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Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet
Jack walked through the hallways, for a moment he wasn't sure why he was being brought before the executive officer. This was like being to the principals office. Now true he had admitted to lying, and really his main hope was that Sera was in no way involved in this instance. He would hate to be a reason why she was in trouble.

Then there was the request he had submitted with security. He had lost his D'K Tahg, and he knew full well that the item was protected under cultural rights, he had every right to request a new one, but the current political atmosphere of the ship probably meant that wasn't a good idea. Yet he submitted it anyway because it was the right thing to do, he had lost his weapon, he needed a new one it was uncomfortable being without his knife.

Oh there was the fraternization with members of the resolve crew, his night spent in Meony's quarters. The beating the three members of the devoted had been given, his mind ran over all of the possibilities. The conversation with Martin couldn't have been the reason she was productive, and better yet even more than a little nice.

Wow there is a lot of security going on deck one. Jack passed yet another armed guard. He looked around for a moment that was like the fifth one between the xo's office and the turbolift. He just shook it off for a moment. He knew nothing about this crews security rotation and clearly the guys and girls in orange had nothing to do with him, they were probably just intigrating the resolve crew into things.

That had to be it, extra security was to be expected here. As he approached the office he rang it in. "Junior lieutenant Hi'Jak reporting as ordered sir."

Walking into the office of the XO, his heart skipped a beat.

One day... this kind of office would be his. He didn't know how. Heck he couldn't even move up to full liuetenant in four years. He wanted that so badly, and yet had never really managed to intigrate into life in the Federation. It didn't matter that he had spent now just as much time among the Federation as he had on Qu'Nos the latter would always be his home, even if he couldn't return without having to deal with... personal issues.

"May I ask the nature of this meeting sir?"

Re: Chapter xx: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #1
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

There was never a shortage of work for a major starship's Executive Officer.  And when one was busy looking like a hole in space while undergoing extensive repairs after a major engagement, while integrating a large proportion of new crew members including several within the Senior Staff.  And that was on top of his own duties in training and crew readiness.  But one thing he certainly did not need at this time as one of their new numbers, an officer no less, having some tendencies that are sufficient to terrify one of the new senior officers. 

So, it was not long after he had received the note from Lieutenant Commander Martin, and after quickly reviewing it, he decided to take action himself.  After all, he was the one whose job it was to look after the department heads, and with discipline matters they could not handle themselves.  And in this case, it was up to him to deal with this.  But it did not mean he would not see to it additional security would not be on hand.  Which, really, was not unwise given the request to have a twelve inch fighting knife returned to him under the guise of 'cultural item'.

When his door chimed, he simply hit the control on his console for the door to open, and he watched the Lieutenant walking in.  He indeed looked like a half-Klingon, as his file said he was.  But he was also keenly aware of the Lieutenant's gauging of the room.  And that was not something he was entirely comfortable with.  And then, he asked the question he had more or less expected. 

"Lieutenant, be aware that this conversation is monitored and recorded, and if you decide to take any action I do not like, you will be brought down."  Trent's voice was, as it nearly always was, a near-whisper and his tone was unfailingly polite despite the nature of his own words. 

"As to why you are here, you have been displaying a rather disturbing pattern of behaviour since you arrived on board.  I am aware you have requested the return of a weapon, a Klingon dagger.  And that Commander Martin has made me aware of the conversation you had with her.  How you admitted to murdering your previous superior because he did not pay you sufficient attention and whom you did not perceive as sufficiently sympathetic to your interests.  And then, you threatened Commander Martin by stating you would prefer her to prove to be a better department head so she would be spared the same fate."

"Tell me, Lieutenant, what do you have to say for yourself?"

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

At Trent's voice Jack knew that something was wrong. He looked at the man for a moment unsure what was about to be said but feeling as though there was a knife dangled precariously at his neck, one wrong step and he was going to unfortunately stab himself. He swallowed feeling that cold metaphorical steel cut him all the closer when he actually did elaborate on the purpose of this meeting and the fact that he had somehow threatened Martin.

There was a low growl in the back of Jack's throat, but it didn't come out until he was accused of having killed the former science chief of 84 in cold blood over his more petty reasons for disliking the man. Sure he had no love between him and his former boss, but he would not stand for such slander being thrown at him. "That's not how that happened and not what I said."

"I said that was party to the fools death, not that I killed the man, and certainly not over the reasons quoted. He was between me and the door!" Jack took a breath knowing that statement would need elaboration. "Moments after I had found and presented the evidence of treason to Captain Hawthorne, I went back to my office to continue the meaningless tasks I had been given for the day. That was when my former boss showed up with two armed guards, there was a scuffle, and the idiot... was felled but not by me. If I hadn't done what I did I wouldn't have been able to get off the starbase with the evidence of my former captains treason."

"He died for the right reasons!" Jack scoffed looking around the room surprised that it felt good to get that off his chest, but at the same time knowing that this wasn't the kind of ship that took that well. "As for the accusation of threats against my commander, I disagree, i payed her a complement."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #3
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

While the Executive Officer had not been trained specifically as an interrogator, every officer going through basic intelligence officer training before heading for a specialty had an introduction on the matter, and were taught what to watch for and cues about body language.  And it was hard to miss that growl in the back of his throat.  But Trent did not move at all. He knew help was just outside, and he was confident he could hold off even an angry half-Klingon long enough for Cabrera to barge in...

"Calm yourself, Lieutenant.  I granted you the courtesy of meeting in my office at first.  But if you want to have a conversation in the Brig instead I can arrange for it."  And still, Trent was quiet but his voice had dropped a few degrees, heading closer to absolute zero by a few degrees. 

"Are you denying you told Commander Martin you were ready to deal your former superior a lethal blow?  And that you told her, and I quote,  your last boss died by your hand because he wouldn't listen to your advice or reason, or accept your transfer requests when you submitted them. you hope that she is a better commander?"  The Executive Officer had absolutely no intention to beat around the bush, and he'd much rather get though this matter sooner rather than later.

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

There was that twinge of anger as he was told to calm himself, but the tone helped him take it back down. Listening closely to the words that were tossed back at him, Jack looked around the office, taking a few steps to pace, expending the energy he felt so pent up about. His shoulders were still tight as he walked but the motion helped. Looking at Trent as the man sat stone faced, and cold he thought about Martin.

He liked Martin. Honestly she had the markings of a good commander. It had not been his intention to put a knife at her throat, and he could tell with who he was dealing with that he needed to avoid putting a knife to his throat as well. Othewrise Jack's career here would be closely monitored, and he couldn't afford that. Honestly being this close to the XO already was a problem, being under anyones watchful eye was a problem.

How was he supposed to play those words? "In a way it's not wrong. I did tell him not to interfear, and had the man allowed my transfer he would probably very well be alive. All those words are true by the technical standard. But like I said, I was ready to deal him the lethal blow, I would have killed that man, but for the right reasons."

Jack paused for a moment thinking it over. "I would call myself a liar. There are events that occurred on 84 which I can not relate to you. Nor can I relate it to Martin, and so I must take credit where there is none, and I must say I killed the man, honor dictates to me." The one thing he could not do would be incriminating Sera. He was though a little hurt that offense and in fact threat had been taken from his words.

"This code also forces me to be as transparent as possible with Martin, had she found out about my former bosses death in some other way it would have brought shame upon our dealings and other bad. It is considered in someones favor to be kept honest, were this ship holding different banners the words I said would not be seen as a threat, but an invitation of friendship and my sincerest hopes. I do believe Martin will be a fine commander, and I have nothing but respect for the woman. I was hoping those words conveyed my friendship." He turned towards Trent. His blue eyes more calm as he paced about the room the energy gone as he tried to work himself back down from attack to explanation. "This is simply a misunderstanding."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #5
"I am not interested in excuses, prevarication or deflection, Lieutenant." 

At this point in time, Trent's voice had grown even colder, and at this point it might have dipped even lower than absolute zero.  he had lost all tolerance for Jack's excuses and at this point in time, he was getting ready to have him sent to the Brig until such a time as he got bored of seeing him behind a forcefield.  But given the circumstances, the ship could not afford to lose someone with a minor in Temporal Mechanics.  Not when the enemy was manipulating the timeline itself. 

And now there were things he could not say?  At this point in time, any and all information about what happened on the Starbase was valuable, even if it could be compromising to someone.  Perhaps Trent was no longer the ship's intelligence officer, but he was still trained as an analyst, and as the Captain's seniormost advisor it was his job to have all the facts to present towards a strategic decision. 

"As for the nature of your words, I know enough about Klingon culture that even if they are as forthright as is valued within the Empire, they are still taken as a warning, or even a threat by one's superiors; that they are fair notice that they are going to be held at a high standard.  And, when taken at face value, you are saying that you expected Commander Martin to pay special attention and accord undue weight to anything you may have to say as well as give particular consideration to any request of yours lest she face the same fate as your previous supervisor.  Do you honestly expect me to overlook this when it was brought to my attention?"

While he remained perfectly calm, Trent debated whether he should have Security come into his office.  This situation could quickly escalate, even though the Lieutenant seemed to be calming down to some degree.  But he was fairly certain of one thing: he had clearly conveyed that he was neither intimidated nor frightened by this man who claimed he had a hand in killing one of his superiors.

"There are many things that do not add up here, Lieutenant.  And until things are made perfectly clear to me, Lieutenant, you will not be leaving this room unless it is to take residence in the Brig.  Starting with who you are trying to protect and why you think there are things affecting your duty on this ship you must keep from the chain of command."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Oh this was great, he had to get the one guy on this ship who cracked meanings, and carried a strong head on his shoulder. What's more there were things he could not do from the brig. This was a defeat. Six years he had served on eighty four, and in a day he had been beaten on Theurgy. There was a small clap of his hands as Jack turned. Finding the small table and taking a seat at it.

This was not where he wanted to be. But In a way Trent was right, he had set out to make sure that Martin pay him special heed. He hadn't really meant to insult her. All of this was simply because for a moment at least he had managed to forget his place. Jack let out a long sigh as he sat in that chair mulling over how much information he was having to give over. The truth would be all of it, or at least his personal history of it.

His palms went open on the glass as he crossed his legs and looked at Trent. "I worked under Hawthorne for three years and not a single person could pronounce my name properly, it always stuck out as odd, sitting there in that room always thinking that I must be the only sane person on that starbase, reports altering, and things going missing, but then you know how that feels don't you commander? You've known that sinking feeling before of what it can be like to work with them."

"Maybe we should take a seat, and I can tell you everything." He looked at the door, his blue eyes pointing to the very ears. This was not a conversation he wanted broad cast to every level. "lo' Dunmo' 'ay' batlh."

In all honesty he was intimidated by Trent. He was considerably outclassed in terms of experience this was not his usual methods, but then he had been the one to step out of lines with Martin, and now some sacrifices needed to be made if he was going to get to the bottom of all the mysteries that this warship presented. "Oh, and could I also bother you for a glass of water?"

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #7
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

One thing for certain, Trent had not invited the Lieutenant to seat himself, let alone at the small conference table in his office.  But before he spoke, he noticed just how this wayward scientist had chosen to sit.  His legs were not just fully extended, but his knees were locked and his ankles crossed.  His hands were flat on the tabletop, and his posture was one that, in fact, would make it hard to move quickly.  He was making himself non-threatening.  The way a source who was not entirely trusted would be asked to sit.  Why would a scientist know about these things?  Unless.. Unless he was more than just a scientist himself. 

And what followed confirmed that theory. 

Instantly, Trent started to think about Starfleet Intelligence.  However, no flag came up when the files of the new personnel were recovered from Starfleet's networks via the covert back-door he had established what felt like lifetimes ago, not even with his own enhanced access.  So, not Starfleet?  Or deep enough cover that it would not show?  No, that was unlikely.  No way a deep-cover Starfleet officer would have put his foot so deep in his mouth.

But he did catch he wanted things off the record.  And, with a press of a key, he opened the discreet link to Cabrera.  "Ending monitoring, but stand by." 

"I'm getting tired of this, Lieutenant.  Clear things up.  Now."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Jack smiled as the monitoring ended. He noticed that his request for water had gone unanswered but at this point that was pretty much to be expected. He looked at Trent trying to figure out if he could hold any single piece of information, but instead just shook his head knowing everything would have to come out.

"Lieutenant Hi'Jak of Imperial Intelligence. I've been with the Empire since before my deployment to Starfleet academy. During the Dominion War the I.I. Realized that halfbreeds like myself could be used as spies within the Federation forces, and so dozens of us were shipped out from the empire. Originally my job was to get as far as I could in the science division and uncover any proof that Starfleet had been messing with the timeline.."

"Time travel is a constant curiosity to the Empire. Many houses believe that through hindsight, and the correct application the Empire could be changed for the better."

Jack tapped a hand against the glass table and looked around the room for a moment trying to relate the earlier years of his life. The goals that had been set into motion, but instead just focused on the current investigation.  "I became side tracked however when one of my papers was classified above my grade and I was sent to the the Romulan line, from there my orders became less about my science work and more about the Romulan and Federation dealings."

"During my stint aboard the base, I was kept in the dark. Even as far as my job working along the senior staff I never really got to know anyone. Like I said the crew of 84 couldn't even pronounce my name properly."

"I got as far as assistant chief of the science department a year ago, Hawthorne never even bothered to learn my name. He introduced me three times as the 'new guy.' I think he actually took profound pleasure in ignoring me because he knew that it would cause me some kind of pain. When I found the threat of the bomb, I originally wanted to use it as a way to boost my standing in their eyes. I handed it over to Hawthorne and didn't even have a clue that he was a spy as well." He gave a sheepish chuckle. "Klingon Intelligence, can sometimes be a bit of an oxymoron."

"That's been the last eight years of my life. No social interactions aside from times when I would drink with various crews and listen to them talk about things that they shouldn't be talking about. Pilots are my favorite targets, when they drink they are so willing to talk about everything they do. I've been surrounded and in a hostile environment for eight years. Yet this is my first time getting caught, and all because she took a real interest in my ideas for a change. All because I had a commander who was willing to ask for my advice It's not something i'm used too outside of the empire, I panic'd and slipped up, wanting to warn her to heed my advice, for a moment I forgot which flag this ship had."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #9
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

Trent had no idea what to expect at this point.   Part of him had expected Starfleet Intelligence... but Klingon Imperial Intelligence?  That was hardly something he had seen coming.  After all, the Klingon information-gathering networks were hardly known for their effectiveness, let alone their ability to deeply penetrate the Federation.  And given how much they liked using half-Klingons for the job, their agents tended to stand out wherever they went and would be discovered.  Unless one never really managed to get high enough to warrant a more in-depth security screening that would reveal something not entirely copacetic. 

And then he explained everything.  His interest in temporal mechanics as a way to benefit the Empire, then to follow the developments with the Romulans, and how he gave information to Hawthorne without even realizing he was the enemy despite getting a feeling about him.  That, the XO could definitely relate to; especially when it came to wondering about his sanity. 

And then, he explained what had led to his comments to Commander Martin, and getting caught.  Having forgotten what flag Theurgy flew under. 

"First of all," Trent started, "Demanding your department head give undue attention to your findings without corroborating them is what one could call rather poor science, don't you think?  Second, as I said even on a Klingon ship that sort of comment would have gotten some kind of attention you'd rather not want.  And third, you would have been caught eventually, especially here.  The moment you'd have tried to communicate with the Empire, you'd have been made."

Trent took a deep breath.  "You are aware that I must report this to the Captain, right?  I can't leave this just between us.  Especially if there is any chance we can establish a pipeline with the Empire."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #10
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Jack shrugged sheepishly in truth he knew points one and two that Trent had made were correct. He had far over stepped his bounds on that. His only excuse was that it had been a really stressful two days, and well he wasn't exactly a social butterfly to begin with. Honesty and women he could handle, pressures of his jobs? he had never been great with that part.

"To be fair the Theurgy is well and above my normal pay grade. I said I was a spy, not that I was a particularly good one."  All evidence to the current after all. Still Jack looked away for a moment blushing as he thought it over. Shaking his head. "I have very limited information on the Theurgy. My government was only able to cold drop a hand full of files and most of it was stuff that the public had already known if only as rumors. That's part of the reason I listen to the daily casts from FNN, and why I was always enamored by the stuff surrounding this ship. I'd very much like to get a chance to speak with the A.I."

Jack sighed and drummed his fingers along the table for a moment. "Yeah I figured this would happen from more or less the word go. I was hoping to have more of a plan set up before I was found, but it was reported that you had the full records of 84 aboard this ship, so it was really only a matter of time before this got out. Still it's not like I want to broadcast my life to the rest of the ship. I'd like to keep the circle as small as possible."

Then it came to the hardest part of this topic and conversation. "My position within Imperial Intelligence does give me some powers, but I can't deflect the entirety of the Klingon Defense Force, you are on the boarder of our space, and if you are found there is a chance I could help, but anything more than a single ship and my authorization will not sway them from attacking. The Simulcast will be in the hand of every government by now, so the first city will have heard the words of Captain Ive's even if the message was a fake there is little I can do to sway the houses without something that would give them incentive them to act."

"The message came out in favor of the Romulans, and the Romulans are the enemy of the Empire ergo through association The Theurgy will find few friends in the Empire. Without solid evidence of a parasite infection in hand I will never be able to convince the Empire. I will work with the science department of this ship until we have such evidence but I can not present such a theory until such time that we have solid, tangible proof. So it is my job to play the skeptic. It would cost me my position and your pipeline, Plus if they are in the Federation we can not preclude the possibility that such a thing has infested the empire as well, all it would take would be a few houses, and one could have sway over all the dealings of the empire. Our leadership allows us to act fast and make strong decisions but has always left us vulnerable to internal threats."

"If you want the help of the empire I have some limited sway and power, but once I use that power there needs to be an exchange. Any action I take as such must be to the benefit of the Empire. As long as you understand that there will be a price paid in full than I can help you. But I would urge you to consider the ramifications of any action you or the captain ask me to take. The cost may be higher than you are willing to pay at the end of the day."

Re: Chapter 29: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [1230 hrs]

Reply #11
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

Technically, the Theurgy had an Intelligence Officer now, and that sort of thing would fall under Lieutenant ch'Rayya's purview.  But the fact it had been revealed in less than ideal circumstances meant that for now, he'd have to be kept on a need-to-know basis.  And of course, Lieutenant Hi'Jak needed to be kept on a leash himself.  And his own superiors would need to be fed information from time to time.  Which meant the reports he would send would need to be vetted, and scanned for hidden information, before they'd be released...

Joy, so much more work. 

But it did not mean he would just sit back, accepting that the failed Klingon spy would be little more than useless lest there be a hefty price paid.  But for now, he did have some options.  And there would be a lot of time to consider what would be done.  Especially since they were effectively under a communications blackout as they were trying to be a hold in space, in the depths of a nebula where sensors were effectively useless in both directions but a single transmission powerful enough to punch through the interference would be like setting off a flare. 

"For now, I will be consulting with the Captain about your status.  Speaking just for myself, I would say we will want the Empire to be unaware of the fact you were caught for the time being and you will feed them occasional reports.  Reports that will be crafted with Lieutenant ch'Rayya's assistance and vetted at the very least by me before they are sent out.  We can't risk information compromising our tactical posture from leaking back to Starfleet at this time.  However, I would encourage you to start something about how the message that went out was not the initial one we had planned for and had been co-opted by elements with an unknown agenda at this time."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #12
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

"Yeah I would rather they not catch on either. Failed Imperial Intelligence operatives tend to have this problem where they are never seen or heard from again.  I love my Empire don't get me wrong, but I'd rather not have my head displayed on the gates of  Gre'thor for all approach the afterlife after me to be warned of my failings, and dishonor." It was a little humiliating to think that after all of his work he was choosing to live and be found out rather than to the honorable thing and end his own life, but to be fair his life ending knife was on a desk somewhere on the Starbase he had left without much of a science department to run it.

He took a sigh in truth though this was the scoop of a life time. If his investigation proved useful, and he could find proof that these parasites existed he could use that to climb the ranks. Forget that dream of one day having this one Xo's office, forget being a captain. He could one day sit on the council if he played this correctly. Holding more power than any half breed had before him.

If he actually proved to the empire that there was a new threat, and forced the old ways to listen to him. If he made them believe in the theurgy's mission then he would have the gratitude of the empire, and one day, he could even see himself sitting at the center of that table.

Emperor Hi'Jak... it was certainly one way to keep his head in tact.

For now though none of that ambition really mattered if he couldn't adjust to being a part of this crew. He wouldn't lead anything if he continued about the way he had on starbase 84. Taking his time and tormenting his superior officer. Martin  seemed to want to respect him, so the least Jack could do was respect her back.

"I didn't mean to make the situation sound any more ominous Commander. It's just that outwardly supporting the Theurgy would mean drawing my empire into a war with the Federation. If I take control over even a smaller ship of the KDF to assist you the Federation will press the empire. It wouldn't even take a parasite at that point to start a war."

"I know this was an inquisition on my character, but I want to be honest with you. I'm..." He looked at Trent for a moment pausing because he wasn't sure what to do. "I'm so out of my league. I was trained on Qo'Nos for three years for my mission yet I couldn't recognize a spy sitting right across from me. I play it off like it's a joke, but I think the fact that I'm sitting here right now tells us both... I'm not cut out for an assignment this big."

He shook his head rubbing his face for a moment. "I know this sounds stupid, that the next words out of my mouth are going to be very odd coming from a spy for a foreign element but... I'd like to apply for officers training."

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #13
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

The very idea of Klingon spies was one that seemed rather antithetical to the image the Empire projected, especially given the value their culture placed on brutal honesty and forthrightness.  But then again, it was an interesting glimpse into the collective Klingon psyche as to how they would use half-breeds for intelligence gathering, probably because they did not view them as bound by the strictures of their code of honour as pure-blooded Klingon were.

Which would certainly explain as to why this particular individual was sorely lacking in tradecraft or even analytical techniques.  And if those were any indication, there was no reason to expect he was any more skilled at covert communications.  Which, in a way, meant that it was very likely that he had been identified by counter-intelligence a while back, and he was allowed to continue to operate because he was not considered much of a threat at the time. 

"At this time, you are hardly within the reach of the Empire, and a good thing about being an asset out in the cold is that you do not really have to come back in.  But in the immediate, as I said, we will work on tailoring some reports for you that will not compromise us while providing something with at least a shred of value.  But it will take time and effort to keep seeding the evidence in your reports.  Too much, too fast and they will smell a rat."

And training?  Officer's training?  "Lieutenant, you are trained as an officer.  That you accomplished on your own.  As an intelligence officer?  I am afraid you are hopeless."

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #14
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Jack listened to Trent as he spoke. In truth he was right, he supposed that he knew more about the inner workings of the empire than he did about Starfleet at this point having been kept in the dark for almost four years. what's more is he was a talented scientist with one rather advanced degree. His major in vetrenary science wasn't all that helpful, but temporal mechanics? Here he was a little more essentual than he was within the empire. He could claim asylum.

That would however mean giving up on his homeland. Never seeing Qo'Nos again. He loved his Empire and his home. Even if he had never really felt loved. He had a sham of an arranged marriage, he was an outcasted half breed, and in the end he was sent on a mission that was probably just to write him out of his houses will. He wasn't even able to use his proper last name because members of the I.I. Gave up that right.

Looking back it would have been very easy to say that Jack had been scammed, but the real blow to his gut came when Trent moved onto his request, a hard punch to his ego so devastating that actually caused Jack to pause as he just rested his head against the table for a moment, the surface being rather cool against his forehead ridges.

"Sir has anyone told you that kicking a man when they are down is cruel and unusual punishment?"

"I mean I have managed to survive eight years of field work... by.." and that was the moment, things started to connect. He hadn't survived eight years of field work. He had been laughed at for eight years on both sides. Put to the edge of romulan space. The only time his movements had ever mattered were the few months that his Empire and Starfleet had been at war. and the boarders had never come close enough to him to actually matter.

He blinked slowly as he came to the realization. "by being completely useless to both Starfleet and my Empire. Oh... Oooh that's just... yep."

Jack's life was a cruel joke.

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #15
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

When the foreign intelligence asset mentioned the cruelty of kicking a man when he was down, Trent allowed himself a quiet chuckle.  True, it may come across as the XO mercilessly pounding on the hapless half-Klingon, but such was not what he was doing  He understood if Hi'Jak did not know of his methods or his attitude, being a very recent addition to the ship's company, but Carrigan Trent did not mince words, nor did he coddle.  And while he was always polite nearly to a fault, it was only a fool or someone utterly unfamiliar with him who would confuse his ordinarily quiet voice, calm tones and polite choice of words for weakness. 

"Lieutenant, I'm not saying that Counter-Intelligence knew you existed, because frankly I have no idea if they did.  However, as a junior scientist with degrees that are ordinarily in less than high demand and tend to be low-profile, you made yourself beneath notice.  You made yourself largely invisible, a presence that is overlooked and that, I must say, was a success.  Assuming of course it was deliberate.  And think about it this way: if you had been an asset reporting critical information, you'd have been recalled, or risked detection through frequent reporting.  And if you had been recalled and anyone connected the dots, you'd be branded a spy by Federation law, and you'd be utterly useless as a field agent, and the Imperial Intelligence would have you reading report and cranking out analyses behind a desk for the rest of your career.  Which I get the impression is not your idea of stimulating work."

"But now the question is, other than reporting you to Captain Ives, which I must do, what should we do with you, and to address the very public, heavily implied threats you made towards Commander Martin?"

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #16
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

In some ways yes his presence was supposed to be less boisterous and loud. He had tried his best to blend in, but at the end of the day had done that a little too well. It was difficult to get anything done. He had always been afraid to stick out, after all if people actually took the time to notice him than there had always been the chance that he could get hammered down.

That said he had still managed to climb the ladder, junior luitenant in four years of service out of the academy was impressive. As a science officer he had done well for himself. He looked at Trent brushing his chin for a moment. feeling the more rugged facial hair as he thought about it.

Right now the theurgy was beyond the reach of both the Federation and the empire. Defection while aboard this ship was possible. Imperial Intelligence couldn't get to him, and neither could Starfleet. All they were asking was that he go on with his duties, and occasionally pass some doctored messages. Join the theurgy's expansive intelligence network.

It would mean betraying the empire, but at the same time the empire wouldn't exactly reward him for his loyalty. He probably should have taken his life at least three times before now, so it  wasn't like he was honorable in their eyes either way. Still he had to think on that, and choose his place carefully. The Theurgy may offer him a respite, but it wasn't a perminant solution eventually he would have to take a side.

As for his current problem towards Martin, he honestly hadn't meant to threaten her, and had no solution to that situation. If there was no action against him than it would raise questions as to why he had gotten off so easily.  Too harsh a punishment would end up interfering with his work. Going easy against him would probably end up with Martin feeling unsafe furthering the divide between them. "I think that I can honestly patch things up with Commander Martin, she seemed level headed, and even kind to a point, given time I might be able to repair that bridge, but if the apology is something ordered than any attempt I make will come off poor. Perhaps... a few days of double shifts, keeping me under supervision, and keeping me unarmed?"

He had worked under supervision before, but also there was just too much to do on this ship. "Right now resources are spread thin, having me work myself to death is a lot more useful than putting me under house arrest. If i'm unarmed all you have to worry about is an angry Klingon, something I think most security officers are trained for, and  if you choose someone to watch me as a judge of my character, than I can work without giving off the appearance that there is any favoritism in place."

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #17
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

With the subject of punishment being broached, Trent was indeed waiting for suggestions.  He had a few ideas of his own, and most of them he would bet the Lieutenant would find quite unpleasant in a lot of ways.  But still, he wanted to see if that half-Klingon failed spy indeed did have a good head on his shoulders.  And apparently he did. 

"First of all, except in the strict performance of your duties within the Science department, you will not approach Commander Martin directly.  You want a private word with her to explain yourself, you book an appointment with her in writing and you state clearly what it is about.  That is a point I will not compromise on, and if I hear from her again that she feels you are a risk to her safety, you and I will have a conversation far less pleasant than this one.  Am I making myself absolutely clear?"

But at least, he had a decent idea with regards to actual punishment.  Extra work was always something Trent favoured.  But not just for the sake of denying someone their leisure time, but to drive in a lesson, make them appreciate what they would otherwise enjoy, and to teach a little humility.  "The current weapons policy is that no one is armed unless specifically authorized, so that will not change.  But it certainly means you will not be getting that fighting knife of yours back any time soon either.  As for supervisions?  Lieutenant Commander Dewitt will be contacting you later today with your new schedule and reporting requirements.  You will abide by them, otherwise we will be having a similar conversation again. Except this time you will not be allowed to sit."

"One week extra duties, minimum four hours, no more than six.  That is above and beyond any additional training you may be assigned over the duration.  You will be assigned to the repair crews, as a gopher.  Oh, I hope you do not get sick in zero-G; I hear Klingons aren't too fond of it.  Because so long as external repairs are underway, your station for extra duties will be EVA."

"Do you have any more questions?"

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #18
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Well on the one hand it seemed his suggestions for punishments were good, but on the other hand he was now stuck on EVA duty outside the ship. He didn't even like being inside the ship, how exactly was he supposed to deal with being outside of it? Couldn't he have flown shuttles around? he had more experience doing that then he did doing hull repairs. No one ever needed to do hull repairs while on the starbase.

For all of it's faults up until his boss had turned out to be a giant traitor for the Romulans eighty four had been an extremely comfortable assignment. Still this had been his suggestion he had pretty much figured that would be where he was going to end up after all of this.

"I haven't been in zero G conditions since the academy." He said with a small pout, but knew he wasn't going to get out of that assignment anytime soon.

Still considering the infraction he had taken this was still much easier than it should have been. His position allowed him to get off lightly for all things considered, though he did want to speak to Martin it would probably have to wait a few days. When Trent asked if he had any remaining questions he searched his mind for a moment.

"Just one actually. What happens if I ask to return to the Empire? What if I decide that my life would be better spent behind a desk at Imperial Affairs. Before When I joined this ship I was told that if I so desired I could exit on the next avialble port... Now that you know who and what I am, am I your prisoner? Or your officer?"

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #19
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

Apparently, the Lieutenant was not overly pleased at the assignment the XO had found for him.  But then again, extra duties were seldom meant to be enjoyable, and being a gopher for hull repairs would be backbreaking labour regardless of being in zero-G and hard vacuum.  And wearing an EVA suit would make it even more unpleasant. 

However, he had not quite expected a question to be asked.  Typically, there were no further need to expand on anything by the time he was done straightening someone out.  But, Hi'Jak obviously had something on his mind, and what it was turned out to be a rather difficult question if there was one.  Of course the Captain had said people would be allowed to leave once they'd find some kind of harbour.  And so far as he was concerned, Trent was certain the Captain would keep hir word.  The question, really, was one of time.

"I've not had any cause to mistrust the Captain's word, so when the Captain decides to make port and you choose to leave, I can't see any going back on hir word.  But in the meantime, whether you want to be one of this ship's officers or spend your time in the brig is entirely up to you.  But I would rather have you as an asset than as a total drain of resources sitting behind a forcefield."

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #20
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Jack for his part seemed satisfied with those answers. He had no idea what his life would be like if he returned to the empire, and there was zero chance for him to go back to the Federation now. Even if he did manage it either way he would just be stuck behind a desk again. His new job wasn't safe, it wasn't rewarding, but it would be interesting. He looked to the room around him, some part of him still wanted that.

He didn't want to say that he would kill for a command of his own, considering why he had been brought to this room that would have been an extremely poor choice of words, but he was done with having a desk job. He had this desire, this was his fresh start, after four years of being stuck behind a racist having his work stolen and passed off as other peoples. He had a chance here to actually dive in and get back in the field do some real science.

Even if it meant being party to some grand conspiracy about the world. He had no idea how that would work out in anyones favor but if he stayed here there was a chance he could accelerate his own work and his own reputation. For now he supposed that there was only one thing left to do.

"Sir I request that you punch me." It may have sounded a little crazy, but he looked around the office. "The security officers outside have not been privy to the last twenty minutes of our conversation. If I leave now while the camera's are off they will expect something has been off.  If i recall walking past here you seemed to have set up a large barricade, those men will be curious as to why you cut out the feed. Fewer questions will be asked if I walk out of here with a black eye."

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #21
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

Initially, it seemed as though Lieutenant Hi'Jak had accepted the nature of his role on Theurgy for now.  And, frankly, it was probably the best possible outcome for now.  In fact, it was a victory of sorts, having managed to get the start of a pipeline into the Klingon Empire, and keeping someone whose scientific qualifications  could come in rather handy in the near future.  But the Executive Officer found himself surprised.

"Pardon me?", he asked in his normal, near-whisper as the half-Klingon requested he be struck.  And that question was immediately followed up with his reasoning.  Which was completely out of touch with anything resembling reality so far as Carrigan Trent was concerned.  "I think not, Lieutenant," replied the human. 

"If I need to hit you, it will be in self-defence because you have seen it fit to assault me and you will be on your way to the Brig, via Sickbay once Security barges in through this door.  Also, this crew knows me.  They know I do not yell, for one thing, so striking you would be entirely out of character for me.  As for the additional guards, they were aware I would be dealing with an individual who was a serious discipline concern; if monitoring was disabled, they will not worry themselves over it, simply that it was matters I did not judge they needed to hear about."

And then, a ghost of a rather vicious smile appeared on Trent's lips.  "Outside monitoring was disabled.  But do you seriously think I did not keep a record of this meeting, if only to have something to refer to if we ever need to have this sort of conversation again?"

Re: Chapter 28: Cultural Misunderstandings | Day 02 [12:30 hrs]

Reply #22
[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Jack was confused. Yet again this crew confounded him, had he been back on starbase 84 he was sure the offer of a punch to the face would have been accepted, had he been on a klingon ship it would have been rather joyous, instead this man stood across from him, spoke quietly and again showed that he was insultingly soft. Jack had just given an offer, and the man sure had his reasons, but they weren't exactly good enough to calm the rage he felt at the response.

Jack was insulted, and it clearly showed across his face, who was this guy to think Jack was so far beneath his heel? Outside monitoring and record keeping apparent blackmail yeah that was all fine Jack would have done the same, but at the time this was also the first time Jack got actually angry. He leaned forward putting his hands on Trent's desk and leaning towards him as the man stayed seated.

"I'm sorry but what?" Jack was glaring, the man probably thought this was about the blackmail, but his further words would quell that thought after the fact. "I'm sure you have your personal reasons, but I just offered you to punch me, and you decline? how high up on your horse are you? do you think the men and women under your command are so far beneath you that you can't take your time to acknowledge them?"

"This ship is still under Starfleet banners I still have my cultural identity and rights, you can take my knife, but you can not have my pride sir, and if self defense is the requirement for such acknowledgement than I will leave today, but I will be filing a complaint. I may not have the evidence of this room on official records, but I will file complaint after complaint until you are so buried in paperwork that you will find and meet me in the sparing ring of the gym, because I will not be ignored, and if I have to use Federation tactics to receive my due than so be it!"

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #23
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO's Office | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Kaligos

Most people would simply have accepted it if one's Executive Officer declined to punch them for no apparent reason.  However, it would seem that Lieutenant Hi'Jak had entirely different notions, and chose to take offence to the fact that Trent, despite his skill at delivering violence when it was warranted, was not so inclined at the time.  And truly, the human was wondering what the hybrid's game was.  He had been sufficiently cooperative so far, but Trent did not trust him as far as Heather could throw him; for all he knew he was recording the meeting himself through his combadge and would love to have something to hold over the XO. 

After all, he had told Commander Martin he expected her to pay him extra and undue attention. 

And those notions of the Lieutenant's, apparently, included stepping well into the Commander's personal space and leaning heavily upon his desk, and said his piece.  He deemed it an insult he declined to strike him?  That he thought the he considered himself superior?  Did he forget this was a Starfleet vessel and that, cultural considerations aside, it was generally frowned upon for a superior to strike a subordinate?  But what followed next was the straw that broke the back of Trent's calm.

So if he would not strike him, Hi'Jak would file frivolous complaints and bog not only he but the Captain as well in paperwork until the matter would be settled to his satisfaction?  Did he have any idea what this would do to the ship's readiness and mission effectiveness?  To the confidence of the crew in their team their Captain and XO formed? 

That, Commander Carrigan Trent could not allow to happen.

His face still an impassive mask, the human's hands shot out and grasped the Lieutenant's wrists and, as he leaped out of his chair and to his feet, he pulled against them hard towards himself and to the sides.  The hybrid's weight was heavily on his hands, leaning forward as he was, and with his support removed he started falling, and Trent capitalized upon this.  His good hand went to the back of his neck and helped the half-Klingon down until he came to fall hard upon upon the desk.  And his artificial hand rose high above his head and came down.

The prosthetic limb was not possessed of any strength he did not have per se, but given that it did not tire, nor did it feel pain, nor could the joints be overstrained, and that it did not compress as a hand of flesh and blood, or did not risk breaking a finger or his wrist if he did not punch properly?  It was a formidable weapon in its own right.  Sjaandin Fedd and T'Rena had been proof enough of that...

And between the hammer of the synthetic limb and the anvil of the tough polymers of his desk?  A head, even a half-Klingon head would be hard-pressed to come out without serious damage.  And when the closed artificial fist struck, it was not hair nor skin nor bone, but the desk itself, and chips of plastic flew as he brought it down, quite literally, just off the end of the Klingon's nose.  And only then did he speak.

"Lieutenant, I have been more than patient with you.  By rights, you ought to be in the Brig by now between your admissions of being a spy and the threat you uttered to Commander Martin."  Trent's voice was still his usual near-whisper, tightly controlled and even, but the tone was cold enough to make helium deep in a star's mantle turn solid within the Planck Interval; and only a complete and utter fool would mistake his quiet tone for weakness or fear.  "I was willing to work with you, and find ways to make you an asset to this ship.  I was even willing to overlook the way you spoke to me for now.  But what I will not overlook is your threat to hamper this ship's cohesion, readiness and effectiveness."

"And this is not something I intend to ever have to repeat to you; nor will I tolerate you even hinting you are posing a threat to myself or any other member of this crew.  Do you understand me, Lieutenant?"

Re: Day 02 [1230 hrs.] Cultural Misunderstandings

Reply #24

[ Lt. JG Hi'Jak | deck 01| Trent's Office] Attn: @CanadianVet

Jack wasn't necessarily taken aback, he had wanted the commander to hit him after all, had outright asked and been insulted that his ask had been denied. So upon hitting the desk he blinked, and when the hand smacked the desk and he felt the vibration of the metal with his face. Comprehension slowly dawned on him about what had just happened as his vision went dark for a moment, and then recovered albeit blurry.

The question wasn't if he understood because as of now he very well did. Standing as he had been released though slowly as he assessed the damage to himself and the desk. Trent had been sharp to point out the difference between them with his strike, if he was expecting the man to panic or think that the lines had been crossed he would be wrong, in fact the look across Jack's face was was respect and a small amount of bliss, his legs trembled slightly.

It wasn't every day that a man, let alone a human male could pull the kind of response he had just felt, it was a passing thing, like a school boy crush. Jack didn't normally swing in both directions, but often had a thing for authority with a temper. If Trent was a woman he would be exactly the type that Jack would pursue. "if only." the words were soft and probably not actually meant for Trent to hear.

Shaking out of his momentary revelry of something he missed from his Klingon days. He gave a crisp salute. "Sir yes sir. I look forward to working with you in the future." Just like that he was snapped out of whatever disobedience that Trent may have expected. Put in his place, and ready to fall in line.

Standing at attention Jack waited for the right to be dismissed from Trent's presence.

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