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Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

[ Cameron Henshaw & Dr. Silim Parnak| Yeoman's Office | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan

The aftermath of Starbase 84 had left Theurgy crews with quite a setback, yet also with a lot of new faces. Especially for Cameron Henshaw as she had sectioned the crews of the Orcus and Resolve on floors with Theurgy personnel. She had tried to keep most of the clusters together so no crewmember of each ship would have to venture far to meet up with familiar faces. The risk of causing separate bands was greater by this. However, for now after the mutiny with the Harbinger things needed to cool down first before Cameron could even try to reassign the sleeping quarters of so many.

It wasn't the only thing on her plate though. She also tried to get a reading on how everyone felt after the failed mission back at the starbase. Morale was at an all time low and the losses were just tremendous. Some people sought audiences with the counselors while others pitched it up to meet with the captain himself. Most of these requests could be handled off by the senior officers in their department, so Cameron served as a filtering station. She'd only let the justified people talk with the captain and even that had to go through an official agenda.

Today was no different as she had scheduled a certain Parnak from the Resolve with the captain. He had written an extensive letter in which he offered his services to Starfleet. Cameron had doubted to pass this on to the Science department head yet figured the man wouldn't take no for an answer. He would arrive in the next couple of minutes while she sorted through the rest of the requests that nearly spammed the inbox.

Cameron eyes shifted through the words before she sighed and looked away from the screen. Her hair was still damp yet tied up in a bow which caused her long hair to look more compact. Her make up was limited to a minimum as her freckles showed a little though her skin. She looked idly at the screen as she kept reliving the final moments she had spent on the command center. After the parasite had been subdued, she had seen her adoptive father's true face. She didn't know if anyone else had seen it, maybe she was imagining it, yet she knew the man better than anyone else aboard this ship. She had seen his regret, and eventually the peace he had found before the end. It caused for tears to well up in her eyes before two lines ran down her face. She sobbed softly before she wiped her cheeks off, taking a deep breath just in time as her door chimed "Enter." she said, a bit croaky yet still loud enough.

Outside, Silim Parnak smoothed the chest of his tunic. He had managed to find a small smattering of Cardassian clothing in the replicator. The selection had been poor, essentially basic clothing types in an old of date style. It was as if the replicator was a portal to Cardassian fashion of yesteryear, the drab utilitarian choices of half a decade ago. The tunic itself was a brown long-sleeved affair with a wide neck and a darker grey highlight of fabric. The highlight started under the armpit and curved in a shallow arc over the breast until it met its partner in the sternum. It then plunged directly down to the base of the tunic which itself stopped about midway down Parnak's thighs. The ensemble was completed by matching brown trousers and boots. It was simple, effective, yet somehow completely boring.

Oh, how he missed his magazines. He had brought a number loaded onto a PADD with him to Starbase 84 and had managed to convince the publisher to send him further issues via subspace link. They were now lost to him, probably archived in some Federation inventory facility, alongside his old military uniform and his other personal effects. It pained him to think of his belongings gathering dust somewhere but in the grand scheme of things, Silim couldn't really complain. He was alive, which, judging from the damage done during Theurgy's attack on the Starbase, would have been quite improbable had he not been accidently kidnapped by Kendrick. For now, it would have to be enough to be able to access suitable clothing. He hated Federation fashion choices and it just would not do to meet the captain in the now stale clothes he had worn during his rescue from Resolve. So far, he hadn't dared to place that outfit in the garment reprocessor; Secretly, Silim wasn't sure he would ever be able to get it back if he did so.

The meeting request had come sooner than he had anticipated when sending off the original message, though in many regards he wasn't surprised. He had meticulously crafted the message to provide what he hoped was the maximum interest to the Captain. It had obviously attracted the right sort of attention as he was subsequently asked to come to deck one by Ives' Yeoman - Cameron Henshaw. Now he stood before the entryway and after pressing the door chime, he heard the beckon to come.

Showtime. The doors parted and in Silim strolled. He was confident, nothing would detract him from his mission. Parnak knew what he wanted and how to get it. He had planned for all contingencies. Well, all but one.

In this office, or what was more accurately described as a glorified waiting room, there was a young woman desperately trying not to sob. It was obvious she was trying to maintain composure but the redness around her eyes and light smudge of wiped away mascara betrayed her. Was Ives really like what Parnak has seen on the Federation News Network? A brutal and uncaring monster willing to do anything to get what he wants? And just what had he done to this poor girl? Was he keeping here against his will? As Silim moved closer, he wouldn't have been surprised to see her shackled to her desk. It was diabolical, and a clear sign of Ives' genius. Not only had he set up a beauty here to distract, but he had caused her distress to ensure its effectiveness.
Try as he might, there was no way that he could ignore this woman's peril. Silim was not as heartless as her captor and he had plainly planned for this. Ives may have distracted him with this foray, but Silim would not be deterred. He would just have to deal with this and get back his advantage. To do this Parnak had to know what tortured her and he knew just how to break the ice.

"Now now, my dear." He started, smiling as warmly and gently as a Cardassian could. "I know that I may be old, but surely I'm not so ugly that the sight of me causes a beauty such as yours to weep?"

As much as she tried to keep herself from a mental breakdown, the arrival of the Cardassian guest was somewhat a trip back to reality. His clothes were plain and simple and she could only imagine what kind of a first impression she must've left to the man. She regained her composure as professionally as she could before she took in a deep breath and smiled. "Sorry, you're not that appalling." she replied before she stood up and met him halfway. "Ensign Henshaw, Captain Ives' Yeoman." she introduced herself "You must be Doctor Silim Parnak." she said officially, wanting to bury the unprofessional behavior of moments ago away. She didn't expand any further on it while she eyed the doctor from head to toe.

"I understand you wish to discuss your skillset for the good of our ship and crew. Would you like to expand on that?" she asked as she gestured him to take a seat in a waiting couch. "Can I offer you anything to drink while we wait for the captain?" she asked as she walked over to the replicator behind her desk. She turned around on her heel before she smiled at him "Or hungry for something?" she asked as her smile seemed to turn the room into a more hospitable space.

Well, she certainly was not shackled. Silim had concluded obviously after the weeping girl left her desk. He was though, unable to resist raising a single supra-orbital ridge as she quite clearly stared him up and down. Yes, dear, it is out of season but needs must and all that. Just before Silim was about to ask if she liked she saw, the human moved on bringing the topic back to matters at hand. She had queried Parnak's identity and there was only one real appropriate response.

"In the flesh." He retorted. This was seemingly the correct response as the woman moved onto the innocuous but unnecessary human compulsion to make small talk. Refusing the take the offered seat, Silim remained standing and tried to smile appreciatively at the offer of sustenance. "Red Leaf Tea, please."

"You have a parasite problem..." He started simply, changing the topic back to the reason for his visit while watching her attend to the replicator. If she had eyes in the back of her head, she would no doubt see Silim's gaze at her quite sublime posterior. In his head, he questioned whether he should have asked for food. Perhaps, instead if she was so concerted to feed him, he could invite her for dinner?  While his mind pondered over food, the ensign's body, and both entwined; his mouth continued. "...And I have the knowledge to detect, and possibility defeat them. I just need the tools to do so."

Let be said that Silim Parnak was not shy of his abilities. The claim had previously granted him an audience with the Captain. Now he was at the threshold, he hoped it would get him what he wanted.

Cameron nodded with a smile as she placed the order for the Cardassian at the replicator. The tea being brewed and appearing after a few seconds as she looked at it. She took it by the saucer and walked over to the man before offering him his beverage. Her yes were trained on him and her focus fully placed on him, despite the signs of her previous minor breakdown compared to what had happened at the lounge just after the mission.

As he began about the parasite problem Cameron frowned and rested against the front of her desk as she placed her hands on the desk. The attitude and simple determination of the biologist before her making her wonder what his agenda truly was. "What do you mean? You've met one of these parasites before I imagine?" she asked him as her tone changed to a more business like voice, the English accent resurfacing as was usual with her when she got interested in certain things. She was however unaware of the interesting things going around in Parnak's head.

"And what kind of tools are we talking about? I mean, test subjects or neuro toxins sort of tools? Or..." she paused, allowing the man to fill it in himself. Cameron was hesitant though about it, knowing the man had no allegiance to Starfleet whatsoever. His promises hollow shells if he couldn't back up his theory without any knowledge of the usurpers. Her eyes however had somewhat changed though, from seeing him as a casual guest for the captain, to a possible asset. Question was if Parnak saw that as well.

"Oh, what a dim view you have of Cardassians." Parnak started, holding up a palm to quiet any objections before they began. "Be assured, my dear, we are not so... Primitive. We haven't used live subjects for testing in a very long time." Or, at least not since the Annexation of Bajor, he omitted.

"And why would I need to?" He queried, closing the gap between the two. Parnak was calm, cool and collected. One might even say cocky. He had noticed the smile, the change in demeanor. He was enthralling her. Here, he was in his element - Sweet talk the secretary, get the meeting, secure the deal.

Standing so close that in one action, Silim placed down his tea and took the Yeoman by the hand, gently rotating as he pulled it from the desk so to show her palm to them both. "As part of your annual check-up, surely your doctor would have record your form with a holo-image? If done correctly, the resonance spectrum could be modified allowing me to see through you to the subatomic level." As he spoke, he traced the lines across the young human's hand. "That way I could collect and use an unlimited number of samples without ever needing a single drop of blood." As if emphasizing his point, he used a finger to prod gently into the center of her palm. A makeshift sensation to approximate the feeling of a needle.

"What I require is simple. A space to conduct my research, access to the medical records and sufficient holographic privileges. And perhaps even, if the captain allows, an assistant?"

"Feel free to enlighten my view of Cardassians on another occasion." She added to his statement as more information about the various species aboard the ship always was a plus in her book. She could of course use the various intelligence and databases to find out all she could and she had skimmed most of them, however Cameron believed that personal contact and inquiries would uncover so much more about certain species. Cardassians included.

Parnak took the time during his expose to come closer to Cameron. The young yeoman was surprised when he took her hand to illustrate his point. She tried to keep up with what he said, her knowledge about Medicine or subatomic levels not that great as she aimed more for the psyche of people. Parnak's psyche seemed to be most interesting as he seemed to woe her, according to her feelings.

"O-Okay..." she said softly as she looked him in the eyes, her hand slowly pulling out of his grasp as she patted him on the chest. "Still mister Parnak, as we could investigate on a subatomic level. Who says we'll be certain we'll find any trace of the usurpers? Just check for anything not in place?" she asked him before her counter came "What about persons who have non linear DNA. People with parents from different civilizations? What about mutations on a genetic level? How will you deal with them? What with people who are brainwashed into thinking a certain way?" she asked again, pausing before asking further "Plus, you avoided the question. Have you ever met anyone with bonds to the usurpers?" she concluded her barrage of questions.

If Parnak thought that the ensign would just be baffled by his plans, it would prove him he was wrong. Her eyes were fixed on his as he could see her breast heaving as she seemed to be determined to fish out the answers out of him, even before he'd meet the captain.

“Doctor Parnak.” He corrected immediately. If he was having to take the time to explain his proposal to this receptionist who, quite rightly, had said she was no expert, then she could at least get his title correct.

“My dear, all symbiotic relationships fundamentally change aspects of the body. For example, the joining of a Trill change the neural pathways and brain chemistry. Gragarran worms cause an excess of leukocytes to be expelled in the host’s body. The need here is to determine what signs are relevant for this particular symbiosis and that is what this first step is for.” He was straying away from terminology he could use to sweet talk the girl but it had been so long since he had people to educate. He missed being a lecturing academic at the University of Culat. Plus, with such as pretty, young pupil so keenly starting, it was difficult not to want to teach her a few things.

“All research takes time. I’m not proposing an instant result. As you have rightly said there are multiple variables that need to be considered when dealing with varied species, but from what evidence I have been shown, Humans are the most susceptible to this strain of parasitism. That is where I intend to begin. Any details on that woman you held in your brig should be able to provide specific enough basis to compare and contrast. From there, the detection method can be extrapolated and modified to be applied universally across the entire crew.” Parnak hoped this explanation would be enough to answer her barrage of questions, so switched tactics to try to bring the point home. After all, a little political spin never hurt anyone, right?

“Wouldn’t you like to be able to have that peace of mind that your crewmates, your friends, your family are who you think they are? That is the security I can bring if you let me.”

Cameron couldn't help but snicker a little as she knew far too well how to get these academics on their feet and defending their hard earned titles. Somewhere she loved riling them up like that as she nodded and looked away from his eyes slowly, yet playfully "I'm sorry doctor."

As he explained to her how and what he was going to research and test it made sense. She made a mental note that the captain should also notify CMO Nicander about the matter as he'd have to give his approval about the samples as it fell under his department. Perhaps the new CSO Martin should be invited too in the memo. These things went through her mind while Parnak was using his time to try and sweet talk her.

Cameron nodded from time to time as she looked back up in his eyes as he had to add the final question to his explanation.

"Wouldn't you like to be able to have that peace of mind that your crew mates, your friends, your family are who you think they are? That is the security I can bring if you let me."

The words sank in with Cameron as she kept looking him in the eyes. Her own face remaining neutral yet her nostrils flared a little and her eyes had widened just a bit. "Interesting theory... Doctor." she answered, her tone changing to a colder one as she moved away from before him and walked back behind her desk. Her eyes had shot away from him as her hands quickly sent a message to the captain to notify that his appointment had arrived. "Please wait for a few moments. The captain will meet you shortly." she said, delicately yet on an official tone and very much business like. It seemed that whatever he had said had not be taken in kind by the young ensign as she added a memo for the affected departments as well as the captain. That way all parties would have a minor heads up to what to expect when Parnak would get a possible green light from Ives.

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #1
[ Captain Ives | CO Ready Room| Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista
After the new Departmental Heads had been appointed and begun to take charge of their individual duties as new Senior Staff, Captain Ives had gained a smidgen of respite on the day after the battle. Respite, alas, only in the way he had time to read the reports from the Gamma-shift and track the latest movements of the Devoted. That, and come to realise just how rapidly the Virus 117 outbreak was spreading across all three Vectors of the ship.

"Enter," he called with a frown so deep it was almost a scowl - cutting a line between his brows. His reading did nothing to put him at ease, only realising more and more how little time he had to meet the passengers they had happened to pick up during the tumultuous battle at Starbase 84. He had seen the scheduled time and name, understood it was a Cardassian from Henshaw's notes, but never read the application sent to his Yeoman. Obviously, Cam must have seen some merit to approving this appointment over all the other officers that wished to speak with him. Therefore, being in a foul mood to begin with, he still tried to keep an open mind when he put the current PADD aside.

Meeting the eyes of the tall scientist, Jien slowly rose to his feet and folded his arms behind his back. "Greetings Doctor Silim Parnak," he said in his deep voice, his faded Japaneese accent reminding itself in his vowels. His oaken eyes were unblinking as he looked at the Cardassian, his faint smile barely there. "Am I to understand you have come a far way from home, or had you taken up permanent residence at Starbase 84?"

While exchanging pleasantries, Jien moved on to the reason for the exobiologist's request. He stepped out from behind his desk and gestured towards the small sitting area, and after seating himself, he adjusted his uniform jacket out of custom rather than necessity - the garment actually being a part of him. He did not, however, offer anything to drink, since he would grant the man a mere modicum of time before dismissal - the situation aboard Thea not allowing for more.

"You must understand that given current affairs aboard, I will now have to ask you to explain why you wished to see me, and this offer of help my Yeoman mentioned. The aftermath of battle calls for my immediate attention, so please, Doctor, be succinct."

Evidently, the letter Henshaw had received had been lengthy, which did not bode well.

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #2
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
The political spin worked, even if it hadn’t garnered the response Parnak expected. If anything, the young woman didn’t seem to react well to it at all. Remembering the tears from when he first entered the room, this was something that Silim that he vowed to check. In the meantime though, the play on her heartstrings had gotten him to the captain’s door and that was what was needed. If he had to step over the emotions of one ensign to get there, then so be it.

Finally, the call came and Parnak placed down his half-drunk cup of red leaf tea before strolling through the only other doors within this waiting room. He wouldn’t need the tea, assuming the Captain was the pinnacle of the Federation he claimed to be, Parnak guessed he would have another cup in his hands within a couple of minutes.

Inside, coming face to face with the man he had seen plastered across the Federation News Network for months, Parnak wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed or unsurprised by the furrowed brow and dark oaken eyes waiting for him. Even though it was many years since the end of the Dominion War, many members of the Federation and especially those of Starfleet, held Cardassians in an almost perpetual state of contempt, as if the race had solely orchestrated the whole engagement. Not to be deterred, Parnak closed the distance between the door and the desk. Once stood, Ives seemed to relax slightly, or pretend to for the usual pleasantries. Although Parnak attempted to remain stoic throughout, he couldn’t help but smirk when Ives asked if Silim had relocated to Starbase 84 on permanent basis.

“Afraid not Captain, my stay at Starbase 84 was intended to be for a temporary research project. Although I suspect, that is now by the wayside.” He shrugged. The project was a bit of a bust anyway. More interesting opportunities had arisen. As they sat, Parnak wondered about the chameloid before him. Did he intend to be male for this conversation as an attempt to be more intimidating? Did Ives have such conscious control over his appearance? Would Ives switch to his female form at any point during this meeting? More and more questions plagued the doctor, until the captain spoke again. Bringing him back on focus. Safe in the knowledge that Ives would have read the proposal he had presented, it was easy to be succinct, as the chameloid put it.

“Simply put, as my communication describes in detail, Captain I am here to offer my services. I have a wealth of knowledge to help you mean your end goal and I am willing to use that ability, assuming the correct conditions are met, of course.”

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #3
[ Captain Ives | CO Ready Room| Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista
The Cardassian began to say he would lend his aid, alluding to a wealth of knowledge, but in the same breath, the man suggested that he had set conditions that required to be met before he would help.

Hearing this, Jien immediately regretted having granted this doctor his time, since Cam had never mentioned anything about a cost attached to the services provided. The man was after something for his own benefit, and it was a bitter reminder for Jien that he was not talking to a Starfleet Officer. Moreover, it told him that the man had not fully grasped the import of the mission, or at least not well enough to realise that his own needs - whatever they were - could never be anything but secondary. For Jien, aiding in the mission was in the interest of all, and if not, they had not understood what was at stake. Thus, knowing that the Cardassian didn't have an inkling about what it meant to withhold aid that could be lent to the cause, Jien also knew that the meeting would be rather short. Whatever the man was trying to sell, he had some of the finest scientists in Starfleet in his crew, along with those that brought unique knowledge from beyond Romulan Space. Moreover, he had Sarresh Morali, which might currently have neen a double-edged asset, but nonetheless key to the mission.

"I see. So there is an 'if' attached to your services to my crew," he said quietly, and did not move where he sat. His form was fixed like a statue's, and he did not blink where he regarded the Cardassian. Indeed, he did not need to blink, and he did not need to move a muscle lest he wished to. Complete body control, which human martial artists aimed to achieve for their whole lives, was something that came with ease to Jien since he had created the body he wore - every mimicked cell a product of his morphogenic matrix. He had grown still where he sat because if he moved, he would be moving to the door and asking the peddler to leave his Ready Room.

"Before you tell me exactly what you know that my scientists doesn't already, I have but one question," he said quietly, only his mouth moving - his tone defining polite denunciation. "Did you attend the briefing I held earlier today, where I showed you the threat to the Federation and the Galaxy as a whole, should my crew fail? Knowing what is at stake... is, in my regard, the yardstick upon which your conditions will be measured. Know this, before you proceed, and know that I have no time to waste on anything but full commitment."

While he could not remember for certain, Jien could not shake the notion that he'd read that the man had been in the conference lounge on Deck 01 during the showdown with the USS Orcus, as well as the debate with Jona Rez. Therefore, he would not be so crude as to bespeak his own commitment to the mission, and illustrate just how far he was willing to go for the sake of truth and the redemption of his crew. If that wasn't a yardstick for his expectations, he didn't know what was... regardless how heavily the events weighed upon him.

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #4
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Ready Room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
The dance had begun, and it appeared the captain was wasting no time in playing to win. As Parnak listened, he watched the chameloid very carefully. There was no movement at all, as if the captain was a talking statue, not even blinking. The scientist within him wondered if Ives really needed to blink at all, or if it was a falsehood put on to make others at ease. Without the normal ticks and subtle movements, Ives came off as unnerving, but Silim guess that was his aim. He wondered if the male form Ives had chosen was intended to be more intimidating. Oh, how Parnak would love to dive into that mind, to find out how the creature before him actually worked, but that was not why he was here.

Throughout the captain’s speech Parnak kept a calm polite smile, even as he had the audacity to question Silim’s motives and ability. If he had been back on Cardassia, Silim would not have accepted such a figurative slap to the face. Parnak, however, was not on Cardassia; not that he needed to remind himself, the continued Federation standards continued to grate on him. The Lights were too bright, the room too cold. He wouldn’t forget Ives’ slight, whether intended or not, but for now the Cardassian knew he must endure. It didn’t mean he had to take it lying down though.

“Oh Captain, you wound me!” He exclaimed, bringing a fist to his chest as if the chameloid’s words were a knife in his heart. “I’m not some two-bit Ferengi junk peddler trying to make a quick bit of latinum, nor do I seek petty crystals or gems.” It was a bit dramatic, but Silim felt he got his point across, leaving with nothing to do but hold his chin up, as if he was holding himself above his previous remarks. “I am a scientist and a member of a foreign governmental body offering their services. Your assumption that my motives are solely based upon personal gain are misguided. Believe me when I say, the requirements that I alluded to where no more than what is required to allow me to complete my work to the best of my ability in the fastest manner. This was no issue during my time at Starbase 84 and should not be a problem here.” The trouble with these times of discussions were that Parnak needed to find the correct way to petition the captain’s interest without overstepping his mark.

“Your Federation news feeds said you used to be quite the accomplished diplomat, I hope that hasn’t been as exaggerated as some of the other claims which I have heard.” The key here was to make it seem as if Ives was being the unreasonable one. “If you don’t even want to listen to what I offer, then by all means, I shall return to my quarters and wait for a shuttle to take me to a nearby Starbase or system so that I can take transit to Cardassia.” He was gambling, he knew, but Ives seemed to try to show himself as a model Starfleet captain, even if his beloved Federation had turned against him. That meant that Parnak would guess it would be highly unlikely to be spaced for trying to get something out the agreement.

As Silim spoke, he regarded the captain with cool brown eyes. Not unmoving like Ives’ but still intense. “Believe me though when I say this, I will be looking into this situation when I get back. As you say, this is a threat to the whole galaxy, and although I’m sure my leaders might say otherwise, I’d much prefer my work to go further than the Cardassian border.”

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #5
[ Captain Ives | CO Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista 
It was almost like on Pelanara again, or Romulus, for that matter. Jien found himself thinking about his duties before November of 2380, and the role he played representing Starfleet and the Federation. They were mostly bittersweet recollections, because the nature of his duties had never been amiable. Mediating between parties at war or representing Starfleet in hostile situations were hardly heartening. No, it hardened you, and unless you were careful, you became paranoid.

Which was, Jien believed, not the case in regard to this Cardassian seated in front of him.

"You are a long way from Cardassia, Doctor Parnak," said Jien quietly with a smile, but it did not reach his eyes. "I do not question that you are scientist, but if you think you can convince me that you 'represent a foreign governmental body offering their services' - out here, right now -  I think you are the one questioning my intelligence."

Saying this, Jien rose to his feet - breaking eye-contact as if breaking a choke-hold - and slowly walked towards the door. "You are trying to exert a cost for your services and make me agree upon them before telling me what they are. Too quickly, you threaten to rescind your offer of aid on the basis that I am not prepared to listen, even though I have already asked you both what you want and what you think you can lend it terms of aid to our mission. You even have the nerve to elaborate on your threat by unjustly vilifying your native people's leadership under Rakena Garan, suggesting that your Castellan would merely seek to further Cardassia's own interests rather than keeping a Galaxy from collapsing into a new war. You insult me further in suggesting that I would have a biased opinion about your people and their motivations, using what you think is the popular opinion about Cardassia after the Dominion War in order to get what you want. This, when my Chief CONN Officer was a Cardassian, whom I just lost in the battle at Starbase 84."

The sight of Lieutenant Aisha S'Iti lying across her station, the back of her head opened by the stray bolt from the Devoted security officer... it still lingered whenever Jien thought of the defeat.

Turning back to face Parnak, Jien raised his chin, calloused hands at his sides. "You are out of your depth, Doctor. Lost. Cardassia doesn't know you are here, caught up in something larger than both you and your leaders. Unless you tell me what you want and what you can offer, right now," he said and made a small gesture towards the door, "you may leave. In which case, I will claim it was a pleasure making your acquaintance, but I cannot trust you anywhere near my crew's scientific research on the parasite threat."

Having said this, Jien lowered his hand, and changed... to her female form. Nothing changed in terms of her oaken stare, stance or disposition. Her eyes were the same, just like for all Chameloids documented in the Federation database. Even her tone was unchanged, only her lighter voice holding a crystal cut edge. "Enjoy waiting for that shuttle ride, whenever your turn may come, or come clean with what your intentions are, and what you think you know that my scientists doesn't. You could be asking for complete autonomy in your experiments for all I know, or just access to a lab. Unless you stop posturing and speak up, I have no way of knowing, and too little time to play a guessing game with you."

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #6
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Ready Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

“And there it is…” Parnak spoke, watching with cold eyes as Ives transformed into his female counterpart. The words the Cardassian chose were a rare admission of defeat. Ives had managed to successfully politically out maneuver Silim succinctly, destroying any leverage he had left. There was no real comeback aside juvenile nit-picking and name calling but he knew that that would be the fastest way out the door. By some fluke of word crafting, the statement he had uttered also had a dual meaning, one that insinuated Silim managed to engineer Ives to shift genders. It wasn’t his initial plan, but watching the process was astounding and something he would play in his mind again later. For now, he needed to concentrate.

“Forgive me for being obtuse.” He made by way of an apology. It wasn’t particularly sincere, more like a child who had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and didn’t care. “As you can tell I’m not really one for diplomacy, but it is good to see that your Federation News Network doesn’t make up all of its facts about you.” There was an element of spin within Parnak’s speech, but it also helped establish trust in Ives. Finally, he could be working for someone who, at least in certain areas, was superior. Sitting back into the couch, Silim made himself comfortable

“I’m more than happy to recap the overview I presented in the proposal I wrote. Don’t worry, I’ll attempt to be as direct as possible.” As he spoke, Silim indicated back to the chair that Ives’ had vacated in an attempt to bring the Captain back to the preverbal table.

“You want to stop this threat. An admirable goal but to do that, as with most things, you must break down the problem into manageable chunks. I suggested a three-phase approach. Learn how to detect the parasites, learn how to remove them and enact a plan to do so.” Silim attempted to streamline the documentation he had already submitted. All in all, he hoped he didn’t oversimplify. “When it comes to the first part of that, I didn’t lie when I said I was a member of a governmental body. I sit on the board of Exobiology at the Cardassian Science Ministry, part of the reason for my seat at that council is my research and knowledge. Throughout my academic career I have managed to make a name for myself studying various alien creatures including parasitical lifeforms.”

“From my research, one thing is for certain. All symbiotic relationships fundamentally change aspects of the body. The need here is to determine what signs are relevant for this particular symbiosis. What’s interesting that these parasites have gone undetected within the upper echelons of Starfleet, especially after the Dominion War. From what evidence I have been shown, Humans are the most susceptible to this strain of parasitism and that is where I intend to begin. Details on that woman you held in your brig should be able to provide specific enough basis to compare and contrast. From there, a detection method can be extrapolated. Once detection is possible, not only can you have the peace of mind that those within your crew are who they say they are, but then we can begin on the second stage.” At his point he stopped, it was important to set expectations, that and he had started to diverge from being straightforward. In the end, he thought it was best to recap and let the captain ask any questions they may have. “Now, I’m not suggesting instant results. It’d be inappropriate to do so, but with the correct access to facilities within this exemplary vessel, I could certainly deliver. If you wish, I could cite references and research sources that allowed me to come to my proposal, but I don’t think that is needed, is it?”

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #7
[ Captain Ives | CO Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista 
Upon the promise of being as direct as possible in explaining what kind of asset he could be to the mission, Captain Ives set her steps back towards the sitting area - eyes unblinking as she watched the Cardassian abandon his antics. When he had finally stopped posturing, what he actually said did hold some merit, even if he still hadn't told her what he expected to get in return from his services to the science department aboard the Theurgy.

"Access to our scientific facilities aboard this ship might be granted, but I defer to my Chief Science Officer in regard to which ones are available for you. I trust Lieutenant Commander Martin will be able to put your skills to good use in the search for answers about the enemy," she said, and just to make it perfectly clear what she meant by that, she continued after she had seated herself - folding one leg over the other and resting her hands in her lap.

"You are not a Starfleet officer, so therefore, you are a civilian asset to this crew and our mission. You will not have any kind of authority over the people in the Science department that you will be working with, but you will report any findings to Martin or Simon Tovarek, should the former be unavailable. Your continued access and research in our facilities will be granted based on the results you present, and if you cannot deliver any results, your access will be revoked. Of course we do not expect instant results, but if you cannot prove yourself the asset you claim to be, there is no reason to keep you in our facilities."

After the Cardassian's bubble of pride had been pricked, Jien hoped the succinct way in which she laid out the terms would make him understand that she'd had quite enough already, and just wanted him out of the room and begin the research he allegedly would be able to carry out for them. She hoped Vivian Martin could find some use for the man's research, and that she hadn't just passed her a disruptive element to deal with in her department.

"Would that be all, Doctor Parnak?" She said next, taking a deep breath. "I will have Ensign Henshaw inform Martin about your offer to aid in the parasitic research, and I expect you to readily report your presence to her on the morrow at 0800 hrs."

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #8
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Ready Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

“Afraid not, Captain…” Silim Parnak was no fool, he could sense the room and the painfully obvious unspoken desire from Ives for him to leave, but if she thought she would just get away with Silim working for free, then that was a mistake. He could barely believe his ears when she just fobbed him off onto someone within the science division. If he had wanted that outcome he would have just asked the computer for the location of their office and made himself at home.

“I’m more than happy to liaise with your Science Officer.” He began, ensuring he communicated his willingness to play within the rules.  “And believe me Captain, I have no desire to manage your personnel.” The demands from Ives seemed a little bit of an oxymoron. He was asking for access to research facilities to help and now his access would be based upon his ability to help? Odd. Nevermind, there were still things on Silim's agenda “ I’m sure I can get most of what I need from Martin, but there are a couple of things I need to be able to ‘Earn my keep’, so to speak, that I don’t think they can grant me.” Parnak took a breath. He knew the first item wasn’t going to be popular.

“Firstly, I need access to the medical records aboard this ship.” Pausing only to raise a palm, Silim attempted to quash any qualms before they started. “Now, before you say anything, I understand most visitors wouldn’t normally get access. but I’m happy to sign whatever sort of confidentiality agreement you need to release the files.” This was important and Silim attempted to portray this, even if his hand waived flippantly while he talked about signing documents. “I also think it is better than the alternative. Long queues of people waiting to donate their body matter for the cause.”

“Now we’ve talked about what I need to exercise my mind, I must talk about what I need to rest it. Simply put, I require new quarters. Your quartermaster hasn’t managed to provide me with a suitable space for contemplation, thought gathering, and relaxation. Something which is of critical importance to an academic, I’m sure as you know.” Losing himself for the briefest of moments, Silim blathered as he attempted not to comment of his roommate. No, it just wouldn’t do to raise his complaints in the choices of Romulans aboard. That little broken toy soldier would just need to wait for another time. Parnak took the merest of seconds to refocus himself, he moved away from the conversational tone he had adopted only moments earlier. “I’ve taken the liberty of looking for something that is of an appropriate size. According to your own computer, Theurgy is equipped with suitable quarters under the VIP section. Now, I can’t think of a better VIP than a visiting professor. Can you?” Try as he might, Parnak could feel a twinge at the corner of his mouth. There it was, the cheeky lithe smirk that had ever so often found himself in bother.

“And that’s it. See Captain? Nothing untoward or outside your realm of influence.” He shrugged. Fairly reasonable if he said so himself and he had. With nothing left to do, Parnak stood, patting his knee with one hand as he raised himself. Whether Ives accepted his requirements or not. Silim knew this meeting was over. “I’ll take my leave and allow you to return to your, as previously stated, busy schedule.”

Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #9
[ Captain Ives | CO Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista 
Jien remained seated, watching the Cardassian rising and trying to haggle for comforts and access on his way out the door. Without rising, she spoke up before he left.

"This is not the first time civilians have assisted the fleet in research. The confidentiality agreement aside, you will have to speak with Chief Medical Officer Nicander about access to his patients' medical records, which I am sure he will not grant freely. Instead, I hear the proven method for this kind of research is to mask the identities of the patients for you, filtering out personal and holographic data to protect the patients. I am sure Nicander will not grant you access to all journals at the same time either, but rather let you verify your suspicions when studying the human crew - which you claim seem to be most susceptible hosts."

Shifting in her seat a little, she ran her palm over her forehead in exasperation when she realised she'd had to say something about his request for new quarters. Had he not listened to her? She had said the stakes of the ship's mission was the yardstick upon which his 'conditions' will be measured, hadn't she? Judging how important the matter was to him, she couldn't help but feel like Doctor Parnak had staged the whole request to meet her just for sake of getting better accommodations aboard the ship. She would be quite surprised if the Doctor's research would yield any results at all. Then again, since him being in her good graces was pinned on his achievements in his research, she also knew she had nothing to loose.

"I will inform the Quartermaster that you will be granted temporal access to those kind of quarters. I will also inform him that this comfort might be rescinded, so your old quarters will be kept available to you should that be the case," she said with a hint of disdain to his request, "Provide results, and you will keep your new quarters. If you are less capable than you've claimed... then you have wasted my time with your antics, and we will never have this kind of conversation again."

Having said this, Jien rose from her seat and headed back towards her desk. On her way there, she dismissed the professor. "Good bye, Doctor Parnak," she said without looking his way, her mind already elsewhere - the next issue in her reports demanding her attention.


Re: Day 02 [1300hrs.] An Unusual Asset

Reply #10
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Ready Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nolan

Listening to the captain’s words, Silim let the obvious frustration wash over him. Truth be told, he didn’t care. He had gotten what he needed, and he knew that his research would give him enough to retain his position he had managed to craft for himself, even if it hadn’t gone exactly how he had planned. Jien Ives seemed to be a different sort of Captain. He wasn’t as easy to impress as Kendrick, nor as uninterested as Hawthorne. He would need to watch his back. Then again, Ives was washing her hands of him, Martin - the chief of science, would be his boss. A new person, with a new set of priorities and agendas.

Forgoing any further platitudes or pleasantries, Parnak headed for the door. Part of him desired to invite Ives to afternoon tea, a semi-automatic response to finishing a conversation with a superior. He knew the Chameloid wouldn’t accept. With the lack of grace she had shown him, why should he even bother? There were plenty of others who he was interested in spending time with or getting to know more. Rank didn’t always mean respect. There was a few Legates back on Cardassia that Parnak wouldn’t even dream of entertaining, why should he care what one Starfleet Captain thought of him? Why did they have to be in their female form? Swallowing, Silim tried to bury the petulant childish mood growing within. Pick your own battles. After all, the work on Martin would need to begin immediately. However, before he did anything, there was one last matter to address.

“Oh, Captain.” He started, stopping at the threshold of the door out of the ready room. Without turning, he spoke softly, with none of the usual pomp or pretense. “Don’t think me insensitive to your feelings. I am sorry about your CONN Officer.”

Finally, Silim turned back to the leader of this vessel. Staring down the Captain with his own brown eyes. “The loss of one Cardassian is enough for one lifetime. Believe me when I say I’ve seen enough to last generations.”

Without waiting for any reply, he left the Chameloid to their ready room. Slipping seamlessly into his usual mask, Parnak strode briskly across the waiting area. A wide beaming grin for the girl behind the desk. “So long sweetheart. Let me know when you’re ready for that lesson.”


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