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PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @JacenSoloDjo

Narrowing his eyes at the stack of PADDs on the conference table before him, Cross briefly wondered if any of these men or women understood exactly what they were getting into. As much as he appreciated their contact in Starfleet continuing to ferry competent personnel to assist and, sadly, sometimes replace, Cross couldn’t help but wonder if the man or woman sometimes felt like they were Death, complete with a scythe. Though officially cut off from the Federation, they still had enough contacts with non-compromised individuals to report their losses from time to time so “King” would well know their casualty rate even as s/he recruited more meat fodder for the cause.

Cross rolled his shoulders, closing his eyes for a moment as he sought to push the beginnings of a headache far from his consciousness. Cross leaned back in his chair, opening his eyes and moving his gaze over the table to the door as he awaited the first arrival. A few new transfers had been instructed to report directly to their department heads while others would be ferried to him for assignment. They’d only just arrived at the designated coordinates to meet Martok, and now the IKS Vask'at would rendezvous long enough to transport new personnel. It was his job to sort the fresh blood for the upcoming missions, and he’d chosen this conference room for a reason. As soon as he finished meeting, greeting, and shuffling the newcomers, they’d separate vectors and get underway. With the battle bridge of Vector Two just a few steps away, Cross felt this was the most appropriate place for the meeting.

It didn’t take long to sort the PADDs containing service records according to department and rank, a fact that was both useful for the time constraint and yet disheartening. As much as he, along with the captain and Stark, hoped to be so successful in the coming missions they had little loss of life, the reality told a different story. There would be blood. And they’d need all the help they could get to recover and keep going once the dust settled.

Re: Ch 3 S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #1
[Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz‍ 

[You know, you were supposed to actually come home for a bit first,] Charlie had chastised over comms after learning she wasn't coming back to Earth after her stint on the starbase, as if he were her father not her cousin. Kath had simply smirked and shrugged. She really did try to get home at least once a year. She supposed this year it was going to have to be a tiny bit delayed. With so many things happening, she had doubted she was going to get home anytime soon to begin with. With her dossier, she had been alert since the Paris bombing of possibly being dragged right back into 'the slog'. 

"Yeah, well. Something came up. There's a reason Papi always said keep a bug-out bag packed," Lieutenant Katherine MacFarlane, a decade and a half into her career of Starfleet had more reason than many to expect unexpected things to happen. 

[You know I kinda hated that part of growing up. Making us refill it with clothes that actually fit every year,] Charlie had mildly complained.

And packed bug-out bag Kath had. The bag was as long as her torso and in the rucksack style. She preferred it compared to trying to lug a metal footlocker all over the place. And besides, she really didn't carry a lot of personal effects anyway. Any customization of her quarters tended to happen through replicated items to match the mood of the ship she was on. Or, at least, that was her explanation whenever anyone asked. And not many actually asked (which was often disappointing). 

Kath was still kind of mourning the fact there had been not a single kadra leg on the IKS Vask'at. It had more than amused her Klingon bunkmate while traveling to rendezvous with the Theurgy that the Lieutenant's only complaint had been about that. Not the beds. Not the gagh. The lack of kadra legs. What can she say? She developed a taste while getting her ass actively and consistently kicked by her Klingon hybrid friend on the Hamburg. (She was sure NuQach would also have found it amusing that all that negative reenforcement hadn't actually worked to prevent Kath from having a taste for Klingon food.)

Bug-out bag slung securely over one shoulder, she still sometimes found herself missing the Hamburg and her security gold uniform. The red didn't feel right sometimes, but she would eventually get used to it. Just like she eventually got used to so many other things about her life. Like the fact her father seemed to have less and less time for the family as he got more and more involved in HQ things, especially after the whole shitshow in Paris. Her last message to him from when she was on Starbase 36 had yet to be given a reply which worried her more than frustrated her. He had never really been distant before. Her mother assured her he was just busy. She remembered rolling her eyes then snarking 'Well he could just say that for himself' which had not gone over well. 

Rubbing the edges of the large-ish burn scar on her wrist, she found her way easy enough to the conference room. She had not been on a Federation starship in years (only catching runabouts and 'civilian' craft), but had done all the required reading of the ship type that she had been allowed access to with her clearance (nevermind if she had really wanted to she probably could have gone beyond her current clearance but that's a bit of abuse of power now isn't it? Not a good look). Needless to say, she was going to have fun learning the corridors of a new ship and it would be a fair sight faster than learning the layout of a Starbase. Especially considering she was sure even after four years that she had not actually seen every part of Starbase 36 and was still getting turned around about the time she was getting tapped for a new assignment. 

As she stood just within the conference room, brown eyes alighted on Cross. She lowered her bag off her shoulder and half-dropped it to the floor with a soft thunk. An eyebrow rose just a bit, not quite reaching her hairline that had been recently put back into its short high and tight style in 'celebration' of a new assignment. Look your best, put your best foot forward, keep your shirt tucked in, and such. Her hands moved to rest behind her, at the small of her back. 

"Lieutenant Katherine MacFarlane, formerly of Starbase 36. I have many names but go by Kath. Permission to come aboard, Sir?" she really wouldn't be here otherwise, would she? "So, having a bit of a spin with Regulation 13982?" That was a joke. The question became which part was meant to be funny, which part was she riffing on. 

Regulation 13982: A Starfleet captain can conscript almost any person into service during a time of war. (In essence she's testing the joke level and/or being self-aware of just what she's jumped into being something you only grab people like her for.)
"And you know this how?" "I'm a spy, remember?"
Lt. Katherine “Darkstar Foxtrot” MacFarlane, Asst. Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy (Vector 3)

Re: Ch 3 S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #2
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @JacenSoloDjo

The dark-haired woman who confidently strode through the door had Cross immediately doing two things. One, grabbing the PADD with a file matching her appearance, and two, standing up to wave her closer. She was older than him by a few years and had quite a record of medals and ribbons to show for it, making Cross wonder why she hadn’t advanced to his rank or higher. He knew not every officer was cut out for or even wanted promotions. Some were truly better suited for support roles than for being the head, but others were and had either been overlooked and bypassed or had earned a reputation that kept them down. Considering she wasn’t in a diplomatic position, what he’d read from her record merited no reason to be held back, at least none that he could readily see.

“I’d rather we not go by the designation assigned to me in the Cardassia lab where I was created, so we can just stick to Cross.” Gesturing for her to take the seat across from him, Cross glanced at the PADD briefly before also taking a seat. His lips pulled back in a mirthless smile as he responded to her earlier quip, “Be it dark humor or reality, taking a walk down to the memorial wall next to the arboretum will give you a clue as to why we would use Regulation 13982, were we still officially sanctioned by Starfleet.”

He didn’t wait for a possible sullenness to fall over either of them; they didn’t have the time for it. Instead, he ran a finger up the PADD, moving the information along, before speaking again.

“From your record, I see that this will be your first posting where we employ the multivector assault mode. While we share some characteristics with the Odyssey and Prometheus class starships, all three sections are equipped with independent warp-capable flight and combat capabilities. Since our…interactions with the Savi, many of our systems have likewise been upgraded under their supervision. In about an hour, I will depart with the Ranger, which is vector two and three put together, while the Helmet, vector 1, remains here to rendezvous with Chancellor Martok and Empress Donatra. It may take some time to get used to the terminology and which name is associated with which vector, but from what I can tell you are a quick learner. Highly adaptable as well.”

Cross gave her record one more quick glance before shifting it to the side and clasped his hands together on the table.

“Your quarters are on deck 7, vector 1. This is convenient as you’ll be remaining with the Helmet to assist with what we can only assume to be an…interesting time between the Klingons and Romulans.” Tipping his head to the side, Cross allowed himself a moment to imagine what sort of chaos would undoubtedly unfold once all three groups were together. He couldn’t help the subtle sigh at the thought. Bringing his attention back to the woman across from him, Cross angled a small smile towards her. “I’m sure you have questions.”

Re: Ch 3 S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #3
[Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @Ellen Fitz‍ 

Kath was on the one hand relieved she didn't have to go through the same rigamarole she always did when it came to her surname not quite matching the face or the slight accent when speaking Federation Standard. Or, indeed, a drilling about her HQ adjutant father. It was easy to get bogged down in her family tree, easy for people to expect certain things out of her when they compared her to MacFarlane Senior, if they even made the connection at all. Her dossier of course listed such pertinent information. Sometimes she liked to joke about the fact her security clearance was higher than her father's. Which, it was. But he didn't know that and neither did a lot of people she spoke to. 

"Fair enough, Commander."

Likewise, she wasn't someone who was bound to dig into someone's background without permission, or reason to do it (such as trust or the lack thereof). Even though she could in theory, didn't mean she should and she understood the inherent responsibility she had to use her 'powers' sparingly. Nothing about the Theurgy or the short and sweet dossier on her superior officer had given her reason or rhyme to do it. She knew there was definitely a story behind 'Cardassian lab' but she did not show much interest in getting more about that like one might assume with her background. At least, not yet. In this case, if she was meant to know she would be told.

"Please, don't misunderstand. I've been in the trenches before." And sent people into them. "Indeed. I wouldn't be here if the need were not all that great. Not so abruptly and urgently that I wasn't allowed my yearly furlough." As many a Vulcan would say: Do not mistake my composure for ease. Sometimes the only thing you never had in short supply was jokes, gallows humor. She did make a note her tiny joke had fallen slightly flatter than she meant.

Running a hand through short cropped hair and yet not ruffling a single portion out of place, she nudged her bag forward with the side of her boot before taking the invitation to sit. Her legs crossed at the ankle and one foot jiggled a little so she didn't turn to drumming her fingers on the table. Instead, she crossed her arms politely on the tabletop, her shoulders relaxed. Everything about her-- relaxed. Almost unnervingly so. Her speaking tone changed, as well, serious and relatively devoid of emotion.

"Si. The Hamburg was Galaxy-class, the Augusta was Ambassador-class. The MVAM system seems similar-- in theory-- to the Galaxy-class's separation just on steroids. Now that I'm aboard I will, of course, better familiarize myself with the MVAM. I will obviously appreciate any technical manuals on the topic." Kath did not bother to mention that she had been trying for the Enterprise-- and yet had been shuffled off to the other two ships and now the Theurgy. Could have been worse, she could have found herself on an Intrepid-class. Despite the acclaim of Voyager, she would prefer not being on a class of ship that tended to be out and about away from the action because it was designed that way. She was at her best when she could have action with her adventure. 

A smile almost formed on her face but she stifled it. "By the end of the week I'll likely have it all memorized in every language I speak," she stated. Not a brag, just a fact and deployed that way. With just the slightest edge of humor. Bragging would have been putting a number in there. A pause, dark eyes squinting just the slightest in a look of concentration. "I will need a listing of the system's changes if they affect how I interface with my station, if that isn't too much trouble." The last thing she needed was another terminal blowout because she didn't have all the information on said terminal rather than the fact that damage had caused a feedback loop and then a violent explosion. She rubbed the scars on her palms against her elbows at the memory/thought. 

She wasn't certain she liked the idea of being on the same deck as the deuterium tanks, if her quick glance at the deck postings while in transit had been correct. But so long as it wasn't right next door, she would be alright, in more ways than one (hopefully). She swapped her legs around under the table as she let herself ponder a moment. 'I'm sure you have questions' was always a tough one. She often found herself thinking of all the questions later if she didn't come into things with them itching at her brain. And yet. 

"I assume you are aware I fought beside the Klingons during the Dominion War. So the only question in my mind would be whether or not I should be expecting to have that experience and my ability to speak Klingon used during what can only be a rather tense and awkward affair? Or, 'interesting' as you put it. Or am I meant to simply... hobnob as Papi puts it?" Eyes glinted with an unknown emotion-- similar to amusement or cautious mirth. It did not show itself in her words, however. "I also imagine you might have questions for me depending on whether or not you got my fully unredacted dossier." She assumed given the situation every single dotted I and crossed T had been unveiled. Maybe Captain's Eyes Only, but usually when considering Tactics it was good for at least the department head to know that they had been gifted a multi-talented analyst and sharpshooter who recalibrated phaser banks and torpedo launchers for fun. Maybe not the full reports of what she had been a part of, but enough. She knew sometimes it could be equal parts unnerving and surprising for someone of her size and build to have the dossier she did. Everyone had their own preconceived notion of her job posting on DS18. Kath rarely disabused people of the notions. Sometimes it was fun to be that person who could be cracking wise, then remarking 'I can write your obituary in eight different languages after I kill you one of five ways with my COMMbadge' and people thinking she can't possibly be anywhere close to capable of that given her size and joking demeanor two seconds ago. 

"And I also expect being the newbie I'll be given the graveyard shift?" As if she had a problem with that; she did her best work in the dead of night with no distractions. Even if 'dead of night' was slightly relative on a starship. She really was trying to be less of a Gamma Shift fiend, though. Honest.
"And you know this how?" "I'm a spy, remember?"
Lt. Katherine “Darkstar Foxtrot” MacFarlane, Asst. Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy (Vector 3)

Re: Ch 3 S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #4
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @JacenSoloDjo

Cross snorted at her ‘trenches’ comment. “Yes, lieutenant, I am well aware of your time in the trenches. Not to trivialize the reality behind the awards, but I must say, it's a good thing our medals don’t clink and jingle in this era, or else anytime you wore your full dress regs, they’d hear you coming a parsec away.” He glanced over her shoulder a moment to note whether there was someone else at the door waiting to be seen, then returned his full attention to MacFarlane. “I am always thankful when veterans join our ranks. Though many have been battle hardened through the shit we’ve had to live through, there are still more than a few onboard who struggle with the reality of our circumstances and could do well with more ‘trench time’ mentors like yourself.”

As MacFarlane spoke, adding in requests and inquires, Cross picked up his personal PADD and keyed in instructions.

“The technical manuals and the systems changes have been forwarded to the console in your quarters. Call me distracted by our upcoming vector separation, but the information is merely in Federation standard. Maybe after our mission, I could find an illegal Ferengi translation for you to chew on.” Setting the PADD back down, Cross took a deep breath. “Your history with the Klingons was one reason why I assigned you to remain with the Helmet. I believe your expertise will assist the negotiations. And as we are both well aware, neither the Klingons nor the Romulans have a stellar history of approaching the negotiation table without a few disgruntled members seeking to double-cross the leaders or sabotage the negotiations as a whole. We’ve already been given some indication that all is not peachy among Martok’s forces, and undoubtedly, the same will ring true for Donatra. Your unique skills will help keep the balance in favor of mission success.”

Her question regarding the shift had Cross glancing back at the PADD momentarily. “We are operating on four shifts right now to keep everyone as alert and ready as possible. You are on the Delta shift right now, but I can make a note if you’d prefer the Gamma shift.”

Re: Ch 3 S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #5
[Conference Lounge | Deck 8 | Vector 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @Ellen Fitz‍ 

For the first time, Kath seemed... not rattled but also not smug or dismissive. The record was what it was and yet... and yet. There was something there, a haunting in her soul. She had gotten off a lot better than many of the people she had served with, and it still settled over her at the most awkward of times. How to explain? The feeling was complicated. But her face only flashed from its calm for a split second and then it was like nothing had changed at all.

"Indeed. I keep them in the box they came in, in a drawer. They make a lot of noise in there when the ship shakes," she said, clearly joking but also not lying. "Half of them are wrong place right time," she added, and there was something in her voice that couldn't be exactly pinpointed. "I am who I am. If it wasn't me, it would be someone else with the same ribbon rack." Honestly, at this stage of her life she had been content to be in the background, sinking in her hours and just being the best Starfleet officer she could be. So she could have a dossier that wasn't considered exceptional just because her father was who he was. She wasn't a glory hound, and that had kept her in many peoples' good graces, as paradoxical that might sound. 

Her fingers drummed on her arms as she kept them folded politely on the tabletop. Kath didn't much like to talk about that part of her dossier. She did what she was told, what was right and she got rewarded with scars and a pretty little ribbon, and a story she never told except if she was so far into the bottle that she was on the floor (which was, honestly, a relative rarity; in fact she couldn't remember when she had been well and truly drunk). But then, the scars thing was entirely her fault for her thought process about them.

A pause then a chuckle, shrugging her shoulders. She didn't find herself as the teaching type, wasn't sure she actually had the temperament. Being on an even keel in the thick of it was one thing. Being able to sit and teach someone how to fire a phaser without flinching every time it did as it was told... But, monkey see monkey do. Maybe. Her age combined with experience that tended to be equivalent to someone far older than she was, meant she was not unaccustomed to taking some under her wing accidentally. "I'm not sure you'd want to make that my official reason for walking the corridors, but it's unavoidable they'll learn. In some way.

"Much appreciated. Standard is fine, but I'm sure I could actually translate some of it into Ferengi." Very little of it, but some. Her arms unfolded and she brushed a hand along the side of her head that was cropped extremely short to where it was almost a buzz. She liked the sensation of the hair there on her palm and it helped her think. "I'll be sure to add it to the database if I do," another joke. A computer could easily do the same thing with less man hours devoted to the task. But then, linguistics was her thing

"I guess it's a good thing I'm not planning to dress to the nines for this little get together." Look at her so cleverly referring to an earlier topic and flashing a smile wide enough for her canine teeth to be seen properly. "Yeah... If I had my druthers I would not have Klingons in the same room as Romulans, especially on a space-faring vessel." It was, as her mother would say: Muy mal. Very bad. "Martok's always had issues when it comes to him being Chancellor. Why should now be any different when a pledge of assistance is needed? I'll keep my ears out." And hopefully another war doesn't start right in front of the dinner table. She wouldn't ever consider herself an expert on either Klingon or Romulan politics, but she had heard much both from NuQach and channels that officially she had never been monitoring in the first place. (And yes she did make the connection of talking about Ferengi a few moments ago then making a crack about ears.) She wasn't nearly as familiar with the Romulan side of things. She would have to do a quick review before things got started in earnest. 

She pulled her arms back with a soft sound of fabric against polished wood as she sat up straighter in her seat, felt the scar across both of her shoulder blades stretch and ripple. "I assume there's been no specific chatter of possible trouble on either front. Just a general sensation? Anyone specifically I should try to keep my eye on?"

Kath's head canted slightly, studying the tabletop for a moment. "'preciate it. But, I don't actually have a firm preference. I'm fine with any duty shift. I was on Gamma at my last posting. My sleep schedule has always been flexible," she half-lied. She'd always been a night owl, when night actually meant something, anyway. But she would take any shift given and make no complaints. Because now wasn't the time for them. And she was telling the truth about being understanding if she got the shitty shifts by being new boots in the corridors. She could do Alpha, just make sure she's loaded up with coffee-and-chicory. But Delta? Delta was still plenty late at night. Delta still sucked for many people but not her. "Delta's fine." More than
"And you know this how?" "I'm a spy, remember?"
Lt. Katherine “Darkstar Foxtrot” MacFarlane, Asst. Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy (Vector 3)

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #6
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @JacenSoloDjo @TWilkins (@Dumedion since hottie Hauq was mentioned)

“Of the battle veterans on board, I cannot think of a one who has ever willingly worn the medals in public or shown them off like it was some primary school show-and-tell day. Fuck, if there were folks like that on board now? They’d have been humbled by circumstances into keeping a lid on such things. And you’re completely correct, if not you then someone else. At least, that’s the ideal we want on this ship. Just because we are operating outside of official Starfleet sanctions doesn’t mean we’re going to get lax on keeping up with training. Knowing that your squad mate is up to par with their training gives that little extra boost of confidence when facing the types of odds we’ve been facing. And that you’ve faced before.” Cross reached up, scratching behind his ear. “In my experience, people who want leadership and roles of influence are likely the last who should be in those positions. From where I’m sitting, your lack of interest or enthusiasm to throw clout around with the younger crew is precisely why you’ll do fine keeping an eye on them.”

MacFarlane seemed to pick up on his sarcasm without difficulty and responded in kind. Cross smiled. She would fit in nicely with the old guard while bringing in the much-needed new blood. When she asked about specific chatter for trouble, Cross’ smile fell and he shook his head.

“Our chief diplomat, Madsen, has a firm contact within the IDF who has been keeping an eye on our people when they’re on Qo’Nos and who also feeds intel that may impact our position. Colonel Hauq is his name, and while I’ve never met the man, he’s proven himself trustworthy, if not typical Klingon charmingly cantankerous. He tends to come out of the shadows and melt back into them, so I can’t guarantee that he’ll be among Martok’s group when they come aboard later, but if you get a chance to meet up with him, he’d be the one who knows the most about any potential threats.” He gave a mirthless chuckle. “And while she’s not in the Intelligence department, Madsen has a knack for discovering things and being in the middle of things, so she’d likely be another one to check in with, along with the Intelligence department as a whole. They’re on their game, good people.”

A blinking light at the door’s console alerted Cross that another new transfer was waiting in the corridor. While not wanting to rush MacFarlane, at the same time, he didin’t have time to dawdle.

“Good to know, lieutenant. Unless there’s anything else you’d like to discuss at this time, I believe you can dismiss to your quarters, get things settled, and then find a good window to watch the vectors separate. The Ranger will be getting underway in about an hour or less.”

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #7
[Conference Lounge | Deck 8 | Vector 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @TWilkins‍ @Ellen Fitz‍ // @Dumedion‍ 

There was a wry smile there on her face that did not reach her eyes. She had, more than once, run into people who questioned the medals and why she didn't seem to actually care. What she cared about was the people who hadn't survived to earn their own. And indeed, why wasn't she chasing the same line of upward mobility as her father? Because mainly she feared being taken and plopped behind a desk, was usually her answer. She had also run into more than one chickenshit in her career who had earned nothing but thought it made them better to be a higher rank through some dirty dealing. No. Much better to be a Lieutenant in the field than an Admiral behind a desk. Captaincy maybe some day in her future, but not right away. She still had quite a lot of career to get through. But if the pattern that showed in her dossier held, perhaps a promotion was on the horizon if not a change of position giving her more authority. Wars and crisis always had a tendency to provide people with those kinds of changes since time immemorial. (Admittedly, one day she did hope for more responsibility but actually verbalizing those hopes could backfire in any number of ways.)

Internally she raised a brow at the mention of Hauq and Qo'Nos. Hmm. Outwardly she simply nodded slightly. She may or may not have to poke at some old SFI files before the big exciting meeting, as well. Just to refresh her memory, though she forgot little sometimes small details could be overlooked or slip away without constantly needing to know them. "Muy bien. I'll make a note of them for later," she intoned. Might be good to check-in with Madsen, at the very least, her training reminded her. 

The brunette nodded as she noted Cross's gaze go from her to somewhere over her shoulder. As she hadn't heard the door actually open she didn't feel a need to turn and look even if the little paranoid voice inside of her urged it. She rose from her seat so smoothly it almost looked like Kath had teleported into a standing position; one millisecond she was sitting and the next she was snapped to attention. The chair didn't even make a single noise as she pushed it back from the table. 

"I'm sure I'll come up with something eventually. When things are a little less hectic," she admitted. She didn't qualify 'little less hectic'. Times like these, it was all relative, wasn't it? At least there had been no quizzing about her relatives. Ahh, wordplay. 

One scarred hand grabbed her bag and she easily swung it over one shoulder. Her stance was so strong she didn't wobble as the bag slapped her in the back audibly. Maybe she would have a bit of time to unpack, or at the very least use up replicator raw material to build the specific decorations she could already see fitting the ship she found herself on. Good thing uniforms were mostly wrinkle resistant, as she hated replicating them even if it gave her space for other items when she went to a new posting and so kept them in her bag, neatly rolled up at the top of her bag for quick retrieval. 

She then went out the door, passing the next crewman with a polite nod, and stepped into the turbolift once it arrived. Less than an hour to get settled and refresh on all the intel she would need. Not a problem. She had had tighter turnarounds. 
"And you know this how?" "I'm a spy, remember?"
Lt. Katherine “Darkstar Foxtrot” MacFarlane, Asst. Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy (Vector 3)

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #8
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | Somewhere, hopefully, near the Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy ] @Ellen Fitz @JacenSoloDjo (@Dumedion)

Sylvain had never been an enormous fan of the unexpected.

With his psionic abilities as troublesome as they were, identifying the difference between what was cognition, and what was precognition, was a constant struggle; he’d gotten to a point in his life where he could accept that. After all, it was only logical that he’d get things confused every now and then, considering that every slight disturbance that touched his senses, every thought that crossed his mind, every impulse that wracked his body, all had to be considered as a potential premonition… Still, sometimes he got lucky, and he’d have a day where his thoughts, feelings and emotions all arrived in an orderly and expected fashion; it was far easier to identify the telltale signs of a precognitive event, when there weren’t any other unexpected feelings to be had.

But of course, he didn’t often get his way with such things.

Despite making every conceivable effort to try and keep things going according to plan, to have more days where his cognitive processes made perfect sense in his head, life had developed a tendency to throw the unexpected at him, and contrary to popular opinion, his precognitive abilities seldom gave him any meaningful warnings when something awry was heading his way. That would have been far too convenient. Instead, when the untoward did arrive, it was as much of a surprise to him, as it was to everybody else around him.

Worse, perhaps.

The unexpected was never less than ferocious. It never failed to wreak havoc on his carefully balanced emotions, never failed to play his impulses against him, never failed to barrage him with waves of new information that he suddenly had to deal with in an instant… On duty, he could contend with the unexpected. On duty, he had sensors, telemetries, the laws of physics; plenty of information available to him, data that could be used to react effectively to even the most harrowing of circumstances. Off duty, however, he didn’t have any sensors to rely on, and the laws of physics certainly didn’t have a chapter about the maelstrom of confusion that the unexpected tended to send billowing through his skull. Off duty, the things he wasn’t prepared for had a tendency to thunder into his life like an ion storm, disarming his shields and leaving him wide open, a perfect candidate for a boarding party of anxiety, doubt, paranoia, all the usual candidates; untoward thoughts and feelings that, because of their abruptness, became impossible to discern from premonitions, never failing to award him with that oh-so-lovely sensation, of not knowing whether his cognitive processes were meant for the now, or for the future.

So yes, Sylvain did not much enjoy the unexpected.

And yet, life did so enjoy throwing it at him.

The catalyst of recent events was an unexpected subspace transmission that had been received directly to his quarters, odd, certainly, but not immediate cause for concern... However, when he’d taken a closer examination of the message, seeing that it was in fact a heavily encrypted transmission from Rear Admiral Joseph Anderson, as opposed to a casual communique from his own mother, was a perfect example of how the unexpected liked to barrel into his life like a targ in a turbolift. Sylvain’s initial thought was that something dire had happened to his mother; that was the only possible connection that he and the Admiral shared, after all. Of course, the second such a thought had crossed his mind, he’d immediately assumed that it simply had to be precognitive in nature, and in his sudden rush of panic to activate the transmission, he’d pressed the wrong button, then dropped the PADD. And then tripped over his own feet.

Couldn’t have had a premonition to warn him about that… 

When he’d recovered from his brief first-contact mission with the bulkhead, he’d managed to hit the correct button and actually listen to the message, a turbulent sense of anxiety already billowing through his psyche in anticipation of what the Admiral would possibly have to tell him. It was a horrible fact indeed, that receiving notification of something ill befalling his mother, would have been better news, than what he had actually received. If Sylvain had thought he’d been in a delicate state upon receiving the transmission, words could not describe how he felt when he’d finished listening to it.

Extra-dimensional parasites infesting the upper echelons of Starfleet Command, hell-bent on causing nothing short of all-out war with every neighbouring power. An immediate and essential need to request a leave of absence, to vehemently avoid joining up with task force Archeron at all costs, for his own safety. The details of a transport arrangement that would take him from the nearest starbase, to the very same rebel ship that he’d spent that entire morning being briefed on with the rest of the Senior Staff… They were all things that he was less than thrilled to be associated with, all things that felt so unfathomably unbelievable, that even from an Admiral’s mouth, Sylvain had found them almost impossible to take seriously...

Yet, Sylvain knew that Admiral Anderson had done his family a huge favour earlier in his life, and if the Admiral had seen fit to reach out to Sylvain over something so absurd, he wasn’t going to do the man the disservice of ignoring it. Besides, Sylvain wasn’t one to disobey the direct order from a Senior Officer, an Admiral especially.

So Sylvain responded to the transmission, and even if he perhaps didn’t fully understand the circumstances, which he most certainly didn’t, he’d requested the personal leave from Captain Yume, download his personal file from the Bowman, packed up his few belongings, and departed for the nearest starbase, where had been picked up by a shuttle that had landed him in what was perhaps the worst environment in the galaxy, when it came to the unexpected. A Klingon vessel. Of course. One stray thought about a bat’leth within his first twenty minutes aboard, and he’d suddenly spent an entire week vividly obsessing over all of the ways his bunk mate might try to murder him. Oh, how he wished he could inflict such stress on some of those ignorant Cadets at the Academy, those who’d badgered him about how amazing it was that he could 'see the future'.


Yet finally, his stint aboard the IKS Internal Purgatory had concluded, and he was once again firmly grounded against the bulkheads of a Federation starship. Well, pseudo-Federation starship, he supposed, given that he was about to begin serving on a vessel that had been declared as undesirable number one by pretty much the entirety of Starfleet. Still, in a vacuum, it was a pretty good posting, all things considered.

He’d read up on the Theurgy-class vessels of course, but seeing it in person was all the more spectacular… A multivector Dreadnaught, regenerative shielding, ablative hull armour, a sustainable cruise velocity of warp factor 9.995… One of the biggest vessels Starfleet had ever built. Still, he tried to temper his excitement, fully aware that his position aboard the Theurgy would never involve actually piloting such a mighty vessel; a state of the art navigation lab was probably the destination for him, which he was certainly not going to complain about.

Instead, Sylvain drew his attention away from the window that he’d been plastered to for the last few minutes, and mentally attempted to refocus his attention on actually finding the conference room where he was supposed to be meeting with a member of the Theurgy’s Senior Staff. He’d really been hoping to avoid any major embarrassments, at least for his first forty-eight hours aboard the ship, and getting lost on the way to his first meeting as a member of the USS Theurgy crew, was not a good start to that goal.

Unfortunately, the directions that the transporter officer had given him had been, lukewarm at best, and despite being fully aware that he was on the correct deck, the turbolift had confirmed it after all, Sylvain was keenly conscious of the fact that he’d only been on the vessel for about seventeen minutes, and he’d already probably gotten himself lost…

So as soon as his eyes had caught sight of the woman with the backpack, Sylvain had felt a surge of relief rush into his chest. He was fairly certain that he recognised her from the Vask'at, Mac-something, he seemed to recall? Truthfully, all of his memories from aboard the Klingon ship were somewhat hazy, probably on account of having spent most of the time concerned that he’d might have had a premonition about his bunk-mate bisecting him... Either way, she had a backpack and wasn’t in uniform, just like himself, which was a fair indicator that she was also a new arrival to the ship, and therefore likely to be reporting to the same location that he was due in, so spotting her in the labyrinth of corridors had been a real salve for his brewing anxiety.

He’d made a beeline for her position, glad that he ignored the sudden and inappropriate urge to wave at her, considering that he wasn’t entirely sure that he knew who she was… Sylvain’s eyes left the corridor that he’d just watched the woman disappear down, and set his attention instead, to searching for the room that she had just exited, the Ensign increasing his pace as he approached it, doing his best to fight of the sudden wave of anxiety that started to swirl in his gut… Not a premonition, he told himself firmly. Doing everything in his power to not let such things distract him, he’d carefully passed the security officer to his right with an awkward attempt at a smile, and progressed through into what he sincerely hoped to be the conference room, practically gleeful with relief when he saw the Vulcan tactical officer poised on the other side of the table.

Finally, he breathed a short sigh of relief.

“My sincerest apologies if I’m late, Commander; this is a much bigger ship than I’m used to. The Bowman only had a crew complement of about one-hundred and fifty, so I…” He began, acknowledging the pips on the man’s collar and addressing him as such, before acknowledging that he’d apparently seen fit to delve into his life’s story before so much as introducing himself to the man… “Gosh I’m-I’m so sorry, where are my manners…” He interrupted himself, awkwardly hovering near the doorway to the room, still somehow convinced that he might be in the wrong place, certainly not comfortable enough to take a seat without being given a definitive offer to do so.

“My name is Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth… That is, Ensign Llewellyn-Kth.” He paused briefly, keenly aware of the warmth rising upon his face, and conscious that he was rapidly making a fool out of himself in front of a superior Officer. Did he mention that Admiral Anderson went to school with his mother? Did he tell the man that he was a CONN Officer and he might have accidentally cheated in all of his academy examinations? Did he tell the man that he’d played a gender-bent version of Nurse Chapel in the Starfleet Academy Theatre Society’s 2377 production of Subspace Rhapsody? Sylvain mentally scolded himself for allowing such an inopportune barrage of intrusive thoughts to flood his mind, forcing himself to straighten up, quelling any modicum of anxiety that threatened to appear on his face; this was duty now, and duty, he could manage.

“Reporting for duty, Sir, whatever I can do to help, I’m all ears.”

It was only after the words had left his mouth, that his mind saw fit to recognise that a turn of phrase regarding ears, was perhaps not the best choice of words when it came to addressing a Vulcan.

Again, why couldn’t his precognitive abilities have warned him about that
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Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #9
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @TWilkins

No sooner had MacFarlane made her departure when a young blonde ensign came in. His first words were that of an apology, making Cross raise his eyebrows in momentary confusion. Chalk it up to being “raised” by an old bachelor and his equally single Vulcan colleague, but Cross had never suffered from the polite tendencies to apologize for things that weren’t exactly apology worthy. He knew many on the crew were, and not all of them the younger crew either. This was probably yet another reason why he’d been described as a cold, distant yet competent ass. Where certain groups of people would expect a feigned apology just for the sake of niceties, Cross remained quiet.

Cross gestured to the chair MacFarlane had vacated once the man stopped spewing forth apologies and rushed introductions. “Ensign Llewellyn-Kth, please have a seat.” Breaking eye contact just long enough to retrieve the appropriate PADD, he swiped through the PADD briefly before nodding to himself. “You’re our new chief CONN officer. I see from your record that you come highly recommended for your competency and expertise in the department.”

He didn’t comment on the other aspects of the man’s record, those detailing his unique racial abilities and extensive training to get a hold of them. Llewellyn-Kth was among “friends” in that regard, and not just because of the Savi fucking around with a few of them like Cross.

Glancing up at the younger man, he gave what he hoped was interpreted as a reassuring nod, “I’ll forward the pertinent information regarding Theurgy’s schematics and Savi upgrades to your quarters. They’re on deck 10, vector 2. Thea, our ship’s AI, can guide you there once we finish here.” He loosely held the PADD then, concentrating his gaze on the ensign. “And speaking of the Savi, you’ve been assigned to accompany their ship, the Erudite, on the upcoming mission to intercept enemy forces near the Hobus star. They will be departing around the same time that the Ranger, vectors 2 and 3, will separate from the Helmet, vector 1. Commander Stark will remain with the Helmet, and I will lead the Ranger’s mission. While many of those going on the Erudite are our Tac CONN unit members, we did require a senior CONN officer to join. Among the fighters and Savi vessels, there was room for a few other vessels that you are rated for should the need arise.”

Cross gave the man a breather, letting the information sink in. He found it ironic that according to his records, Llewellyn-Kth had found much support in following Vulcan mental discipline techniques, and yet he, a once hybrid now forced full-blooded Vulcan, had always shunned them.

He inclined his head toward the younger man, “Do you have any questions, ensign? I know that’s a lot to take in and absorb after having been on the ship for mere minutes. But such is the reality we face when dealing with the Infested and their cronies.”

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #10
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | The Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy ] @Ellen Fitz

Chief CONN Officer…

When Sylvain had entered the room, he had done so under no illusion that his position aboard the Theurgy would be trivial at best. He was well aware that the only reason he had been placed aboard the vessel was convenience, a tactical decision from Admiral Anderson, one that kept his precognitive abilities out of the reach of the Parasites that had infested Starfleet Command. And the Ensign fully understood the connotations of that. He was expecting a quiet corner of an astrophysics lab, somewhere far removed from the important goings on of the ship, somewhere where someone who had graduated from the Academy not two years ago, wouldn't be involved with anything of consequence.

At least, that was what he had assumed.

Apparently, the opposite was true.

If the Vulcan had noticed the wide-eyed expression of disbelief that had thundered onto Sylvain’s face in response to his abrupt appointment as the Chief CONN Officer, he didn’t comment on it.  His only real reaction was delivering a somewhat stoic nod to the Ensign, before continuing to speak once more, moving on to topics of crew quarters and assignments, evidently oblivious to the way in which Sylvain had tensed up so hard that he threatened to snap his own femur.

Chief CONN Officer…

It was as though the Commander’s words had opened up a wormhole within Sylvain’s brain, a tunnel through which his head was immediately assailed by echoing thoughts of the most brutal self-depreciation. He felt the sting of intrusive thoughts biting down into his psyche, telling him oh-so-easily, that he was going to get the entire crew of the Theurgy killed, that he’d already fallen victim to the parasites, and that it was only a matter of time before he lost himself completely in the throes of their control… Sylvain knew all too well where this line of thought was going.

Soon enough, he’d have to consider the reality that such harrowing thoughts could be precognitive in nature, and that his abilities could be warning him of a future reality where he did get the crew of the Theurgy killed. Then, he’d have to tell himself that this wasn’t the case, that they were just intrusive thoughts owed to being shocked by the Vulcan’s sudden revelation that he was being given the position of Chief CONN Officer on the Federation's most advanced ship. It would become a spiral of self-hatred that would occupy his mind for a few hours, before the next inconvenient, but possible, premonition came along and stole his attention. As had been the story of his entire life.

This time however, he needed to expedite that process.

So, Sylvain tried his damnedest to push such thoughts to the back of his mind, resolving to still his somewhat trembling hands in order to better focus on following along with the Vulcan’s briefing, mentally taking notes of the location of his quarters, and to check the computer for schematics when he arrived. There was mention of an assignment for him, a race by the name of the ‘Savi’ as well as their vessel, the Erudite, and an expectation that Sylvain would be not only accompanying their Tac CONN units, but that he would be the senior CONN Officer joining them whilst they moved to intercept their enemies near the Hobus Star…

If his attempt to calm his nerves had shown any signs of success, it was immediately overturned.

As such, when the Commander on the opposite side of the table had finished his brief, and had extended the opportunity for Sylvain to ask any questions he may have had, it was of minimal surprise that the Ensign did not handle the opportunity to do so, with the grace and eloquence that he might have liked. Instead, much to Sylvain’s dismay, the reply he gave to the Commander’s briefing was a noise that inadvertently escaped from his throat; a squawk that might have been mistaken for the sound a fowl would have made, had a Gorn picked it up by the throat, ripped it in half, and then hurled it into a warp core…

Sylvain was keenly aware that first impressions were perhaps not his strong suit.

“Apologies, Commander…” He half choked, clearing his throat as soundlessly as he could manage, all the while making a desperate attempt to will his face not to shift into the colour of a red-alert, in response to the inhuman noise that he’d just made. “I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to be serving in such a noteworthy position…” In some vague attempt to distract his own body from its relentless attempt to embarrass him, Sylvain took a moment to pause in his statement, his hand reaching down into the folds of the bag that was still half-hanging from his shoulder, fingers searching deftly amidst the contents until he was able to find and produce his personal PADD, as though holding it would offer some form of clarity to the turbulence of his mind and body. 

Of course, said PADD was almost exclusively occupied by two-hundred and seventy-four episodes of the ‘The Logic of T’Peng’ holoseries that he’d gotten into prior to Admiral Anderson’s communiqué; he’d gotten to a cliffhanger before he’d left the Bowman, and couldn’t risk not knowing how it ended.

“I’m sorry if I appear ungrateful, I certainly don’t intend to be; I was just under the impression that I was only being assigned here because Admiral Anderson thought that the parasites would attempt to use my psionic abilities against you… Sylvain took a moment, attempting to better stable the tremor in his breath. "And, I mean, from what Admiral Anderson told me, you’ve been out here fighting Klingon fleets, and there was that whole incident at Starbase 84, not to mention the Borg…” His hands gestured somewhat animatedly as he spoke, unsure what to do with the PADD now that it was in his grip, and apparently solving said issue by accidently hitting himself in the face with it. “My combat experience is limited to -ouch- Talarian rebels, and some posturing against a Tholian scout ship that kind of just flew away after locking weapons on us…”

To make matters worse, he accidentally relinquished his grip as he said ‘flew away’ and the accompanying gesture sent his PADD hurtling to the far corner of the room.

“I'm so sorry Commander…” He mumbled through his embarrassment, hazel eyes affixed in horror to the corner in which his PADD had just landed in. “I’ll pick that up.” He continued with a grimace, standing messily from his chair and thankfully not tripping over his bag in the process, carefully walking around the edge of the table whilst desperately trying not to show how unfathomably mortified he was in the moment. He was very conscious that his attempts to articulate himself were failing rapidly. Initially he had been concerned that the Commander might  be severely overestimating his abilities, whilst now he was concerned that the Commander might be severely underestimating them. If he couldn’t hold onto a PADD without throwing it across the room, what use would he be on the bridge?

Chief CONN Officer aboard the most advanced vessel in the Federation… Surely there was no conceivable way that he could have deserved such an appointment?

But, then again, objectively speaking, Sylvain was qualified for the position.

It was true that his personal record consisted of, as the Vulcan had stated, glowing recommendations from both his academy professors and several Officers from the Thames, as well as no doubt some form of praise from Captain Yume to reflect his service aboard the Bowman. Yes, he was certainly in possession of academic feats that made him a good fit for the role; not many Cadets took Advanced Astral Navigation, and even fewer passed it. And indeed, he had served as Chief CONN Officer previously; he could pilot a starship flawlessly, he knew how to efficiently manage a department, and he could certainly participate in Senior Staff meetings…

There was no doubt that he could manage the essentials of the job... He had been managing the essentials of the job, for over a year. Sure, the Theurgy was a bigger ship than the Bowman, and it had a more important mission, but that just meant that he had more support behind him when the going got tough... And equally, more people to disappoint if he failed.

“I appreciate that I’m not making a good first impression here Commander…” Sylvain grimly confirmed, bending down to pick up the PADD and making a conscious effort to point his arse away from the Vulcan as he did so; the last thing he needed was to get accused of trying to exchange sexual favours for duty assignments. Upon grasping the PADD, he stood once again, taking a small, sharp breath, and squaring his shoulders slightly, tightening his posture as he attempted to look as professional as he could manage. “I have to be honest with you Sir; I haven’t fought the Borg or Romulans, I don’t know who the Savi are, and I don’t know how much I’m bridging to the table here...”

Sylvain paused again, making sure to level his gaze so that he was making eye contact with the Commander.

“But at the same time, whilst I know it definitely doesn’t seem like it, I’m actually really good at my job; it's the interpersonal stuff that doesn’t come naturally…” He had a slither of hope that a Vulcan might be sympathetic on that front. “I don’t know if I’m trying to convince you that I belong here, or if I’m trying to convince myself, but…” He paused again, trying to phrase himself in a way that didn’t sound too cocksure or arrogant. “All I know is that I've never let anyone down on the bridge before, and I certainly don't intend to start now."
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Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #11
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @TWilkins

“The only thing noteworthy about any position on this ship, ensign, is the casualty rate,” Cross spoke as he watched the ensign seemingly flounder for words and thought in the seat across from him. “While we hope to reconcile with Starfleet once the Infested are eradicated, the reality is that may never happen. So if you are looking at this position as an advancement in your career with the perks of prestige that go along with positional authority, well, that’s your choice, but it’d be a damn wasted use of hope.”

Cross raised a single eyebrow as he watched Llewellyn-Kth smack himself in the face with the PADD before launching it across the room. He couldn’t fault the man for his nerves. Not everyone was a combat veteran, and not everyone was keen on adapting to rapid changes. At the same time, however, Cross would be doing his a disservice if he didn’t set some things straight and fast.

“There’s nothing to be grateful or ungrateful for, ensign. We are a ship in need of capable bodies to fill vacant positions. You will make up for what you lack in combat experience within the next twenty-four hours, guaranteed.” He rolled his eyes at the ensign’s comparisons and physically waved it away with a flick of his hand. “There’s no time for comparisons, ensign. We don’t have the leisure to dwell in self-doubt, self-loathing, or second-guessing right now. Maybe if you’d come to us during our shore leave a few weeks ago, I’d say go ahead and have an existential crisis and get it over with, but the facts of the matter are we are less than an hour away from embarking on yet another major offensive against our enemy, and I need you to have your head out of your arse and in the game.”

He gave Llewellyn-Kth a nod of acknowledgment as he watched the ensign square his shoulders and adjust his vocal patterns to sound less desperate and confused and more stable.

“I’m no diplomat, and I’m not out here to win hearts and minds, so I have no qualms telling you I hate the Savi bastards who killed my crewmates, fucked with my genes to eradicate my hybrid nature, and left me and many others like me in a completely new state.” His chest rose and abruptly fell on a heavy sigh. “With that said, there’s a schism within the Savi ranks, and the Savi who are working with us, and whom you will be assisting over the next few days, are opposed to the shits who tortured me and many others who miraculously managed to survive and are onboard Theurgy now. Are we best friends? No. Do they trust us completely? No, and the feeling is mutual. But we are allies with a common goal, and it suits us to work closely together for the time being.”

He paused, taking a moment to press a few buttons on his personal PADD. Much as he’d done with MacFarlane, Cross sent a number of pertinent files to the console in Llewellyn-Kth’s quarters. He mentioned as much to the man before returning his gaze.

“You don’t need to convince me of shit, ensign. Do your job, do it well. Whether or not you feel you belong here, you’re here, and you’re in it just like the rest of us.” He again made a faint dismissing move with his hand. “And don’t do your work in fear of disappointing others. That’s a fucking waste of effort. Do your best for the sake of doing your best. For the sake of keeping the crew alive. That’s why we’re here, ensign. Not for ourselves, but for others.” Taking a deep breath, Cross slowly let it out, folding his hands together on the table and fixing a firm yet open gaze on Llewellyn-Kth. “Anything else you’d like to discuss or ask before finding your quarters and getting ready to depart with the Erudite?”

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #12
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | The Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy] @Ellen Fitz

The noteworthy casualty rates. A total lack of any career prospects. Needing Sylvain to pull his head out of his own arse…

The Commander was certainly unique in his approach to onboarding a new member of the crew; so much for emboldening speeches about the future and whatnot…

However, despite the man’s somewhat avant-guard approach to introductions, Sylvain found a strange sense of comfort in the Commander’s transparency. After all, facts were Sylvain’s comfort zone. Sure, had the Commander sat across from him, placating him with reassuring words and underplaying their tragedies, it probably would have made the Ensign feel a touch more comfortable in the moment. But what good would such comfort have done him in the long run? Based on the Commander’s assessment, any such comfort would quickly wash away in the face of reality, and then Sylvain would have been robbed of the chance to prepare himself; delivering the cold, hard truths of their current situation from the get-go, made it easier to prepare himself for what was ahead, at least.

It wasn’t to say that hearing of the high casualty rate, or the possibility that they’d never re-integrate with Starfleet, didn’t bother him; it absolutely did. The thought of living the rest of his life as a rebel, or worse, not living the rest of his life at all, was harrowing. He wanted to be a Starfleet Officer, not a renegade; to make first contact with new species, explore and investigate unknown stellar phenomena, possibly Captain a ship of his own someday… However, Sylvain knew that such thoughts were most likely out of his reach now, whether he was aboard the Theurgy or not; Admiral Anderson had made it abundantly clear that his precognitive abilities would have been appealing to the parasites, had he remained at his post, and Sylvain was of the opinion that he’d rather be dead than some warm-body for an extra-dimensional entity to accommodate.

It was all definitely a little on the bleak side, but at least this way, Sylvain’s mind couldn’t pretend not to know the realities of what he was getting himself into; staying with Starfleet held the likely future of a fate worse than death, so anything that happened to him aboard the Theurgy had to be an improvement on that. He could live with those terms, his anxiety could too. And perhaps it was that realisation, or the clarity of the Commander’s briefing, or perhaps the man’s unorthodox pep-talk, or a combination of the three, but it had certainly done an excellent job at forcing the Ensign’s previously rampant anxiety to retreat back into the pit in the bottom of his mind once more.

‘That’s why we’re here. Not for ourselves, but for others.’

He’d have to remember that.

How many billions of lives might he save by being at the helm of the Theurgy, even if it meant that his life wouldn’t end up what he wanted? After all, he could make a difference here; he was really good at his job. Though, as the Commander had warned, perhaps he should wait until he’d gotten to the other side of whatever battle was awaiting him tomorrow, before he praised himself too much…

Either way, he’d learned to play the game of life with a rigged deck long ago; renegade or not, the Theurgy was his ship now. And he’d serve with distinction, as he always had.

“Commander, with all due respect, you’ve just told me that I’m to be the Chief CONN Officer on the most advanced ship in Starfleet, fighting against a force that’s attempting to decimate all life as we know it.” He paused, actually taking a moment to try and force a natural smile onto his face, despite his lingering unease. “Renegade or not, that’s quite the career advancement.” He tried to add a dash of lightness to their conversation, easing himself back around to the other side of the table once again.  “Certainly makes for a better epitaph than delivering supplies to colonies on the edges of Federation space, at least.” He attempted to joke, to perhaps knock a little tension out of the air. The Ensign had considered making a joke about the high casualty rate leaving plenty of opportunity for advancement, but he’d erred on the side of caution and refrained; whilst certainly somewhat lacking in tact, Sylvain wasn’t without empathy, and making a joke that might come across as mocking of the fact that the Commander had likely already lost friends during the conflict, wouldn’t have been a fine display of such a quality.

“And for the record, I am grateful either way, Sir.” He added with a touch of sincerity to his tone, moving to resume his position seated opposite the Vulcan. “I understand that I’m probably due a rude awakening in the next twenty-four hours, but, if I wasn’t here, if Admiral Anderson hadn’t known about me through my mother, I’d probably already be a warm body for some parasite.” It was a grim confirmation, but a confirmation nonetheless; he didn’t know what motivated such creatures, but if the opportunity to subvert some precognitive abilities fell into their lap, Admiral Anderson at least seemed convinced that they’d make use of it.

“Though I’m sure they’d have regretted it when they found out how inconvenient these abilities actually are.” He added with a quiet scoff, making a limp gesture towards his head as he spoke, forgetting once again about the PADD in his hand and clouting himself in the temple with it for a second time. This time it actually hurt quite a bit. You’d have thought being precognitive might have given him a warning about such things…

That was the worst thing about precognition; everybody had a very warped perspective of how it worked.

“But, yes, if you don’t mind Commander, I did have several other questions to ask, based on my assignment…” He began with a slightly more authoritative tone to his voice, his free hand moving from where it had briefly nursed the collision point on his temple, and taking position above his PADD, intending to take notes moving forward. He was careful to avoid overwriting any of his holo-files as he did so. “Firstly, I understand that the Hobus Star is in Romulan space, but my previous assignment didn’t require me to have access to such information. If you could forward me the data from any long range scans, as well as what’s in the Federation database, I would greatly appreciate it.” Now that he had begun talking about work again, his anxiety, his unease, faded even further into the background of his mind; still there, but certainly taking a backseat as the Starfleet Officer in his head began to take charge.

“And if there is any available information about the Savi vessels we’ll be encountering, that would also be beneficial for me to have access to…” He paused, slowly considering his wording. There had certainly been something to unpack in what the Commander had previously said regarding the Savi, the ‘fucking’ with genes in particular, but Sylvain felt that it might be impolite to pry; evidently a sore subject for the Vulcan to discuss. However, that didn’t overrule his need for tactical data. As empathetic as Sylvain may have been, he still understood professionality in the face of a mission.

From what the Commander had said regarding the Savi, Sylvain had gotten the impression that his assignment to the Erudite might end up being on the uncomfortable side of things… The Savi did not sound like a particularly agreeable race, and given that Sylvain had never heard of them, he could paint a fairly clear picture in his head about what sort of isolationist species they might have been; not all that dissimilar to the Yattho in that manner, he supposed. Nevertheless, it was his assignment, and he would interact with them with the professionality that his position required. Besides, after enduring his time aboard a Klingon vessel, Sylvain was confident that the Savi would not pose any problem for him. At the very least, the Savi probably wouldn’t spill blood wine on his bed and try to try it with a fur blanket that a pet targ had slept on…

His bed had ended up wet, sticky, and stinking of targ piss.

“I’m not familiar with the Savi as a species, so any tactical insight that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.” Sylvain inquired with a certain hesitancy, not overly thrilled with the idea of taking up any more of the man’s time,or pressing for further details on a topic that the Commander was clearly uncomfortable with, but also very aware that with the franticness of his change-over, this might be his best chance to broach such a topic. “I’ve got a whole repertoire of evasive patterns up my sleeve, but it sounds as though the first time I see a Savi ship in action, will be when it’s firing at us, so I’d like to prepare myself the best I can…” He paused, trying to sound a little more confident with the request than he felt.

“Also, I appreciate that this isn’t a social call, Sir, but, I don’t suppose you’d mind telling me your name?” 
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Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #13
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @TWilkins

Tipping his head back, Cross mentally berated himself for not having shared his name earlier. He was out of practice as this whole rinse-wash-repeat onboarding process.

“Cross,” he nodded to the ensign. “Commander Cross. And I appreciate your framing the circumstances more conducive to proactive work. Our epitaphs will write themselves, I’m certain.” He gave a noncommittal shrug to the concept of being infested. Dealing with Nicander as often as he did, Cross knew far better than Llewellyn-Kth what it was like dealing with parasite victims who were self-aware and wishing to be anything than what they were. “They choose their hosts according to their own chaos-loving logic. I don’t think it is helpful to weigh your talents or abilities as being any more a target for them than someone who has positional power or access. Likely to increase your paranoia and decrease your proficiencies.”

He paused a moment, glancing once more at the PADD to ensure he’d indeed sent all the pertinent information to the man’s console before answering his questions.

“All the information regarding the upcoming mission, the personnel and technology you’ll be working with, including the Savi, has been forwarded to the console in your quarters. I won’t seek to color your opinions on any of the above with my own opinions and will instead leave you to study the data. That being said, the mission you’re going on is quite delicate. You will not be flying the Savi ships, they will be. We are assisting them in their fight against their own in a civil war. The vessels you’d most likely be flying are our own. If it comes down to you at the helm of the Savi ship, well, learning how to fly their ship will be the least of your worries.”

Cross readjusted his weight. He hated sitting for too long, and yet he got the distinct feeling that if he stood up now, the ensign would presume he was dismissed. Which wasn’t far from the truth, but Cross didn’t want to hurry the man. Especially not after his just-shy-of-a-panic-attack initial response.

“Anything else I can help with, ensign?” His tone was even, expression neutral. He knew Llewellyn-Kth had limited time to get settled in his quarters and study the mission briefing before heading to the Erudite but again he felt patience would merit a better response given circumstances.


Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #14
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | The Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy] @Ellen Fitz

Sylvain nodded sagely as the Commander answered his questions, breathing out a small sigh of relief now that introductions had been concluded, even though they seemed to have raised more questions than they had answered; Cross wasn’t an especially Vulcan name, and the Commander didn’t have an especially Vulcan demeanour. The Ensign had privately wondered if such things could be linked to the man’s previous comment about the Savi ‘fucking’ with his genes, but Sylvain was far too polite to ask something so invasive.

It scarcely mattered to him either way; it wasn't his business what had happened to the Commander at the hands of the Savi, though the Ensign did have an inkling that the volumes of data awaiting him in his quarters would probably shine a light on what they were capable of... Regardless, he at least knew the Commander's name, whatever use it was to him; it wasn’t as if Sylvain was going to start referring to the Commander as ‘Cross’ like they were a pair of shirtless lads playing velocity on the holodeck. 

Still, it gave him the chance to make a better first impression to whomever he would be reporting to once he got aboard the Erudite. "Commander Cross provided me with the relevant tactical data. would come across a lot more professional than A Vulcan provided me with the necessary information, do you know him? Commander, bald, curses a lot....

“Thank you Commander.” Sylvain responded softly, somewhat comforted by the thought of how much information would be waiting for him when he arrived at his quarters; being able to busy himself sifting through volumes of tactical data, would hopefully keep his anxiety at bay for the duration of his journey to the Hobus Star. “I’m certain it will be plenty to keep me occupied until I can be of use to the Erudite team.” He confirmed with a weak smile, returning his PADD to his bag now that he was unlikely to have use of it, the motion an attempt to distract himself from the thoughts of what information might reveal to him

If he had interpreted Cross’ words correctly, and the Savi were capable of manipulating genetics to such an extent, that they could rewrite a hybrid individual’s genetic makeup… It brought a rather harrowing array of ideas into his mind. He was glad that the Erudite crew themselves didn't seem to be responsible for what had been done to Commander Cross, but that wasn't quite enough reassurance to stop his mind from wandering... Sylvain couldn't help picture such scenarios in his head.

Would he wake up aboard the Erudite to find himself fully Human, completely lacking any trace of his precognitive capabilities, suddenly able to completely understand his own psyche? Or would he discover half-way-through his lunch that he'd become fully Yattho, that he'd suddenly gained complete control over his psionic gifts, and was able to envisage the future with uncanny accuracy? Both options, frankly, terrified him.

Realistically, for better or for worse, he’d accepted who he was. The thought that such things could change was, confusing…

Though, in the face of the sudden flash of panic he felt, when he considered that the thought of the Savi demonstrating their genetic expertise on him could be precognitive, Sylvain did momentarily consider the benefits of such an outcome...

“I did actually have one further question Sir, if that’s okay…” Sylvain continued with a gentle wariness to his tone, pushing thoughts of genetic resequencing out of his head and raising back up from where he’d returned his PADD to his bag, conscious that he didn’t want to take up the Commander’s time any more than necessary. In truth, he probably had a thousand more questions that he could have bombarded the man with, the entire history of the USS Theurgy's mission to start with, but the Ensign knew that this was neither the time nor the place. However, there was one question in particular that had been playing on his mind in the recent weeks, and this seemed to be his best chance to get an answer to it.

“Are we still a Starfleet crew?” He inquired cautiously, a subtle optimism in his tone that indicated which direction he hoped the answer would fall in. “I appreciate that you might not be in the best position to answer me, and that our circumstances aren’t exactly what Starfleet ideals were designed for…” The Ensign quickly added, cautious not to present himself as someone too innocent, too naive of the realities of their predicament; sticking to Starfleet’s directives in such circumstances would surely be challenging at best, and impossible at worst…

But still, Sylvain had seen for himself what happened when Starfleet failed in their duty; if that was going to be his everyday now, he’d at least want to be prepared for it.

“When the Bowman received the message from Starfleet Command to return from our mission early, our Captain asked what vessel would be replacing our posting…” Sylvain began, figuring that an example might be the clearer way to get his point across. “Starfleet Command just told us that we'd been recalled, that it was of utmost importance that we proceeded to the rendezvous with task force Archeron… That we couldn't afford any delays...” He paused, gazing at the surface of the table with a certain pensiveness in his gaze.

“They didn't send any vessels to replace us, and it’s been two months since the Bowman was recalled from the border..." He continued, his fist somewhat tightening as he spoke. “Half of the colonies on that frontier will have been raided by now; the Talarian separatists treated our colonies like glorified replicators, stealing food, resources, medical supplies, technology, dilithium, anything they could get their hands on, all things that the colonists need and can’t replace on their own…" He'd only been on a few away missions to the colonies, but he'd seen enough to know that their conditions would have been dire without the Bowman's support. "They don’t have starships to defend themselves or advanced weapons to fend off attacks. Some of the separatists even used to kidnap children to raise as their own; the colonies don’t have the diplomatic power or the resources to get their children back without Starfleet’s help…”

Sylvain took a pause, a breath, realising that revisiting such thoughts was making him far more tense than appropriate for a newly assigned officer.

“My point is…” He paused again, conscious that he might not get an answer to his question at all, and that even if he did, there was a good chance that it would not be the answer he was looking for. “The Parasites are steering Starfleet away from the ideals that it’s supposed to embody, and I just…” Sylvain glanced to the side, looking out of the window and into the void of space beyond. “I just wanted to know whether this war is forcing us to do the same?”
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Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #15
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @TWilkins

The question was solid, and the philosophical implications reminded Cross of the many debates the Voyager’s return created and the ripples the declassified reports had caused once they’d been shared. This very same question had already been asked by more than a few of the officers and crew of the Theurgy since they’d first discovered the Infested threat, and likely, many more would continue to voice the question until the threat was eradicated.

“There has been a continued debate regarding Starfleet, even before this more recent threat and schism, if you’ll allow the term. When the first Enterprise was sent out to explore, it did so with the frankly naïve notion that diplomacy and reason can win over anyone. Yet, we know what came of those early years of exploration, and Captain Archer himself advocated for more defensive weapons and armor for ships before more were sent out. Starfleet has tried to balance on the thin line of being a power for exploration and being a power for protection. Starfleet was designed to explore and create, to protect and support. To have either, you have to have the means and the mindset to back it up with more than mere words. This is the debate, Ensign, how many guns are too many? How far do we allow ourselves to be pressed before we respond with force? We can cite ideals, but that’s what those are, Ensign, ideals and very few ideals hold up perfectly under all circumstances.”

He gestured to the entirety of Llewellyn-Kth ‘s body before continuing. “What are your non-negotiables? Every man and woman will be put through a number of crucibles in their lifetime, and through those difficulties, they’ll discover their non-negotiables. This crew has been and currently is in a crucible. Though many don’t realize it, all of the Federation is. What has been determined as non-negotiable is that no one in our galaxy can truly be safe so long as the Infested haunt and infiltrate us. Understandably, Talarian crisis is something the Federation would and should be allocating resources to deal with, yet because of the Infested influence, they are being manipulated into reallocating resources to get rid of the threat against their undisputed power. They desire chaos and destruction and nothing short of that. We know from experience that diplomacy and reason do not work with the Infested and we have been and are still working to use non-violent means to bring the truth to the masses so that the threat can be fought and won on multiple sides. But make no mistake, Ensign, we have to back-up the desire to win with actual movement to win. That means sacrifices, not of ideals, but of lives.”

Cross leaned back in his chair, tipping his head to the side as he studied the ensign again. They were not so far apart in age, and yet it felt they’d lived through entirely different timelines.

“No one on this ship is being encouraged to abandon the foundational tenents on which Starfleet and the Federation were built. On the contrary, we are encouraging everyone to look through the flowery words meant for bureaucrats to the core of each tenant. That’s why we’re here, still, even as our memorial wall grows. We found our non-negotiables and we aren’t giving up on a future of a return to those core values for Starfleet and the Federation once the Infested are taken care of.”

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #16
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | The Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy] @Ellen Fitz

Non-negotiables. He’d never had reason to consider such things before.

Sylvain understood Starfleet directives as well as most Ensigns, perhaps moreso actually, given how much time he had dedicated to their study during his last few weeks at the Academy. They were the fundamental tenants of serving aboard a Starfleet vessel, the core directives of the Federation as a whole, and safeguards against all of the many dangers that could put the Federation at risk. Yet, despite their importance, Sylvain had never found much need to contemplate their existence, beyond how clean his boots needed to be. Directives and general orders were the territory of Captains and Commanders, the responsibility of those who would assume command of a vessel or a team; not CONN Officers who hadn’t so much as been alone on the Bridge.

Maybe that would change now, however... After all, he'd just been recruited as the Chief CONN Officer, and he was under the impression that Senior Staff Meetings aboard the Theurgy, might be a trifle more involved than the Senior Staff meetings he'd been involved in aboard the Bowman. Though, he did hope that the Theurgy still permitted cake.

But still, even a Senior Staff meeting was no comparison to the pressure that a Captain must have felt, the weight of the entirety of Starfleet's directives and general orders pressing down on their shoulders, a weight that turned every decision a Captain made into a potential matter of life or death. Sure, Sylvain was no stranger to making life or death decisions as a pilot, but those were decisions he could make based on tactical data and sensor analytics, decisions that he was specifically trained to make… They were also decisions that he made at the behest of his Captain, in collaboration with the tactical and operations Officers he was serving alongside; he didn't have to make choices alone.

So whilst he might have been familiar with Starfleet uniform code, conscious of Regulation 256.15, and certainly knowledgeable surrounding temporal directives, given his psionic capabilities, he was hardly beholden to the breadth of the Starfleet General Orders and Regulations, in the same way that a Captain would be.

And that was something that Sylvain suddenly felt acutely thankful for.

Whilst he couldn’t deny that he was relieved that the Theurgy was still operating at least somewhat in the interest of Starfleet directives, he didn’t envy the position that the Captain must have found themselves in as a result. They were at war with the Federation, and if Starfleet themselves were beginning to let their directives fall by the wayside, what chance did a lone ship have of upholding them fully? Sylvain had seen for himself that the orders of Task Force Archeron, and they were decidedly not orders to engage in diplomatic efforts… As Commander Cross had said, diplomacy wasn’t the solution to every situation, and whilst ignoring diplomacy altogether wasn't the Starfleet way, they were living in a reality where undue diplomacy could get them all killed...

Still, wasn’t there always a chance that diplomacy could work out? That innocent lives could be spared?

Yes, Sylvain was very glad not to have been in the Captain’s position...

“Thank you, Sir.” He replied with a decisive nod, both relieved and somewhat melancholy at the response he’d been given. “I’m suddenly feeling quite relieved that I’m a pilot; all I have to worry about is my uniform and making sure that I get permission before I chart a collision course…” He intended the latter as a joke, though Sylvain was about ninety percent sure that there was indeed a Starfleet directive regarding setting collision courses. He'd never needed to chart one; he'd never looked it up.

“I’m sure that I’ll get an idea of my non-negotiables soon enough.” Sylvain went on to confirm, watching the Commander’s face as his fingers found themselves feeling a little twitchy in the absence of the PADD that he’d previously returned to his bag. “But I can’t say I envy the position that the Captain bust be in; having to weigh up the benefits of the Starfleet way, verses the way that wins us this war, is…” He paused, unsure of what word would even begin to describe such a pressure. “...Y’know, probably, tricky.” He awkwardly settled on.

“And I still can’t fathom that a species who thrives on chaos and destruction survived long enough to put us in this position; I'd have thought that they’d have brought themselves to extinction long ago…” He pondered, aware that his knowledge on the subject was next to nothing, but unable to ignore the somewhat illogical nature of their way of life. Even the most chaotic species known to the Federation, weren’t entirely without order.. “Either way, I appreciate your explanation Sir, I'm glad that we're still making diplomatic efforts, even now. I hope it'll help demonstrate to others that you're not the bad guys that Starfleet Command is trying to tell them you are.” Sylvain stopped for a moment, correcting himself. "We are. Sorry, I'm still not quite sure it's sunk in yet."

Pushing thoughts of what would happen when the war concluded from his mind, Sylvain briefly considered if he had any further questions. He still had thousands, but time appeared to be of the essence, and he already had an entire species to review before he went on his next assignment.

“Anyway, I’m sure I’ve taken up enough of your time already Sir…” Sylvain began, conscious that he didn’t want to take up any more of the Commander’s time than was strictly necessary, and also acutely aware that he had work to do… “Obviously if you’ve got any questions for me, I’m happy to help, but if not, I’ve got a whole new species waiting in my quarters for me…” He playfully pointed upwards as he spoke, a somewhat relaxed smile hanging on his lips, before he furrowed his brows and switched his hand to point downwards instead. His quarters were below them... Or were they above? He moved to point upwards again, before he stopped himself and returned his hand to his lap; it really wasn't important, and he was beginning to look like a fool. 

“I’m getting the impression that this is a bit of an ‘out of the replicator and into the warp core’, kind of situation.”
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Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #17
[ Cmdr. Cross | Conference Lounge | D. 8 | V. 2 | USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @TWilkins

“We have some contacts within the FNN who are doing what they can to tell the truth, and there’s also at least one other major communications player using his network to spread the truth, but as far as we know, all these avenues are being hunted down and silenced.” Cross gave a half-shrug. “Diplomacy with those who would curtail truth and free speech is not likely to progress far.”

The man seemed more resigned to his fate, so to speak, as the conversation had progressed, and for that, Cross was glad. It would not have done anyone any favors if he’d left this conference lounge as wound up as he’d been only a few minutes prior. His comments about not envying the captain and being grateful for his position as a pilot had elicited a few inward smirks from Cross. As this didn’t seem the appropriate time to curtail the man’s delight in anonymity, he kept to himself the reality that at every level of the ship, they’d each, at some time or another, been forced to make a hard call.

“I have no questions at this time, Ensign. I know you have much to study before your mission launch, so I’ll say the more SOP onboarding interview after we all rendezvous.” He didn’t need to add that it was entirely possible neither of them would be at said rendezvous. Cross gave the ensign what he hoped was a bolstering smile of reassurance. “And your impression is correct. So stay on your toes and give it your best, no matter what comes your way.” He stood and offered his hand to the man in the old Terran custom. "Good luck."

Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!

Reply #18
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | The Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy] @Ellen Fitz

Sylvain did his best to keep his face neutral as the Vulcan spoke, nodding somewhat disheartenedly at the Commander’s words. It wasn’t that Sylvain was entirely surprised that the Theurgy’s efforts to spread the truth weren’t having much success, it was just that it might have perhaps been easier for him if he’d remained ignorant as to their attempts; he’d heard an awful lot about the Theurgy's activities when he’d been aboard the Bowman, and not one word of it had been positive. Knowing now that the Theurgy crew had actively been trying to get the truth out, only served to make their mountain appear all the more impassable.

Commander Cross certainly seemed to have a particular knack for curtailing the Ensign’s optimism at every opportunity.

“From my experience Sir, I expect that you’re correct.” Sylvain responded with a somewhat sombre tone. “The Theurgy got mentioned an awful lot in our weekly status updates, and I’m sorry to say that it was all pretty disparaging…” He remembered the disgust he’d felt himself, back when he’d been aboard the Bowman, learning of the Theurgy’s nefarious deeds and self-serving actions; already his perspective had shifted, and he’d only been aboard a few moments… If the ship had been governed by the self-serving lunatics that the FNN were painting them as, he was sure that he’d have received an entirely different welcome.

But, regardless, the Commander was correct; diplomatic efforts with those who would sooner see the galaxy plunged into chaos, were unlikely to progress very far.

“Admiral Anderson gave me the true version of events, but it's certainly the majority who believe the lies; I had myself, before he contacted me…” Sylvain paused, letting a rather full breath of concern flee from his lungs. “The reality of how devious these Parasites are... It's something else entirely.” He admitted, attempting to subdue a rather grim respect for how conniving their strategies actually were. Painting the Theurgy as Romulan defectors, and then forcing them to respond to incidents in Romulan space? From a strategic point of view, the Ensign supposed that such a move was genius; no doubt whatever action he became involved in whilst at the Hobus Star, would be twisted and painted in an unscrupulous light for the rest of Starfleet to see.

Though it hardly mattered now. Sylvain had an assignment, and he’d see it through.

The Commander stood from his position and extended his arm towards the Ensign, hand outstretched in the form of a Terran handshake, a gesture that Sylvain was somewhat familiar with, though not entirely appreciative of; skin-to-skin contact had an unfortunate tendency to aggravate his psionic abilities at the best of times. He’d have preferred a Vulcan salute. Yet, he was nothing if not professional, so he met the Vulcan’s outstretched hand with his own, gripping the older man’s hand firmly and giving it a fairly solid shake, before relinquishing it as quickly as he could manage, without appearing rude. He'd learned that if he didn't dwell on such gestures, it was easier to prevent his mind from overthinking them.

“Thank you Sir.” He replied cordially, conscious that as the Commander had reminded him, he had an inordinate amount of studying to do before he left for the Erudite. “You’ll have to save me a seat in the next Senior Staff meeting; I don't suppose I'll know anybody else…” He finished with a soft, if not awkward, breath of amusement, before he dismissed himself from the room, fetching his bag back up from the floor and slinging it over his shoulder, making a strident pace towards the doorway back into the corridor, before pausing somewhat abruptly in the threshold. He supposed he had a few more things to say...

“I’ll do a good job, don’t worry.” He added, stopping his exit and glancing backwards towards the Commander, taking the moment to offer the man a loose smile, delivering a somewhat astute nod in his direction. He was conscious that he hadn’t made the strongest first impression, so he at least wanted the opportunity to provide the Commander with an ending to their conversation, that might go a little further in instilling him with some confidence in Sylvain's abilities.

“My piloting abilities are inversely proportional to my interpersonal skills, so needless to say, I’m pretty damn good behind a helm.” Sylvain’s tone offered a more genuine levity this time, and he offered the man a somewhat more natural smile than he had previously. “Good luck to you too Sir." He paused once more, considering the rather dour reality of their circumstances, and decided on one final comment before he departed.

"See you on the other side.”

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