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CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

[ Lt. T'Less & Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Breen Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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T’Less was sitting crossed legged on her bunk, her eyes shut as she let her mind wander freely to work through the problems at hand. Their position was a delicate one and a single incorrect move at the wrong time could, and world, spell disaster not just for the Breen or the Federation, but for the entire Alpha and Beta Quadrants. She had little doubt that the Infested would stop there, instead journeying into the Gamma and Delta Quadrants in turn but T’Less believed that she would have died before that occurred. Either naturally or not.

The Vulcan’s meditation was broken as another person entered the crew quarters, her grumbling disturbing the otherwise calm surroundings. It took the tactical officer but a moment to identify the new arrival as Donna Petterson, the pilot whose arrival had facilitated their contact with Admiral Anderson, a much needed sourced of intelligence for their fight. Giving up on attempting to focus while the pilot was present, T’Less instead chose to answer her query about who was next for the shower.

“I believe that the current queue ends with Lieutenant zh’Wann,” T’Less informed the Terran female, gazing at her from the shadows of her bunk. She enjoyed having the lower bunk for the solitude it provided. “As soon as she returns, the shower is yours.”

“Excellent,” Donna responded, removing her jacket. Like so many of the other wolves, and indeed, most who wore an exosuit for any extended period, Donna wore little to nothing at all under the armour. Thus, when removing it, they were required to don additional garments, if only for modesty’s sake. Donna appeared to be wearing what amounted to a loose-fitting tracksuit, T’Less noted absently, though with the removal of the jacket, she now only had her standard issue sports bra.

“An odd name for the garment,” T’Less mused absently. “Though appropriate given its purpose.” The Vulcan was about to say something when the doors to their area opened and the familiar blue visage of ThanIda entered. Inclining her head, T’Less motioned to the Terran wolf to redirect her attention to the Andorian.

“It’s about time,” Donna remarked, saying nothing else as she stalked out past the deputy. Thoughts occurred to T’Less about impatience and their attached follies, but she discarded them. It was unlikely that the wolf would heed them even if she remained still long enough to hear them. Instead, she looked across at Ida.

“You look refreshed.”



“C’mon Max, you know you cannot pass up a chance to make some Latinum,” the voice echoed. Before her, the dimly lit corridors of the Jade Falcon sprawled before her as she prowled along the passageway.

“That may be true, but sometimes there are more important things that I want to do,” Max grumbled, undoing her coat and throwing it over one shoulder. “Two hours on that pig infested moon is too much. I need a shower.”

“You and the captain both,” the voice remarked, Max able to hear the grin behind the words.

“Do I need to come back there, Kiora?” Max asked, her voice cold, as she stood in the entrance to the ship’s latrine. “I’d rather avoid needed to shower again to get the blood off.”

“Ah, no, I’m good,” Kiora said, her tone suddenly uneasy. “Enjoy your shower.”

“Thank you,” Max muttered after the fading footsteps.




Locking the restroom door, Donna shook off the memory. When they got back to the Theurgy, she needed to make an appointment with the ship’s counsellor to try and get help. The memory flashes were happening more and more frequently and, while she still felt like she was in control, she was worried what it all might mean.

“Fuck the past. Let it die,” she whispered to herself, pulling her bra over her head as she turned around. That was when she realised that the shower was already running and that there was someone looking at her.

“Shit.”

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #1
[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Dealing a flat stare at the lower ranking officer of the Lone Wolves that left the crew quarters, Ida's antenna momentarily angled forward. Aye, I wager you need to clean yourself more than I, filthy Pinkskin.

With comments on her tongue, T'Less stole them when she spoke up. Ida decided to dismiss the Pinkskin and walked over to the Vulcan. She was sitting cross-legged on her bunk, likely attempting to meditate, but since she'd spoken to her when she entered, Ida figured she wasn't intruding. "Thank you," she said in answer, not bothering to don more clothing since the hour was late. Her white tank top and her Starfleet issue underwear caught the dim lighting when she sat down on the edge of T'Less' bunk. She didn't look around the open space shared by the Allegiant's crew, but she suspected that some of them were already sleeping. Therefore, she kept her voice down. "I hardly thought I would ever see the home planet of the Breen, but I guess that if I ever would, it would have been in full combat gear."

Glancing towards the other officers in the room, she continued. "Fortunately enough, it seems the Savi bio-dampening feature we added to the exosuits work, since we were able to elude detection for four straight hours. It will likely make the mission easier."

Looking back at the Vulcan, Ida's antennae rose a little in query. "What are your thoughts? Since you are no longer meditating, I am guessing you have difficulty to make your mind quiet."

[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Over the noise of the sonic shower, Jennifer had failed to pick up on the words from the speaker in the restroom, but she had heard someone was there.

So, realising belatedly that the Deputy wouldn't have locked the door from the outside, she supposed there was no reason to act indignant and chide the visitor. She looked outside, meeting the eyes of one of the four Lone Wolves that had come with them on the mission. It was Lieutenant Petterson, clearly meaning to use the shower as well given her lack of clothing. Dewitt chuckled, hearing the wolf cursing, and decided to appease her concerns, and didn't comment on the lovely sight.

"The other shower isn't working, and the Deputy forgot to lock the door when I came her as well... and it seems I did the same. My bad," she said, resuming her shower and running her hands over her self behind the glass wall. She closed her eyes and raked her fingers through her red hair while the sonic vibrations shed any residual grime from her skin. "I'll be just a minute."

Without the requirement for soaps or shampoo, Dewitt would soon be finished, but to put the other woman at ease, she decided to opt for some idle conversation. "I take it from your report that there was naught of interest to be found when you patrolled the system with the other Lone Wolves?"

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #2
[ Lt. T'Less | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Breen Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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Gazing at the Andorian, T’Less tried to gauge her mood and frame of mind. They had spoken little in recent days, last when Ida had delivered the painting and they had spoken of recent events. Their conversation had grown heavy though and T’Less was resolved to try and not let that happen again here. It would not do well for either of their mindsets to be so distracted. Either for the mission, or their own personal safety.

“I am pleased the that upgrades to the exosuits were effective under operational conditions. There is only so much theory that can be done before a technology must be put to practical use or discarded,” T’Less commented, rolling her shoulders to remove some of the stiffness. “Anything that allows us to complete our objectives easier will be a boon to us,” she added as an afterthought. 

“As for my mind, it is proving easier to quiet it than to quiet those around me,” she described, resisting the urge to glance at the other crewmen in the shared crew quarters. “I find my quarters to be a much better environment for mediation, but I will make do until a better moment presents itself.”

“And you?”
T’Less asked, looking at Ida. “How are you feeling now that we are underway once again?”



[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf -11 | Breen Space ] Attn: 
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Of anyone aboard that could have been using the shower, it had to be the mission leader, Commander Dewitt. Not that Donna was complaining beyond the awkwardness of their meeting; Jennifer Dewitt had a killer body. And while her commanding officer explained about why she was using this shower instead of the one in her own quarters, Donna took the opportunity to enjoy the view.

“Please, take you time,” Donna said with a smile, suddenly in no hurry to use the shower. Resting a bare hip against the counter, she considered the question, recognising it as something to pass the time. “Four hours of nothing but flying around pretending to be a hole in space. Reviewing and cross-referencing the sensor logs will probably yield better intel though. Should help us to be able to plot a more covert approach to the planet,” Donna commented as an idea came to her unbidden.

“Did you want some help?”

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #3
[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Hearing the quiet question from outside the sonic shower, Dewitt froze, turning her eyes and then her head towards the Lone Wolf beyond the glass of the stall. For a moment, she debated the wisdom for such a development, thinking about how her current assignment put the Junior Lieutenant under her command and how it could affect the mission as a whole...

...but on the other hand, they were both off duty. They didn't know each other, having no prior interactions to speak of. All Jennifer knew was that the Lone Wolf had relayed a message from Admiral Anderson, facilitating the cooperation with the Director of Covert Operations. "King" as his codename was, had recieved the encrypted simulcast and used Lieutenant Petterson to establish contact, and there was much to be greatful for in her accepting the word of her former employer and defecting to the Theurgy. So, she though to herself, her smile a preamble for her answer, why not show her a little bit of gratitude?

"Just lock the door, will you?" she said ruefully, and once the Lone Wolf joined her, she made sure to give her room inside the envelope of the vibrating sonic waves and the mist of the humidifiers. Her smile touched her eyes, wondering what the fighter pilot had in mind...

[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Sitting there on the edge of T'Less bunk, them keeping their voices down so that they might not disturb the other officers that were trying to sleep, she thought of the question about how she was faring, and she supposed there was a simple enough answer for it.

"Being on an away mission helps me put some distance to everything that has happened aboard Thea," she said after a couple of seconds, looking towards the deck in thought - antennae angling down. "To me, personally, and to the crew as a whole. I suppose it lends some... perspective. Some distance. Easier the see the full picture that way, if there is such a thing. Yet be that as it may, what happened on Earth suggests that our mission is far from over, and that what we are doing here in Breen space won't be the last time we try and quell the rising tensions around Federation space. I suppose that..."

She searched for the words appropriate, in how she considered the difference between the present and the past.

"I suppose that it's an improvement for us, if we were to only consider our situation, that we are no longer alone. That we have an ally in High Chancellor Martok. In that... inside man in Starfleet Headquarters, that help us with new personnel and intel. Yet when I saw the images from the UFP capitol, how the Palais de la Concorde fell, I realise that it is a bit selfish to think of it that way. For now... the enemy is no longer solely dedicated to their long term scheming and the persecution of us, but have moved to target innocent lives - our silence not being their priority any more."

Martok believed them, and if he stayed in power, the Infested couldn't gag the entire Klingon Empire.

"With Wenn Cinn's sacrifice, with external help, and by working together as a crew, we stopped the Borg invasion and removed the key component of their plans to overtake and tear down intelligent life in this Galaxy." Even after a whole month, Ida still felt the loss of Wenn Cinn keenly. "Yet by Lor'Vela, now we have an even more unpredictable enemy, bent on razing everything... by whatever means they have gathered for the last few years. We might not be their focal point any more, but I keep thinking... that may just have made matters worse. So, how do I feel?"

Ida looked up at T'Less, her blue eyes hard as ice. "Ready to fight. To end this, once and for all."

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf -11 | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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“But of course,” Donna acknowledged, turning to do exactly that. She was not of a mind to be interrupted given the potential for what might unfold next. Of course, nothing beyond helping to wash the woman’s hair and back might occur but in Donna’s experience, when two people were pressed into such intimate confines, the inevitable was likely to occur. And sometimes, all it needed was a little nudge.

With the door secured, Donna glided across the deck to the alcove and slipped inside, noting that the enclosure was clearly not designed to be occupied by two people at once. “So much the better,” came another unbidden though and Donna found herself unable to disagree with what her mind was telling her. There she was, practically pressing her body against another gorgeous woman as the mist coated their bodies. What wasn’t to like?

“Are there any specific requests or should I just start at the top and work my way down?” Donna asked with a Cheshire grin on her face.



[ Lt. T'Less | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Breen Space ]
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Listening to her friend, T’Less was forced to agree that she too felt that their mission was far from over. A part of her was resigned to spending the next significant portion of her life to stopping their enemy from enacting their plans. Yet she couldn’t help but hope that she was wrong as well. That their adversary would be defeated sooner than she hoped or expected. That she could rediscover herself without the overhanging threats that constantly seemed to dog them.

“Your determination is one of your strongest and most endearing qualities Ida, but I would ask that you temper it lest it lead you into overreaching,” T’Less advised, reaching out to rest her hand on the Andorian’s forearm for a moment, feeling the cool skin beneath before pulling back.

“With the bombing on Earth and the recent dealings with the Borg, everything is in a state of flux and upheaval. But in that chaos, there is opportunity not only for our enemy but for ourselves to gain advantage against our foe. And we must be calm and cautious so that we may seize those opportunities that cross our path,” T’Less advised calmly. “And hope that they multiply in turn.”

“But to less important matters,”
T’Less continued, changing tact. “Tell me of your time spent on Aldea. I know the planet was probably not to your liking but there must have been some good memories from our 36 days there.”

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #5
[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Chuckling, Dewitt gave the fighter pilot a once-cover before turning her back towards her - putting her hands against the glass surface of the stall.

"That sounds like a lovely start, doesn't it? Go right ahead..." she said ruefully, expecting the other woman to begin rinsing her skin, with the sonic waves raising faint vapour from them both and any excess being brushed away by touch. The humidifiers, which served to make the experience that more satisfying in how the warm mist soothed the skin, made the moment all the more tantalising. A welcome reprieve from the burden of command and the mission at hand.

So, with her hands on the glass, she closed her eyes and immersed herself in the moment, the anticipation of the development a gentle flutter in the pit of her stomach. "What do you make of our hosts?" she asked idly, the fact that the Allegiant was completely at the mercy of the Savi not escaping her, even if they had proved to be more than generous with their assistance since they reappeared at Aldea.

[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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How she might temper her determination lest it might harm her, that was something so alien to Ida she couldn't quite wrap her head around the cautionary words. Her friend meant well, of course, but a lessening of her determination seemed like not fulfilling her duties - failing her oath to protect the crew and uphold the mission parameters. She said naught, however, unsure how to respond. The touch was welcome however, and she didn't withdraw her hand from T'Less when she reached out briefly - the warmth of her fingers brushing over her blue skin.

The next claim, however, made a lot more sense, since that was about being level-headed and spotting the weaknesses in the enemy when given the opportunity. That, Ida understood fully and agreed with, nodding slowly when hearing the words. T'Less had already moved on to lighter topics, which Ida found welcome, given how the mission parameters and the fate of the crew were both still bleak prospects.

Aldea.

"Aye," she said quietly, looking at the bedcover and imagining it to be the sands of the city outskirts. "You already know what befell me on the Versant, and when I came back aboard the Theurgy. It may not have been to my liking, as far as planets go, but I needed some reprieve. Some healing from the scars, unseen and not. After the loss of Wenn Cinn and all the rest that happened in the wake of the Borg Invasion, I had a lot of time to process my experiences, and I sorely needed it. I mean..."

Ida had to chuckle, looking at the deck before them. "These six months after we fled Earth has not been kind to me. Besides all the fighting, the Niga virus making me into what I was for that brief time, followed by the Ishtar Entity making me do things I didn't want to do, I have barely been able to process how Captain Vasser and T'Rena hijacked the Theurgy, and how I had to use the Harbinger as a battering ram to destroy the Calamity's last Vector. Then there was the aftermath, finding the Harbinger crew that I had forced to eject themselves with the escape pods prior to impact. Dealing with those officers that T'Rena had mind-melded into blind loyalty, until Doctor Maya could lift the spell they were under. I mean... Starbase 84, fighting Captain Ian Hawhtorne in the command centre and barely making it out alive? The Coreless Moon, where I literally died at the hands of Klingon forces that Hi'Jak had summoned? If I hadn't been put into that transporter buffer, and resuscitated by the Savi for their vile experiment, I would still be dead. Sufficed to say... I had a lot to deal with at Aldea."

Even thinking about all the twists and turns her duties had led her through made her shake her head in disbelief - feeling numb.

"I found counselling, inside and outside Commander Hathev's department. Ensign Seren, another Vulcan, heard me out, even if he had little to offer in terms of methods to process it all."


Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf -11 | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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Donna briefly considered washing the sanguine locks of the other woman but if she was anything like the pilot herself, she had a particular way she liked them washed and any other way was just an annoyance. Instead, she started with Jennifer’s neck, right at the base of her hairline, and true to her word, began to work down. 

Though unnecessary due to the nature of the sonics within, the shower came equipped with a gel for use in assisting the cleansing of the body for those inclined. Donna was one of those and she procured a small amount and began to lather it up and into the woman’s skin before her, quickly transitioning from massaging her neck and shoulders to the broad, smooth expanse of her back. The feel of the muscle beneath the skin told Donna that Jennifer was a woman who looked after herself and took pride in her appearance. 

“Our hosts?” Donna repeated as her hands ran down Jennifer’s back to where her buttocks started to rise, stopping just short. “Personally, I have nothing for or against them. They’ve done nothing to me. But, from what I have heard and seen they are highly advanced, easily more so than us and, at least until recently, looked down on lesser species; even going so far as to experiment on them without permission or conscience,” Donna remarked as her hands came back up over the redhead’s ribs and rested at the base of her scapula, her fingertips curling around and under her arms to caress the edge of her breasts in an unspoken question.

“For the moment, I see them as a useful resource and a relationship to be cultivated for our future benefit.”



[ Lt. T'Less | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Breen Space ]
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T’Less’ control warped as Ida brought up what had happened to her aboard the Versant, and afterwards, aboard the Theurgy, her hand shaking lightly as her emotions once again threatened to break free. Her eyes shut as she wrestled them back into their prison, her eyes shutting for a moment as she focused. Thankfully, it appeared that her Andorian friend had not seen as she was looking downwards. Ida’s recitation of everything that had happened to her only brought up memories of similar related events that had affected T’Less in the same period. 

Compared to some, she had gotten away lightly from the virus’ grasp yet their encounter with the Calamity had left lasting touches on her. From the small scars on her back to the artificial heart that now beat within her chest. She’d even escaped the Theurgy’s encounter with the Versant unscathed due to being in stasis at the time. For that she was grateful as she could only wonder what the Savi would have wanted from her given what they had done to her crewmates.

“It is good that you have spoken with someone,” T’Less observed. “Even the act of speaking about events can help to shed the burden that surrounds them, allowing the mind to see what before it could not.” A part of herself told her that she needed to do that same, to once again bring serenity to her thoughts but T’Less pushed it aside. This was not the time nor the place.

“What about others?” T’Less prodded, curious. “The Theurgy has garnered a lot of new crew lately. What are your opinions of them? Both within and outside Security.”

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #7
[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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In a way, Jennifer shared the Lieutenant's sentiment regarding the Savi. Unlike her, however, she had been there when the Theurgy had to split into three in order to escape the Versant - the Continuance Protocol invoked by Ives in order to preserve the mission and ensuring that the truth wouldn't be lost.

The protocol had placed her as First Officer on the Helmet, reporting to Commander Carrigan Trent, and it hadn't taken long before the man had lost his aim. Rather than putting the mission and the survival of the truth as a priority, he was emotionally compromised by loosing his love interest to the Savi, and he had been about to send the Helmet on a suicide mission against the Versant to get her and the other abductees back, regardless if he'd been able to reintegrate the Theurgy into one ship again. While regretting the circumstances and the timing of her relieving him of command, she had seen no other recourse, yet even to the present day, there were those who found her action inexcusable. As it were, she had no other regrets, because she would always do what was right, consequences to herself be damned.

"Agreed," she breathed quietly as those hands travelled over her skin, "the challenge being that they are so advanced that the alliance we share is tentative and the power-distribution is skewed. The Savi can take what they need from us - Doctor Nicander - if it weren't for their Code... Well, the new one that the Voice is spreading in their Flotilla."

Besides sharing opinions about the Savi, it would seem they had a mutual interest in sharing the shower as well. When massaged, Jennifer couldn't help the contented sigh that escaped her, and she leaned her head back where she stood. The pilot's fingers traversed Dewitt's sides and brushed the outside of her chest, which made her close her eyes and bite her lip. Yes, she thought, keep going...

She arched her back, and her fingers curled somewhat against the glass. In the end, she couldn't help glance over her shoulder - her eyes hooded in wordless acquiescence.

[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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The question begged a clarification, perhaps, since the Theurgy had been picking up a lot of new crew even before they faced the Savi and the Borg in the Azure Nebula, but Ida gathered that T'Less was referring to the many officers whom had been sent to the Theurgy whilst she was undergoing repairs on Aldea.

"The new Chief Intelligence Officer," she said, thinking about her take on the pinkskin named Andrew Fisher. She chuckled. "For a pinkskin, he is rather easy on the eyes, though have have had just about enough of men during this voyage, blue-skinned or not. He strikes me as a competent enough spy, able to keep his officers focused on the mission at hand rather than hoarding secrets for themselves. The continued work of Fisher corresponding with Director Anderson has been more than beneficial, and thanks to the Ingelligence Department growing, we even have a spy in our midst on this away mission."

The Trill seemed to be sleeping a few bunks away, apparently having been undercover in a pirate gang that happened to come to Aldea. Moreover, the Lone Wolf that had brushed past her in the doorway used to be in Intelligence as well, hearsay had it, so it seemed the lack of representatives from Starfleet Intelligence in the ship's ranks had come to a definitive end.

"I'm surprised Commander Rutherford didn't send one of her Diplomats on this mission, but then again, I suppose Captain Dewitt fills that role, having been the Mission Liaison at Aldea for over a month. As for Rutherford?" Ida had to think a moment. "I really can't say. I'd like to think her priorities are right, putting the mission first, but she could be too much of a politician too, in how she might believe this battle is to be fought with words alone... and personally, I don't think we'll have that luxury."

Looking at T'Less, she had to wonder... "You used to be the Chief Tactical Officer, promoted to the position before the Niga Incident. How do you find it now, reporting to Commander Cross, whom weren't with us from the beginning. Is it a detriment or a strength to have someone less biased about the Infested as a superior officer? Then again, I don't know him... Perhaps the experience we shared on the Versant have him every bit as invested as you have been from the start?"

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf -11 | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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At the redhead’s wordless answer to her unspoken question, Donna’s hands advanced around Jennifer’s body to cup the firm full breasts that hung there in defiance of gravity. The pilot gently squeezed and rubbed them, savouring in the wet flesh beneath her hands as she pressed her own mounds into her companion’s back to stimulate her own hardened nipples, sighing as she was rewarded.

“Over the years, I’ve found that a group’s code, or even just a single person’s, can be both a strong indicator about how they will react to events as well as a strong motivator in making them do things that they might not otherwise want to do,” Donna remarked casually, continuing their conversation despite her ministrations. She released a single breast and ran the unoccupied hand down the front of Jennifer’s body, teasing the officer by stopping just short of the woman’s pubic bone. “The trick is manipulating them without being seen to be manipulating them. Personal codes are strong, but betrayal is stronger still.”



[ Lt. T'Less | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Breen Space ]
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“I...” T’Less began to respond before pausing, the question having taken her off balance. It was true that she had once been the Chief Tactical Officer aboard the Theurgy and she had relished in the opportunity it presented her. But with Cross having taken over the department, it also provided her with a sounding board to whom she could present ideas to and receive feedback from, without being official. “Commander Cross appears competent in his role and I will adapt to my role,” T’Less said calmly. “We have not spoken about either of our motivations regarding the Infested or our individual biases. It has, not come up,” she commented as something else that Ida had said nagged at her mind.

“Our mission might not be won by words, that is true. But so far, our actions have been either misconstrued or outright fabricated to paint us as the villain. We need more allies if we are going to be able to counteract the Infested’s plans. And not just from beyond the Federation, but from within it as well,” T’Less proposed, letting her mind chase after the stray thoughts and try to form them into something coherent.

“If we were to be judged in the court of public opinion, we would be found guilty before the thought was fully formed. I believe that we need to change that,” the Vulcan said. “We need to show the Federation as a whole that we are not the enemy that the Infested would make us out to be. That we are doing what we are doing in an effort to protect them, not subvert them.”

“But how to do that without starting a civil war? I do not know.”

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #9
[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Feeling a bit lightheaded given the development, the thrum of Petterson's voice against the glass walls of the stall was like a husky undercurrent to the noise of the sonic shower. The humidifiers had rendered them both wet, the water rising in vapour around their bare bodies - assailed by the vibrations from all angles. The Lone Wolf was taking the very liberties that Jennifer wanted her to, feeling those hands roam her skin and tease her, and yet the conversation continued as if they were doing nothing out of the ordinary. Dewitt played along, of course, the charade of normalcy rather enticing.

"Let's just hope they don't suddenly decide to betray us... in case there are new contingencies found in that old Code of theirs," Jennifer breathed, the back of her head against Donna's shoulder and her eyes closed. She could feel the fighter pilot's body against her own, and as she felt the other woman's fingers slide down towards her sex, so did she reach behind herself, caressing her hip and buttock with her warm fingers. She reached farther still, biting her lip, and sought to tease the bold woman from behind with her hand. The other still rested against the glass wall, fingers curled slightly in anticipation.

"Speaking of betrayal," she breathed, and found herself parting her legs slightly, "I take it that it doesn't bother you... what I did in the Azure Nebula?"

It had been quite some time since that day, but still she could hear the whispers behind her back some days, about what she had done to Commander Trent. She may have redeemed herself somewhat by ordering the Bellerophon crew saved, and fighting against the Borg on the very ship they were upon right then, but a mutiny was never forgotten in Starfleet.

[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Hearing T'Less lay out her argument, Ida found herself nodding slowly in agreement.

"Quite true," she said, her antennae moving slowly in thought as she sat there, considering the past six months that they had been on the run, and what the Federation News Network had fed the masses of Federation space every day since they fled Earth. "Whether it be by Diplomacy or the claims made by other sources - be it Commanding Officers in the fleet, or the allies of the Federation - we need to be redeemed in the eyes of the public."

Could the civilians be so blind to what was happening? She supposed it was easier to believe in the rogue A.I. explanation and the claim that they had been replaced by holograms, doing the bidding of a mad Captain on a crusade. The Simulcast had not helped in that regard, or at least the false version that had spread over the subspace waves from Starbase 84.

"Otherwise," Ida said and sighed quietly, "the only reward that we can expect for saving the Galaxy from the Infested will be holding cells in different Penal Colonies. As you say, though, the truth can be a double edges sword sometimes. After Starbase 84, I wonder if Jona Rez - the one that possessed Edena's body - was right about the public reaction to Starfleet Command being compromised. Was he right? Or did Ives had the right of it, that the truth was more important than the potential consequences it might bring? Can we fight the Infested without the truth being known, or is it a cornerstone of any relevant opposition against their hold on power? What is the greater good, and should the truth be known regardless the risk of a civil war in Federation space?"

Such bleak prospects. Ida was just a soldier, so she didn't know, but she found herself leaning towards the latter, even if she knew that the cost might be dire.

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #10
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf -11 | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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Donna groaned as enjoyed the ministrations of the redhead’s probing fingers, pressing and grinding her hips forward. Yet, even as she was enjoying herself, years of training allowed her mind to continue working, to process the question that Jennifer Dewitt had asked her and to formulate an answer. She supposed she should continue to think of her as her commanding officer, but it was damned hard to when that person was currently naked and pressed between the shower stall wall and her own nude form.

“It takes a lot to bother me,” Donna hedged as she flexed slightly to allow her hands to grab the woman’s butt and give the cheeks a firm squeeze. “I’ve done a great many regrettable things in my life. I’ve betrayed just about every ideal the Federation has at one point or another, in the name of that Federation. At the time, it seemed like the thing to do to bring success to the mission. Afterwards, well, hindsight isn’t always perfect.”

That said, Donna moved her hands up to Dewitt’s hips and turned her around to face her, promptly pressing her body, and lips, against Jennifer’s own.



[ Lt. T'Less | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Breen Space ]
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“A civil war would only aid the Infested. They thrive on chaos,” T’Less said, closing her eyes for a moment to gather her thoughts once again. “But at the same time, we are fighting a losing war. Every time that we manage to succeed, it is but delay in their plans. We are no closer to finding a way to defeat them and end the storm that they bring.”

“Our truth is merely that, our truth. It matters not how factual it is if we are unable to prove it. We need allies. People and governments that are able to verify that what we say is true. Perhaps the Klingons, or the Breen if we are successful, could vouch for us. But we will need more than that. It is highly probable that the Infested have infiltrated all of the major powers of known space to bring about the destabilisation that they want. And we are but one ship currently. The Theurgy, despite its abilities and design, cannot be in more than one place at once. We either need to recruit other ships and crews as allies, or procure ships of our own that can be utilised to allow us to respond to the threats quicker. If we did not have the Savi’s aid right now, we would be unable to prevent the attack on the Breen.”

 

Re: CH03: S [D02|0045] A Cleansing Discourse

Reply #11
[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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Going by what the Vulcan next to her said about the needs for the mission, it seemed rather clear to Ida that while what T'Less said about a civil war might be true - in how it might aid the Infested - the need for allies was paramount.

"So I take it you think Ives did the right thing then?" she asked glancing at T'Less through the tresses of her white hair. "Because by that logic, the Simulcast was the right thing, as it was meant to garner aid against the Infested. Awareness about their existence. For while there was risk for a schism within the Federation about the alleged presence of a new enemy, at least there would be those who'd believe it. The Theurgy and our mission would have gained allies from one side of that split. We'd no longer be alone in the fight."

Giving it a moment of thought, Ida looked towards the deck and frowned. "Shelat, that may have been in the cards when Ives dealt that hand. Knowing that it might break the Federation in half, and still doing it, in knowing that in that potential conflict there would still be allies to find, and a chance to save what is left of it. Because... without allies, Ives may have known we never had a chance. That is why we went to such lengths at Starbase 84, when you were in stasis, and why our Captain reached out to Martok when that failed. It may also be why, even when we were abducted by the Savi, and suffered through what we did, we still accepted this tentative alliance with them."

Ida wasn't quite sure what she thought about that. She had sworn an oath to protect the crew, but what if they were all expendable at the barest hint of garnering additional support in the mission? She ground her teeth, her frown deepening. Did what she suffered through not matter?

[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Upper Deck Restroom | USS Allegiant | Erudite Aerodrome | Breen Space ] @Stegro88
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It seemed, with the turn, that the conversation came to a natural end. Thoughts of what Petterson had said lingered like ghosts dancing in Dewitt's mind when she kissed her back, and let her hands roam the damp and warm skin of the other woman.

Jennifer was all about the mission, and she'd even committed mutiny in order to preserve it from the folly of the late Carrigan Trent. That Petterson had done things not quit in alignment with the tenets of the Federation didn't really put a halt to what was transpiring in the sonic shower. She could empathise, knowing that spies had to do thing, sometimes, for the greater good. It seemed that, regardless, the woman still fought for the sake of good, if nothing else evident by the fact that she was on this particular mission. A mission that had her leave the safety and protection of Starfleet behind, and willingly join their renegade crew.

It was, actually that renegade streak in the woman that made Dewitt all the more keen to fuck her. It truly turned her on, and she showed it. She took the initiative then and there, and went down on her. She pushed the woman up against the other side of the stall, kissed her way down her toned body, and then closed her lips over her nether ones - delving inside her with her tongue while she held her firmly against the glass. All the while the sonic vibrations teased their bodies, and the humidifiers made them glisten in the artificial light.

- FIN

 
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