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Topic: EPIL: S [D06|2010] Dreams & Daring Decisions (Read 35 times) previous topic - next topic

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EPIL: S [D06|2010] Dreams & Daring Decisions
[ LCmdr Blue Tiran & Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Corridors | Decision Time | Vector 01 | I Want To Stay, But I Won't Ask ] A joint post written with @BZ

They stepped outside the office. Albert shifted on Blue's shoulder. Everything was up in the air; the blood in her body was pumping so very fast because of the sheer excitement of the situation. She didn't want to admit it, not really, though she didn't really know if Ducote would be okay with staying. This was her dream job, literally, figuratively, and... she couldn't help how excited she was about it. Ducote could certainly sense it, in flashes. But, there were risks with staying, and there were risks with just about anything they did that worked with the Theurgy. Especially because they would not be able to return to Earth. Unless these fucking ass worms were actually found out and eradicated, there would be no more Brazil.  No more Ratela, no more Erich, no more Peru.

It was gone.

There would be other places to go, other planets, other adventures. But, they would be leaving the Ducotes behind for possibly the rest of their lives. When the offer had been made, Blue had wanted to jump right into the job. Chief Engineer of a ship this size was... impressive. She couldn't wait to get her hands on something like this. It was the biggest ship she had ever seen, and more than that, it had multiple fucking engineering decks. She would be so busy she wouldn't know what to do with herself.

Blue paused them outside in the corridor just a little ways down thinking they could have their conversation. She leaned against the wall plating, and Ducote nearly joined her there. But it was too public, and too close to the ready room yet. She sighed an exasperated sigh, and took his hand leading him through the ship a little more and into a turbolift.

"Deck Six, aft," he ordered, at random.

Blue looked up at Ducote and sighed softly, a slight curl at the corner of her mouth that she probably couldn't feel betraying a resurfacing memory of more than one... encounter in an Endeavour lift car. Despite the rousing recollection, there were dark circles under her eyes. A little sleep, and having Ranaan back in her life had done her some good, but she was still haunted by her experiences on the Versant.

"So what do you think?" she asked looking up at him as she leaned comfortably against one curving wall, the blinking panel counting off the decks as they moved. Her eyes studied his face.

"I dunno, Blue." His voice was low, its gravel exaggerated by the quiet volume. In the dimmer light of the turbolift compared to the corridor, his frown had thrown his dark eyes further into shadow.

Her heart clenched, she knew, this wasn't going to be easy for him. And, she could tell how hard it was for him. But the pair of them, their sense of duty, their sense of what was right and wrong... This ship needs us, she thought.  There are fucking ass worms in Starfleet!

"If we stay..." she said trailing off a moment. "Your family... we can't go back there," she stated simply, though her words were gentle, because unlike her, his parents were important to him. And, to a lesser extent, to her.

The lift drew to a stop, and Ducote led the way out, though the pace wasn't hard. He preferred to walk the decks while he thought; it wasn't mere practicality that had him discharge most of his XO duties on the move. "Yeah, I know..." he glanced at Blue. "But that's not actually why I'm not sure about it."

He'd been on long deployments before. He'd been on long deployments that he couldn't tell anyone about at all, too. There was always the risk that he might not have come back from any of them - he knew it, his family knew it. The so-called ultimate contract had been signed by more than half of his entire family tree.

It was his friends and colleagues in the Fleet that he was worried about. Friends he might have to fight later. There had already been at least one on the Bellerophon, and he still didn't know if the Theurgy had killed her or someone else had picked her up. Colleagues whose information they could use. But what if one or more of them were infested? Or simply unwittingly reported the contact to someone who was?

Every scenario Ducote considered where he tried to employ his old contacts led to discovery. Unless he did it from off the Theurgy.

"My family will be fine without me. Probably. Not at first - they probably think we're both dead. But eventually..." he trailed off, half-shrugging. "I will miss them, though," he admitted.

"Me, too," she admitted honestly. Ratela had become the mother that Blue had never had. It was hard to get Blue to open up, even for a full Betazoid. But Blue had warmed to her care and concern over time. It was so nice to have someone that actually gave a shit and didn't just judge her. Though she had never been more blown away than when Erich asked if he could walk her down the aisle when she and Ranaan finally got married. He was right, she didn't have a father, and he was willing to be one for someone that went against his very nature. 

They passed the double doors to the Vector's engineering hall, and continued their meandering way. "Now we know they exist, though," Ducote continued, referencing the parasites/ass worms, "couldn't we work on it from outside? Whether we went to ground or revealed that we survived, we could do plenty to help these people."

The words sounded a little hollow, even to him. His senior staff wanted to stay. The greatest threat to the parasites was here. Leaving would be tantamount to running away - whatever justifications he might spin about the civilians heading to Dejino, or making better use of himself elsewhere, or not.

Blue rose her brow at his question and looked over at him with those eyes that said 'get real'. But she knew what he was doing. He wasn't just signing himself up, he was signing her up, and together, staying, they would ruin their Starfleet careers. Because, they weren't being held against their will and it would be obvious, should the Theurgy ever be caught. The First Officer and the Chief Engineer positions weren't held by hostages but willing participants. Because, she could sabotage this fucking ship in a heartbeat, but Ives was trusting her not to. 

"Not really, no. Because if the fleet is as infiltrated as Ives says they are, then anyone that says anything about these fucking ass worms is going to be targeted. We will be shut down, shut up, and probably labelled as fucking nuts. And while I've probably been labelled that since the Academy, you have always had a head on your shoulders. The other thing is... do you think they haven't tried? Of course they've fucking tried, that's probably why they have Archeron after them." She sighed and brushed a hand through her unruly curls, freeing her hand from it's pocket to do so.

She was right, of course, and Ducote was mostly making sure he wasn't insane for thinking that way. He might outrank her during work hours, but a decision like this had to be made as a team. Deep down, he knew she felt the same attachment to at least the other Endeavour officers as he did. They were a family of misfits and outcasts all.

A bend in the hall and she reached out for his hand. Blue thought that people needed to get fucking used to it anyway, and she wasn't shy. She used to hate public affection, but honestly now, she didn't give a shit. She wasn't going to bang him in the middle of the deck or anything. She would save the maintenance shafts and so forth for that. For now though, she just wanted to touch him. Ducote had a more pragmatic feeling on it; he was off-duty, and this wasn't (yet) his ship. The physical contact was more than welcome... after so much uncertainty as to whether or not she was alive, the concrete reminder was comforting.

"Thing is, we have a get-out-of-jail-free card here," she admitted. "We can leave, with the smattering of crew we have left. Be miraculously alive, sent to other ships, and continue on. Or...." she sighed as she paused them a moment so she could make eye contact with him. "Or. We can help this fucking ship and you know they fucking need it. I think if we actually want to help, we're going to have to commit to being in the middle of this fuck storm."

"Yeah. You're right. I just hate that there don't seem to be any good choices here. I follow what I think is my duty, and I abandon my family and friends. I try and work to protect them as best I can in a closer fashion, and I abrogate my responsibility to defend the Federation..." The phrasing was half-deliberate - putting it that way made it almost easier. Generations of his family had served the union... if he didn't step up, he couldn't look himself in the mirror, let alone expect his father to stop looking down on him.

Ducote sighed, and pulled the PADD from its usual spot in his thigh pocket. He sent a few messages as they wandered, instructing the Niger civilians that anyone who wished to leave the ship and head home to report to the shuttle bay before 2100. After a second's hesitation, he appended the names of the surviving Endeavour crew, in case any of them wanted to leave, too. The least he could do was take Ives at hir word that safe passage home would be provided. Without waiting for acknowledgements, he slipped the tablet back into its pocket. He looked at Blue, drawing to a halt in front of a wide window. Stars, stretched by the ship's warp field, streaked past.

"You want to stay," he said. "Akoni, Cross, Tyre, Kaeris... they all want to stay. I never ignored what my staff told me before... no need to start now." The hybrid tapped his badge. "Captain Ives; Commander Ducote... We're going to stay. I'll see you on Alpha shift tomorrow."

Ducote held Blue's gaze. He could look at that face forever. And now that she was able to let him back in again, it wouldn't even be a fruitless task any more.

He wanted to say something else to Ives. But he didn't know what. Or if he should.

"Ducote out."

~FIN
Nator 159:
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Ranaan Ducote:
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Evoras:
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