Skip to main content
Topic: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation (Read 1490 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Temporary Quarters | D. 11 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Relatively Insane

Cross sighed as he pivoted on his toes, adjusting his trajectory for the shower at the last second. He curled his lip in frustration at the additional difference between these temporary quarters and his own. Considering his quarters had remained with the Helmet at the Triangle, Cross and a few others on the Ranger had to opt for temporary reassignment, with some double-bunking until they could rendevous with the Helmet again. senior-most officer on this circus ride of a mission, Cross had been given private quarters, and they were much the same as his own, only they were the opposite in layout. Everything in his quarters on the left was on the right here, and so on.

Opting for a full-on hot water shower, Cross reviewed the day’s givings and misgivings. No one had died; that was a positive, even if the warp core crapping out had been a blatant negative. While they had a vague idea of where to find the ship carrying the Romulan operative, it was still unknown when they’d contact it in the coming hours, let alone whether they’d make contact with any other ships, “friend” or otherwise. It felt a little like they were going into a Nausicaan barfight naked and weaponless with all the unknowns and best guesses. Such was the nature of dealing with anything related with temporal shenanigans.

Cross flipped off the shower. He still had soap suds sliding down his neck and weaving a trail over his chest and back, but a noise had pulled him from his musings. He almost flipped the shower back on when he heard it again. The chime for his door; someone wanted to see him. He left the shower stall with marginal groans and managed a few quick swipes of the towel before the chime came again. Quickly, Cross pulled the standard-issued undershirt over his head, then pulled on the loose-fitted pants he preferred wearing to sleep. The moisture of his half-assed job of drying off quickly soaked through his clothes, but nothing could be done about it.

He swiped a hand over his face, dislodging more water droplets, as he moved to press the button to open the door. Standing alone in the corridor was a young woman, unknown to Cross—making it likely she was one of the recent “alived” from stasis along with the Kzinti Chief he’d interacted with earlier that evening. While he hadn’t memorized every name-to-face of those awakened, he had memorized ranks and locations and, using deductive reasoning, made it likely this was the ensign from engineering.

Hazarding a guess, Cross gave the woman what he hoped was interpreted as a nod of polite acknowledgment and not a threat of head-butting. “Evening, ensign. Is everything alright?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #1
[ Ens. Murphy | Temporary Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

Caitlyn sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes, looking around her dim quarters. The last several hours had felt like little more than a dream, her entire world seemingly upside down. Stretching her legs with a groan, she turned to face the monitor opposite her bed and got to her feet. She hadn't had any side effects from cryo, yet she could already feel one of the headaches she'd been warned of beginning to take hold. Making her way to the washroom at a gingerly pace, she gripped both sides of the sink and took in her reflection in the mirror, managing a bemused grin. Hair frazzled and sticking up every which way, with her uniform just as disheveled, her reflection stared back at her. "Lookin' a bit rough there, eh Miss Murphy?"

Shaking her head, Caitlyn reached for one of the vials she'd been given, double checking the prescribed amount before downing the pills dry. Grimacing from the taste, she left the washroom and stood in the center of the compartment a moment, gazing through the window at the stars beyond. Chewing on her lower lip, she sighed and ran a hand through her hair, further disturbing the mess. "Hey Computer, I'm gonna assume my messages still haven't gone through?"

[That would be correct, Ensign Murphy.] A synthesized voice immediately answered. [Shall I try again?]

"No- erm, no thank you. No point." Cait replied, hugging her knees to her chest. There had to be some way to get a message off ship, right? Maybe she could persuade one of their allies..? Except anyone who currently maintained ties with the Theurgy probably had as much of a chance to contact Earth as she did, if not less. Lost in thought, she jumped to her feet and sighed. Regardless, just sitting around was killing her. Medical had advised taking things slow, but to hell with that. Walking back to the washroom, she tried in vain to tame her hair before settling for a bun that mostly fit regulations. With that out of the way, Caitlyn set to her uniform. Removing her uniform jacket and trousers, she tried smoothing out the wrinkles before smacking her forehead, tossing them on her bunk and slipping on a fresh set. "Computer, is Commander Cross still in his office?"

[Searching. Lieutenant Commander Cross is currently in his quarters.] The voice replied in a timely fashion.

"Cheers, it's not too late to see him is it..?" Caitlyn contemplated, zipping up her jacket and starting for the door before stopping short and doing a mental once over. "Wait, shoes, uniform, rank, badge, shoes... oh shit right-" Hurrying back, Cait pulled her combadge from her old jacket and pinned it to the fresh one she was wearing. Making her way to the door for a second time, she went over her checklist again before exiting the compartment and looking around the passageway. Wait, where the hell even are his quarters? She frowned, giving a passing ensign a nod before setting off to try and find Cross.

[ 20mins later - outside Lt. Cmdr. Cross' quarters ]

This should be it? I definitely should've asked the computer for directions sooner. Caitlyn looked over her uniform yet again, checking her breath as well before trying the door chime. Clasping her hands behind her back, she straightened up and tried to at least look like a proper officer. Five minutes went by with Cait standing awkwardly outside, the woman considering either trying the chime again or heading back to her quarters, when the door slid open revealing Cross in his off-duty attire, evidently having just come from the shower.

"I- oh, erm.. sorry to bother you this late sir I didn't realize..." Shaking her head slightly, she looked up at Cross and realized he almost had a foot over her. "I was just hoping to talk to you about the upcoming mission, but I can come back later if you're already winding down for the night. Sir." Caitlyn added hastily, kicking herself mentally.

[Ens. Caitlyn Murphy | Engineering Officer]

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Temporary Quarters | D. 11 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Relatively Insane

From her reaction to seeing him, Cross determined that, yes, she was definitely an ensign and definitely from engineering. Cross inwardly chuckled as he watched her backpedal verbally and almost physically.

“I certainly hope you’re not coming back later, ensign. I hope to get some sleep before heading back to the bridge, and I doubt you were offering a sleepover.”

Cross stepped to the side and gestured for her to come in, only realizing belatedly that his words could easily be misunderstood as his humor had a way of missing its mark. As he observed her a moment more, Cross winced. He had a way of being an idiot with females, never quite understanding what should be said or how in the hell to say it. Even if she’d been a Ferengi or Antedian female, he’d still have made the quip and felt like a dolt for doing so. But since she was, at least by appearances, an attractive human female, Cross felt all the more idiotic. It still amazed him that Hathev had the patience to put up with him at all.

Cross shook his head against errant thoughts and pointed to the table and chairs situated in the main common room. “Have a seat. Would you like tea, juice, water, coffee?” He chuckled, “A shot of whiskey if you’re wanting to talk about the mission?”

A voice, probably the voice of reason, sounded in his head, letting him know that offering a female ensign a shot of whiskey at this hour was definitely not a good thing. A stupid fucking voice could’ve said something earlier. Moving to the replicator, Cross filled the order and then returned to sit at the table, a mug of peppermint tea in front of him.

“I apologize, Ensign, if my humor seems,” his subconscious mind offered far more colorful options, but he decided upon “off color. We’ve not been formally introduced, and if I’m not mistaken, celebrations of a sort are in order.” He raised his mug in her direction as if it were a shot glass. “You were just recently revived from stasis. Hell of a time for that.” Cross frowned a moment as the pressures of the mission settled on his shoulders. After a steadying sip of the refreshing tea, Cross angled his body to face the ensign. “Lieutenant Commander Cross. I served as chief tactical officer under Captain Amasov on the USS Endeavour. Captain Ives rescued me and a number of others from the Savi, and we’ve integrated into the crew, filling in some gaps that have been made since Theurgy fled Earth.”

Cross winced again. That could’ve probably have been said more delicately.

“I don’t know how much time you’ve had to acquaint yourself with all the things that’ve happened since you were put in stasis, ensign. I’m sure it is a lot to take in and,” he scratched the back of his neck, “while I’d like to say I’m here for you if you need to talk about that and, uh, I really am.” Cross offered a half smile. “I’m rather shit with practical consoling, but the head counselor, Lieutenant Commander Hathev, and her assistant Lieutenant Williams are both spot-on with their work. If you find yourself having a hard time getting reacquainted with things now that so many of your old peers are gone and there are so many new birds, like me, in the tree, I’d recommend making time to see either of them.”

Pausing to sip again at his tea, Cross jutted his chin toward her and tipped his head to the side. “How can I help you, ensign?"

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #3
[ Ens. Murphy | Temporary Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

"Right sir, sorry. Wording has never really been my strong suit." Caitlyn answered with a rueful grin, pinching her thumb behind her back. At his motion she entered his quarters, observing that they were noticeably larger than hers. Damn. Makes you wonder how much space the skipper has in their room... I really gotta make rank at some point, she mused, suppressing a smile before realizing Cross had asked her something. "Sorry-? Oh erm.. I'll pass on that whiskey, though some tea would be divine." She replied hastily, claiming one of the seats and lounging for a moment before remembering where she was and straightening her posture. Accepting the other mug from Cross, she took a sip and winced, a tad too hot for her taste. Mourning her burnt taste buds, Caitlyn instead elected to hold the mug in her lap, enjoying as the warmth seeped into her freezing hands.

Nodding along to Cross' introduction, she tried for what she hoped to be a smile. "Aye sir, I've been trying to get caught up to speed as best I can but there was a.. decent amount to cover." She blew on her tea, attempted another sip, and found herself betrayed again by the scalding liquid. Either her tongue was still frozen, or something was seriously wrong with that replicator. Biting back a curse, Cait placed her mug on the desk between her and the other officer, her gaze wandering to the window of his quarters as he continued and frowning slightly when he mentioned the Savi. Evidently, I need to read more of the after-action reports. I thought the Savi were the ones who helped put me back together?

Hearing that Cross had finished speaking, Caitlyn pondered his words a moment, the full gravity of her situation having finally set in. Snapping out of it, feeling as though the silence had gone on for an eternity, she directed her eyes back to him and answered rather hastily. "Honestly sir, you're right. It seems like everything's changed; the people, the mission, even the damn replicators. And-" Cait stopped, kicking herself mentally. At this rate she'd be yelling at the poor man, which certainly wouldn't help her chances at put back on duty. Not to mention, her accent was rapidly becoming indecipherable. Would a UT translate a thick English accent? It's still English, though also sort of not? Shit wait wrong time for this. Trying to take things back a notch, Cait tried again in a steadier tone. "Sorry sir, what I meant to say is I'm.. managing. All I'm asking is for a chance to join in on the upcoming assignment. I believe I'd be a valuable asset to the team, and, between us, I think it'd be good for me to have something to distract myself with."
[Ens. Caitlyn Murphy | Engineering Officer]

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Temporary Quarters | D. 11 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Relatively Insane

Cross gave a breathy chuckle while offering a fairly Vulcan-typical single eyebrow raise at the ensign’s claim of managing. The fact that she’d neglected to tell him her name was a clue she wasn’t wholly managing. Though Cross was slowly starting to recall the names of the newcomers, he figured the surname Murphy fit the woman sitting across from him far more than Lok did. Both engineering personnel had been recently brought out of stasis.

“One thing you’d best stop doing is apologizing to me unless you’ve actually cocked something up.” Cross grimaced. “I mean, made a mistake that requires reporting and making amends for. From where I’m sitting, you’ve nothing to apologize for. Unless you were the one to screw up our warp earlier today and left us drifting across the RNZ.” He shot her a wink as he brought the mug up to sip at the tea. “But, in truth, ensign, you’re not wrong. This crew is different for what it's been through, and while it is still a Starfleet ship that acts according to proper Starfleet regulations and protocols, we’ve had to pull out a few piratey moves now and again to stay ahead of the Infested and their cronies. The fact that we’ve had to live in this balancing act of standing nearly alone against the parasites cut off from our family and friends except through back channels and dealing with some fairly shady individuals to create strong enough alliances to have a chance against the infested has been trying on even the strongest minded in the crew. Even the ones who claim not to give a fu..frying pan for what others think about them have struggled with all the propaganda spouted by the official networks labeling us the villains in this story.”

Cross held up a hand to pause the conversation. Quickly moving to his temporary desk, the Vulcan retrieved the PADDs he’d been given earlier in the day, detailing all the new personnel he could utilize for the upcoming missions. After giving them a quick scan, Cross returned to the table with Murphy’s PADD.

“Known for taking on unwanted duties, staying on tasks well after shifts were over, Murphy is dependable, though with a tendency to problem solve outside the parameters set by her superior officers that sometimes manifests in a semi-obstinant stance towards any options suggested or ordered that she seems as inefficient.” Cross paused in his reading to study the redhead, expression neutral. After a moment, he continued, “A cooperative team player, Murphy has been taken advantage of by many of her peers in that she struggles to say no to extra duties or picking up the slack their negligence creates. Would recommend for more leadership roles, but am wary as she still seems the type to do everything herself instead of delegating to others and overseeing their efficiency as a superior officer should.”

Setting down the PADD, Cross again reached for his mug, offering Murphy a reassuring smile. “I see no reason you can’t be reinstated to full duty. Our present mission is delicate, to say the least; we’ve already had engineering issues. Undoubtedly, we’ll need all hands on task and from what I just read, your hands are dedicated to a fault,” he chuckled before adding, “or so one of your prior superior officers noted.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #5
[ Ens. Murphy | Temporary Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

Caitlyn nodded along to Cross' reply, unable to help a slight grin at his comment about the warp core. And what a fine warp core it is, what I'd give to- Nope. Not the time for this Murphy, focus. Trying to concentrate, she focused her gaze back to the senior officer. "Right sir, sorr-" Catching herself with a dry chuckle, she continued. "That is, I understand." Reaching warily for her tea, she was glad to feel that it had finally cooled enough to drink. Was Cross' mug cooler than mine? Or maybe he just prefers everything to be piping hot? What does he do, scald himself with every shower?

Her mind wandering yet again, Caitlyn raised an eyebrow at Cross' mention of "piratey moves," picturing the officer in an outfit similar to Black Beard from the so called "golden age of piracy." In an effort to conceal her grin, she took a sip of tea and found... nothing. Perhaps a minty aftertaste, though otherwise it tasted like water. Either my taste buds have been completely burnt to a crisp, or the replicators really do need calibrating. Mulling over the thought for a moment, she looked up and realized Cross was now holding a PADD. Wait, was I dismissed? She wondered, her question answered a moment later when he began to speak, having evidently pulled her file.

Straightening up a tad, Caitlyn observed the usual discomfort she felt when someone talked about her in an "official capacity," the hue of her cheeks quickly matching her hair color when Cross paused to give her a look. "Semi-Obstinate." That's a new one, though it's not exactly my fault if they had a backwards way of doing things. The Commander continued, his words provoking a slight frown from Cait. And as for that, "if you want something done right do it yourself," as the saying goes.

After what seemed an eternity waiting for Cross to finish with her file, Cait having drained half her mug by this point, she thought a moment before deciding her reply. Placing her mug on the desk, she looked up and nodded. "Aye sir. I'd say it's one of my defining qualities, aside from that 'stubborn nature' my old CO mentioned." Grinning a bit, she continued. "But I can assure you that my full, undivided attention will be focused on the task at hand. You've got my word on that.
[Ens. Caitlyn Murphy | Engineering Officer]

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #6
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Temporary Quarters | D. 11 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Relatively Insane

Cross chuckled. “I do not doubt that, Ensign Murphy. When I read files like that, I actually hope to get those individuals on my team.” He gave a half-shrug before continuing. “The movers and shakers of civilization were never by-the-book. There’s a time and place for those types, of course, the stewards and steadying hand type, but also, there is a need for those who don’t exactly buck the system, although that’s sometimes needed, but who look to perfect it by doing something different. These of the people who elevate a society beyond what it currently. Granted,” he gave another breathy laugh, “we alternative thinkers tend to struggle with communication and interpersonal skills.” He jutted his chin toward the PADD. “How often did you feel you were at loggerheads with the blokes who wrote those reports? Was it daily or weekly?”

He finished his tea and then put the PADD back on his desk, dropping the mug in the recycling unit and offering to do the same with hers if she was finished.

“Even with direct mentoring for rehabilitation, I’ll confess to having a devil of a time integrating once I was in the Academy.” Cross continued as he returned to his chair, hoping she might find encouragement by sharing some of his stupid mistakes. “I was either too extreme or too reserved, compensating one way or another until after a fu...many misunderstandings I managed to find a balance of sorts. Helped that some at the Academy looked past my idiosyncrasies and 'adopted' me as their friend.” He winked. “I had no choice in the matter. Do you have any of those onboard that you could lean on as you get your space legs back under you?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #7
[ Ens. Murphy | Temporary Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

Cait took another sip of her tea, swirling the remaining liquid absentmindedly as she listened to Cross. He seemed like a decent fellow, or at least, he wasn't as stiff as some of the officer's she'd been under in the past. Though looking at him more closely now she realized how peculiar his appearance was. At least, compared to how he acted. Pointed ears, like a Romulan, er- Vulcan, more likely. But also, the same sort of nose ridges typical to Bajorans. And then his personality, he certainly isn't as monotonous as most of the Vulcans I've met before.

Making a mental note to learn more later, she gave Cross a grin. "With those muppets sir it was hourly. Respectfully speaking, of course." Tossing back the last of her tea, Cait handed off her mug with an appreciative nod and continued. "Not to say they had bad ideas or anything, just an erm... differing opinions on how things should run. Though I'm trying to work on that, at least." She added, picking at her thumb.

Listening further, Caitlyn's gaze wandered as she considered Cross' question. Since coming out of cryo, she hadn't really had the time to check in with most of her old friends. Assuming they were all still present, so to speak. "Maybe some of my mates back in Engineering, though otherwise... Not much." She frowned, though she could try to look past that for the moment. "Sir, there was.. something else I was hoping to ask. I remember somebody mentioned that our communications are being jammed but, is there any way to get a message back home?"
[Ens. Caitlyn Murphy | Engineering Officer]

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #8
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Temporary Quarters | D. 11 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Relatively Insane

“Well, none of us have all the answers to everything, ensign. Not to sound too stereotypically Vulcan in that but it is true. If we walk into a room and think we’re the sharpest tool in the shed, we’re more likely to incur failures than successes.” He gave another noncommittal shrug. “Better to remain teachable yet firm.”

Watching Murphy’s eyes wander over his temporary quarters reminded Cross that in terms of personal decorations, he didn’t have much so, though everything was opposite in these quarters, there really wasn’t much of a difference between them. While he kept some personal items in his sleeping area and in the various drawers around the quarters, he’d not taken the time to decorate the walls or leave knickknacks out for visitors to see. Though, in truth, aside from Hathev and, not so long ago, Blue, Cross had never really had many visitors.

Murphy’s question brought Cross away from the bittersweet memories of his old friend and almost something else and he sighed.

“We leave encrypted data chips with close contacts that ferry the ‘letters’ on to their respective family members, but this creates a massive delay in getting information out and, as you can guess, is entirely reliant on our contacts being willing and able to move the letters on. We’ve been able to piggyback on a few channels here and there with the same type of encrypted effort, but even with that, it is going to close contacts back in the Federation and is again reliant on their good graces in a manner of speaking. My suggestion is to write as many letters as you like and put them on a data chip and leave it with the Intelligence department with whom you’d like it to go to. Of all the departments, they’re the most likely to know who or where to work to get the letters through, though there’s no guarantee of when.” Cross briefly rubbed his flesh fingers across his brow as a frown worked its way onto his features. “Starfleet has done a damn good job of alienating us from any official or unofficial channels. Though,” he dropped his hand and smiled, “we did make a connection with Dr. Marlowe recently. He’s some sort of eccentric celebrity reporter, old friend of our chief diplomat. He runs his own news network, much to the dismay of the Federation. Lieutenant Madsen may know how to contact him, and he might be able to help you and the rest of the crew get your letters out. Might even read them live on air, so long as they aren’t, well, private.”

He gave Murphy his best smile of comfort before asking, “What else can I help you with, ensign? I don’t want you leave without asking all the questions you have swirling around in your head. I don’t like my sleep interrupted and based on your file I suspect you to be the type to come back, time be damned, if you  have more questions.” He winked, hoping she’d interpret his words as a jest.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #9
[ Ens. Murphy | Temporary Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

Caitlyn smiled a bit at Cross' reply, feeling it'd be rather odd if she sent letters to her uncle that classified as "risqué." Though at least she had the means of writing home again, that alone served to brighten the rather grim situation she'd found herself in. Right, so I need to either make my way to Intelligence, or figure out where Madsen is... Or rather, who Madsen is. Probably wouldn't help my case to just barge in on them like I did with Cross tonight. Cringing internally, she made a mental note to check on those later.

Opening her mouth to respond, she hesitated a moment before shaking her head. "No sir, thank you. You've been an enormous help, and I'd hate to hold you up any further. Anything else, well, I can either handle it on my own or with one of the counselors." Getting to her feet, wincing slightly from the soreness in her back, Caitlyn offered Cross a smile. "Though if anything else does arise, I'll be sure to stay within working hours next time."

Cait turned, making her way to the door before stopping short, chewing her lower lip. "Erm, there is one more thing sir. Personally, I wouldn't worry about holding back some of the more.. colorful language. Sets you apart from the other langers." She shrugged, giving him a grin. "But what do I know, I'm just a 'semi-obstinate' Ensign. Have a goodnight sir, and thanks again." With that, she exited the compartment, massaging her shoulder before making her way back to her quarters for the night.
[Ens. Caitlyn Murphy | Engineering Officer]

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2115 hrs] After Hours Consultation

Reply #10
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Temporary Quarters | D. 11 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @Relatively Insane

Semi-obstinate or not, Murphy was the cheeky sort Cross was happy to have on the team. Cross leaned into the corridor to watch Murphy’s departure for a few moments before smiling to himself and retreating into his quarters. She was the second person he could recall that day who’d indicated acceptance for the “colorful language” he tended towards. While he doubted Ives or any of the higher brass of the fleet would take as kindly to prolific use, Cross was at least mollified, knowing he wasn’t going to be put on report for language unbecoming an officer.

One more look through of the PADDs and Cross headed towards his bed only to be halted by an urgent message from security. No breaches of any kind and an assumed residual issue from the earlier warp core problems, but it still warranted an investigation. Switching out to a clean uniform, Cross left his quarters and headed to the turbolift, curious if he would get any sleep during his "off” time.

FIN

 
Simple Audio Video Embedder