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Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
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After what had happened in sickbay the day before, Captain Ives had not slept well.

He had been unable to sleep, merely nodding off now and then, immediately awakening to the memory of her slipping away from him. The grief never left him, and he was almost surprised at the vitriol of his emotions when it came to Nicole Howard's fate. Regret sharper than when he thought of the fate of his crew. He felt it more keenly because it was a fresh wound - newly cut into his heart. Shame, remorse, and guilt. Along with the grief, they were the four banes of his early hours, and he could not rid himself from their touch.

In the end, Jien had given up. Sometime around 0400 hrs. At the turn of a leaden thought, he had let a uniform appear on his body before he left his quarters behind. For an hour, he had wandered the three separate Vectors of his ship, barely keeping up appearances as he greeted members of the Gamma shift. In the end, he had reached the Spearhead Lounge. It was nearly deserted at that early hour, the Alpha shift yet to begin and most heading to the mess hall for breakfast.

Raising his oaken eyes, he saw the dais closest to the wide panorama viewscreen, and selected a random table closest to the Azure Nebula. Numbly, he had seated himself, and resigned himself to just looking at the swirling colours outside, spotting repair shuttles and work-bees in the gaseous nebula.

He tried not to think at all, rinsing his mind as best as he might, but his thoughts kept returning to mistakes he'd made, and what he would have done differently.

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #1
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

The Hermat had missed breakfast. Between hir late-night post-shift check up in Sickbay, per hir agreement with Nicander, and the double shift s/he'd thrown hirself into to resume work in the first place, the second day had been a little more difficult to start than s/he'd anticipated. Nator wasn't about to admit that, though, not least to hirself. So, s/he'd simply cursed hirself for oversleeping, jumped in and out of hir sonic shower and into a fresh uniform, and activated hir electronic keeper in the internal sensor net. It would do until s/he picked up a chaperone.

At least s/he'd remembered to thank the medical staff s/he saw last night for saving hir life after pulling hir out of stasis. Some of the scans s/he'd seen of hir injury had been truly fearsome. S/he'd tried reading a couple of the medical reports last night in hir quarters, but they seemed as if they belonged to another person. S/he couldn't reconcile the damage s/he saw with what s/he now felt.

But for today, s/he was working in the Helmet; some lingering damage to the environmental circuit after the battering they'd taken at Starbase 84... It still didn't quite feel real. Mere days ago for the ship, but it may as well have been in a different life for hir. In a way, s/he supposed it was. There was the advantage, however, that one of the ship's crew lounges was on the way to hir duty station for the first half of today. There was still time before s/he was technically required to report, so s/he ducked in.

This early, the Spearhead was all but deserted, even though they were approaching a shift change. There was a single occupant, near the window, with his back to hir. Even the holographic waitstaff were deactivated. Nator swept a look over the figure. Dark haired, broad shouldered. Command uniform. Nothing stirred in hir mind; no recollection nor recognition. Nator sighed quietly to hirself. One day.

Nator replicated hirself a Terran dish, a steak tagliata. The meat was seared, but otherwise blue - perfect for hir tastes. A steaming mug of Vulcan tea joined it, taking hir other hand and filling hir nose with the fragrant scent of warm spices. As s/he turned back towards the man, s/he vacillated - should s/he intrude? Or take another table? He hadn't glanced at hir when s/he arrived, hadn't even looked away from the viewport. But part of hir therapy would necessitate getting to know (or just even recognise) people again. Had to start somewhere. And it could easily be construed as rudeness not to even offer, right? So goes the justification, anyway.

S/he walked over, hir steps naturally quiet thanks to hir small mass and careful movement. "Mind if I join you-" Nator's voice caught almost imperceptibly as s/he counted four pips, and s/he realised to whom s/he was speaking. "- sir?"

Of all the people I could have imposed upon...
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #2
[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
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Looking up, Ives saw a face he couldn't quite place at first. Only after a second, he realised the Hermat was a part of the original crew of the Theurgy, but one that had not walked the ship for months. Ives prided himself with knowing at least something of about the officers on the ship, even if they were quite many, but such knowledge usually eluded him now, when his crew was a mixture several different ships.

He knew this officer since she was not from the Harbinger, the Black Opal, the Resolve or the Orcus. "Junior Lieutenant Nator," he said, recalling the name after a couple of seconds despite his dampened mood and weariness. He had not been interested in company, not in the slightest, but since this Hermat had obviously been brought out of stasis after the Battle at Starbase 84, he reckoned he should make the time for hir. "Please, have a seat."

Letting hir seat hirself, Jien considered the fact that their species had something in common... or among Chameloids, at least he did. They were both individuals of both genders and none, only this officer had a fixed form, whereas he shifted between the two. His two Chosen Forms made him both male and female, whereas Nator 159 were both without having to switch shape. Hermats had always fascinated Jien, and had he made the choice of having a single Chosen Form, perhaps the Hermats physiology would have been the ideal one. As it were, his years of experimentation were over, and he had found his identity in his two forms, like many other Chameloids had before him.

"When were you brought out of stasis?" he asked quietly, looking back at the nebula. He supposed s/he would have a lot of questions, and awaited to hear them from hir. A lot had happened since shoreleave on Earth. It felt like forever since he'd known a modicum of peace. So many losses, and no victory yet in sight.

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #3
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

There were a couple of clear seconds (which felt like a couple more) in which the only sounds were the gentle susurration of the atmospheric processors and the background bass hum of the engines rumbling through the ship's superstructure. The brown noise served only to focus hir thoughts and force hir to consider that s/he should perhaps have just taken another table, eaten hir breakfast, and gone to work. Therapy could have come later.

S/he all but squirmed under his steady gaze.

"Junior Lieutenant Nator." The Hermat resisted the temptation to let out a relieved breath. "Please, have a seat."

"Thank you, Captain."

Hir tray landed on the table with a quiet tap and the mug beside it, a slow pillar of steam drifting towards the deckhead. Nator hirself slipped into the chair opposite the captain, taking a moment to look out of the panoramic viewport next to the table. Back inside the lounge... Ives looked like shit. Was this what months of hounding from the rest of Starfleet had done to him? Most of everyone else s/he'd seen so far had been strained, stressed... but this seemed another level.

The burdens of command, I suppose. Perhaps it's better that I plateaued a little early.

"When were you brought out of stasis?"

Nator cleared hir throat a little as s/he cut into the strips of meat on hir plate, the knife crunching through the bed of rocket underneath. "About thirty-six hours ago." Hir voice was a little hoarse as s/he wrestled with the memory. "I... spent the first few reading logs. And watching the record of the attack on Starbase Eighty-Four." S/he deposited the forkful in hir mouth and chewed quickly, pupils widening ever so slightly as hir hindbrain noted the presence of prey on hir tongue. Swallowing, s/he added with a small smirk, "Doctor Nicander-" Fuck's sake, no face! "-wasn't happy I left sickbay to catch up, though."

The smile was quick to fade. Trying to joke about it wasn't working for hir, and s/he'd have put real money on it doing nothing for Ives, either. Hir mouthful was washed down with a sip of hir tea. Nator's gaze took a second to find the captain's face again. When it did, hir head tilted slightly to one side.

"May I ask a... direct question, sir? Did you ever consider surrendering? Or seeking asylum with a neutral government to allow an investigation?"

S/he managed not to add "Because so many have died in the name of our innocence." And it would have been more surprising if he hadn't considered those things; he was hardly fresh out of the Command track at the Academy. S/he supposed s/he just wanted to hear why they hadn't given in.

Awake less than two days and already wanting to roll over... I am glad 158 is too dead to see me now.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #4
[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
[Show/Hide]
When queried if s/he could ask him a direct question, Jien had inclined his head slowly while looking back at the nebula outside the viewport. There was neither day nor night when serving on a starship, but at the times when inside a nebula, one was reminded that even in space, there could be perpetual daytime, and the blue glow was almost like an intricate sky, only laced with clouds far less benign.

He did not move where he sat, one forearm draped across his side of the table, merely gazing out there in silence as he listened to the Hermat's quite humble questions. Jien was not sure what he had expected. Something far more scathing... much less poignant to their situation. It proved Junior Lieutenant Nator might have had due cause to leave Sickbay early, even if Jien wasn't sure he'd ever question Doctor Nicander's judgement again when it came to the treatment of his patients. Each time Jien had put the mission before medical ethics, the results had come to haunt him, and make matters worse. Frowning, he pushed sickbay from his mind, and decided he was not ready to speak of medical treatment in any regard... even if he wanted to admonish the Hermat for her cavalier attitude towards her own health. Then again, he did not know the circumstances of her recovery either.

"A neutral party. A foreign power that could investigate the veracity of our claim. That was an option we pursued during the first two months of our persecution," he said, still looking out through the viewport. He saw imagery of his memories in the swirling nebula. "Yet it quickly became clear, when we reached out to our politically connected contacts in the other Quadrants, that Starfleet Command's influence now reaches too far, and there was already a stigma placed on our claim. The parasites needed only speak of Thea, and claim she - as an A.I. - had enabled me in my defection to the Romulan Star Empire. They claimed that either the A.I. alone was controlling the ship in its entirety, and the image of me and the rest of the crew were mere holograms - ghosts from Thea's memory banks. Or, a handful of officers and I used Thea to gain control of the ship, shutting down life-support and about to hand over Thea to the Romulan Star Empire."

Jien shifted in his seat a little, looking back at Nator, and in his eyes, he would not be surprised if some of the desperate futility of those early endeavour could be seen. "Either way, Command's word spread farther and more quickly than ours, and by the time we tried to gain support, the parasites had dug their fingers around the major and minor factions available. They also claimed messages or hailing frequencies of ours were too dangerous, in how the A.I. could spread its influence to other computer systems as well. So, as often as we tried to hail others, or the ships perusing us... our calls were unanswered."

Looking back through the viewport, Jien ran his hand across his own face, raking back his hair. He took a deep breath, pushing back the memories. The ships and their manifests. All the names of Starfeet officers dead. The cost of their duty. "This would answer your first question too, I imagine. Even when we tried to surrender for sake of just being heard, we would not be heeded, and we were forced to resume fighting to protect the truth."

Having said this, Jien fell silent, not sure what else to say.


Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #5
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

As the Captain spoke, Nator found hirself listening more to his voice than to the words delivered. The events of which he spoke provided some much-needed context to the reams of dry logs s/he'd read on that tumultuous first night, but that alone didn't seem to account for the edge s/he heard in his voice. Not that s/he should perhaps have tried to judge; s/he'd been nothing but edge since s/he'd been dragged out of the stasis pod.

S/he met his eye as his gaze moved back to hir. The knife sawed through another strip of beef before scraping against the plate, but the fork never lifted to hir mouth. The expression on his face shocked hir. He looked like a deer at the end of its stamina. Some mere grazing herd animal that knew that whatever was coming after it would be its end. It didn't suit his current face. And it didn't belong on the face of someone s/he wanted to follow.

Nator consciously forced the fork to carry its load to hir face. To chew like nothing was wrong. Swallowing, s/he nodded slightly.

"Understood."

Hir own gaze fell to hir plate, hands resting on its rim. There was a quiet clatter as s/he set down the knife to take a drink of hir tea. S/he couldn't shake the rather selfish notion that this all affected hir somewhat unfairly. Their only crime was hearing a transmission they shouldn't have and then not rolling over to have their collective throats torn out. And for the worst of their justified-by-self-defence actions (an argument that could surely only last so long) - s/he hadn't even been awake!

The smell of spices overwhelmed hir nose for a few seconds after s/he put the mug back down. S/he lost the musky scent of Ives' Chameloid physiology, a faint crease appearing between hir eyebrows as it slowly reasserted itself through the tea steam... the smells didn't combine well.

"Their propaganda can't be difficult to write when we have killed so many thousands." S/he'd nearly said 'you'. At least in the general, if not specific sense. "The gamma-ray burst from the gunship's warp core going up inside Eighty-Four alone would have killed hundreds... in that part of the station it was probably full of civilians, too."

Go on, Nat. Twist the knife, why don't you?

"Suffice it to say, sir, we have a small image problem." Sarcasm, the last bastion of the uncomfortable. "Not that I have any solid ideas on how to fix it."
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #6
[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
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When Junior Lieutenant Nator spoke of the fodder that Starffleet Command had to continue the smear campaign of him and his crew, he made no comment. He was quite aware that by protecting the truth, they had been feeding into the image that had been portrayed of them, and he found himself vexed by the suggestion that the Hermat would know better, or was it just that s/he lamented the development? It was difficult to tell since s/he was preoccupied with her breakfast, chewing while s/he spoke, and Jien decided to give hir the benefit of the doubt and think it was the latter.

Yet when s/he spoke of Starbase 84, and how the Resolve's aerowing had suffered a warp core breach inside the recreation dome, Jien felt compelled to correct hir. Evidently, s/he had not been thorough enough in reading the reports. He made sure to keep his tone civil and conversational.

"Whatever compelled Captain Kendrick to breach the recreational dome, it was not under any orders of mine. He was the Commanding Officer of the Resolve, and he saw fit to go after the base commander, Ian Hawthorne. His reasons might have been legit, considering the threat that man posed - being one of the infected - but the loss of life on the base?" he said quietly, eyes still on the nebula, sighing. "Two things were fortunate, given the circumstances. The starbase was on Red Alert, and the protocol is that civilians are to to go to their quarters. This means that all civilians were in the residential modules on the base, and not in the recreation dome or the Executive Office Complex. The second thing was - judging by the witness accounts gathered and the readings from the base before the blast - that Captain Kendrick contained the warp core breach by crashing the aeroshuttle inside the tower structure, and keeping the blast from depressurising the entire recreation dome. Still, I would imagine that many in that EOC tower didn't make it."

Not keen on the line of questioning the Hermat was following, Jien turned his head and fixed his oaken eyes on hir. He waited for hir to comment anew, wondering what more s/he had to say in regard to the fate of the ship, and if s/he had fully recovered from whatever ailment had put hir in stasis.

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #7
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Nator listened to the captain as he explained about the events inside 84's hull, how Kendrick had taken it upon himself to pursue one of the enemy belligerents. S/he drained hir tea while keeping eye contact from the side to show s/he was still paying attention, then set the empty mug gently down on the table. The Hermat savoured the aromatic flavour for a moment before swallowing the last drop.

"I know that, sir, and you know that." S/he picked up hir knife again, gesturing at the Universe in general. "But the Federation probably thinks we sent a kamikaze ship in there, because its antimatter pods hold far more than a mere torpedo salvo in terms of megatonnage."

S/he wasn't even sure what hir point was. S/he was beginning to ramble, though. Perhaps nerves, at having interrupted the captain unexpectedly... whatever. It wasn't a desirable trait for hir.

A quiet moment passed.

Nator glanced around the room - quite unnecessarily, as no one else had entered the Lounge since s/he'd sat at the table. The risk seemed worth it, and s/he'd already pushed hir luck as it was. 'In for a slip, in for a bar', and all that. "Frankly, sir, I don't think it's a great stretch to comment on how unfair this all is. This crew did nothing wrong, and has only acted in defence. And yet the galaxy has been arrayed against us.

"What are we supposed to do?"

Hir tone might have been close to pleading, but hir face put paid to that. Hir expression was stormy; the anger s/he was currently using as fuel to get out of bed in the morning written in hir features. S/he remembered jumping at the chance to serve on the ship s/he'd helped design, the potential new flagship class of Starfleet, and how naively hopeful s/he'd been about restoring hir career path before retirement in a few years' time. Nator could have bitterly laughed at hirself, if s/he could summon the will.

The desire for vengeance had been largely pushed out of Hermat society for a long time - it was seen as a baser drive, ill-suited to the pursuit of a modern and progressive civilisation. But there was some fist-sized, smouldering coal in hir belly that demanded satisfaction, that their names be cleared and these usurpers destroyed. The feeling that s/he refused to give even conscious thought to, however, was that s/he wasn't particularly sorry that thousands of their (misled) pursuers had been killed by their hand. The feeling that they deserved it.

Nator didn't plan to let that particular sentiment surface, though.

Not yet.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #8
[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
[Show/Hide]
Hearing her, Jien thought it likely that there wasn't any point in the Hermat's line of questioning, at least not beyond her grievances about the mission. When s/he said that the Federation had likely ascribed the blame of the late Captain Kendrick's actions to the Theurgy and her crew, Jien looked back at the Azure Nebula.

"That much is a certainty," he said, and changed... to her female form, because she had spent the entire night in her male form and felt too fixed in her bodily composition. After the change happened, she continued, her tone the same as before, and only her voice having changed to her female one, "Starfleet Command has no interest in suggesting that Ian Hawthorne had been the target. It would raise questions. So, they will spread the idea that the Resolve crew had defected to the Romulan Star Empire as well - while they passed through Romulan space - and that I likely gave the order to detonate a warp core inside the base. Targeting the EOC Tower could also be seen as tactically sound during a battle."

There was a pause, in which the Hermat likely thought of the current state of the mission, since s/he began to openly lament the situation they were in. In Jien's opinion, 'unfair' didn't even begin to cover the dire straits they were in, yet from the point of view for someone directly out of stasis, she could sympathise with the sentiment. The better line of questioning was about what they might do, and this was what Jien answered, her eyes following the slow trail of a shuttle that moved between two of Thea's Vectors.

"All available venues are being explored, yet there is only so much we can do here in this nebula," she said quietly, then she turned towards the Junior Lieutenant and folded her arms underneath her breasts, naming a few choice things that came to mind.

"First order of business is to get Thea back in condition to continue our mission. The false simulcast might have been sent to incriminate us further, and to prevent a public reaction, but it also served a vital purpose for our mission. The Rez symbiont's former host might have betrayed us, yet Jona Rez did have the grace of sending the people the symbiont trusted the true message as well. Before the former Rez host died on the bridge, it might have felt regrets, and tried to give us the names of the people that could access the true message. Before the host died, he gave us one name."

After Nerina was put in stasis after the Niga Incident, Edena Rez had been Jien's First Officer. It felt wrong to just call her 'the former host', since Edena had been more than the sum of her past lives. Jien had even met Kiya Rez when the Ishtar entity visited them. Now, hopefully, the symbiont would live on through Ameya Duv. Amelya Rez. The mission rode on the successful joining to the doctor. Aside from the name given, they had no inkling as to whom might have learned the truth in Jona Rez' encryption.

"The name was Elim Garak," said Jien to Nator, not sure that information had been included in the reports with her security clearance, "and we will establish contact with this Cardassian ambassador on Earth, somehow, once we are out of the nebula. If the Rez symbiont survives, we might have other leads as well. Furthermore, I will try to reach out to High Chancellor Martok of the Klingon Empire, since he might listen to what I have to say. So far, direct correspondence from the Theurgy has been unsuccessful, but there might be another way to reach him. Him and I fought together in the Dominion War."

Jien realised that she was trying to assure the Junior Lieutenant that there was hope, and in doing so, Jien supposed she also had to take the same words to heart. She could not afford to wallow in grief over the loss of Nicole Howard. Despite all that might befall her and the crew, she had to remain strong. For their sake. Save your tears for the day when our pain is far behind.

So, she smiled to Nator. "Rest assured. We will set the record straight," she said quietly, but her crystal clear voice was free of doubt. "These are dark times. We are assailed on all sides. It may seem that the whole of the universe is against us, even those we counted as friends and allies. We pay a dire cost for our duty, yet we must remain this guiding light in the darkness. We must spread the truth. We must make them heed our call. Do your best, like the rest of us, because we set our grievances aside for the sake of our mission, and preserve the tenets of the Federation. We are still Starfleet."

She looked out the viewport again, seeing the shuttle begin repairs.

"Until they listen, and the veil of ignorance is lifted, perhaps the only ship in the fleet that stand for what it used to be."

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #9
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

It was faintly disconcerting to see the captain shift between hir forms quite so casually. Dimorphic binary species had always held the faint impression of being caricatures of people with exaggerated features one way or the other to hir (if not most other Hermat, too), and Ives was no exception, despite not necessarily having to present as such. Tall, broad, and harsh-featured, his male form was a cartoonists' stereotype down to the bone. And then in the space of a second or so to become the opposite end of the spectrum, her hair growing longer and her face changing to a softer contour as her shoulders narrowed, placed her right in the middle of 'uncanny valley'. The feeling, thankfully, passed quickly.

Bloody binos... and as if I wasn't having enough trouble with faces.

S/he couldn't help but feel as if Ives' following speech was rehearsed. It was the sort of talk one might give a flighty cadet, still nervous at the prospect of living at the Academy for the next several years of their life. Had s/he reduced hirself so much, that s/he would need such a pick-up?

Nator was, for once, grateful for the break in eye contact and turned hir head to watch the shuttle drifting sedately a hundred metres or so away along the hull. A few long seconds passed in silence, but for the background hum of machinery. The technician glanced at the captain, for a moment seized by a pang of curiosity tinged with sympathy. The burden of command was an infamous trope of this particular line of work, but what must the pressure be like on Jien Ives?

The Hermat looked out of the window for a little longer before asking hir next question. S/he declined to resume eye contact, though, deciding it was easier to enquire without the directness s/he usually preferred. It seemed... personal, somehow, in a way that hir other questions hadn't been.

"And how is the captain, hirself? There can't be many people aboard you could confide in."

It wasn't a tacit offer to become a confidant, nor supposed to be taken as one; rather, it was an observation. There was a necessary separation between command and subordinate - between enlisted and commissioned, and between commissioned and the 'brass'. Growing too familiar tended to erode discipline in every case s/he could think of where it had been tried. That did mean, however, that the ones who might most need support at a stressful time could find themselves isolated from it.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #10
[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
[Show/Hide]
It seemed, at least, like Jien's words were well received, but she had no real way of telling if the Hermat found any solace in her words. While good with people, given her profession before command, she was certainly no empath. Since no further comment came regarding the mission and the unfairness of their role in it, she had to assume the Lieutenant had accepted the words well enough, at least to the extent of contemplating their import later on.

The question that came was a shift towards something closer to heart. While looking at the shuttle still, a few things came to mind. There was the talks with Hayden O'Connor, rare and infrequent as they were, the support of the Senior staff, new and old, and Cam offering to soothe her worries when she didn't have enough of her own. Beyond that, it was her self-discipline, her upbringing in the martial arts that centred her. Yet if she were to be honest, she had been quite shaken after the slight episode she had in the conference lounge, before the mission to Starbase 84. Luckily, Cam had been there, and reeled her back to the present, making her forget the implications of the forked timeline, and how they rode the tide of change. Afterwards, she had considered it a low point, and learned what she could from it.

"I have people here aboard Thea that looks after me too," she said, since it was the truth, even if they all had their own issues to deal with. "Being a Starfleet officer is not a one-man show, least of all for a Captain. Some might think it all boils down to the leadership of a crew, how well it preforms in times of adversity. This is what is taught and accepted as the truth in many peoples' regard, but my experience is different. A crew depends on each other, and a Commanding Officer might lead the way, pointing out the direction. But getting there? No Captain can run a starship on their own."

She turned her head to look at Nator. "Yet this is universal for all officers, regardless of rank or position. No officer can weather through a mission like ours on their own, without leaning on the people next to them to get the ship through the storm. What binds a crew together is the strength of conviction, and the invisible structure of chain-of-command, which maintains the direction, keeping it from wavering, and ensures that the operation of the ship is run efficiently, orderly, and with confidence."

It made Jien chuckle quietly, looking out at the nebula again. "A hierarchy such as ours might seem archaic to the civilians in this century, but the reason that we do the things we do is because it remains the tried and true structure that yields the best results. A starship can't be run in anarchy, so we have to depend on each other. It is the bond that makes us what we are, and paves our every step. I hope you take the time, like I do, to remind yourself that you are not alone, and that you also confide in the people around you."

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #11
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Their command structure didn't seem in any immediate danger of collapsing, then. While encouraging, it was odd to feel as if s/he were a new transfer to the ship and having to find all this out. It was another reminder of what s/he had lost - what had been taken from hir in the flight from Earth those few days/months ago. S/he knew the disposition of the ship then, and knew hir place in it. But now, with the influx of other crews and still under pressure from the rest of Starfleet, Nator was mostly surprised things had held up this well at all.

S/he sensed the captain turn back towards hir as she turned the point at the Hermat. Nator looked at hir plate, pushing the last few leaves of rocket around with the end of hir fork and shifting in hir seat a little.

"... I hope you take the time, like I do, to remind yourself that you are not alone, and that you also confide in the people around you."

But who was there?

Every face had been taken from hir - and was taken as soon as s/he left a room all over again. If s/he imagined closing hir 'mind's eyes' when recalling a conversation s/he could tell you to whom s/he'd spoken, but as soon as s/he tried to describe them even to hirself, s/he drew a blank. It seemed hir option then was to just sort of dump it all on whichever crewman was passing when the mood struck, but the thought alone all but made hir squirm with anticipated embarrassment.

It was only a little longer than twenty-four hours since s/he'd been about fifteen centimetres from Nicander's nose and s/he couldn't have picked him out of a lineup now. But s/he could recall how to build, refit, or reconfigure half a dozen kinds of plasma conduit with no problem. S/he could even tell you how to modify a laser scalpel into a gravitic caliper with a little work and an extra component or two. With a little effort s/he could probably replicate one of Thea's deckplans from memory with a reasonably tight margin of error.

It was the people that had been taken from hir.

S/he didn't even know if s/he'd be able to form the connections the captain spoke about.

Nator looked back at Ives. "I do, sir, thank you." It wasn't untrue. S/he did confide in everyone s/he had available. Glancing back at hir plate again, s/he placed hir cutlery on it with a quiet clink. S/he suddenly wanted to be far away from this conversation; it was reaching all sorts of uncomfortable territory. In a perverse sort of way that was almost comforting: the CO clearly wasn't the helpless prey she'd looked like a few minutes ago.

"I should, ah, get to my shift. Thank you for the company, Captain. With your permission...?"
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0530 hrs.] Fresh Wounds

Reply #12
[ Captain Ives | Spearhead Lounge | Deck 14 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
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"Of course, and thank you," said Jien with a faint smile as she turned her oaken eyes from the nebula and to the Hermat, "and I am glad to see an old face among the officers again."

Whether or not her word-choice had jarred the Junior Lieutenant, Ives didn't see, because she looked back at the nebula, finding her resolve strengthened a bit with the reminder of all that they had endured. The loss of Nicole Howard would still longer with her for a long time, of course, but the reminder about what was important could not have come at a better time. She had spoken only so much for the Hermat's benefit compared to herself, she realised. She had to take her own advise, lest all the things endured so far would have been for naught.

After Nator had left, Jien remained seated by the table for a few more minutes - seeing the repair shuttle finish its work and then moving on to the next task. She too had to move on, so she rose to her feet and left the Spearhead Lounge, knowing that Nicole would not have given up either.

- FIN

 
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