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DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

[ Lieuteant Commander Jennifer Dewitt | Turbolift > Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 ] Attn: Kaligos & Even Angels Cry 

Walking next to Captain Ives, who was currently in his male form, if felt a bit surreal.

For the past couple of months, Jennifer and the rest of her people on the Black Opal had been fed overage by the Federation News Network about the hunt for the Theurgy, who's Captain and crew had supposedly defected to the Romulans. As if that had not been bad enough, they also did it by hijacking the most advanced starship in the fleet, the very ship that had been built as a means of deterrence during the unrest with the divided Romlan Star Empire. As outrageous as this seemed, there had been images of the surviving crews after engagements with the Theurgy, dead and grievously wounded, and witness accounts. Feeds of the aftermath, clouds of debris from destroyed starships. Grieving family members.

Then, when Captain Ives was revealed to have a co-conspirator in Captain Vasser on the USS Harbinger, it had seemed to be a never-ending news coverage of the defecting Starfleet crews. Needless to say, the subject had been much debated on the Black Opal, but the general consensus was that there couldn't be so much smoke without a fire.

Yet now, when they had seen with their own eyes how the Theurgy fought and nearly destroyed a Romulan ship, perhaps the truth would come more easily to them? The truth that Jennifer had just been shown over the course of the past few hours - shown each scenario in which they had defended themselves and the truth they carried whilst they fled through Federation space. A truth so terrible Jennifer had yet to fully wrap her head around it...

"Here we are," said Captain Ives next to her as they reached Cargo Bay 04. Behind them walked two officers from Security, Chief Security Officer Wenn Cinn and another man by the name Devon Striker. They had come along just as a precaution in case the twenty-seven people from the Black Opal got the idea to try and take Captain Ives hostage or something, which likelihood was rather remote, but a risk nonetheless. "Let's not keep them waiting any longer."

How could he be so calm about it? The people inside, her staff, had fought Ives' crew when they boarded the Opal, and one of them had fired the killing shot that had killed that fighter pilot - Ensign Skye Carver. The Theurgy's Mistress-at-Arms was in Sickbay, undergoing surgery after taking a shot to the spine. In turn, Ives had ordered the Code Zero protocol executed and destroyed the Black Opal, a fact that had yet to be revealed to the people in the cargo bay. While all their personal affects had been beamed aboard, it had still been their 'home' for years. All things considered, Jennifer did not feel as calm as Ives seemed to be. How would they take the news that the Black Opal was gone?

The sliding doors opened, and Jennifer stepped inside the large cargo bay with her head held high, and she tried to smile as she did, to allay fears and pent up emotions among the crew. The reaction to her arrival - and Captain Ives' - spread through the small crowd, and they retreated from the doors so that they could give a wide berth to the two red-collared officers.

Neither Jennifer nor Ives had a chance to say something before her people from the Black Opal shouted their questions.

OOC: Even Angels Cry and Kaligos! Feel free to NPC the crew from the Black Opal, since while your characters might not shout obvious questions in this situation, you can have other characters do it. A list can be found at the bottom of this page, and they were featured in the weapons raid thread too.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #1
[Po 2 Sithick| Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan & EAC

Sithick was uneasy. He did not like the idea of being kidnapped away from his home. He could hear many of the others saying whispering. Things like they were to be executed, that at any minute the bay doors would open and they would be vented out into space. There were other mewlings about how they were all now traitors to the Federation that one he hated most of all. The Federation had been nothing but a good home to Sithick, nothing but a means of home and family... to think that he or any others would be forced into treachery was an insult of the highest order.

As much as these things annoyed him, there were other concerns as well. The large beast in the room had been given a small circle of friends among the crew of the Black Opal, he could not see two of them. One he knew died when the romulans had attacked. He had in turn ripped the Romulan apart like a chicken bone. The second of his friends was simply not among them, which meant that they were most likely dead.

That fact as saddening as it was also made Sithick all the more aware of just how much green blood was on him and his uniform. There had been no time between ripping a romulan apart and grabbing the few things he had on the station to coming here to visit a shower. It would be one of his first orders of priority... if they weren't vented into space like many of the others kept suggesting.

When the doors opened and the commander returned to them everything became much more quiet for a moment all eyes were towards her and the captain. Sithick could have sworn the captain had a female voice when she had addressed the crew of the opal, but he was now seeing a male captain...

perhaps the ship had two? a day and night shift? it was not impossible but that only raised the question of how long they were going to be held here.

It was the chief medical officer Hernandez who first spoke a question. "What the bleeding hell is going on! how long are we going to be locked up in this room!"

The one shout sparked a fire of a thousand others. "Why are you keeping us alive anyway? I thought the Theurgy didn't take prisoners!"

Sithick winced as the crew only grew louder, that sense of vibrations running off the room making the holes that counted for ears hurt and his body tremble slightly with agitation. Of course he wanted to speak up and add his own voice to the mess of others, but honestly they weren't going to get anything like this. He groaned and hissed but instead of saying anything simply curled up slightly. He was glad he was wearing clothing now, the uniforms matarial helped to trap heat that his body didn't produce He was starting to get itchy, and it was cold in the cargo bay. The only question he wanted answered, the only one that he cared about was very simple.

"Could we turn up zhe heat in here before I fall asheep?" he said with a yawn, his wide maw expanding as he took in air. If he were anywhere else on the ship he wouldn't feel this tired and lethargic, then again if he wasn't he probably would have charged at the traitor captain, their kidnapper for all of this.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #2
[Jaya Thorne | Cargo bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan & Kaligos

You know those days where you win the battle but lose the war?  This was one of those days.  PO1 Jaya Thorne stood in the cargo bay with the other men and women from the Black Opal wondering just how badly they'd lost this war.  Whatever was waiting on the other side of those doors, the crew expected death.  Or torture & interrogation, then death.  Jaya was certain that, given the chance, she could prove useful under interrogation and maybe be sparred from some horrible punishment.  It had happened before.  Although she wasn't sure what could be considered 'dirt' on Starfleet, and she was even less certain that she had anything credible.  She wasn't ranked high enough to get any dangerous missions or assignments.  Hell, she had to volunteer for flight duty most of the time.  But she was positive she could come up with something useful enough to keep her alive.

She was still formulating her plan when the doors opened and the Captain entered alongside her own Commanding Officer.  When the first questions rang out, Jaya found that she also couldn't contain herself.  Her voice joined the others clamoring for an audience with whatever ear she could find.  "With all due respect ma'am, What the Hell is this Bullshit?  We get raided & boarded and nearly die defending our goddamn home just so we can be beamed up here?  If he was going to kill us, why bring us here?  To insult us before death?  Well I sure as hell know that I did not just risk my life saving my fellow crewmen just to be blown out of a fucking airlock!  No!  If they're going to kill us, you tell that coward to give us a fighting chance!"  She was hollering with the rest of the crew, but she was certain her voice could be heard. 

The only thing staying her hand at that moment was her CO standing beside the other Captain.  She was loyal to Jennifer Dewitt because the woman had proven herself worthy of it.  Jaya trusted her, but she didn't trust this other Captain.  'One word, Jen.  That's all it takes.  Give me the word and I'll take him down.'
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #3
[ Wenn Cinn | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 ] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Kaligos, Even Angels Cry & DocReno 

Wenn Cinn was not impressed. Jien had asked him along to help acclimate the crew of the Black Opal to the Theurgy. As Second Officer, he thought it would be good to introduce himself. As Chief of Security, he thought it would be good to let them know who they come to if they needed help. Upon entering the Cargo Bay they were all met with shouts and jeers. Cinn nodded to Striker, giving him the signal to fan out a bit. Memories flushed through Cinn's vision, remembering the protesting during the occupation. It was time to put it to an end before it started.

"That. is. ENOUGH!" He boomed, stepping forward. Subconsciously he had taken the step forward, putting himself partially between Ives and the crowd, protecting his captain to the last. Looking over the group, face like stone, Cinn noted that his voice had easily carried over the crowd and across the cargo bay. "Never in all my years have I seen such a pitiful group. You are Starfleet officers. It's time to stop whining and act like it! Your Commanding Officer is on deck." Cinn left things intentionally vague. Even if, at this time, the group didn't want to follow Ives, he was sure they would Dewitt. His last order was simple and precise. "Shut up and get to attention!"

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #4
[Jaya Thorne | Cargo bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Kaligos, Arista

'Well isn't he just a ray of fucking sunshine.'  Jaya glared at the security officer who had just addressed them, but moved to stand at attention.  Judging by his words, it was unlikely that they would all die in that moment.  'No, more like we'll be detained as prisoners and tortured for information about Starfleet.  I know how these rogue types operate, probably more than anyone else here..  Except.. Her brown eyes landed on the one creature out of place in the room: the tall, green gorn.  She had done her research and knew that his past ties were similar to her own, just in a different capacity.  While Jaya had been a low-level thief and smuggler, this gorn had likely been a slave.  But in what capacity?  Judging by his expertise in weaponry, she could only come to one conclusion: he was an assassin. 

They had arrived on the Black Opal at nearly the same time and due to limited space, had to share quarters there.  He was large and intimidating, but he also kept their room at an absurdly warm 90+ degrees with maximum humidity.  She hated living with him and began spending more time out of her quarters, which led to her doing some digging on her new crewmate.  When she learned of his skills and his past, she put two and two together and came to her own grisly conclusion: he had been sent there to kill her.  But in the three years that they spent on the Opal together, he hadn't done it yet.  She had no idea what was taking him so long, unless he just didn't have the stomach for it anymore.  But a weak-ass gorn wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  Although she did find herself constantly double-checking any work he did on the minor crafts that she flew and the weapons that she used, just in case he was trying to sabotage her.  And while she'd never had any proof of it, she was still paranoid around him. 

Living with the gorn had taught her a few things about his mannerisms though.  Like how he looked when he was flustered or uneasy, and how to tell when he was comfortable with his surroundings.  Judging by the cold air hitting her face in this cargo bay, the gorn would be really uncomfortable here.  She smirked at that thought and turned her attention back to Security Officer Sunshine.  Maybe I do have some useful information to give them after all..
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #5
[Po 2 Sithick| Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan & EAC

"Shut up and get to attention!"

Slow blinking yellow eyes met with the security chief who ordered them to stand. Sithick had been sitting so chances were that he hadn't been noticed among the other crew. Perhaps his request to have the tempature in the room increased to normal levels hadn't been heard? Either way he knew he had to stand which at the moment was a taxing end-ever. He was tired, he didn't want to move, doing so was like putting bricks in motion.

His claw hit the ground as he dragged himself up to a crawl from where he had been sitting, his back slowly straightening more and more. His head tilted slightly as he took in more of his surroundings. Checking on who was here and who wasn't. It didn't take long for his eyes to catch that of his roommate, and stalker. He still wasn't entirely sure why she seemed to follow him everywhere on Black Opal, maybe it was just that the station was rather small, but he had long since started to notice the fact that she watched him perhaps closer than even his commanding officers.

As he stood finally upright his foot falls were heavy, his claws making an odd ticking noise against the metal. His salute was lazy and sloppy as he tried to hold up his arm while his body inadverdantly swayed. He wanted to repeat his request to raise the temperature in the cargo bay. It wasn't cold enough that he felt like he was going to sleep, or stop his heart completely, and the clothing was adding a bit more heat to his body, but he had been hear long enough that he felt drained, and even standing still and at attention was difficult enough.

He didn't know this new crew. Wasn't sure if they were the enemy or not. His worst fear in this situation was that he would end up back as a slave, if not to the orions again then perhaps to this crew of miscreants. He had gotten his freedom once, and now that he had it some part of him would sooner die then loose it again. If he had too, he would charge the captain, rip the man in half as he did with the romulan. He would die of course, the chief of security would kill him, but Sithick would rather die free then be a servant again.

Just because they wore Federation uniforms didn't mean they upheld the ideals, and there was some part of Sithick that was ready and willing to attack.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #6
[ Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Dewitt | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 ] Attn: Even Angels Cry, Kaligos, DocReno & Arista 

She had been prepared for the worst, but Jennifer had never imagined that her people from the Opal would be so riled up, or so much on the defensive. She should have anticipated it, of course, since within a day, they had all seen more action than they'd ever done in their lives. Or at least more than they'd ever seen during their commissioning on the Black Opal. As much was a certainty.

Yet before she managed to calm them all, having been about to raise her voice and her hands to still them in their unrest, the Theurgy's Chief of Security did it for her, and that on no uncertain terms. The Bajoran's voice had been like a kick in the teeth, and she could but clench her jaw and watch how her staff got on their feet and stood at attention - Sithick included. It was something of an intimidating sight, to see the seven feet tall Gorn slowly stretch to his full length and tower above the rest. While she was used to seeing Sithick every day, she could imagine that it was something new to Captain Ives and the two security officers.

It was time...

"As you were," she said, and folded her hands behind her back, shoulders squared. "I have come to tell you that we have nothing to fear from the crew of the Theurgy. I harboured concerns myself. I did all I could to fight back, purging the systems from sensitive data and classified research, fighting until the command centre was overpowered. Then, I asked you all to stand down and lay down your arms, and I thank you all for doing just that, even if I can imagine it was not something you had been prepared to do at the time."

She cleared her throat, taking a few steps forward as she continued her explanation - slowly pacing the open area between the entrance and the small crowd. "As you have noticed, to your great confusion I'd imagine, we were treated well after we surrendered. We got the medical attention we needed, and the Theurgy even beamed down personnel to look after our wounded. Some of them are not here now, and this is because they are currently in this ship's sickbay."

Jennifer hoped she had their attention now, even if she took her time setting the record straight in regard to the hostile takeover of the Opal and its unforeseen aftermath. "Before we were all beamed up from the Opal, however, a Romulan warbird of Mogai-class dropped out of warp at our coordinates, and beamed down to overtake the base, using lethal means to do so. This likely came as a surprise to you, since for all we knew, Captain Ives here was in league with one of the Romulan factions. At first, I simply thought that Ives and his crew fought in opposition of the Romulan faction that they hadn't defected to, and this is likely what you are all still thinking."

She paused and took a deep breath. "It is not that simple... After having reviewed the claims of innocence that Captain Ives has made, and shown me things that you will also come to see, it has become apparent beyond any doubt that the Theurgy... is not our true enemy." Having said as much, she almost felt a sense of vertigo, knowing the truth of it all. She still hadn't come to terms with it, and she knew it would be difficult to make them accept it when they heard it too. Why should they even trust her word for it? She had to continue.

"I know that your posting at the Black Opal might not have been the most rewarding, and that I may not have been the stellar Commanding Officer that you deserved - the endless days of diligent but unrewarding duties getting to me of late - but I ask you all to trust me, and to listen to Captain Ives as he tells you what kind of enemy we face together... and why he and his crew have been hunted across Federation space for the last three months. "

Her heart was beating fast, even if she did not let her worries touch her face. She looked between the faces of her staff, to see if they had any further objections to make, or questions to ask, before Captain Ives would say his part. In the momentary silence - still expecting anything form them - she went to the control panel next to the door and raised the temperature for Sithick's sake, knowing that he needed it.

As she did so, she caught the eyes of Lieutenant Commander Wenn, and she hoped that even if she had her back turned, she could see in his demeanour if she had failed to calm her people down. Ives was looking straight ahead, and she could not see any hint of opinion in his chiselled features. She imagined that if there were no more protests, he would speak.

How could he look so calm? Calm, with the unbending air of command to him, and yet so weary at the same time...

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #7
[Jaya Thorne | Cargo bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Kaligos, Arista

"I have come to tell you that we have nothing to fear from the crew of the Theurgy.

Jaya eyed her CO suspiciously as the woman spoke.  While she trusted Jenifer with her life, she definitely did not trust anyone on the crew of the Theurgy.  Although maybe that rumor had been true after all..  In all the turmoil of the fighting on the Opal, she had heard a few whispers that the Theurgy crew was actually there to help fend off the Romulans; she'd heard they had been given orders to protect the Opal crew.  Jaya's frown deepened.  If that was all true, it meant that she had shot that Bajoran girl in the back for no reason.  And judging by the look on Jen's face, Jaya was gonna have a lot of apologizing to do.

"Tch.."  She hated that kind of awkward back-peddling.  Maybe she'd get lucky and just never run into the woman she'd shot.  On the other hand, if Jaya had learned anything, it was that the universe always knew right when to put her in her place.  She called it 'cosmic karma' and at least as far as she could tell, it was an ever-present force.  So she was expecting to run into said woman at the worst possible moment when her proverbial foot would be deeply lodged within her proverbial mouth.  Sometimes she hated cosmic karma.

But, if Jen was asking her to hear out this captain, Jaya would give her that much.  Her attention turned toward the man- had it been a man who addressed them earlier?  She had thought it was a woman's voice.  Regardless, the captain that stood before then was a man and Jaya would hear what he had to say before making any snap decisions.  Or at least, before acting on them.

It was then that Jaya noticed that the room was suddenly warmer, if only by a little.  Her eyes landed on her CO standing beside the environmental control panel.  She shot a narrowed glare toward the hulking green beast before looking back at Jen.  'Aww man, Jen.  You're killing me!'  She had come to enjoy almost everything that made the would-be assassin uncomfortable, and cold rooms topped her list. 
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #8
[Po 2 Sithick| Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Arista & EAC

Sithick was swaying as he stood, part of him wanted to yawn, it was a lot harder to not stick out standing then it had been sitting. With the fact that he towered almost two heads over every other life form in the room. He listened to Jennifer as best he could but not really understanding why there was more to this case than was being told.

were it not they who had called in the Romulans?

Well that of course raised the question of if they were allies with the Romulans why would they attack them and join in the defense of the Black Opal. Why keep the crew of the Black Opal alive, his face stern as it was his eyes half lidded as they were he tried to figgure this out tilting his head back and forth as he considered what was being said. As the heat in the room started to raise Sithick felt his heart beat a little faster.

Watching his face was like watching a computer reboot, as he slowly came more and more back to life. His attention went from commander Dewitt to the other captain. He knew that some of the other crew had found their last posting mundane but Sithick had never been happier to serve than he was with the Federation. Thankfully the need to charge down the smaller captain was no longer there. For now he was going to give them the full respect, that commanding officers deserved.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #9
[ Captain Ives | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista, Even Angels Cry, Kaligos & DocReno 

Through it all, Jien had stood silent, his oaken eyes shifting between the present faces of the Black Opal's staff. His shoulders squared, his hands by his sides, he had said naught. Nor had he flinched when Cinn brought order to the gathered people. Dewitt's words were welcome, setting the record straight about what had happened on the Opal. When she fell silent and ceded the floor to Jien, he remained silent, standing as he was, until he had everyone's complete attention.

"I am Captain Jien Ives, Commanding Officer aboard this ship." He heard his own deep voice echoing across the cargo bay when he spoke, but besides turning his head to look at them all, he did not move. "Before this commissioning, I was Executive Officer on the USS Vendetta, serving in a double role as I brokered peace between warring factions across the Alpha Quadrant, also being the Chief Diplomatic Officer. Some of you may be surprised that I served in Counselling before that, rehabilitating officers before, during and after the Dominion War, but it was the results of my diplomatic skills that earned me the the commissioning aboard this ship. This is a multivector dreadnought with the purpose of exploration, diplomacy and deterrence. It was built in answer to the arms race that the Romulan Star Empire had began years ago - a necessity to preserve the peace, as crude as it might seem."

Having said this, Jien folded his hands behind his back, shoulder straight. "I earned the role of Commanding Officer of this ship for two reasons. One, because Starfleet did not want a traditionally cut officer to lead the kinds of missions the Theurgy would get. A starship of this calibre, even as a prototype, was meant for peace preservation, and to make any galactic power heed the word of the Federation, ensuring that we might prevent another galactic war. The second reason why a person with my background would get this position is, actually, because I did something else entirely before my years as a diplomatic envoy. I served in Starfleet Intelligence, and therefore, I witnessed the underlying tapestry of deterrence across the Galaxy, having a perspective of the larger scope of politics and allegiances, which served to aid in peace-keeping after the Dominion War. For two years, this crew did just that, until the death of the Reman Praetor Shinzon. Then, together with Captain Riker of the USS Titan, this ship was sent to Romulus with the mission to mend the relationship between the Federation and the Empire. As you know, however... Captain Riker and I failed to keep the Romulan people united - their civil war still raging."

It was a personal failure for Jien, and as grave as the continuation of the story was, he had no trouble moving on. "After the failure at Romulus, the Theurgy returned to Earth for shore-leave. By the time, I was supposed to get a new commissioning, but coincidence had it otherwise. Because after the Senior Staff of this ship and I gathered for what was supposed to be the last time, we happened to uncover something in San Francisco. Live transmissions, voices of Starfleet Command, that while not recorded, they were plain to all the staff that heard them. There were talks about the future of the Federation, its downfall at their hands, and how their 'kin' would overturn the UFP presidency. Yet most chilling of all, was that they spoke about each other in third person, belittling each other as if they spoke of strangers, referring to themselves as skin-puppets even if we heard their voices - knew them to be the Commander in Chief, the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Starfleet Operations. It was not just them either, other admirals were mentioned too. Influential people down the ranks. It was clear, as we heard what we did, that these usurpers had been operating for months... perhaps even years."

Even if Jien knew that what he said would be hard to digest, he needed to state the obvious - what some of them might already have guessed. Some of the Black Opal's crew began to stir, so he raised his voice a little - his tone remaining the same.

"The Senior Staff and I opted to try and investigate, collect proof, build a case, and expose how many they were, as would be expected. What else could we do? Yet after mere hours, they were on to us. We knew the order of our arrest would come. We had to run, meaning to take the truth to someone that would hear us out." He paused, giving them the time they needed to wrap their minds around the possibility, or rather the impossibility of it all. "This was over three months ago... and we have been running since then. Persecuted across Federation space. Hounded by our own fleet. We have protected the truth we know, against all odds, forced to fight our brothers and sisters in Starfleet, whom are all ignorant of the usurpers that are giving them orders. As best as we might, we have tried to disable our pursuers, beseeching them to hear us out, but the enemy are influential, and they are many, all peddling the lies that we defected to the Romulan Star Empire when we were at Romulus. Aye, we have had to fight our own, the cost and burden upon our souls greater than we humanely should bear... but for the greater good, knowing the true enemy."

Jien had put it as simply as he could, since the depth of their grievances were too dark to put into words. The damning lack of choice. "If we die, the truth dies with us. Thus, we survive, until we can spread the truth in a way that the enemy can't contain. We fight for what Starfleet used to be, before it was corrupted from within, upholding the tenets of the Federation until we can restore what has been lost. We cling to the hope that we will be heard, and that all the losses, all the sacrifices and all the things we have been forced to do... won't have been in vain."

His face straight, without a hint of doubt to what he'd said, he met the eyes of the Opal's crew, and waited for their reaction.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #10
[Po 2 Sithick| Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Arista & EAC

Sithick felt strength return to his body shrugging off the details of sleep and rejuvenating himself so that he could pay closer attention to the new captain. His yellow eyes narrowing as he shifted his vision on him and adjusted better to the darker light his head moving slightly to get as much information on Ives as possible. He listened to the vibrations in the humanoids voice. The fact that Ives was a ship counselor had not been shared at any briefing in which the Theurgy had been mentioned.

As far as Sithick had known, and as far as the propaganda around the Theurgy would indicate the only rank that the captain held was that of war criminal. What he said seemed impossible to him. The Federation had such impostors? What could even be the goal of holding the Federation as it was. They were talking about a group that spanned many worlds, and had accomplished a great deal of things in their time. He was not entirely sold on their story, while it told well and he could feel no lies he also now knew that this person was a counselor, and probably very skilled in lies.

Sithick was slow to step forward, it wasn't difficult to make himself stand out from the crowed really he could have stayed where he was and raised an arm if he wanted attention. But he was still standing behind others, and at this moment in time he didn't want that. Thankfully the crew of Black Opal were used to giving the lizard a wide breath of air and had no problem allowing him to step forward to address the new captain.

After the story was done he had several questions. He towered over the smaller races for a moment taking a broad breath as he adjusted himself to look towards the captain having to crane his neck slightly so that he could bring himself to eye level. He was still standing with the crew, he wasn't going to step out of line, but he wanted as good a read on this new captain as he could get. His eyes blinked slowly as he looked at him.

"Where iz the proof?" This captain could not expect the crew of the Black Opal to sit around and accept the words of this lone wolf captain who has taken Federation laws into their own hands. "We have heard, lotz of you."

"We have heard of the ships that you have destroyed, cazualty reports. Some have lost... friends aboard those ships. Yet you expect ush to believe you on your word? Your word versush the whole of the Federation." He leaned back not to be intimdating but rather questioning when his nostrils flared the claws of his feet tapped against the metal flooring as his mind processed this information. He contemplated for a moment how to mull all of this over. He wasn't high enough rank where he would even know anything classified. He couldn't even imagine himself in red, or anywhere other than engineering really.

There was a small glimmer of hope that one day he could have worked his way up too chief engineer in a crew that respected him. Perhaps even cared for him a little. But they were now talking about admirals and chief of operations. Ranks that made the former slave's head spin with the amount of responsibility they took in. Then there was the other side of this coin the side he really didn't want to think about.

Something walking around in another person's skin, forcing their hand, taking away all personal freedom so that this thing inside of them had complete control. It was perhaps the most insidious form of slavery he had ever heard of. "Do you have this record to which you speak?"

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #11
[ Captain Ives | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista, Even Angels Cry, Kaligos & DocReno

The reaction could have been expected; the deafening quietude. Fear was the cause for some. Confusion for others. Nevertheless, the silence after he spoke was a sign they did not reject Jien's word prematurely, and for this, he was grateful.

The Gorn made his way to the front of the gathered Black Opal crew, and raised the expected questions. Jien was mildly surprised to have noticed the Gorn among the gathering, unaware that someone from the Hedgemony had entered Starfleet training, but as the queries were posed, it seemed the large male defied the biased image many had of his species. Waiting for a couple of seconds to see if there were more questions posed for from the small crowd, Jien then pursed his lips to answer.

"The original transmissions the Senior Staff and I overheard on Earth were never recorded, since we were not on the Theurgy when we heard them. What we heard was a fortunate failure in the comm system in the headquarters, where we ended up hearing the audio from one of the adjacent conference rooms, or from a floor above our own. If we'd had the right equipment with us, we would have recorded it," said Jien, but before any concerns or derisive comments stole his momentum, he continued. "What we have as proof now comes not from that day, but from when we were able to interrogate one of the parasitically joined enemies. Fortune favoured us in how the USS Harbinger also uncovered the plot by capturing one of them aboard their ship - a certain Sonja Acreth. She was formerly an Ensign aboard the Harbinger, and as we speak, Acreth is in our Brig, and we have managed to glean some more facts about the nature of the enemy."

Having stated this, Jien glanced towards the ceiling. "Thea, please project the recording titled Acreth-Zero-Two."

In the air above Ives, Dewitt, Wenn and Striker, a floating holographic screen appeared, showing a woman in a black dress seated on the floor of a holding cell. In the corner, a time indicator marked the unbroken progression during the recording. The feed was from a surveillance unit mounted inside the cell, looking down upon the seated woman. Footfalls were heard from outside the view, and the woman raised her head.

"Oh, my..." she said, chuckling where she sat, "If I knew I would have such handsome visitors, I would not have bothered dressing." In a slow motion, she raked back her wet hair from her face with one hand, and her brown eyes moved between the four people outside the forcefield. "I take it this is not strictly a social call, then?" she asked with a grin, her wet hair clear from her face as she looked at them with no trace of fear, as if they were funny monkeys in captivity - living their puny lives on their side of the forcefield.

"Then feel free to strip," said someone off-screen without any emotion - clearly not meant in earnest.

"Now... now... that's no way to treat a lady, is it?" she said, arms resting loosely on her knees where she sat, eyes unblinking while she smiled. "You could at least take me out to eat first." The way she said it clearly suggested that they would be her feast.

There was a pause. Then a woman's voice was heard. "What ever this thing is it doesn't change the scent of the host. That thing smells normal.”

"From experience," a voice from outside the cell said eventually. It was Commander Trent. "There is no hard and fast way to identify the enemy short of the test designed by Lieutenant zh'Wann. Mostly, from my end, any identification of a compromised individual was based on observation and deviation from the norms established by their victims. And, if the parasite theory is correct, then it would seem the enemy lacks some access to the victim's memories or it can prevent allergic reactions."

For a moment, Trent was silent, then he explained. "I realized something was wrong when Sankolov ordered a shrimp jambalaya at Sisko's. He is violently allergic, yet he ate it without trouble and no antihistamine was ever issued to him."

Acknowledging the comment, Wenn Cinn's voice was heard on the recording next, and the Bajoran directed himself to the woman on the screen. “You will answer some questions. Firstly, tell me what you are and why you have taken Ensign Acreth’s form.  Secondly tell me why you are doing this.  Thirdly, tell me why your kind released the Niga virus."

"That is a lot of questions, big boy," said Acreth and slowly rose to her feet, stretched her neck where she stood, and the artificial light played over the side of her face, "but what is in it for me? Why should I tell you about myself, when I know so little about you? The definition of a conversation is that two people engage in a social exchange, is it not? If it is only me talking all the time... someone might think I'm crazy."

Then, her eyes, and only her eyes, snapped towards someone off screen. "I don't want to make the wrong impression on that handsome doctor you have there... Tell me, how is your back? Not as sautéed as last we met?"

"I might ask you the same," said another speaker, and Jien knew it was Doctor Nicander. "I heard your second escape-attempt was as futile as the first, thanks to Petty Officer Cardamone here."

"Ah, now I remember you," said Sonja and laughed as she turned to someone else. "It would seem there was more to you than met the eye. Too bad the same can't be said for poor David Cerrato and your other friends. Diadeniera Drovo might have been easy on the eye before I shot her face off, but it seemed to me she surrounded herself with mindless cattle... because they were all so easily funnelled to their slaughter."

There was another pause before Doctor Nicander spoke again. "When you pulled me into the forcefield," he said quietly, but sounding firm in certitude, "I was on to something with my theory, wasn't I? Otherwise you would not have interrupted me like you did. You are an interphasic parasite, aren't you?"

Sonja merely smiled at him, but she said nothing.

"Did you come from Thanatos VII?" Lucan pressed, unanswered, "If you are, how come your humanoid hosts survive? Long-term possession should be impossible. You should be feeding on the cellular peptides of your hosts, and the whole of Starfleet Command should be dead by now. Nor can your kind control the minds of your hosts. If anything, your kind seem to exhibit the capabilities of the Denevan neural parasite, but you cannot be detected by our scans... Therefore, I am led to believe you are some kind of variation of both. An interphastic neural parasite. A mutation of the Denevan version. Do you originate - like them - from somewhere outside the galaxy? Are you out of phase with our existence? By the winds, is this correct?"

Still, Sonja said nothing, just looking at him with her fixed smile.

"What is it you want?" Lucan pressed further, and it was heard how he stepped closer to the forcefield. "So many dead an-"

Sonja was suddenly standing inches away from the invisible wall, the transition of her movement almost impossible to catch with the eye, and Lucan was heard staggering backwards. "Now it is my turn to ask questions," said Sonja after staring at Lucan in his struggle regain his footing, turning her eye towards the other three. "It is quite clear that in the nature of all species, you are capable of acts of love and kindness. Of inventiveness. Mutual aid. And yet, on the other side, you are capable of acts of destruction and defilement. It is inherent in all your biologies, so why deny one side of yourselves for sake of the other? You are being dishonest with who you really are... beyond the doctrine of lawful society."

“It is not dishonesty you worm infected thing," hissed Cardamone, the Asurian off-screen, and she whispered threats that were not picked up properly by the audio. Only the ending was heard properly. "We all know there are two sides to our nature but there in lies the difference between us. We don't have to crawl into someone else's skin to express it."

There was another pause then Commander Trent's voice was heard. "Look, Miss Acreth, we can't very well free you. It would be too dangerous. But perhaps we could come to a compromise. If you cooperate, I will push to have your confinement made more comfortable. We have an excellent holographic expert and a holodeck to spare. Of course most controls will be locked and the door sealed but you could be under far more comfortable house arrest in exchange for your cooperation."

"How gracious of you to make the offer, Lieutenant Commander," said Acreth, tilting her head a little. "Yet how can I strike a deal if you do not specify what my cooperation would entail? From where I am standing... as in me still being here... I consider myself already very cooperative. At least compared to what I have been before."

"It still hasn't answered my questions, growled Wenn Cinn off screen next, "There'll be no bargaining until I hear some solid answers.  Why did you take that form?  What is your goal?  Why did you use the Niga virus?"

"You seek the motives for our actions, unable to understand that which is beyond you," she said, and her smile was a rictus expression that creased the corners of her eyes. "How can I make you comprehend something that defies your simple nature? You especially, who enforce rules and order in denial of your animal nature. Law is a construct. The world is not black and white. There is no good or evil. Just chaos... and flesh."

She emphasised the word by running her glistening tongue across her upper lip, her smile remaining. "Our nature stem from a dimension where construct break down, and the vanity of life meets its end. You are all cattle, breeding and moving around for no purpose, thinking there is meaning beyond death and begetting more lives to die in your wake. We represent the hell from which your primal urges surge, and in the primordial soup of feelings that reside at the back of your cultivated minds, we exist, as we've always had."

Sonja reached down between her legs, fingering herself through her dress as she spoke, her facial expression remaining. "Your bodies are our playground, where we can enter flesh and derive pleasure or pain as our honest whims dictate, or deal it unto others," she said, baring her teeth at times when she spoke, and she looked between the lower standing creatures before her, "You are but flesh-puppets leading unfulfilling lives, fooling yourselves that there is more than pain and pleasure to seek. Your purpose is to serve, and be discarded when your bodies are unfit to use any more."

Ensign Acreth, or the thing which spoke through her, lifted her fingers to her nose - scenting herself on them as she took a few steps along the forcefield. Her unblinking eyes were still staring at the people off screen. "You ask of Niga, and I ask if it is not obvious? You may have seen it as an abomination that would topple all societies in the Galaxy, but you may consider the virus our high-grade narcotic when we claim a Host, as well as the means through which  we both keep whole populations predictable... and reduce them to the chaos in which we thrive."

Sonja ran her other hand through her hair, sighing as if in wishful thinking to be there, living in that mayhem...  "It is from chaos we all spring... and shall return."

There was another pause, then Commander Trent was heard. "Miss Acreth, first of all, if you've got access to Ensign Acreth's memories, you will know we've heard these things before. From the Builders and the Xindi to the Borg to the Dominion, we've heard it all. Each of them said things were hopeless and we had no choice but to submit. Honestly, your kind are just a new threat, and like all the others before, there will be those who will fight you, and win. As for what we need from you will be accurate and verifiable information that can be turned into timely and actionable intelligence. You give us things we can use, your situation will be... improved. You fail to do so, we can find other means. I have the strong impression you have little vested interest in keeping your host intact, but there are other means to deal with a creature of intellect. And I'm certain Commander Wenn and the Petty Officer can think of a number of creative and unpleasant ways to do that. Right now, you're the only person standing between comfort and torture. So really, help me help you. So, we know you aren't Ensign Acreth. What is your actual name?"

"A name," said Acreth derisively and tilted her head, biting her lower lip, as if to politely keep herself from laughing, "You must be hearing what I say but you have not listened. I am indulging you and yet you fail to comprehend the meaning and implications of my words, human. I ask you all then; what are you, essentially? I do not mean it philosophically, but scientifically."

There was a pause before the doctor spoke. "Lifeforms."

"Yes, but what do you consist of?" asked Sonja, studying her own hand as she paced her cell - as if she inspected the quality of a glove.

"Matter... Organi-"

"Which is what?" Sonja turned her eyes to Lucan with a smirk. "Oh, doctor, I know that medical science still rely on the understanding that we are all matter, lest you do not know how to treat wounds or ailments. No, you are not matter. This skin-puppet I wear is not simply matter. Quantum physics makes it rather clear, as you go deeper and deeper into the workings of the atom, you can easily perceive that there is nothing but energy waves there."

Sonja's eyes left her visitors, slowly travelling the expanse of the barrier between them. "One might say that the atom is actually an invisible force field, a kind of miniature tornado... which emits waves of energy." Her eyes centred on them once more, and she ran her hands down the sides of her hips as she continued. "Yes, this Host and your mortal coils all consist of energy. Pulsing, vibrant energy. Both in body and mind. And when you die, where does that energy go? Come now, this is easy science. You know that your energy changes form, but never truly dies. Your bodies start to decay immediately as your internal bacteria eat away at it. Fungus spores. Larvae. Maggots that grow and eat. As you decompose, fuelling the ground in which you lay or simply generating new life, energy always persists, only in new ways. Your energy change, but never dissipate. You say 'body and soul' in your different cultures, but there is only energy asleep and energy awakened. Nothing else."

Casually, she raised her hand and broke her middle finger by bending it backwards. There was no mistaking what she had done by the sound of it happening. Yet she screamed not, moaning instead before she continued.

"What we represent... is pure chaos," she said and breathed heavily as she began to flex her hand before her face, watching the broken finger try to cooperate with the commands that the body gave it. "All the complex biological processes of life - not to mention the technology of starships and buildings - all break down. Under those circumstances, there can neither be energy asleep nor energy awakened. So..."

The dark eyes of Ensign Acreth snapped to Commander Trent. "Do you honestly think we would care to denominate ourselves, and create order by individuality?" That which had once been human tilted her head forward, and when she spoke next, it was as if the voice could not fit into their current reality - tearing at the very fabric of time with each fractured syllable. "We are the nameless darkness, and it is only through the flesh we wear that we abide to the laws of physics in this dimension, and adapt to your detestable societies. Our purpose is to reduce you to the primordial soup from where you all came - where energy is at its rawest form. We only need these sacks of flesh and bone to facilitate your inevitable decomposition, and once we can digest you, we will devour this existence... like sucking the marrow out of your brittle spines."

"Full isolation. Now!" came the call from Commander Trent, and then the cell went pitch black on the screen. In the darkness of that cell then came an eldritch laugh that cut the ears, and could not have come from any mortal soul.

The recording ended there, and Jien watched the reactions from the crew of the Black Opal - eyes unblinking.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #12
[Jaya Thorne | Cargo bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Kaligos, Arista

Captain Ives speech had been.. incredulous at best.  But the recording was so real that even Jaya couldn't help losing some of her cynical edge.  What if it were true?  What if there were some otherworldly.. no, what did that doctor say? Interphastic?  Yes, what if there were really lifeforms like that?  And why go through all the trouble of crating a fake recording of some make-believe doomsday parasite?  Why even create such a ridiculous story at all?  She had to admit, the evidence combined with the outlandish tale was awfully convincing. 

Jaya's brown eyes studied her CO.  Jen's body language and facial expressions seemed to hold true to the woman's statement that this situation was real.  Jaya turned her gaze sidelong and stared at a blank space on the wall.  She was never much for analytics or logical thinking, but she did agree that the only way for all of this to make sense was for it to be true.  But the implications of that..

A startling thought rammed it's way to the forefront of her thoughts, and as she has always been prone to doing, she blurted it out before thinking.  "And how do we know you're not also playing host to parasites?  None of us know you, or your crew, or their mannerisms or.. or allergies?  I mean, if that's really the only way to tell if someone is infected, it seems like you would never find out unless you knew them personally."  the volume of her voice gradually lowered as the thoughts streamed directly from her mind, resonated through her vocal cords and were spoken.  Her tone underwent a similar change, from accusatory and hostile to questioning and quiet.  She really needed to put a filter on that whole brain-to-mouth thing before she said something that got her into serious trouble.

After a seemingly long and awkward pause for Jaya, she begrudgingly agreed with her CO's judgement.  This Captain had to be telling the truth because everything involved in the story was so outrageous that it had to be true.  One of the old tenants that she believed in was a famous quote from the early-20th Century on Earth: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."  It fit this case perfectly.  She couldn't prove the impossibility of the Captain's claims, and had to admit that since space was so vast and they constantly discovered new life forms, that such a parasitic being could exist.

But she also hated being wrong.  Instead of an apology, she grumbled.  "I guess that it's at least possible..."
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #13
[ Wenn Cinn | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Auctor Lucan, Kaligos, Even Angels Cry & DocReno 

Wenn Cinn watched the recording, a small grimace upon his face. He didn't particularly want to relive his moment but if it was needed to convince the crew of the Black Opal, then so be it. As the scene progressed from Thea's invisible point of view, Cinn noticed something. While he was sure no one particularly liked the sound of their own voice when played back, he didn't recall being so blunt. The situation had been exceptionally tense and he had needed answers, however he often strived to be subtler. As he watched, he found himself with a feeling that it was almost like someone else speaking with his voice.

Pushing the stray thought aside, he turned to look over the collected personnel. This would be the first time they were seeing actual fact about their common foe. With the crack of Acreth's finger, a few of those watching visibly twitched, obviously uncomfortable with how the recording was progressing. Cinn knew he would need to see Acreth again, he had delayed the follow up interrogation for no real reason beside his desire to never see that thing parading as a person ever again. Knowing that it was foolish to just hope it would go away, Cinn set himself the task to set up another session with Acreth when he returned from Starbase 84. It would mean that he would need to bring along Dr Nicander, as promised. Hopefully the good doctor would not be too busy stitching the away teams back together.

In the moment, the playback was wrapping up. Cinn watched the crew carefully, with special interest in the Gorn. It was tacky and Cinn tried to be better than that, but the Bajoran hadn't actually stood in a room with one of those hulking green brutes before. He imagined that this encounter would be different if meeting most in the hegemony but certainly, as of right now, Cinn had no real reason to fear or hate the Gorn. In fact, he was more curious than anything else.

Throughout the team from the Black Opal there was a general disquiet, but one crewman was particularly mouthy. At her admission that this whole situation was, in fact, within the realm of possibility, Cinn couldn't help but quietly scoff at her.

"Did you really think that nearly one thousand people would give up contact with their friends and family, forgoing their reputation and possibly their careers on a whim?" He rumbled. The idea that they would willing forsake everything without reason was not only ill conceived but insulting. "We do have another way of detecting if someone is infested, however, it is not the most... comfortable method." He added, remembering back to his time in a holding cell with Trent and the rifle shot that his deputy gave them both.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #14
[Po 2 Sithick| Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Arista & EAC

Sithick stood resolute for a long moment as the screen started to play out at first he thought it could still be staged, but after certain moments played out and he got the sinking feeling that this was real, and that implied a lot of things. Still it was his stalker Jaya who spoke first once the things and visions played out and Sithick was left to formulate thoughts and answers that he simply didn't have. He really wasn't at all sure what he could make of this situation.

The head of security was the next to speak and Sithick felt odd that he had not considered that. Then again why should he have. One of the rumors about this ship of nightmares was that the AI had somehow commited the mutiny herself and that the ship was acting without a crew. Which of course brought up another question, the Theurgy's actual abilities? She was a multi-vector dreadnought, the most advanced warship ever designed, and he meant that a warship. "Honestly I had not expected your full crew to still be alive."

The Federation disliked having them, but the dominion had proved that they were more than needed. His own people had come to that conclusion eons ago, and this ship was the best of the alpha quadrant.

"These tests you have? how quickly can they be administered?" His yellow eyes passed over the crew of the black opal each and everyone he had trusted with his life, and worked alongside, well all save for one. His roommate and constant stalker had always managed to hold out on the nice side of life, and was rather aggressive at each time they spoke. It made him hesitant to trust her, testing her would be the top of his list, but it felt wrong to be paranoid of his own people when he should be finding ways to disagree with the Theurgy.

Of course the eyes of the security chief were not lost on the hunter, his claws tapped at the ground echoing softly for a moment as he gazed at the other. He prided himself on being a model crewmember usually, but he was now tired, and still soaked in romulan blood, fresh from a battle and now paranoid. The Gorn wanted to get tested, be sure that he was of his own sound mind and then shower to get the smell of Romulan digestive fluids off of himself. Then he could sink back into a bed, with a Pad and have nightmares for the rest of his life about enemies that hide in fleshy counterparts.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #15
[ Captain Ives | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Even Angels Cry, Arista and Kaligos

The reactions ranged between stupefied silence to loudness, half-hearted objections to pragmaticism. Ives met it all in silence, Wenn Cinn raising another point which seemed to strike home. Ives had heard the rumours about what lies Command spread throug the Federation News Network, and they rationalised it all with Thea - the ship's A.I. able to carry out his orders without the need of a full crew. Speculation about how many were actually on the Theurgy was all over the news, or in other words, how many Ives had killed in his defection to the Romulans. Not just on the ships he had vanquished... but his own crew having been slaughtered to further his traitorous agenda.

The question was raised about the tests from the Gorn in the assembly, and Ives moved his head before he answered.

"As quick as it takes to shoot someone, and then have a medical officer verify that your body reacted to being shot as it ought to react," he said quietly, and stepped out towards the Black Opal personnel. "We learned, both times Acreth tried to escape, that the parasite makes the host more resilient to heavy stun settings. We can't be sure that the enemy can't fake the result somehow, so when we have tested it, we have done it by surprising the one being stunned. It is not entirely reliable for that reason, but it's the best we got until we have devised a better solution."

Pausing, Ives walked down the line of new faces on the ship. "So far, aside from Acreth, we have only encountered Starfleet Command to be infected with the parasites. As time has progressed, we have theorised and dismissed a lot concerning these new enemies to the Federation, but one thing is sure. If Acreth is not decieving us, then we are facing an unknown faction that presides outside our known dimension, and who seek to feed from an increased state of chaos. They say they are not individuals, and do not name themeselves. The only reference we have... is the Nameless Darkness. We do not know how people are infected with parasites, and we do not know if the hosts can be saved. All we know is that the truth must survive, lest there might be no stopping them before it is too late."

Pausing. Ives took a deep breath. "Therefore, our next mission is to Starbase 84, where we will board the base and spread what we've learned across the whole galaxy. With the whistle-blower simulcast that is issued if the Romulans would breach our defences, we mean to send the message of truth, and with any hope, the word will be heeded. We might not have to fight this battle alone any more, and gain alllies. We can only hope that what we show will bridge the falsehood spread about me, this crew and our ship."

Fortune favour them, they might no longer have to fight alone.

"Do you have any questions so far?" he asked, raising his weary eyes from the deck plates.

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #16
[Jaya Thorne | Cargo bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Kaligos, Arista

"Did you really think that nearly one thousand people would give up contact with their friends and family, forgoing their reputation and possibly their careers on a whim?"  Cinn rumbled.  "We do have another way of detecting if someone is infested, however, it is not the most... comfortable method."

"As quick as it takes to shoot someone, and then have a medical officer verify that your body reacted to being shot as it ought to react," Ives said quietly, and stepped out towards the Black Opal personnel.

Jaya's eyes narrowed at the man's accusatory tone.  For all she knew, yes, that was exactly how it had happened.  The Theurugy as a whole were painted as evil traitors to the Federation.  They were villainized as the kind of people who killed anyone in their way and who abandoned everyone they loved.  Even in the news footage, the defecting members were shown looking angry and crazy.  Besides, they had been told that everyone aboard had been killed except a few commanding members.  "Yea, well, if you pay attention to the news, that's exactly what the Federation said happened.. jerk."  The comment was whispered under her breath, and likely only the people standing next to her would be able to hear it.

But this 'other method' of detection wasn't what she had anticipated.  Her jaw dropped at the mention of heavily stunning a crew member just to gauge their reaction and she blurted out her disapproval before she had a chance to temper her words.  "That's horseshit!  So, what now, you're going to jump out from doorways and corridors to stun us and see how we react?!"  But she bit her tongue after that minor outburst.  Everything about this situation put her on edge.  She knew she should show some restraint and a bit more respect, but at the moment she was too riled up to care.  Her mouth would get her in trouble, it always did.

But the Captain's words were those of comraderie.  He needed allies and support in the upcoming mission and he didn't seem to be asking them to get shot.  He seemed to actually trust them.  Jaya fidgeted where she stood and tried to make sense of everything she'd just learned.  The only thing she could figure was since none of her Black Opal crew were highly ranked, maybe they didn't matter in the eyes of the parasite.  It was an odd feeling: both insulting and inspiring at the same time.  Jaya didn't know if she liked it.  She hated being unsure.

On the plus side, a truth-spreading mission seemed like a noble cause and the Captain had yet to do anything to physically harm them.  He actually seemed to want them to join his crew!  On the negative side, they were wanted criminals and the entirety of the Federation knew of their crimes.  Very few would be persuaded with just a little chat like this, and Jaya suspected that this truth-telling mission was going to be a lot harder than the captain was bargaining on.  And then there was Dewitt.  Jaya's own commander was siding staunchly with the Captain, and while Dewitt wasn't always right 100% of the time, Jaya had vowed to stick by her.  Loyalty was one of her very few redeeming qualities, if only because she'd seen the damage one can do by being disloyal. 

So Jaya cast her lot with her commander and friend, despite everything cautioning her not to.  Oh she would be wary, for sure, but if Jen believed them, then Jaya would at least try.  Oddly, when the captain asked for questions only one thing stood out in her mind.

"So.. do we get our own rooms here?"
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #17
[Po 2 Sithick| Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08] Attn: Lucan, Arista & EAC

Sithick paused for a moment as the test was mentioned. Being shot wasn't exactly his favorite thing in this world, and his biology was already immune to most of the heavy stun settings which were designed for more fragile creatures, like Klingons. He took a deep breath still trying to think over the horror that the new enemy provided him with.

More and more he had to admit that he was becoming less uncomfortable with the idea of staying. Dewitt's presence certainly helped in that regard. The fact that the crew of the Theurgy had assisted them in the fight against the Romulans was also of importance. If the Theurgy hadn't been there they probably would have been destroyed.

It was odd that none of the crew were being tested, but then he had long learned that the Black Opal had been where Careers kind of went to die. It was a posting with no real chance of transfer as it was supposed to be one of the federations dirty little secrets. A secret base along the neutral zone where they made weapons, yeah it was no surprise that they didn't want the romulans to know about that kind of thing.

As Jaya inquired about having her own room he simultaneously understood the request, they had shared a very small room with only one environmental setting. At the same time he would kind of miss her. Sure she was stalking him for one reason or the other, but she had proven to be rather reliable in the two years they had worked together.

There were questions other than that however. If they were going to be joining the crew, he would once again need to brief the medical staff of his needs, as well as get used to the people, he would once again be getting odd or even horrified looks. Honestly the fear he didn't mind, it was always the anger or disgust that got to him more.

Oddly the question that came to his mind was less about living situations or work orders as it was just ethics of this entire situation. His yellow eyes narrowed on the captain for a long moment, and he took in a breath white teeth showing as he thought about how to regard this new commanding officer. "Do you ztill think of yourself as a Starfleet captain?"

Re: DAY 04: Opalescent Integration [1315 hrs.]

Reply #18
[ Captain Ives | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Arista, Even Angels Cry and Kaligos

Jien watched the reaction to what he'd said to the crew of the Black Opal, and the reactions were all over the chart. From profanities of disbelief to numb silence, from uneasy shuffle of feet to reluctant acceptance. The mission he had briefly detailed for them seemed to be bit overwhelming for many of them, as even an away-mission from their bygone secret facility would be a rarity - if ever conducted at all. To infiltrate a starbase, going up against such odds, it was unprecedented for most Starfleet officers, but even more so for the people in front of him. When the outbursts and commotion of their reaction settled down, the first audible question came from one of those that had spoken before.

"With the present focus on the mission, it is not advisable to change the kind of accommodations you had on the Black Opal. For the time being, you will be issued quarters as befitting rank and you will share them as you have shared them on the base. If the mission is successful, we might open up for the opportunity to mix you with the crew on the ship, but that will be decided later on. Right now, the focus should be on the drills for the mission, and not your change of quarters and what that might entail. Quite frankly, our Quartermaster don't have the time to move or shift accommodations at this point either."

Having settled that issue, there were some more whispers and unease until the Gorn in the crowd spoke up, asking a quite personal question. Yet as Jien contemplated the answer, he realised it might be a valid issue to raise. The first thought he had was that the Gorn wanted reassurance in his answer, a final confirmation that he and the Theurgy's crew were not what the FNN and Starfleet said they were, but Jien realised that it was more than that. Perhaps the Federation stood for something that the Gorn didn't want to renounce?

"I do," he said in short, looking at the tall Petty Officer, "I fight to restore Starfleet to itself, before its leaders were replaced with these alien entities. I pray that the Federation Council is unaffected, so that I can expose Starfleet Command for what they have become, and gain aid in our mission objective. We are alone, but if we manage to spread the word from Starbase 84, we won't have to be for much longer. It grieves me to no end what we have been forced to do in order to protect the truth... and some would say that disqualifies me and this crew to state that we belong to the fleet. Yet I say we do. Considering that the fleet is ignorant of what has happened, others might say say we are what's left of the Starfleet we used to know."

Pausing, Jien realised there really wasn't more for him to say at that point. By the looks of the crowd, it seemed they had come to swallow the bitter reality of their situation. A few of them still looked wary, not entirely convinced. Jien could see it in their eyes, and how they looked at him - rather believing what they had seen from the media feeds. Jien supposed that when assigned to a hidden starbase, whatever little they came to learn from the media outlets became their sole source of knowledge. Whatever the FNN had shown, and Starfleet Command had informed them about, those things weighed heavily upon their conscience at that point, where they seemingly had no choice but to serve a Captain that had destroyed entire starships filled with hundreds of officers. Perhaps the sceptics knew some of the fallen.

"The veracity of my words might be hard to accept, but we have more to show you. It will take a bit of time, Commander Dewitt's briefing just having been finished while you waited, and I know you would like to eat and leave this cargo bay by now. What I propose is that we continue this in our Tactical CONN briefing room, where there are seats and a lounge with a replicator nearby. Before we part ways today, you will have been shown our tactical logs, and learn how little choice we had when we fired upon our pursuers. You will see for yourselves how we tried to disable our assailants at all points, but how we had no choice but to defend ourselves. Commander Trent of Starfleet Intelligence gave us access to the fleet's records when he defected to us, so you will also be able to compare those logs with what you have learned from Command and the FNN. The discrepancies between what you have been led to believe, and what actually happened out there, will be laid bare to your eyes."

Jien tuned to Wenn Cinn and Dewitt, nodding. It was time to head down to Deck 16 and continue the briefing, and he'd take point - leading the way. Even though he had a hundred other things to attend to, the integration of the Black Opal crew was his top priority, and he would not leave until it was finished. All other things had to be put on hold, and dealt with when he was available.

OOC: Let me know if you want to post once more in this thread. Otherwise, I will mark it as finished. :)

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