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DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

[ USS Theurgy | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 ] Attn: Arista

While Below Decks was for everyone, the Spearhead Lounge was for senior officers, ranking Lieutenant or higher. Most often, it wasn't in use, the holographic personnel in the lounge only activated when there were guests present. It seemed, however, that with the pending arrival to Starbase 84 the next day, some officers had taken their time for one last drink. After the end of alpha-shift, Below Decks would likely be teeming with people, just like the other lounges aboard, but the Spearhead Lounge retained an halcyon atmosphere, with its minimalist decor and Starfleet tapestries along the bulkheads. The sense of grandness was, of course, a bit tarnished considering the fact that Starfleet remained their adversary. At least until Captain Ives gained some allies in the fleet. Which might just be a bit harder than he'd think...

The main reason why Lucan had come at all was the panoramic observation deck, slightly elevated from the rest of the lounge. As its name implied, located at fore of the multivector dreadnought, the view whilst the ship was at warp was exquisite. The play of light from streaming stars whisking by, it ran across the interior of the lounge as well as Lucan's uniform - the suffocating garments he hoped to one day burn. He had loosened his teal collar, at least, and he was reaching down to remove his shoes and his socks, wanting to be barefoot as he mused on the day to come, and what had to be done. Relieved of the leather contraptions that the fleet had forced him to wear, he took a deep breath and enjoyed the sensation of the carpet underneath his bared feet - feeling like he was twenty and one and watching the vista of the cloud-scape below Envon. He stood not on a barren mountainside, feeling the stone against his skin, but the sensation of scope remained the same from within the Theurgy's warp field.

By the winds, I never thought they'd get this far, came a sudden thought as he watched the streaming stars. Then again, I suppose I have aided them a bit too much in getting to this point. I could have taken a back-seat role, doing only so much as was expected of me, and devoting my time to compromising their foolish attempts... But where would I have ended up then? Less favoured. Less trusted. Perhaps even discovered to be what I am, sharing the fate of Ensign Acreth. No, it was never an option to be anything less than I was... lest I would've been unable to do what I have just done.

He told himself his mind was at ease, and that there was no inflection of doubt - the thing inside at peace. Yet somehow, something... kept questioning what his own priorities were, what part of the design was truly his own, and how much responsibility lay at the feet of his kin. Like a splinter in his mind, a suppurating wound refusing all treatment, questions kept bubbling up, about himself in all his actions, and not just in terms of healthy self-assessment and awareness, his immaculate control... but in undeniable self-reproach. Scepticism to his faceted cause. Still. After all the trials he'd endured, and all the people he'd killed... he could not stop doubting himself.

Such was not the case with Ensign Acreth. There was no doubt left in her. In his charade of experiments to find means to identify his own kin, he saw it in her eyes. There was nothing left of what had possessed that skin-puppet before. She was gone entirely, smothered by the will of the parasite. Perhaps... perhaps that was his fear: Simple refusal to surrender himself completely. A shard of survival-instinct still alive, even though he knew he had to surrender some day, when his role as a orderly host had served its cause. It was - after all - his purpose as a host, to add just enough order to serve the nameless darkness.

And just like that, the thought fell behind him - lost among the stars they passed. He just couldn't retain his doubt long enough to act on it. He knew it, at some level, yet he knew not what to do about it - the will to act on the fickle idea whisking past like one of the shooting stars. He had a purpose, and that was good enough. At least most of the time...

Hearing someone wearing shoes step up on the observation deck behind him, Lucan turned his head, seeing someone returned from the dead.

"Cinn," he said simply in greeting, a smile touching the side of his face. Meanwhile, the beast bared its teeth, murder on its mind.

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan


The simple greeting was given a simple retort as Cinn brought his hulking frame around to sit down next to Nicander. The Bajoran didn't turn to his fellow officer, merely sitting with him in silence for a few moments while they both watched the lights dance through the window.

"So this is must be the secret hideout where the illustrious Doctor Nicander can rest those magic hands?" He queried idly, making conversation. It wasn't often that he came here and Cinn had come to get some time to himself, if only to reflect upon the upcoming mission to Starbase 84. Even though his plans were dashed, he wasn't disappointed to find the lounge not in its usual empty state. Lucan was one of the few aboard who had shared many of the same experiences.

4 years they had been travelling through the stars together, ignoring that time in which Cinn was dead. They'd been through a lot together, seen many officers come and go. Some to better things, and others? Well he hoped they had found peace.

As the light continued to play across the room, it caught the glass in Cinn's hands and distracted him momentarily. The cool amber liquid inside was kept chilled by the large rock of ice in the tumbler. Having been reminded that he had acquired something from the holographic staff, he brought it to his mouth. The taste on his lips made him smile, memories of the drink and this room were coming back.

It was then that he remembered the last time he had drunk this beverage in this very room.  He couldn't help but let a deep rolling chuckle escape from between his lips as he saw the past through his mind's eye. It was then, that he spoke up again to the Câroon.

"Do you remember Flynn's birthday? The one where he attempted to bake his own cake?"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #2
[ USS Theurgy | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 ] Attn: Arista

"Last I heard," said Lucan without looking at the Bajoran mountain of a man, with a rueful smile touching his exotic features, "people are being resurrected, and my magic hands won't be needed anymore.."

Since Wenn Cinn was silent as he joined Lucan, the doctor did not mind the company. He'd hoped not having to resort to his everyday charade again, relieved to have shed his mask so that he could bask in the light of the stars without nothing more than the thick transparent aluminium in the way. Alas, the Bajoran spoke of Flynn, and forced him to wear it anew - to make him smile and chuckle deep down on his throat. "Indeed, I still say 'piece of cake' to my staff."

That mask again, a mask that over the years had become a second skin. Lately, it had felt far too much like his actual face, the false identity easily mistaken as his own. He had worn it for Eve Jenkins, and for Vojona. For sake of survival against mutineers and an A.I. programmed to destroy him and the rest of the crew. Trapped as he was on the Theurgy, it had its benefits as well as its disadvantages - the latter being that he had to oppose his own kin to stay alive. Something the thing inside didn't take kindly too, but he was not prepared to squander his life just yet. He had things to do.

"Come to think of it, how long did we wait here for him, anyway? Having used replicators in his entire life, I reckoned he would be a while, but still? Anyway, Hendricks got tired of waiting first and went to the mess hall to see how he fared, and you know the rest." Lucan rubbed his forehead and chuckled at the memory, his white teeth catching the starlight. "When Hendricks contacted me, saying there was a medical emergency, he could barely get his message across. It really did sound like he was choking. So... I got up, and since everyone had heard him, so did the rest of you."

Lucan had to pause since the bubbling mirth overcame him. "The whole senior staff, en-route to the kitchen, making the crew we met wonder if the Borg had come, or the Romulan ships had launched their torpedoes against us. The gossip, I heard, spread like wildfire. And..." Lucan had to clear his throat before he continued. "Evidently, Flynn had tried to spin sugar - clearly not having picked a beginner's recipe for his terran cake. So when we found him, he had melted, hot goo all over his hands and down his legs, trying in stubborn futility to finish what he was doing - meticulously sculpting the edge of the atrocious pastry despite the excruciating pain he had to be in. And Hendricks, oh, he he hadn't been choking... he was just politely stifling his laugh when he'd found the poor sod."

Still chucking, Lucan moved to sip his glass of water, pausing just before it reached his lips. "Yet the most amusing thing, of course, was how he insisted that we'd stop using the human saying 'piece of cake' around him. No one, of course, would heed him."

Lucan found, as the memories played out, how sharing the known story was oddly satisfying. Perhaps it was the the proverbial 'eve of battle' that got to him, but he realised that Cinn would know another time shared, one few aboard would remember. "Come to think of it. Do you care to tell me what really happened to you and our dear, late Nausicaan friend when we had shore leave at Casperia Prime?" he said and rested his head against the back of the chair, looking at Cinn from the corner of his eye with a lopsided smile. "I am talking, of course, about that time you both came to Sickbay and specifically asked for my discretion, refusing to tell me why Thenaljpar needed my care."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #3
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan

As Lucan told the story, Cinn couldn't help but chuckle along. After everything that happened, it felt so long ago. When was the last time the senior staff came together to celebrate a birthday? Perhaps this would be something he would have to re-institute, if he could work whose birthday was next. That said, two old hands, enjoying the use of the Senior Officer's lounge was promising against the seemingly continual rise of doom and gloom. When Lucan queried about the old Nausiccan tactical officer, Cinn thought about keeping his mouth shut so not to speak ill of the dead. He knew Augarath wouldn't particularly like this tale told. Then again, as the old woman who lived in the same cave complex as Cinn during the occupation would often say, 'Those who keep the wishes of the dead will do nothing by live their lives instead.'. Augarath was gone, Prophets bless him. It would be better to remember him

"Well you remember that was the time that Augarath was going through his 'Not all Nausiccans' phase?" Cinn smirked as while he spoke of Augarath's phase, he did his best effort to impersonate the deceased Chief Tactical Officer. The time in question was when Augarath was on a seeming one-man vendetta to raise public opinion surrounding Nausiccans. The 'Not all Nausiccans' campaign was designed to show that not all Nausiccans were dumb, aggressive brutes only suited to menial security jobs and piracy.

"Well there we were, Casperia Prime, number one holiday destination." Cinn begin, before quickly adding "Assuming that you don't count Risa." He shrugged slightly. "Anyway, we meet these two girls. Absolutely gorgeous. I think they were Boslics, I guess it doesn't really matter. As the night progresses well, Augarath and I look at each other. We can both tell from each other's expressions, we think we're going to get lucky." Cinn took the time to check that Lucan was still interested and still following the story.

"So they suggested we hike up this hill to see the stars. Now I don't know if you remember our time on Casperia, but even in the middle of the resorts at night you can still see a night full of stars. Now this flags to me that something is amiss. I try to raise my concerns, but 'Garath' insists."  At this point, cinn paused to take another sip of amber nectar from his glass. "We climb up this hill, and ok, I'd admit it, the view was pretty nice. When suddenly these two big burly guys appear out of nowhere. I can see that Augarath has had the same thought as me, this isn't a starlight hook up. It's a mugging, or worse."

"Before anyone could say anything, Augarath grabs one of the guys by his collar. He smashes the guy's nose against his forehead. Suddenly everyone starts to get really upset." At this point, Cinn started to chuckle as the mirth rose. "Apparently Augarath just broke the nose of his date's boyfriend. There was actually no chance of us hooking up that evening. The Boslics were looking to meet new friends. Needless to say Augarath is horrified. He kept mumbling apologises and ran embarrassed from the hillside." Cinn shook his head, part of him still couldn't believe what he had witnessed all that time ago. "So I use my combadge to call for a medic for the boyfriend and head down the hill after 'Garath'. About five minutes later, I find him, bowled over in a some bush full of thorns. While fleeing, he'd twisted his ankle on a loose stone and threw himself into this bush."

"So by the time I got him to you, I'd pulled him from this bush with a bad ankle and covered in these large scratches and bruises." Cinn shook his head in an amused sense of dismay "He made me promise him that if I were to get you to help patch him up, that I wouldn't tell you what had happened." He paused once again to take another drink. "Apparently with all those he'd lectured about his 'Not all Nausiccans' he'd forgotten to convince himself." He shrugged, as the story faded back into his memory.

"Anyway, where were you during all this? From what I remember, I couldn't find you out enjoying yourself in the complex, I had to call for you via the base transmitter."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ USS Theurgy | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 ] Attn: Arista

Hearing Wenn Cinn speak of Augarath Thenaljpar brought a faint smile to Lucan as he sat there and watched the stars. When the story reached its culmination, he was chuckling and rubbing his pale eyes with the mirth. The Nausicaan has been an odd addition to the Senior Staff, but to his credit, he hadn't been like  'all Nausicaans'. Surprising how fit and able he had been as an officer of Starfleet despite his genetic heritage. Overall, Nausicaans could be a bit crude, but the Theurgy's CTO had seemed to have just as much brains as brawns. A somewhat deadly combination, admittedly. That, added with the fact that he had been raised on a human colony, did explain how it came to be he earned a position on a ship like the Theurgy.

"Well," he said and reached for his glass of water, "it would be trite of me say that I ventured into the wild because I missed my home planet, but it's quite true. It would also be unjust of me to try and explain the nature of my home world since I cannot convey what it is like in the wilds of Câroon. Yet sufficed to say, the wilds of Casperia Prime brought me little solace. There were mountains, nature and beauty to behold around the resort complex, but it was like walking though a still image. So tranquil, safe and without the spirit of Câroon anywhere to be found."

Lucan flexed his toes, feeling the carpet below his bare feet, imagining that it was grass. "I missed her, and I still do. We Câroon have a bond to our home planet that I cannot put into crude words, especially not words filtered through this universal translator. She gives and takes, and in our ignorant past, we believed her to be a deity. Yet the harsh nature of Câroon is... she is more than the fabricated guesses begotten by the... by the unschooled imagination of her native people. Our scientists, at least in the Wind Region, have theories, tentative claims that there is an element found on Câroon that transcends the elemental forces that scorch, blister and scythe down anything that can't find shelter in time. No, it does not transcend the forces. More accurately, the combining force acts as a cohesive bond, and this bond is something that we Câroon can feel and use. In order to survive we, were all forced to tame the elemental forces that threatened us, and over time, down millennia of evolution, we have learned to use the zi'naaq inside us, just like many of the other creatures native to the planet learned to use before us."

Realising that he had taken a detour in answering Wenn Cinn, he glanced his way and gave him a lopsided grin - talking about Câroon soothing him more than he liked to admit. "Imagine that you could feel that kind of raw connection to Bajor, and love it the way a child loves its mother... Surely you can understand how we Câroon miss her when he leave her behind?"

Lucan turned his head back to look at the stars. "We who stray from the bond miss our home in a way few might understand... but perhaps the love for a mother, or a lover, would be the closest equivalent. For as we remain away from her, we come to forget, and loose the inner harmony that the zi'naaq grants us. We forget the feel of her beneath our feet, and the caress of her wind... but ironically, we tend to forget her harsh nature first of all. So, as I trod the soil of Casperia Prime... I was trying in vain to remember her, but I found no solace in a stranger's embrace."

By the winds, the same could be said about Kisane.

"So instead of continuing the exercise in futility, walking the unknown and dead nature of the wilds... I was quite pleased when you pulled me away. There was no solace to be found."

Pausing, Lucan realised there would be little to comment on such a personal, strange admission, he tried to divert the conversation to something a bit more digestible. "I don't know if you heard, but Chief Kalmil is back on his feet. I managed to replace the damaged vertebrae with prosthetics collected at the Black Opal. Then again, for you, it would be like he hardly left us, since by the time you returned, he has merely been in stasis for little over a week. Strange how the winds blow, isn't it? "

Little did the Bajoran know... just how treacherous those winds were.

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #5
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Brutus

Wenn Cinn listened to the way Lucan spoke about his planet and when he queried the Bajoran on his love of Bajor, Cinn tried to remember back before he was a freedom fighter. To begin with nostalgia filled his mind, he could remember the feeling of the constant dirt beneath his fingernails, the warmth of the Bajoran sun - B'hava'el as it shone down on his bare shoulders after a hard day helping father in the fields, and most beloved, he could remember the smell of his mother's cooking. It was all so very long ago. However, Cinn's slight smile began to falter as more memories came back. Losing half their store of food when it was time for the taxation that fat Gul took at the end of every growing season. The fighting between the resistance and occupation forces he and father had seen when getting supplies in Lasuma. The day they came and took away the village Prylar, four months later when it was Prel Leb - the baker, and then when it was time for mother.

Looking at the amber liquid he held in his hand, Cinn took a sip, not so to quench his thirst, but to try to waste away the bitter taste in his mouth. It was easy to fall in love with Bajor. Its golden domed buildings and verdant green fields had tempted many souls, but it hadn't always been so easy for its citizens. He wondered if many Bajorans felt the same as him, both loving of and sad for their shared homeland? Bringing himself back to the conversation at hand. Nicander was thanking Cinn for distracting him from a beautiful but spiritually dead place to the good doctor. Suddenly, as if he was slapped in the face, the huge bulk of a Bajoran realised just how lucky he was. His gods were not tied to a specific place. Of course, the Prophets loved Bajor but they also looked over more from the Celestial Temple. Never did Cinn question his belief in the Prophets, but it wasn't until he left the planet and travelled amongst the stars did he meet them in person. Who else could say that they have had a direct conversation to their gods? It was now he feel sorry for Lucan. Theurgy's journey wouldn't likely take them to Câroon. It could very well be the rest of Nicander's life before he could commune with his gods again, all it took Cinn was a trip to the shrine in his quarters.

Lucan either hadn't noticed the gap in reply from Cinn, or decided not to deal with it as he changed the topic. Noluk Kalmil had been returned to the living. With that they had moved on, Cinn's previous feelings of sadness and pity had been replaced with a humorous realisation.

"And you said no one needed your magic hands." He snorted a laugh, imbibing another sip. "Just when everyone thinks they know you, doctor, you go and pull another trick out of your hat." He raised his glass in salute. Say what you will about the man, Cinn was in many ways impressed by the Câroon doctor.

"Was it Kalmil or Solkar that gave Hendricks that bottle of Gin with his name on it?" Cinn queried, trying to remember what he knew about the Master Chief. After everything that had happened, apparently the Bajoran struggled to tell the difference between the Vulcan chief engineer or the bald Deltan who had replaced him. Before Lucan would reply however, the door to the spearhead lounge opened with its telltale hiss. In a usual bar, it wouldn't have been heard over the sound of the patrons but the fact there was only two amplified the sound across the empty space. Craning his neck, Cinn turned to see who had disturbed the peace of two old reminiscing comrades. Natalie Stark had snuck in for a nightcap or perhaps the space for a quiet reflection. Either way, it didn't matter to Cinn. He turned to back to Lucan. "I know someone who should remember." He said, indicating with his head towards to the petite Operations officer.

"Stark!" Cinn called across the lounge, with a large grin. He knew that he would make the human jump. Part of him felt bad, but Cinn knew to take easy pleasures when he could. "Come join us!"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #6
[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Briodge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy]

It had been a hell of a shift, but then, given what they were going into tomorrow, it was no surprise that everyone had worked harder, and longer. And yet, as drained as she should be, Natalie was on edge. She wasn't sure what she needed, but pacing around her quarters wasn't it. Neither was haunting her office, or looming over the next shift of Ops officers that had come onto duty. She traced her fingers across the surface of her console on the bridge, and finally forced herself up and away, turning over the station to the duty officer.

With a sigh, she swept her hair up into a messy bun to get it off the back of her neck, which she then squeezed with one hand. Past the tactical console, and into the turbolift, she paused, looking over the ship directory.

Below decks - no, she couldn't go there. For all her sins, Natalie remembered a conversation, plans for remolding, the brash musician that was going to take over the lower level bar and turn it into something magnificent. Remembered promising to help him. Remembering an offer for dinner, that never panned out, because of a mutiny. Remembering a spray of blood as his body crashed into her captors, knife in hand. Remembering the dead look in Rory's eyes...

Shaking her head, Stark knew she couldn't go there. But she not be alone. "Spearhead Lounge," she told the computer, as the lift kicked into gear, whisking her away from the bridge.

[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy] Atten: Lucan Nicander, Wenn Cinn

Hair still up, and the top of her uniform undershirt unzipped, Natalie rubbed her exposed throat as she walked into the lounge. She had been there once or twice since joining the crew of the Theurgy but she'd not been to it since before her promotion to Chief of Operations. She needed....she needed a drink to calm her nerves, plain and simple. Hence a stop at the bar where she was at least likely able to get something that wasn't synthohol, but real. It was easier than reprograming her replicator to bypass standard fleet protocols, that was for sure.

"Stark!" the booming voice called out, just as she'd turned towards the bar in the darkened, star lit room, and she nearly jumped out of her skin. Her boots did, in fact, leave the floor and it was everything she could do not to yelp. Surely, that would have ruined any of the confidence she'd managed to grow over the past few weeks. "Come join us!"

Turning, slowly, and placing a hand on the bar to steady herself, Natalie took in the view of two men by one of the windows - the darker form of Wenn Cinn, leaning in his chair, looking back over his shoulder at her, and the lighter Dr. Lucan Nicander, cast in the glow of warp and stars, shadows crawling across his face a smirk clearly in place. A smirk so similar to the one he'd worn in the cramped confines of the Jefferies tubes, as he leaned down to kiss her, not very long ago.

Yup. Heat had crawled into her cheeks for sure.

Hoping her voice didn't crack, the brunette Chief of Ops replied, "Hard to refuse a summons like that, gentlemen. Just a moment." Steadying herself, she leaned over the counter and ordered a Samarian sunset, one leg raised slightly, the top of her boot rubbing against the back of the calf of her other leg. She rested her elbows on the bar, as it took the bartender a moment to fix the drink, and then placed it on the counter. The clear liquid caught some of the low light, and then the bartender rapped a knuckle against the edge of the glass. A burst of color formed in the center, swirling out, until the glass contained a faintly glowing orangeish yellow concoction, the surface still rippling from the tap. A sip to ensure the sweetness of the drink, and then Natalie steeled herself, walking over with what she hoped was confident ease, towards the Doctor and Security Chief.

"Gentlemen," she spoke softly, stepping up to join them.

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #7
[ Doctor Nicander | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista

When Wenn Cinn raised his glass to toast Nolak Kalmil's sudden 'resurrection', Lucan reciprocated the gesture and raised his own glass of water. "What can I say? I suppose I am a man of many surprises, still keeping you all guessing as to what I am capable of."

Truer words had never been said in untruth.

The arrival of Natalie Stark drew both their eyes, of course, and the question Cinn asked about the bottle of Gin went unanswered beyond a slight shrug. Lucan derived Cinn's intention just before he asked Stark to join them, and the idea to speak with her anew after what they went through during the Ishtar Incident - and the self-treatment they shared afterwards - it did intrigue Lucan quite a bit. He had kept track of Stark, of course, knowing about the unfulfilled fling she'd had with the bartender from the Harbinger, but he had not approached her again in any way or form beyond the platonic staff meetings. She was a sleeping asset since the Ishtar Incident, and he knew that if he needed her, he could play his hand, and try to sway her to do his bidding. It would seem innocent to her... a favour so small and insignificant, until she ended up taking the blame for something he'd done. Better yet, he would make it so that he'd seem innocent. That her, of course, could not possibly have known that things would develop the way they did.

Lately, however, he had come to wonder if he truly needed his dormant assets. Day by day, his personal ambitions grew less important. He feared, however, that the needs of the thing inside had taken possession of his priorities... even though he wanted to believe the charade he played all days long were beginning to matter to him more. If that was the case, then what was he supposed to do? If he put the cattle aboard the ship before Kisane, what did that say about him? What would Kisane say, knowing he had forgotten her? No, surely he wouldn't betray her memory. Not for the insipid skin-puppets and their futile crusade...

And just like that, he knew that his thoughts were not his own.

So treacherous was the fine line he crossed that he hardly knew the difference any more. It troubled him, but again, not so much as it should. He knew he should be concerned, trying to find a way to get the thing inside out of him, but that will and fickle urgency slipped from his mind like sand through his fingers, and instead... he found himself enjoying the sight of Stark's behind where she stood before the bar counter. He did not stare openly, of course, meeting Cinn's eye when he looked back, and Lucan had a comment in mind to make it appear he hadn't looked at all. "Please be gentle with the human," he said, a concerned frown - as if for a patient - passed over his exotic features. "She has been through a lot. Not just with Hendrick's death, but with the obscene horrors that the crew had to live through as well."

There was enough time for Cinn to make his reply before Stark came within earshot, and she arrived with the most gentle of greetings.

"Please, have a seat," said Lucan and got up on his bare feet, gesturing for Stark to take his chair. Lucan moved to stand with his back towards the streaming stars. "How are you holding up? I can imagine Ops still has its hands full until tomorrow?"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #8
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Brutus

"Please be gentle with the human" Lucan said. "She has been through a lot. Not just with Hendrick's death, but with the obscene horrors that the crew had to live through as well."

Lucan's reaction confused Cinn. Knitting his brow, he pondered over the meaning of his words. Gentle? What did the Doctor expect him to do? As with so many things, something had happened while Cinn was 'visiting the prophets'. He had taken the time to read back through all the mission reports over the period in which he was clinically dead, but so much minutiae were lost. Relationships had developed and dissipated. Friendships had grown and gone. Cinn was still trying to work out what had happened with Nicander and Stark by the time she had joined the pair by the window. Lucan stood and offered his seat like the gentleman he was before starting in small talk.

"It's good to see you, Stark. We were taking some time to sit back, enjoy each other's company and reflect on times past. When was the last time us senior officers got that privilege?" The question at the end was majority rhetorical but still poignant none the less. After everything that has happened, it seemed that many of the crew now kept to themselves. Cinn pondered the need for a morale officer. Perhaps he should suggest it to Ives the next time they sat down together?

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #9
[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14  | USS Theurgy] Atten: Cinn, Lucan

Any other day, Natalie might have protested - though always appreciated - the gesture that the good doctor had made. This day though, she was already thoroughly worn out, and graciously accepted the chair, sinking into it, while balancing her drink in her right hand. She settled in, with a soft, "Thank you, Doctor," and a smile for both men. It was a slightly weary smile, but it was genuine and more open that she would have been months ago, when Cinn was first alive, and she was still only a Lieutenant, still Hendricks Assistant Chief.

"Running the boys and girls ragged," Natalie responded to Lucan first, sipping from her drink, just a little taste. If she gulped it down well, lord knows what kind of impression she'd leave the duo with. "Given all that we still have to do for tomorrow's assult...we'll be ready but it'll be close. Trying to make sure everyone also gets some decent sleep," she made a face, disdain for the logistics of it all.

Turning to Wenn Cinn, the brunette favored the dark skinned Bajoran with as equally bright a smile as she gave the doctor a moment before. It was....odd, having him back, but she wasn't upset, far from it. So many had been lost...Hendricks, Winterbourne, Rory .. that getting one of their own back, however oddly, was a welcome surprise to say the very least. She drank in the tone of his voice as much as his words, comparing and contrasting the two men, albeit not as a conscious effort.

"I..honestly, the last time I was in here was my promotion," she gave a little shrug, "And i guess the last time we all really tried to relax, well...that didn't go all that well." This time the smile was both understated and rueful. She could picture the bombardment, the ash rising into the air on that damned planet as she tried, desperately, to beam up as many crew from both the Theurgy and Harbinger, barely hours after she had enjoyed a wonderful sweet red wine and a serenade by Rory.

Damn, but that man keeps sneaking into things. I came here so I wouldn't have to think about him! The angry words flashed in the back of her mind by she forced her features back into something more pleasant. "It has been far too long since we've had a moment to catch our breathes, even if it is on the eve of what might be our last run."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #10
[ Doctor Nicander | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista & Brutus

Natalie Stark didn't seem too optimistic about the crew's survival, and Lucan felt that despite his better knowledge, he should offer some words of encouragement.

"We should see which way the wind blows tomorrow before we assume it will make us fall," he said, not appearing carelessly optimistic, but not undermining his own sentiment on the matter either  - his exotic features betraying no doubt to his native words. "If they are willing, Ives' words will be heard, and we will gain allies in this mission we have undertaken. If we fail, but we escape the Starfleet forces that are likely meaning to ambush us, then it is not like we are worse off than we are right now - alone and still continuing against all odds. Should we die... then we make the mistake to think the truth dies with us. The truth cannot be denied, only more difficult to be found - one crew less fighting for it to be heard. I think that eventually, there will be a second wind, and others will learn what we learned, accomplishing what we couldn't. All we can do, is to do what we can to preserve freedom in this Quadrant - to raise the veil from the eyes of the fleet."

Just words, so easily spoken, so easily made to sound earnest. As if he almost believed them himself, against his better knowing. Done was done, and there were no means to undo it. He had come to the lounge for closure, reflecting upon the years spent on the ship, and Wenn Cinn had joined him in doing so - only for other reasons entirely.

"This crew needs this," he added quietly, turning his head to look at the streaming stars behind him. "Some way to spread the truth and become vindicated - to be absolved in the eyes of the Federation. A chance to set the record straight, and wake up in the morning not being persecuted for something they are innocent of. The crew is deserving a lot, but because of what we've done... it won't be easy to accept the truth once it is spread out there."

Deciding that it wasn't the time to dwell on the heavier implications, wishing to keep the conversation a bit lighter since it would be his last chance to speak with the two, he chuckled and waved it off. "So, Stark, you are not part of the cult, are you? Do the people thinking Morali is some kind of oracle have a name yet? The Sarresh Club? The Covenant of the Prophet? How many in your departments are buying into all that?"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #11
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Brutus

Wenn Cinn scoffed quietly at Lucan's names for the group growing around their opinion that Morali was some sort of emissary, or leader, after his 'divine' resurrection. The concept was irritating to Cinn. Morali's salvation was the result of medical science, nothing more. It was, in fact, Cinn who had met his gods and been granted a second life. It was Cinn who had awoken with a start on the table of a morgue and had escaped to continue Theurgy's clandestine mission. While he had no wish to the group to be praising him instead, Cinn didn't like the idea that Morali was on a par with the very beings who had returned Cinn's life to him. All in all, it was, quite frankly, insulting and Cinn's view on the topic was easy to sum up.

"I've met the prophets, Doctor. Believe me, Morali ain't one."

He didn't particularly want to talk about the coming mission, nor did he want to give Morali's cult any more time than required. It was Cinn's hope that the movement would just fade away of its own accord. Either way, his security team was ready to move, no matter the resolution. However, there was something about Stark's comment on her lack of visits to the spearhead lounge that captured Cinn's imagination.

"You know, I remember when I first stepped into this room. It was on the evening of the commissioning, about an hour after I had joined Theurgy. I'd worked hard, spending years aboard the Tycho as deputy." He reminisced. "I had fought for this position, sending Ives multiple subspace messages myself. Whether I was right for the job or had finally worn him down, the Captain has never said. Though, I've never known him to willingly relent." Cinn chuckled, pausing to take another sip of amber nectar from his glass.

"However, that is not the point of this story. I looked around this lounge, drink in hand, learning the faces of my crewmates. The XO was just finishing up their speech and I got a call. It was the first as my new status of chief, so I will remember it always. Leaving the rest of the senior staff I rushed down to the scene. Crew quarters, deck 18, subsection 24-B." Cinn looked between his companions to check they were still interested in this story. "I was expecting the worst, I had prepared myself. Then I arrived onto the scene. All the drama, all the excitement was replaced when I was told that Crewman Rohijo had lost his antique vase. My first case and it was lost property!"

"It had been in family for generations and was priceless to him. So, we do the normal work, check for break-in, scan for forensic evidence, interview his Bolian roommate to eliminate foul play. Finally, we take Rohijo through his day, back to when he last saw this vase. He remembers seeing it when he was unpacking and thus, after checking his bags, we find it - all safe and sound. Apparently he was so determined to unpack it last that he forgot about it and stored his luggage." Cinn smiled with amusement. After all this time, he couldn't be upset. Time heals all wounds, and disappointments. "I was devastated but to console myself, I figured I could get back in time to still enjoy the festivities and I set out. By the time I got back to the Spearhead it was over, everyone had left. All beside Flynn, who was determined to see a drunk Vulcan by encouraging Solkar to try something called 'pălincă'."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #12
[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14  | USS Theurgy] Atten: Cinn, Lucan

Conceding the general gist of Dr Nicander's statement, Natalie gave the dark haired man a slow nod, her lips pressed against the rim of her glass for another sip of her Sunset. Her eyes nearly shot out of her head, however, when Lucan asked her about the new 'following' that the temporal affairs officer seemed to have picked up. She swallowed back a cough, blinking her eyes a few times, and looked between her two companions, dumbfounded.

"Cult of Moralli? He has a cult? A following? You have got to be kidding me!" She exclaimed, disbelief clear in her expression. She set her glass down hard on the table between the trio, shaking her head. Cinn's lack of enthusiasm for the conversation was equally clear in his short quip to the good Doctor, which drew Natalie's gaze in turn. She wasn't sure where she stood on the whole idea of the divinity of the Bajoran's Prophets, but they at least seemed to be able to work the occasional miracle, and impact the world around them. Gods, or simply powerful beings, they were real enough, she supposed.

Best not to voice the opinion there aloud, Nat, she mentally added, switching gears as the Security Chief began to reminisce. She listened with rapt attention as he recounted his first visit to the lounge, and how it had been cut short. When appropriate, she let out a little giggle, clearly amused by the antics.

"A drunk Vulcan?" She found herself asking, warming up to the conversation. "Is that even physically possible? I know they drink - they have that vile stuff, their so called 'port'. Yuck -" She'd had some real port, thanks to Rory - nope, not going down that road - she steered herself back to the conversation - "But I've never seen one drink more than the occasional sip of champagne or something similar at formal events." Her gaze shifted over to Lucan, curious as to if he knew any medical reasons as to if the pointy-eared founding members of the Federation could actually succumb to intoxication.

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #13
[ Doctor Nicander | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista & Brutus

During Wenn Cinn's story about his first visit to the lounge they were in, Lucan tuned out a little bit, but only briefly and in deeper thoughts about the following of Sarresh Morali. He had not counted on the development of the crew seeing the Ash'reem reborn as some kind of sign of hope. Captain Ives had ordered Lucan to preform a miracle just so that the Theurgy might be forewarned if his kin attempted to use temporal breaches to prevent the truth from coming out. In Lucan's estimation, it would hardly matter. It might be a concern that the Junior Lieutenant would suddenly hold knowledge that could undermine the efforts of his kin, but given the nature of the mission on the morrow, it would hardly matter. At least, Lucan surmised, not in the regard of stopping him in time.

Of course Wenn Cinn wouldn't be impressed, he thought before returning his full attention to the conversation. Lucan still had no idea how the Bajoran had been revived, but then again quantum physics had proven that there were more realities than the material one. He would know, of course, because what he carried inside him was not from his present existence. Therein was the very reason his kin bothered with overthrowing all known societies, because their existence fed upon his. His own issue was that he wasn't finished yet, and it seemed that his kin could not predict the course of the ship he served on, so it was all up to him. Fortunately, he had done the hardest part already - the result better than he had expected. His only wish was that he could cast all his doubts aside, and not fret about the fate of the crew. The winds knew it was sealed right from the start, only delayed by the Relativity.

Stark brought up the question about Vulcans, and Lucan chuckled as according to the everyday act he played. The pretence a second nature. Or first, rather, since the host were to act as it was before joining. Sensibility, logic and control all aspects vital for furthering the process. The old him would say he had been reduced to a means of tenderising meat for his kin, while the new him looked forward to indulging himself in the process. The Vulcan immune system, however, would hardly stomach any of it.

"Unless Flynn brought sugary sweets and chocolates to the table," he said and shook his head ruefully where he stood, "then I am afraid our old helmsman must have been disappointed in his endeavour. Vulcans are quite immune to both synthehol and alchohol, whereas common candy would have inebriated him rather quickly."

Having said this, Lucan decided to change the topic to the Phoenix Project, or rather, the procedure where he had restored Sarresh Morali to life. "I hate to ruin this evening by sharing my personal regrets, but I feel that unless I speak of them now, and fortune doesn't favour us tomorrow, then I never might," he said, not sounding grave at all, but rather apologetic. He took a deep breath, paused, and then looked between the two seated officers before him. "Since we fled Starfleet Headquarters on Earth, our voyage has taken us through a lot of dire straits, but I have always admired Captain Ives in how he has stood by the ways of how Starfleet used to be. Never erring from the tenets of the Federation. Yet when it came to Morali, present cult or not, I maintain that he should not have undergone the procedure."

Wenn Cinn had been there when Morali woke up, the former Ash'reem being gawked upon like some circus animal preforming a trick when he came to.

Standing by the biobed, Lucan had his team at his back, or rather, those of them who had assisted in the restoration of their Temporal Affairs Officer. Head Nurse Jenkins and Doctor Duv, Nurse Vojona and Doctor Maya. The only one not belonging to medical in some capacity was Petty Officer Cardamone - or Sar'unga Neleo - who had proven key to the outcome of the project. A project that Lucan had come to call the Phoenix Project in his reports to command. 

Before the biobed stood Captain Ives at the forefront, with First Officer Rez and CSec Wenn at their side. The Bajoran's presence, new or renewed as it were, had its explanation in how Morali might be violent. Then, lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the Chief Counsellor was there as well: Doctor Hayden Quinn O'Connor being there to calm the Ash'reem down if needed be.  

"Any questions before I wake him up?" he asked the gathering quietly, making sure not to gloat at his team's achievement. No, he remained sceptical and professional about what he had been ordered to do - still signalling how disgruntled he was at sparing resources for the poor man that had lost everything but his beating heart and - hopefully - his mind. 
Captain Ives  - in her female form - shook her head slowly, eyes locked on the man on the biobed.

Cinn uncrossed his arms and let them hang loose at the side of his body, he looked relaxed but his muscles were ready to jump into action should the need arise at a moments notice.  When the Doc asked if there were any questions he nodded, "Just one and just in case.  How fragile is he going to be?  If he gets out of hand I'd rather not undo the work you've done to get him to this point."

His pale eyes centring on Wenn Cinn - this as-of-yet uncorrupted pawn in Lucan's manipulative game that had unexpectedly returned to the board - the Chief Medical Officer took the opportunity to incline his head in recognition. "Ah, glad you asked..." he said and a glimmer of his natural charm surfaced briefly despite the grimness of what had been done and at what expense to other injured aboard. He gave the Bajoran an smiling appraisal. "It would appear that Sarresh Morali was not the only one returned to the living after this battle. Not only will I credit the Prophets for their fine judgement in returning you to us, but also their medical fortitude to return you as you were. Not sure I could picture you as a Ferengi, for example, or a Bolian, Mr. Wenn." 

Gesturing towards Junior Lieutenant Morali, Lucan answered the large man's question. "We were not quite so successful in that regard, as you can see. Circumstances forced us to make him human, and while that should give him a bit more bodily strength than his Ash'reem body held, he is still physically human, with all the fragility or sturdiness their physique hold. Our readings say that Petty Officer Cardamone's blank cells have restored him, and there are no areas in his body still undergoing the healing process." Pausing his explanation, Lucan resumed his official role and did make an emphasis that cut no confusion about what his expectations were on his 'turf' of the ship. "I do hope, however, that there will be no cause to traumatise the poor man further than we've already might, so I would prefer if there would be no unnecessary violence here in Sickbay." 

Indeed, jokes aside, he was still the ethics-bound medical officer that he was. Or acted to be... hard as it was to differentiate past and current appearances with what he had become. Truth and Untruth mixed in his chaotic existence.

In the Spearhead Lounge, Lucan took a deep breath. "When the Captain brought him up from Theta Eridani IV, Morali had no eyes. He had no tympanic membranes left. No vocal cords either. I could not guarantee that his brain was unaffected. I told the Captain that Ash'reem physique is highly unique, and I didn't think there was any Federation doctor that knew it well enough to reconstruct him with his DNA. The Captain brushed me off, ordering me to take the ocular implants from a dead body and give them to Morali. It implied how far the Captain is willing to go for this mission to succeed. In the end, he did not heed my refusal, forcing my hand in undertaking the project, regardless what Federation medical ethics dictated."

He paused there, sighing. "I do not expect anything in me saying this to you tonight, merely sharing my fears that we have already begun to stray..."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #14
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Brutus

Cinn listened carefully to Nicander as he talked about regrets in saving Sarresh Morali. The Bajoran knew the turmoil and frustration that the good doctor would be going though. He pressed his glass to his lips to imbibe some more and when Lucan had finished, Cinn spoke.

"We all have to do things that..." He trailed off, distracted by memories of orders he wished he hadn't obeyed. In a moment of self-awareness, Cinn wouldn't help but scoff gently to himself, curling a corner of his mouth. Part of it was amusing. No matter what happened, how many times he asked the prophets for forgiveness, how many times he tried to redeem himself by doing the right thing, his past actions would still prey on his mind. "...That rally against our core beliefs."

"As difficult as it may be, Lucan, what is done is done.  Wish as we might, we cannot undo the effects of time, nor can we put things back to how they were before. we just have to carry on, but how we continue shows who we are."
As he spoke, he watched the doctor. Reassuring, trusting eyes, watching the man in the teal uniform.

"Whilst you committed the act which saved Morali, you kept to your moral and ethical standards. You did you must. You objected. In the end, the procedure would have been done with or without you. The fact that after you questioned the orders, you partook in the operation allowing the greatest chance for him to live. It may have been deplorable, but be proud that you didn't let a man die through inaction."

"It is the Captain I pity. It is a difficult path that Jien has to walk."
It was usual for Cinn to use the Captain's given name outside of conversations with Ives, but it just slipped out. Besides, they were all friends here speaking candidly. "Not every step he takes may be right but at the end of it, he and his peers will have to look at his actions, his choices, and ask 'was it all really worth it?'." He paused to drain the last drops of amber liquid from his glass. "I just hope it is."

With that he stood from his chair and took a step towards the good doctor. Wenn Cinn put his empty hand on his shoulder and gave a gentle yet firm squeeze. A reassuring action from a friend. "Let me buy you a drink." He turned away to head to the bar before looking back over at their lithe compatriot. "Stark, can I interest you in anything?"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #15
[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14  | USS Theurgy] Atten: Cinn, Lucan

As the doctor walked them through his regrets in regards to the Ash'reem turned human, Natalie sipped at her drink, enraptured. The bite of the alcohol was washed away by the sweetness of the drink, so that it went down fairly smooth. And, as was the design, if one didn't pay much attention to what one was doing, the drink could go down fast. Which was the case with  Natalie tonight. She'd finished the thing by the time the Doctor wrapped up, and Cinn made his comments.

She really did feel for the Captain. He - or she, as the cameliod tended to choose that form around Natalie at least - had the weight of the galaxy on her shoulders, the condemnation of her chosen home and the responsibility to save it from those that might seek to do it harm - from within, as well as without. It was not a job that Natalie would want and she wondered if, had a different, less steadfast captain been the one to discover the threat, how they would have fared. And then she remembered Vassar, and the Harbinger, realizing she knew exactly what would happen, and shuddered.

Blinking, she looked back up at the darker bajoran, then down to her glass. "Another one of these, please?" She shouldn't but well, tomorrow might be their last day and frankly she now needed to chase a few memories away. She managed a smile for the CSec though as he sauntered off to the bar, and then turned her gaze back to the starlit doctor. Yes, he was as handsome as ever, she admitted to herself, and secretly, she was pleased with the tryst the two had had. That nothing more had come of it was probably for the best, she noted. But it had been a welcome relief and had helped her deal with the aftermath of ...everything.

With a little gesture, she steepeled her fingers and rested them on her knees, one leg crossed over the other. Looking up at Lucan, she said, "For what it is worth - I think you've already saved us, by doing what you did. It was a hard thing, Cinn is right," she tilted her head towards the man, back at the bar, "you made your protest, and if you had not been the one to perform the surgery, Sarresh would have likely died on the table. At least, in this you did save a life even might not be a life that wanted saved." A rueful smile quirked at her lips, "And now you can add 'father to a cult' to your resume. Thats got to impress someone, right Doctor?"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #16
[ Doctor Nicander | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista & Brutus

Listening to Wenn Cinn, Lucan might have expected the consolations and reassuring words about his conduct, even if he'd had his own reasons for restoring Morali. The Captain might have had the mission in mind when he - or she - gave the order, yet for the Câroon doctor, it has been a mix of raising himself above any suspicion, and evaluating the versatility of the Asurian's blank cells. What harm had it truly been to conduct the experiment, when he could simply have the test subject killed easily enough before he did something that jeopardised his and his kin's plans for the battle? No, he had revived the mission's tactical layout, and it was quite evident that - with the Temporal Affairs Officer serving on the bridge - there would be no risk of him interfering. If he had been any kind of liability, he'd simply 'developed' a complication in the wake of his DNA re-sequencing, and died without further delay.

"Another glass of water, please," said Lucan, his small smile signalling the end of the matter and acceptance of the Bajoran's sentiment, "I don't personally care to drink before a day like the morrow, but I respect all those who prefer to do so. It is merely how my own nervousness manifests itself, I guess."

After Wenn Cinn left, Natalie Stark more or less seconded the Chief of Security in regard of the Captain's plight and difficulty, offering an explanation to the unjust order he had been given and Lucan merely inclined his head with a small smile. As he looked at her, he could not quite suppress the images of her writhing in pleasure underneath himself, the sensation of trusting himself inside her in the Jefferies tube at the forefront of his mind. There were other images too, where they had revisited the Niga Incident because of Ishtar, and the first time they had been at its mercy. Strapped to the deck plates in Cargo Bay 04 and Cir'Cie riding him, and right next to him, vine-like tentacles invading Stark and making her climax despite the horror.

Never in his life had Dr. Lucan cin Nicander felt such lustful hunger.

He was going to come soon, and he knew that his orgasm would consume him. Yet there was no way to stop it. Even if his hands and legs were freed, he would still want to continue. He was addicted to it now; this friction of a woman's sheath. With every move of her body, he lost a little bit more of his mind. And soon - very soon - there would be nothing left, except for depraved, obscene urges. He knew this, and yet he laid there and smiled as Cir'Cie bounced enthusiastically, moaning with pon farr savagery as she screwed herself toward her own sexual culmination. She squeezed her breasts for him, squirting of silvery milk down upon his chest and face. He gazed up at her and wanted nothing more than to touch her, and he yanked at his restraints solely for that purpose.

Yet the first orgasmic, gagged, mewl belonged to Lieutenant Natalie Stark. She had raised her hips up in the air, bucking wildly against the purple vine that churned in and out of her. Frothy fluids oozed and dripped from her convulsing entrance as the alien plant continued to spear its way deep into her, while dozens of smaller tendrils probed her in countless other places where her body was the most sensitive. Lucan heard her moaning and whimpering in the throes of sexual bliss around the vine that thrust down her throat, no longer concerned about the fact that she was soon to be impregnated by the alien's seed. Already, Lucan knew he would claim her next - her cries heightening his own experience.

Just then, something unexpected happened. Cir'Cie lit up like a Warp Core about to explode and was thrown off the Doctor like a disposed rag - sliding and rolling along the patch-work undergrowth. Lucan cried out in loss of her intimate contact - his face a mask of rage. The beast inside screeched for blood.

There had been a bright flash of light, and a squad of armed troopers in hazmat gear had suddenly appeared in the middle of the Garden. Bright blue beams lanced out at the naked crew members, toppling them into stunned unconsciousness. Concentrated shots were dealt towards the farthest dark corner of the cargo bay - where the twenty foot tall and mud-covered cluster of a root system trashed about in a death dance. Alien vines everywhere writhed to life in agony. The blue light made the monstrosity seem even more grotesque in its final moments before it caught fire. It disintegrated and got torn apart in degrees by the energy weapons. The vines around the bay area snapped about like iron wires, sending bodies everywhere.

Within seconds, everyone in the room - including Lucan and Stark - were stunned from insanity into oblivion.

Pushing the blurry memories aside, he realised that Stark had mentioned Morali's cult, and he dismissed the notion to woo the Chief of Operations anew, at least unless she showed an interest in him. He had much to dwell upon, and he could either distract himself with her, or remain focused on the plans he and his kin had for the mission. Of course, he had made all the required precautions, set everything in motion, but there was the matter of making sure nothing unforeseen happened. One thing, perhaps, having to do with Wenn Cinn. Then again, his source had assured there was no risk of interference on his part, and if there was, it could be handled. Therefore, Lucan merely chuckled and inclined his head to Stark.

"I don't know," he said, shifting his stance a little and willing himself to not react bodily to the images prevalent in his mind as he looked at the human. Fortunately his loose white garments were quite forgiving. "By the winds, I just hope they are harmless, and that - if I can be ascribed the responsibility - haven't set something unfortunate in motion. Ultimately, I think it should be Mister Morali's priority to disperse them... if he can."

While Wenn Cinn was at the bar, Lucan met the human's gaze with his pale grey eyes, and his smile lingered. "You know, I never heard from you in regard to that follow-up examination you wanted, despite how you thought it might be... theraputic." He raised a hand to forestall any nervous outburst, his comment merely meant in jest. "My apologises, that was not kind. I fully respect that you'd rather not challenge the regulations, and I should continue to live by your example. It was not my meaning to tease you for it. I am merely glad we could put the past behind us, and serve the mission at our full capacity, despite what we lived through."

OOC: Perhaps Brutus again, before Wenn Cinn returns? :)

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #17
[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14  | USS Theurgy] Atten: Cinn, Lucan

A blush creeped up into the Lt. Commanders cheeks at the doctors quip. She agreed that Morali aught to get his ass in gear about the cult. Nip it in the bud, but she figured they were also harmless. God, who could blame them for looking for some kind of anything really, any bit of hope? Stupid as shit, but harmless. And not at all why she was blushing.

No, that was for the doctors reminder about her proposal. Therapeutic session. Oh god she had forgotten she had said that in the heat of the moment. The cramped confines of the jefferies tube, the press of his body to hers. He was taking it all back quite fast, but she still had the thought.  She bit the inside of her cheek and would down her glass to buy herself a few more seconds but she had already emptied it just prior. Of course. The universe was twisted like that.

Running her finger around the rim of the glass, she looked out at the stars, and then back at the white clad doctor. "Actually, Doctor," she said, quietly, "It wasn't exactly lack of interest just...everything that happened. The Harbinger mutiny," - Rory Callahan - "the rescue mission.  This raid, just one thing after another, after another. Regulations didn't have anything to do with it." A soft sigh, looking away again. She wasn't saying that she was interested, she wasn't saying that she wasn't. Who knows what might happen in the future. "I'm not offended, don't worry about that, Doctor and," she pictured those damn vines again, swallowed, and said, "I"m glad to put Niga" Ives assault, Rorys death and what might have been, "Behind me."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #18
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Brutus

It didn’t take long for Winn Cinn to get the drinks together. Each glass now sat on the small round tray that he carried back to the group. Lucan and Natalie seemed to be sharing some form of moment that was lost to the Bajoran. It seemed to happen more than not these days. With all that happened in the gap between his death and return, it was no wonder that some of the crew eyed with discontent. He was a living figment of the past, one where it wasn’t all so bad.

“I hope the good doctor isn’t boring you, Stark.” He said jokingly, breaking the ice. Cinn placed each of the glasses down on the small table in front of them, before retrieving the empty glasses and putting them, alongside the tray, on a nearby table. The holographic waiters would come and collect them, at least this way they wouldn’t be disturbed by the photonic men.

Finally sitting back with the two, he reached and cradled the square glass tumbler holding his drink. He watched the two officers before him. Cinn could tell they had been talking about something that he shouldn’t be privy to, especially with the small flush that was on the operations officer’s cheeks. However, the situation did cause a memory to stir.

“Did Dr. Nicander ever tell you about his first two weeks on Theurgy?” He started, smirking towards the Câroon, hoping he knew where Cinn was going with this. “I had to post a security guard outside sickbay. News of this attractive young Doctor arriving had spread and there had been a sudden influx of Ensigns and petty officers coming down with headaches, coughs, space-sickness and pre-emptive physicals. So much so that the XO had wondered if we have some form of influenza outbreak aboard.”

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #19
[ Doctor Nicander | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista & Brutus

"I sympathise with that," said Nicander when Stark spoke of putting things behind her. For him, it was the time served on the ship, the doubts plaguing him about what he should make a priority. When they reached Starbase 84, he would have to leave it all behind - the die already cast. Any renewed dalliance with Stark would be best left forgotten, even if the doors were never truly shut, and she did not seem entirely reluctant towards the idea either.

Then, Cinn returned and he could not continue making any further suggestions, and the Bajoran brought up another anecdote. One that had Lucan chuckling and pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Oh, please, you are embarrassing me," he said and shook his head, taking a deep breath. "We were all new on the Theurgy back then, the launch date coming up, and the original crew hardly knowing each other at all. But for some strange reason, you've got the idea that the lines to sickbay had something to do with me personally, when the entire crew were required to undergo physicals and we were short on both time and staff. That was why there was a security guard outside sickbay, to keep the crowd from being unruly, that's all."

The truth depended on whom you asked about it, but while Lucan maintained his version, and Cinn would not see it any other way than his own, it might just be the time to settle the matter. At the expense of Stark, though, who just happened to be available now that it had come up again.

"Surely that was the case, right?" he asked the Chief of Operations where she sat, and let the light-heartened banter between Cinn and him be a second way to tease her - to reminder her - about what they'd done in the Jefferies tube after the visit from the Ishtar entity. "I remember you entering my office back then, so you should be able to settle whether or not there is any kind of credence to the ridiculous claim that I had anything at all to do with it, right?"

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #20
Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14  | USS Theurgy] Atten: Cinn, Lucan

Natalie could tell where this was going almost from the moment Cinn spoke up. It was like she had a sixth sense, a premonition of what was to come. And sure enough, as a somewhat embarrassed looking Dr. Nicander and an impishly curious Cmdr. Wenn both turned their faces, she knew she was right.  Coughing to hide her own embarassment Natalie swept her glass right back up and took a slow pull from it, savoring the bursting flavors, the sweet followed by the burn as it rolled over her tongue, down her throat, and made her just slightly more light headed.

Her cheeks were red, dammit. She could feel the heat against her fingertips.

"Well," she said slowly, trying to keep her words steady, "As you said we were all new to the ship, and all required to show up for a physical." She paused, catching a glimpse of triumph in Lucan's eyes before she continued, "And here is this new doctor, personally ensuring to give all the physicals, and have to admit, Doctor, you are rather...easy on the eyes?" Don't blush more Natalie, don't you dare think about the Jefferies Tube don't you - damn she thought to herself, feeling her skin turn a slightly darker shade.

Half expecting vindication to be rolling off of the Security Chief, she gave him a small nod, and pointed with her glass towards Nicander, finishing with, "We all had to be there for physicals but really, we wouldn't have been in half as much a rush if you were and old codger, Doctor."

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #21
[ Wenn Cinn | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Brutus

Cinn wouldn't help but chortle at Stark's insinuation that the whole situation could have been avoided if Nicander was older. It had been like that during the entire time Cinn had known his friend and colleague. Anytime they had taken leave together, the good doctor has garnered more attention than Cinn expected. He supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised by Stark’s interest. She was an attractive enough young lady. Certainly, the deep red flush across her face didn’t hurt anything. Cinn was about to comment that she need not be embarrassed when his combadge chirped. Instantly Cinn answered the call. On the end of the line was David Wyburn, the petty officer on duty in the security center.

[Chief, sorry to disturb, but I thought you'd like to know. We've got reports of unauthorised access of materials in Cargo Bay 8. Initial signs are pointing towards...] There was a pause, as if Wyburn didn't really want to say [...AOI Delta.]

AOI Delta? Cinn thought back to his AOI, or otherwise known as Area of Interest, list he had put out recently. Morali's Cult was item Delta on the list. Usually Cinn would have passed off the task to one of the officers on duty, but there was something about these crewmen who were devoted to the temporal affairs officer. He had to know what they were up to. 

"I'll be there shortly. Thanks for the heads up." He drained his glass and placed on the table in front them all. “No rest for the wicked, eh?” He asked rhetorically.

Standing up with a small involuntary grunt before looking across his compatriots. “This was fun. Maybe we shouldn’t leave it until the eve of the next life-threatening mission to do this again”

With nothing else left to say he left the pair in the dim light of the stars and silently he prayed. No longer for the mission tomorrow but that he would be able to solve this cult business before things got too out of hand.

Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #22
[ Doctor Nicander | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista & Brutus

"I second that," said Lucan and inclined his head to Wenn Cinn when he moved to answer whatever security issue had drawn him away.

In the end, he was left alone with the Chief of Operations, who had just been revealing a great many things to him. He looked at her in silence, and in the silence that lingered between them, there were their memories. He wondered, as did the parasite, if she was interested in the follow-up that had never been done, but at the same time, he guessed that the loss of that bartender from the Harbinger might put a damper on her spirit.

"I am not entirely convinced," he told her with a warm smile, in answer to her claim that he had something to do with that time when the Theurgy was launched. "But I will not argue the point. I am far too tired to revisit this argument, despite how you flatter me with your claim. It is late, and I should withdraw as well."

Saying this, he stood up, his white garments catching the streaming stars. He reached down and took Natalie's hand, and he kissed it lightly with his warm lips. "The winds guide you tomorrow, and if we make it through this... I look forward to make a follow-up, should you so desire it," he said to her, and let go of her hand. "Good night, Natalie Stark."

Having said this, Lucan turned and walked away... his thoughts on the many things that were planned for the morrow. None of which had anything to do with sickbay, but the release of his kin, and the step across the threshold - the cycles begun anew.

OOC: Let me know if I should put a - FIN here or if you want to close the scene, Brutus! :)


Re: DAY 06: Good Old Times [2100 hrs.]

Reply #23
[  Lt Cmdr Natalie Stark | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14  | USS Theurgy] Atten: Cinn, Lucan

Bright eyes watched with interest as Cinn smiled, and started to say something else, but then they narrowed as the dark skinned Bajoran shifted immediately to a more professional stance. Drinks or no, the security chief was in full swing when his combadge triggered. Both she and the good Doctor listened in -hard to avoid - and both shot Cinn reassuring looks as he got up.

As with Dr. Nicander, Natalie nodded her assent, adding, "This" Almost as if she were surprised by the revelation, she brushed a finger across the bridge of her nose, hiding a bit of her still lingering blush. With that, the broad shouldered man was gone, and Natalie's gaze shifted back to the handsome doctor. A man who knew her more intimately than anyone else currently on the ship. Than anyone else at all, silly.

They sat in silence for a moment, each observing the other, lit by the starts outside the window. She wondered what was going through his mind, did it mirror her own thoughts. Was he thinking about those cramped Jefferies tubes, and that most enjoyably unorthodox examination?

And then it was over and he had taken her hand in his, pressing his lips to her warm skin and bringing that blush searing back into place. For a moment she saw not Lucan Nicander, but her dear Rory, a man that might have been. There and gone in a flash, it dulled some of the heat in her cheeks, if not the desire between her legs.

Oh Lord, she wondered silently, was there any woman on this ship that didnt harbor some desire for this man? Controlling herself, or at the very least trying to, she gave him a tiny nod, swallowed, and said softly, "If we get through this....who knows. I'm certainly not saying no,. Doctor." She wasn't saying yes either. It would depend on a lot. She needed time to think it over.

Which was exactly what Lucan gave her. He departed, his pants clinging in just the right places for Natalie to bend over her glass and sigh, shaking her head softly. You have a department to run, people relying on you, a ship to keep afloat tomorrow. A mission that the whole galaxy might depend on you making the right choice at the right time. And here you are, sitting like a schoolgirl with a crush. Rory's barely gone, you have responsibility knocking on the door and you're wondering if you remember the way his skin tastes. Get a grip, Natalie.

Her only answer to her self chastisement was a soft, low giggle.


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