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EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Ducote had left Blue in his borrowed quarters, though not without some protest. She'd finally let him answer the summons from Ives after removing and replacing his combadge - it had been 'wonky', allegedly. He could tell she was up to something, but had rather no idea what because he still couldn't see her half as clearly as he had. He hoped it wouldn't be too long before she felt that she could drop her defences again. If she could at all.

The senior staff up here had rotated after the battle, but the bridge was still busy with goldshirts making repairs and various people coming in and out from other departments to present their reports and receive their orders. Say what you liked about the Theurgy, they were obviously a resilient bunch. But that itself could be the problem, could it not? They had, apparently, stymied the Borg threat to the galaxy. The Klingons were no longer concerned with destroying the ship he occupied. The Task Force had been evaded. But what if his assertions to Wenn back when they'd arrived, in the brig, had held a kernel of truth?

All of his short-term goals, it seemed, had been fulfilled. The parallel nature of the objectives of the Endeavour and Theurgy crews was at an end. Apart from Kai volunteering to stay, he supposed, without rancour. Truthfully, he wasn't sure that he shouldn't stay himself, either. His own arguments to the half of the Bellerophon crew that hadn't broken out were still percolating through his own head... The problem with using some logical arguments was that they tended to hold up.

Like he said before, the mere possibility of such a plot within the governments of the quadrant warranted an attempt to investigate it.

That said, he wasn't sure what use he'd be here. He had heard by now of the former XO's removal; scuttlebutt on a ship this size was sometimes the quickest way to find something out. But stepping into his old role on a new ship held significantly less appeal when that crew was already mutinous. If morale got low enough to make it possible once, they wouldn't be far off doing it twice.

No doubt that was what this meeting was about. Ives would want to talk to the command-ranked members of the other crews aboard to assess what to do with them. In hir position, he'd probably do the same, though would probably also lean on the side of caution and leave them behind at the nearest opportunity. Not that security was much of a worthwhile consideration here; Nicander was supposedly infected and he'd been aboard since day one.

Ducote sighed, bored of going over the same territory time and again in his own head. His thumb pressed the chime.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #1
[ Captain Ives | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat
In his male form, Jien Ives' Aldebaran whiskey remained half-full on his desk after the meeting with Kai Akoni. He had resumed reading and authorising measures due to be taken on his PADD, pacing the Ready Room while the slow warp speed the ship held sent the spectres of stars across the room. The chime rang, and it was time to meet Akoni's erstwhile superior officer from the Endeavour. A fact that Jien didn't know what the visitor might feel about.

"Enter," he called and once Captain Amasov's Executive Officer entered, Jien put his PADD aside on the desk. "Commander Ducote, welcome," he said and extended his hand to shake the half-Betazoid's. "I have understood that you've reunited with the survivors from the Versant, and some of the officers lost to you. I reckon you prefer to be with them instead of seeing me, so please, if you'd rather do this another time, I understand. We can correspond over writing if that's better."

Jien already knew about Commander Tiran and Ducote being engaged, such things not just being hearsay among those who served on the Endeavour but also a footnote in the database given that Ducote was her superior officer. Given said circumstances, there was always the concern about conflict of interest, and how Ducote might - in certain situations - favour Tiran over other officers, but no such incidents had been put to record. This suggested that both officers had a strong sense of duty, or - alternatively - that there had been no such situation where the conflict might arise yet. In any case, the circumstance made it worth adding further comment.

"Either way, you should know that Commander Tiran was instrumental in allowing us to seize command of the ship, and once she is ready to see me, I will commend her in person. Until then, I loath to keep the two of you apart, for I cannot imagine what it must have been like after the destruction of the Endeavour."

Once the Commander had said he'd stay, Jien gestured to the replicator. "Very well then. Please, get a drink if you will, and have a seat."

His glass of whiskey wasn't finished, so he picked it up when he seated himself in his chair, watching his visitor. "I was told by Lieutenant Akoni that he'd spoken with you before he requested to see me. He left a short time ago, and if it's of any interest, I will let him take the Bridge Officer test. Though tests being as crude as they are... can I trouble you for a few words about his conduct on the Endeavour?"

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #2
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

The doors admitted him, revealing the human-apparent Chameloid within. On the one hand, this was mildly exciting, in some background sense; Ives was the first Chameloid he'd met. On the other, he couldn't off-hand remember if this was a species that could be read by Betazoid means, and even if it were, Ducote's own talents were still lacking through injury even before one considered that he hadn't built the necessary 'glossary' yet.

"Commander Ducote, welcome." Ranaan reached across the man's desk to shake his hand. "I have understood that you've reunited with the survivors from the Versant, and some of the officers lost to you. I reckon you prefer to be with them instead of seeing me, so please, if you'd rather do this another time, I understand. We can correspond over writing if that's better. Either way, you should know that Commander Tiran was instrumental in allowing us to seize command of the ship, and once she is ready to see me, I will commend her in person. Until then, I loath to keep the two of you apart, for I cannot imagine what it must have been like after the destruction of the Endeavour."

The hybrid took a breath, unsure what to say about the last comment. The Endeavour was still firmly in the 'think about later' tray for him. He'd get to it, even if getting in touch with Hadiyah to talk about it 'properly' was going to be difficult, but for now he had to concentrate on other things. He settled for wrinkling his nose and shaking his head with a self-deprecating smile. "Between you and me, Captain, they'll probably be happy of a break from me hovering around them while I do my admin."

Blue, though. Ducote had heard she had featured heavily in the escape, but most of his questions could be reserved for when the actual reports were made. What had entertained him and thrown him into despair by turns was the fact that, somehow, against all odds, stories of the twinkies in the Savi-provided rations had kept cropping up. So not only had she smuggled Albert (who could talk now!) through the place, she'd managed to find honest-to-God twinkies there. She was insuppressible. He almost didn't want to know how she'd managed it.

"Very well then. Please, get a drink if you will, and have a seat."

He nodded his thanks, looking to the replicator. There were a couple of fingers of a deliciously-rich looking green liquid in a tumbler by Ives' hand, but Ducote still had a lot to do before he'd allow himself a tipple. Which wasn't to say that the captain hadn't earned theirs, of course. He settled for a long black coffee, setting the mug on the near edge of the desk as he sat down, his (loosening) knee still protesting a little after its exertions in the gym the other night. Or was it just last night? God, I feel as if I'm ageing years to the day. A small sigh escaped him as his body relaxed a little.

"I was told by Lieutenant Akoni that he'd spoken with you before he requested to see me. He left a short time ago, and if it's of any interest, I will let him take the Bridge Officer test. Though tests being as crude as they are... can I trouble you for a few words about his conduct on the Endeavour?"

Ducote sipped his coffee to hide his expression as his earlier lingering smile turned a little rueful. This felt like a transfer out - providing a reference - even though he didn't strictly have a crew of which to feel possessive any more. "Kai's conduct was always beyond reproach, as far as I know; given the size of him, he doesn't really have to throw his weight around for people not to want to argue. Most of the infractions we dealt with on the Endeavour were interpersonal disputes-" he tried very hard not to think of one of his junior Tactical cadre at that, "- but despite perhaps having a presentation better suited to hostile boarding actions, he's a deft enough communicator to get most anything sorted that his juniors couldn't. I have no complaints."

Other details, such as the man's war record, would be an easy search of the ship's database. The Theurgy might be a few months overdue for an update, but that information was old enough to be on record regardless.

"I made it clear to my officers when we were still in your brig - and reiterated since - that they were free to make their own choices here, Captain. I haven't ordered them to offer to join you, or otherwise. I can say of them all, though, that any that do join are superlative examples of their disciplines. I admit to only a small amount of bias in that endorsement; Amasov ran a tight ship regardless of the number of... strong personalities aboard.

"I would ask what you plan for those who decline any position aboard? Starfleet Personnel seems an awfully long call from here," he deadpanned, sipping his coffee again.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #3
[ Captain Ives | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat
"Quite so," said Jien and nodded, thinking about what had been said about the Endeavour crew. He had his answer ready. "At 0230 hrs., we will reach the Aldea Prime Shipyards under protection of the Klingon Empire and the Aldeans both. They will hide our approach with feigned military exercises, clearing the space from ships far and wide, and then we will undergo repairs for quite some time. The challenge will be to undergo repairs without our location immediately becoming known to Starfleet, but I believe we will be successful as long as we remain as careful as we've been during our mission so far."

Moving on to the actual question Ducote had posed, Jien picked up his whiskey and sipped it. "For your crew, I am willing to have them all leave before then, should they so choose. We have an Ovri aboard, a mother with a newly laid egg. She has requested to take a small shuttle and make for Dejino. I have granted her request, and she will be leaving at midnight. Depending on how many of the Endeavour or Cayuga shipmates that wishes to leave, I will upgrade the shuttle as needed."

Jien put the glass down, and folded his hands on top of the desk. "As long as my officer reaches her homeworld, you can all go wherever you wish. My reports tell me that those present aboard have understood that our mission is not what Starfleet Command claims it to be, even if some may still not believe in what the Infested are. In either case...far be it from me to bereave you of your freedom. I am willing to take the risk involved, now that Martok have seen one of them for himself, and stand with us."

Pausing, Jien tilted his head a little, looking at the Commander with a faint smile. "I met Amasov. Twice, I believe, and I'd have liked to have him here today, when we stopped a full scale Borg invasion. It would have been just, don't you think, considering his track record with them?" Jien leaned back a little. "As it were, his First Officer and some of his crew got to be present for the victory, and while I don't pretend to know him as well as you do, I'd like to think he'd liked that, don't you think?"

Glancing towards the desktop, he continued. "I know it may sound like a platitude, but it's not, for I say it with deep certainty: This victory could not have been reached without the Endeavour." He looked up again, his oaken eyes unblinking. "In fact, I thank you personally, Commander - on behalf of billions - for your decision to follow that Borg trail, lest we may never have known what hit us."

On a mere shuttle, braving the nebula to find the answer, despite having just experienced the horror of the Borg in person, and loosing their ship. "If we make it through this - regardless if you want to travel to Dejino - rest assured that I will submit your name for a medal, Commander, should they be willing to hear me."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #4
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Oh-two-thirty... he pondered. Enough time to get some rest before arrival. If he could help it, he didn't want a repeat of his time on the Niger; the days spent in the cockpit of that runabout had been a figurative hell. At least the coffee from the Theurgy replicators had a slightly different pattern, or he'd likely already be sick of the taste after so many litres of it drunk on the shuttle.

Ducote nodded along as Ives described his plan to allow those who wanted it to debark. He did wonder at the wisdom of giving them a shuttle from the Theurgy, whose registry would be attached to that of the mother ship, but then figured that they could simply switch ships once they got to Dejino. It wasn't a terrible plan, but it did rather hinge on no one detecting that shuttle and interrogating its transponder. Chance of arrest was one thing, but if the parasites truly existed and wanted no chance that word would be carried of that existence then there was a good probability that it would simply be fired upon.

"I think I will send the remainder of the injured civilians from the Endeavour on that shuttle, Captain. They have been almost entirely unconscious since their arrival, and whenever they were awake it was Doctor Kobol  who attended to them. The ones who are up and about, I will ask whether they wish to stay."

"As long as my officer reaches her homeworld, you can all go wherever you wish..." Ducote sipped his coffee. Still all very reasonable. He wondered where the megalomaniac he expected would be... There was a possibility that this was all an elaborate double-bluff, of course, but that didn't really feel as if it held water either. Perhaps if Wenn had still been around, they might have reprised their earlier brig-conversation with Ducote in a more open mindset.

Ives looked at him for a moment. "I met Amasov. Twice, I believe, and I'd have liked to have him here today, when we stopped a full scale Borg invasion. It would have been just, don't you think, considering his track record with them? As it were, his First Officer and some of his crew got to be present for the victory, and while I don't pretend to know him as well as you do, I'd like to think he'd liked that, don't you think?" Ducote said nothing in the pause. "I know it may sound like a platitude, but it's not, for I say it with deep certainty: This victory could not have been reached without the Endeavour..."

The hybrid went quite still, remembering back. He frowned into the memory, before his expression cleared and he coughed lightly.

"Captain Amasov... Joseph was a dear friend of mine, who helped rebuild my confidence after a particularly nasty knock. I know he feared and hated the Borg by equal measure... it feels odd to wish him dead." Ducote looked at the deck, lifting his cup to take a sip but not quite managing to actually drink it. "Hm," he said, a small smile creasing his face despite himself. "He'd probably have happily carried that subspace bomb for you, though. One last chance to stab back at them."

"If we make it through this - regardless if you want to travel to Dejino - rest assured that I will submit your name for a medal, Commander, should they be willing to hear me."

A short, bitter laugh escaped him before he could suppress it. He held a hand up briefly. "Sorry, Captain. I'm looking forward to a court-martial when I get back to the Fleet for losing my ship."

His voice dropped a little lower, reminiscing. "The Endeavour was a tight-knit group; I wasn't the only second-chancer aboard. We leaned on each other a lot... that culture was embodied by the Captain. Given the extent of the losses he had to replace after Wolf 359 and Sector 001, not to mention the following wars, he took crew and officers most other command teams wouldn't touch. It fostered quite a loyalty among us...

"Your offer of a citation is kind, Captain, but a medal holds no interest for me after losing that family."
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #5
[ Captain Ives | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat
The self-criticism of Commander Ducote was something Jien was quite familiar with, so the bitter laugh was one he sympathised with.

"In regard to a court-martial," he said quietly, "you and me both, Commander. Our actions may be seen in many different lights, but I hold little hope for my own judgement. Whereas I may have fought merely to defend this ship and this crew - and the truth we carry - I fear the public outcry at the lives lost will be my undoing. I hope to set the record straight, at least, and that I can bear the blame for my crew, so that they do not have to see the inside of a penal colony at the end of our voyage."

Jien looked down into the green depths of his glass. "After all that they'd suffered, I will fight with everything I've got to take any blame cast upon the actions we've been forced to take. These officers that serve on this ship deserve better, since they have done everything in hope to preserve Starfleet and the Federation. It would be... unjust, if the very ideals we've fought to protect means nothing in the eyes of those in JAG."

Leaning back a bit, Jien thought about the people on his ship. The dead and the yet alive. "They have faced impossible choices, and chosen to do the hard thing, because it's right, and regardless the consequences for themselves. Like you are willing to take the responsibility for the fate of the Endeavour, so will I for my crew."

Raising his oaken eyes, he sipped his drink once more, studying the man for a moment. When he spoke, he had pushed away the regrets he had, and focused on the conversation at hand. "Regardless what you may think or believe about me and my crew, about the tactical logs and what you've seen here... I hope you at least believe that, Commander." He put the glass down on the desktop, cutting to the chase. "So, do you wish to stay aboard, or will you leave for Dejino?"

The unspoken question was, of course, if he was willing to commit to any duties aboard as well, or if he would prefer to stay on the Theurgy a mere passenger - unwilling to give the mission any credence after the Borg threat had come to and end.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #6
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn of and dialogue kindly provided by: @Auctor Lucan

Ducote sat back in his chair, cradling his coffee mug in his lap, as he cast a new eye over Ives. He was saying all the right things, though nothing that a sufficiently well-practised cold-reader couldn't have farmed out of the hybrid's prior statements and current body language... he took it as a good sign that he clearly felt enough mental room to restore his old paranoia. The points he'd made in the brig about Occam's Razor floated to the forefront of his mind to haunt him, now that they were cutting in the other direction.

It wasn't merely hubris that made him so confident in his ability to detect a liar. The same way it wasn't just his empathy that let him see it. But Ives so far had been so consistent - including the testimony of the officers under hir - that it was either an oversold con or the actual truth. And try as he might, Ducote couldn't quite reconcile the image of the megalomaniacal traitor with the person across the desk from him.

"... They have faced impossible choices, and chosen to do the hard thing, because it's right, and regardless the consequences for themselves. Like you are willing to take the responsibility for the fate of the Endeavour, so will I for my crew... Regardless what you may think or believe about me and my crew, about the tactical logs and what you've seen here... I hope you at least believe that, Commander."

The commander nodded thoughtfully, remembering his similar conversation with Captain Ziegler. Truthfully, he wasn't sure what Ives offering to fall on hir sword would do for the crew that had blasted and killed their way (justifiably or otherwise) across the quadrant for so long, but he supposed the attempt must still be made.

"So, do you wish to stay aboard, or will you leave for Dejino?"

He took a deep breath, then leaned forward and deposited his cup on the edge of the desk again, the remaining glossy black liquid within sliding up the side of the mug before settling to level again. Ducote stood and moved to the porthole that looked out over the dorsal starboard hull of the saucer.

"Getting the civilians out of the way is a personal priority. Half of them were so badly injured that they've been kept sedated, and the rest have not been told where they are; they should not impede the security of this vessel. But my officers..." he crossed his arms. "I doubt Kai will be the only one to offer to stay. And if any of them do at all, I'm not sending them off to war with the rest of the Fleet on their own.

"That does rather beg the question of what I could offer you, Captain. I make a restive bystander. Most of my career was spent in an Operations tunic - Security specifically. Though I worry I'd be stepping on Mister Akoni's toes there..."

"Perhaps so," said Ives, remaining where he sat in his chair. "I have read how you already helped with Security matters during the past couple of days, Akoni not being the only one who showed merit while my Deputy was abducted along with me, and Wenn Cinn had larger responsibilities. By now, I am sure you are aware that I have lost faith in my First Officer because of what he did to the Bellerophon, something that went completely against how we've dealt with similar situations before."

"Mid-battle mutiny," Ducote nodded, looking over his shoulder towards the Chameloid. "Everyone's favourite time for one," he deadpanned.

"Before Trent, a Trill named Edena Rez was my First Officer, but her faulty joining to her symbiont made one of her former hosts betray this crew as a whole, the ghost of that dead Trill compromising the Code 1 message I meant to sent at Starbase 84. Before her, Commander Nerina served at my side, until she ended up in stasis, and later killed by the Savi when they even raided our stasis chambers. Commander Tiran might speak of her, since they met on the Versant. Your rank does suggest I'd approach you to see if you'd serve in the same capacity as they all did."

Ducote turned back to the window, scrubbing a thumb into one tired eye, before returning his hand to its crook in the other elbow. And betray you or suffer a mutiny my own? he silently added on Ives' behalf... perhaps unfairly, given the terrible luck s/he had apparently been graced with when it came to executive officers. The captain matched his own pause - perhaps a little more eloquently in hir case than his. S/he was right - the offer was not unexpected given the lack of other things one could really do with an officer of his rank and skillset, but given the history of this ship (not to mention its most likely futures) he couldn't help but wonder if it were a poisoned chalice.

"Unfortunately, in speaking with you... I am not sure you believe in this mission or this enemy yet... and I am loathe to make the suggestion unless I feel like I can trust you the way Amasov did. So, rather than suggesting it, I'd ask what it is that makes you doubt me still, after all that you've seen."

"All that I've seen..." he murmured, carefully-neutral, at last turning away from the starfield crawling past the porthole as they limped towards Aldea and retaking his seat. "I'm not sure I can believe in this enemy yet, no. The best corroboration I've seen is Nicander's feat of giving your Tactical wing the shield frequencies for the Rotarran, and that could feasibly have been done by other means. Nicander himself is your best present evidence of them, and he has been proven a liar already, who merely seeds the bulk of his lies with the occasional truth to either waste your time checking everything he says, or risk believing another falsehood. On top of that, his infestation is undetectable and may not be independently verified, especially given that his murders in the brig could have also been achieved by other means than ephemeral infection.

"My first introduction to this ship was a lie followed by an abduction, and then a rather naive attempt to show us a digital recording with no verification at all, as if it were supposed to immediately convince us." He leaned forward to straighten his tunic and reach for his coffee again, but his expression turned placatory.

"That said," he resumed, sipping his coffee, "If these parasites can orchestrate a millions-strong Borg invasion, if they can subvert governments to fall into conflict with one another, if they can actually achieve this aim of total chaos... the risk of not resisting them is extreme. I remain to be convinced of them, but seeking the truth of things has been the basis of my entire service so far.

"Your crew - the surviving original Theurgy complement, and those folded in from other ships less recently than mine and the Bellerophon - are all but monolithic in their faith in the mission of this ship. I wouldn't have to be an empath to see it. So, no, if you had been able to ask me this just after the Niger were brought aboard, I'd probably have tried to shoot you and have the ship heave-to. But I have spent days in the crew's company now. I have walked these halls. I have been extended far greater freedoms and courtesies than I would have extended to someone who threatened to open a full-throttle impulse engine in the Endeavour's shuttle bay. The initial deceptions and the overpowering of my runabout were born of desperation, not malice.

"Your crew, almost better than any asserted argument you could care to make, have made your case for you."
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #7
[ Captain Ives | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat @TWilkins @BZ @Fife
Listening to Ducote, Jien recalled the reports he'd read about the capture of the Niger. While well timed in execution, using the particle clouds of the nebula to pull the Runabout close enough for a tractor beam lock, Lieutenant Okafor had not had a solid follow-up plan for the situation in the Fighter Bay. It had devolved into an entrenched situation between captives and captors, without proper voice and rhetoric to deflate hostility. Jien understood how Ducote had chosen to act, given the Simulcast as well as the lies spewed out of Starfleet Command and the FNN. Fortunately enough, a deckhand from the Resolve had thought of using the tractor beam to wreck the Niger's systems, so that the hostile crew of the Runabout could be safely beamed into temporary holding.

Jien said naught of this, however, the knowledge common between Ducote and him. It did not serve to revisit past events. What was at hand, however, was the outcome of all the past strife. Where the Commander finally stood in regard to the Theurgy's mission. There was finality in the man's finishing statement, clearly having made up his mind. He was offering a partial belief towards the truth they dealt with, but wouldn't acknowledge the nature of the enemy. Likely, he already knew that Jien wouldn't be content with the reply, but to his credit, he did not lie just because it would be something Jien wanted to hear. Good man.

"My crew... " Jien repeated, thinking about the report he had been reading before Ducote arrived. He leaned forward on his arms where he sat... and changed, into her female form. Her eyes were the same, the inflection of her voice equal in all but pitch. Since her captivity, she needed to shift more often, making her morphogenic matrix limber again. She folded her hands on her desktop - oaken eyes looking into Ducote without blinking. "What if someone of your old crew made the case instead? Would you believe in the enemy then?"

The question was rhetorical, of course, since Jien had no expectation that Ducote would answer such a sudden and strange claim. What she did, was that she reached for her computer console and opened it, turning her eyes towards the screen. "Thirty minutes ago, Doctor Elro Kobol  met Commander Stark, and in her report she states here... that Kobol 's readings from Nicander's surgery points to something we've not been able to pinpoint before. He stated that the results yield no feasible means of survival without an outside fource. That the extent of devastating bodily trauma was impossible, unless something else sustained the body from within. The readings attached are from the surgery... and not from some digital recording."

Having said this, Jien turned the console around on the desktop, and towards Ducote. Having done so, Jien quietly rose up and let Ducote read for himself. She folded her arms underneath her chest and stepped towards the viewport whilst speaking. "This is groundbreaking. New evidence, regardless what Doctor Nicander claims, and how much we choose to trust him. I reserve judgement about the veracity of my old CMO's words, but Doctor Kobol ... he has no gain in fabricating his findings in favour of our mission. Therefore, I suggest we speak with him. I very much like to hear what he's found as well."

Without further ado, she turned away from the viewport and tapped her combadge. "Captain Ives to Doctor Kobol ," she said, waiting to hear the reply. "Commander Ducote and I would very much like to speak with you. Are you available now? Then please report to my ready room. Ives out."

Jien turned her head to look at Ducote where he sat in front of the computer console, unknowing what may be going through the man's mind. She hoped it wasn't shame for his actions and his words during the past few days, for she did not begrudge him his scepticism. She knew very well how it all must have appeared to him before that moment. Nor did she hope the vast implications what he saw - and what he might hear from Kobol  - would frightened him. Of course, the enormity of the situation in Starfleet and the Federation wasn't easy to accept. The lack of acceptance, and the easy answers of the sceptic, were both closer at hand than digesting the horrifying fact that the fleet they served had been turned into ignorant lackeys of an alien force. A presence that sought naught but to seed chaos and consume them all.

Stepping up to Ducote, Jien slowly put her hand on his shoulder. A wordless gesture, saying - she hoped - that in her eyes, the Commander had done nothing wrong. When she spoke, it was in a quiet voice of understanding - without a shred of patronisation. "I know two others who may need to hear this," she said quietly, and slowly stepped back towards her chair on the other side of the desk. "Commander Tiran and Lieutenant Cross were on the Versant with me, and have little to no knowledge of what we are dealing with. If you think they are prepared to listen... might I suggest you ask them to come here as well?"

Looking at Ducote, Jien waited for his decision, until he reached up to tap his own combadge.

"Cross, Tiran; Ducote. Please report to the Captain's ready room. Out."

OOC: I suggest @TWilkins posts next, ending with the arrival into the ready room after Jien calls "Enter". Next, either separately or through a Joint-Post, Blue Tiran and Cross arrive as well. Is that okay, @BZ and @Fife ? Then, after that, @Top Hat posts in reaction to the above as well as the arrival? Let me know if you all want a different posting order? :)

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #8
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan, @Top Hat, @Fife, @BZ

Chief Medical Officer.
He’d exited Sickbay little more than a guest aboard the Theurgy, walking down to a meeting with a senior officer, the intention of which being something fairly ambiguous in his mind. He’d returned to the Sickbay, the Chief Medical Officer, laden with a container full of cream cakes that he’d requested permission to replicate as a little morale booster for the team. Plus, something of a sweetener to the fact that the medical staff were going to be expected to accept a man, completely new to the crew, to be their superior.

Elro imagined to some, seeing only his towering statue when compared to the rest of the Sickbay team, it would look undue, a way to butter up the Endeavour crew into platency? Perhaps that was exactly what it was. But either way, Elro had led the medical team aboard the Endeavour for a year and the Endeavour’s usual crew complement wasn’t much different than that of the Theurgy. He certainly believed that he possessed the ability to manage the medical team aboard the Theurgy. There was no doubt in his mind about that.

His worries, however, were threefold.

Primarily, his new role was hardly as simple as the position he had previously occupied on the Endeavour. As far as their status as renegades was concerned, Elro didn’t have the option to move critical clients to the care of a better equipped Starbase. If they needed new medical supplies, he couldn’t request a rendevouz with the nearest Federation outpost. Whilst the Theurgy was certainly an advanced vessel, the Betazoid couldn’t imagine that its facilities were without limit… Sooner or later, he expected that he would face challenges that would be entirely new to what Elro had forseen for his career…

And supplies weren’t the only concern either. His consultation with Lieutenant Martin and his Sister had confirmed as much.

With their being aboard a renegade vessel, the medical team were hardly privy to the latest research from Starfleet medical, which meant that medical breakthroughs for debilitating diseases and conditions, newly distributed medications, and technologies that were recently developed, would all fall beyond their grasp. They had their own boons; some form of non-Starfleet android whom Elro had noticed in assisting in Sickbay during the mad rush following the battle, state of the art medical facilities that were more advanced than the rest of the fleet, and a full complement of exceptional medical officers who’d already demonstrated an overwhelming capability to serve what was beyond expectations as officers of the Federation.

However, their medical team was a speck in comparison to the research and development facilities of Starfleet medical, and whilst the Betazoid did agree that necessity was often the mother of invention, he would need to speak with someone regarding their options for obtaining new medical research to augment their capacities with the treatment and diagnosis of new ailments. He wasn't just there to triage and deal with battle injuries. He had a duty to care for the overall health and wellbeing of the entire crew.

Secondly, Elro found concern, however undue, about how his promotion would be accepted by the medical team. The Betazoid knew all too well that their previous, long-serving, CMO, was Doctor Nicander, who had ruthlessly betrayed them all, under the influence of the alleged parasite infecting him. Elro had felt the sting in their minds over and over when Nicander’s face crossed their thoughts, felt the sorrow, maybe even anger, that had resonated from Commander Stark in the cafe… Following in the footsteps of such a man didn’t exactly create the sturdiest foundation for a stellar working relationship. 

And whilst Elro understood that trust needed to be built over time, the last thing he wanted was for any rifts to form within the medical team over his promotion, being raised above other staff members who had served aboard far longer than he. To do his job effectively, he needed the team on his side, not being bitter or untrustworthy of his intentions behind his back. He had had enough problems though his career with patients who found his innate telepathy disconcerting…

But his third, and perhaps the grandest of his worries, were the parasites whom he’d found himself believing in. As he’d told Commander Stark, his medical expertise didn’t extend a reason as to how Doctor Nicancer had survived his own autopsy, nor the damage done to him prior to it that he had agonisingly survived. That knowledge meant that at some point, Elro would need to put his mind to precisely how the man had endured so.

Whether the parasites were impervious to scans or not, the forces required to make a body endure fatal wounds simply had to leave some sort of trace or energy that was detectable by medical technology. If not, then they truly were fighting against an invincible foe. But then, even should a trace, a bond, be found, how would they look to destroy such without killing the one whom was anchored to it?

He sighed. It was perhaps not the best thought process to be internally debating whilst lingering outside of sickbay with a container of cream cakes… They were the bane of his health, the closest he could find on the Federation database to a delicatessen not far from where he was brought up, the place never replicated their cakes... Fingers filled with custard, swirls of jam and whipped cream, doughnuts that tasted indescribably perfect, eclairs that simply bursted when bitten into, profiteroles filled with an irish cream liquor… He had been exercising the sheer limits of his will not to have torn into them already.
Elro shook his head with a small smile, aware that he was perhaps a little overwhelmed from the events of the day, before he made a move to step forwards and open the doors to Sickbay.

[Captain Ives to Doctor Kobol .]

The communique startled him a fraction, making his eyes flick up and his back straighten to attention from where he had been about to move off from leaning against the wall. The Captain now. He’d heard a fair deal about Captain Ives. From his experience thus far aboard the Theurgy, he imagined that much of it consisted of mistruths and slander… Still, he reminded himself to be cautious.

“Kobol  here Captain.” He replied politely, conscious that it was his first time speaking with the Captain of the vessel.

[Commander Ducote and I would very much like to speak with you. Are you available now?]

"Of course, Captain." He replied once again, aware that his only pressing concern was taking cakes to Sickbay.

[Then please report to my ready room. Ives out.]

The knowledge that Commander Ducote was also requesting his presence put Elro entirely at ease, though perhaps the timing could have been more agreeable for him. He glanced down with a sorrowful look at the container of treats in his hands. He had intended to put them into Sickbay for the enjoyment of the medical team, but considering his summons, running them in would be far too rushed for his intention. The medical team deserved a reward, but Elro wagered that they wouldn’t terribly mind waiting a little longer for it. Perhaps when they'd cleared out more patients and the shifts were getting back to normal.

With that in mind, the Doctor immediately turned heel and strode towards the turbolift he had just arrived from, glad that he had replicated an after dinner mint to cleanse his breath of any lingering trade of his meal. He made sure to handle the container carefully as he entered the lift once again, a sudden bubble of anticipation erupted in his chest as his mouth voiced his command.

“Deck One.”

The uppermost deck was impressive to behold, tones of grey and silver that dominated the room, illuminated aesthetically by the cool blue light emitted by the panels dotted around. As he approached the Security checkpoint, the officer on duty suspiciously eyeing the container in his hands, Elro realised that he probably looked like an utter sycophant, bringing treats to the Captain’s ready room when summoned. But Elro still stood fast with the thought that it was better that, then to have simply given them to someone in sickbay and then left… That presented him as clumsy and bumbling. Hardly the presentation he was aiming for.

Besides, there was always the chance that the Captian shared a sweet tooth.

The Security Officer raised a brow at the container of baked treats, and humorously scanned them, before clearing Elro and gesturing towards the other side of the Bridge, the Betazoid keeping straight posture as he kept his attention affixed forwards, though he did give a furtive side glance to the hive of Ops and Engineering staff lingering on the Bridge and dealing with the no doubt extensive repairs... His attention returned forwards as he approached the door in question, permitting himself an especially deep breath, before he pressed his finger flush against the panel aside the door.


Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth - Chief CONN Officer - USS Theurgy - [Show/Hide]
Otheusz - Grey Scars Pirate - USS Theurgy - [Show/Hide]
Y'Lev - Syndicate Dominus - USS Theurgy - [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #9
[LCdr Blue Tiran & Lt. Cross | Tacos to Go | Vulcan and a Hacker Walk Into an Office | Cue Bad Joke | Not Enough Booze For Chats]
@Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @TWilkins @Fife

The corridor was filled with people as Cross and Blue walked down it.  It was busy, the amount of people that it took to run a ship the size of the Theurgy was massive, Blue didn't mind though.  It was nice to see others like herself.  She was still dressed in her own Engineering uniform, the pips on her collar giving her rank and people passed by calling her Commander even though they didn't know her.  She was getting all kinds of odd looks.  One probably because of the death glares she gave to people that were ultra polite or pasted shitty smiles on their faces for no good fucking reason while saying hi to a complete fucking stranger.  Didn't these people have some sense of self preservation?  Had life been too fucking easy on them?  Maybe they had gotten hit with the ol' Tootsie Pop one too many times up the fucking head.

"I can't believe you brought a taco." Cross stated as they walked side by side.  Probably another reason for the curious glares was there was a fucking smiling Vulcan walking beside her.  She was sooo tempted to start introducing him as Lieutenant Stumpy just to see if it would fucking stick.  But, for now, she was saving that beauty for herself.

Blue gave a shrug and swallowed another bite of her taco.  "I'm hungry."

Cross gave her a look that said she had lost her mind.  "You already had six." he reminded.

Blue met his glare with one of her own.  "And?"

Cross smirked and shook his head slightly.  "You're dripping taco juices everywhere." he pointed to her chin, her shirt, and the floor. 

Blue gave another shrug.  "I don't fucking care, it makes this ship ten times better." she remarked quickly taking another crunchy bite and continuing her trek.

"How do you figure?" he asked as they continued on towards the Security Checkpoint, which lay between them and the Bridge, and behind it, the Ready room. 

"Because.. tacos." she said as they neared the door way to the security gateway, Blue pulled a napkin out of her pocket with her free hand and wiped it across her chin.

Cross rolled his eyes at his friend in feigned exasperation before smiling at his friend. The fact that Blue was going into a meeting with the ship’s Captain covered in taco juices did not surprise him as much as it should have. Cross glanced down at his own uniform, which was blessedly absent of the remains of any tacos. His left sleeve was been rolled up in itself several times, so that just under an inch of the stump of his arm was exposed as opposed to allowing the sleeve to flap free. It still felt strange to see the healthy flesh poking out from the sleeve, rather than the charred stump he had apparently grown accustomed to. Cross glanced up once his inspection of his own red uniform was completed, regarding Blue’s gold uniform with a curious expression.

”Are you sure you don’t want to replicate a new tunic? There’s uh… a lot of juice on your uniform." Cross asked, his eyes rising to meet hers as he chuckled softly. ”Can’t take you anywhere, Tiran.” He teased, his eyes shining with mirth as he watched her for a reaction, ”We just got you cleaned up, and the next thing you do is smear taco juice all over yourself.” Cross gave her a wink before schooling his bemused expression into a more serious one as they drew up before the security check point. 

The Security officer behind the desk looked at Blue as she shoved the last bite of taco into her mouth and chewed on it.  He gave her a once over, noticing the small taco sauce stain on her golden shirt, just to the left of her combadge.  "What is it with you people and food today?" the Security officer said with a shake of his head as he checked both her and Cross before allowing them to move towards the Ready Room doors.

”You ready?” He asked, glancing at Blue as he spoke.

"Sure.  Why the fuck not."  Of course, Albert was there, he had been with her in the bar, in the Sickbay, and now here.  He was perched carefully, talons locked into, the special metallic shoulder pad that he clipped into on her uniform.  The Security officer gave Albert a bit of side-eye. 

"You have a pet robot?"

[I assure you, kind sir, I am neither a pet, nor a robot.  I am an advanced Artificial Technological Advancement created by Miss Blue here and with the assistance of the Savi my positronic matrix was merged quite beautifully wi-]

"Can it Albert, he's got the blank stare which means he either gives no fucks, or doesn't understand the lingo."

[Ah, pity the less intelligent.] it almost sounded like he sighed, Blue looked at Cross and gave a quick nod.

Following a nod from his friend, Cross reached his hand forward and pressed the door chime, then let his hand fall to his side as they waited for the Captain’s reply. They had met Ives aboard the Versant, that hell ship that had left them emotionally and physically damaged, though Cross had no notion as to why they would be summoned to the Captain’s Ready Room now.

"Enter!" called a voice from beyond the door.

Blue let out a quick short burst of breath.  "Lets do it." she said stepping forward with Cross at her side.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #10
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife @TWilkins

Ducote blinked as the Captain shifted into a female form. He was filled with questions that could firmly wait until he could just look them up in the databank later - did Chameloids have a skeleton? She was shorter than he, so their support structure must also be plastic. Could they only change into humanoids? And on. He dismissed the thoughts for now, refocusing on the meeting. He didn't normally have such trouble concentrating; clearly, he was still tired himself.

But he paused at Ives' rhetorical question. Who on his crew would- Ah. Elro. In the distant past, he had ordered him scan a prone Nicander in the brig, and he had later had to operate on him to save his life. A profligate expenditure of resources, given his later performance and attempts to undermine even further the rock-bottom morale on this ship. He had provided some worthwhile information, but he wasn't sure the man was worth the trouble he presented. Not that it was his decision to make, of course.

"... The readings attached are from the surgery... and not from some digital recording."

The hybrid pulled the offered display closer to him, depositing his coffee to one side, and leaned forward to read, keeping one ear on the Captain as she spoke. The surgery report was not quite beyond him, though he did have to rack his brain a little for some of the more arcane terminology. His Security/Science background had trended towards forensics, so autopsy reports were not unknown to him... and honestly, from what he was reading, this should have been one.

Silently, he added 'Câroon physiology' to his to-read-about list.

Subconsciously, he was slowly shaking his head. There were still a lot of missing concretes from Elro's surgery report - mostly 'shouldn't have been able to X, but did' and similar - but given that supernatural resilience was supposedly a marker of the abilities of the infested, he wasn't sure what else he could blame it on.

Which rather meant that the task ahead of them outweighed a few Cubes. The Borg were one thing, but these parasites were extra-universal.

The Captain's hand on his shoulder jolted him out of his perspective-crystallising reverie. He looked up at her. "I know two others who may need to hear this. Commander Tiran and Lieutenant Cross were on the Versant with me, and have little to no knowledge of what we are dealing with. If you think they are prepared to listen... might I suggest you ask them to come here as well?"

Ducote's face had set into a mask as he settled into a planning mode. A sort of practised open-mindedness, he would call it; ready to accept new information and variables and try to strip them of any emotional weight. Every time it happened he had flashbacks to his time at the Academy and one particular taskmaster of a Vulcan he'd had as a tutor there.

Well, prepared or not, they should be here. He tapped his badge and called them up.

Then he stood, drained his coffee, and punched in an order for a fresh mug from the replicator. It probably wouldn't be appropriate to tank up on synthohol just yet. He twisted his Damascus steel engagement ring around and around on his finger, a rarely-displayed nervous habit as he let the shift in his thinking wash through him.

In short order, the first door chime sounded. His empathy picked up the doctor through the door, the man's greater Betazoid heritage providing an easy mental link. And under his arm, as the door opened, he held a box of pastries. Ducote couldn't help but look quizzically at them.. he wasn't sure he'd have had time to acquire some in the time between his summoning and appearance. Not that he himself was one to talk - he had been freely providing the same sort of thing at meetings for years on the Endeavour.

"Elro. Haven't seen this much of each other in one day since the last time you had to chase me for my physical."

Less than a minute behind him were Blue and Cross. And, alas, Albert. Ducote hoped against hope that the infernal bird might be able not to put someone else's foot in it during this meeting. And something twitched at his nose... fried meat and spices. Then he saw the dark patches on the front of Blue's black tunic, the scrunched napkin in one hand.

Well, we're all technically off-duty at least.

"Party's all here," he greeted, nodding to Cross. He seemed mentally 'louder' than he had been before... perhaps the stronger emotions in his pure-Vulcan form taking more effort to contain? Not that he seemed to be having too much trouble so far. Gotta check in with him about that. Again, he realised with some disappointment (though masked with a smile), there was very little he could pick up from Blue. He gestured to the seats before the Captain's desk, and took one next to his fiancée. He told himself it was for her sake, as if it was pure altruism.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #11
[ Captain Ives | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat @TWilkins @BZ @Fife
After Jien had seated herself, she watched how Commander Ducote rose from his own chair - evidently still processing what he's been reading. She sympathised greatly with him, and how the enormity of it all may be imposing upon all that he'd known before the destruction of the Endeavour. Jien's crew might have made her case for her, as Ducote had aid, but only in regard to staying on the Theurgy instead of leaving. What Elro had found, it might just be the proverbial last drop. With respect towards Ducote's situation, Jien let him think in peace - the silence quite comfortably shared on her part.

Yet when she blinked, she saw flashes of the Scion's Nest and that moving shape in it...

It made her take another sip of the whiskey, keeping her eyes open.

The Doctor arrived first, and Jien stood to greet the Betazoid. "Doctor Kobol , welcome," she said after Ductoe had greeted him, "I'm Captain Jien Ives. A belated welcome aboard the Theurgy. I already read Commander Stark's report, and it says you agreed to the offer. So, I look forward to getting to know you first hand."

Jien had glanced towards the pastries with a smile and a gesture towards the desk, letting him put them there for the time being, but she didn't tell Ducote what the offer to Kobol  had been just yet, wanting to wait for the two others... who just so happened to arrive.

"Commander Tiran, Lieutenant Cross, my apologies for asking you to attend so soon after beaming off the Versant. Both Commander Ducote and I felt, however, that you needed to see this." Jien said in greeting to them both, giving them a quiet smile. No introductions needed. They had shared an insurrection, after all. The whole party was indeed there, and Ducote had already gestured for them to seat themselves as well. So, without further ado, Jien turned to Doctor Kobol .

"While I am quite certain that the Doctor has yet to settle in, I have offered him the role of Chief Medical Officer here on the Theurgy, which he accepted not thirty minutes ago," she said without much of preamble, and seated herself in her chair again after the greetings were done with. "In his short time aboard, Kobol  has provided order and expertise in our sickbays after it was revealed that our Chief Medical Officer is one of the Infested. Commander Tiran, Lieutenant Cross, I am aware that you have barely been briefed about this new threat we will be speaking of here - likely just what you've heard from the other abductees - and we will get to that in a moment."

Returning her attention to Kobol , she gestured towards the control panel in the wall next to her, inviting the Betazoid to pull up the surgical readings and reports there instead of a PADD. "Please, Doctor, could you show us your findings from the surgery of Doctor Nicander... and what we're dealing with. I know you could only give Commander Ducote a partial report yesterday - as you stated in the one to Commander Stark - so please make sure to include the latest results this time."

OOC: I suggest @TWilkins posts next, followed by @BZ and @Fife ? Then, after that, @Top Hat posts before I chime in once more? :) Let me know if you prefer another order.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #12
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @BZ @Fife

Elro couldn’t help but wonder if Commander Ducote would have something to say about not being the first one to know about Elro’s promotion. Elro had planned to tell him after running the container of cream cakes to sickbay, but he’d evidently lost the chance to do either of those things. However, Elro steeled himself and tried not to dwell on the possibility of having offended Ducote too deeply. After all, Kai had done the same not too long ago, based on what he’d heard from the plentiful grapevine of gossip that ran through the ship. Ducote would understand, Elro was sure.

Hopefully what he was about to say would distract the good Commander from it altogether…

Putting his worries and concerns aside, Elro shifted his full focus upon the Captain, whom he couldn’t help but still feel a trifle wary of. As much as the Doctor tried to dismiss the litanies of slander he’d been made aware of by Starfleet, he found that some of it still clung to his perceptions of the individual before him. And even despite Elro’s wish to form his own, unbiased opinion of the Captain, his apprehension also trickled in from what Commander Stark had flippantly mentioned about Dr Nicander having had plenty of chances to justifiably dismiss the Captain from Command… Elro wondered whether this was someone he’d need to challenge one day. He dearly hoped not.

The Betazoid stood,  somewhat apprehensive moving over to the wall mounted display that the Captain had gestured to, worrying how him being called to vouch for the parasitic threat would appear to his colleagues. Whilst Elro would perhaps hesitate to say that he fully believed the theory of the parasites, the evidence certainly spoke for itself…  But somehow, even with data that left so little room for interpretation, the Betazoid couldn’t help but feel a little trepidation when he began to speak.

“Thank you, Captain.” He moved to address Ducote first. “If you remember our first few hours aboard the Theurgy Commander, you’ll recall that we were escorted to the cell of the former Dr Nicander, the twisted, burned, dismembered human whom I demanded was treated immediately. He was the first, and only, piece of evidence that the crew presented to us regarding this apparent threat.”

Evidence, Elro remembered all too vividly how disgusted he had been when he had been first presented with the harrowed Doctor. He was glad that he was only paraphrasing the late Commander Cinn when he said so. No matter his crimes, his sentience demanded that he wasn’t left to suffer.

“I’ve since had time to ponder the readings that my tricorder had presented me when we’d initially scanned him…” Elro gestured to the data on the display. “As you can see, the man was in a state of severe hypovolemic shock; he had lost such a high percentage of his blood that his heart could no longer pump sufficient oxygen around his body, which in every other case I’ve ever seen, would have lead to massive and critical organ failure.” Elro paused, reviewing the notes once again. “At first, when we arrived, we had so much to worry about that I didn’t think too deeply about the implications of it. I was far more concerned about treating his condition, than I was concerned about how long he’d been suffering.”

“But I’ve had enough time to dwell on it, that I can confirm that with readings like this, the man should have died a long time before I had a chance to scan him. Not to mention that in the recording we were shown of the man, he stood and moved, declaring his status as an infected, baring the same wounds that we found him with when he was curled up in agony. There is simply no physiological reasoning that could justify someone surviving the sheer volume of bodily damage and blood loss that this man did, let alone having the facility to stand, even walk. It’s simply not possible that he could have even survived without some form of sophisticated life support mechanism in place, let alone anything more...”

“Furthermore…” Elro moved the information displayed on the screen before him, bringing up the data optioned during the Doctor’s surgery. Or autopsy, depending on how optimistic one was being...

“Several of the Doctors aboard, including myself, were involved in a Surgery on this man that lasted five hours. I was primarily a witness to the event, keeping an eye on vitals and conducting regular scans…” Elro brought up some imagery upon the viewscreen that showed an internal scan of how much physical damage the Doctor had suffered through. “Because of the damage, his spleen, one of his lungs,  a good portion of his liver, all had to be removed. He required artificial kidneys, his lung was replaced by an artificial organ, his liver was supplanted the same…” Elro’s explanation drew to a halt, voicing the information aloud only confirming to him how ludicrous it truly was to comprehend. “They had to remove and reconstruct his ribcage, they all but rummaged around inside of his body looking for any signs of a parasite… It was an autopsy as much as a surgery.”

“And somehow, at the end of all of that, a man who should have been in an induced coma, on life support, or in stasis, recovered from his anesthetics and was inexplicably already recovered enough not only regain consciousness, but to actually identify and speak to one of the attending Doctors.” Elro again, at the time, had been paying much more attention to the slew of security guards who raised their weapons to the man the second the anesthesia wore off… He’d found it obscene, part of him still did… But in reflection, not anywhere near as obscene as the Doctor’s miraculous recovery.

Then, Elro dismissed the readings, the litany of medical data that he imagined had no meaning to Ducote, Cross or Blue, at least not compared to the word of their trusted Doctor, before he turned to them, quieting his tone somewhat. The more he thought about it, the more he talked about it, the simpler it became to see that no medical justification could be had for the Câroon’s survival and recovery.

“If I’ve performed a procedure of this stature back on the Endeavour, I’d have kept him in Sickbay for at least 72 hours of around the clock medical observation, followed by at no less than a week of bedrest before I even considered permitting light duty. Yet, less than 24 hours later, according to rumour, this man somehow managed to get from the brig, to the Bridge, in the middle of a Borg attack.”

“He shouldn’t have been able to lift his own head.” Elro was being somewhat hyperbolic with that statement, but it wasn’t all that far from the truth. “Doctor Nicander’s body has been exposed to such a sheer amount of trauma, that I cannot explain with all my medical knowledge how he accomplished this feat without winding up straight back in sickbay with catastrophic organ failure. Nor can I find any feasible explanation to justify the simple matter of his survival.”

“Save one.” He paused, not for any dramatic effect, but because it suddenly dawned on him that without some sort of inconceivable explanation arriving, he could no longer rightly dismiss the parasites as a very real possibility in his mind. “I find myself drawn to a Sherlock Holmes quote when I say this, but since I have eliminated every conceivable explanation as to how the Doctor survived these wounds, which was a short list beyond the slight potential that his Câroon physiology could have increased his resilience, a theory which I swiftly ruled out...  I am left with only the inconceivable notion that he was sustained by some unknown power that our scans, our eyes, cannot detect.”

“And regrettably, that seems to correlate perfectly with the notion that Dr Nicander was indeed a host, as we saw him claim in the holo-recording. And that the Parasites we have been warned so much about, could very realistically exist.”

Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth - Chief CONN Officer - USS Theurgy - [Show/Hide]
Otheusz - Grey Scars Pirate - USS Theurgy - [Show/Hide]
Y'Lev - Syndicate Dominus - USS Theurgy - [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #13
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Truth Time | Pastries Aren't Tacos | New Shit Storms to Replace the Old | I Breathe Ranaan Ducote]
@Auctor Lucan @Fife @TWilkins @Top Hat

The doors slid open, parting like the Red Sea, Blue and Cross stepped forward into the room and her blue eyes shifted over the companions.  There was Elro, she hadn't seen him since Sickbay, and she found her throat parched.  He knew.  He knew her pain, probably more so than Ranaan at the moment because he had been there, when she cracked.  When she screamed, and clawed, and fought for the man she loved.  Her eyes shifted, to Ducote, who was standing up against one of the walls.  Her heart skipped a beat, the air filled her lungs better than before, and the tension slid out of her shoulders.  Visibly, her entire demeanor changed for the moment. 

He's here.  He's alive.  He's okay.

Swallowing, she forced her eyes away from her fiance, but she took one of the seats offered to her.  Eyes on Ran when she did so.  He moved and sat beside her, she slid her chair closer to him.  Enough that her arm brushing his just enough she could feel the warmth of his muscles beneath his Starfleet uniform.  Her curls, always unruly, were loose and left down.  Normally they were often tied up when she was working but she wasn't here to work.  Even though she had her bag on her shoulder and Albert with her, she was here because she had been asked to be.

He's here.  He's alive.  He's okay.

Every time he breathed, his body brushed hers, and every time she breathed, it was the same.  A constant reaffirmation that he was living and breathing.  It was unhealthy, in the back of her mind she knew that it was, that she needed to chill out.  He was alive, he was perfect, he was here.  But, the irrational fear of him disappearing, of this having all been some fucked up dream, of her just fucking hallucinating this shit again.  She had heard his voice in her mind for fucking days.  She had thought she heard him so many times and turned around to realize he was gone.  Again, he was gone. 

Blue blinked and refocused herself.  She couldn't do this, not here, not now.  She had to push the pain away and save it for later.  She could break down later.  When there wasn't a fucking audience.  That was when she could finally break down.  Though, she hadn't yet, not .. not since he was alive and carried her to sickbay.  Not since he handed her off and she viciously attacked the doctor trying to help her.  She remembered all of it with glaring clarity. 

Get your shit together Blue Tiran.

It seemed that Elro had been offered the Chief Medical position.  Lucky fucker... Blue thought to herself, though she figured Elro could likely hear her she shot him a teasing grin.  It wasn't that she was jealous he was a Chief, she had been one on the Endeavour.  But, she was jealous he had shit to do.  Shit to keep him busy.  He hadn't been on the Versant.  He hadn't been in the hell hole, and he wasn't seen as mentally unstable.  He got to go to work, and that was what she envied him for.  She was aching to get her fingers around the impulse drives and the dilithium core on a ship of this fucking size.

The Captain apologized for pulling them into a meeting so soon after getting off the Versant.  Yeah you broke up my fucking party... I was going to get a Vulcan very fucking drunk, record it and everything...  Mentally, she was tired, and she wanted to curl up with Ranaan and go to sleep, to make love, to enjoy life again.  She wanted to eat his food, she wanted to fucking work and she wanted Ranaan to quit watching her with those fucking eyes that said he wasn't sure what the fuck to do with her.  She was wounded, hurt, and she was different.  She knew that, no one on the Versant could have come back the same as they had left.  Too much shit had gone down.

Ives mentioned that there was something they should all know, and Ranaan had wanted her and Cross to hear it as well.  Cyrstalline blue eyes shifted over to her fiance, her blue and meteorite ring shimmered slightly in the overhead lighting resting next to his hand on the arm of the chair.  Her brow rose.  Ives mentioned that this new threat... great another fucking one... was something that they might have heard about through other abductees.  Blue rose her brow.  Nope, it wasn't a kumbaya moment there Cap, sure as fuck your campfire wasn't cozy either.  Still, she said none of this out loud and just waited for Elro to get after this next doom deal.

Elro stood, looking a bit green around the gills, and Blue settled back in her seat watching.  Hearing the gentle mechanical whine as Albert turned his head to allow for Elro to be in his visual imput sensor range and camera detection allocation.  They spoke about a parasite.  Can I fuck it up under my boot? she wondered.  In Texas, there were huge ass cockroaches that were called tree roaches by Scientific Elite.  Most people called them Evil Mother Fuckers and they were killed without any thought by the Stomping Shoe Death of Doom and Destruction leaving a smear of Evil Entrails on the floor as a sign to the others.  Enter Not.  Somehow, if a boot was the solution she doubted that Elro would need to practice his public speaking skills.

He began to speak about a Doctor Nicander who had been truly fucked up and that Ranaan had been taken to see him.  Apparently who ever this doctor was, he should be dead.  But he wasn't, at least that was the most condensed version of the fucking long ass thing that Elro was spouting with all his fancy words and research.  I wonder if people zone out like this when I go into Engineer Genius Mode.  Then there was some sort of surgery, or autopsy, which caused Blue's dark brow to raise.  They removed a bunch of vital body parts and gave him some .. fancy new ones or something.  After they had played Mambo Number 5 with his interior parts he had woken up and was already chatty with people. 

There was something about a parasite, and that she assumed it wasn't found.

There was no physical proof of these parasites.  There was nothing to show what they were, how they attached, or what they could do other than push the body past it's normal parameters.  Not something she really wanted to think about at the moment.  She didn't want to think about something invading a body that could not be found.. taken out.. or killed.  Her eyes shifted after Elro finished his speech and she looked over at the Captain who was currently in their female form and seemed to be waiting until all the shit had been said before she dove into the cluster fuck they now found themselves in.

“What the fuck does this actually mean?”  she asked the people in the room in general.  “We have undetectable ass-worms that make you fucking superman and you're impenetrable to all ailments and impalement?  I get this is some sort of a threat, and I'm assuming we haven't gotten to the 'you're fucked' portion of this conversation.. is this what the Theurgy is working on?  I'm not a doctor or a scientist.  You need a focused laser extraction tool, I'm your girl, but I'm not sure what my purpose is here.” 

She wasn't being crass.  She was being honest, brutally so, with her regular Blue flavor.  She hoped this wasn't what she thought itwas.  Some kind of undetectable bad guy that could infest anyone without their knowledge or yours. 

What if Ran lived only to be taken out be a super human parasitic ass worm?  I guess... being impenetrable would take some worry off my table.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #14
[ Lt. Cross | Captain’s Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @BZ @TWilkins
[Show/Hide]Cross had glanced around the room as he and Blue entered, finding Ducote and Doctor Kobol  both present with Captain Ives. As Ives offered a mixture of greeting and apology, Cross simply gave a slight nod. Ives explained that Kobol  was to be the Theurgy’s new CMO, at which point Cross gave Kobol  a nod as well, a silent congratulations. Captain Ives mentioned something about their previous CMO being one of the infested, whatever that meant, and then asked Kobol  to go over a report for their benefit.

Cross tried to follow along with Kobol  as he spoke, though the Vulcan had little in the way of medical expertise, and found himself struggling to keep up. He grown up as little more than a lab rat, and had been taught little about the experiments that had been performed on him. Having only been properly educated after his liberation, and then in an intense and accelerated manner, the better part of medicine was lost on him. There was talk of autopsies, shock, death, and grievous injury, all terms Cross understood, but the context made little sense to him. Cross was able to follow enough to understand that the Doctor was talking about one man, presumably Ives’ former Chief Medical Officer, and that the man was still alive despite the serious nature of the damage reported by Kobol . The man surely should have been dead.

”What the fuck does this actually mean?” Blue asked, giving voice to the same sentiments that were presently running through Cross’ own head. ”We have undetectable ass-worms that make you fucking superman and you’re impenetrable to all ailments and impalements?”

Ok, maybe not Cross’ exact sentiments. The Vulcan couldn’t help but grin at Blue’s summary of the details. Straight, to-the-point, and with a splash of vulgarity thrown in for good measure. Cross waited as Blue continued, then finally spoke.

”To be frank, Captian Ives, I’m not sure what I’m doing here either. Unless you’re planning on having the person in question put out an airlock and torpedoed to see if that will kill the host, then I don’t see what I can hope to add.” Cross glanced at Kobol , then Ducote, before returning his gaze to Ives. ”I mean no disrespect, Captain, I simply mean to say that I’m no Doctor. Even Doctor Kobol  seems more than a little baffled by this, and he’s infinitely more versed in medical matters than myself.” Cross shrugged again, staring at Ives with his pale, unblinking gaze. ”How many of these “infested” do you have aboard?” Cross asked, leaning back in his chair and raising his arms. He caught himself, and sat staring at his hand and stump for a moment. He had been about to interlace his fingers, as he often did when in such a meeting, but now realized he lacked the fingers to do so. He settled on lowing his hands to his lap, one hand on his knee and the stump simple resting on his thigh. Finally he looked back to the Captian, asking his next question. ”Does the rest of Starfleet know about this threat?”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #15
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

He had a fairly strong flashback to senior staff meetings on the Endeavour. Blue's particular brand of 'polite enquiry' was generally something of an acquired taste, even if Amasov had never batted an eye at it within or without. After a day of rollercoaster emotions, and an horrible week prior, it was a poignant reminder of 'home'. Somewhere he was unlikely to see again, if he were to allow his cynicism to have a say.

Enough had changed. Blue's trauma, Cross' arm and genetics... not to mention everything else that had happened lately. And now this new information. A context for the scenario. A true test.

"You're both here," Ducote put in, "because I want you to know what we've been doing. Why we didn't come for you. The Borg invasion was part of the parasites'... plan, for lack of a better word, for all that they're essentially beings of weaponised entropy. If we hadn't have stuck around to prevent it... well, we'd be having this conversation courtesy of a Vinculum."

The commander glanced at the captain, to see if her body language indicated that she wanted to resume or was content to let him present it. Perhaps I am slipping into old habits already. Amasov had been a man of... efficient communication. Few wasted words. And if someone else could get the briefing done without him having to deliver it outside of any pertinent or classified details, all the better.

"As far as they know, Nicander was alone. But as for the 'rest of Starfleet'..." Ducote recalled Wenn Cinn's disastrous info-dump on Chancellor Martok before the second Vector's battle with the Negh'Var. "Command has been compromised by these things. From what I heard from the crew, Admiral Sankolov is also infested, along with no doubt more than a few others. This ship discovered them at Earth, and has been hunted since. Because let's face it, no one starts a run for the Romulan border from Sol when you could have simply stayed on Romulus after arriving on otherwise legitimate business months prior."

He looked back at the oaken eyes of the Chameloid on the other side of the desk. It appeared he'd convinced himself after all; too many of the pieces fit together too neatly for his investigator's brain to ignore them.

"Right, Captain?"

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

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #16
[ Captain Ives | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat @TWilkins @BZ @Fife
The Betazoid's account of the surgery and the subsequent conclusions drawn from it were quite on point, and did not delve too much into the medical aspects - the ramifications of the findings speaking for themselves. Blue Tiran and Cross had their questions, colourful as they were since they didn't see the whole picture, until Ducote illustrated it. How Starfleet Command had been compromised. That would likely make them understand that the issue went far beyond this one Doctor aboard the Theurgy.

Ducote also commented on the flight from Earth, which actually made Jien's face show a faint yet bitter smile. "Indeed, and since the point where we fled the Sol System in November of 2380, we've had countless opportunities to actually cross the RNZ," she said, and leaned back a little, looking from Ducote to the two other officers in the room, "but we never did. Even at Starbase 84, where our Code 1 message about the Infested was compromised, we fled in the opposite direction - hiding alone in the Azure Nebula instead of forcing Sankolov to dare the Romulan fleet."

The folly of not heading to safety amongst allies ought to puncture the lies about them being Romulan traitors, but Tiran and Cross had to know the larger scope before she told them her intentions. She rose to her feet, and inclined her head to Kobol  in gratitude for his presentation. "Please, have a seat, Doctor, and thank you." She then spoke of the larger picture briefly, slowly pacing the small room. "The Theurgy has been on the defensive at every turn while I've been in command, protecting the ship and the crew because of the truth we alone have carried. We've suffered losses, because at every engagement with Sankolov's pursuing fleet, we have fought to survive, and to spare as many lives as possible in doing so. Starfleet Command - and the Federation News Network through them - have cast our actions in an unflattering light to be more convincing in their claim about our allegiance. You may have seen the bodies, and the wreckage, but not our actual tactics. I'll have the tactical logs made available to you... but before then, I have a request."

Coming to stand with the viewport behind her back, Jien faced the group in the room - her gaze primarily on the two most newly arrived aboard. "The Engineering and Tactical Departments have both suffered critical losses during the past five months. While Chief O'Connell - who is now running things in Engineering - is a very competent man, he has neither wish nor rank to continue being the Acting Chief Engineer of a ship this size. Therefore, Commander Tiran, since I have asked Commander Ducote if he'd consider being my new First Officer, I would like to ask if you have any interest in serving as my new Chief Engineer?"

She turned her oaken eyes to Cross next. "I already know how you're both able to preform under the worst possible circumstances, and if you were able to successfully use the Versant's tactical systems - Lieutenant Cross - despite those severe circumstances, I have great faith in your ability to use a standard LCARS system. Furthermore, I've reviewed your file, and seen how you've served as a Lieutenant for almost four years. So, I think you might be qualified for a field promotion to Lieutenant Commander, and I would only ask that you take the Bridge Officer test at noon tomorrow. If you pass it, you'd be the highest ranking Tactical Officer aboard. That is, if you're interested to be this ship's Chief Tactical Officer. Unless you've already heard of it, this is the same kind of offer I made Lieutenant Akoni, since he requested to be my Chief of Security."

There was a lot to be said, ranging from Cross' service aboard the Harbinger, to how Ives still had faith in Lt. T'Less even though she just recently was brought back from stasis. If Cross failed the test, she'd ask her to take it instead, but there were several factors weighing into asking Cross instead. Also, in Medical, the likelihood of bridge duty is rather small, and it was evident how a test or a promotion held lesser relevance for Doctor Kobol . Overall, the Theurgy needed new blood. Fresh eyes, and spirits less dampened by Thea's voyage. The present officers in the ready room were tightly knit under the late Captain Amasov, and in order to get the most out of them during the continuation of the mission, she hoped they would feel bolstered by the presence of old faces alongside the new ones.

Jien folded her hands behind her back. "My condolences about the Endeavour and Captain Amasov. I may have lost the Imperator during the Dominion War, along with my Captain, but I also know how well liked Amasov was. Still, Command has been usurped by an alien threat, and our brothers and sisters in the fleet are ignorant of the conspiracy. Already, the Infested have been seeding conflict and strife through their influence. Unopposed, their lies might incite a new galactic war. We may have a new ally in the Klingon Empire, and together with High Chancellor Martok, we will make sure the truth is heard. This does not, however, mitigate this ship's need for a strong chain-of-command, and unbiased view - unburdened by months of persecution."

She hoped the situation had been made clear enough, even though there was plenty more to learn about the threat at hand.

"So what say you?" she asked the officers of the Endeavour, who had lost their ship, and now had to come to terms with the enormity of what may await them all. "There is a shuttle leaving the upper shuttle bay at midnight, taking you off the ship and back to Federation space. A chance to return to friends and family, and perhaps to try and learn more about the enemy there. Alternatively, you stay, and lend me and this crew a hand. The choice is entirely yours, and I would never begrudge you the choice of leaving. All I ask is that I have your answer before 2100 hrs."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #17
[LCdr Blue Tiran | What Fuckery is This | Gifts of the Magi | Fucking Ass Worms | Sphincter Clenchin' Time, Boys]
@Fife @Top Hat @Auctor Lucan

See, Cross knew.

They didn't fucking belong here.  Her blue eyes shifted over to the Vulcan that occupied the seat to the other side of her own.  They had bonded, heavily, in a way that was odd but comforting.  She had heard about people that just clicked and not necessarily in a romantic way.  That was how she felt with Cross.  Perhaps it was because they were Versant Refugees and they had seen and been through so much shit together and it just formed bonds that you couldn't easily break.  Or, maybe they were just destined to be friends once they gave each other the time of fucking day.  Or rather, Blue pulled her head out of Engineering long enough not to be a heinous bitch for her entire day.  But, she was glad that it had happened because Cross filled an odd void in her life that she hadn't thought was even there.  She loved Ranaan, he was her air, her life, her soul.  Cross was the one she could fight back to back with, bicker with, drink with, and get into trouble with.

He meant no disrespect, she didn't either, this was Blue.  The Captain likely knew it, or she/he would soon because Blue didn't hold punches.  She hadn't on the Versant but the fully loaded Blue hadn't always been around on the Versant with her weight of grief and the fact that she needed sleep and food.  It was hard for Blue Tiran to have a sufficient level of snark when she was reminded every minute that her fiance was space dust.

Blue's hand shifted over and slid into Ran's large warm one.  Callouses that had always been there, likely from his days as a Sec officer, and his continued abuse of punching bags when he needed to work through shit.  She loved every single one of them.  Her own hands were a testament to her work, the scars and callouses rivaled his own, but she didn't mind them either.  She loved their rough hands, and her finger tips brushed against some of his harder callouses grating her own against his.  Connecting to him as best as she could in such a public setting. 

Cross asked a good question though, and her eyes shifted back to the forefront of their little pow wow.  It was Ran, not the Captain, who spoke moments later.  Blue's crystalline eyes shifted to her fiance, and stared at him in a non-creepy way as he told her that this was why they hadn't come for her.  The color, what little there was, drained from Blue's face as she stared, now past, Ducote.  Why we didn't come for you.. repeated itself in Ran's voice over and over and over again in her mind.  She shook her head once, a little twitch to get her evil inner bitch to shut the fuck up.  The Borg and the Parasites were working in tandem and that was a level of fuckery that even Blue could not fully wrap her head around.

Ran went on to tell them about how the Theurgy had figured out about this on Earth and Nicander was the sole infested at the moment.  However, they were on the run because the parasites that had infiltrated up to the Admiral fucking Sankolov – Stankolov – had been trying to kill the Theurgy for knowing the fucking Secret.  Her brows rose, she wondered how far they had gone.

What about his.. dad?

She didn't want to think about Erich, the man had a giant stick up his ass on his good days and a raging fistula on others.  But, she liked the man, they had a love-hate-tollerance relationship that suited them both just fine.  She liked having him to pick on and she had a feeling that he liked the fact that she didn't back down despite the fact that (when in uniform) he out ranked her.  She didn't give a shit, if the word Captain scared her she would never be able to be herself.  No, she didn't care if Captain -desk job- Ducote, liked her or not but she had a feeling he was just shit at showing it.  As evident but actually offering to walk her down the mother fucking isle should she ever actually don a wedding dress and not light afire when stepping into a church.

“so what is the fucking point then?  You're running with knowledge that would bring the Federation to it's fucking knees.  No one believes you because that means the Federation is weak sauce and we can't have anything other than Tabasco shit right up in here because we're the fleet, the elite fleet.  Or some shit.  Do you have a purpose to this fucking pleasure cruise … are you waiting for STANKolov to actually shit his parasite back out?  Surely there is an endgame here?”

Apparently Engineering and Tactical needed help.  No shit, Sherlock, what was your first fucking clue?  She sighed softly and pinched the Bridge of her nose with her free hand.  The fingers toying with Ranaan's callouses slid between his fingers and squeezed his hand for comfort for a moment.  She was being a raging bitch.  Lack of sleep, food, and the fact that she had barely seen her fiance before he was called the fuck to a meeting, and now here she was in another one.  She understood they had shit to work out and she knew that there was a shit ton of work to do but was it so fucking hard to give these fuckers a little time to chill? 

I didn't even get my fucking second drink!

Ives continued stating that the current guy that was running the shit storm on this ship had no desire to continue.  She didn't get what he was jabbing at, normally quick on the upswing, she was exhausted and she was really fucking pissed off that there was yet another fucking problem.  She had just fucking got herself and others rescued from the Death Ship and now they were trading it for a Parasitic Alien Invasion of Crazed Buttworms. 

Saturday Night movie special, 7pm, local standard time folks.

Ives mentioned that he had already offered Ranaan the first officer position.  Blue's head swiveled around and her eyes widened.  He hadn't told her, and she wasn't sure if that had just fucking happened or if that was earlier and he opted not to tell her.  But, she was wavering on a thin bladed edge as it fucking was and now it seemed that things were changing again.  Then, Ives called her attention back to him/her and her eyes shifted slowly away from her fiance as she looked at the woman as she offered her the position of Chief Engineer.  Her eyes widened. 

Holy fuck!  Yes!  A thousand and one times... wait.  If we're on the run from the fucking Fleet that means we can't go home.  That means we can't even talk to them because they could trace that shit right back to our.... ohhhh fuck.  Her eyes shifted back to Ranaan while Ives was making the offer to Cross.  She swallowed heavily and her brow rose in silent communication.  He gave her one raised finger and a quick nod.  She gave a quick nod back. 

“I'd like to talk to my fiance about this shit before I jump in.” she said sounding so much less excited about it than she was.  Ducote would know how excited she was, he likely felt the wash of happy and elated emotions brushing against his own with the mere thought of getting her hands on a ship like this.  But, they came as a matched pair, she and him, and she didn't want to push him into anything.  Her dreams were only going to get better here, but he would lose his family and in a way she would too.  She didn't give two fucks about the family she left the fuck behind.  They abandoned her before she was double-digit old, but Ranaan needed his family.  “Thank you, for the offer.” she said in addition at the end.  Her leg was bouncing with excitement and pent up energy.  They had til 2100 hours before everything had to be decided.  That was enough time, they weren't going to be able to take days on this, her gut said they would be staying.  But, she also knew Ran actually valued his family and it was something they were going to have to take into consideration.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #18
[ Lt. Cross | Captain’s Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Top Hat @TWilkins
[Show/Hide]Cross had listened to Ducote’s explanation of the situation within Starfleet with a growing sense of concern, feeling shock at the news that the highest levels of command had be infiltrated by the threat of the infested, though he still didn’t quite understand what exactly the infested were. Regardless, he trusted Commander Ducote, and he trusted his friends. If Kai had already signed on, going to far as to request the Security Chief position, then Cross knew what he was going to do even before Ives began speaking again.

The Theurgy’s Captain praised them for their efforts aboard the Versant, though Cross paid little attention to the words. He might not be a proper Vulcan, all absorbed in logic and high-and-mighty, but he had little use for praise. Blue spoke up next, voicing questions in her usual manner about Theurgy’s goal. He waited patiently as she spoke, asking for time and voicing a desire to discuss the matter with her fiancée. Cross knew that she and Ducote were a package deal, and that she would never risk losing him again. He’d been surprised when she’d shown up in sickbay to visit him, having not expected the engineer to let the Endeavour’s XO out of her sight for some time to come. As Blue finished, Cross turned his attention back to Captain Ives and studied her for a long moment.

”If Kai trusts you enough to sign on as your Chief of Security, and Doctor Kobol  as your Chief Medical Officer, then that’s enough for me.” Cross said, his pale eyes meeting Ives’ with their usual unblinking stare. ”And if the Federation is under threat, then there’s only one course of action for me. I owe the Federation everything, and I won’t turn my back on it now.”

The words were only too true. Cross had been a lab rat before the Federation has granted him freedom, lifting him out of the dark hell that had been his life in the Cardassian camp. The Federation had freed him, healed him, educated him, and given him a purpose in life. It had given him a name.

Were it not for the Federation, and the officer of Starfleet, Cross would still just be a number in the Cardassian experiment records, a curiosity to be poked, prodded and tortured.

All these thoughts raced through Cross’ head in the moments before he spoke, addressing Captain Ives. ”I accept your offer, Captain. I’ll take the Bridge Officer test tomorrow with Lieutenant Akoni. If successful, I’ll serve under you in your mission to free Starfleet and the Federation from this threat.” Cross paused a moment, the idea of being the Chief Tactical Officer of a ship like the Theurgy seeming a large undertaking. She was much larger and more advanced than the Endeavour had been, and his failure to defend the Endeavour in her final engagement weighed on his mind. ”I won’t let you down, Captain.”

The words were as much a vow to himself as a statement to Ives.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1930] A Toast To Amasov

Reply #19
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

So that was that. Another of 'his' officers, signing on to the renegades' cause. Ha. Not even calling them traitors unconsciously any more. And Blue clearly wanted to, only a pending conversation with him staying her hand. He himself was wavering... only some lingering assumption of paternal disapproval, and a nagging fear that what if the Theurgy really was on the wrong side of things and that he had been too dumb to see through their lies, was preventing him now.

Ducote stared into space, his gaze low, as he wondered. His father would disapprove of whatever he did. That was just what Captain Erich Ducote would do, as inevitably as the sun rose in the east over Earth. His mother... was harder to decipher. She'd probably be able to interrogate his intentions easily enough (given proximity, etc), but that still left room for being wrong, even when she would be as aware as anyone that sometimes there were no truly optimal choices to be made. All of which was simply retreading increasingly old ground. Again.

Hadiya might have called it ruminating.

Belatedly, he realised he was staring at Cross' stump. A very visible reminder and metaphor for what else the Endeavour had lost recently. Tearing his gaze away, he looked at Blue, then back at Ives. The hybrid sighed, then planted his hands on his knees and levered himself upright.

"You'll have our answer soon, Captain," he promised, straightening his jacket. "I'll let the Niger civilians know that they should report to the shuttle bay before the departure time."


There hadn't been long between the original meeting with Ives, followed by the addition of Blue and Cross, and the advertised deadline. But there had also been a lot of ground to cover with Blue. Ducote was cutting it close, but he was in plenty of time to make sure that his - that their - seats wouldn't be left empty, filled either by them or by people who could go in their stead.

Ives' comm chirped. [Captain Ives; Commander Ducote... We're going to stay. I'll see you on Alpha shift tomorrow.] A gap without a signoff. Perhaps he was going to say something else?

[Ducote out.]

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

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