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DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

[ Nathaniel Isley | Brig | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

The Brig, Nathan had managed to skirt the line almost his entire life between insubordination and annoyance. He never really thought he would end up here. For the moment there was nothing left. The world outside the walls of his cage no longer mattered. He would rot away here for the rest of his life, which if he was lucky would be over in two days when this fucking ship exploded!

If he wasn't lucky there was going to be a very long time in this brig. He had already paced every step of his cell. In that time he learned that his room had been larger. He had missed the shower function of his old room, and more importantly he missed the ability to run or adjust the gravity. Or hell even just the ability to throw around a little rubber ball that he kept in one of his dressers. His current imprisonment had him with no freedom, no items. He didn't even get a PADD to work with. If the crew had desired him to go mad then there was no better way then the constant nothing that his new life would allow for him.

And for that, he could find some soliace in the fact that they could be dead in two days. Better it be two days. than a life time of nothing and boredom. There were other prisoners, but none that he could see or talk too from his cell... Hell none that he even wanted to talk too.

honestly if he looked deep inside of himself and saw past the anger and confusion of the past twenty four hours he still very much believed in the mission. He would not have minded if they succeeded, so long as a hull was breached right about directly behind him. "Should have just tossed me out of the airlock."

His voice was a dull mutter, it was the first words he had said since they had put him in here. He was trying not to talk to himself, he had been told a while ago that was when you knew you were crazy. How quickly could a mans mind break in just a day of isolation? Hell had it even been a day? He wasn't sure anymore. His food was delivered but he hadn't touched it mostly because of what it was. Someone's idea of a sick joke had been to give him a meal straight from Romulus, he didn't know the name of he bird but he got the message.

He wasn't welcome here anymore, he was an outsider and his entire life had been a lie.

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ Warrant Officer Devon Striker | Brig | USS Theurgy ]

"Aye, aye, sir," said Devon and adjusted the collar of his uniform where he stood at the duty station. Orders received, he logged them first with a few taps on his console, sending a brief to the aide's station at the front of the security office before he went about arranging for the prisoner's impromptu hearing. Normally, the procedure was nothing remarkable at all, but considering whom he'd just spoken with, it felt like he was second-guessing every step as he tapped the controls. When he was done, he cleared his throat, put his hand on the holster of his hand phaser, and stepped up to the holding cell with the Romulan.

"Junior Lieutenant Isley?" he said, standing on the left hand side of the cell without stepping out in front of it. "The force-field has been lowered, and two others raised, leading you to interrogation room two over there, opposite your cell. You are to step inside the interrogation room and seat yourself in your chair. Inside, you have a visitor, and he is protected by another force-field, one that splits the room into two halves, so don't step too far into the room. Your visitor has asked for discretion, so while I will not be able to hear what the two of you will talk about, I will be monitoring from my station."

While he said naught more on that matter, there was no mistaking his meaning - he hoped - because if the Romulan would try something in there, Devon would not hesitate to take swift measures to protect that particular visitor.

"Please proceed to the interrogation room now, Junior Lieutenant."



[ Interrogation Room 02 ]

In the stark shadows of the room, lit from above by the single source of light, he stood waiting. He had decided against the chair, hands in the pockets of his uniform as he stood on his side of the table. The subtle sound of the force-field that ran across the centre of the table seemed synchronised with Thea's humming, the sound that permeated all starships and had long since been filtered out from his senses. He stood there, features cast in the garish light from above, and waited without a word spoken, much less any motions made. As if he were to mediate between warring factions with bad blood running thick for centuries, he had made his countenance unreadable. 

The face of the diplomat, chiselled in stone... facing an enemy of old.

The sliding doors opened across the room, but the new source of light did not make him narrow his eyes. His adamant stare only shifted to meet that of the prisoner, unblinking as he waited for him to sit down. The sliding doors shut behind the prisoner, and all sounds from there on out were theirs - trapped between the four walls of the room. He said naught either where he stood, wearing his male form - a form that the prisoner had lesser experience with.

If it was to be interpreted as a statement of some kind... Captain Jien Ives let Isley think that of his own accord.

"The way I hear it, no one knows what happened. Least of all you," he said at long last, his deep voice reverberating in the air of the room. "You are here because you were genetically designed to appear Vulcan. Instead, you have been Romulan all along, perhaps against your better knowledge, perhaps not. Either way, you deliberately fired against one of your own, despite the warnings of friendly fire your Valkyrie made. It begs to question if your... second nature - if you will - sought to sabotage the Black Opal operation in wait for your kinsmen to appear. It begs to question if you are the one that sent the coordinates before we arrived there; that you are the one they named 'Aidoaan'."

Having said this, Jien leaned forward with his calloused knuckles on the table, and as he did, he changed... to her female form. Dark wings of hair fell forward to frame her jaw, and her whole face was cast in shadow as she stared into Isley's eyes. "Are you 'Aidoaan', Junior Lieutenant, and if so... you will tell me your real name." Ives had been betrayed twice too many times already, but that his Lone-Wolf might be a Tal Shiar spy? It struck close to home. It befouled her personally on a level Vasser could never have reached.

"Who... are... you?" she said in a low voice as she leaned in over him, each syllable cutting sharp.

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #2
Isley paced and continued to pace for a moment. Six steps, that was exactly how many he could take in this confines from the back of his cell to the front. He had never pictured himself as being claustrophobic, but the past few hours proved that he certainly had it in him to be. Isley stopped pacing when he saw the flicker of light of his force-field being disengaged. For a moment a brief moment when Devon explained what was going to happen he thought maybe this was some kind of jail break. Oh not to free him, not at all.

Rather he thought maybe one of the wolves was here to stab him, it was what he would have done. Silently bribe the warrant officer to let me go to an interrogation room, have it be a dark spot and then kill him for the betrayal of the pack. It was dirty, and probably would get the wolf in question in trouble, but either way it was a walk, it was more then six paces and more to the point he had nothing to loose. So Nathan didn't question it, he turned and walked down the hall saying nothing to the warrant officer.

The walk was far too short for Isley's tastes. If he was going to die on the other side of the door he wanted at least a good couple of yards, maybe a foot ball field. Instead it was a taste of freedom taken away all to briefly, but as the door opened he saw not a wolf ready to kill him, but the captian. That made things difficult. He walked in and sat down silently appraising them and waiting for Ives to speak. When he did Nathan felt a little chill run through him. and when he changed forms there was a small invulintary shudder as he took in the sight of her.

The captain was still attractive, and he had to surpress his heartbeat a little at the thought. When she asked him who he was he deflaited. Shame ran across his face because honestly he didn't want to lie to her, but at the same time every answer felt like a lie. Every answer he could possibly give her felt like he was giving her some falsehood.

"I wish I knew." The question of who he was, had gotten so complicated in just the past day and a half that he wasn't even sure about it anymore. He leaned on the table and sighed looking at the captain. "My name was Nathanal Isley, My friends called me Maverick, My rank was Junior Lieutenant, and I'm pretty sure I had a serial number but against regulations I never memorized it. I was designed to look human and have my vulcan genetics removed because of a disease my mother had contracted at birth, only."

"That was apparently one big lie." Nathan gave a shrug any mirth he felt at the walk was gone now and he was left an emotional wreck sitting across from a person he had viewed as a confidant and better. "At best situation My mother was a Romulan infiltrator and I get my rogue genetics from her. At worst Nathan was captured at some point in his career his mind hollowed out by a Tal Shiar agent who then assumed his Identity through psionics."

Nathan rubbed his face for a moment taking a deep breath. "Like you said, I'm the person who knows the least about this puzzle. If I was the latter and was a member of deep cover, then I should have ran back to my people when they limped off on their warship. Since I didn't I'm inclined to believe that I am either the worst Romulan in the galaxy, or that some part of me is still Nathanal Isley."

Nathan's mind went over the situation a few times for a moment as he thought about the name. "So Aidoaan was a code name the Romulans gave? I thought Ida was just calling me something rude in her native tongue or something. The name holds no meaning to me." that part at least he felt he could be truthful about.

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #3
"It means 'Moon' in Romulan," said Ives, unflinching where she stood, with no emotion honing the cut of her tone; just a blunt statement of a fact. "And neither Commander Trent nor I have any intel from our time at Starfleet Intelligence about who it might be."

She pushed away from the table, pacing her side of the interrogation room slowly. She thought of how Jona Rez might know who Aidoann was, but the former host of the Rez symbiont was a traitor, and she would trust the word a vendor in any seedy district on Ferenginar over his. Even if Jona Rez knew anything, he would try to bargain a deal, and Jien wasn't even interested in having a conversation with that ghost at all. The very notion made his stomach turn, with too much bad blood between her and him since her early days as an operative. When she rounded on Isley again, she spoke with the same succinct tone as she'd used before.

"If your past is a construct, just like your appearances, then the Romulan that you used to be might have been anyone," she said, uncompromising in her analysis - not about to embelish the potential truth of it all. "You might be two persons, one being a latent image of the Romulan that the Tal Shiar turned to their cause. This latent image might have been given new memories, notions about your mother being Vulcan and that you were sick as a child. It does sound a bit construed, does it not? A sickness that would require a young child to change the shape of his ears? The tilt of his brow? Be that as it may, I just ask this; should an illness be the case, why go to such extremes to hide your true genome? Your Romulan nature escaped Starfleet's meticulous tests and scans, which suggests nothing but the very most sophisticated medical practice in the Galaxy. Why would your alleged mother go to such extremes? Just because you had Romulan blood? No, there is more to this story: The very story that you won't tell us. The story that, perhaps, your latent persona doesn't know anything about, but still presides there in your mind, like a shadow personality possessing you when so triggered."

Saying this, Ives remained standing, looking down at him with the light from the ceiling obscuring her adamant features. "You know what they accuse us of," she said, an there was no mistaking whom she meant. "That we conspire with the Romulans, feeding them intel. That I personally defected to the Empire when we negotiated for peace between the Rebels, the Remans and the Praetor. Traitors they call us all, especially me, on every media outlet the Galaxy. And here you are, a Romulan operative, the perfect, oblivious sleeper agent, activated on demand by some unknown signal - some means of triggering you when needed."

Now, she addressed the true reason why she had come. Why she had come to see him in person, and deactivated the audio records of their conversation.

"Tell me... why did you come to the gym that morning?" she demanded without batting an eye at the implication of what they had ended up doing during their spar. "Was that you, aiming to get close to me - to make me trust you? To make me lower my guard, and confide in you, just so that you could report back to the Empire that you had me in your pocket?"

Her tone clearly bespoke the fact that he was, in that case, mistaken in such a quaint notion. Rather, her tone suggested that she might kill him because of the attempt.

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #4
There was a look of shame when Ive's called him a perfect sleeper agent. It wasn't exactly something he was taking with pride and happiness. It wasn't a skill he wanted to be good at, and finding out that the one thing he was good at was killing his friends and pack.. that wasn't a medal he wanted, and then the conversation took a turn for the dramatic and he felt his stomach twist.

He pressed his head into his hands for a moment as he sat down. First Ida, now Jien  oh and he killed Skye the number of women in his life that he had come into contact with that he was still on good terms with were hauntingly few at this point. He Shook his head feeling his body shiver. He surpressed the want to cry or act out in anger. The wild emotions were boiling just under his skin at this point and the fact that the captain looked like she was going to kill him. He lowered his hands and looked up at her.

His eyes were red, his skin slightly discheveled, his hair unwashed, he looked like a mess. There was of course only one answer that he could give to Jien, and in truth her accusation made him want to laugh in a very pathetic way. "You have it the wrong way around."

"I wanted to get close sure, but not make you trust me." The chuckle came pathetic as it was as he shook his head, He remembered that day at the gym. It was one of his favorite memories. Not that he would ever turn around and admit it considering that he had been sworn to secrecy about what had happened back then, and now with this new information even that happy memory was tainted.

"I wanted you to make me trust you." He gave a shrug. "It probably doesn't make much sense, but I've served under a number of captains or at least I think I did, the war for my home world... the command did things that were unsavory, cowardly and pathetic. Sacrificing civilian populations to take down enemy forces. We won the planet but we all lost something."

"Humanity, Ethics, Honor it has a lot of names under a lot of different cultures, but the war on Sennis IV made every soldier compromise it. It's funny, considering I might be Tal'Shiar i'm sure that some of the tactics used would be very befitting of the Romulan ranks, but they never sat well with me. When I came here and was assigned to you. I wanted to know how if I could trust you not to make the same mistakes they did."

"Did I want you in my pocket for the empire? Not as far as I know, no I wanted to be in your pocket. I wanted you to be a commander I could serve under happily, and well... I didn't exactly say no when the chance came to become something a little more. After everything my previous captains and commanders had done it wasn't your guard I needed lowered."

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #5
At first, Ives did not move where she stood, fists still on the table as she stared at Isley - face still obscured by the garish light from the ceiling of the interrogation room.

Yet as the Romulan continued to speak, in falsehood or truth, she pushed back from the table and slowly paced her side of the room. Hearing him, and seeing him, it was easy to almost believe him, that there was merit to his claim. Her gut told her to trust him, that he was a victim in all of this and an oblivious tool of the Romulans, but her rationale - all her experience - forbade her to lower her guard. She could not afford to trust a tool of the Romulans, a puppet on strings, if that was his true nature. Aye, and therein lay the doubt. Things did not add up perfectly, suggesting that the Tal'Shiar was not the perfect explanation for Isley's random act of madness in the heat of battle. All the evidence pointed in the general direction of him being a brain-washed operative, so why had Isley not exerted all his opportunities to aide the Romulans?

Why didn't the empaths aboard find anything wrong with his mind? Why did they not see the seams in his thought-patterns, the programmed nature of his sentience? Why did they not see the shadow that had come to possess Isley when he fired on Ensign Carver? Was his second nature so well-buried in his subconscious that neither Doctor Maya nor Ensign Cir'Cie could see it? It didn't make any sense to Jien, because she was positive that if the Romulans had done something to the individual that now called himself Nathaniel Isley, there had to be some sort of traces left behind. The Tal'Shiar could not make such invasive mental programming without leaving some kind of stitching after they were done.

No, all Jien's experience in Starfleet Intelligence suggested that the Romulans couldn't have done it without leaving any traces.

So was Isley lying through his teeth? Was he deliberately leading them in circles until they didn't know what to believe? That could not be it either, at least if Maya and Cir'Cie were to be believed... but that was the most simple explanation, wasn't it? The most simple, but the most puzzling too, because the pilot had no motive to do what he'd done. What had he to gain by killing a fellow Lone-Wolf? None, at least as far as Jien knew. Therefore, as she refused to soften in answer to Isley's admission, pushing aside the words that rang of truth and wanted to make her forgive him, she rounded on him with another set of questions.

"Let's say that your mother lied to you then, for argument's sake. Evidently, you have no parasite inside you, and the medical tricorders didn't show anything wrong with you, neither before nor after the Black Opal incident, and you claim that you are not a Romulan spy... then why the hell would you open fire against Ensign Carver? Why didn't you heed the warnings of friendly fire? They are right there in the recording, loud and clear! Why? Some random moment of aberration? A mental lapse? A wanton daydream at the worst of times? Did you flush all your damn training that bloody morning? Are you lying to us to cover up the shame[]/i of your failure?"

She slammed her hand down into the table, making the force-field shudder and hiss, and her eyes were aflame in the dim light.  "Are you just a piss-poor pilot, officer Isley, or did you kill her deliberately?" Then, slowly, she straightened underneath the single light - fists clenched at her sides in the aftermath. "Either way... you deserve to be here... For even if we find that you are not 'Aidoaan', you still haven't confessed your inadequacy... or your cold-blooded murder."

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #6
Nathan slammed his fist against the table when she accused him of trying to cover up what he had done with lies. For the first time the anger he had been feeling slipped from his grasp and the chair he had been sitting gone was flung backwards as he sat up. If it wasn't for the shield between them he was pretty sure that he would have just attempted to attack the Captain.

"It would be so fucking easy!" The words escaped him so angry and loud that he started at the end of his thoughts rather than at the begging. His tongue tied for a moment he just glared at Ives part of him wanting, wishing he could strike out at her for not knowing the full picture. "If I had done it, if I knew why I had done it. Because I can't escape it!"

"It would be easy to say I flushed all my training out the window. To say that I secretly harbored some kind of resentment towards Skye, that her death was all part of some argument that I had with her the day before hand and as I was sitting in the cockpit and stewing over what happened I just expertly maneuvered my ship behind hers because fuck her she was going to pay that day, and fuck my career for the rest of my life!" His words were harsh angry and bitter simply because that wasn't how things played out.

"Then I would have answers, I could be accountable for all of this. I would be able to live with myself instead of not knowing who the fuck I am. Instead one of the wolves, part of my pack is gone, and I am going to have to live with them! Skye, and Razor I'm going to have to live with their ghosts over my shoulder doubting me for the rest of my life. Every moment when I close my eyes I am going to look back at the moment I pushed some button and one of my friends got fucked in the ass. Or I am going to look at the time I was in command and wonder why I didn't pull back to try and salvage one of my pilots. I'm going to have to wonder if every question I ever made was me, or if it was some pre-programmed response to some stimuli that I don't fucking know."

"I've lost the trust of every man woman and child on this ship, and if it were as simple as a fucking murder I could live with that. Instead I can't trust myself and you can't even begin to know that hell." The anger gave way, to a laugh. Not one of pitty, or some broken thing rather a full guttural laugh as he shook his head and placed a hand over his face.

"Make no mistake captain I am exactly where I need to be right now, and it isn't for the safety of your crew. Because if I do find out that I am some puppet of the Tal'Shiar. If I am some pre-made infiltrator who is designed to kill everyone one then I'd rather put myself out the airlock, and until you can discover what is wrong with this picture. then the person most in danger on this ship isn't going to be you it's me."

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #7
Ives met the tirade with her glare, the ire in her eyes matching Nathan's at first - unflinching and cocked like an ancient revolver.

Yet as his ire deflated into despair, her browridge raised a little, and her stance eased - sympathy undermining her disposition despite herself. She knew she had to push, to provoke further, and rinse all chance of pretence on Isley's part, making him say something that revealed his true intentions. Though when he spoke of his stigma, and how he was already rejected from his pack, Jien had trouble sticking to her line of questioning. She knew she had to twist the dagger with of her words, making the truth bleed out. Her training at Starfleet Intelligence had weaponised her interrogation technique, and while she had applied her training to counselling and diplomacy since then, the lessons still stuck with her. The means in which she mediated and inspired used to be a means in which she derived the truth.

And oh, she had armed herself before entering the interrogation. She knew things she did not let on, and some things had to be voiced. "If you think a sense of pity will deterr me, then you are mistaken, Junior Lieutenant," he said, hating herself for having to take the final step in her questioning, "We are all in danger upon this ship, chased as we are by our own fleet. Now tell me truthfully, did you have any interraction with Ensign Carver after Thomas Raven was declared MIA? Our surveillance system aboard might be destroyed, but Security will still find the answer through the internal sensors. The reason I ask is obvious. We both know Carver and Ravon were in a relationship, and she likely held you responsible for Ravon's disappearance. The missing piece of the puzzle here, is that you didn't you tell securtiy was that you were with Carver... before she went to Ravon."

The two Lone Wolves, Carver and Ravon, had been seen numerous times on Theta Eridani and afterwards, being very close. It was something Security did not know, but that Henshaw had told Jien. What Henshaw had not told Jien, Jien had learned from the vid-logs that were recorded before the system was destroyed by Cala. "After the Niga Incident," said Jien, succinct and remaining where she was as she continued her line of questioning, "you were intimate with Ensign Carver. Security still have old records where the two of you enter your quarters together. So... how did that make you feel? Weren't you envious of Ravon, and didn't that affect your decision to leave him behind? She was yours, and she could be so again - your possessive nature compelling you to throw him to the Reavers."

What Jien didn't say was that she had meant to seek Isley out herself in the wake of the Niga nightmare, only to learn from Thea that he was with Carver. Jien had needed someone, desperately so, but whatever had happened between her and Isley hadn't mattered to the pilot, whom had already moved on to someone else. "So, I ask again, did Carver come to you, blaming you for Ravon's fate? It is the truth, isn't it? I asked you why you did it and that is the reason. That made you kill her... shutting her up before she'd tell Renard about your jealousy," It was not something Jien would put past a Romulan to do, after all. "Only now, it has backfired on you, because killing her didn't appear to be the accident you wanted it to be, and you now face the full responsibility. You said that you want it to be as simple as murder... and that is exactly what it is, isn't it?"

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #8
What was Ive's attempt to sink the knife actually came off a little vindictive not to mention it wasn't really his type of thing. He listened to her accusation and it actually calmed him down if only because it seemed so far from reality that it was kind of laughable. Nathan took a deep breath as he prepared his retort she had given him an out, but it wasn't the truth, and he wasn't going to settle on anything other than what actually happened that day.

"Tsk, tsk and you were doing so well Captain." He looked up at her and chuckled a little. "So lets get some things out into the open. The first woman I had intercourse on this ship with was oh right I'm not actually allowed to talk about that on record. If I were to have a manipulative and possessive personality like you just claimed I did I probably would have put up more of a fight when that first encounter ended and she ordered me to never talk about it again."

That had been the reason he hadn't really held onto the thought that anything further with Ive's was possible. She had basically shut him down, made sure that he understood that nothing more was possible because she had forbid him from ever bringing it up again. In the moment it hadn't been that much of a pain, but there had been a few moments when he had looked back on that memory with some fondness. Of course with the earlier accusation and the new one she had just put forward he was starting to think that he had no positive memories.

"What's more I logged formal concerns about Razor when I got back from the mission with Miles. You see like I told him, while I was down on the ice planet Rawley had confessed that Razor had tried to rape her. Now I don't know how you feel about non consensual sex with someone else, but I'm pretty sure that's a relationship killer in my books. So if my goal was to get back with Skye because of this personality trait that I have never exhibited before I already had an opening as her confidant."

The final nail of course was something else, but at the same time he didn't really want to use it. Like with Ives he had sort of agreed to not speak of it on the record or with anyone else due to the implications. And while Ida may have betrayed him in some ways he still had that shred of loyalty. At the same time though if they were going to poor over his locations for the last six days... it wasn't like they wouldn't find out.

"Just for the record the night before the attack, I was with someone else as well and she also broke it off early yesterday and asked me not to talk about it unless it became relevant to the investigation. So you can go over everything, I have done and I could tell you exactly what you will find when it comes to my love life. A rather lonely pilot who every time he gets in the door with someone gets pushed away." Nathan shrugged. "You, Skye and the nameless other all used me once, and then never called in the morning. Does that hurt? Sure but I am still an adult I can handle rejection without killing people."

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #9
Hearing Isley speak, Jien somehow knew she had twisted the dagger too far, and that the suspect had become benumbed by the accusations - the nerve in the interrogation lost.

She did not blink, nor did she falter, as she stood there and stared at him, listening as he deflected and made the accusation void. At first, however, when he had said she had been doing so well up until that point, Jien had thought his sudden change in spirit had meant she got close to the truth, and that the mask Isley wore had been shed at last. No, benumbed was the right word, and Jien knew the interrogation was over even before Isley had ceased speaking. There was naught more to be said or learned. The obscure facts remained, the truth behind them all still lost to them both. Moreover, the brief comments where he described his love-life aboard shamed Ives, but not so much in regard to the rejection... but rather that he'd been made to make the comment at all.

What stalled her retort was two-fold. First the obvious, in how it still remained unlikely that Isley had done what he did, and that there was no explanation that completely satisfied the facts about Skye Carver's accident. The pieces of the puzzle simply did not fit together, and only theories suggested a potential solution. A lot of circumstantial evidence painted Isley in many different unflattering ways, but the only real truth to it was on the flight records and the tactical data from the Black Opal mission. Only so much could be said about the reasons behind the friendly fire, and that was that there was no targeting or mechanical error. Isley had opened fire at Carver despite the friendly fire warnings. There was no explanation to it, but it was what had happened, despite how everything about it all suggested that Isley was being framed... or simply a victim to circumstances beyond his control.

The second part that stalled her answer was what Isley had said about Thomas Ravon. It was news to Ives, the report in question not having been brought to her attention. The Lone-Wolf by the callsign Razor was the one that she had ended up with when the Ishtar entity had roamed the ship, and while the two of them never had any more contact since that time when they had been locked into a holographic Valkyrie cockpit and forced to do things to escape the program, it was jarring to think that there were accusations of rape towards Thomas Ravon. Then again, worse things had been done by good people during the mutiny, all because of T'Rena's Vulcan mind-control. In the end, it hardly mattered, since the Lone-Wolf was likely killed by Reavers outside the Class-9 nebula in which they had hid before the Calamity attacked. Another life lost on the voyage, mourned at the memorial service... albeit eerie to hear ill of because of the time shared with the man.

In the end, Jien took a deep breath and pushed away from the table, turning from Isley and raking her fingers through her hair. After she did, she changed... to his male form, and then turned back to him - speaking in his deeper voice. It was a subtle cue to how the interrogation was, in the end, an interrogation and the techniques used were towards that end. "Before Vasser betrayed me," he said with a frown, "I believed myself to be a rather good judge of character. Hearing you for myself instead of reading the report, and despite how the facts build a strong case against you, all I hear and what my instincts are telling is that you had no motive to kill Ensign Carver, and that you do not know why you ended up firing against her in your Valkyrie."

After speaking, Jien sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "That being said... there is still a very real risk that you are Aidoaan, even though you might not know it yourself," he said and then looked at the Lone-Wolf with stoic regret. "Therefore, couple with how your Squadron Commander thinks you too much of a liability to send you out there again in a Valkyrie, I have no choice but to keep you here as per security's recommendation. What I can do is to allow you read-only access to the database on a PADD, and some increased comforts in your holding cell. These things I can do for you... along with one more thing."

Stepping up to the table again, Jien folded his arms across his chest, clenching his jaw. "If we happen to learn the identity of Aidoaan, I am willing to have you released and returned to non-flight duties. I will have Thea keeping her eye on you, and we can review the case against you once more based on your behaviour henceforth. With luck, perhaps more evidence can be found until then... and the truth finally be known."

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #10
The promise of a future release did little to help the fact that he was going back. Back to a cell where he could only take six steps, where he would be outcast and thought of as a traitor for the rest of his days, and where he would be supervised and safe. He was broken more than a little, in truth the comment he had made at his hearing of being pushed out an airlock would have been much more of a mercy in comparison with prison with a possible infinite duration.

"That's fine, I was probably going to transfer out of the wolves after this if I had any power or say in the matter. The fact is... I wouldn't be welcomed back after what happened. One death under stressful circumstances was hard enough. Another on a milk run like that, and no one was going to trust me captain." He leaned back in his chair. A forlorn look crossing his face as he thought over what he could say now that it was all over. He was scared to go back. Scared that the next visitor might be the one that actually does kill him, scared that they never did find the moon. "Flying was always important to me, I loved the cockpit of a ship or a fighter the thrill and G-forces set in by smaller ships. but I knew the moment I landed back here that I'm never going to have that again."

"My mother, is still in Federation space. If she is the cause of this, if I am half Romulan because of her..." The question died on his lips, there was concern for a woman whom he thought never loved him any more than was logical to love an offspring, and yet was actually a romulan in some level of disguise. What would happen to her? The family of the crew had already been investigated, and if they had found this fact out about his mother they likely would have used it as propeganda right? He honestly didn't know.

So the words died on his tongue, he sank further down. Everything he had known about his life had been some sort of fabrication. Romulan instead of Vulcan, what did that even mean for his mother, at best she used him as some sort of pawn, or put his life in danger by never telling him the truth. At worst she has been a traitor to everyone, and everything she has ever said has been a lie. Even if there was some promise of amnesty between him and the captain there was no way to uphold it.

The promise of read only access to the database was good, and he would get comforts, whatever that means. He wouldn't have company he knew that much. He wouldn't have privacy they couldn't afford that. No in the end his last request wasn't even about himself and there was no actual way to do anything for him. He shook his head thinking about it all.

"I suppose I should be lucky to have that much." He said numb and broken to the world he wasn't even sure what he was going to do. Just that he didn't want to go back to his cell so soon, hell he didn't want to give up the company so soon. His wings were clipped he would never fly again. His career was over even if they won and they got back to the Federation told everyone the story, and managed to do... something what would it cause? It wasn't like they had any easy solutions at the moment.

So he would sit in a cell and rot for perhaps what amounted to the rest of his life. "Captain... couldn't you just demote me to civilian, restrict me to areas of the ship that have no significance?" Let me get stabbed by some angry member of the crew and be on with the rest of my life? "Something about only being able to take six steps for the rest of my life would have me rather choose death or banishment. Isn't there some star-fleet regulation where you can put me in a pod and launch me at a nearby inhabitable world? Literally anything seems more merciful than well... sitting and rotting."

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #11
Listening to Isley, it was hard to not let pity overtake Jien, knowing full well the man's future was quite bleak aboard the ship. With no answers, that was his fate.

However, the comment about Isley's mother kindled and idea with Jien, and he frowned pacing the room again while Isley spoke of wanting to become a civilian just so that he wouldn't have to sit in his cell for an unknown amount of time. Pending definitive judgement was not a healthy situation, psychological torture, and for a pilot - who was used to the freedom felt in the cockpit of a warp fighter - a holding cell was a lot smaller than for just about anyone else. The investigation and Jien's own observations had reached two possible, and most likely, truths about what had happened, and the first one had to do with his genetic heritage, and the possibility that he was an unsuspecting operative of the Tal'Shiar - brainwashed into thinking he was a human with Vulcan blood. Since Doctor Maya saw no such traces, however, Jien wondered if the proof needed could be found with the pilot's mother.

"Thea," he said, not answering Isley's request to be demoted and let loose on the ship. Without something more concrete, he could not do anything of the sort. It would not be a verification about Aidoann's identity, but Isley's mother. "Please access the database under my authority, Ives-Theta-Niner-Two. You should have access to the Starfleet Intelligence files of mine, and those given to me by Commander Trent when he joined the crew. What is the name of Isley's mother?"

[Accessing Data. T'Mei, Captain,] said Thea inside the interrogation room, without delay giving the answer.

[I would like you to run a probability analysis based on what you now have access to. Considering the dates, names, and reported movements of the Romulans and their foreign endeavours at the time before Isley was born, and with all the new data accumulated from the Romulans since then, how likely is it that T'Mei is actually Romulan?]

[Processing,] said Thea, and after a few seconds, she gave her answer, [The result of this analysis is based on new data found on the geneticist that assisted in Junior Lieutenant Isley's birth. The individual, Doctor Fehghan, has become known to have affiliates with the Tal Shiar while he was still alive. After his death, his list of clients were revealed to Starfleet Intelligence. With this new data, the probability that T'Mei is Romulan has increased from 27,435 % to 78,453 %. This, because both the times T'Mei was his client before Isley was born, the procedures were noted to deal with Romulan surgery procedures. Worth nothing is that this was the last time T'Mei had any dealings with Doctor Fehghan.]

Jien heard this in quietude, standing still. Indeed, why would a Vulcan woman be in contact with a doctor about Romulan surgeries, and then, the third time Doctor Fehhan met her, it had to do with the genes of her child. A child now proven to be Romulan. No, to Jien, it was without doubt that Isley had been kept from the truth for the whole of his life, and that his mother was actually Romulan. With great empathy in his stare, he looked towards Isley where he sat by the table - the pilot just having learned the truth about his heritage.

"It would seem the Tal'Shiar has not programmed you, because Doctor Maya could not see any such signs. Rather, it would seem you never knew your own true nature."

What Jien didn't say, but was made obvious, was how it all boiled down to evidence towards his own shortcomings as a pilot.

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #12
So his mother was a lying whore, that wasn't exactly a happy set of news for Isley. There had always been a wedge between him and his T'Mei, he had always thought it was because her logical nature had kept them at arms length of one another. Now it was laid out to be more because of a simple yet hurtful lie. She would probably be imprisoned or killed for that. Some part of Isley told him that he should care, but the hurtful truth was that he didn't.

He had blown his mothers cover, and in truth the only feeling he had in that moment was that of relief. His thoughts were his own, his mind was solid, he wasn't crazy. Which of course left the only real explination of value. he had been drugged.

No one was going to listen to that claim, he would never be a wolf or be let anywhere near a flight console ever again. He knew how it looked, and he would be kept here because of how it looked. But the more he thought about it, a plan formed in his head. He had been drugged, he was certain of it. So someone on this ship had wanted him out of the picture, that gave him enemies. He let out a long sigh, it was a huge blow to his ego what he was considering but there was no other way out of that room.

Six steps for the rest of his life, a life that would likely be cut short, or a chance for revenge, for both him and Carver. The only way he was going to do that was on the outside of his cell.

"With the subject of my identity settled, I wish to confess." Isley's voice was small he felt sick for what he was going to have to do. It wasn't right he could argue and protest and try to clear his name, but he would just as likely be subject to some act of violence in the brig some ultimate cover up of what would have happened.

"I was asleep at the wheel." It wasn't wrong, in some way his senses had been dulled, and he wanted his 'confession' to be as close to the truth as possible. "It was supposed to be a milk run, my attention was elsewhere. I didn't notice the notification, and when I realized what I had done I called it in as an equipment malfunction. I wanted to cover up the fact that I acted lazily, but when my identity was further questioned..."

"I panic'd." Again not exactly untrue, but god damn each word felt like he was going to retch. He hated himself for this, but it was the only thing he could do to get answers.

"There, my official statement on the past three days, if you so desire I can submit it in writing as well for the official record." and the moment he found out how this actually happened there was going to be hell to pay. Someone was going to burn for Carver's death, and he didn't intend it to be Nathan. For now he would move into security, the access it would give him though he imagined limited at first would also put him in a place to sniff out the rat.

Someone on this ship had an enemy, now he just needed to figure out who it was.

Re: DAY 05: Sheep in Wolf's Clothing [1200 hrs.]

Reply #13
It was almost painful to Jien, hearing Isley choose to confess of anything that just might get him out of his small holding cell. The Captain stood there and listened to the human-looking Romulan, his former lover, and saw how he recovered from learning about his mother with some initial difficulty, but hearing also that he gained some meagre strength from knowing a bit more of the truth. Jien couldn't imagine what it must have been like learning that he was not Vulcan at the end of the investigation, to be cast in doubt and cornered for a crime he most likely didn't commit.

As far as Jien could tell, Isley had no part in the supposed accident where Ensign Carver died, yet nor did she fathom what the truth might be. He had read the reports, twice, and all accounts pointed to that there were no medical or technical explanation to why Isley had fired upon Carver, only that he had pulled the trigger on the tetryon pulse cannon. If Isley chose to confess, then he would have to provide the punishment for it, and in accordance to his confession.

"Nathaniel Isley," he said, clenching his jaw, because he would rather have continued the investigation, even if they had run out of time before the mission to Starbase 84, "I hereby demote you to Chief Petty Officer for your negligence and shortcomings as a pilot. You are no longer a commissioned line officer on this ship. To be an officer of such status, you have to lead by example, and the sequence of mistakes you made at the Black Opal led to the death of one of your squadmates. Moreover, you lied about the accident, trying to place the blame on your Valkyrie having a malfunction. Our enlisted ranks have no reason to look up to you as an example, and therefore, you should not be allowed to be one. You will be released from the brig, but you will not be allowed to have the quarters or security clearance that you now hold, and you will report to Lieuenant-Commander Renard immediately. He will decide if there is any use of you in the Fighter Assault Bay, or if he would rather have you serve elsewhere on the ship - away from the squadron that you have failed. Furthermore, Thea will be keeping track of you at all times, should there be any merit to other leads in the investigation about the incident."

Never had Jien felt that he'd dealt such an unjust punishment, knowing that it was based on a false confession. The words were bitter in his mouth, but what kind of Captain would he be if he didn't adhere to protocol and regulations - standing up for the tenets of the Federation. I would be like Vasser, he knew, and so, the official punishment could be nothing less than if Isley had indeed killed Skye Carver by accident and tried to cover it up. Yet as the punishment was dealt, he changed... to her female form. And when she spoke, it was with a more gentle tone - clearly emphasising the shift from official to off-the-record.

"I am sorry that you think there was no other way, and that you will have to carry the guilt in the eyes of your peers. I can but hope that someday, the missing pieces of the puzzle may present themselves. I promise you, that if they do, the investigation will be re-opened. Of this, you have my word." Having said this, Jien slowly moved to speak with Wenn Cinn about Isley's release, but she paused by the door, looking at Isley one last time with a mix of regret and guilt... before she left.

- FIN

 
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