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Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

[ Petty Officer First Class Peter Hildebrandt | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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The phantom pain was bad that day.

Hurting, miserable, and angry, Petty Officer Hildebrandt was waiting together with Crewman Cabrera behind the corner of the corridor. Despite himself, he kept his mouth shut, feeding it all to the fire in his mind. Everything. Starfleet, chasing them and slicing away more and more of the crew until they found the Theurgy. Later, the Harbinger gone entirely, and sometime along the way, having lost his mind at the touch of his First Officer. T'Rena. Vulcan bitch. Unclean. Then another Vulcan, waking him him as if he'd just been dreaming. Only in his dream, he had been raping women aboard the Akira-class ship - or trying to impregnate consenting ones depending on whether they had seen T'Rena's vision of the future or not. Madness. All of it. There was just so much... especially when the phantom pain of his lost leg acted up. It's been so bad he'd almost ended it all, putting a phaser into his mouth. Still remembered the metallic taste. Made him gag.

It had been Carbera, next to him, who found him before he vaporised his own head. Cabrera talked to him about what Morali had done for them all. It seemed so simple now. With the flame in his mind, the purpose to which he could apply himself. He just fed it all to the fire. Mind clean. Only earlier that day, when he had thought it would be all over - Starbase 84 the end goal - his efforts to keep it together had all been in vain. They were left stranded in the damn Azure Nebula, and the farce that was command on the fucking Theurgy had to end. Morali could do this. He knew the future like T'Rena never could. She'd only thought she knew what had been right for them all, but Morali... He had been there.

Finally, the woman came. He didn't know her, but Cabrera did. He was from the Theurgy, and he told him she hadn't laid a finger on Morali, and had just came out of stasis. She'd listen. She'd better. Fuck it hurt.

"Nurse?" said Cabrera, his Mexican accent thick as they approached her. Peter limped after him. He was six feet tall, long and powerful in stride. He was of higher rank than Cabrera too, but he fell behind just because of his prosthetic leg, not because of some kind of deference to the Crewman in front of him. They were both Devoted, and that was all that mattered. Morali knew the way. He alone could save them all.

Cabrera smiled to this Risan woman, spreading his hands. "Hey, how are you? Must be hell down in Sickbay now, eh?"

Peter smiled too, standing tall behind Cabrera. The attempt was more like a grimace. Almost hurt as much as his leg.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #1
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

"Ngh ...."

Pale, long arms moved from beside Jovela's hips, moved up, and finally extended over her head. She had, indeed, seemed to come out of stasis in the best and simultaneous worst possible days. It made sense. After all, it would have been more of a surprise if almost nothing had happened in the past two months. Jovela simply hadn't thought it would add up to this much ... chaos? That was one way to describe it, yes.

Surely, there's a better word? One with a less negative meaning?

There very likely was. But right off the top of her head, Jovela couldn't figure it out.

Ah well. That could very well wait.

Right now, she was more than happy with the thought of changing out of her uniform, curling up into bed, reading a good book and ---

"Oh? Umm ... "

Jovela blinked, confused and taken aback.

"Forgive me. I ... wasn't exactly expecting anyone here. Yes though. It has been ... hectic, to say the least, to be working in Sickbay. Very much so. That's okay though. It is what I signed up to do."

A exhausted smile crossed her face. As Jovela saw something out of the corner of her eyes, however, they almost instantly narrowed; not at the figure, but rather, seeing him limp when he moved towards her. "Hmm. I was originally done with patients for today. However, you ... don't look too well. Are you here to see about getting that wound treated?"

It seemed logical. Why else was he here?

... And let alone so close to her personal chambers. In fact ... how did he acquire that knowledge? Sure, it could have been as easy as asking any of her superiors. But ... Jovela didn't easily imagine anyone disclosing that information out.

Suddenly, she was beginning to feel ... nervous. Uneasy.

N-no! You're just ... overthinking. Breathe. Calm yourself.

Swallowing softly, Jovela looked between the petty officer and his leg, waiting patiently to hear whether her assumption had been right or not. "I ... don't believe I caught your name? Either way, I'll need to get into my room to grab my medical kit. So .. if you'll excuse me ... "

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #2
[ Petty Officer First Class Peter Hildebrandt | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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When Jovela excused herself and started towards the sliding doors of her quarters, Cabrera had already inserted himself in her way, hands raised and preventing her from moving past him. "No, no, there is no need for a med kit. This is Peter Hildebrandt, and he has a prosthetic leg, that's all. He just haven't gotten used to it yet."

Peter felt his chiselled face move in another approximation of a smile, meaning to put the Risan at ease, but all he wanted to do was lash out. To put all his hurt and his loss into a balled up fist and strike the woman down. It was not like he hadn't done it before, the only difference being that T'Rena hadn't made him do it. He had done far worse things, all in the belief that the war was already lost, and the battles would be fought by his offspring. Oh, but the little minx of a nurse would have been a fine mother to his children, he thought, even if T'Rena had been mistaken. He did not know the will of Morali well enough yet, didn't know if they all needed to breed in order to build a better future, but if the opportunity presented itself... there were other ways than to use his fist in order to find relief.

"The reason we wanted to talk to you," said Cabrera with a disarming smile, being more of a charmer than Peter was, "is because you weren't there during the mutiny on this ship. You are not coloured by the events that took place there, and have more of an open mind to something that they did to a patient in Sickbay. You should, at least, be able to give us a second opinion on it, perhaps even see how a serious violation was made upon medical etiquette. And no, before you ask, it has nothing to do with Peter's leg. He lost it from a phaser thrown at him, set to overload and blasted it clean off. Got his new leg a couple of days ago."

Peter smiled again, and let the expression remain, like a rictus expression that didn't reach his eyes.

"Where was I," said Carbera and trailed off, before he talked once more, "ah, yes. The patient's name is Sarresh Morali. Do you know what happened to him? Let me tell you. He was an Ash'reem male who valiantly tired to save his mate, and in his failure to do so, he ended up submerged in a lake of acid on Theta Eridani IV. He was on the brink of death, not a square inch of skin left on his body and all his orifices burned out by the acid... but Captain Ives still ordered that he had to survive at all cost. He was too important for the mission to be allowed to die, even if that would have been more merciful. So, despite it all, Doctor Nicander followed orders, and he had a whole team prodding and cutting corners in order to try and keep Morali alive. In the end, they even changed his DNA and made him a human, without his consent. The current Head Nurse - Hylota Vojona - helped cutting out his melted eyes and sticking ocular implants into his head. Sufficed to say... when he woke up... the poor man was not satisfied with his treatment."

Putting his weight on his good leg, Peter folded his brawny arms across his chest, waiting for the answer that was due when Carbera had made his suggestion.

"So, given this misconduct... I was wondering if you'd be willing to take your old position as Head Nurse back," said Carbera, folding his hands behind his back, "and help us ensure that Doctor Nicander is replaced by a doctor that is more ethical in his practice? Not just him, mind, but anyone affiliated with this patient's treatment have no place in Sickbay, and should be removed from their duties, else there is no saying what may happen the next time the mission goes before the health of the crew... You know a lot of people in Sickbay, and since this is so important, we were hoping you could help others see the need for this change."

In a way, Peter almost hoped that the nurse would defy them, so that he personally could show her what it meant to go against Morali's will. He clenched his jaw as he smiled and looked at her, his blonde eyebrows low over his blue eyes. His fingers itched to grab that silken hair of hers...

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

W-What?! Someone else?! Why ... are people waiting near my room?!

Jovela wasn't sure whether this was more creepy or more of a coincidence. It easily felt like the former ... but who knew? She had been wrong before. And in a tired enough state, she could easily be proven wrong. She definitely wanted that to be the case; that she was unnecessarily fretting. This was all much ado about next to nothing.

Hopefully ... she inwardly added, holding her hands in front of her midsection as she nodded, patiently agreeing to hear out Carbera's story. "N-No. I don't think I heard about the mutiny you're talking about."

By the time he was done, her hands covered her mouth. Jovela's eyes were wide, and quite frankly, there had been a few times she damn well nearly puked, both from the acts being described. Worse than that, though, was the mentioning of a very specific man's name. Dr. Nicander himself. Her head moved slowly from side to side before gently lowering, glancing down towards the floor.

"Y-You sure? I mean ... I'm sorry. I just helped him out with a major surgery recently. So ... it's very hard to imagine Nicander doing such things. Even prior to entering stasis ... he was - no, is - a man I respect ... "

Jovela stopped, pausing her thoughts as she looked between the two men. Her teeth lightly latched onto her lower lip for about ten seconds, then let go. "Okay. I do agree. This is pretty grim, and definitely worth speaking to all the responsible parties about. However ... I would rather do that first. Talk instead of outright perform more or less a coup against them. At worst, they do deserve a scolding and maybe some disciplinary action. But .... even if I did get my position as Head Nurse back .... it wouldn't be my call. Not really. And even then ... "

Jovela continued moving her head from side to side, taking slow steps away from both of the men.

"There ... there just ... must be a better way to do this! Playing as the judge, juror, and executor all at once isn't the way to go about it. It's that very reason I can't agree with you two. I'm sorry. Please .... get out of the way of my chambers!"

Although she was trying to keep a strong front, she could feel her nervousness getting the best of her. Somehow, the meeting of these two was seeming less and less like a coincidence. When ten more seconds ticked away and she saw no effort to heed her words, she lowered her hand towards her combadge, beginning to push down on it and call for a Security member, if not a few, to come over and help 'escort' these men out of the way.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #4
[ Petty Officer First Class Peter Hildebrandt | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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When she began talking, it became more and more clear that the lovely Risan wouldn't heed them, and Peter ambled slowly in a half-circle towards her side while Cabrera remained between her and her quarters. Peter had difficulties with his bionic leg, but he meant to appear as non-threatening in his movements as possible - trying to keep his intents from showing on his face even if the pain made his lips curl.Cabrera was more patient, nodding amiably while she spoke of her regrets and her objections. "I see," he said quietly, "I am sorry you feel that way. We know that Nicander won't step away since Ives gave the order to desecrate the body of Morali, so something has to be done...."

Peter saw Jovela's hand reach for the combadge. While Carbera had spoken in answer, Peter responded in physical action. Now, they couldn't allow her to talk to Nicander and the ones who were affiliated with the Phoenix Project, much less Ives, Thea or his fellow security officers, so he really didn't have any choice. Years in Starfleet Security had trained him to subdue humanoids twice her size, so when he acted, he did so from experience.

Like a viper poised to strike, he reached out and snatched Jovela's wrist, keeping her hand from the combadge. With the same momentum, he twisted her arm around behind her back, and clasped his other hand over her mouth. He did not lean over her diminutive frame as he did it, rather lifting her off the floor as he pressed her head back against his shoulder. His nose was right next to her ear, and he felt that silken hair against the stubble on his chin. Made him hard, feeling her struggle. Too bad there was no time to enjoy her native skills.

Cabrera approached her from the front, and produced a small chef's knife from his sleeve. There was regret in his face, but there was no hesitation in his step. "It would have been easier with your support... but we can't let you warn them now. Be still, and it will be over soon. The surveillance systems are offline, so there is no use to struggle. Just think of something nice... and you won't feel a thing."

For a moment, Peter thought he heard someone in the corridor, and hoped Cabrera would hurry up. He also hoped the crewman had the sense to stab her in the heart instead of cutting her bared throat, since the latter alternative would be a bit too messy.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #5
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

Oh no! No, no, no, no! Please tell me I'm just seeing things!

As she took note of her form steadily getting flanked with each passing second, though, it was becoming more and more clear the answer was a strong 'no'. Jovela gulped slightly, trying to keep her expression from turning into a completely panicked one. Her own years of training were aiding out in that much, though it was still easy to detect she was definitely scared. What she had wanted to believe was a chance encounter proved to be anything but that.

"No!" Jovela growled, whimpering slightly as she tried to pull her wrist back, "Let g -- !!"

Quick breaths passed through her nostrils as she stared in horror at the knife being drawn out.

Not like this, not like this.

There wasn't enough room for Jovela to really bite, per se. The hand over her mouth would have made it difficult. Or, even if that wasn't true, there was a more fair concern, and that was if Peter had his own concealed weapon.  Granted, it would have forced him to move his hands but ... no. There were already too many risks as it was.

And with time running short, Jovela had to do the fastest but seemingly smartest action.

Had this been her younger self, she would have resorted to the dumber reaction and continued struggling, even if it was pointless.

This time, however, she found something else. Something that had a very vital reason for performing the action. Two of them, in fact. Her left foot reached down, aiming to slam against Peter's mirror foot.

But really, it was her right that mattered more on whether it succeeded or not.

She began slamming her foot roughly against the wall.

It's called improvisation, you bastards! she inwardly thought. Corridors didn't really allow for much room. If this had been her private chambers, she would have been able to be dragged to a 'center', an area where she couldn't reach anything. As things were? Well ... they were shit out of luck, or at least pressed for time.

Hopefully both, she inwardly prayed, continuing to frantically kick.

... For a few seconds, she too thought she heard something.

And that helped her leg move even faster. Jovela definitely did not really feeling like getting officially killed anytime soon.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #6
[ Petty Officer First Class Peter Hildebrandt | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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The Risan female proved to be quite feisty for someone her size.

In fact, Peter and Cabrera were both taken by surprise when she managed to plant her foot against the wall, and Peter was rendered off balance. That, in itself, would not have been too much of a bother, had not Cabrera chosen to flip his knife over in his hand and stab downwards towards where the Nurse's heart had been. With all his bodily weight behind the stab, he could not stop it in time, and ended up driving the blade right into Peter's forearm.

The pain was instant, sharp and numbing, but Peter grunted as much from the force of the blow as the searing agony that coursed up his nerves. He ground his teeth together, heard Cabrera swearing, and when his fellow Devoted tore the short blade free from his arm to make another attempt, Peter could not help his hand from slipping away from the woman's mouth. He still had her arm locked behind her back, but loosely so since he could not hold her head to his shoulder any more.

"Hurry!" he grated between his teeth... but that was when he lost his bearings completely.

Something had struck him over the side of his head - right across his temple - and he no longer knew if he held on to the Nurse's wrist or not. His remaining leg felt like it were made of syrup, and the synthetic one became a immobile crutch - locked in a straight position. So, he found himself on one knee, reeling, and with fingers fumbling over the skin of Jovela's wrist. It was her wrist, right? Had he managed to pull her down as well? Eyes rolling in their sockets, he looked over his shoulder, and he saw a figure there in the corridor behind him.

It was hard to see clearly, but the figure seemed to wear a threadbare, dirty cloak, and the fabric was just settling around the figure's legs - as if he had just completed a spinning kick. Peter tried to say something, but nothing coherent came out. A warning? An threat? The vertigo made it hard to think clearly, but Peter saw the hooded figure step past him, and felt the sharp knuckles of its backhand strike across his face.

While still conscious afterwards - if barely - Peter could not stop his fall to the deck plates, ending up on his side. Somehow, he was still holding on to Jovela, or at least he believed he was - fingers locked around something. In the haze of the strikes he'd sustained, Peter thought he saw the figure in the threadbare cloak circle Cabrera, who was trying to ward him off with his short knife - cutting the air and making brutal stabbing motions.

Peter had no idea what the outcome might be, merely holding on to the nurse so that she wouldn't get away.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #7
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

Oh no! No! Not there, please!

The intended destination of the blade was no secret. Hell, even an untrained child could have understood where this man was going for; her heart. And that made her very muscle beat faster, fearful and terrified about the mere aspect of perishing soon. Especially in such a brutal manner.

... Yet, it seemed like it was really going to happen. She was really about to die, and so quickly after coming out of stasis. Her fists clenched as she squirmed and jerked against the man still holding. Not like this. She didn't want to be murdered. Jovela knew there would be a day and time she would meet Death face-to-face. But there was no way it could be today. Right?

As the knife got closer and closer to her heart, her head swung roughly from side to side, hoping during one of these movements she could guide the hand off her mouth, even if only a bit.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

The hell if there was still a hand over her mouth. Jovela's instincts kicked in first, and they were demanding she cry out. It was probably fueled on by the immediate sense of danger, but her brain was definitely working in overdrive. Tons of ideas she wouldn't usually think about were entering her brain. And rather than reject any like she may usually do, she accepted them.

So, she went on to step two, having finished with the first one.

Jovela lulled her head forward, giving some distance between herself and Peter's own forehead.

WHAM!

She swung her head back, intending to headbutt Peter with the back of her own head. Sure, it'd sting  ... especially if it connected. But who knew? Maybe she would not only hit, but break his nose? Do something that would force  him to let go, especially if this newcomer was someone that was intending to help them over her.

The hammerlock was the main thing keeping her so close to Peter. But it was weakened compared to the amount of strength it'd held mere moments ago. She needed  one last push - maybe two. But not many more attempts to be free.

Step three was finished the moment Jovela saw the new figure backhand Peter. Good. That meant this was an ally ... but why so secretive? Curious as she was, that wouldn't be what she'd ask. With the third phase having been achieved, she began figuring out what four was exactly.

In the end, she decided to ensure she got free. While she felt mostly sure this unknown person would aid her, it was a precaution should Jovela's intuition be wrong.

So, she began yanking and pulling as hard as she could, trying to jerk her wrist away from Peter before Cabrera tried to stab her again.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #8
[ Drauc T'Laus | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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The murderous Starfleet officer was apparently not deterred by the ease in which Drauc T'Laus had dispatched his companion, since he did not hesitate to attack him with his standard issue parsteel blade. Drauc, on his part, knew well enough to not underestimate the crewman - a knife being hard to block without suffering any injury. Key lay in disarming the officer, and doing so at the most opportune moment. He would not rush dispatching this opponent, but wait until he left himself open for his counter.

Three times during the course of the initial seconds of the brief fight, Drauc's threadbare cloak was cut by the blade, and yet he did not strike back yet. Another lash of steel, and he felt the blade nick his forearm. Still, he did not change tactic, not letting fear get to him. The moment a warrior let fright through was like inviting death, so even if he was cut twice more... he did not act until the opening finally presented itself.

In rapid succession, Drauc grabbed the wrist of the stabbing hand, and rammed his elbow into the Human's ribs - driving the air out of his lungs. Then he stepped back, and yanked the unbalanced crewman in the same direction with a double-handed grip on his wrist. As he did, he also twisted the hand around with his thumbs, and the knife clattered against the deck plates. Another step backwards, twisting the entire arm around in the opposite direction, and the disarmed Human was flat on his back - his head impacting with the deck. Not about to grant the crewman any respite, Drauc then put his worn boot against the floored opponent's jaw and neck, and twisted the arm in his grip until it dislocated at the shoulder.

The resulting scream was loud, if a tad muffled, and Drauc decided it wasn't worth listening to. So, he lifted his boot for a moment so that he could press the sole against the crewman's windpipe. The key was to not cut off the airways for too long, so Drauc kept careful attention on the feeble struggles the Human offered so that he would not end up killing him. He used to be Starfleet, and knew what the result would be if some Romulan strangled an officer to death.

What he did, however, was to make sure the taller officer hadn't gotten back on his feet and offered a threat to the teal-collared woman. As he looked up, he saw that the woman was trying to get away, but that the grip on her wrist remained. The tall male was slowly getting back on his feet, not having been completely subdued by Drauc's attacks. He was picking himself up from the floor, and there was no telling what he might do to the woman next. He was hurt, bleeding from his nose, clearly angry and capable of striking her any moment.

Realising the female was in imminent danger, Drauc had to let the crewman on the deck go. After dropping the dislocated arm, and he closed the distance towards the taller human. He saw the brutal strike coming, and meant to intercept it. Also being a Starfleet officer, perhaps the woman was able to handle herself. Nontheless, Drauc did not leave it to chance, leading his charge with a savage kick to the male's torso.

He had not seen who it was he'd come to aid, and since his hood was still raised, nor would she yet recognise the face from that fated day in her Starfleet Medical pratice.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #9
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

Damnit. I had a thought for phase four of this plan. Keep what sanity you have left?

That was probably but one small yet very essential part, yes. But Jovela couldn't help but feel like she was forgetting so much more. Her head shook as she frowned. She couldn't help but feel just a tad irked. This night definitely hadn't even started going in a way she would have preferred. To be fair, she hadn't had any overly special plans on how to spend this evening. Being attacked, however, was not on her list. The fact this had all occurred so close to her quarters made it that much more irritating and far less desirable.

Back to the here and now! You're not yet out of the frying pan!

However, given the pained grunts, hisses, and curses coming from behind her ... perhaps Jovela was close to securing her well-being, sanity, and ... well ... everything, really.

"Let go of me already, you bastard!"

... Why? Why couldn't she say that simple phrase? It kept getting caught in her throat every time it felt like Jovela conjured enough courage to speak. Was this what real fear for one's life felt like? Probably ... maybe? It was a new thing for her to feel. She had been fortunate to avoid so many of the other tragedies. Even with the Niga incident, Jovela had been one of the few to avoid becoming infected.

Granted, from what could easily be labeled as a fluke. Nonetheless, it didn't change what had ended up happening in the end.

The kick to Cabrera's midsection helped the nurse return to the here and now. Finally, her body was free. And although this was one  major step closer to achieving all she'd been wanting ... the nurse knew she still wasn't done dealing with this fiasco. Lifting her head to try to look at the cloaked stranger, she found her voice again. Her head politely bowed before lifting once more as Jovela finally began to speak.

"Thank you. Truly. I ... am very grateful for your aid. And I would like to speak more with you. But umm  .... I think, for the time being, you should hide in my chambers. I don't want to call security and have them mistake you for one of my attackers, so please .... hurry into my room."

Taking a moment to turn and hurriedly point out which one was hers first, Jovela took a few steps away from both wounded men. It was mainly a precaution on her behalf, in case either of them tried to grab or hurt her again. Taking a few deep breaths, Jovela then pressed down on her combadge. "This is Lieutenant Grade Junior Nurse Jovela, please come in. I need any Security members who are available to come right away. I'm in the Junior Officers' Quarters hallway, a bit outside my room. Two men approached and attacked me. I ... have finally disabled them and they need to be carefully restrained and imprisoned. I repeat, come over ASAP. Does anyone copy?"

Her head lowered as Jovela carefully studied the two former assailants, watching them while trying to wait eagerly for an answer back.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #10
[ Drauc T'Laus | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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When both of the assailants were subdued, writhing in pain on the deck plates at the woman's and his feet, Drauc lifted his eyes to the victim of the attack - her voice somehow familiar.

Yet it was the sight of her face that gave Drauc pause. For when combined with her voice, he realised that he knew this woman. No human, he recalled, but a Risan Nurse he'd once met a long time ago. While listening to her, hearing her asking for him to hide for his own benefit, he realised it was not the first time this particular woman had stuck out her neck for him. In fact, if she hadn't done what she did all those years ago, Drauc would not have been able to revisit Romulus. She had helped him desert Starfleet, and let him escape the premises of Starfleet Medical.

From the darkness inside his hood, he watched her as he backed away towards her quarters - aching all over from the fight and bleeding from his cuts. He heard her contact security, and learned her name anew. Jovela.

The answer from security was brief. [This is Deputy zh'Wann. On the way. Try to keep them from fleeing if you can.]

How strange, to see this woman again, knowing he owed her so much... and yet knew so little about her. No more than a name, and the fact that she could defend herself. A nurse, and a target for her own crew, it seemed. What had they been up to, almost killing her in the middle of a corridor? While it was some time since he'd been on a starship, he could but assume there was something wrong with the surveillance system, lest they couldn't have been so bold.

He decided to do as she suggested, since he had just came aboard, and had no idea what Security would think about a Romulan attacking crewmates, regardless the circumstances. He slipped inside her quarters, and while inside, he removed his threadbare cloak in order to take a closer look at his injuries.



[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ]
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Within the minute, Ida rounded the corner of the next intersection in the corridor, and saw the two men at Nurse Jovela's feet. Strange, to see the Risan woman again, after having learned she'd been put in stasis during the Niga incident. In fact, Ida could not completely rule out it hadn't been her infected self's orders that had led to the woman being shot. As it were, it wasn't something she'd bring up - memories all but lost to her anyway.

"Did they hurt you?" she inquired tonelessly, with both her eyes and her antennae angled towards the men on the floor. They seemed out of commission, but that was not what made her eyes narrow. She heard curses behind her as well, since the two security guards that had accompanied her also recognised Hildebrandt and Cabrera. They were both Security Officers, one originally from the Theurgy and the other from the Harbinger. To discover that they had attacked the Nurse made Ida think they were either about to rape her.... or they were like the ones that had attacked Ensign ch'Xinya. Devoted.

Her opinion was clear in her countenance, and yet she lifted her stare from them, and looked towards the nurse. "What happened?"

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #11
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

Poor Jovela was anxious, and it showed. She paced hastily. It hadn't been that long since she last heard Deputy zh'Wann respond to her request for assistance. She knew deep down, it had only been five minutes, probably less, since Jovela was reassured someone would arrive soon. Yet, each minute that ticked away caused her to be more and more on edge. Her head whipped around quickly, gazing down at the prone figures of Peter and Cabrera.

They're not going anywhere,  Jovela vowed to herself. Even if they hadn't sustained many injuries, the situation she had just endured with the two all but gave the nurse authority to use force should it be needed. If she had to be brutally honest, however, she was less worried about them attempting to harm her again. Her real concern was if they would try to say anything about the cloaked figure she'd just helped hide away. It would look and seem incredibly suspicious on her own behalf.

More and more, Jovela was loving the idea of hurrying up and finishing the talk with zh'Wann and falling asleep after talking with her mysterious savior for a bit. She was exhausted ... and something told her this wouldn't be the last day where she would feel this fatigued.

Grimacing at the thought, her head turned as the Lieutenant finally arrived. Jovela lightly bowed her head, opening her mouth as she began trying to respond.

Alas, the sensation of her voice seeming to get caught in her made it a tad difficult.

Jovela weakly grinned. It was at least good to see and hear that despite having been in stasis for so long, there were signs she could have more positive encounters and talks with the other crew. It'd be easy enough to believe otherwise; that somehow, a large target had been placed on her back. Of course, that was partially true. But now, there was something to balance the fear and nervousness out; a sense of hope. Of being wanted, needed even.

The coughs and curses from behind Jovela helped her muster the courage to relay what had happened to zh'Wann. If she didn't speak now, they probably would. Granted, she wasn't expecting anyone to side with those two ... but it was much better to be safe than sorry.

"I was heading back to my room so I could retire for the night. Peter first approached me, However, he did so with a limp in his leg. I assumed that had been why he came to me; to receive treatment. So I began to enter my room ...  only to be cut off."

Jovela nodded to Cabrera, signaling whom she was talking about while continuing to explain the situation, "He soon arrived and relayed ... quite a few disturbing revelations about things that, apparently, Dr. Nicander has committed. Namely against a patient named Sarresh Morali. Because of his acts, he wanted to perform a coup against him and remove Nicander from his position. In exchange, they would help me become Head Nurse once again; or so that's what they promised, anyway. Even if what he said is true though ... "

Jovela's head lightly moved from side to side, "I couldn't just agree to that! We need to follow procedures, and this means first doing investigations, fact gathering, things of the like. When I refused, they both attacked. One held me from behind, the other ... was going to kill me. A robed stranger arrived on the scene, but ran away before I could get their name. They helped me incapacitate these two. I'm ... mostly fine. Still a bit shaken up. Nothing I can't handle though."

She definitely didn't yet know or realize how truly ironic this situation was. She was lying once again for a man she knew. The precaution may not have even been needed. Something in Jovela's gut, however, was insisting she had done the right thing. If one could call it that, anyway.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #12
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Esyel
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While Nurse Jovela spoke, it soon became quite evident that it was - indeed - the Devoted that Cabrera and Hildebrandt had joined. Ida could not wrap her mind around the compulsion to throw out all their training and loyalty to Starfleet and Federation just because they thought someone that had served on a Timeship held all the answers. How could this scientist of theirs protect them? How could he possibly defend them?

So, while Jovela spoke, she had turned her head towards the two fallen figures and curled her upper lip. The crew were supposed to think Security protected them. How could they earn the trust of both the Theurgy and the Resolve crews if some of them resorted to violence because of their quaint faith? Would the crew dare come to them for protection, and believe that they knew what was best in regard to their safety? Jovela spoke of accusations and motives, and neither of what she heard was new. She turned back to the Risian woman and took a deep breath, quelling her ire and speaking in a low voice. She had been attacked herself, and believed she could fathom - to some extent - the feelings that Jovela harboured. Then again, on top of this attack, Ida didn't have any idea what the woman would think about it in relation to the Niga Incident, where she'd been attacked last by people who didn't seem like themselves either.

"Whatever they said to you, you should - as the Pinkskins say - take it with a fist of salt," she said, not sure what was the proper amount suggested. The figurative meaning evidently meant that Jovela should maintain a degree of scepticism about what had been said, since too much salt was poisonous. She never really understood it, but she'd picked up the saying during her long exile from Andoria. What she'd said about Nicander didn't concern her at all. She knew already why they were after the doctor. "They have an agenda, these Devoted, and they have gotten it into their heads that Nicander did something atrocious, but they are attacking people for the strangest of reasons. They are desperate for answers, and think that the man has them, even if he is just as much flesh and blood as the two of us."

No, the claim about Nicander didn't bother her at all. What caught her true attention, however, was the mentioning of a robed figure that had aided Jovela against her assailants. Clenching her jaw, she wondered who it could be for a moment. Then, she remembered...

"Take them out!" Ida ordered, and as one, they opened fire.

By the point that the last guards fell down, the mysterious figure had rounded on them - his rifle pointing their way before his cloak settled around him. Yet he did not shoot, merely staring at them though the darkness of his hood. Ida had set her aim towards him as well, and but since the man in the cloak wouldn't open fire at them, she had her hand raised in Sel's and Zaraq's direction - signalling for them to stand down. Narrowing her eyes, Ida could almost imagine seeing how the man's gaze moved within the darkness of his hood - looking between the three of them in a silence that was only broken by their breathing.

As if he had seen or sensed something from them that made up his mind, the man lowered his rifle and raised his scarred hand - pulling the hood back from his face. Dark, burgundy hair fell into light, as well as the pointed ears of a Romulan, the only thing off about him being how his forehead had more surgical scars than ridges. Yet the fact that they were face to face with a Romulan did not make Ida's eyes widen.

It was the fact that his face was the spitting image of Nathaniel Isley's.

"You are too late," he rasped in a damaged voice, "the galactic war has already begun."
She had seen no other robed figures aboard the Theurgy than Drauc T'Laus. She'd spotted him in the Fighter Assault Bay during Ives' briefing, and knew he had made it aboard somehow, even though the last time she'd seen him, he had being going head to head with Captain Ian Hawthorne in the broken EOC Tower. She made a face, wondering why the Romulan would leave the scene if he had aided the Nurse in her plight.

"I have a fairly good idea of whom aided you," she told Jovela, looking down both ends of the corridor, wondering if the man was eavesdropping on their conversation. "His name is Drauc T'Laus, a Romulan that helped us during the mission. If you see him again, tell him that Security would like to speak with him about what happened here, and if he doesn't agree to a hearing willingly, we might bring him in for it instead. He has... a lot to explain."

Then, she turned to her two security guards and nodded for them to pick up Cabrera and Hildebrandt. "Make sure you submit a written report of this attack as soon as you can," she told Jovela, and despite it being quite uncharacteristic of her, she reached forth and put her hand on top of the Risian's shoulder. Perhaps it was guilt about what her infected self had done during the Niga Incident, where Jovela had been hurt, or she empathised with what had happened to the Nurse because of what had happened on the Harbinger. Either way, she smiled faintly to the woman, squeezing her shoulder. "Now that they have gone after you once, we will ask Thea to keep an eye on you with her internal sensors. The surveillance system is off-line, camera-feed lost to us, but Thea does know how to track your life-sign, so take heart in how this will not happen again without us coming sooner. I recommend you are not alone tonight, if the scare lingers, and speak with Counselling tomorrow, should you need it."

Having said this, Ida turned and walked away, leaving the Nurse behind. She glanced over her shoulder once, just to make sure she got inside her quarters, before rounding the intersection. She couldn't remember that the Nurse had been so lovely, then again, it was quite a while since she'd seen her last. She was, decidedly, subject for a future painting.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #13
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

The movements from Ida most definitely didn't go unnoticed. She saw that even while she recalled what had recently happened to her, that Ida was looking mainly at the prone figures. Then again, Jovela couldn't overly blame the lieutenant. If they were in the opposite spots, she would be glaring over at the men, wearing a very 'what the fuck is wrong with you two?!' stare, daggers shining and reflecting in her normally lively eyes.

In fact, Jovela was wondering what had started as a mere, inner musing.

What is going on anyway? What exactly?

Nicander had given some answers and hints when she woke up from stasis. But ... in the end, those were just that. Hints, not full-fledged answers. Everything she had heard about what he'd done from these Devoted members had disturbed her greatly. Being in stasis meant many things; failing to recall people she knew, however, was not one of them. For someone as respectable as Nicander to go through what he did ... it felt like something was very amiss about the whole situation.

They said he followed orders. Ives' orders, to be more precise. But ... was that really all there was to it?

Maybe ... maybe not. It didn't necessarily seem odd for a commander to hope and demand that any doctor would do any and everything they could to save one of their many soldiers and subordinates. At the same time, however, Jovela felt like she was missing a huge piece of a very elaborate, complicated puzzle.

... Actually, scratch that. She didn't feel like that was the case. No, she knew that much to be true.

Nodding to herself, her head lifted to make eye contact with zh'Wann, her attention shifting back to the other Security member. Her own eyes widened slightly as she revealed her guess as to whom had been the cloaked figure. "Drauc? You really think so?"

Now the mere thought and implications of how ironic this scenario was began rapidly hitting Jovela. And it did so hard, as if a ton of bricks landed right on her head.

Is ... she for real? Was ... that really ... ??

It took all of her will to keep a decent expression rather than looking shocked or guilty. Furthermore, it sounded as if her precaution was a bit on the fair side. Even Ida admitted how easily she could have thought he was helping the Devoted out had she seen him here in the corridors, let alone without a good explanation. Her head slowly moved up and down as she gave the officer an affirmative nod.

"I definitely will try to relay the message somehow. Thank you for coming and .. dealing with those two men."

A faint blush couldn't help but spread over Jovela's face. The nurse figured it wasn't meant to come off as an intimate gesture. Still, she was used to making first physical moves, not vice versa. It was new ... but definitely not a bad sensation.

Don't be an idiot! She's just trying to reassure you or something ... probably.

Her head lightly shook, a hand simultaneously raising to rub her forehead lightly. "The ... report will most likely arrive sometime tomorrow. I was trying to get to sleep before they showed up so ... I'm going to retire for now. Thank you again."

Moving her hands above her head, Jovela stretched as she walked inside, the doors automatically opening and shutting behind her. She would wait a few seconds before stepping further inside, looking around and seeing where the cloaked figure was; let alone if they were even there, for that matter.

In case it was as Ida believed, though, Jovela took her own precaution by lowering her voice to a soft, audible volume. "Drauc? Is .. is that really you? Either way, the coast is clear for now."

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #14
[ Drauc T'Laus | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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When hearing her voice, Drauc turned away from the mirror inside the Nurse's small lavatory - or head, as they called it on starships - and he stepped out when the sliding doors parted for him.

He had removed his cut and bloodied robe as well as the old Romulan tunic he used to wear underneath it, having assessed his injuries in the garish light. So, when he stepped out her, he was bare-chested and pressing one of her towels against a puncture wound at the side of his upper arm, one which was bleeding more profusely than the rest of the cuts that shorter Starfleet officer had managed to make. Because of the size of her quarters, and the fact she had just stepped inside, he ended up standing quite close to her, even if it hadn't been his intent. Her mind filled the entire room for him, her thoughts a premonition to her words, and he willed himself from absorbing anything. A singular mind was easier, preferring that over a crowd.

She had said his name.

"D-Drauc! Stop! That's enough!"

The once immaculate floors began to turn crimson as each new, powerful punch from Drauc landed against the prone and now very defenseless Klingon.

"DRAUC, STOP!"
Blinking, Drauc suppressed the memory of her voice from that day, remembering what he had done in that recovery ward. The Klingon had meant to violate her, but he had used excessive force. The Klingons were allies to the Federation in the end of the Dominion War. He should not have gone so far. But once he had begun to strike the Klingon's head, he just couldn't stop. He had poured all the loss and rage over loosing his brother into his strikes, screamed in knowledge of Kraun being dead. Nonetheless...

...the nurse had helped him escape Starfleet Medical. She had given him access to a shuttle, and in due time, he had made it all the way back to Romulan space. Starfleet never caught him, and he knew nothing about what aiding him had meant for her. Had she lied on his behalf? Had she told them he'd forced her to cooperate? The worry permeated the pulsing presence of her mind, so much he could not glean enough. His injuries didn't help either.

"Are you hurt?" he asked her in his rasping voice, his dark eyes assessing her figure in the dim quarters. His scarred knuckles still ached from the fight, and while he had washed himself after the battle at Starbase 84, the cold sweat on his skin came from the pain. As he stepped away from her, towards the viewscreen and the only source of light - the Azure Nebula outside - he bared his teeth as a stab of agony ran up his shoulder. He knew not what to say, the irony of their meeting leaving him bewildered. Having been a mercenary and raider for so long, the second question was about having to vanish once more, his damaged voice rattling in his chest. "Do I need to find another shuttle?"

Strange, how history repeated itself. What were the odds that they would be in the same situation twice. Only now... he had not killed anyone. He didn't think he'd killed the two outside, at least.


OOC: Here is what Jovela's quarters look like: [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #15
[ Lieutenant Junior Jovela | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

When the older but still familiar face of Drauc came into view, Jovela first found herself wondering if this was meant to be an odd sign. Had some higher being or weird sense of Fate purposely ensured they found one another again? These were concepts Jovela didn't typically believe in. However, if put in the correct situations ... she could give these types of things benefit of the doubt. She was certainly becoming somewhat less of a skeptic. Slowly ... but very certainly.

Naturally, he had changed over the years. The nurse was almost positive he'd gotten taller. Stronger was a given, considering she could see his muscles easier, more so now that Drauc was standing mere inches away from her half-nude. She smiled sheepishly, bowing her head as a bit of red began spreading over her face. Throughout Jovela's medical career and training, she had managed to control her reactions when patients had to disrobe, not wanting to give off the very wrong impressions.

But Drauc wasn't a patient; not officially, anyway. His wounds, of course, spelled he may as well be. And two ... a body was still a body. Between having come out of stasis and being unable to obtain time to relax or genuinely enjoy herself ... well ... the sight was definitely tempting in its own regards.

Alas, duty always came first.

And so, as he finally spoke - which turned out to be in the form of a question - Jovela couldn't help but laugh softly. "It's good to see you too, Drauc. I thank you for your concern. But that should be what I ask you; if you're fine. The answer, though, is crystal clear. You're not. I can't accept no for an answer ... I need to treat you. Too much blood loss can put you at risk for death."

Luckily, she would reveal she hadn't simply been trying to get away from Peter as swiftly as possible. Underneath her work station, tucked away beneath the desk, was her med kit.

" ... I will not force you to leave just yet. In fact, I don't recommend it. If you feel you absolutely must, however, at least let me treat those wounds first, please. Lieutenant zh'Wann insisted you meet with her and ... explain what just happened and other circumstances. If needed ... I'll help vouch for at least what just occurred in the halls. And maybe even the previous events, depending on if I can assist somehow. But don't worry about that right now."

Looking quickly around her room, Jovela grimaced slightly. She remembered why she typically treated people in Sickbay, besides the simple fact it was the usual and most frequently used location. It also had much more space than her own chambers. Granted, she did have a few places that could be used. Depending on Drauc's answer, she would either get rather cramped very quickly .. or have to hurry and keep her floor from being stained with too much of Drauc's blood.

"The shower, bed, work desk, or I suppose where you're standing. These are the four options as to where I can treat you. I'll allow you to choose, but I recommend being swift on your verdict. Like it or not, you need medical attention, and it needs to happen sooner as opposed to later."

To prove just how serious she was, Jovela hurried into the bathroom, walking out a few moments later with several towels tucked under her arms. She wouldn't blame him for choosing any area except the washroom. She was honestly expecting it a bit. And if that turned out to be the case, fine. But she would keep her room as clean as possible. Not just because it was her room, but blood was deemed to be a biohazard.

It would definitely not bode well for Jovela if she stupidly put her own health in danger.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #16
[ Drauc T'Laus | Corridors | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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When he'd asked about the shuttle and turned around to face her, Drauc was able to discern... some of what the Risian was thinking. He realised that what she felt towards him was something uncommon. He never pick up such feelings towards him because he never actually sought such interest from the people he associated himself with. As a mercenary, raiding for years and digging himself deeper into his own loss, there had been neither time nor interest in indulgences.  A warrior without purpose, merely meaning to feed and to take medication for my condition.

Moreover, he knew well enough that the first impression of him was usually that he intimidated people. If not for the threat he appeared to be, because he was a Romulan that could not help reading people's minds. He absorbed the surface thoughts of people around him, and while meant as a weapon of the Tal'Shiar, he no longer took orders from anyone. How would the people on this renegade ship believe he had begun to tread a righteous path once more?

Yet as he stood there, unable to comment or make sense of the attraction felt towards him, the largest question that came to mind was 'why'? Why did this Risian help me escape Starfleet Medical all those years ago? Why did she lie and protect him again, after he subdued the security guards that had accosted her? Was it more than wishing to protect him, as he'd protected her? As for himself, he believed himself incapable to feel attraction because of what the Ta'Shiar did to his head. At least, by the time the experiments were aborted, when he and Kraun fled Romuls, he had yet to experience it. Have I even let myself feel it?

It was clear for him that she wanted him to be in the shower, not soiling her quarters. "I have yet decided if I will speak with Security aboard," he rasped quietly, and passed her by as he slowly walked back to the head and her sonic shower. "I will not, however, refute treatment. I am grateful for it. My apologies for stepping out, I did not mean to spread my blood inside your home."

Once back where he had begun to assess his wounds, he stepped into the shower as she had suggested. His loose trousers were cut by Cabrera as well, and since he was unsure if it was proper when she felt attraction to him, he let the cut in his thigh be - the red colour around the puncture wound in the brown textile ruddy by his blood. She had plenty of cuts to look at on his upper body already. "Whether I will speak of your aid - in both cases we've met - I am undecided. It depends, ultimately, if it entails any difficulties for you. It was not your fault I intervened. Neither today... nor at Starfleet Medical. Do do not see the point in letting my violent nature affect you. It is enough that I must answer for my actions."

In the artificial, garish light in the lavatory, Drauc regarded her where he stood in the shower, wondering if his numbness to her appearance was real or not. Had such thoughts been cut from him to enable his abilities... or was it his trauma that kept him from feeling anything towards her? He looked at her, searching himself for the same kind of feelings she held for him, since by feeling it... he knew what to search for.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #17
[ Junior Lieutenant Jovela | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ]
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Jovela looked... conflicted when Drauc said he was uncertain if he would speak with Security or not. At least it wasn't an outright no. That much was a blessing. But because of the single fact it also wasn't a definite 'yes' either, Jovela felt concerned."I implore you to seriously consider doing so. If it absolutely comes down to it.... "

Jovela paused, contemplating long and hard if she truly meant the next words that she wanted to say. They were not to be taken lightly, and it would be obvious why. "If you feel the best course of action is to avoid Security, then I will aid out with that if you need it."

Even as Jovela walked with Drauc into the wash room, she inwardly questioned if she'd finally lost the bits of her sanity. Maybe a few, but not all of them. Still, this wasn't the usual attitude she'd possessed. Even when he met her as a teenager, she wasn't quite this bold. Enough to go one on one against a Klingnon? Well yeah; he saw the fight first hand. So he knew she could go against foes people wouldn't normally attempt, let alone individuals in the medical field who typically preferred avoiding more violent measures.

But somewhere in between her years at the Academy and getting out of stasis, Jovela felt.... how to word it? In the simplest of terms, almost as if she'd been reborn. And to some degrees, this was true in its own rights. A good nuber of her organs had been replaced, after all.

Nicander ...

Her mind briefly thought about the man who she woke up to after being revived from stasis plus whom those Devoted members spoke of. The deeds he'd performed... were those even true? Why had it been kept so hush-hush? She'd have to find a day to dedicate in seeking him and out talking about that matter. Alone and, hopefully, uninterrupted and void of anymore ambushes.

For now, there was something more important to tend to; Drauc's wounds. Her head lightly moved from side to side as the mercenary started to apologize. "It's not like any of the blood has permanently ruined my room. Don't worry too much about it. If I am to tend to the wounds, you will have to remove the rest of your clothes as well." Opening her med kit, Jovela fished her medical tricorder out, pointed it at Drauc, and began carefully scanning his body. The device soon began showing readings, and Jovela tried to focus on them instead of worrying about Drauc's fate aboard the Theurgy, and what the Devoted were truly after.

[ Drauc T'Laus | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Esyel
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Hearing what Jovela said, Drauc could not help but wonder why she showed him such trust and kindness. Was it because of what he had done all those years ago, when he defended her against that Klingon he'd slain, right in the middle of Starfleet Medical's Headquarters?

"My gratitude," he said to her, looking at her through his hair, still unsure what compelled her kindness towards him. He meant both for the medical treatment and for readily willing to protect him. Next, she asked him to remove the rest of his clothes so that she would be able to close the cuts he'd sustained. He did so, at great pain, since his thigh had been stabbed by the Devoted, aside from the lacerations he had got along his forearms. The rest of the markings on his body was old scar tissues, most notably the large puncture mark of the Jem'Hadar weapon that had taken his brother's life. This injury was old enough for Jovela to remember from Earth too, only back then, it had been entirely fresh.

"How did you end up on the Theurgy?" he found himself asking quietly in his damaged voice, wondering if she had served under Captain Ives since the flight from Earth, or if she had - like some of the crew - come aboard along the way.  He was not sure if it held any greater significance, and even though he learned the answers from her mind before she spoke, he was well practised in not making people around him uncomfortable. Was the question a means to distract her from his body? Was this self-consciousness in her presence that he felt?

Strange. For all the emotions and thoughts he could read in his closest proximity, he had forgotten to tend to his own.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #18

[ Junior Lieutenant Jovela | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ]
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"I was assigned to it," Jovela, answered casually, her trained fingers expertly cleaning and suturing Drauc's gory wounds with her tools as she spoke, "Same as everyone I guess." She caught the look in his eyes and knew she was fooling no one with her guarded reply. "Ok, do you really want to know? The truth is, I'm not even certain. I didn't request it, if that's what you're wondering. I was still just an ensign when Starfleet Command told me where I'd be serving next." She paused, noticing how her patient was actually appearing to relax ever so slightly and took it as a positive indicator that she at least still had her rescuers trust.

"I almost couldn't believe it at first," she continued. "My only prior posting on a ship was a shakedown cruise to Niburu aboard the U.S.S. Planck four years ago. Sure, things might have gotten a bit complicated with the crazy rescue mission and all but I hardly think I did enough to warrant special treatment. Our vessel might have saved them from mortal peril but my part in it all was really no more than I'm doing for you now. All I really did was bandage a few messy lacerations and puncture wounds on some very fortunate Ferengi. My former captain thought differently it seems and told Starfleet Command all about how I was an exceptional choice for this ship, how they would be fools not to take me and practically insisted that if I didn't get the posting, he'd quit the service himself. It's all in the dazzlingly framed letter hanging in the bathroom. Did you see it? I'm sure he thought he was doing me a favor a year ago but with all that's happened since, I'm not so sure it was..."

She trailed off, pondering carefully how best to say what was weighing on her mind and what she was rambling to distract herself from. It was the elephant in the room and she didn't need telepathy to know what he was thinking. "You did far more for me on Earth some time back and yes, if you're curious, it was a very big part of why I couldn't let Starfleet Security just haul you away but that's not the only reason why I helped." Just as the words were forming on Jovela's lips, the look on Drauc's face changed from pensive to ponderous. "I helped you because until that day I had never considered the possibility that my father, an accused traitor to the Federation, might actually be a hero. I mean, there you were, an already mistrusted and mistreated Romulan officer, yet you risked everything in rescuing me when you didn't even know my name. And just what was Starfleet undoubtedly going to do to you, a Romulan killer, in return? In the name of peace, they would have handed you right over to the Klingons for execution or imprisonment."

Jovela clearly recalled the exact moment that Drauc's bloody hands had ceased their deadly assault and the light of recognition had dawned on him. A sudden look of panic had set in then as he realized that he would now be hunted by his own but in the past few minutes since she had seen his face, no such trepidation had showed there. His past vulnerability had triggered her instinctual compassion then and, without thought, she had run to him, wrapping her arms around him as he shuddered and sobbed out his totally unexpected grief into her uniform sleeve.  She had never forgotten the way he had finally looked up at her and, between choked tears, asked pitifully, "What'll I do now?"

"When I saw the horror in your face over what you had done to that malicious...BEAST..." Jovela spat the last word with a vengeance, "I somehow KNEW that if at some point my father had ever done something truly just but the consequences had left him feeling as terrified and alone as you were then, I can see how abandoning his post might have been the only option open to him..." The young nurse paused, gazing into her mysterious ally's haunting haunted eyes. "What about you, though, Drauc T'Laus? The last I saw of you was at Starfleet Medical, Shuttle Pad 5 and I honestly never expected for us to meet again, let alone with you once again coming to my aid and on board a stolen prototype battleship no less. How ever did you end up rescuing me again? Please," she prodded, smiling coyly while dabbing the last tiny blood spots from his injured arms with a moist sponge in one hand and lightly stroking the skin of his scarred and sinewy chest with the fingers of the other, "indulge me...for old time's sake."
"No pessimist discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit"- Helen Keller

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #19
[ Drauc T'Laus | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaylex Ren
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There was no surprise to Drauc that he hadn't realised her motives earlier, back on that fateful day, because he had been in too much turmoil himself. That her mercy sprung not just out of compassion for him, because of his intent to save her, but because he had restored her faith in the possibility that her father was a righteous man... it was the missing piece of the puzzle. The final shard in the shattered memory of his desertion from the fleet. He had known his own motivations, realised how little choice he'd had but to vanish, but as to the nurse at Starfleet Medical that had helped him? He had only thought she felt obligated to do something for him because he'd preserved her modesty.

The way she touched him was... unprecedented. He wondered if she knew what she was doing, how the treatment was shifting into something... else. While he did not step back from her hand, he remained perfectly still, gauging her intents. Or at least he began to, before he caught himself prying about what she meant by touching him so. He could hardly fathom that his bare yet scarred visage held any attractive components in the garish light, his body honed to a weapon by both the Tal Shiar and Starfleet Security. Only the cleanliness he had adopted after coming aboard the Theurgy would be meriting, in his regard, since he had taken a sonic shower earlier that day, after Sickbay had his wounds from Starbase 84 treated. In fact, the sub-dermal bruising from his fight with Ian Hawthorne in the base's Ops center was far worse than the lacerations he'd just sustained - the aches yet to subside.

"As a Romulan, my survival rate and ability to hide was lesser in Federation space than beyond the Neutral Zone," he rasped to her, his voice reverberating in the stall of the sonic shower. His eyes remained on her as she continued what she was doing, his gaze drifting idly over her as he summoned the memories, "I had to stay hidden among my own people, avoiding the authorities, staying out of notice and get by, day by day. I still carried hatred for the Jem'Hadar and the Dominion, and I was sorely tempted to enlist in the Empire's forces just to get another chance to return to the battlefield. I had the full intention of getting there, and to die whilst killing as many of them as I could. Alone, I had naught else to fight for than my brother's memory. Yet I knew... that if I were to enlist, they would find me again, and take the kind of precautions that would prevent me from escaping again."

She likely didn't know, he realised, and his eyes returned to hers. "The Tal Shiar," he grated, raising a scarred hand to slowly rake back his hair, and let the artificial light be cast across their handiwork. "They did this to me and my brother. Began before we were five years of age, and never stopped until we fled the experiments, after we killed one of our trainers. We never knew freedom until we were young adults, so at the prospect of being handed to the Klingon Empire... I rather wished to live free on the same planet as my bygone tormentors out of spite... than live a prisoner among a people I initially fought in the war."

Indeed, the Klingon he'd killed at Starfleet Medical had not been his first. The alliances of the Dominion War had shifted before Kraun died by the hands of the Jem'Hadar.

Looking at Jovela, he still didn't recognise the benumbed feelings that welled in his mind - these phantoms of a life never lived - yet he did not move away from her touch. Whatever it was that stirred his hardened soul, it made him trail off, before speaking again.

"Until I met Captain Kendrick in the brig of Starbase 84, and he put his trust me - freed me - when I warned him of what I had learned on the base, I had not lead a life of righteousness. I made use of my skills to get by, without greater purpose. I was a mercenary. A disruptor for hire. I... avoided dishonourable, unforgivable acts in the contracts I accepted, having taken upon myself some of the Federations moral standpoints. It was not lucrative, but at the end of each contract... I was better able to forgive myself."

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #20
[ Junior Lieutenant Jovela | Junior Officers Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan
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What am I doing? Jovela thought as her fingers played lightly over her Romulan patient's chiseled pectorals. I know that there is practically zero chance of a relationship with him so what am I expecting?  I mean, it's not like he's ever been very emotionally available...Am I just too horny to think straight?

Literally the only time that she had witnessed him in an emotionally vulnerable state had been the momentary breakdown after flattening that repugnant Klingon's ridges into the back of his skull. For the entire duration of his prior treatment at Starfleet Medical, the injured Lt. T'Laus was nothing but a stoic, steely eyed soldier, completely detached from whatever emotions might have ordinarily accompanied the loss of a close sibling.

When Jovela puzzled a moment over the mention of his past captivity, the Romulan read her thoughts and answered unbidden. His answer explained everything from his extreme emotional detachment in San Francisco to why his brother Kraun was the only registered relation of Drauc in Federation data banks, declared deceased, at the time of his treatment. He had been so emotionally cold then, his eyes like two swirling pools of infinitely tangible misery. 

She stared into those brown orbs now as he described the emptiness of the lonely half-life without his brother. To be cut so suddenly adrift from ones anchor and left at the mercy of the cosmic winds...That was a feeling she knew all too well. Was that the answer? Was she trying, like the instinctual healer that she was, to remedy his psychological suffering by serving as, if not yet a lover, perhaps at least an intimately trusted friend for now? Did she even want to be his lover? She wasn't yet sure but still she felt the possibility hanging in the air like the frailest snowflakes chance.

"You're a righteous man, Drauc T'Laus," Jovela said as Drauc finished speaking of his loathesome work as a mercenary. Gently running her fingertips over his scarred forehead, she went on. "That's why I helped you then, that's why I'm helping you again and why I'll continue to help you so long as you stay true to your own good heart. Right now, I feel like you are the only person aboard this ship other than the captain who I know that I can trust with my life."

She pressed her body a little closer to him in the tight confines of the sonic shower, leaning in with her face. "I'm not going to lie, I am really scared of who's going to come after me next and I don't want to be alone right now," she continued in a hushed, huskier tone, "Please, I'm not asking for anything more than your company but can you stay here in my quarters for just a little while so that I can get some sleep?"
"No pessimist discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit"- Helen Keller

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #21
[ Drauc T'Laus | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaylex Ren
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Standing there, without clothing in Jovela's sonic shower, and discerning her attraction to him in her thoughts... it was something entirely new to Drauc. She touched him, came closer, and wanted him to stay, even though she still had doubts about her needs. It was evident, regardless, that she wanted to be safe in his company. The soft touch to his scarred forehead had stilled him, unused to the contact, but not regretting that she did it.

Often, he had experienced attraction between other humanoids in his vicinity, this prevalent drive among all species to breed, and he thought he saw the same in Jovela, but not precisely out of a deep, emotional connection, much less conceiving a child. No... This was else. Comfort. Distraction. Safety. Watching her, he didn't know his own feelings towards this, but he knew he could not be with her when she was on duty. He could not protect her in the ship's sickbay. He could, however, stay with her for the night. He had no prior commitments, after all. He was outside the crew, without purpose. He had not even made any decision about what to do next, now that his righteous path had led him to this ship named Theurgy.

"I will remain if you want me to, but to be self-reliant is to learn how to defend yourself, should there be another attack," he rasped to her, the sound thrumming in the glass stall. As if it was an outer-body experience, Drauc found that he was - however numb his mind was to the concept - capable of the primal, male, bodily reaction to her proximity. It felt so remote, so other, than how his mind had been designed, but the Risian nurse made him able-bodied. Instead of touching her directly, he slowly reached past her and switched on the sonic shower. The motion made their mouths drift closer, yet their lips did not meet. Instead, the sonic waves reverberated in the air, and the dirt of her uniform and what remained on his bare skin rose in vapour from their bodies, mixing between their faces.

"It could be incommodious if you stay... but I should rinse myself from the blood," he said, feeling that it would be untoward of him to suggest that she'd remain if she was unsure to which extent she wanted him, much less suggest that she'd disrobe. On the other hand, He did not ask her to leave, even if the effect she had upon him might become evident. Just as numb as he thought he was to desire, he was equally numb to shame about his body, even in an intimate situation such as this.

Should she step out, he wasn't even sure he would feel a pang of loss. So re-wired was his mind so that he might use the dormant genes of his people's ancestors.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #22
[ Junior Lieutenant Jovela | Junior Officers Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ]
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Although in her conscious mind, Jovela still wasn't positive just how far she wanted to or even plausibly could take things with Drauc, she suddenly felt her subconscious desires take the reins as one hand moved to the zipper of her uniform jacket.

"Actually, I think I'll stay..." she said, slipping out of the garment and allowing it to drop to the floor outside of the shower, "If that's alright with you."

This last part was really just a courtesy to him as she already felt certain of what the answer would be. In his reply to her previous question, she had heard just what she needed from him in that moment. More than emotional comfort, more than physical companionship, she needed a connection with someone that wasn't born of some purely professional loyalties or personal hidden agendas. Right then, what she needed was to be with someone who was willing to just be present with her, whatever that meant, and in Drauc, she felt that she had exactly that.

As Jovela unfastened her trousers, sliding them slowly down her legs, she looked Drauc in the eyes. "Thank you again, Drauc." She smiled as she said his name. "Thank you so much for everything."

She cast her uniform bottom out of the shower on top of her jacket. Then, pulling her teal colored turtleneck over her head, she continued,

"I just had to get that out of the way first so there's no confusion about why I'm doing this..."

Dropping the undershirt on top of the clothes pile, Jovela leaned forward ever so slightly and as her bare nipples brushed lightly against Drauc's chest, she took his face gently in both hands and pressed her lips against his.

"No pessimist discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit"- Helen Keller

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #23
[ Drauc T'Laus | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaylex Ren
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Doubting that he had ever experienced the kind of scenario he was facing before - even though Drauc had seen versions of it in countless minds - it was nonetheless something completely else to be the subject of attention from another person in quite that fashion. With only her present, Jovela's mind and body took up his entire attention. If there were minds just beyond the bulkheads of the nurse's quarters, they were faint candles compared to the dawn. She did want him, perhaps without deeper commitment, but she was in need of his unaffiliated honesty.

He could not offer any further words to assure her that there was no confusion between them, not just because her disrobement was distracting, but especially not when he found himself reading the depth of her gratitude towards him. It was rooted in the perspective she had gained about her father, but saving her a second time had made her want him. Nothing so crude as mere primal urge, and certainly not offering herself out of guilt towards him, but because she felt that she could trust him.

This, was such a rare and perplexing notion for Drauc, and he was so stunned by it that he did not move his mouth in answer to hers right away. He stared at her while she kissed him, at this beautiful female from Risa, whom had made him react bodily already because of her sheer beauty where he had thought himself numb. Since he could not detect any falsehood, he had to assume that she indeed held both trust and desire for him.

The last time he felt the trust of another person had been before Kraun died. Since then, he had been a fugitive on Romulus. His people were the least trusting kind in charted space, Romulans being renowned for their paranoia.

He found himself putting his scarred and calloused hands on her body, and she felt warm underneath his palms. His fingertips ran up her sides, and where his hands travelled, the sonic shower raised vapour from her skin. With the both of them in the stall, it was quickly becoming hazy and humid, but somehow, the cleansing of his wounds had become a lesser priority. He felt the peaks of her breasts scraping the hard planes of his chest, and in a unpractised, chaste way, he began to kiss her back.

Just as her body touched his, suggesting her aroused state, there was no denying his own either. His hardness was warm, trapped between their bodies, yet he knew not the next step in the ancient, pagan dance. He had been with neither male nor female before.

Re: Day 01 [2230 hrs.] What Goes Around...

Reply #24
[ Junior Lieutenant Jovela | Junior Officers Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ]
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Jovela was almost surprised by how, despite the roughness of his skin, the Romulan's touch was so tender, almost like that of a woman. There was none of the usual haste or aggression in his movements that most men had. Even when totally consensual, as it had been with the late Counselor Garen Nelis back on the planet Niga, males of any species tended, in Jovela's experience to be more possessive and domineering over their female partners. Drauc was completely different it seemed. He was letting her take the lead and for this she was grateful.

Mmmm...

She moaned as she felt his lips moving against hers and the tip of his tongue timidly exploring her own mouth. Reaching back over her shoulder with one hand, she pressed the button activating the water jets in a slow drizzle. As the warm water ran over their skin, lubricating every inch of their closely pressed bodies, Jovela gently took Drauc's fore arms in her hands, guiding his hands downward to her hips. She slid her hands back until they held his, then moved them further still, slipping his fingertips under the waistline of her briefs.

"If you'd help me with these", She said, hoping that he would get the hint about her underwear, "I think I know how to help you with this."

By "this", of course, the hot, horny Risian nurse meant Drauc's girthy, engorged member. Reaching down with both hands, she wrapped her fingers delicately around his shaft. Slowly she began simultaneously squeezing and stroking her hands up and down his length.

"Come on, tiger." She grinned, "Are you gonna take my panties off or not? I'm getting awfully wet in them..."

She wondered, only for a moment, if Drauc even understood that turn of phrase. She was getting awfully wet between her thighs, though, and not only from the water. A sudden added slickness between Jovela's fingers informed her that she wasn't the only one leaking bodily lubricants.

Whew! She thought, It's only pre-cum. I don't want him climaxing before I even get my undies off!

She leaned closer to whisper in his ear, hoping he could hear the playfulness in her voice.

"So, are you going to take my panties off or do I have to?"
"No pessimist discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit"- Helen Keller

 
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