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CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul | Chapter 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

[ USS Theurgy ]

Captain's Log, Stardate 57505.27. Yesterday, the USS Calamity attacked us while the Theurgy and the Harbinger were undergoing repairs on Theta Eridani IV. We lost too many, yet through the valiant efforts of our crews, we managed to fight off the squadrons of Reaver fighters that had entered the atmosphere, all the while the Calamity attacked us with orbital strikes. Cala, the A.I. of that nightmare ship from the 25th century, even caused a planet-wide tectonic event in order to destroy us.

Early morning. Sliding doors opened, and Deputy Than'Ida zh'wann stepped through - armed with a phaser assault rifle. With determined steps she walked forth, and her antennae were immovable in their resolute angles. Her lips were pressed together in a thin line, and her eyes stared ahead of her while she walked. In the Security Office, personnel stepped aside for her, shuffling to get out of the way.

We barely made it off the planet, much in thanks to our defence plan. We had set up a shield emitter on one of the mountainsides, and it protected us from the orbital strikes as well as the first assaults by the Reavers. While the shield dome did not last to protect us the whole time of our evacuation, our able engineers managed to raise it anew so that we could get the last shuttles aboard. We could even beam the remaining personnel into our life-pattern buffers. Yet while we ascended from the planet surface, we did not know what awaited us above. It was the very reason why the Calamity left before finishing us off.

As she walked, there was another officer trailing behind her. She wore teal colours, and her step was equally determined - a shadow to the Andorian. In short order, the two walked through another set of sliding doors, and there was a Klingon Security Officer meeting them on the other side. It was Zaraq, the Master-At-Arms, and he also carried a rifle in his large, calloused hands. His wide and strong frame dominated the area behind the doors, yet behind him, seven more security guards waited. They were all silent, not moving a muscle, and Deputy zh'Wann merely paused to exchange a nod with Zaraq, who brought the butt of his rifle up to his shoulder and spread his feet - ready to raise the muzzle of his weapon and fire at a moment's notice. The rest of the guards behind him mirrored his actions. Ida let her midnight blue eyes linger on them for a second more before she turned sharply on her heel and walked away to her left.

Twenty-Four Federation starships. Task Force Archeron. Admiral Sankolov's fleet, sent out to destroy us without pardon. There was no time to go to Warp. It was too late for the Harbinger to escape. All our Valkyrie fighters were out there too, and they would not have lasted for more than seconds against that kind of firepower. Captain Vasser and I tried to buy us time by surrendering. To stall the order of our execution. We gained minutes. No more. As the kind of traitors that we are accused to be, the rules of war does not apply to us any more. There would be no mercy, so they opened fire.

"Lower the force-field," commanded Deputy zh'Wann to the Brig Officer, and the invisible wall to Holding Cell A winked out of existence. As it did, Ida had already raised her rifle - hard eyes along the sights as she aimed at the occupant. "I am sorry, Cinn."

She fired. The phaser beam went straight into the Bajoran's chest. She paused only to make sure her former Chief of Security did not move any more... before she moved on down the Holding Cells.

Yet before they unleashed their onslaught unto us, through stalling just long enough, we had managed to install the phasing cloaks that we developed on on the planet. Our Chief Science and Tactical Officers worked together to create a cloud of radiation thick enough to conceal us from the fleet's collective sensors and targeting systems, and in getting into the cover of this radiation, we cloaked, and thus broke the Treaty of Algeron. When we emerged out of the cloud, we could not believe our eyes. The whole fleet, which seconds earlier had been firing against us... was dead in the water. Lights out. Drifting.

Ida walked out in front of Holding Cell B, eyes seeking the Pinkskin inside. She expected him to be alert after she shot Wenn. She even expected him to scream and shout at her. Regardless what he might do when she appeared before his cell, she did not care. She just raised her assault rifle and took aim - her browride lowering over her gaze as she barked the order. "Lower the second force-field."

And as soon as the field dropped, she fired - the second shot as true as the first. Straight to the chest. Once the thrashing body came to a stand-still, she lingered with her aim towards the prone body upon the deck plates. Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent was completely motionless.

At first we thought that the Calamity had ambushed them somehow, killed everyone aboard those twenty-four starships. Cut their power. Life-support gone. Yet soon, we were contacted by a Runabout, and we let it dock with us - taking aboard two unlikely passengers. One that was supposed to be dead, and the other having achieved the impossible. In both cases, because of their unlikely yet timely appearance, we cannot be certain they are who they say they are. Nor can we verify their true nature.
 
Lowering her rifle, Ida turned her head to seek the gaze of the woman in teal colours - who now stood next to the eight Security Officers. It was Hayden Quinn O'Connor, the Chief Counsellor.

The Deputy nodded to the Pinkskin. "Confirm," she merely said, moving back to Wenn Cinn's Holding Cell. She increased the setting on her rifle to maximum and raised the butt to her shoulder again, levelling her sights against the massive bulk of the Bajoran lying on the floor. "I will cover you, Counsellor."

Because of recent events, and since the vague memories of the Niga Incident remains with us... the hatred for our enemy is great. We might have to ensure the safety of our new passengers. Otherwise, there is no telling what the crew might do to them if the suspicions grow too strong.

                                                                                                                       
- Captain Jien Ives, Commanding Officer of the USS Theurgy


OOC: Stay tuned, more to follow before your posting commence here...

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #1
Eyes staring straight-ahead as they made their way to the holding cells, images of the recent past came unbidden to Hayden O'Connor's mind.  Her time aboard the Harbinger seemed like another lifetime now, as distant from her memory as any images or events that would constitute her first remembrance of being alive.  There were battle memories too, remembered not by hits felt or bulkheads or other parts damaged, but by wounds treated and more profoundly, by wounds that could not be treated.

She saw herself talking with, perhaps more accurately, debating with, her new Captain.  She could still feel the slight hint of personal betrayal as she learned she was being traded away to another ship, and then the guilt of allowing it.  She saw Amikris, very much alive, trying to find solace in her own waters while feeling quite alone.  Hayden turned her head slightly away from the phantom image, the thought that Hayden had caused her pain, however temporarily, in the last moments of her life, simply too painful.

Hayden saw herself walking toward another brig cell not too long ago, and felt a  mixture of shame and rage as she was reminded she had actually felt sorry...sorry! for Sonya Acreth.  She saw Dr. Nicander's surprise as he was pulled toward the forcefield, voltage making him light up and writhe from the inside out.  She swallowed hard, casting her eyes on the woman standing in front of her, reminded she was nearly beaten to death in the process.

And though she tried to fight it, she saw Cir'Cie, but even worse than that, she saw Them (or more accurately, Their eyes -- in the depths of Hayden's mind, there was no need to explain who 'They' were or their significance).  She knew their names on some level, but mercifully, they did not come unbidden.

So vivid were these recollections, Hayden wasn't pulled from them until she was addressed directly.  In fact, there was a slight delay before the counselor reacted, though if Ida noticed, she did not comment.  Wordlessly, O'Connor knelt beside the prone form and opened her tricorder, its whirring and beeping some of the few sounds present. 

Her face completely impassive, it was less than a minute before she closed her tricorder and moved to the other cell and repeated her routine.  Like the Security Officer,  Hayden seemed barely aware of Ida's presence, or if she was fully aware, she was not going to make it known until she had to.  Still kneeling over Cin's body, she met Ida's eyes and offered flatly, "He's out.  They're both out."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #2
With careful attention and her weapon raised, Deputy zh'Wann followed the movements of the Counsellor as she crouched down by the first, and then the second new passenger on the Theurgy. The Pinkskin seemed vaguely...  taken with what they all had been through lately, and personally, Ida could not blame her. While the Counsellor might have had the luxury to wear her emotions on her sleeve a bit more than Ida could, the Andorian sympathised with her wholeheartedly. She caught herself holding her breath, and not just because her aim would be most true when she exhaled and the grip of her rifle relaxed. No, because, the word of Hayden O'Connor had great significance, and would not only prove that the potential threat in the Brig had been undone, but that Ida's crude methodology had been authenticated.

When it came, Ida relaxed her stance... lowering her rifle. "Identities confirmed," she said, turning her head to Zaraq, who also lowered his rifle together with the other security personnel at the entrance to the Brig. "Dismissed. The Brig Officer and I remain with the Counsellor."

"Yes, Deputy," said the Klingon, and filed out through the sliding doors. Meanwhile Ida lowered her rifle to her side and tapped her combadge, stretching her neck. She walked further down the line of holding cells as she spoke.

"Record interrogation log," she said, "We have verified the true nature of our two passengers through somewhat more unconventional means than Medical would do, yet we have a doctor here to verify this fact. Since we have a specimen of the enemy in custody, we could make a medical comparison between this specimen - known as Ensign Sonja Acreth - and the two passenger that yesterday came to us from the USS Archeron. Chief Counsellor Hayden O'Connor has scanned the two passenger after they were both stunned with a low setting, and the findings are positive. They are, in fact, stunned - scans showing this for a fact."

Ida came to stand in front of Holding Cell D, at the farthest end of the brig, and she looked into the dark eyes of Sonja Acreth, who silently stood there on the other side of the forcefield. "It should be noted for the record," said Ida and met the gaze of the prisoner, "that Ensign Acreth could only be stunned with several phaser beams at the highest setting. Furthermore, the situation in which the passengers were stunned were made to look hostile towards them. This, in order to prevent them from feigning their reactions."

On the other side of the forcefield, Acreth said nothing - standing there in her black underwear. She just smiled and raised her still blood-coated hands. She began to clap slowly, tauntingly, in congratulations towards their findings - mocking them as if they were children discovering how to use a spoon. Ida gave the prisoner a cool stare before she walked back to the Counsellor.

"Interrogations will now proceed. Counsellor O'Connor will begin speaking with Commander Wenn in his cell, while I will speak with Commander Trent." Ida held out the hand to accept one of the prepared hyposprays that would return the passengers to a conscious state. "The cells will have activated audio filters, where the Brig Officer will be able to monitor the development for sake of our safety, but not listen in. An audio recording will, however, be made for the Security interrogations with both passengers respectively. Pause interrogation log."

The Deputy took a deep breath and spoke to the Pinkskin. "Well done, Counsellor. Let's see how angry they are, shall we? Remember, just use your combadge to contact the Brig Officer." Ida went to the posted Petty Officer, handing him her rifle. "He will be watching, making sure you are safe. You need not worry, though. Commander Wenn may look imposing, yet the Ridge-nose is a good man."

Stepping back and into Commander Trent's holding cell, Ida turned the hypospray over in her hands while O'Connor prepared herself. "One hour, then we switch. Activate the force-fields and the audio filters... now."

Ida looked down upon the Pinkskin with the prosthetic limbs, running some white hair behind her ear before crouching down. There was no point in waiting, yet it she took a moment to organise her thoughts before she pressed the cold muzzle of the hypospray to Carrigan Trent's neck and inoculated him.

"Resume interrogation recording," she said quietly and stepped away, casually seating herself on the pre-cast titanium bedstead and its mattress, rolling the hypospray in her hands. She merely waited for the expected reaction. She made sure to look non-threatening where she sat, antennae raised, and her blue countenance impassive.


OOC: CanadianVet and The Counselor, you are next in independent order, then TheBanshee, since I would not presume to write how Hayden O'Connor decides to wake Wenn Cinn up. :)

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #3
Sleeping in a brig was never a pleasant thing. Every Intelligence officer had gone through some form of resistance to interrogation. And part of this captivity was very much like his training. Save that in this case, he would have to cooperate and not seek out to escape. So, despite having a few openings to attempt to make a move, Carrigan Trent sat very still on the bunk when the forcefield was dropped to deliver his dinner and to retrieve the empty tray later. He even thanked the guards who had performed both duties.

His sleep hadn't been peaceful either, waking up every time the door to the rest of the ship opened when the officer of the watch did his rounds or the brig officer was spelled off. And it had happened a few times when the Andorian officer had finally returned with a detachment of guards, all of them heavily armed. The shriek of the phaser-fire chased the last of the slumber from his mind and he jumped to his feet, just in time for the forcefield to be dropped. "No wait, don't" was all he managed to cry out before the energy discharge struck him in the center of the chest and slammed him against the bulkhead, splitting his scalp in the process.

It was the sharp sting of a hypospray that brought Trent out of his slumber. The emergence from this darkness elicited an involuntary panic reaction from him as once again, he relived some of the worst times of his life.

First, there was the pain of his eardrums rupturing and of his exposed flesh being ripped apart from the inside by the hard vacuum of space. Then, the panic of suffocation as his lungs were begging for air that he'd just exhaled as an attempt to prevent more damage. And the cold of open space. His vision grew blurred then dim, a combination of the moisture being sucked from his eyeballs and the lack of oxygen. Then, just as he drifted off, the slight tingling of a transporter beam.

The next thing he knew was the sting of a hypospray. And, thanks to the inability to medicate him while in stasis, the excruciating phantom pain from his missing limbs.


A formless cry escaped Carrigan's lips as he came to in the brig and once he saw his aggressor sitting on the bunk, he scrambled backwards, leaving a trail of blood from the cut in the back of his head behind him. Once he came to a stop, he gathered his legs beneath him and rose unsteadily, obviously shaken from the combination of the phaser blast and the stimulant he'd been injected with. But there was no hiding his fury despite his somewhat wobbly stance, a state of mind only furthered emphasized by the blood that stained his hair, neck and collar.

"What is this? Is this a starship or some Breen slave transport? Is this how you keep your Captain's word?"

Indeed, Jien Ives' promise of fair treatment and safeguard from any harm still rang in Lieutenant Commander Trent's mind despite the splitting headache he was now affected by. Having had some time to think, he knew he could trust both this ship's seniormost officers. But this unwarranted attack on a cooperative prisoner by this member of the security team? That, to the human, went clearly against the guarantees he had been given.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #4
Only when the Pinkskin began to move did she notice that he was bleeding from the back of his head. She frowned in concern and tapped her combadge before he even reached the wall. "zh'Wann to Sickbay. We are in need of medical assistance in the Brig. Holding Cell B."

When he was on his feet, the expected reaction came, and Ida slowly rose from her seat while the loud words still rang from the walls. She took a few steps closer but seeing him so upset made her stop. She put her hands on her hips and looked towards the ceiling in thought. "I wish it was merely ironic that the Captain and I am were not exactly on the best of terms before this morning, but it's not. Irony has nothing to do with this, for it could only have been me that did this. I would not order anyone on my team to do what needed to be done... because of the exact reason you just pointed out. "

Ida's voyage up to that point in the Brig had been harsh. She had lost her integrity as a woman under the most nightmarish circumstances, seen three superior officers die in action, been tricked by an alien entity to make love to one of those, one mere day before he was killed by the Calamity. Now, the first of her lost Chiefs walked their decks again - as if to taunt her. Whilst infected, she had almost caused the collapse of the entire Galaxy together with the Vulcan named Cir'Cie. On top of this, she had lost the good faith of her Captain four times over.

The first time had been when Cinn died, and now he was alive, as if her paralysed episode in the face of danger had been entirely moot: that she had frozen needlessly when her crew needed her aide. It had caused David Grayson to be promoted over her. The second time, Ida had made the crew her priority, and chosen to take measures to ensure that another prisoner - now First Officer - would not cause any trouble for the mission. Her method had been more in line with her time as a Guardsman in the Imperial Guard, since she had done so by death-threat and at phaser-point - something she deeply regretted in hindsight. The third, she had acted in haste in the Harbinger Brig, and while she was confident she had made the right choice, her Captain had not agreed with her. Still, Sonja Acreth had been kept from escaping. The fourth, she had followed up on discrepancies in Ensign Carver's report, just doing her job. Carver had not reacted well, and things had gone out of hand, ending up with Ida finally demoted and Skye supposedly cleared from suspicions.

"What I have done," she continued without pause, "was for the crew as a whole. Yet also for you, because I have just cleared you of all suspicions of being one of them." It was quite clear whom she meant. Ida kept her distance, remaining in the middle of the cell because the Intelligence Officer would not let her close unless he knew she meant well.

"Do you understand, Lieutenant Commander? I devised a way to detect them, and the two of you were the field test. Before this, we had no way to be sure. In essence, you were lightly stunned for sake of being redeemed in the eyes of us survivors on the Theurgy. Now, you are free to leave this Brig after we have talked a while, and the crew will not think you an enemy."

Ida always put the crew's safety in the first room, and given present circumstances, she could not have neglected her duties merely for the sake of a promise that the Captain might have made in ignorance. She folded her arms underneath her breasts, cocking a hip where she stood. "I assure you, it was absolutely necessary, but it was never my intention to hurt you. Will you please let me take a look on your head before a doctor arrives? I will explain everything."
 

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #5
Carrigan Trent's footing was growing more stable by the second, but there remained a degree of dizziness he could not attribute to the phaser blast or the stimulant. Of anything, he was suspecting a concussion from his head impacting the bulkhead as evidenced by the smear of blood he had left there and on the deck.

Despite the fact his mind had not fully cleared, he did not fail to understand the Andorian woman's words. So, already she was not in Captain Ives' good books and was not overly worried about the drastic nature of her testing measure. And, something Trent could respect, was her decision to shoulder the whole blame instead of making one of her subordinates fire. And her logic, although to the Intelligence officer lacked supporting evidence, seemed sound.

Indeed, if a mild phaser blast was an effective test, it might explain the first thing Trent had noticed about Admiral Sankolov, namely his ordering of the shrimp jambalaya at one of the weekly working lunches as Sisko's when he was afflicted by a severe allergy to seafood and suffered no ill effects. If whatever this enemy was could prevent anaphylactic reactions, then who knew just how much it could do? That was when he had to speak, his tone sharp but there was a slight hint of dry humour, as indeed there was a certain ironic quality to the situation.

"I have never heard of shooting someone as being favourable to their health before. I would like to see what hard evidence you had to come up with your theory. If it is sound, then I will try to keep the Captain from tearing you a new one. Jien Ives strikes me as someone who doesn't much care for being made a liar out of. And seeing how you're already in the doghouse you probably can't afford to refuse what assistance I can give you."

A sudden wave of dizziness hit the Lieutenant Commander just as he finished talking and it was only by leaning heavily against the bulkhead that he managed to remain on his feet. "Not much you can do for me. Not unless you can treat a concussion."

Slowly, he then lowered himself to the deck, leaving yet another smear of blood on the bulkhead in the process. "So," deciding to trust this Andorian at least to a small degree Trent chose to talk instead of resorting to his resistance to interrogation training, "what is it you want to talk about?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #6
Standing there, Ida could have guess that the Pinkskin would not take kindly to being shot, and especially not when hitting his head in the process. She was pleased to hear that he was willing to listen despite it all, and let her detail what needed to be known for him to understand the necessity. That he would protect her from Captain Ives was on its own a chivalrous offer, but the comment that she might depend upon his assistance kind of turned that on its head. It made her smirk and lower her antennae, thinking that he continued to try and get the upper hand in every hopeless situation, just like in the Flight Hangar. Either it was a defence mechanism, or he was just pompous arse. A quite stellar arse, admittedly.

"How very generous of you," she said, her sarcasm quite evident. She unfolded her arms and stepped forward, unzipping her uniform jacket before she crouched down right next him. As she met his gaze at close range, her eyes may have been firm, yet her tone was indifferent. "Let me worry about Ives, you just worry about your head and making sure you stay awake. I am under no illusion to redeem my own name along with yours, even if I have come up with a way to detect them. I told you, the safety of the crew is my primary concern, not my bloody career on this outlaw ship."

Indeed, the moment O'Connor had spoken, and Wenn Cinn was proven to be himself, Ida knew he would resume command in Security eventually - making the crew safe again. She'd had doubts about David Grayson being an able man when he was promoted, and Ben vessery had not been able to prove himself a leader before he died, yet Wenn Cinn was a Chief she would entrust the crew to, someone she could follow without question. Regardless if he wanted her to to be Deputy again or would see her demoted once more.

"The Harbinger found us in the Hromi Cluster. Nine days ago," she said in a low voice, casually pulling back her jacket from her shoulders and tugging the sleeves free from her arms. She reached up to lay her blue hand against his graying hair, smoothing it away at the back to see where the blood came from. "They had an Ensign aboard, named Sonja Acreth. She had been discovered sending subspace messages back to the Sol System, and she had been thrown in their Brig."

Tilting her head, the light playing over her high cheekbones and her neck as she looked to the SI officer's wound, Ida continued. "Our enemy either has connections with some faction in the Temporal Cold War of the 29th century, or they are that faction themselves. Regardless, they have access to tech and weapons not yet developed. They sent a Calamity-class hunter ship with a purely holographic crew for us and the Harbinger. The A.I. introduced itself as Cala, short for the starship's name; the USS Calamity. It attacked us just then, meaning to... how do you say it? Kill two fish with one stone?"

Finding the injury, Ida kept his short hair away from the area and balled up her uniform jacket with her free hand. "Together, and with a stroke of genius from the late director of the Valkyrie Program, we managed to damage the Calamity enough for it to make a tactical retreat. We set down on Theta Eridani IV, spending one week of repairs there. During this time, we chose to interrogate Ensign Sonja Acreth."

She pressed the jacket against the bleeding area, slowly laying her hand against the Pinkskin's forehead to keep him still. "We used an oculus device in the forcefield to get a tissue sample from her, but just as Chief Medical Officer Nicander was on to something, speaking of a plausible theory concerning interphapsic parasites taking over higher brain functions, Ensign Acreth reached out through the oculus and pulled Dr. Nicander into the forcefield. He would not have lasted long since the forcefield had a high energy setting."

Looking at Carrigan Trent underneath her hand, she made sure he was not drifting off. "I ordered the forcefield dropped to save his life. Yet we lost someone else. These joined enemies we face, they are not just usurpers. No power-mongering, political creatures. They augment their hosts. Stronger. Faster. Able to withstand multiple phaser beams at the highest stun setting. I did not know. None of us did. Nicander lived after medical treatment, but we lost the Harbinger's CSec in mere moments. We were lucky. She could have killed both the Captains and the First Officers if I had not managed to hold on to my rifle. Lean back with your head now."

Having ensured that the Pinkskin would not lessen the pressure against her jacket, she removed her hand from his forehead. "Right now, she is in the holding cell at the far end of the corridor," she said quietly, nodding in that direction, "covered in the blood of the dozens of people she killed when she tried to escape the second time. It took a whole firing squad with rifles and hand phasers to subdue her that time, just before she would have taken control of the Harbinger's helm and rammed the Theurgy."

Crouching next to him still, she rested her arms on her knees as she looked into his eyes. "Does things make more sense to you now, Lieutenant Commander?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #7
Carrigan did not resist when the Security officer closed in and proceeded to try and staunch the bleeding from his scalp. Even if he had wanted to, he doubted he would even be able to make a decent show of it, not in his current state. However, he knew the laceration wasn't necessarily serious even with the apparent amount of blood involved. Scalp wounds were like that after all.

While he did not reply when she mentioned he should worry about himself and not her future, he did manage a smile. So perhaps this Andorian was in this gig for the right reasons. Perhaps her judgement was not the best but she did have her heart, or was it hearts as he really had no knowledge of Andorian physiology, in the right spot.

Despite his pounding headache, he listened carefully as she told of recent events. So, in the last week or so both renegade starships had been through the wringer. And they had to deal with an infiltrator already. So perhaps their caution was indeed warranted. And that supposition was further supported by the junior Lieutenant's report about this Acreth woman.
 
And finally, he spoke after taking some time to digest the information given to him. "Yes, I am starting to understand, Lieutenant. Now, I'm no use to anyone in this cell. May I trouble you to track down my belongings and to arrange for a chance to shower, shave and put on a fresh uniform once the medic you called for patches me up?  If I am free to go, I would like to request a meeting with Captain Ives and Commander Rez as soon as possible."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #8
Content that the Lieutenant Commander would not move as he sat against the bulkhead with her uniform jacket bundled up to cradle his head, Ida took a deep breath and stood up next to him, casually smoothing down her yellow undershirt over her sides and her flat stomach. "I have a report to fill out that entails a lot of information about you, but I suppose I can get that from the database. You are free to go once that head is seen to and I have filed my report. As for a shower, you look just fine to me, Pinkskin."

I'm the Deputy, not your personal assistant. And that stubble suits you. She smirked and turned her back towards him, slowly stepping away - her hands on her hips. "Your belongings are outside in one of the Brig Officer's compartments. You can take your request for quarters to our Quartermaster, and an appointment with our commanding officers to Yeoman Henshaw. They are likely to want to see you anyway. I am sure I will be able to arrange for your security clearance and send the report about your release to the Yeoman ahead of time while you are being patched up. The Chief Counsellor may want to have a word with you too before long. Personally, I just have a couple of last questions..."

The Deputy turned towards him again, her smirk gone and her antennae curved forth in attention. "Exactly when and how did you encounter Lieutenant Commander Wenn Cinn aboard the USS Archeron, and what made you trust a supposedly dead man to accompany you in the Runabout? I gathered from yesterday that the virus was your doing, so how did the two of you end up arriving together?"

After she got her answers, a voice came from the combadge in Ida's pocket. [Deputy, we have a Doctor Maya here, requesting to enter your holding cell.]

Ida paused while she fished out the combadge, but she did not respond right away. "Lastly, I would like to thank you. If it had not been for you, the entire crew would have died yesterday. We have been through a great deal, and like you said about the innocent that were killed in the process of shutting down that fleet, it would have been a shame if it was all for naught." She jammed her thumb into the metallic Starfleet insignia in her hand. "Understood, let her through. Lower the force field for her. Computer, end interrogation log. "

As the shimmering wall winked out of existence, Ida inclined her head to Trent in parting. "Sorry for the head. Good day, Lieutenant Commander. Welcome aboard, for what it's worth."

Then she was gone, passing by the Vulcan in the corridor with a quiet nod.


OOC: The way I see it, it does not matter who posts next in this holding cell, CanadianVet or Doctor Maya. Banshee, The Counsellor has said over IM that her post is imminent.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #9
Hayden barely registered Ida's mild praise and instructions with a nod before reaching for her own hypospray to awaken her own charge, Commander Wen.   The last thing she wanted was to be congratulated for standing by while she watched more people in harm's way.  Granted, they were only being stunned, but none of their prisoners knew that, and for a healer like Hayden who was specifically charged with treating psychological wounds, inflicting them was unconscionable.  That it was the only way to ensure their new arrivals were who they said they were was as troublesome for O'Connor as it was accurate.  She couldn't help but think of the decisions she had already made in the name of survival, and she shuddered to think how far they would all go in the end, assuming they even survived.

Entering the cell, and kneeling before the prone body of Wenn, Hayden took out her tricorder once more to confirm what she already knew.  He was stunned, but breathing, just as she'd said.  Exhaling in relief, she also confirmed there were no acute injuries beyond those caused by the stun that needed tending to.  Of course, she would do a more complete exam once Wenn was alert and not as likely to punch anyone.  A brief tricorder scan was enough to reassure her there were no emergent issues, but nothing short of a complete workup physically and psychologically would satisfy her. This would seem only prudent professionally, and she expected no one to question it.  She wouldn't deny it provided the added benefit of alleviating some of her guilt as well, though as amends it was entirely inadequate, in her heart.

Cir'Cie's words stuck in her brain on a loop.  Was she more important after all?

Pressing the hypospray to the man's neck as if to banish the thought, she remained kneeling beside him, ready to offer reassurance, but not attempting to block his movement.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #10
At that moment, a short slender female Vulcan entered the brig.  The teal colored collar on her uniform had a single pip, indicating she was an ensign.  The medical kit she carried made her function onboard obvious.  "Doctor Maya reporting for duty as ordered," she said in a quiet high pitched voice that had a strange, almost Irish lilt.  Wherever she had learned Federation Standard English, it wasn't at the academy.  "I understand I have a patient."

Lieutenant Junior Grade Zaraq, the burly master-at-arms nodded.  "Second cell down the hall," the massive Klingon grunted as he indicated with his head.  His calloused hands didn't let go of his phaser rifle for a second.  "Lieutenant zh'Wann's with him now.  You can't miss him."

"Thank you," the little Vulcan nodded serenely as she daintily walked past him into the hallway. 

She was distracted by the first prisoner she saw, and Vulcans were notoriously hard to distract.  In the first cell was an attractive brunette woman whose teal collar indicated that she was either in Sciences or Medicine.  She was bending over a huge sehlat of a Bajoran male with a shaved head wearing a Starfleet uniform that had a gold collar.  It was none other than the late Lieutenant Commander Wenn Cinn, the Theurgy's former chief of security.  If memory served he had been sucked out into space when the ship had suffered a hull breach.  To say that Maya had medical curiosity would be something of an understatement.

"Is that Commander Cinn?" she asked with a calm innocence that only Vulcans could maintain for any length of time.  "I must say he's looking better than reports would lead one to expect."

 

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #11
Ida heard the question as she nodded to the doctor in passing, she stopped on her way to file her report on Carrigan Trent and answered.

"For someone dead, he does look surprisingly well," she said ruefully and took a chart from the Brig Control desk, starting to tap in the information. When she was done, she would join the Counsellor in Wenn Cinn's cell.

"Your patient is in the next cell, Doctor. Let us know when you are done with him and Zaraq will lower the force field and let you both out. The audiofilters will be in place if the Lieutenant Commander wants some privacy during his treatment."


OOC: Just a short one to ease things on and to have Maya go to the cell with Carrigan Trent. I wasn't sure who Maya was speaking with so I had Ida answer. This should work, I think. Please refrain from opening for more dialogue with Zaraq and Ida now since Maya has a patient waiting. ;)

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #12
Maya pursed her lips as she reluctantly took her eyes off the formerly deceased Bajoran and moved to her patient's cell.  When she arrived she had her unreadable 'Vulcan face' ready.  Inside was a tall gaunt human male who had a world-weary, cynical air to him.  His intelligent grey eyes and rugged, yet symmetrical features were atheistically pleasing despite the story of hardship etched on his face.  He had definitely been through Vulcan's Forge; that was certain.  He didn't even have artificial skin on the biosynthetic prosthetic that served as his left hand.

Maya's hazel eyes drank him in as her mouth twitched awkwardly before settling into a polite smile.  How did Terrans, Bajorans, Andorians, and Risians make it look so easy?  Maya's smile had earned her the nickname  'the Uncanny Valley Girl' at Starfleet Medical and she still had difficulty getting a friendly smile right.  She had let her bangs and her pageboy haircut grow to conceal both her up-swept arched eyebrows and pointed ears but when it came to being human she could never really sell it.

"Hello Commander," she greeted as she stepped inside and opened her medical kit.  "I'm Doctor Maya.  I see you have suffered a laceration.  Are you experiencing any pain?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #13
When the Andorian officer asked him about his meeting with Wenn Cinn, Carrigan offered a wry smile. "We met in the Runabout just after launch and we had ourselves a good old-fashioned standoff. It took some doing but we managed to come to an understanding and dropped our weapons. As for trusting him, you can call it a combination of factors. First, too many people saw him dead and that would destroy any potential use as one of those impostors. Second, his file identifies him as deeply devout. So, if the Prophets decided to bring a Human back then resurrecting a Bajoran isn't that far-fetched, is it? And third, we didn't have much of a choice to trust each other."

Once his answer was given and the security officer left with her thanks, Trent did not have to wait long for someone from Medical to come and see to him. Looking up, he saw the diminutive Vulcan who approached him. At first, she wore that impassive face that was so common to that species. If anything, it felt rather haughty and arrogant to Trent, as if Vulcans actually despised anyone not ascribing to their tenets of logic.

But then, something he had never encountered in his two decades wearing a Starfleet uniform happened. He saw a Vulcan actually smile. It was strangely contrived but there seemed to be a genuine feeling behind it. And the way she spoke, with something akin to an Irish brogue, did not have the cold formality of typical Vulcan speech patterns. This one was different all right.

When she asked if he was hurting anywhere, Carrigan raised his left hand and rested it on his left knee, a muted sound of metal on metal sounding as the prosthetic anterior limb landed on his synthetic leg. "Good morning Doctor," he started politely before actually answering her question. "The cut only stings a little, but between getting stunned, the stimulant I was given and my head slamming into the bulkhead I have a splitting headache. And it feels like I have a bit of a concussion."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #14
"Let us find out," she said in a conversational tone, "but first let us clean your wound.  If you'll sit down and turn your back to me Commander?"  She reached into her medikit and extracted a portable steri-field emitter and passed over his wound.  "I apologize for your incarceration and poor treatment Commander," she said as if she was discussing the weather.  "I know it is difficult to believe but while we are fugitives we are not criminals." 

She checked herself.  It wasn't her place to tell him about the parasites that had taken over Starfleet.  If he didn't know already, that knowledge would prevent him from ever leaving.  It was the captain's choice whether or not to inform him, not hers.  For a woman trained since childhood to keep her inner thoughts hidden, Maya wasn't good at keeping a secret.  Although the popular belief was 'Vulcans never lie' a more accurate expression would be 'Vulcans aren't very good at lying, for they lack the imagination to do so effectively'. 

She changed frequencies in an attempt to cover her mistake.  "May I ask you your name Commander?" she asked as she returned her steri-field emitter to the medical kit and extracted a dermal regenerator. "It would be helpful in order to access your medical file.  Your biosynthetic limbs indicate that your medical history would be informative."  Slim chance of that.  The Theurgy had been cut off from Starfleet's subspace information network in order to prevent their enemies from tracking them.  Unless her patient's files were already in their computers, he would need to undergo a full medical examination.


Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #15
Trent did as he was bid, simply pivoting from where he was already seated on the deck as to expose the bloody gash on the back of his head to the Vulcan physician. When she elaborated on the situation, the Human could not help his tired smile. "Doctor, the logic of keeping me locked up didn't escape me. Although while stunning me was a fast and effective test to see if I am who I claim I am. I would prefer something less unpleasant. And I know about this ship and her crew, and our enemy. No need to mince words, Doc."

This Vulcan seemed unusually verbose. Even to the point of divulging things she thought she ought not to discuss. Again, this was rather fascinating. Vulcans were known for their reserve and apparently unshakable confidence. This one seemed rather uneasy, jittery even. And her switching tracks did not escape the Intelligence officer.

"Carrigan Trent," he answered quietly. "And if you must know, I lost an arm and a leg to a bursting EPS conduit and getting spaced during the Dominion War. I'd rather not talk about it."

There was no mistaking it: Trent did not want to discuss such things. The loss of his ship, the death of nearly two thirds of her crew, his injuries, his exposure to hard vacuum, the pain, the months of physical therapy and counselling. Those were painful memories and he was in no hurry to revisit them in his waking hours. His nightmares were already enough.


Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #16
“Pleased to make your acquaintance Mister Trent,” the Vulcan almost-smiled as she applied the dermal regenerator to his injured scalp.  “The war doesn’t hold pleasant memories for most of us, but I suspect that I am an exception.  I found the Dominion War an uplifting experience of belonging and renewal.”

Maya was pleased with herself.  If Mister Trent didn’t want to talk about himself, her bizarre comment would induce him to ask the little Vulcan about her own history, anything to keep the reason for their flight a subject of conversation.  The fact that Maya was born over two and a half centuries ago should be a perfect distraction.

She frowned.  “Excuse me but did you say you were stunned to verify your identity?  Is that how you were injured?  Not while trying to escape?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #17
Cinn didn't even have the chance to make a sound in protest as Ida dropped the confinement field and fired.  He'd been turning around to face the group of arrivals when the stun had sent him crashing to the floor.  There hadn't even been time to think about what was happening to him this time or question why they would resort to this method of interrogation.

Yet as he awoke some part of his brain automatically recalled the shot that had taken him down and the automatic response, drilled into him over the years of Starfleet training fell from his lips.  The sound was heavy and groggy the first time, unintelligible mumbling.  As he opened his eyes and tried to focus on his surroundings he eased himself up onto his elbows and repeated the words.

"Wenn Cinn, Lieutenant Commander, MA 230 382."

He started to be able to focus on the figure knelt next to him, a pale, skinny human woman.   He repeated the phrase, stronger this time as he shook his head and began to stand.  His vision and mind clearing from the foggy remnants of the blast he frowned but made no attempt to try to get past the physically inferior crew member.  Instead he cautiously returned to the bed, sat down and crossed his arms over his chest.

His eyes went to hers, holding her in a steely glare.  He didn't know what the hell was going on here but he was in that seething calm that belied his true anger at the treatment he had just been subjected to.

Once more he repeated the phrase, quietly, calmly and chillingly smooth, "Wenn Cinn, Lieutenant Commander, MA 230 382."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #18
"You must be joking." Trent's voice had gone from quiet and polite to quite and cold and hard, unyielding as the alloys at the heart of a starship's structure. Uplifiting? Belonging? Renewal? The Dominion War was no such thing for anyone who had participated in it. Millions had been killed, likely billions. Starfleet had lost dozens if not hundreds of ships and tens of thousands of men.

There was no glory in that war. Only a struggle for survival.

"Have you lost anyone in the war, Ensign?"  Carrigan's tone was still flat and cold, his face starting to show the strain of restraining himself.

Indeed, he had once held the rank of Commander and had a ship of his own. Perhaps the USS Harrier was only a minor starship, Saber-class but she had been his. Perhaps the crew were only one in name when he took over and the entire senior staff had to be changed, but he had forged them into as fine a crew as could be through his leadership. He had given them success in the first few months of the Dominion war until he fell into an ambush.

"I had a ship once, and a crew. Sixty men and women who trusted me with their lives and I failed them. Thirty-seven of them were lost at the same time as the Harrier. The same day I lost my arm and my leg. I guarantee you, the 'belonging' you describe isn't edifying, it is survival. Renewal? There was none for anyone. Uplifting? Only maybe for those lucky Klingon who survived the worst the Jem'Hadar could dish out."

The Intelligence Officer took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "And yes, I was stunned as a test. I'm here to join the crew, not to destroy it so escape attempts weren't on my to-do list. And if a confirmed impostor could withstand an obscene number of shots set to maximum stun, then I would have shrugged off one set to minimum power if I had been one of them. I obviously didn't."

Finally, be closed his eyes. "Look Doctor, I have no idea what sort of Vulcan you are but please, be quiet, patch me up, treat my concussion and be on your way. I understand you don't know me or anything about me so I apologize if I was short with you. But right now I really don't feel like talking. I just want to get out of this brig, clean up, have some breakfast and do something useful, all right?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #19
It was obvious why Maya had so few friends.  Her knack for saying precisely the wrong thing bordered on the supernatural.   It was a failure to remember basic exopsychology; other species didn't have the ability to separate themselves from their emotions the way Vulcans did.  It was a mistake an intern would make and Maya had blundered into it.  Of course Mister Trent was offended, who wouldn't be?  Even Vulcans found Maya insufferable.   Distracting Trent away from the conspiracy in Starfleet was now a hollow victory.

"My apologies Mister Trent," she said stiffly as she put the dermal regenerator back in the medkit.  She now held a hygienic biocleanser.  Her 'Vulcan face' was in place and her voice, casual and conversational before was now flat and dead.  "No doubt my words sounded blasphemous.   I spent the war away from the front, back at Starfleet Medical.   Despite the shadow of the war against the Dominion, I experienced a sense of patriotism and belonging that I hadn't felt before.  A whole new civilization was before me, a union of civilizations, with the freedom of choice to live as one chooses that I had never imagined could exist.  Rather than being a foreigner simply allowed to participate, I was a citizen who belonged to the entire Alpha Quadrant.  Truly, the United Federation of Planets was something I had wished for all my life.  So in comparison to the last war I was in, I could describe my experience during the Dominion War as 'positive.'  I apologize for not taking your experiences into consideration.  You have sacrificed so much to protect the civilization I cherish, and my comments were both insensitive and belittling.   There is no justification for my remarks.  They were inexcusable."

"To answer your question, no, I didn't lose anyone in the recent war," she said in a businesslike tone.  "I had no one to lose.  I lost everyone I knew in a previous war, but the Dominion War gave me a place to belong, a place in Starfleet.  A place you literally gave an arm and a leg to protect.  I should display gratitude but thanks to my traditional upbringing it seems I am unable to extend such a simple gesture.   I can only give you an empty apology and offer to speak to the captain on your behalf.  In the meantime, I would like permission to telempathically diagnose your cranium and apply medicinal neuropressure to treat your head.  You might feel better.  I may lack the bedside manner to relieve your emotional pain but I can at least relieve your physical distress."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #20
The doctor's swift change in demeanour was not lost on the Intelligence officer. That was odd, to say the least. Typically, Vulcans did not modify their behaviour even after realizing they had caused offence. Their lack of emotions tended to either make them either completely oblivious to whatever slight they have offered as a result of their lack of understanding or were delivering a calculated insult to their interlocutor.

But in the Maya's case, it seemed as though she genuinely grasped she had said something grossly inappropriate and she had retreated into something closer to the better-known Vulcan aloofness. Part of Carrigan's interest was piqued by this anomaly but his curiosity found itself suppressed by his cold anger and just general weariness at his situation.

As such, he did not overly pay attention to the physician's rather long-winded apology, up until she made mention of some less conventional treatment methods. She wanted to poke into his brain and his mind using her natural gifts? That was enough to cause him to swiftly turn his head towards the woman, his gaze narrowed to hard slits.

"Actually, I do mind," replied he. As an Intelligence officer, he was privy to a great deal of classified information. Information that, despite the Theurgy's crew status as outlaws, was still to be limited to properly cleared personnel who had a need to know. "I can't allow you to go snooping around in my head. There is too much floating in there you don't have clearance for. You have a tricorder, some instruments, a hypospray and some meds in your kit. Please use those."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #21
“Very well Mister Trent,” she acquiesced coldly, but since she was a Vulcan it was hard to tell.  She placed a neurocortical monitor, a small device that looked like a 21st century hearing aid on her patient’s parietal bone, just under and behind his left hear and looked at her medical tricorder.   Her telempathic diagnosis would read information from his cerebellum not his cerebrum, but there was no point explaining that to Mister Trent. 

The brig was not a place that fostered trust.  When someone was sent there it meant that trust had broken down entirely.  When a physician is summoned to the brig it often means that the amount of trust available has dropped to almost nil.  Maya had been foolish to practice her ‘bedside manner’ with ‘small talk’ on Mister Trent.  All she had done was convince him that the people aboard this ship were deranged and as bloodthirsty as a stereotypical Klingon.  If Captain Ives wanted to recruit Mister Trent she had just sabotaged that effort.  Before she left she had to undo the damage she had done.

She removed the neurocortical monitor and placed her index fingers behind his ears to press on both of his parietal bones as she sent a minute jolt of mental simulation into his synapses.   “That should treat your concussion,” she said as she closed her medkit and moved in front of him.  “If you need anything else don’t hesitate to ask.” 

She paused before the exit and turned to address him.  “Mister Trent, before I go I would like to clarify the remark I said earlier.  Before I entered Starfleet Medical I was aboard a starship that lost eighty percent of its crew before being hurled over two centuries into the future to what you would call the present day.  Not only did I lose most of my shipmates but I also lost everyone I knew before I volunteered to join a human crew to assist in Earth’s conflict with the Romulans.  I understand what’s it’s like to suffer loss but the point I was trying to make was that even something as horrible as the Dominion War can present an opportunity and a place to belong.  I hope you’re time aboard the Theurgy turns out to be as positive an experience for you as the Dominion War was for me.  We are not criminals Mister Trent, we are patriots, and we are as loyal the Federation and its ideals as you are.”  She nodded her head and gave a respectful bow.  “If you’ll excuse me, I have other patients to attend to.  I look forward to speaking with you again.”

With that she left the cell and walked down the corridor.  “Mister Trent is fit and ready for duty,” she told Zaraq, “and has expressed a desire to do something useful.  If you need me I’ll be in sickbay.”
OOC:  Maya has now left the brig, freeing the stage for other characters.


Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #22
Hayden expected Wenn to be confused and even outraged, so in those first few obviously groggy moments, her only focus was on taking action.  She needed to explain what had just happened and why, and do her best to offer reassurance.  So intent was she on these tasks that it actually took her by surprise (damn, her emotions kept doing that and it had to stop) when the formerly "dead" man pulled away from her and sat up on his own, seemingly intent on staying as far from her as he possibly could.  O'Connor was taken so aback, at first she failed to register what he was saying.  Then it took her a moment more to process why he was saying it.

He believed himself to be a prisoner of war, and he believed she was his captor. 

As he quickly made his way to the cot with nothing but the familiar refrain of name, rank, and serial number spoken between them, Hayden needed only to meet his eyes to realize he believed her to be the one who shot him.  Of course, hindsight would prove such an assumption perfectly logical.  Wenn was groggy, confused, with only the memory of being shot to factor into his current understanding of reality.  She couldn't expect him to remember or even care that his assailant was not her at all.

Hayden understood all of this intellectually, but for those first few moments, all *she* could process was that she was being looked at in the same accusing way that she had been when she set a group of her former crewmates to their deaths.  She felt anger well inside her.  Hayden O'Connor wasn't a monster.  Or, at least, she didn't used to be.  When he made it to the bed, and was clearly trying to disguise some degree of distress through glaring anger, emotional reality returned to Hayden O'Connor.

She stood up, but kept her distance from him.  Allowing her medkit to clatter to the floor, she put both hands out in front of her, as if she was trying to steady a wounded and frightened animal.  The anger that had flared up in her so quickly turned to sympathy and concern just as quickly.  "My name is Dr. Hayden O'Connor.  I'm a doctor and counselor with the USS Theurgy, and I will not hurt you.  I'm sorry our security officer had to shoot you.  It was the only way to ensure you weren't an impostor.  I'd like to examine you, but to do that, I need to come closer.  Is that ok with you?"


Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #23
As Cinn observed the woman who had been kneeling beside him when he had come around from the stun he could see the range of emotions.  Sure he wasn't a psychologist but he had seen his fair share of liars and innocents in his time.  The flash of rage, showing only as a micro-expression, that briefly shot across her face was the clincher.  There was a story behind it and he'd pressed the button that had caused it.

This woman was one of the innocents and there were no lies in her words as she stood up and held out her hands.  As quickly as the cool, seething had come to his face it was gone again, realising that whatever was going on there had to be damned good reason for it.  Being angry at someone who was honestly just trying to help him would do no good at all and was undeserved.

"Dr O'Connor," he began, "so long as you are convinced that I am who I say I am you can do what you need to do."

Uncrossing his arms and laying his hands on his knees he waited for her to pick up her medkit and give him the check over.  There was an element of relief as he did so, knowing that whatever test this was seemed to work and that he had passed it.  He was back on board his ship with the people who knew the truth and would do everything they could to free the Federation from the parasitic infestation at its core.

"I feel fine," he said as she approached, "the Prophets did a damned good job at repairing whatever damage there was."  He paused for a moment and held her gaze once more, "I hope you can understand why I reacted the way I did just now.  For a moment there I thought the ship had been... compromised."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Find Me Unafraid [0630 hrs.]

Reply #24
Given her emotional state, hearing Cinn apologize for his perfectly understandable reaction, Hayden felt more than a twinge of guilt.  She quickly pushed it away.  It was an awkward situation all around, and the truth was, she was planning to apologize again right alongside him for her own part in it all. In any case, it broke the ice, and it was a way of conveying to Hayden she wouldn't have to worry about some sort of retaliation for ending up on the other end of a phaser stun.

O'Connor bent down to retrieve her tricorder and used the short opportunity to steady herself and gather her focus.  Cinn's words served as a reminder Hayden really didn't know much beyond the fact he wasn't a traitor and he was supposed to be dead.  Did that make him trustworthy?  Time would certainly tell.  Hayden supposed she should use this one on one opportunity to get a feel for the man in front of her, but she was acutely aware of the likely trauma just surviving "death" likely entailed, and her desire to bring healing and support to a situation that had previously brought fear and pain, was at the fore.

Hayden approached with tricorder in hand and offered a wry smile. "Honestly, the only thing I trust at this moment is you are not one of *them.*  Beyond that, I'm not sure who you are, but in time, I'm hoping to get to know you better.  I've been told you were presumed dead, so I'm sure there's quite a story there.  I imagine it may not be easy to relive or to talk about, but if you're comfortable, it'd help us to feel safer to clarify some details.  First things first, though," she added, opening the tricorder and beginning to scan.  A quick visual once over suggested there were no acute injuries to address.

 
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