wasn't in as bad condition as Connor was.

She turned and looked at him with her large hazel eyes.  "Connor Mathews," she said in her quiet mezzosoprano voice as she walked over to him with short quiet steps, "Welcome back.  Please don't touch your arm.  We haven't finished regrowing the tissues yet.  You have been unconscious for over thirteen hours.  We were able to save your arm, the damage was reversible, but we still need time to regrow the epidermis." 

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #2
Doctor Maya. Someone he was familiar with. They had exchanged a few words in the past here and there, the only reasoning for this being she a fellow Ensign who he could talk freely to. Yet he did not talk much, not only because of him always wishing to focus on his job at hand, but also because he was not comfortable with talking about feelings or such, even for someone he knew would not judge. Still, it was refreshing to see a face he could trust. He'd give his life for anyone on board the Theurgy, yet he wasn't quite sure if everyone on board would do the same. It was safer to think that way, he'd rather not fall for tricks.

Rephrase that, Connor would give his life for almost anyone on board the USS Theurgy. He didn't have an ounce of trust for the prisoner on board. Damn! Connor was reminded of the prisoner and how he was tasked with interrogating her. He couldn't do that if he was stuck in the Sickbay. He just hoped that Maya had good news for him. While she was an Ensign like him, this was her department, and if she decided on him needing to stay here, he couldn't do anything about it.

As Maya arrived towards him and gave him a report on his injured arm, he frowned in disappointment. Even though she said his arm was saved, if tissue was still a problematic issue for his arm he would have to stay in the Sickbay for a while. If he couldn't interrogate the prisoner, Lt. Ida would soon have his head. It was worth a shot, so Connor asked the overly-obvious question anyway. "How long am I going to have to stay in the Sickbay Maya? I need to get back to work."  This man truly pushed himself too hard. If he had a job to do he'd do whatever it took to get it done. If he didn't have anything to do, he would train until he was drenched in sweat. There was no time left for relaxing. Actually there was, and it was called sleep. That was the only thing he allowed himself. The way he saw it, besides sleep, he could rest when he was dead. It was the principle his father left behind, and it would be the same he would take on, to keep the memory of his deceased father alive.

Connor could only imagine of what his father thought of him now. Would he believe that his only son was a traitor? Or would he believe that his son was framed, just like everyone else on the Theurgy. It was thoughts like these that had him questioning everything he had done up to this point. That gave him another reason to keep busy, so he didn't have to put up with these types of haunting thoughts. Connor dismissed these thoughts before he was unable to. Because that's what happened sometimes. Sometimes, he couldn't help but think of them. Of what his father was thinking of him. Of what his mother was thinking of him. He just hoped they were together now, happy.


OOC: Yellow bolded texts with no quotations done by me are Connor's thoughts. Bolded texts with quotations done by me are Connor's speech aloud. Sorry if there was any confusion.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #3
Even with her psychic barriers raised, Maya could sense the young man's inner turmoil.   That wasn't a real accomplishment; nearly everyone aboard suffered from an inner turmoil.  They had been banished from everything and everyone they knew and loved without warning.  Starfleet, the very organization they had pledged their lives to, had betrayed them and was hunting them down.  In the current situation, not experiencing psychological distress was an indication of mental illness.

Unlike most humanoid species, traumatic emotions and memories were not only psychologically disturbing to Vulcans, but had physical consequences as well. The Vulcan brain, in reordering neural pathways, could literally lobotomize itself.  It was easy to understand why the modern Vulcan chose not to experience emotion in the first place.

As a consequence, the Vulcan philosophy of medicine held that the treatment physical and mental health was inseparable.   To treat one it was almost mandatory to treat the other.  Maya had never been good at the treating the mental health part, despite her telepathic abilities and her training in psychology.  Her bedside manner was either cold or artificial.  She was still an alien, still a foreigner in this time and didn't relate to her patients as well as she should have.   But she still had to try.

"With all due respect Mister Matthews, you do not need to get back to work," she corrected him in a voice colder than she intended.  "There are currently no prisoners in the brig.  Sonja Acreth was killed trying to escape and Lieutenant Commanders Trent and Cinn have joined the crew." 

She caught the look in his eye.  "Yes, you heard me right.  I refer not to a relative, but to the same Lieutenant Commander Wenn Cinn we lost last year," she informed him.   "His identity has been confirmed and he has resumed his former position as chief security officer.  Believe it or not, he is once again your superior officer.  I do not understand his miraculous survival but I am comforted by it.  So many incredible things have been against us that I am gratified that an uncanny circumstance has occurred in our favor."   A crack in her cold professional Vulcan demeanor was visible.  Her eyes were almost wistful.  "It gives one hope."

I don't think your colored boldfaced dialog was necessary.  I could follow it quite clearly. 
Don't worry about getting some of the facts wrong.  Your character is lying in a hospital bed.  You have a great in-character excuse.  My character was introduced treating patients instead of being one.  If I had thought it through I would have started my character injured too.  Do you know how tough it was for me when I first started having to provide exposition when I had NO IDEA what was going on?   Woo!  That was tough.

As far as I can tell, Sonja Arceth died trying to escape from the Harblinger's brig.  Check with Auctor Lucan or see if you can find it yourself for details. (and to confirm my story, I'm wrong a lot.)   Currently the brig is empty but I'd be shocked if it stayed that way for long.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #4
"No prisoner? I wasn't informed of her death. I believe I'll have to talk with Lt. Ida about this whole thing.", Connor said, dismissing the ice cold tone in her voice. He knew better than to feel hurt over things like that, especially with Maya, someone who couldn't help with her emotions. He felt happy and sad for Maya. Happy, because she had a better defense against emotional pain than most of the people on board the USS Theurgy. But he also felt sad for her, sad because she would have a harder time than anyone on board the USS Theurgy trying to grasp the concept of true happiness, true excitement, true love. Connor couldn't imagine a fate like that. For the first time ever, he felt like he understood Maya. Maybe not 100%, but enough to feel a bit of her pain, pain she probably couldn't even realize herself.

Then Maya informed him of Lt. Commanders Trent and Cinn. Connor almost opened his mouth to say, "Wenn Cinn?" but she confirmed his question before he could say it himself. There was no way he could have been alive. He was there for the announcement of Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn's death. It was a tragedy and a major blow to the Security Division. His leadership was what kept most of them alive, and then he was gone. If he had heard that from anyone else, he would've guessed it to be a cruel trick, but coming from Maya? Then it was believable. He had to see for himself if it was in fact true, but Connor's injured arm disagreed with him. In the end he decided to stay and rest. He was uncomfortable with the idea of relaxing when he could be helping, but there was little he could do about it himself.

Connor immediately recognized the look in Maya's eyes. They reminded him of the eyes he himself had worn once on board the USS Theurgy. He actually rested once before, when things were at peace and his comrades were actually in good spirits. He had rested against a corner that was enveloped in shadows. He looked around and saw all of their happy faces. Even through hardship, they could still smile at the end. They were all a bunch of crazy bastards. But what did that make him? Another addition to the crazy bastard crew. Labeled as traitors, here they were laughing their asses off. That day, Connor became glad that he had been transferred to the USS Theurgy.

Snapping back to the present, Connor smiled and looked at Maya. "If you believe it gives us hope, then why shouldn't I? Why shouldn't any of us?" Despite the burning pain that flared up in his arm every time he moved it, Connor lightly grabbed Maya's wrist. "Keep that hope and hold on to it Maya. It might just be the one thing that saves more lives than your medical equipment."


OOC: Okay, I won't use it then.

I can only imagine. Luckily I got a lot of support from Auctor, without him, I'd probably be at a loss myself.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #5
"I believe you are correct," she replied in her soft lilting voice.  "Hope will keep us going."

The statement might have sounded too idealistic and romantic to come from a Vulcan, but to Maya it was quite logical.  When one weighed the forces against them against what they had the logical conclusion was that their cause was lost and that Starfleet and by extension the United Federation of Planets could not be saved.  Not only was Starfleet and any allied navies out to get them but now an advanced starship rumored to be from the future was out to get them.  The odds of success against forces like the ones they faced were infinitesimal. 

Wenn Cinn's return, on the other hand, proved that the impossible could happen.   It meant that no matter how hopeless the situation seemed, there were more factors at play than were perceived.  Someone saved Cinn's life and sent him back to the Theurgy to prove to the crew that hope wasn't lost, the unbelievable could happen and that the soul of Starfleet could be saved.

But it couldn't be saved if everyone onboard gave up.

Now it was Maya's turn to comfort the weary.  She looked at the wounded officer before her.  Ensign Mathews was so young.  He was only twenty-five, and had lost both parents.   Aesthetically speaking, Connor Mathews was a work of art.  His limbs were long and athletic, and his body's broad shoulders and trim waist indicated both strength and agility. His jet-black hair, strong jaw and high cheekbones on his boyish face made him the definition of 'tall, dark, and handsome'.  

Mentally speaking, Ensign Matthews was just as attractive.  Despite the powerful emotions hidden in his psyche, young Connor exhibited a discipline and restraint that would qualify him for diplomatic duty on Maya's home planet.  In addition, Connor's sky-blue eyes gave a suggestion of maturity and intelligence even though his own culture associated them with youth and innocence. 

Unlike so many other members of the Theurgy's crew, to Maya's recollection, young Connor had managed to keep himself out of trouble.  Perhaps it was his position of officer of the brig that kept him mindful of how quickly poor judgment could endanger someone's life, comrades, or liberty.  He was a team player at a time when unity and solidarity were essential to survival.   Whenever the little Vulcan had encountered him, he was always polite and at times even friendly.

And as an added bonus, he smelled like cinnamon.  The Vulcan sense of smell was superior compared to that of the average human.  It was a side effect of the Vulcan respiratory system that allowed Maya's people to thrive in the thin atmosphere of her home planet.  This was usually considered a gift, since Vulcans didn't sweat.   Humans and many other Federation species did, however, and when one considered the Vulcan nasal sensitivity one quickly understood why Vulcans almost never smiled.  

Young Connor Matthews, on the other hand, had a sweet and savory cinnamon scent.  This quirk of genetics probably meant that insects loved him and that flies, mosquitoes, bumblebees and other pests were a constant irritant back on Earth.  It was small wonder he had joined Starfleet where he could be aboard a starship for months at a time.  On the plus side, his natural odor wouldn't interfere with his search for a mate, should he decide to start a family.

With all of those factors in mind, the little Vulcan was extremely pleased that he had been evacuated from Theta Eridani IV alive and relatively intact.  She even allowed herself the indulgence of harboring maternal instincts for the boy.   She had left Vulcan to have the freedom to feel what she wanted to.  It was her life, after all.  The important thing was not to have those feelings cloud her judgment.  Alone in a hostile galaxy with Starfleet out to get them and little resupply or backup in sight was not a good time to prove her parents right.

"If you wish I can fill you in on what has happened while you were out," Maya offered.  "A great deal has changed in a short time."

OOC:  Sorry if I'm getting silly with Maya's impression of Connor.  This is your introdctionary scene, and I can't help describing your character to the readers out there so they won't have to look it up in the manual.  No matter what we write about our characters offstage, it's what happens on camera that counts.  I can always edit my description of Connor if I included anything you find objectionable.

I really wish someone would have filled ME in in-character about what was happening instead of leaving me flailing around trying to work things out for myself when I joined!  So much is happening that it's impossible to tell what's going on around here!  It's hard to keep up with what your character knows and what your character doesn't.  I'm willing to give you some exposition if you're interested.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #6
"I think that would be best right now. Any information would be helpful at the moment." Letting go of her wrist, Connor thought for a moment. He couldn't disagree with Maya on how much could have happened while he was in a state of unconsciousness. After all, Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn had been brought back to the USS Theurgy. How it was done was a mystery to Connor, and if he had to guess, Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn did not know in entirety either. Such a mysterious thing, dying and then being brought back to the world of the living. Or maybe Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn never died. Maybe he was favored by some divine being. Maybe he was just incredibly lucky. More so than the others aboard the USS Theurgy.

Connor did not wish to think on that topic anymore. The last thing he needed was a question eating at the core of his mind until either the question was answered or his mind had whittled away. He already had enough questions as it is, one more as complicating as being brought back from the realm of death would definitely throw Connor overboard. Yet he was fully prepared to listen to anything else that could be just as confusing, or even more. Though he thought of it as impossible to top the idea of returned life. That was something humanity had been trying to figure out since they could process an intelligent thought.

Connor noticed how Maya seemed to soften up during the duration of their conversation. He could have just been imagining it in his head, but it seemed Maya was actually experiencing actual emotion. The thought brought a small smile upon Connor's face. The reason for this being that he could say that he was there to experience the moment. Since she had done so, Connor thought of it as right to soften up a bit to Maya.


OOC: Oh no don't apologize over it. It  was actually quite flattering. I appreciate the fact that you wished to do so. I would describe Maya but, like you said, that's usually held for the role player's introductory scene. No reason to edit the description of Connor, it is excellent.

Sorry for the short response, this post was made somewhat in a rush.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #7
"As you wish," she nodded.  "Keep in mind that I am only an ensign and not privy to what our superiors know.  My information is largely based on hearsay.  When you return to duty Commander Cinn or Lieutenant zh'Wann should be able to give you more accurate information. 

"We were attacked by Task Force Archeron yet somehow the attacking battle group was rendered inoperative allowing us to escape.   I do not have the details, but scuttlebutt favors a computer virus.   In the meantime, we have exchanged resources and personnel with the Harbinger.  Currently there are many Harbinger personnel aboard who will not be staying with us.  The pilots of Dor'GhItlh Squadron are currently aboard because the Harbinger's flight deck is unusable, and there is no other place to store their fighters where they will be combat ready.  Captain Vasser and other members of the Harbinger's crew are aboard in order to participate in a morale boosting celebration in holodeck one.  I'm sorry, but it is unlikely we'll be able to regrow your skin soon enough to release you from sickbay in time to join the festivities."

She paused for a moment to contort her features into what she hoped was a sympathetic frown and give the back of his hand a friendly pat before continuing.  This was an incredibly intimate gesture for a Vulcan but in Maya's estimation Connor deserved a chance to reconnect with his shipmates instead of spending the night in sickbay.  Vulcan propriety or no, she had to give him the opportunity to reconnect with his doctor if he chose to.

"We have recently picked up many new personnel to replace our casualties," she continued.  "Do you want me to tell you about them?  Or would you prefer a causality list?"

She wanted to tell him more but what little more she knew may have been classified.  Was it alright to talk about the dangerous and unethical procedure Doctor Nicander was going to perform in order to save Lieutenant Sarresh Morali's life?  Was she allowed to inform him that the USS Harbinger's  Petty Officer Dyan Holly Cardamone was really a benevolent alien named Sar-unga Neleo?   Fortunately as a member of the security department, Connor Matthews was privy to many things Maya wasn't.  Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for all of the patients in the recovery ward.  

I'm trying to avoid absolutes regarding your condition in case you get a chance to 'hook up' with anybody in the Lohlunat  Festival on the holodeck.  We seem to be wrapping it up so it appears unlikely.  If you're having trouble coming up with three or more paragraphs per reply I'm willing to JP. 

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #8
Connor listened closely as Maya informed him on the events concerning Archeron. She even went as far as explaining as to why there were Harbinger personnel. Hearing that their flight deck was out of order set off alarms in Connor's head. The entire time he hadn't once thought of the severity of the Harbinger. Connor slightly wished he had done more to help. Hearing the news that he would most likely not attend the festival did not phase him as much. He wasn't very social as it was, and although he did think that a brief moment of peace would be nice, he figured staying in the Sickbay for however long would be satisfying enough. Although Connor did regret that he wouldn't be able to meet Captain Vasser. He felt he needed to thank the man for all his help, even though most of it was probably out self-preservation.

Connor slightly smiled at the effort she was giving. He was also surprised to see how much attention she was actually giving him. He felt like he didn't deserve it, yet he she was giving it to him anyway. Another reason Connor was glad to see she had made it out alive.

Hearing about the casualties cast a somber mood on Connor, but he quickly shooed it away. Being depressed would not get anything done. While he didn't want to hear the names of people that had become casualties, it was part of his overall job to know who was gone and who survived. "I need to know both, but I think the casualty list should come first." Connor mentally readied himself for the news he would be given. He may not have been social, but every person aboard the Theurgy plays a key role. Losing too many people could be the downfall for the Theurgy, even with the help of the Harbinger.  That was something else Connor constantly worried about. It's why he tried his hardest to save anyone he could from dying. It was things like these that made Connor hate resting. Resting meant reflecting on things like the past, the future, and the present. It meant reflecting on one's own true fears, and that was what he was scared of most of all. Connor didn't want to crack from all the pressure. That would be unproductive.

Connor soon realized that he was doing it again and waved it away. Now was not the time for worrying. Connor took a glance at Maya for a second and noticed that she seemed conflicted about something. For Maya to be conflicted and readable was quite alarming. "Maya, what's wrong? Is everything... okay?" Connor was growing to like Maya, and he didn't want to see her in dismay.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #9
Maya blinked in surprise.  "Hm?  You could sense my distress?  Very observant of you Mister Mathews most people don't notice," she congratulated before she forced her face into an awkward smile.  "I must be getting better at expressing myself.  I hadn't thought I'd made any progress.  I hope it improves my 'bedside manner.'  Many of my patients describe me as 'creepy.'"   Maya's smile may have been stiff and forced, but the sparkle in her eyes indicated that it was genuine.   It was a sad fact that the little Vulcan needed acting classes in order to fake an emotion she was genuinely feeling.

Connor's comment about the eyes being the window to the soul reminded her about Sarresh Morali's controversial medical procedure that would turn the Ash'reem into a Terran human with artificial eyes.  If Morali's people also believed that the eyes were the window to the soul Counselor O'Connor's job would be even harder.  The little Vulcan's artificial smile vanished as she paused to tap her long spidery fingers on the surface of her PaDD.   Here are a current casualty list and a list of the recent appointments," she said as she handed him her datapad.  "As you can see we lost a lot of people, including Cadet Ester Hamburg from engineering.  I understand she had a 'thing' for you," she added as she made air quotes.  "I'm sorry for your loss."

She paused to get his reaction before and fixed him with what she hoped was a gentle look of sympathy but growing up in the most conservative reactionary region on Vulcan didn't prepare her very well.  She would no doubt have to take drama classes to fake emotions she was actually feeling.  She leaned forward and lightly brushed his good shoulder with her fingertips before resuming.   "Fortunately we are recouping some of our losses.  Aside of Commander Cinn a Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent has joined the crew.   I don't know what position he will be taking, at this time his status seems very hush-hush.  He has important information that I haven't been read in on.  Perhaps as an officer in the security department you can learn more." 

Maya nodded at his response and continued.  "The next significant addition to our crew is Lieutenant Tatiana Marlowe, our new chief engineer.  She doesn't know anyone and might appreciate making a friend," she added as she indulged in the pointless and futile task of playing matchmaker.  Ever since Maya had been introduced to Terran romance fiction had had attempted to discreetly bring people she deemed compatible together.  So far none of Maya's attempts to bring couples together had succeeded, although that might have been due to the tendency of Theugy's personnel to jump into bed with each other and make a potentially long term paramour appear taken.  "Should you get the opportunity to do so, I recommend 'taking it slow' as she is a bit of an introvert and may be difficult to get to know."

Since they first met Maya had suggested four different women that Connor should try to 'get to know'.   Three out of four of them had been an introverted brunette with a doctorate.   That description matched Ensign Maya herself.  Was she trying to tell him something?

OOC:  Modified my entry to take into account  Connor's reply. 

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #10
Connor smiled. "It's my job to be observant. Creepy eh? I never got that impression. And don't worry about your smile, you'll get the hang of it eventually. Besides, your eyes tell it all. People say that the eyes are  the gateway to one's soul. If you believe in that sort of thing that is. For me, the eyes lead to many things, but none of them the soul. Of course you could still believe in it." Even though Maya's eyes sparkled with life, Connor could still sense a little discomfort. He just took a guess that it was her emotions being shown physically. Hopefully he guessed right, or he would have been just rambling for nothing. Connor silently hoped that Maya would one day gain her goal of physical expressions. He had no doubt that she would try to learn. He suspected she was right now.

Connor was surprised when Maya told him Ester had died. He was even more surprised when she told him that she had a "thing" for him, because he definitely did not know that. Connor took a look at all the names on Maya's datapad. It was sad to think that that was all of what remained of these brave men and women. Names. Connor gave the datapad back to Maya and momentarily looked at the floor, as if it was the right thing to do at the moment. He shook off the sad moment and looked back to Maya.

Although it was just a brush, coming from Maya, it meant a lot to him. It gave him renewed strength. Connor listened as she told him about Commander Cinn and Lieutenant Commander Trent. He figured that their positions would be kept from the rest of the crew for a while. It only made sense. Especially in Commander Cinn's case. He had just returned from the dead. Although it was a very great thing, maybe even a divine blessing, that he had returned, people would need to come to to terms with it. Such a thing as incomprehensible as being reborn was hard to grasp. For Connor, it would be relatively hard, but for different reasons. Connor had become accustomed to Lieutenant Ida being in command. Now he had to switch back from her, to taking orders from Commander Cinn. It may have seemed trivial to others, but for Connor it was a huge game-changer. "Maybe", he responded. "But I am only an Ensign. I may only be able to know as much as you, or I may be able to know everything."

As Maya gave him the information, Connor had to laugh. He understood what she was trying to do. It happened to him all too often back at the Academy. "Maya, this has to be about the fourth or fifth time you've tried to point out a woman that you thought was suitable for me. And while they are all very beautiful, I'm going to have to keep declining them. I'm quite alright. Besides, I don't think I would catch a woman's fancy anyway." Connor said sincerely. "As you know, besides you, I'm not very conversational with people. I may be able to shirk that off one day but for now, that's who I am." Connor added, "You're doing fine being the only woman in my life anyway." Connor ended the statement with a kind laugh he hadn't used in months.

"You're also evading my original question. What's wrong."

OOC: It's fine. I like working with random throw-ins anyway. It's what role playing is all about.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #11
"You're doing fine being the only woman in my life anyway."

It might have only been the light, but the blue-eyed brig officer's statement seemed to cause a sparkle in Maya's large hazel eyes.  Her pale, almost colorless skin seemed to flush a light shade of lime green but that was probably because she was overworked.   Despite the fact that Maya stood very still, one got the impression that she was in an energized state of alertness.

"Well..." Maya grimaced slightly as she held that word on her lips, but from a certain angle she seemed to be smiling.

"You're also evading my original question," Connor added.  "What's wrong? "

Maya widened her eyes at that comment, looking very much like a housecat that had just been caught touching something it shouldn't.  Then her eyes narrowed in sagely understanding.  "I am impressed," she admitted quietly.  "Despite your tender age, you are showing impressive skill as an interrogator, an excellent quality for a brig officer," she added with the air of the loser of a chess game congratulating the winner.  "You would make a very good counselor Mister Mathews."

"I've always been told that I have what is known as 'the poker face," Maya commented dryly before making a confession.  "Yes, it is true that there is a matter that disturbs me," she admitted, "but I assure you that it isn't anything that could endanger my patients or the ship.  We are performing a questionable medical procedure on someone to save their life.  Neither Doctor Nicander nor myself believe that this procedure is ethical, but the patient has information that makes him too important to lose.  There is an 84.5 percent chance that he will be able to live the life as a normal human, possibly more than that but as they say on Earth it still goes against my pain.  I suppose we all have to make compromises." 

OOC:   If they say 'it goes against my pain' on Earth it's a surprise to Connor!  Most likely Maya is phrasing the expression wrong.  Modified my entry to take into account Connor's reply. 

Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #12
Was that a smile Connor had just witnessed? On the face of Maya no less? Connor momentarily wondered what he had done or said to make her smile. Maybe it was his wit. Or his idiocy. Those two things made a person laugh easily. Despite her calm composure, Maya's eyes gave away her feelings. For some reason she seemed more... alive. Connor was one to notice detail (part of his job) especially with facial and body language. While you could always learn how to hide your body language and even gain control of you reactions, you still can't hide your feelings from your eyes. Though, only a few know how to truly read a person through their eyes. Connor was becoming one of those people.

Connor smiled at the compliment he received. He almost burst out laughing at the look on her face. He had caught her off guard. "I probably would make a good counselor. But brig officer is fine with me. Besides, interrogating people and getting inside someone's mind to see how they tick and how they think is always fascinating. I'm sure you understand being a Doctor and all." Connor was able to read her again. She seemed to be softening up to him. "Don't worry Maya, you're not the first person who's tried to fool me, and you most definitely won't be the last."

Connor listened to her worries without interrupting her. When she had finished, he began to speak. "I know exactly how you feel Maya. For me, everything has to be orderly and it has to make rational sense. But as unorthodox as you say this procedure is, I feel it is the most rational thing to do. If this patient is as important as you say, if there's even a sliver of a chance that he can live, you should take it. In the end, it's all for the betterment of the Theurgy. Oh and that's never been said on Earth. I think you meant to say that it goes against your will."

Connor then picked up on a minor detail. It may have been nothing, but small details usually led to a major difference. He decided to ask Maya about it. "Maya, you said that this patient has an 84.5 percent chance of living as a normal human. What do you mean by normal?"

OOC: Quite witty. Of course she wouldn't properly know all the Earth sayings.


Re: CHAPTER 01: Awakening [1700 hrs.]

Reply #13
"I know exactly how you feel Maya,  Connor assured her.  "For me, everything has to be orderly and it has to make rational sense."

"Yes, I'm the same way," she admitted, the sparkle in her eyes was back and her body was once again in a state of alertness.

"But as unorthodox as you say this procedure is, I feel it is the most rational thing to do," he continued.  "If this patient is as important as you say, if there's even a sliver of a chance that he can live, you should take it. In the end, it's all for the betterment of the Theurgy. Oh and that's never been said on Earth. I think you meant to say that it goes against your will."

"I am gratified," Maya replied in a gentle voice.  "Your opinion is important to me Mister Mathews," she added as she looked down and rubbed her hands together before reaching out to touch his arm with her long spidery fingers.

"Maya, you said that this patient has an 84.5 percent chance of living as a normal human," Connor interjected.  "What do you mean by normal?"

Maya's hand froze just before it reached his arm.  It was then Connor noticed how large Maya's hands looked compared to the rest of her slender and almost underdeveloped body.  She slowly withdrew it and rubbed her thumb and fingers against each other as she considered her reply.

"I meant that after the procedure he will awaken as a Terrestrial human with only the barest minimum of biosynthetic organs," she said as her face lost all expression.  It didn't take someone with Connor's perception to tell that she was being evasive.   Connor had known her long enough to know that Maya was hiding something when she retreated into herself and went into 'Vulcan mode'.   Normally Maya did her best to add inflections to her voice, use body language and facial expression and so on but now only the writhing fingers of Maya's outstretched hand revealed what she was really thinking.  "When we wakes up he will resume is life, as an Earthling."  No that wasn't true.   It wasn't just her fingers.  If the eyes were the windows to the soul Maya's eyes were telling him that someone was inside, tied up, and being held for ransom.

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