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PRO: S [D06|0230] Enduring Resolve

Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] Attn:  @patches
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She was dreaming. She knew it was a dream, yet, it felt different. Ever since she trained with Vulcans, Sinead had achieved some form of awareness within her dreams. Most times they were memories, of her time in the Dominion War. Nightmares pertaining to them. Eliska Bremmer and Kino Taer had been there, some of the only people who never died from close association with her. What was it Eliska jokingly called them? The Three She-sketeers. Something like that. But she'd never dreamed this far back, or dredged up memories of the beginning of the Dominion War. She hadn't been as involved back then in the engagements to come. And it was definitely not a dream. Like the nightmares of the Dominion War itself, this felt more like a memory.

Ever since she'd been beamed aboard the Versant with Jien Ives, things were unravelling for her. She finally realized that she had something in her head, something she once only suspected, now affirmed. The lifelike evil doppelganger of herself was some manifestation of this invasion into her mind. She was on an examination table. There were men with surgical masks and scrubs, like doctors, but they weren't. They were more. She could remember the numb sensation of a saw going through the top of her skull. She almost could feel their fingers and the machines, inserting...embedding, the chip. A control chip. Which the Savi had found, and began to tinker with themselves. Her own people did this to her!

Her eyes snapped open. It hadn't been very long, that much was certain, but that newly rediscovered memory was going to keep her awake. No amount of meditation (or medication) was going to let her go back to sleep. Part of her wanted to see if someone here with medical knowledge could cut her head open right then and find that chip, remove it. She wanted to have her life and freedom of mind back. If she'd known earlier that it was there (clearly it was capable of hiding from standard Starfleet scanners), what happened with Rihen Niyah could have been avoided altogether! A sense of guilt assailed her as she considered this. Her lips curled downwards, and she felt her eyes water.

But if the Savi hadn't found the chip in her brain, she very likely would have been recycled. The Savi weren't very interested in a pure race being. They seemed to want crossbreeds, to forcefully correct them. This realization only made her feel more guilty, before she pushed it aside. Captain Ives was endangered, and truth be told, even if she knew all that would transpire beforehand, Sinead O'Riley would have done nothing different. She would still leap into danger, to take a bolt for the captain even. Her life didn't matter. Only Jien Ives and Thea mattered. Taking assurance from that, she felt her mood lighten a bit. Her expression betrayed nothing, but anyone could tell she was busy thinking. And it seemed she wasn't the only one awake.

She studied the person, and spoke up, “Hello there.” Her Bringloidi accent lilted lightly and softly, careful not to wake others near her.

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #1
[ Lt. R'Rori | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] @Triage

As s/he anticipated, it was a restless night for hir. Although s/he had slept since arriving on the Versant, R’Rori’s rest had been frequently disturbed by the anxiety and general emotional distress prompting in turn nightmares and fitful bursts of sleep before waking up again covered in sweat. S/he was at least thankful that s/he usually didn’t remember hir dreams. They were easy enough to guess, though, between the Borg attack, the week spent trapped in an escape pod, and the “rescue” the surviving Endeavour crew were granted. There was a small sense of relief that s/he still at least had hir tail and ears. For whatever reason, the Savi had not gotten around to finishing hir “Correction”. In fact, s/he had been left largely alone, apparently delegated to a low priority in favor of others.

That let hir feel a bit better equipped to deal with a couple of the others that needed someone to talk to.  So many others had undergone incredibly invasive examinations and procedures compared to the single rough general, if uncomfortably thorough, examination s/he had undergone. The counselor knew s/he was given trust a bit easier than normal, and that their shared presence on this ship and recentness of the trauma allowed them open up to hir more readily than would otherwise be the case. More than once, it felt like s/he was getting a last confession of sorts.

Clearly, R’Rori was not the only one with a sense of doom hanging over their head.

It was quiet now. It seemed that everyone else had found some sleep. R’Rori found hirself now sitting on top of a pile of crates that had been restacked after being emptied, taking a moment to relax with hir feet swinging just off the ground. S/he saw some movement nearby. One of the sleepers looked to be having a bad dream, if her body’s movements were any indication. It was hard not to stare when her eyes opened. They shone, a silver sheen reminiscent of how R’Rori’s own eyes looked just a week prior. S/he hadn’t seen it before with a human.

“Hello there.”

She was definitely not someone s/he knew then, and there was a clear accent that R’Rori could have sworn sounded familiar from hir stay on Earth. Starfleet Academy was such a melting pot, though, and there were more accents than different species in residence.

“Hello”, the former hybrid responded simply, matching the woman’s volume. “My name is R’Rori. Or Rori as some humans like to call me. Am I disturbing you?”

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] Attn:  @patches
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The Bringloidi regarded R'Rori for a moment silently, then rose in a graceful fluid motion, looking almost like a dance of some sort as she moved. Closing the distance between the two, she looked at the Caitian, and extended a slender hand, “Lieu'enant Junior Grade Sinead O'Riley, U.S.S. Theurgy,” said Sinead, maintaining a soft lilt, “Yeh no be disturbin' me. I canna go back t' sleep...for th' moment.”

She turned to look at the other slumbering forms nearby, knowing and acknowledging the simple fact that she should get as much rest as she could too. Logic dictated that this was the best course of action as she would be refreshed and ready for any task the day ahead would lay out for them. But getting to know people was also useful. And at some point, she was going to tell this R'Rori about her suspicions about herself, to ensure a spreading of information pertaining to how dangerous she can potentially be to the people here and their mission, as much as she might be of some use.

Turning her silvery-blue eyes back on R'Rori, whom she decided to identify as a woman since her Bringloidi mentality made it hard for her to see anything but two genders, she then asked, “What abou' yeh? Are yeh no' able t' sleep?” Perhaps she was worried about what was to happen a few short hours from then. Or perhaps it was something else, or it could simply be insomnia. Sinead was curious, “Were yeh once a hybrid as well?”

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #3
[ Lt. R'Rori | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] @Triage

R’Rori nodded in acknowledgement of Sinead’s introduction and shook her hand after it was proffered. The accent continued to niggle at the back of hir mind, but s/he mentally put it aside to focus on the red haired woman now near her. Her question was a fair one, certainly one prompted by the circumstances they all now found themselves in. The counselor also found it an odd one to ask, for how many humans sported cat ears and a tail?

“Yes, I was a hybrid. Caitian and human and now just human with a couple extra bits.” S/he replied, gesturing at hir ears and tail.

“I should sleep.” R’Rori continued with a sigh. “Ever since the … Correction, though, my dreams have been troubling. I am – was – the chief counselor on the Endeavour, so I well know it is not a good idea to skimp on sleep but here I am.”

S/he chuckled softly, an edge of bitterness inserting itself briefly. It would have been nice, s/he suspected, to be blissfully unaware of the hole s/he was digging hirself into right now with the insistence on stretching hirself so thin in order to avoid sleep. Moreover, s/he wanted to feel useful in a way that s/he could not be with martial prowess, hir pacifism making it so impossible to harm even the holographs in the fake Enterprise’s Engineering section. That was only going to get worse now as the assembled crew made their bid for freedom the next “day”.

“I prefer to talk than to sleep at the moment. It’s easier.”

Hir eyes, once shining as silver as Sinead’s in dimmed lighting, were now a duller gray and the pupils dilated to take in the lighting. They searched Sinead’s face thoughtfully, hir expression a blank thoughtfulness. S/he patted the crate next to hir, a clear invitation for the woman to sit if she desired.

“And you, Lieutenant Junior Grade Sinead O’Riley?”

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] Attn:  @patches
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When R'RorI mentioned being a human with extra bits, Sinead nodded, finally understanding the unique circumstance of her appearance. Presumably the Savi hadn't completed the conversion process into one pure race or another, which made her a greater enigma than she already was. The Bringloidi could understand the difficulty about sleeping, though she had different reasons for that, it was still no less a nightmare shared by all present. She saw one or two people twiching uncomfortably in their sleep. Probably still trapped in troubled dreams. She folded her arms, then looked at R'Rori, when the woman invited her to sit down, and silently accepted the invitation.

At the question as to why she was not sleeping and having a conversation, when she knew full well she would need to be in top form as best as can be a few more hours from then, she stared blankly ahead for a moment, pondering on the multitude of reasons that she could not sleep, “I be troubled by th' dayngher I presen' t' th' crew.”

Drop it like a hammer, was the image in Sinead's mind, and give R'Rori more reasons not to sleep.

She pointed at her forehead, “There be a chip in my head...th' Savi found a wayh t' control it. When yeh turn it on, I canna stop myself, an' I be no longerh able t' tell friend from foe. I kill everythin'. I worry tha' the Savi migh' tryh t' turn it on while I be with yeh all. Everythin' becomes a threat t' me.”

She wasn't actually sure of all this, as when the chip activates she became unconscious, but the dreams, the feeling of panic and helplessness, the feeling like she was a prisoner in her own body, that was never lost. She saw them in her sleep. “I be thinkin' it was no' th' Savi, but Starfleet that be puttin' this'n me head.” She turned her head and fixed her gleaming silvery-blue eyes on the other woman, “That be why I do no' sleep easy.”

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #5
[ Lt. R'Rori | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] @Triage

“I’m troubled by the danger I present to the crew” is certainly quite the opening line for an impromptu counseling session. R’Rori mused to hirself as the human woman spoke. It was a struggle to keep a straight face and s/he hoped the momentary look of shock went unnoticed as s/he nodded in understanding.

The disturbance s/he felt only grew as Sinead explained there was a chip in her brain that allowed others to control her. S/he sat there a few moments after, digesting the import of the revelation.

“What you’re suggesting is … nothing less than extraordinary, Sinead, and well outside of the ethical bounds that Starfleet is supposed to operate within.” R’Rori finally responded softly. Hir eyebrows furrowed as s/he continued. “Implanting a chip that allows for … mind control? And that can be remotely hacked?”

S/he brought her left hand up to hir mouth in a loose fist and rested her chin on it.

“It’s hard to believe anyone in Starfleet would do something like that. May I ask what makes you think it was Starfleet and not the Savi?”

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] Attn:  @patches
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As expected, such a blunt revelation was nothing short of shocking and even offensive, depending on who she was talking to. Using only her peripherals, Sinead was quite certain that the woman was shocked even though she sought to hide it. A reminder that most people preferred to hide how they truly felt for some reason. Bringloidis seldom had time or need to hide how they felt. Everything was out in the open for any and all to see. If there was going to be something to be ashamed about, they wouldn't do it, or they'd do it and face the consequences.

She believed everyone would be the better for it if they were honest.

“Supposed,” said Sinead, “but that do no mean it no be done.”

Perhaps she was being cynical, jaded and disillusioned with Starfleet, but the woman no longer believed any faction was truly free of corruption, wickedness and hypocrisy. So why would she even bother fighting for the Federation?

For the people.

“In th' years b'fore th' Dominion Wars, through it, an' after, there were...moments. When I wouldh not rememberh anythin', an' when I come to, I be surrounded by nothin' but fallen, both friendly, and not. Over time, I began t' have dreams tha' were not dreams, but flashes of memories. When I be near death, or I believe I will surely die, I...black out, I believe yeh woul' say. An' I believe I will attack anythin' alive. Recently, I have begun t' seeh a memory, people cuttin' me head open an'...”

She reached up with her left hand and felt for a spot on her scalp. She bent her head for R'rori to see, the fading scar of an incision. It clearly looked to be years old, and not something recent. “If yeh can see,” said Sinead as she straightened, “I believe tha' was done in th' time jus' b'fore the wars began, meanin' Starfleet, or people in Starfleet, that d'cided to do this, regar'less o' morality and ethics. Th' simple matter t' address be t' watch an be wary, but also use me t' further our escape from here, t' ensure our victory, but t' kill me if it becomes clear I no be in control of meself.”

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #7
[ Lt. R'Rori | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] @Triage

As Sinead spoke further on her memories of the war and even showed R’Rori the scar from an incision that was made on her skull, the counselor’s thoughts were filled with shock and mild horror. What the engineer spoke of was something that every medical ethics class in the Academy stressed was wrong and also illegal. How could anyone within Starfleet not only condone a nonconsensual experiment this drastic, but actually carry it out without informing the patient or having any real follow-up done?

There were rumors of course. Plenty of Starfleet officers had some pet theory about shadow organizations within the Federation or Starfleet itself that operated beyond that which the law allowed. After all, the Romulans had their Tal Shiar and the Cardassians the Obsidian Order, both shadowy organizations that played huge roles in the lives of their respective empire’s citizens. The Federation’s own lofty ideals had its limits when faced against such players on the board. R’Rori, however, believed none of it. Of course there would be something like special operations or secret missions carried out, but their clandestine nature would be meant for the safety of those involved and the people that the Federation protected. This … implantation was beyond the pale for even that extended limitation.

Something was clearly going on and it was beyond hir own knowledge and expertise to find a real solution for this.

“We are splitting up tomorrow, I believe? There is no guarantee I will be there with you if anything goes awry.” S/he finally responded in a soft voice. “Besides, I cannot kill you. Or harm you. I am a pacifist. I more or less took an oath to never harm another sentient being.”

R’Rori sighed deeply, hir silver eyes staring off into some space just a bit beyond Sinead’s head before returning to meet her gaze. “Should- should I tell someone else about this? Is that something that works for you?”

But who…?

Re: Prologue: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0230 hrs. ] Enduring Resolve

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] Attn:  @patches
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To her great disappointment, the second person she'd chosen to inform about this was not only uncertain about how to proceed with the given knowledge, but she was a pacifist, like a few others on board Theurgy she'd known. She just had to meet the one person. But there was nothing to be done about it, except to move on, she mused privately. Outwardly, the woman's near-Vulcan calm and emotionless expression betrayed nothing of her inner feelings to the other officer.

Yet Rori gave her the means to ensure the dissemination of this threat to others. The unintentional threat she represented to all.

“Aye, 'twould dooh.” said Sinead, after a moment's consideration. “I see no needh t' keep secret this fact, less'n th' only people made t'know befall misfortune, who then woul' deal wi' th' danger?”

A danger she was, and the leaders should know. “Commander Blue Tiran be a good choice t'start, and Commander Nerina. Anyone an' all wi' great strength and reflex with an eye t' spare. I trust in yeh wisdom to d'cide who t' tell, R'Rori.”

She pushed off from the crates and glanced back at her, “I best take me leave f' now. Rest you well, until th' morrow.”

-FIN

 
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