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Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Security Center | Deck 07 | Uss Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan
Cam made her way into the lobby of the Brig, her head spinning as she entered. She’d contemplated coming down here for a long, long while but finally, she’d decided to just do it. She’d made the appointment the night before, after a couple of drinks and a good cry to herself, but she’d done it. She needed to do it. If she was ever going to move on past...whatever she was feeling, she had to. Her hair was pulled up over her head, and she was in a neat uniform, making her way down the halls of the Theurgy.

When she made it to the brig, she looked first for the Aide in the lobby of the security center. Cam walked up to her and cleared her throat, “Excuse me?” She offered, perhaps a bit more timidly than she usually might have. “I’m here for-” She paused and her eyes flicked towards the door, nervously. “I’m here to see Doctor Nicander. I have an appointment.” She looked absolutely terrified, but she was certain. She had a belly and mind full of conviction and she was standing tall and proud, despite all the fear. The aide started the checking procedures and Cam complied. She didn’t have anything on her that she shouldn’t in any case, so it was rather straightforward.

She thrust her wrist forward and allowed herself to be fitted with the biometric bracelet, before she moved on towards the holding area. She paused just outside the door to the actual room. Once she entered, there would be no turning back. She shook her head and her shoulders, trying to stymie the fear from pressing on any further. “Pull it together.” She muttered under her breath. She moved a hand up to fix her hair, nervously, before she stepped inside.

She looked around the room once, trying to get an idea of what her surroundings looked like. She wanted to know, fully, completely what the space would look like. Once she was through the double doors, and down the security passage to the brig that held the man himself, she stopped, staring into the cell. “I want to talk.” She didn’t hold back once she was there. She’d been waiting for this. She looked to the posted brig officer for permission and if allowed, she would approach the man within. “Is that alright?” She asked the man himself now.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #1
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
When the visitor came, Lucan had been reading up on transporter technology with refreshed interest given the progress Vael Kaeris was making - at least theoretically - about a means to separate him from the parasite with the use of a secondary containment beam. In theory, if the scientists on the Theurgy could somehow make the beam having a different phase variance, then a transporter lock could be made on the parasite alone. It was a promising prospect, and to better advise Kaeris when he came with updates, Lucan had taken upon himself to re-familiarise himself with the technology and science involved.

I'm a Doctor, not a... he had lamented when his thoughts were interrupted, and his pale grey eyes shifted to the forcefield. Outside, having heard her voice before she appeared, Ensign Henshaw could be seen, and she entered his cell with seemingly little hesitation. Lucan put his PADD aside on the small table and stood up, dressed in his uniform trousers and his teal undershirt but being barefoot since all Câroon of the wind-region loathed footwear with a vengeance. It seemed to him that rumours about his ability and permission to receive visitors had spread, along with the fact that he had a good enough control on the beast residing inside. At least outwardly, the Captain's Yeoman seemed unperturbed about entering his cell, and Lucan didn't want to scare her with any sudden movements.

"Of course," he said, looking at the woman whom had come aboard the Theurgy from the Harbinger on Theta Eridani IV. Since then, she'd served as Ives' yeoman and he'd spotted her sitting in on Senior Staff meetings ever since - handling Departmental correspondence when they all had convened in the Conference Lounge on Deck 01. He also knew of her from the mission at Starbase 84, in which she'd been recruited for her specific familiarity with the station's commanding officer - Captain Hawthorne.

Another Infested, to add.

Is this why she is here? he couldn't help but wonder, and he lowered himself down on his fold-out chair again, unsure if the Ensign wanted to have a seat on his bunk or remain standing. He had many questions of his own, but he knew he couldn't ask for anything specific in terms of the mission, much less inquire of anything that could compromise the actual location of the Theurgy to the parasite.

"Just bear in mind, Miss Henshaw," he said quietly as he looked at her, "that whatever I see, whatever I hear, so might 'they'. By the winds, I wish it wasn't so, but you should know that before you speak with me. I am connected to the same void that Sonja Acreth was."

Along with your adoptive father. It would have been impolite to bring up Ian Hawthorne, however, given his recent fate and what kind of toll it might have had on the Ensign. Instead, he had brought up Sonja Acreth, whom had been locked up on the Harbinger, and had been the reason why Captain Vasser had deserted from Task Force Archeron and taken his crew to rendezvous with the Theurgy in interest of joining forces. Well, at least to begin with. Lucan wasn't entirely sure when Vasser had decided to take the Theurgy for himself instead, and if his First Officer T'Rena had been the driving force behind that idea.

Lucan's artificial hand rested on his knee where he sat by the bulkhead, and his other - tattooed one - was on the small fold-out tabletop. He wouldn't make any hasty movements, since he had visitors scarcely, and did not wish to scare them away. Intelligent conversation was something he sorely lacked given his present circumstances. Not that the brig officers were dolts, precisely, but because they still held the death of their fellow officers against him.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #2
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

Cameron entered the cell with little fear. She had the edging of fear and doubt lingering in the very corner of her mind, but she did her very best to control it. She knew what was inside of the man, just like she knew what had been inside of her adoptive father. The look she gave him from behind the forcefield before entering, was cold as ice. It did warm however, as she watched him move through the motions like anyone else. He wasn’t just an evil being. He wasn’t-he was different than what had happened to Ian. Right?

She gave him a good once over, sizing him up in a way as she made herself as tall as she possibly could, standing straight backed and meeting his gaze. Not that it much helped, she wasn’t exactly the most intimidating or tall human there was. She noticed the bare feet, but said nothing. After all, she was entering his home in a sense. Outwardly, she was masking any fear she might have felt. Of course, she did feel fear on some level, but she’d come for a reason, and she was pressing forward in the face of that fear.

She studied him, tried to eye his every move, his every twitch even. She knew less about him than she’d have liked to, and if she was going to get what she wanted from him, she had to start by trying to understand who he was. What his quirks were. What his tells were. She went to have a seat on his bunk, not too close to him, but not too far either. Her head went to one side as he started to speak on broader terms than just greetings, and at his warning.

“I know that.” She kept it short. That Sonja Acreth was connected to, and that Ian had been connected to. It was unsaid but it was plain on her face that the moment he mentioned that void, her eyes turned away for a moment. “Watch what I say and do. I understand that very well.” She looked out to the security guard outside the cell as well. Instead of jumping right to business though, Cam decided to try and be pleasant. He was, after all, stuck here on his own. She may not have been stuck in a cell but she understood loneliness, particularly after loosing Ian. So she tried a different approach.

She eyed the tattoo and reached forward with one hand. “May I?” She rose a brow. If allowed, she would try to touch the tattoo itself, “It’s beautiful.” Cam was, for lack of a better term, a very intimate human being. She thrived upon contact with others. Be it through simple contact, like touching someone's arm, or by some conversation, often a combination of the two. For some however, it could be very offputting to be touched by a relative stranger, and she knew that.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #3
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
Remaining seated, Lucan watched the Ensign give her reply, and as surprised as he might have been, he nodded when she asked to see his remaining hand. The other was just a tool of convenience. "Of course."

He held it out for her, not having expected that she'd touch him, and as little contact as he had with other people, feeling her fingertips lent him a sense of... normalcy. A small smile touched his features, and his pale grey eyes fell down to her delicate fingers. She even paid him a compliment, and while he ought to be on guard, something about her made him accept her words, and feel the kindness in them rather than second-guessing the intentions behind them. She'd been very on guard when she first arrived, likely not having known what to expect from him, but it would seem that - perhaps - he'd passed some kind of unspoken test of hers.

"Thank you," he said quietly, and offered some little knowledge about what she was looking at. He tilted his head, looking at the manner in which her fingertips traced the swirling ink-lines of storms. "It's called a gadd. They are markings inked with ores of my planet. They are a symbol of coming of age, given to us at the age of sixteen. Mine depict the sky and the force of the winds, and no gadd is identical to another, even though the Wind Regioneers all share a common theme in how we carry the storms of our ancestral mountains with us."

He raised his eyes to her, wondering it it would be rude to ask why she'd come. He knew that asking that would break the spell of the moment, and her touch, so he kept quiet for a couple of seconds. "I understand you used to serve as both a counsellor and clinician on the Harbinger, before Captain Vasser had you transfer aboard. That means you served under Chief Counsellor Hayden O'Connor on the Harbinger, albeit briefly. I'm sorry about what happened to her, falling victim to the Devoted as she did, right before the Savi attacked the ship."

He took a slow and steady breath.

"It was the same Devoted who shot me, right after he got to her," he said, and withdrew his hand from her fingers, so that he could lift the side of his teal undershirt a little, revealing the seam that outlined the part of his torso that had been seared away. The faint seam bordering the synthflesh showed how much of him had been missing - the entire right side below his rib-cage burned off by the stray energy beam. "I live because the thing inside me... kept me alive. Animated me, and thus controlled me fully, since there was no way I could have survived otherwise."

He let his undershirt fall back into place, and rested his tattooed hand on his knee where he sat. "Doctor Duv, the CMO of your old ship, treated me, together with other Medical Officers aboard, and as I could draw breath of my own once more... I was back in control. You have naught to fear now that my body is whole, so whatever questions you have..." he said, and raised his pale grey eyes to hers, "I will answer them truthfully, to the best of my knowledge."

The unsaid hung between them, unspoken yet so tangible.

The father whom she'd lost, and whom Lucan knew in a terrible way.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #4
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn:
Cam was remarkably gentle with his hand, there was the edging warning of danger that seemed to be going off in her head, but she ignored it. She didn’t for the moment think she’d be harmed, really. If allowed, she’d turn it over and look at his palm as well, pressing a thumb into it before her fingers trailed back up to follow the waves and lines of the gadd. She turned her eyes up to meet his grey orbs but quickly turned her attention back down to the ink. Any test he may have passed remained unspoken. Her demeanor though remained gentle, and kind. Even in her own head Cam was uncertain why he’d drawn such attention from her. She had a soft spot for his predicament, sure. More than that, he held a link to Ian that nobody else had. His behavior towards her had been appreciated as well. Her apprehension had been quelled rather quickly, though part of her brain was still alert to the potential threat.

She brought her other hand up to his arm, and let both thumbs twirl up some of the lines. “A gadd.” She repeated to him. “So you always carry some of your home with you.” She even smiled a little at that, trying to study every line of the artwork, to piece together the depiction with her human eyes, even if she didn’t understand the symbolism in it particularly well. She didn’t release his hand right away though, looking down at the contrasting tones of flesh for a moment before her gaze finally did look up to him. She had been avoiding looking at him it seemed, directly. Would she see Ian in his eyes? She gave him a nod.

“I did.” She stated, matter of fact. She gave a sorrowful, but accepting look to him. That was just one loss. She’d lost a lot. Cam had come to understand grief a lot better than most people, at least in her own opinion. It didn’t make it easier. “Thank you.” She again, stated simply, plainly. Almost emotionless. Though her face told an entirely different story. The loss of someone she’d likely looked up to.

Her breath went unsteady for only a moment, but she blinked away the feeling.

When he lifted the shirt she looked down to the seam of flesh and synthflesh. She had the urge to touch it and even reached out, but- she stopped before she reached the flesh itself. “I guess it’s a seeming double-edged sword in a way. You got to live but now you’re cursed, right?” She wasn’t going to sugar-coat her words with him, that would do a disservice to him. She wanted to keep their conversation...real. “What was it like? Being controlled?” She tipped her head to one side, truly curious, wanting to listen to him. How he felt. Maybe how Ian felt. She didn’t ask him directly about Ian at all. Not yet. She didn’t want to.

“So now that you’re back in control, you no longer fall under their control? They...just listen in on what you’re saying?” She met his eyes, staring into them. She drew her lower lip between her teeth. She then spoke somewhat honestly, frankly, particularly from her. Sharing some of her own emotions with the infected Doctor. “You understand that given your...condition, that-it’s hard to trust.” She looked down before looking up to him again. Those grey eyes which, in truth were remarkably distracting to Cam. Not because she saw Ian in them.

Shockingly, she was enjoying the company, even though she’d come for something else, having had a drink before coming for courage. “Ian. I-I came for Ian. I don’t want to talk about him yet though.” Her eyes looked pained. For those that picked up well on emotional cues, it was evident that she too, was in pain. Not the physical sort, obviously.

She decided instead of Ian briefly to ask something totally off the wall. Something to perhaps...ease the pain. To distract her from the searing knife of loss that was slicing through her. The pain that she had no reprieve from. “Why did you decide to become a Doctor?”

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #5
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
It was true how the parasite saving Lucan's life had also revealed his true nature, and thus led to him loosing his credibility as Chief Medical Officer and pushed the necessity of his incarceration unto him. Then again, it had also brought an end to the lies he'd told since Starbase 84. That had, arguably, been his highest sin since he became himself once more. Hiding what resided within himself had let him help, however, in how he'd opted to use his freedom aboard to research the transphasic light of the Radiants and the parasite within. His research had been the basis of all progress made thus far when it came to understanding the enemy.

The Yeoman's question, however, gave him pause, for it was not easy to fully explain it to someone who'd hadn't experienced it first hand. He gave it a moment of thought, distracting as she was to him in her selfless kindness and compassionate approach. "I... was the same person, only with another will governing my thoughts. My intents were no longer my own. My memories, my abilities, my mental presence... It was still the same, but the parasite made me a willing Host. I remember, at the beginning, I thought I managed to hold on to personal ambitions at first, but it was always there, making my will a part of its own design; the common will of all Hosts... to further the cause of Un-Creation."

Even though she'd reached out as if to touch the area of his nigh fatal injury earlier, the subject of discussion suppressed any further thoughts of her touching him, dark as the memories were. He shifted a little bit in his seat, so that he faced the Ensign more directly. "The end goal would mean the death of us Hosts, of course. So why, you may ask? It seems the possession breaks down your rationale, takes away something about your survival instincts. I'm fact, you are... subsumed by the parasite within. You no longer question your own fate when the darkness achieves its goal, because you are not really you any more. Your purpose is to act as a vessel for chaos in this orderly galaxy of societies. With the Host minds, all Infested gain a gestalt of a collective unconsciousness. A shadow in the psyche."

Of course she would bring up the trust of him, or the lack thereof, and he had little to offer in that particular regard. "I know. I did not say anything directly after Starbase 84, as you no doubt have heard. It was because I was afraid... and I made a mistake. I feared that I would be bereft of the unique opportunity to further my research into a cure for my own state of infestation, knowing that as soon as the truth would become known, I would end up here, and even worse - given the nature and gravity of the threat to the Federation - some desperate officer could decide to dissect or experiment upon me like a lab rat. All the research Medical and Science are working with right now would have been forfeit. None of the progress I made would be available. I cannot make up for this mistake in regard to the crew's trust in me, but hopefully my achievements - in how far I came whilst unhindered and free for sake of the mission as a whole - may become my redemption."

The other side of it, whether he was lying about his sanity, was next. He sighed, looking towards the deck. "I could control it. I did, and I still can, as long as I don't stare into that abyss inside. Whatever the thing inside wanted me to do, it never compelled me to act on it after Heather McMillan inadvertently treated me for my condition. Now, it is just a whisper in the back of my mind. Now, while my body is intact, I am myself. Little can I do to prove it, than to remain helpful and loyal to the cause."

She wished not to speak of Captain Hawthorne, instead asking another personal question. So, Lucan thought of home, and what he'd left behind, a long time ago.

"The... woman I was supposed to live and die with on Câroon experienced something... horrible, and she was reduced to but a shell of her former self. Immobile. Silent. I... entered medicine as I sought a way to cure her. I travelled to a foreign planet to study neuroscience and treatments. I believed my village would care for her in my absence while I applied myself to the task. I was wrong. They thought her condition hopeless, so they put her down. They killed her like she was an animal, without even sending me word."

He'd hate to end the story on such a horrible note, so he continued, his eyes lowered at this point as he relived the memories. "The day before I left my home planet to find her cure, ignorant of what would befall her," he said, his voice low and reverberating between the bulkheads of the cell, "I pushed her wheelchair along the mountain paths. I wanted to take her to the plateau her parents had taken her when she was young. Where she had played and learned to command the wind. Her parents could not take her there anymore, because they died in the incident where she had become broken."

Lucan took a deep breath before he continued. "I tried to take her there for her sake... or for them, I don't know. Perhaps I thought, in vain, it would stir something inside her. Yet the mountainside... it was too steep for her wheelchair. My village was poor. There were no anti-gav units on it. Gravel made us slide down all the time, forced me to start over, again and again. Nonetheless, I was determined. She could not speak, did not move a muscle in her face, but I knew she would be telling me to give up. That I would hurt myself. Hurt her even more. It was not until nightfall that I finally gave up. I had given her my robe to keep her warm. I could no longer see the cliff face, and I was cold, bleeding."

He raised his pale eyes to Cameron as he finished his story. "Her name was Kisane, and everything I am today is because of her. I may not have been able to save her.... but since that day, I am committed to my calling in the medical field." A bitter smile came to lit his features. "It would seem, however, that my practise has come to an end. At least until Hosts such as me can be separated from their parasites, and our lives are no longer put on hold."

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #6
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Shuttle Type-9 | Epsilon Minos System] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cameron turned her eyes onto the near-human, studying his behavior with intense curiosity. The woman looked astonishingly comfortable for somebody sitting on the side of a bed in a brig cell. The fluorescent hue of the lights in the room shone light against the brown of her eyes and her gaze hardly broke from his as she watched his every move. Not entirely out of study, but also out of that exact same mistrust that she’d plainly spoken to him. Her body language remained open to him, not entirely on the defensive, but her gaze never wandered far from him.

The question she asked, she did expect a response to in truth. It was one that she’d expected a retort. A quip. Something to divert attention away from the malady instead of what she did actually get. When he began to speak, she sat a bit higher, looking right into the grey pits that were his eyes, no matter what he’d done, she offered him the same kindness and attention she’d offer to anyone else. She listened. “That sounds…” She tried to choose words to sound sensitive but also to be honest with him. She was giving him the benefit of the doubt, in regards to honesty, so she was going to afford him that same kindness. “That sounds equally terrifying as it does intoxicating.” Part of her could understand the appeal of being in ones own mind and still existing. Still feeling. Still being. Thought part of the control is given away. “No longer concerned about survival. Fate.” There was a certain peace in that, she figured.

She didn’t touch the injury. When he turned to face her, she faced him full on, without wavering in his sight. He was much taller than she was, which was intimidating in itself. Nonetheless, she stood tall. She took a deep breath, chest rising as she blinked a few times, and looked dead ahead into his eyes, losing herself briefly in thought as she focused in on the color of them. Thought of Theurgy. Of Ian. Of home. Of the man in front of her. Where did the man end and the parasite begin? Her attention shifted again and she listened.

“Well, on the bright side, you won’t end up in a lab.” She scoffed. We can’t get close enough to one without getting blown to bits. She shrugged. Maybe trying to make some humor of the shitty situation for a moment before she gave a nod. “I can’t sit here and pass judgement on your choices. You…” She let her eyes flash down to where the wound was again. “You weren’t in the right state of mind. You want to remove the parasite, I get that. When it comes to trust though, it’s...well, it’s a lot easier to earn trust once, than twice. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Redemption is a long and hard road, Doctor.” Not that he didn’t know that. She moved a bit further back, making herself slightly more comfortable where she sat.

“A whisper.” She repeated, echoing his words softly with a deep sigh. Everything he’d said had only added confusion to the matter. Whatever had happened with Ian, she’d need to know more. Not yet. She couldn’t. She knew it would hurt, and she didn’t know where she would go when that pain began.

Instead, she listened to the Doctor talk about his home. “I am so sorry.” She reached out towards him, intending to place a hand over his, even if only briefly. “I can’t imagine going through that pain.” She couldn’t. She could guess, but she’d never felt that sort of pain. She’d never had that sort of love. Even when he turned his eyes away, her own eyes followed after his, and her body hunched slightly. Despite how sorry she was, part of her was...angry, for him. Cam felt everything. It was a great strength of hers, but also a great weakness. “Not only the pain but...that…” She bit her lip for a moment and just shook her head, “That fury. You went to learn to heal and help and...the people you trusted, they just killed.” She looked down and away from him finally, but only for a second, “I’m sorry.” She said once again.

Then again, she listened, this time to his story. “I didn’t know her but, taking her up that mountain. It wasn’t for nothing.” She gave him a quick nod. “It meant something, even if you didn’t make it to the top, or even very far.” She took a moment to sit in the silence that the story left, and the echo that seemed to hang when he explained why he wanted to be a Doctor. “I do hope that you are successful in separating yourself then.” She ground her teeth for a moment and said nothing else. Not for a long moment, sitting in the silence.

He’d said something personal, so she figured it was only fair that she did. “When my parents died. I was in the Academy. Ian...Hawthorne, he was my fathers friend. He started to watch over me and I…” She closed her eyes, as if she could see the place that it had all happened, then they flashed open again, pupils dilated slightly. “I began feeling things so much more...deeply than before. I felt these crashing highs. I could conquer the world. I could go...days without sleeping. I could outstudy all my peers. I could party harder than anyone. I could do...anything. I mean anything. At least...I thought I could.” She corrected herself. "Got into plenty of trouble."

“Then the flipside came.” She began to explain. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” She shook her head and even her face began to look like she was in pain. “The lows that followed, I would sleep for days. I-” She paused before she spoke next, “I thought about just, jumping into the bay and letting the waves take me until I couldn’t fight them anymore. Almost every day.” She took another pause and placed her palms on her knees before she spoke again, “It would cycle, day in and day out, sometimes these moods would happen in the same day. I can’t even begin to explain how horrible it feels to go through those moods like that, that rapidly. All the time. Right after losing my parents. Ian helped me through it.” She finally turned back up to look into his eyes, perhaps it wasn’t as tragic as what he’d shared, but to her it was just as personal, so she’d shared it. “He pushed me through the Academy. He helped me decide my career path. Hell he helped me qualify with a phaser...he’s the reason that I am who I am.” She offered to Lucan. Then she was silent, and said nothing. She let the sound of the passing guards and the hum of the engines fill the room for a  time before she even made a move.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #7
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
Having shared the story of his past, and how he entered the medical field long before he even set a foot inside the Academy, Lucan listened in silence when it was the Yeoman's turn to share her loss. He had no foreknowledge of her past and how it came to be that Captain Hawthorne became her adoptive father, nor how the loss had affected her. He gathered that Hawthorne had been a wind that buffeted her sails and got her through life, and it made the events at Starbase 84 all the more regrettable.

He gathered, also, that her mentioning Ian Hawthorne might be a silent, tentative, invitation for him to speak of the Commanding Officer, he whom had said such horrible things to her in that command centre. About... Trish, Lucan remembered from the murky images and flashes of memory that dwelt in the dark inside.

"You were told things about your adoptive mother's death," he said quietly, but before he let her dwell on that memory... [Show/Hide]
...he continued. "Things untrue. He never violated her in the way he said. In fact, they had separated years past, but they found each other again when you and Lisa Hawthorne were accused to serve Captain Vasser and Ives respectively. Trish Rhodes met her end quickly after that, without the amount of horror the parasite wanted to make you feel. Without the fright it wanted to give the boarding team in that command centre. A small mercy, but it's something."

Having said this, of course it was a small consolation in the context of everything, but he also recalled the flash of another memory, just before Ian Hawthorne had met his end. "In his final moments, I believe there was something in him that resurfaced. He was looking at you, before you were beamed back aboard the Theurgy. He was hurt, shot by the shuttle hovering outside the windows of the command centre. I remember, when these memories surfaced out of the dark inside me... how he felt regret." [Show/Hide]
Lucan cleared his throat, hoping he hadn't been too coarse when he approached the answers she likely wanted. "Before the Theurgy came to Starbase 84, he tried to clear your name, despite your affiliation with the Harbinger and how Captain Vasser defected from Task Force Archeron. He also tried to clear Lisa's name, since she served aboard this ship. Trish Rhodes had little luck in the same endeavour, but you should know that neither of them gave up on you and Lisa. They fought for you, for the truth, questioning the lies in the reports and on the Federation News Network. By the winds, you should not doubt that they cared for you both, regardless what you experienced. Just like I am not the same as when the parasite controlled me, nor was Captain Hawthorne."

Small comfort, perhaps, but it needed to be said.

If anything, his own demeanour in the holding cell and his story might have served to bolster the truth in his words.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #8
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Starbase 84 had been the hinge on which Cam’s life had changed. Ian Hawthorne had been the one figure that she knew she could always turn to when things got hard. That had all changed. She’d always thought she could go to him, even when things were at their worst. Hell, even if she’d ended up serving in a penal colony, she’d still be able to write to Ian. At least, she liked to think so. The events that took place at Starbase 84 had taken all those thoughts though, and dashed them against a brick wall, into a thousand sorrowful pieces.

She gave Lucan a tentative, nervous glance when she mentioned Ian. It had been approved to start talking about what she’d come to talk about after all. The light hum in her head caused by the alcohol she’d consumed was long gone by then, but she wanted a clear head in any case. She sat up a bit straight, the curve of her back becoming more pronounced as she did so. Her eyes closed for a moment and then fluttered back open, a bit glossier than they had been before. She only wanted to see one thing, so for the briefest of moments she did, through the blurry haze.

Their little family, sitting at home on a cold winter day. Despite the lack of love between her adoptive parents, it was one of the good days. Lisa was making spice cake with Trish in the kitchen and Cam was sitting at the dining table with Ian playing Kal-toh and obviously, she was getting absolutely destroyed by her adoptive father. It didn’t matter though. Cam was home for a holiday break, and they wanted to cherish what time they had.

Lucan spoke, and the trance broke. A tear fell down Cameron’s face and she turned to look at him. What he said was truly of very little comfort to her, but she tried to embrace it. What Ian had told her in that command center had truly been terrible. What the parasite had told her. “Yet she still met her end.” Cam said quickly, and quite sadly. At least it was quick. She echoed her own thought, “It was quick?” She looked at Lucan. What Ian had told her had haunted her. It haunted her dreams. It haunted her waking. She could never escape the thoughts that her mother and father were blown to a million pieces and those who had brought her into their home, had died by horrendous violence. Sometimes it really felt like all that horror, the violence, it was just her birthright.

Then she thought of the flipside. Of everything else she’d experienced. Of the small home she’d built for herself on Theurgy, even through horrible circumstances. Of the happiest of holiday memories with her adoptive family and with her biological family. Again, she listened. She blinked, trying to control her emotions in front of the prisoner, and more importantly, his parasite through her eyes remained glossy. Another single tear fell and she turned away from him. “Regret?” She said simply, voice monotone. That word almost hurt more than anything else.

Fucking dammit, Ian. I miss you. She just wanted to talk to him. To him. She turned fully to look at Lucan. When it came to clearing her name though. She...didn’t know what to say. She truly didn’t. She wasn’t going to thank Lucan for Ian. “Of course they would do that. I’d do that for them, if the roles were reversed. Granted, I’d have been some uppity, noisy Ensign that doesn’t know her place. They actually had some pull.” She smiled a little. It was weak, but it was a smile nonetheless. “He had less control though, clearly.”  She offered to the man sat near her.  “Thank you.” Not for Ian, but for the information.

Cam’s behavior around the prisoner was less guarded than it had been upon entering, but still, she wasn’t fully open to the man. "And know all this for all the infected?" She furrowed her brow at Lucan, wanting to confirm.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #9
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
When the Yeoman had asked if Trish Rhodes' death had been quick, Lucan had merely nodded solemnly - not keen on going into further details of that matter since that was all Cameron needed to know. Instead of perpetually having the idea that Hawthorne had violated her, and merely having her own imagination telling her what he'd done to her, Lucan sought to give her enough to settle her worst fears.

Now, she would merely know her death had not been as gruesome as she'd been told, and she would gradually be replacing the horrors she'd imagined with the comfort of his word. Healing of a different kind than he usually gave patients, but a soothing treatment nonetheless.

Talking about the real efforts Ian had put into clearing the names of his daughters invoked a small smile, which Lucan mirrored, but it faded a little when she said that her father had obviously had less control than he'd had. It wasn't quite that simple of a comparison to make, but he had little chance to give Ian more credit before she asked about how much he knew from other Infested.

"When I stare into the abyss," he began as he tried to explain his experiences, words hardly being adequate to actually describe it, "or rather when I visit this... collective consciousness from beyond this reality, I see through the eyes of other hosts. Old and current, from... realities that happened before this current one. The enemy has created this temporal paradox, with cycles ever repeating itself, so I see images... Sequences of events. It's hard to say which ones belong to our present, and the events of old cycles, but somehow, I can sense which ones are concurrent. Yet as for 'all' the Infested?"

He shook his head. "Too many shapes among the shadows. Too many faces. Too many cycles. I know Ian because at the beginning of the mission to Starbase 84, the parasite was entirely in control of me, and had access to this collective darkness. Given the mission at hand, a lot of time was spent understand what was to come, and therefore - as a spectator in my own body - I learned about your father's plight."

He paused, before standing up for the Captain. This important father figure that she'd lost, and might think less of because of his susceptibility for corruption. "Hey," he said quietly, and he slowly got to his feet, so that he could come and crouch down in front of her - making it harder for her to ignore him. What he wanted to tell her was important, so he didn't want her to dismiss him. He took her hands into his mismatched fingers, looking at her.

"Don't be so hard on him. The reason I am in control now had nothing to do with the manner in which Captain Hawthorne lost his. By the winds, the reason I can speak to you like this is because of the bioluminesence of the Radiants. Because of Heather MacMillan, who with her light subdued the hold of my parasite. If she hadn't, I would have been the same as I was before Starbase 84. He succumbed not out of weakness or lack of control, but because he didn't stand a chance."

He let go of her hand with his white, artificial fingers, and lowered them to his sternum. "This, inside here, is the enemy, along with the place from whence it came. Your father was strong, not weak, and if he'd had the same opportunity as me, he would speak to you as I speak to you now. His mind freed... yet perhaps as mistrusted as I am by the crew."

Lucan chuckled bitterly at his poor attempt of a joke, but hoped that she'd accept his word so that she could move on.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #10
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cam closed her already bleary eyes and gave Lucan a nod. She did her best to keep her resolve strong but wasn’t overly successful, she was after all speaking of her mother and father, at least one set of them. She gave him a couple of rapid nods after a moment and then a forced smile. “Good. She’d have wanted it quick.” She didn’t think she’d have wanted to die at all but, if she had to pick a death, a quick one would be the choice. The horrors of what Ian had told her had been plaguing her since he’d spilled the words, and now she felt...just a hint of peace.

Lucan's words had an impact, and though there was still an air of distrust, something that would remain beyond just the one meeting, Cam lowered her guard once again, inch by inch. As her resolve about hating Ian fell, or at least trying to, so did her resolve about distrusting the Doctor.

Cam narrowed her eyes at Lucan as he attempted to explain just how the collective consciousness worked. She remained silent but her face contorted into something between fascination and horror. She pictured a void filled with bubbles, each containing a flash of moments happening all through time. Maybe it wasn’t accurate, but that was what she saw when he described it. “So even in the ‘Abyss’ Ian stole the room.” She let out something that was almost a snort. Maybe that wasn’t the message that the Doctor was trying to get across, but Cam still took comfort in it.

When he got to his feet, Cam straightened herself up, immediately more on her guard. The slow movement though, made it so that she didn’t immediately leap to her own feet. Instead she stayed put and when he crouched down there in front of her, she canted her head off to the left and let her eyes meet his. She tried at first to ignore him, but she couldn’t. He drew far too much attention with the way he looked at her, the way he touched her. She focused on him.

She took her pale, sun-starved fingers and wrapped them into his fingers, the touch helping to ground her temporarily and keep her from spiraling further into the emotions that had been festering regarding Ian. The information she’d learned would help in overcoming all of that, but it couldn’t be helped in a split second. “I know that’s supposed to make me feel better but..” She let a weak smile escape before she sighed. “I just miss him. Learning that even with the parasite in him, he still retained parts of his identity...makes me miss him more.” She knew that likely, she was oversharing with someone she shouldn’t have been.

Cameron looked down at his abdomen, towards where she assumed the parasite was swirling, making a home within his flesh. His joke wasn’t something that she laughed at but she did let her lip quirk for a split second in agreement with him. “I just wish I could talk to him. He always knew what to say.” She said nothing more on the matter and straightened herself out, as if she had nothing else to say on the matter, though clearly there were more feelings to be felt behind the façade.

“How are you so...calm about it all?” She questioned with genuine eyes, which were slowly losing their bleariness as she tried to move on from Ian, which was forced. She needed time to process all that she’d heard. Likely she’d have more questioned in the future but just then? She couldn’t handle more, but she couldn’t handle being alone either. So she turned to Lucan. “Your life has been turned upside down by a monster inside of you, and you seem so...calm. I mean you might not be. Internally you might just be really good at concealing your emotions in which case I’d say that...I’m a counselor so.” She offered him a little smile. “I’d love to talk. If you want that is. Some people might want to throw you in here and lose the key but, I think you’re worth giving the chance to talk to.” To hear someone else's feelings, and not her own would be grand. Though she realized she was rambling again so she turned her eyes down at her lap, somewhat embarrassed.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #11
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
Hearing her accept his words, and the defence he mounted on behalf of her late adopted father, Lucan smiled a little at hearing her move on with the resolution that she missed him. Perhaps it would be a step away from the latent horror of her experience, and allow her to grieve for a man that was no less than he'd been when she knew him. He hoped he'd helped her see that she shouldn't make a villain out of her father, and doubt every year she'd spent in his care. He'd told the Yeoman that he'd been himself still when she'd stepped aboard the Harbinger and Captain Vasser defected from Task Force Archeron. That he'd tried to clear her name as well as her sister's, so she had no reason to think the man she'd known since her real parents died had been ought else than he claimed.

He picked up on her will to move on, so that she might process and digest his words, so he slowly rose to his feet and stepped away when she asked him more personal questions. "Thank you," he said, for her believing in him rather than sharing the general sentiment of a crew desperate for a black-and-white situation as far as he was concerned. "It... is more difficult some days than others, to not climb these bulkheads and regret all the things that have happened to me. By the winds, I am honoured by your offer, and who am I to turn down such a gracious invitation when the Captain hirself picked you as Yeoman. Our Commanding Officer must be troubled indeed given what kid of measures that have been taken to protect the truth about Starfleet Command. Since we fled Earth, the Theurgy has been fleeing, being cornered time and time again by Admiral Sankolov's task force, and forced to defend itself. This, at the cost of ignorant brothers and sisters in Starfleet. Ship after ship, hundreds upon hundreds of dead just to make sure the knowledge of the Infested didn't die with us. I am amazed at how the Captain can carry on, with that manner of weight on hir shoulders. Your counsel and support doesn't just help on a individual level, but the crew as a whole. Thank you for that."

Taking a deep breath, Lucan ran a hand through his hair and looked towards the Ensign in his holding cell. "As for how I seem so calm about it," he continued, and shrugged, "I have little choice if I am to - somehow - carry the duties of my rank, have I? I know a thing or two about the minds of men and women that have suffered through trauma, and I know they need order and clarity to carry on. This crew has suffered through a lot, ranging from the chase through the Alpha Quadrant, the Niga virus, the Ishtar entity and your late Commanding Officer on the Harbinger. This, followed by the battle at Starbase 84, the encounter with the Asurians and the Savi in the Azure Nebula. Then, the Borg, and entering an aperture that might have led us anywhere in the Galaxy. Please don't tell me where we are, though, since that would be... unwise."

Lucan came to sit on the bunk bed in the end of his slow pacing, sharing it with her, but not invading her personal space. "My point is," he continued, "that I know how this crew needs to have a villain to focus their anger upon. To channel their hatred, and unify against a threat to all life as we know it. So, as unfair as it is, I understand at one level how they refuse to see me as just another officer that has been possessed by an alien entity. They thrive and preform best when their world is less grey, but remains cut in simplicity. It is a part of most societies out there, how tribalism make people stick together in opposition towards others. Added upon that, is the fear of the unknown, and how I represent that for them. It is not exactly cowardice, but insecurity, and given the nature of the enemy, it feeds into the paranoia that resides in us all. If anyone can be Infested, who can those insecure officers trust? In fact, the evolution of acceptance and ethical standards might fail even the best of us."

With a bitter-sweet smile, Nicander looked towards the deck before them. "So, by the winds, if it brings them solace and focus, so that they can carry on, let them hate me for what preside in me, and let them forget they might as well have been in this cell too."

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #12
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cam kept her eyes far away from Lucan for a moment. No matter how long ago he’d died what he had said to her on that station had put off that stages of grief for so long in her head that really, parts of it had only just hit. The psyche that resided in the human brain was complicated, and Cam knew that, more so than others. She’d put it off with drink, sex, work, and anything else she could possibly manage to simply keep away the concept that Ian was gone. She wanted to do anything she could to keep her mind away from the idea that the man she’d loved so much, had done something so vile, and  then simply died before she could do a damn thing about it. Coming to terms with the fact of how she’d cared for him as much as the man who’d given her life had been a struggle in itself. She had to forgive herself for replacing her father. So she felt, at least. After a moment longer, she finally looked back to Lucan and gave him a smile, something that hinted at the beginnings of acceptance but clearly indicated her desire to move on, as she had stated.

She straightened out her neck, “I can only imagine.” She thought then, biting her lip as she tried to choose her words carefully. “I’m a scientist, at least I like to think of myself as one, so take my words carefully but- my spirit. My essence, who I am.” She said the words carefully, “It thrives on being a sail in the wind.” She looked around the cell and seemed to shudder, even physically at how claustrophobic it felt, “I can’t understand how it feels, I’m not a Betazoid or a Vulcan capable of melding with your mind. I can only imagine. How I imagine though, is that it’s…” She only shook her head.

“When I took the job as yeoman, I thought only about preconceptions. A glorified administrative assistant.”
She didn’t say much else though. This was after all, still a man with a parasite in him. She had to tread carefully. No matter how much she wanted to share, she couldn’t. “You know that I can’t share anything about the Captain. Not only because of...well, you know. But because of patient confidentiality.” Maybe she wasn't a Counselor by job title, but she still held herself to that standard. Let alone because she considered Jien a friend. She said nothing about that though. That parasite scared her more than a Borg Cube would. Yet, here she was. Staring it down, right in the eye, trying to see the shades of grey in the world instead of black and white.

Mother would be proud.

She knew that she would, at that. She raised a brow, “I wouldn’t tell you where we are. I’m here to talk, and even here to be a friendly face but, have no doubt where my loyalty lay.” She looked to his belly for a moment.

Her face didn’t say much different than she'd do just about anything than have what he had as she looked at his stomach. “You’re right that we’ve been through a lot, it is impressive to stay so calm though.” She couldn’t deny that. “I imagine with so much time to think, you think a lot on that.” She gave a nod to his stomach. I would. Yet like you say, you have a lot of thoughts on how you’re a Villain apparently.” She stared for a long moment. “I admire your ability to allow yourself to be hated without defense. I couldn’t do it. Nor would I want to.” She admitted, honestly and without hesitation. “The issue with what you say is that if we allow paranoia to overcome us, we’ll all turn against one another. Just like humanity has on more than one occasion before. I’m assuming that isn’t a phenomena unique to humans either. Historical knowledge isn’t exactly my strong suit though, particularly non-human worlds histories.”

“While they can hate you, they should also remember it could have easily been them. Hell, eventually, it might be.” She paused for a moment, imagining what seemed like a very real possibility that everything could just go sideways and they'd all be parasite hosts, “You should remember that too. Hate is one thing. Fear is another. I might fear what resides in you and what it makes people like Ian capable of and what it very well might make you capable of in a split seconds time. At my core however, I am a product of the Federation, I will not allow myself to be so overcome with fear that I begin to hate a fellow officer if I can help it.” Ian swam to her mind. Had she hated him? She paused for a moment and thought for a moment, “I might be stretching here but, try not to loathe yourself too much either.”

No. Even when she’d thought he’d violated her adoptive mother in such a horrible way. She hadn’t hated him. Her history with him was far too complicated.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #13
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
The distinction between hate and fear that the Yeoman made was quite apt, and perhaps he'd been too quick to judge those of the crew who seemed unforgiving or refused to understand his situation. Lucan nodded in answer, thoughtfully, and came to lean against the bulkhead of his cell - crossing his arms over his chest.

"This enemy does challenge the sentiment of Starfleet code, in how we should not bend to paranoia and bias. By wearing the faces of fellow officers and friends, even family, it undermines the trust and respect we've built towards fellow beings of different worlds - even one's own." He did feel like he had to correct her on one point, however, and he did so with a quiet smile. "Oh, I can't say I've not defended myself in the face of this fear for me, since I have had to protect myself from the rashness of officers that were too quick to judge and might have decided to challenge my integrity as a fellow officer. After a couple of rather... abrasive hearings, the understanding that I am actually trying to help the crew has seemed to settle in a bit. I have even earned the right to have visitors, as you've noticed."

The notion that he might loath himself lingered in his thoughts, however, as she'd bespoken that fact. He took a deep breath, and decided to not delve on the many things he'd experienced himself doing.

"I... loath what I've been made to do, and as I've experienced myself committing many different atrocities and ill deeds against the crew, it is sometimes difficult to not hate myself for being unable to stop my body from doing what it did. For while I was made compliant to the whims of the parasite up until Starbase 84, all those acts now haunt my conscience," he said quietly, a frown creasing his brow. He looked back at her with his pale grey eyes, and while he might have appreciate the comfort of someone's company, deprived as he was from lengthy conversation and touch most days, he remained at a respectful distance since he would not intimidate her. She seemed such an open and caring human, and he could understand why her profession in counselling befitted her.

"I can only try and focus on less dire thoughts, and suppress my dark dreams with the fact that..." he chuckled, since it seemed such a banality to make the affirmation, "I am actually rebuilding myself, day by day, hour by hour, and try to make myself be the man I wanted to become before I was Infested."

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #14
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cam continued to watch the man with careful eyes, however the look she gave him slowly began to soften as he leaned into the bulkhead. She looked down to her lap for a moment, her eyes focusing brown eyes on her hands. She thought for a moment. She knew where she stood on the distinction she had made. She understood both sides of it though.

“It does challenge the values of Starfleet but taking the oaths that we do doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy path. Standing strong in the face of that challenge is what makes us good officers.” She was horribly idealistic. She knew that. Positivity was important though, particularly for someone in his situation and she was really trying to share that positivity.All the greats faced hard decisions and hard calls. It’s how they faced them that makes them the ‘greats’.” She too crossed her arms as she focused her full attention on the prisoner. “Having visitors is a pretty big step I guess, particularly allowing them into the cell like this.” She motioned around. She gave a quick look around the cell, trying to get a look at if there were any sort of personal belongings or decorations or leisure objects of any kind. “What do you- you know, what do you do when you don’t have visitors? It must get pretty boring in here.”

She brought her mind back to the more dreary topic at hand though and pursed her lips into a more dour sort of look. She didn’t actually know what to say to him. She had no similar experience that she could relate to him on the matter. She had nothing that she could offer him besides her imagination. “I-” She stopped herself then looked up to try and catch his gaze, “I uhm-I can’t do anything besides imagine how that must feel.” She swallowed, perhaps a bit nervously as she studied him. She’d said all she could say on the matter of being a backseat driver in one's own body but seeing the face of it, seeing that face and realizing the true horror and damage that the parasite could cause was something else entirely. She moved a bit closer to him, not too much, but a little.

“I guess that’s all that any of us could do in your situation. Try to do better and...atone.” She bit her lip. “What happens when this is all over?” She raised a brow. She was assuming a lot in that question. She was assuming they would be victorious. She was assuming they wouldn’t be blown into bits. She was assuming the parasites would lose and most of all, she was assuming they would be welcomed back into Starfleet as loyal officers and not a ship filled with traitors.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #15
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
The first question might have been surprising when he first heard it, but Lucan chuckled quietly and shrugged a little.

"Oh, I exercise to the best of my abilities in here, every morning. I have lost count how many times I have altered my training regime just in order to keep myself from growing bored of it. Thankfully, the Security officers have assisted me with a small database filled with different kinds of exercises." Glancing towards the stand-alone PADD and a couple of odds and ends of printed books and magazines from the ship's library, he added the obvious.

"I spend most hours conducting research that may help the Science Department to find answers about my plight, not to mention the lives of all other Hosts out there - them being equally unfortunate. There are numerous of fields I am unfamiliar with, but I like to think I have a keen enough mind, and reading can take you quite far. It's not like I have patients that steal my time in here. When my mind cannot continue contemplating the deeper mysteries of transporter technology and phase variances, I enjoy literary work that is more... easily digested."

Lucan noticed how she came closer, and he didn't move away. He had no means to really gauge what her intentions were, but judging by her words and manners, she seemed rather sympathetic towards him. Increasingly so. He nodded in affirmation in regard to the strive to atone, but the question about what would happen when it was all over gave him pause.

"By the winds, I do not know," he said quietly, his pale grey eyes looking at her, and while he had no presence of mind to truly appreciate how beautiful she was - the circumstances now open for such contemplation - he found how easy it was for his eyes to lay on her. He smiled, running a hand through his dark hair. "Starfleet Command regain control of themselves, alert the President of the Federation and all other galactic factions out there about the threat that face us all. They spread the means to liberate any hosts, and we find the origin of this Infestation. The breach through which the parasites came, be it by artificial means or in their natural state. Somehow, we make sure to screen this timeline from being affected, and all Quadrants can look forward to many years of healing and rebuilding confidence and trust in one another."

He shrugged. "I like to believe that I can return to practise medicine once more, and move on from these dark years of my life..."

Lucan looked at her, enjoying the manner in which the overhead lights of the holding cell caressed her whilst she moved, but he made no comment on that. Instead, he asked the obvious. "And you, Ensign? Will you continue to serve in Starfleet?"

OOC: Sorry! I missed that you replied somehow! My bad.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #16
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cam looked around the cell with an appraising look. Brown eyes focused momentarily on the printed books. Not for long though. Her attention moved quickly back to Lucan himself, watching the very way he carried himself with some caution as she took another step closer. She ran fingers against the bulkhead behind the bed she’d been sitting on as she walked. “Any particular kind of exercises?” She raised a brow with some interest. “All I can really imagine is old earth movies of men endlessly doing pushups in a cell, that sounds...drab.” She poked a bit of fun at the idea but was sure he’d come up with more creative methods of working out within the confines of his cell. “I’m partial to Yoga and Climbing.” Neither of which seemed hugely viable in a cell, Yoga with the whole of security watching? She shuddered at the thought. She got nervous enough in the gym, let alone in a cell.

Cam gave a look that looked almost like someone might have been preparing a foul smelling meal in her presence. “Transporter tech-” She cringed. “I can cobble tech together if I need to but transporter tech is far out of my grasp.” She smirked briefly, “I never was that grand of an engineer. Or a scientist for that matter.” She appeared almost apologetic that she didn’t really have much to offer in regards to his research. “I get people, and how they tick. How they think. How they work.  I understand that.” It wasn’t exactly a helpful branch of science. It helped when she was trying to understand someone, or to talk to them. Or even when looking at a combat board, putting together the pieces in her head, but she didn’t think it would here. She let a brow creep slightly up when he mentioned easily digestible reading, “Easily digestible?” She smirked at him, eyes almost exhibiting a hint of playfulness, that she quickly attempted to reign in. “Such as…?” She asked him, but she used her grip on the wall to lean towards a book, picking it up to check the cover. Once she’d given it a glance, she set it down on the side of the bed.

She lowered her arm from the wall and let out a breath as one side of her head dipped slightly down to the left.

Her eyes followed the hand that moved up to his hair and, briefly she felt an internal warning alarm going off. Not about the Doctor in the cell however, but a warning for herself. She cleared her throat before looking down at the floor, then brown eyes again trailed back up the cell and to the man opposite her. First up the tattoo’d arm he’d shown her, then up his clavicle and towards his face. Her gaze was soft, and she wasn’t staring at him like a monster. Warning or not, she didn’t retreat. Her gaze idly checked over her shoulder. Internally, she wondered who could be watching her, an officer? Ives?

“Sounds like a dream.” Their time on the run really had felt like ages. It almost felt like there wasn’t a ‘before’ anymore. All she knew was run and fight. The parasites had really only been the physical manifestation of that, her whole life felt like running and fighting. One death after another. Each time she settled, something else came blasting right in to unsettle her even further. That something wasn’t always an external threat though. Her capacity to self-sabotage was boundless. Not a fact that she’d admit.

What does stable ground even feel like? She wondered for a moment.

“Why couldn’t you? I mean, it’s not like you’ve forgotten how to be a Doctor. You must practice, right? Reading...cases or something.” She laughed, almost awkwardly at the thought of Nicander sitting in his cell like some medical student, pouring over some case files or old medical exams. Somehow the thought of him doing something so...normal, brought her to be more at ease. She knew why he might struggle to return to his work, but she wanted to exist in that dream for another moment longer. When he asked her however, she made a face that was almost sorrowful.

“I-” She paused and stood a bit taller, focusing her full attention on the man. “I would think so. Honestly I don’t really know anything else.” She didn’t. Her whole life had revolved around Starfleet. From being born on a Federation ship, to the Academy, all the way to the Theurgy. Her whole life had been dedicated to the Federation and Starfleet, like her parents before her. “I haven’t really thought much about it, in all honesty.”

That was a lie. A plain one, not well hidden in any way. She’d thought a great deal about it. What exactly could a Yeoman do outside of Starfleet? “I haven’t exactly got a horde of family waiting for me. Just Starfleet.” She shook her head once, ponytail flailing briefly behind her head before she brought up a hand reflexively to check for stray hairs. The habit of an ambitious officer, always dress to impress. “So yea, I probably stay in Starfleet...all I've got really.” It was all she had left. She turned her brown eyes to meet his striking hues and then gave him a forced smile.

Re: Day 33 [1700] The Visitor

Reply #17
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon
When she had asked him what kind of exercises he'd been doing to keep himself in shape, Lucan was sure the Yeoman wished to just make idle conversation. Perhaps it was just a sign that she was enjoying his company, actually being interested in how he was faring in his captivity, so instead of going into some detailed a dry list of different training programs, he simply picked up his stand-alone PADD, cued the list, and handed it over to her with a smile.

The small database he'd been given contained different kinds of body weight exercises, compound movements meant to strengthen his musculature, and at the end of each circuit waited a straining cardiovascular regime. Gymnastics and instructions about how long one were to keep doing the exercises before switching to the next one. Dull reading all in all, and while a healthy habit to maintain, it wasn't very thought-provoking.

Ensign Henshaw had picked up one of the books he was reading, which was just one sample of many printed books he kept. Since he wasn't permitted to access Thea's database, the printed works were quite welcome, even though it did feel a bit archaic to read from paper instead of a proper screen. "That's 'A Tale of Two Cities', a Dickensian novel hailing from your people's home planet. I have barely started it yet," he said, then gestured to another one. "That's a Vulcan classic, I believe. 'Clash on the Fire Plains'. Over there is 'The Never Ending Sacrifice', thought to be the finest Cardassian novel ever written... according to the Cardassians. The repetitive to a fault, I'd say, describing the seven generations of a Cardassian family, all of whom live selfless lives of devotion to the state. I barely got through it. And over there..."

Lucan's eyes fell on the cover of 'The Call of the Prophets', and he sighed quietly, the title plainly visible to the Ensign. "Poetry usually don't buffet my sails, but after what happened to Wenn Cinn, I thought it might give me answers about his resurrection and his sacrifice. I thought that if I were to understand this calling of his, I would empathise with how he chose to offer his life so readily in the battle against the Borg. I can't say I found any answers, however, but I suppose the author could rhyme well enough."

When she spoke of remaining in Starfleet, Cameron Henshaw didn't just seem crestfallen. She seemed dishonest about not contemplating leaving Starfleet, and it gave Lucan pause. Why would she try to hide her feelings? Of course he could understand if she had regrets about her career, when she had lost so much, and he certainly didn't hold that against her. It was hardly like Starfleet was treating him much better either, so he could empathise with her doubts.

Slowly, and making sure not to startle her, he reached out with his tattooed hand and put it on her shoulder. He rubbed his thumb against the area above her clavicle, and he smiled to her. "By the winds, you need not say what is expected from you in here. It would rather be strange if you didn't doubt where you stood in regards to this mission," he said in his deep voice, peering into her eyes with his own creased at the corners. He needn't reiterate the losses she'd suffered, for they had already spoken at length of them. "It is only natural to look after your own well-being, and not just continue sacrificing all you have left for sake of a cause that has left you hurting. What you are doing is admirable, your service commendable and beyond expectation, but that doesn't preclude you from the right to feel."

And speaking of feeling, Lucan was enjoying the actual physical contact of someone else for a change. So much as he regretted pulling his hand away from her, lingering a little bit too long than might seem appropriate. She had touched him earlier, and he excused himself because of that, as if granting himself the leave to reciprocate that gesture. She had been glancing towards the hallway outside earlier, as if skittish and unsure what was appropriate in his company, and it begged the question... where had her mind been at?

As for his own thoughts, they made his pale grey eyes drift towards her lips when she spoke.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #18
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cam took the PADD and lazily flicked through some of the exercises listed, looking impressed at a couple of the more flexible, gymnast sort of exercises but overall, appeared mostly bored. Sure, it was absolutely idle conversation within the confines of the cell, but she didn’t seem to care. It was a nice break from the constant talk of what was going to come next, or what duties she would have to attend to. After a quick glance though, her interest quickly waned from the device and she set the PADD aside and chose to instead direct her interest back to the man himself, and his peculiar taste in books.

She grinned at him when he explained the classic book. She ran a finger down the spine of the book, feeling the binding. “It’s a good one.” Her brow furrowed at the thought of a Vulcan classic though, “I’ve never actually read a Vulcan book. I’m much more into the...whimsical and romantic and…” She flushed and didn’t complete her sentence, “I imagine Vulcan books are very...well, logical.” She smirked and her brow furrowed. “As for Cardassians, they’re arrogant pains in the ass at the best of times, fine soldiers, smart as hell but, god they make me want to strangle them sometimes.” Bajoran poetry didn’t seem to particularly sing to her either. “I have a couple of paper bound books in my quarters too but nothing too terribly exciting. A have a couple of Klingon books that have been translated. Alice in Wonderland, a personal favorite of mine, and...One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” After all, she was a counselor. She always kept her personal favorites with her.

Cam had deeply complicated feelings surrounding her service in Starfleet. She was proud of her service. She was proud of her parents' service. She was proud of her adoptive parents service, even though it didn’t end in a way that filled her with pride. Despite that pride, service to the Federation and to Starfleet had taken a lot from Cam and there was a part of her that felt somewhere, in her core, that it wasn’t done taking. She had signed up for it, to give her all, up to and including her life. This wasn't exactly what she’d imagined though.

She watched his hand and when he touched her she was, much to her own surprise, not frightened by the touch. Brown eyes followed the musculature of his shoulder, down his arm, and finally her eye flicked down to his hand on her, then back to the eyes that seemed like an ocean she could jump straight into. “But of course I must. My whole life, I have been followed by expectation. Now though, it is only what I expect of myself, and when it comes to that, now...I do not know.”

That statement? That one was true.

Looking after herself was a new concept to Cameron Henshaw and one that was hard for her to understand. Selfishness was simply not in her coding however. She would have to learn to continue to give, but simply to give a little less. She gave him a gentle smile and gave him a little nod. She raised her hand to touch his on her shoulder, but by the time she began to lift her hand, he had withdrawn his own. She gave one final glance into the hall, checking for a guard. He was at his station, doing his thing, not up in their business at the very least.

When Nicander turned his attention to her lips, she gave him a quick once over then drew her lip between two teeth. She felt that same alarm going off in her head, and thought back on a myriad of decisions she’d made as of late, and ignored it. She took a step closer to him.

Be brave. She thought to herself.

She pressed one hand up against his chest, letting the initial fear of him melt further away. Part of that fear though remained and was even part of the draw. She dipped her head to one side and stepped up onto the tips of her toes, bringing herself a bit closer to his face, but not close enough to make contact just yet, just enough to appear to be ready to whisper something. She said nothing, just stared into his eyes, as if thinking.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #19
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon  
In the moment, Lucan had no idea what to make of the development between him and the Yeoman.

He felt her hand on his chest, and he'd caught on to the subtle sign of her biting her lower lip lightly before then. She was closer than she'd been so far, pushing herself up so that her face was closer to his own, and he'd caught on to her glance out into the hallway - the whole situation suggesting what the Ensign's intentions were. For Nicander, it was a mixed feeling that came to him, for he had lived as a spectator to the many conquests of his parasitic self, and far fewer instances when actually being himself. It was, all in all, exciting and even flattering to experience the attention of fellow beings when they knew what he was - what was present inside him - because that suggested that they were actually drawn to him despite his condition.

On the other hand, he feared for the Yeoman, in how she was riding a fickle wind, and it could be dangerous for her to affiliate herself with him. What might happen to her public image amongst the crew, should they learn how close she was getting to one of the Infested? Of course, this was his logical mind analysing the situation on her behalf, and he was quite aware that logic seldom applied when it came to the nature of warm-blooded humanoids of most species out there in the Galaxy. If one were to dictate all one's actions strictly to the prudent category, then one could debate the honesty of such a life. There was also the vastly differing cultures of the Federation, where some species had a more free view of intimacy, while others didn't.

So as she leaned up, as if to say something, or to kiss him, Lucan didn't pull away. Not just because he didn't want to. Not just because she was beautiful, or that he felt seen as a person and not just an enemy, but because he had also heard how hurt she was. He did not want to reject whatever she wished from him, because she deserved to have anything he might offer. Perhaps she also just wanted to feel alive?

So as she'd come close to him, he raised his tattooed hand and put it on her hip, not just to balance her when she stood on her toes, but to feel her against his palm. His lips were pursed, and he looked into her brown eyes as if seeking an answer to her intentions. Should he warn her? Help prevent her doing something she might regret? Given what he was, and how rumours might spread on the ship, he ought to say something. By the winds, he did not want to, since feeling her warm breath against his lips was pure bliss.

"Are you..." he whispered, looking into her eyes, and with his mouth dry, he couldn't utter the last word. He had no idea if she was sure she wanted to come so close to him, but by the time he had swallowed and wet his mouth once more, he'd lost his train of thought - rendering the sentence incomplete. His tattooed hand had run to the small of her back, as on its own accord, and his entire body was quickening to her presence - his heart beating in his ears.

The parasite in the abyss of his mind, it quickened too - interested in the imminent sensations of the exchange.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #20
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig |  Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cameron Henshaw was locked into that moment in time, thoughts of the consequences playing out in her mind like one of her old films. On the other hand, what she was doing, and what she wanted from Lucan? It was for her, and nobody else.

She kept her back to the force field, but if Nicander was paying attention, a part of her focus and consciousness was constantly on guard to what might be lurking behind her. It was certainly a change from when she’d entered the cell, fearing the man before her. Whatever he’d said or done, had drastically changed her opinion. Part of her was drawn to the inherent danger of the situation but the other part of her was drawn to him for entirely different reasons. To the physician. To the man who had seemingly felt the brutal lash of loss just like she had. To someone who, just like her (albeit in a remarkably different way), had madness buried deep in them.

Her own thoughts gripped at her, warning her, encouraged her at the same time. The angel and the demon in her psyche fighting one another, each trying to choose.

Logic or lust. Heart...or hate? Cam had always had a tendency to look before she leaped. Even when she looked, she didn’t see things as clear cut as they appeared. She practiced what she preached though. She always had.

She knew which way she wanted to lean, but the consequences of her choice frightened her. The thought of what her friends might think. Her superiors. What Ives might think. Would they think her a traitor? She still leaned up to him. When he didn’t recoil from her, for a moment, she was surprised, truthfully. For one reason or another, she thought he might back away from her. When he didn’t though, she locked her eyes onto his, silently questioning him with a softening of her features. One hand came up to touch the side of his face and the pad of her thumb ran against the stubble of his cheek, her eyes tracing the features of his face, following his jawline down to his lips before looking back up into his eyes.

His touch caused her to momentarily stand a bit taller. Not out of fear necessarily. Touch felt good. A touch that wasn’t there as the last of her life. That wasn’t there just to fill a void. A touch that she really wanted to feel. The look he gave her was simply answered with a nod. The reciprocated breath she felt against her face sent a shiver up her back and her eyes closed for a moment before she heard the words escape his lips.

“Are you…”

She moved the hand down the side of his face and pressed a finger to his lips, just shaking her head. Her voice practically pleaded with him. “Yes. Please….don’t.” She didn’t want to be reasoned with or questioned out of it. She was certain. That was what she wanted. On the other hand, perhaps she owed him a bit of an explanation as to why she’d...jumped him. First though, she pressed her body up against his, and then finally her lips to his. It was quick, but it was hungry. “There is madness in me.” She lowered her voice for him. She had touched on it earlier but not much.

“Everything I do, I do to the extreme. I feel everything to my core on an open nerve. Happiness is the greatest joy on a beautiful summer day. Sadness is a sorrow more painful than feeling your flesh peeled away while you still breath. I fight and serve with everything I have. It drives me. It takes me. It almost made me let the waves take me and beat the air from my lungs. I was only saved by the more sane and rational.” A fact she looked ashamed of but then, finally, she admitted it. “I have fought the madness my whole life and now I own it.” She looked at him, “I want to feel this...Please.” Perhaps he understood. She thought he might at least, what it felt like to be out of control. How she felt in that moment was entirely the opposite. She felt in control of herself and her choices. He wasn’t madness to meet her own, he was respite. It was something she wanted. She repeated herself, “Please.” There was no turning back, logic be damned.

So again, she moved. She reached up, placed a hand on the side of his face before she pressed her lips to his. Her free hand found its way up his back, creeping its way slowly up, fingernails tracing lightly against him, up his spine, pausing at his neck. Her heart rate increased within her chest and her breathing became noticeably faster as she moved upon him. Her brown eyes locked onto his and she allowed for a flash of a second, for her teeth to run again his lower lip, as if idly threatening to bite him however she did not do it yet. Playfully or otherwise.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #21
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon 
Whatever Lucan may have anticipated, the words the Yeoman had uttered wasn't part of it.

Indeed, her words were beseeching him to give her what she wanted, pleading for him to neither resist nor refute her. She spoke of a madness, and Lucan had to wonder, was it the madness of loss that made her seek his company? For surely she did not blame herself, hoping to find some manner of forgiveness in his arms? Was it that she merely believed herself mad, and thought to have found a kindred spirit in him, merely because of his condition? Lucan had no way of knowing what precisely compelled her to throw propriety and consequence out the airlock, but it was clear that she knew what she wanted. The grounds of her desire might remain a mystery to him, and he was a Doctor, not a Counselor, so he had little means in which to judge her actions or her words in the light of her grief. He felt for her when she spoke of suicide, having considered it himself if the parasite hadn't ensured his survival - the knowledge of what he'd let loose on the ship if he hurt his body stilling any such notions. She said she felt things more keenly, and he found himself recognising traits of Câroon in her claims, making him think of Kisane.

Moreover, given the moment, and the way her lips undermined any constructive or critical thinking, he wasn't mentally equipped to try and deduce her motives either. The thing inside him did not help; compelled by the way she pleaded for intimacy. Of course it would. The parasite wanted to feel her through Lucan's hands, and pushed for him to continue in the insidious manner it always did. Without words, without force, without manipulating his body. Merely a silent inflection, making Lucan think it was his own will entirely that drove him when he reciprocated the Yeoman's intentions. She'd shushed him, and covered his lips with her own, so he said naught - merely giving in to her wishes since they were mutual.

Shared by all three of them in the holding cell.

So as direct as she was, and feral in her need, Lucan gradually came to answer in kind. Slowly, he built up towards her level of urgency, pulling her closer to himself with his tattooed hand still resting on her lower back. Undoubtedly, she'd feel his desire answering her own at that point, and his breathing grew more shallow in the passionate exchange of their lips. Barefoot, he wanted step backwards, to pull her with him to the bunkbed, but without her consent and in full knowledge that she might not wish things to go much farther, he refrained. At great willpower too, since with the ideas rising from the abyss inside, he'd rather begin to tear her clothes from her body - ripping the fabric loudly enough for the brig officer down the hallway to hear.

With great effort, he forced himself to be mindful, to not give the posted officer any reason to come down to the holding cell and investigate. He considered the surveillance units in the deckhead, how they were mounted, and if there was any way to preserve her modesty somewhat, but there was little more he could do than to cover her body with his own frame against a bulkhead... but that would still show her face across his shoulder. Unsure how far she wished to go, and how much she cared, he forced himself to let her decide. His mindfulness irked the parasite inside, but he refused to add on her grief by violating her consent in the moment.

He could not keep his mismatched hands from wandering, however, running over her back and pulling her close, and his warm lips strayed to her neck and her throat whenever they didn't meet hers.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #22
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Cam kept her body pressed close up against him. Despite what her conscious mind said, besides what her body did, besides what words spilled from her lips, there was still an ever so gentle tug of feeling in her belly. One pulling her back from jumping any further, though she continued. Even the subtle glances that she’d been giving the back of the cell, towards the watchful eyes of the security officers, had stopped. All manner of sense and logic had poured straight out of her, and instead she filled with a sense of dangerous confidence. It felt so familiar. Like a old friend's embrace. A confidence that was egged on by genuine desire, could create disastrous circumstances.

Cam licked her lower lip and gave him a good once over, taking in his appearance in full. She broke off of him only for a moment however before her lips were working their way back down his jaw, and then down his neck. The hand on her back sent a shock up her spine, sending a tingle down her arms and legs. Each press of flesh to flesh was more excited than the last. As Cam made to kiss her way down further, she pressed a hand to his stomach and she froze.

The realization came over her again like a bucket of iced water. She stood straight up and ran a thumb across her lips, not yet distancing herself from Lucan. She stood there for a moment, looking into his eyes and thinking. For the first time since her thoughts had taken her, she thought logically. Logically she could do what she wanted to do. Something that she did want to do, even if it had been fed on by a different monster in her head entirely.

“I-” She started to speak, in a voice that was hardly a whisper. Her tone wasn’t an angry one, or a sad one. On the contrary, her voice was just confused, and disappointed. Before she finished saying anything she put a hand on the waist line of his pants and then released them, stepping back in the same motion if she could. She had to stop. “I can’t.” She didn’t want to, evidently, but she did. “Well, I could but I shouldn’t. I won’t.” She kept her eyes trained on him though, and they weren't the eyes of someone cautiously staring at someone else. She was studying him, his figure. How he moved.

Again though, she felt she owed him an explanation. “I want to, I just-I want to make sure I want to.” She wasn’t sure if it even made sense to him. It was the best way she could explain it though. She didn’t mention the repercussions aboard however. Those thoughts while lingering in her mind, remained unsaid. It wasn’t as if someone watching a camera hadn’t seen enough of a show as it was to raise some eyebrows. She stood for a moment in silence before she looked back to the bed and the books. “I have some paper books in my quarters. I’ll transport them down. I don’t have much time to read anyways. Next time I’m here we can talk about them?” Awkwardly trying to change the subject from her own unfulfilled and so far as the ship was concerned, taboo, desires. She rocked back on her heels once as she drew her lip between her teeth, eyes still trained on Lucan. Her body spelled out a professional, if not a bit disarmed woman, but Cameron Henshaw’s eyes? They were alight with passion and curiosity. Finally, tamed by some sense.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #23
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon 
At a time when Lucan had thought Cameron had made up her mind, and truly wanted to escape reality in this madness of the moment they came to share, she seemed to come to her senses. Or at least, she realised that she might have acted on her desires before she knew they were what she wanted.

On his own part, while his heart beat quickly and he was every bit as willing as she had first appeared, he nodded and managed a smile when she distanced herself a bit. "By the winds, of course," he managed, because while there was clear attraction and wishes shared between them, they had just met, and if that wasn't reason enough to slow the pace, there was also the circumstances surrounding his condition and how it may affect her public image amongst the crew - any recording of their tryst becoming the gossip of the ship.

Yet as for the parasite within, it raged. It tried to wrest control over his body, to little avail, since its hold on him had been reduced to mere whispers out of the dark. He was cautious of its touch upon his mind, and he quelled the impulses that rose out of the abyss. Its imagery was vivid, however, and it flashed before his eyes. It wanted him to strike her down and claim her on the deck plating - a metal hand clamped over her mewling mouth. By the time the brig officer would have reached the cell, he'd already spent himself, and he'd twist her head off her body. The only reason why Lucan could keep the demon's depraved imagination from affecting him was that he'd grown numb to it - the years spent subjected to the chaotic whims making him grow numb.

So despite the maelstrom of ill intents that rose out of the abyss, Lucan raised his tattooed hand to brush his thumb over her cheek, smiling faintly and being mindful of her caution when she offered her explanation. "I understand, truly, and I would love if you wanted to give me something to read. If you send them to Security, I am sure they will give me the books after they've screened them."

He saw how she bit her lip, which was such a sensual signal that the regret of her leaving became all the more poignant. More so the look in her eyes, and while he realised that they were to part for the time being, that she was about to leave, he let his hand remain at the side of her face, and stepped up to kiss her in parting. "My gratitude," he murmured against her lips, "for giving a cursed man hope for whatever kind of life he has left."

Having said so, he backed away, smiling ruefully at her since he very much shared the desires plain on her face. He sat down on his bunk, about to watch her leave. All the while, the ire of the parasite gradually abated - reduced to whispers once more.

Re: Day 33 [1700 hrs.] The Visitor

Reply #24
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Brig | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Silence hung for a moment before the disappointment began to slowly fall from her face. She herself wasn’t even sure where the look or the feeling was directed, but nonetheless, it was there. A nervous swallow followed and she gave the man a quick once over before she smiled, gently. She gave him a quick nod of thanks at his seeming understanding. Brown eyes traveled up the bulkhead to look for any recording equipment and again back over her shoulder towards where she knew a security officer lingered. Had he watched the whole thing? Just waiting to report to his superior officer what had transpired? Had he seen nothing?

She would likely find out soon enough. Perhaps though, only when the moment was just right, would she find out.

She had no idea of course, of the storm that raged within the man in front of her. The images that went through his mind. When she felt the hand on her cheek, warm flesh against warm flesh, she brought her hand up to rest over his own and her lips raised ever so slightly into a coquettish smile. Her eyes met his own and she gave him a nod. “Thank you.” She whispered to him. “For understanding.” Then the smile turned into a more playful grin, “I’ll make sure security doesn’t find a bomb.” She was no security officer, and to her all of the precautions seemed so...overboard, at least in regards to the man sitting before her now. It was easy to forget just what sat within him, and what it was capable of.

Despite that warning in her head, she leaned into the kiss, her hand removing itself from his own to find hold in some of his hair. She wasn’t particularly rough about it, on the contrary she was remarkably gentle compared to the frenzy brought about by lust just minutes ago. “Plenty of life left. Every flood will have an ebb.” She whispered in response to his words before pressing her lips back against his own. She let herself take a step back as he did, but remained stationary for a moment.

She watched him sit back down then bit her lip again, getting one last glance at him, as if she were about to say something. A last set of words. She did not however. Instead she pulled the ribbon out of her hair with a half smirk. It was red, and silk, no longer than 12 centimeters. Just enough to keep her hair back. She set it on the head of his bed, and left the cell without another look. On her way out she snapped the security band off her wrist and gave it back to the guard, not saying a word as she left the Security Center. Whatever happened next, she would have to own it. She knew that much at the very least. She felt as if she hadn’t breathed from the moment she left the cell, was a security team waiting for her just outside the brig, as to not cause a scene? She walked down the hall as she left until she hit a lift, and the moment she tapped a button to reach her quarters and the lift roared to life she let out a gasp to suck in a whole mouthful of air, the weight and anxiety lifted from her shoulders. Two fingers came up to brush her lips, and the other arm came up in a sort of self embrace.

Her mind whirled with emotion. She had felt so comfortable with him, it troubled her. What troubled her more, was that she wanted more, and that she didn’t care that her own desires troubled her on some level. It had felt different though, damn the consequences. “Hold.” She said aloud, and the lift held. “Fuck.” She said aloud and began to pace around the lift.


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