Skip to main content
Topic: CH03: S [D06|0855] Mutieren (Read 3261 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CH03: S [D06|0855] Mutieren

Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Day 06 | 0855 hrs | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Triage

As soon as he had been left alone in what amounted to a well-appointed cell, Trent started pacing back and forth.  Of course the replicator would be off-line.  Only the ones necessary for emergency spare parts would be operational in action.  The terminal on the desk simply stated his access was denied.  Of course, Dewitt would need him cut off from everything and everyone.  She could not afford having him challenge her mutiny.  And so, he was blind.

But he was not deaf, for the blaring of the intruder alert sounded and he made for the door.  A door that did not open for him.  He needed to be out there.  He needed to be on the Bridge and in command.  One thing for certain, his plan would have never put the ship in any position to be boarded, and now there  was a chance that everything would be definitely lost because of one inept woman who took counsel of her fears rather than trust someone who was, to be honest with himself, emotionally involved but actually knew what he was doing. 

But it did not stop him from crying out his rage and hammering at the door with his prosthetic hand.  Metal met metal and paint transferred from the panel to the bare alloy of his hand under an impact that would have broken the fragile bones of the limb he had been born with. 

Helpless.  He was completely helpless. 

He was about to scream again, when the ship lurched, and lurched hard.  It was not weapons fire, it was something else.  But it would seem the inertial dampeners in this section had been compromised, for he went flying and before he knew it, he struck the deck, and it was not stars that filled his vision, but darkness.

Re: Chapter 3: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. B'abieutan | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet
The door parted open with a soft hiss, announcing his uninvited entrance. The Tellarite grunted and marched right into the center of the room, and noticed the seemingly unconscious man on the floor. He shook his head and sighed loudly. “You aren't dead, and I can tell.” said B'abieutan, and he planted his toolbox noisily on the ground. “Better not be too injured that you need ta visit the sickbay. Place is rather full right now.”

He took out a power driver and held it up to the console near the door, the device in his hand began to light up red, making the Tellarite shake his head, clucking in disapproval, “Damn, whole thing needs an overhaul and more replacements.” he observed gruffly to himself. “Much like you, eh?” he turned his head to regard Carrigan thoughtfully. “Come on, Trent, you were much tougher than this. Gonna let a bump keep you down for good? Don't want to talk to an old friend?”

B'abieutan had served in Starfleet Intelligence alongside Trent for as long as either can remember. Oddball as they were, they formed a firm friendship, and learned to respect one another's strengths and skills. In fact, the Tellarite had more or less figured out the same things he did about the upper echelons of command, and began subtle inquiries, which eventually prompted the betrayal of Admiral Sankolov, and their subsequent escape together, with the newly resurrected Wenn Cinn, to the Theurgy. From there, the two had drifted apart, kept busy with their respective duties and tasks. B'abieutan was an stellar engineer before he became an intelligence officer, and they needed every engineer they could get their hands on. He didn't complain, but he did wonder how his old friend fared with such a responsibility.

He knew the answer now, having looked at him.

Re: Chapter 3: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

Reply #2
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Day 06 | 0855 hrs | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Triage

The door's opening hiss sent a flash of agony through Trent's head.  It was the second time since he had come on board he had been rendered unconscious, and the third time he'd had his head hammered about.  That was not bound to be the best thing for one's health at this point in time, and he would have to make a note to go get checked out as soon as he had the opportunity.  Though, whether or not it would be granted to him was entirely open to debate, regardless of what regulations said about service detainees and their access to medical care. 

But he kept his eyes shut.  He knew from experience that opening them would allow the lights in the deckhead to jab needles of agony through them. 

But he could feel footfalls through the carpeted deck, and a voice he knew all too well sounded, berating him for not moving instantly upon coming to.  "Damn you, you ugly bastard.  Third time in a month I get thrown around like this.  Give me a second, will you?"

Laboriously, the human hauled himself to a seated position, expecting to be hit by the wave of nausea that would indicate he did get his brain scrambled by another concussion.  But his nearly forgotten breakfast did not rebel against its captivity in his stomach, and the room did not spin around him, which was a good start. 

B'abieutan.  That man was one of the best engineers Trent had ever met.  In fact, he was probably the best technology analyst and reverse-engineer he'd ever come across.  Both had been recruited into Starfleet Intelligence at the same time and both had gone into the analysis support tracks, and once they had gone through the common core training, Trent had one for the Advanced Tactical and Strategic Support Division, and the Tellarite towards Technical Analysis Division.  But still they had worked together at times, even co-wrote a paper or two, and B'abieutan was on Trent's short list of people to try and get on his team should he ever sit down to formally develop an electronic warfare doctrine for Starfleet. 

"What bring you here?" 

Now that was a good question all right, given they hadn't seen each other in some time. 

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. B'abieutan | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet
“HAH!” barked the Tellarite, when Carrigan called him ugly, and the man could hear the porcine engineer mutter, “the pot calls the kettle black!”

When asked why he was in his quarters he grunted and turned to face the man, gesturing with his hands in an open manner. “What does it look like I'm doing? My job obviously!” growling and gruff, he turned back to the console and tried to insert a power screwdriver between the wires of the console once the panel covering was removed. Sparks flew out and he jumped as he dropped the device, cursing along the way. “Damn. That battle shook so many things lose, I don't know if we'll ever make it out of here in one piece.”

He tapped his commlink and said, “B'abieutan to Bok Choy. I need a pair of type-four flow capacitors and the batteries for it. Also  get me a spare panel. I'm in Trent's temporary quarters. On the double!”

He signed off and looked towards Trent. “So how have you been holding up?” he asked simply. “Heard about Miss McMillan. What're you going to do?”

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

Reply #4
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Day 06 | 0855 hrs | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Triage

"It's a damn door.  So long as it'll hold vacuum, it's not a priority.  Get your people, and you for that matter, working on core systems."

Who went fixing doors to living quarters when the ship was in that kind of a shape?  Not like it was a door containing materials that would kill the crew instantly, or was meant to contain the blast of something rupturing.  Hell, it didn't even really need to hold vacuum... well unless the forcefields were badly compromised as well.  

Gingerly, Trent picked himself up off the deck just as he was asked how he was doing.  Well, that was a hell of a question.  And, for that matter, he probably looked like death warmed over.  He still had not regained all the weight he had lost as a result of his Dominion War injuries, but the last few days made the gaunt Commander look positively skeletal.  His beard showed several days' growth, and was liberally seeded with grey hairs in its own right.  His eyes seemed sunken with the dark, puffy circles beneath them.  He had not slept much in the last three days, and what sleep he had managed to take had been wracked with nightmares that left him terrified of closing his eyes again for the horrors that awaited him behind closed lids, even when he was still awake. 

"Let me think.  I haven't slept more than three hours a day in the last 3 days; the one person I should have been able to trust implicitly betrayed me in every possible way; I'm locked in here, wondering just how long I'm going to last before I 'get killed trying to escape' or 'die from a terrible accident' because there's no way Dewitt can afford having me as a loose end.  And we're in battle, with a coward in command who right now would ask for direction from a civilian if meant to do so much as scratch her ass."  The human's face, normally a mask of calm, was contorted in a rictus of anger.  "On top of that, that same coward has given up on the other Vectors, and did exactly what she told me to do from the start and abandon our people taken by the Savi.  She MURDERED them!  So yes, I'm doing perfectly fucking fine, thanks for asking."

Pacing, Trent made for the replicator, but it was offline.  Whether from battle damage, a security lock-out or the power being needed elsewhere, he didn't care.  He needed a drink.  But at least, these were consular quarters and came with a standard refreshment package, and the sidebar did appear to be stocked.  It was angrily that he poured himself a tall glass of the nearest thing to bourbon that he could find in the arrangement of bottles and he drained it, hard and fast, the way only someone who had spent entirely too much time at the bottom of a bottle ever could. 

And that question about Heather still rattled in his ears, even as he poured himself a second glass.  Part of him wondered why he didn't just swig from the bottle; he'd certainly done enough of that in the past. 

"And what am I supposed to do?  Break out and hope to find enough people who'll have my back to retake the ship in bloody mutiny?  Appeal to Dewitt's better nature?  Mount another mutiny and have the decks sticky with blood again?"  He was actually shouting.  Carrigan Trent, the ever-controlled one who avoided raising his voice, was shouting.  And then, his knees gave out and he dropped to the deck.  "I failed her.  She counted on me to keep her safe.  And now I have no means to even try and save her."

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. B'abieutan | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet
“We go where we're sent,” said the Tellarite in a gruff but calm tone, “where we're needed.”

By that he meant that perhaps the door was never really his priority. It certainly made more sense than sending a lieutenant commander with a degree and commendations pertaining to Warp Core maintenance and also good few years record of Intelligence Analyzing. “Won't be the first time you've been given a rotten hand like this,” said B'abieutan, “certainly won't be the last. Pretty sure you can do any of those things you said.”

He turned to work on the door console again even as he continued to speak, “We both know you're smarter than that, and you already know the better option available to you.” He slapped his badge, “BOK CHOY! What's taking you so long?”

The door hissed open to allow in a portly Pakled wearing the Engineer's uniform. He plodded forward a few steps and slowly looked around, holding parts in his hands, and looking more than a little lost. He noticed Carrigan and said, He-llooo Car-rigan... then turned to greet the Tellarite, ...hel-looo B'abieutan.

The Pakled swayed and shook his head slowly as he recovered from the sheer strain of remembering two friends at once, then he saw Carrigan again and said, Ohhh, hel-looo Car-rigannn.

Grunting in annoyance, the Tellarite waved his assistant over, a constant companion of both him and Carrigan for the last few years. Despite his supposed simpleton ways, there was an odd sort of wit behind the Pakled's eyes. “Bok Choy, our friend Carrigan's not having a good day.” said B'abieutan, gesturing to the man with his head, as he took the parts and began applying them to the console and panels. “He doesn't think he's got any strength left, and he's thinking he's got nothing left in him.”

Slowly Boy Choy turned his head a regarded Carrigan with his half-dazed look, then he said, But you, are still, strooooonnng.

“You've got more ways than you think, Trent,” said B'abieutan, “and if ya can't think of a way to save her now. Give yourself a little more time to think it through. The answers don't always come to us right away. You should know that better than even me.”

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0855 hrs. ] Mutieren

Reply #6
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Day 06 | 0855 hrs | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Triage

"Except I can't do it.  I won't let the decks run with blood on my account.  I've seen enough of it."  He remembered entirely too well the Devoted and the violence they had unleashed across the ship.  And just before that, the Vasser mutiny.  Seeing the young helmsman murdered on the Bridge; those three hardy souls who helped him secure a foothold in a Battle Bridge butchered by T'Rena.  And Sjaandin Fedd, a friend of two decades, killed by his own hands. 

And that was just what he had been involved in.  He knew that had been but a small slice of the violence that had wracked Theurgy.  And if Dewitt had any kind of a solid hold on any of the senior officer, if she controlled Security, or put together so much as a fraction of the crew loyal to her, it would  be the same all over again.  And he would not have it.

"And what better ways?  Locked up; a coward mutineer who can't allow me to live if she wants to retain her command, or a least not without finding some way to make me docile, which I wouldn't put past her to force someone in Medical to lobotomize me to make it happen; being boarded.  I can probably work my way past the security lockouts on the console given enough time, but time isn't something we have.  So help me out here, B'abieutan, because this is Kobayashi fucking Maru."

And of course, that Pakled had to arrive.  Trent remembered him from the days back at the Intelligence training facility; he was none too bright, but he had a way with making sure the various analysis labs were always working just right.  Getting a Pakled working with the secretive Starfleet Intelligence community was a rarity; usually they gravitated towards power, propulsion and weapon maintenance, and tended to be kept in areas where they wouldn't be exposed to information that could easily be pried out of them by less than friendly agent, lest they reveal one of Starfleet's strategic and tactical secrets; yet there he was, holding security clearance...

"Strong?  No, I'm not.  If I'd been, I wouldn't be here now would I?  Hell, if I'd been strong enough, I wouldn't have held my fire at Black Opal, when I didn't have a clean shot at their computer core, and hope one of the fighters could take it; it would have gone clean through their operations deck."

There was angry regret in his voice; regret he'd been so concerned about minimizing casualties and lacked the ruthlessness to have blasted the supply station's command crew, Dewitt included, out of existence to have prevented her from stabbing him in the back.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0855] Mutieren

Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. B'abieutan | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet
“Oh dash all that, Trent!” said the Tellarite, his own voice rising, and with its gruffness, it sounded particularly nasty. He had thrown down his hypertool vehemently and turned to face his old friend, slowly advancing on him, “Now you're just pathetic! And the worst part is you can't admit to yourself that you just want an easy way out for once.”

B'abieutan shook his head and Bok Choy clumsily stepped out of his way, head swivelling to follow his movement, “Don't second guess yourself like this all the time, Trent, you know that's how the downward spiral starts.” he said, jabbing a finger at the man as he started to emphasize his points, “You're thinking about the fight with T'rena again, aren't you? About Fedd? Don't do that to yourself, Carrigan.”

He used the man's first name to get through to him, and his voice softened in tone ever so slightly, “You're the one who once gave a lecture about the hazards of hindsight, but you know how it is in the heat of the moment better than anyone. And you also know, Fedd made his choice; you've got to let that go. I know, I know, all the memories, the perceptions of a man you thought you knew, but time changes people, and they can make choices you'd never imagine them making in a million years, and yet they do.”

Bok Choy found Heather's photonic rabbit, Bunny, and sat on the floor as the cute little animal began hopping around the Pakled, “As for Kobayashi Maru...heh, really?” said B'abieutan as he planted his fists on his hips and he looked up at Trent, now standing right in front of him, “You're getting obsessed about this Dewitt girl. You sure you don't have a fancy for her in some twisted way? Forget the ifs and maybes, what was that you once said? Something about dealing with the here and now...whatever she's done, good or bad, don't let your opinions cloud your decision-making.” He pointed toward the door, “Because that's when you'll affirm everything you believe they're thinking about you. If she says you're crazy and emotionally compromised, do you act exactly as she says you are, or do you prove her wrong and show them all your competence and integrity by sitting, calm, patient and ready to act only when new intel is made available to you?”

He clapped the tall man on his arm, not too hard, but none-too-gently either, “Come on, Carrigan, I shouldn't be having to tell you all this! These are things you already know! We've seen footages of Kobayashi Maru and this is not even close, this is nothing! I thought Trent is made of sterner stuff. If you break now, you give in and throw in the towel, who's going to be the one to pick up the pieces? Not me, I'm telling you!”

Compassion is strooooong, said Bok Choy, who now held the little rabbit in his bulky arms, and was petting it tenderly, but his head was turned to Trent, with his eyes locked on him, a keener intelligence in them than his dopey look or manner of speech would suggest, you, saved liiiives. Lives...are is gooood.

He rose, surprisingly fluid for someone so portly and rotund, and approached the two men, still petting the photonic rabbit, who seemed content and happy in his arms. Mer-cy, makes you po-werful, and kind-ness, makes you bet-ter...

He offered the rabbit to Trent, a reminder of Heather, and the virtues she extolled or represented. She would want be proud of your com-passion. There was a flash of memory, when Trent shared a drink with Bok Choy and B'abieutan, and he told them about Heather, and how she saw more in him than perhaps he saw in himself, and Bok Choy had nodded, a goofy smile on his face, he expressed how pleased he was that he and Heather were together. There had been a time that Heather and Trent had crossed paths with the Pakled in the corridors and she helped him to his feet after he'd tripped over an oddly placed enigmatic rock. She tended to the slight injury he sustained and spoke sweetly to him, meanwhile the silly rock had made itself scarce. Back in the present, Bok Choy smiled pleasantly at the man, expecting his friend to understand the underlying messages and reminders. The Tellarite gruffly nodded and made a soft but firm noise of approval.

Re: CH03: S [D06|0855] Mutieren

Reply #8
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Day 06 | 0855 hrs | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Triage

As he was reminded of those desperate moments, fighting his old friend Sjaandin Fedd and delivering terminal damage to a man whose brain had been so compromised by a mind-rape he was unable to defend himself, and of the three ensigns on a Battle Bridge that had decided to follow him in spite of their fear and doubt, Trent's eyes fixed on B'abieutan's.  "How can I not?  Sjaandin didn't have enough higher functions left to properly defend himself.  Those three ensigns, Peri, Yelchin, Urban, were some of the bravest people I've ever met; they stood with me and died for it.  You know about the Harrier.  You know about the pilot we lost at Black Opal.  All people who died because of my decisions."

Trent paced across the room before whipping back to his friend.  "I've been accused of spending lives like water.  And yes, I've spent lives. That's what command means!  That there will be times, you have to order people to their deaths.  Being a tactical officer, it means I have to kill.  And damn right I did.  Much more often than I'd like in both cases.  Everyone who died following my orders, I'll never forget their faces or their names; Starfleet personnel I killed, I'll never know how many for certain, and yes, it bothers me!" 

In his mind's eye, he saw the poor crewman his Runabout had plowed into when he escaped the Archeron.  Her face contorted in horror as she suffocated, the air stolen from her lungs by the vacuum of space, her mouth, nose and eyes flat and dull from the moisture having boiled off their surface.  One more image that would haunt his nightmares, alongside Fedd's bloodstained, accusing grin.  "And what I said is that when you have to make a decision, you make it and adapt to its results.  It's on the spot you can't second-guess yourself.  Afterwards?  All you can do is live with it. "

Having said that piece, Trent weathered what came next.  Of course he had doubts about everything he had done.  And he knew he wasn't sure if he was doing the right thing or not.  In fact, this was hardly a black and white situation and all he had on hand was a selection of bad and worse options.  And there remained one truth to it.  "But that's the thing: I am emotionally involved in the situation.  Those monsters have Heather.  I'd have to  be made of fucking stone to not be affected by that.  Hell, I'd have to be made of stone or do what Cardamone accused me of doing, or spending lives like water, to not want to effect a rescue of our shipmates.  Or at least make an attempt at it."

"And before you ask, of course I had a goddamn plan.  Mostly needed a few other very specific pairs of eyes on some of the details to firm them up."

And still, more was thrown at him, about the virtues of compassion, of trying to preserve lives.  "Then you understand why I don't want another bloody mutiny.  There's too few of us to kill each other in room-to-room fighting among ourselves."  But there was more there.  "You see these things in me, but I don't.  Hell, I don't think I'll ever know what Heather ever saw looking at me that I don't see in a mirror.  She made me want to be a better man, to do everything to be what she saw, even if I couldn't see it myself."

"But she's gone now.  Lost.  And unless we can get her back... I don't think I really care if I can be what she saw in me, or if it all goes to hell anymore.  I was accused of not knowing how to live... and that's just about true.  Because she was teaching me about it all over again."

Re: CH03: S [D06|0855] Mutieren

Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. B'abieutan | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet
“You're breathing.” said B'abieutan, “Here, now. You're living. You're thinking, and you're moving. Carrigan, that means you're not a shell. All those feelings, the confidence, the doubts, they're all part of you. Just like we are.”

There was a strange look on the Tellarite's face, “You think if you did things differently, maybe more lives could've been saved. But you forget, it could just as easily cost more lives. You don't have to worry, Trent, there's not going to be another mutiny, because you won't let it happen. Maybe it means swallowing your pride and going with the flow of things, in the name of keeping the peace. But don't let it get you down. There's going to be a chance for you to rise again. Have faith in that much.”

He finished and the rabbit jumped out of Bok Choy's hands, landing on the bed nearby, the two aliens finished their work on the door panel. B'abieutan snapped his toolbox shut and as he headed out the now working doors, he looked back at the man and said, “Sometimes, we gotta step back, in order to move forward. I forget who said that, but I think that's what ya need to do, just step back, and let life lead for a bit. And don't give up hope, Trent. No matter what they say, I think we can hope. Heather's still alive, I'm sure.” He left, with Bok Choy plodding behind him. The Pakled paused to look back at Carrigan, a dopey smile on his face, and then he too faded from view, as if he was never there, because he never was...


Re: CH03: S [D06|0855] Mutieren

Reply #10
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Day 06 | 0855 hrs | Secured VIP quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Triage

They're all part of you. Just like we are.

What did the Tellarite mean by that?  That had never been the sort of thing he'd say.  He'd never been one for that kind of deep sayings.  He had always been direct and to the point, almost violent in his assertions.  Part of it was just his home culture, but he was considered blunt even among his people.  But, curse that pig-faced bastard, he was right. 

Make a decision, any decision. 

That was at the core of Trent's concept of command and tactics.  At the time one needs to make a call, one just had to make it.  He decided to engage the Jem'Hadar to deny them the knowledge that their new ambush strategies worked.  He decided to look into the oddities about the behaviour of entirely too many admirals.  He decided to suggest a soft-kill weapon to use against Theurgy.  He decided to turn it against Task Force Archeron, taking as many precautions as he could to keep the lethality under control.  He decided to step up and take command during the mutiny.  He decided to allow himself to love Heather McMillan.  He decided so many things when there had been a need for it.

He made his decisions, and the consequences and the doubts, those always came later, when the dust had settled.

And save for one, he regretted none of them.

As he mused, the pair of engineers finished their work, and he barely acknowledged them as they left.  But then, something in his mind snapped.  B'abieutan was still on Earth.  He was the head of a technical intelligence section, reverse-engineering who knows what.  Bok Choy, he had learned, was deemed unsuitable for space deployment and he was still working maintenance on the labs back at Starfleet Intelligence's training facility.  They could not be here! 

Who were they? 

There was a chime.  He remembered the ship pitching.  Another.  He remembered the inertial dampeners did not fully compensate for the impact and he had gone flying.  A third chime, his eyes opened to a room that was completely empty, and a door panel that had shorted out, probably when the IDF experienced a flutter.


Simple Audio Video Embedder