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Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

A SPY WALKS INTO THE BOTANY BAY.

STARDATE 57544.11
APRIL 14, 2381
1000 HRS

[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

Today was sure to be an interesting day, the Chief Intelligence Officer thought, as a little earlier in the morning he’d received word from the Assistant Chief Engineer, Lt. Arnold, that the requested modifications to the only remaining Tovarek Reconnaissance Drone had been completed, a full twelve-days ahead of time. His meeting with Arnold in order to review the Drone was set for 1400, which was a still good few hours off, so for now he’d kill some time by looking in on the viability of another concept, however less outwardly feasible it seemed. However, the fact that the Drone had taken form so quickly, spoke to the incredible skill of the Engineer, or of the capabilities afforded to the crew of the Theurgy. Or both. But Fisher was counting on the latter at least having played some role in the quick turn-around, and as such he was thinking that perhaps it was time to press his luck a little.

The Intelligence Department had only just begun to implement a number of new directives that he and the Captain had agreed on, aimed at undermining the support structures in and around those that were known to be Infected with the Alien Parasites. Thus far, there were little results, as it was going to take time for this new Operation to take firm hold and develop into something notable.

As such, there was a growing concern in Fisher as he read more reports of the Infected, and how durable they seemed to be. It had taken a substantial effort to contain them, Dr. Nicander himself had in fact sustained a considerable amount of physical harm as a result. It spoke to the need for a better means of subduing those who found themselves infected. Granted, to an extent Theurgy had devised such a means, but Transphasic Light was incredibly limited in its scope, as it relied heavily on a technological implementation. If such implementation wasn’t readily available, then the only means of subduing an infected individual was via extreme measures, that could result in serious physical injury to the host body, or even death. Though to a degree it might have been at times necessary to kill a host, he hoped such a degree would be reserved for the utmost dire of circumstances, and desperately sought to uncover some other means with which an infected host might be subdued.

Hence why Fisher had felt it necessary to at least examine such a long-shot concept when the luck seemed to be with him.

Because what he had in mind, was potentially flat out stupid. Which made whom he was about to approach with the matter, even less a desirable candidate to discuss it with. He could already imagine the cold calculated ways in which the young Vulcan botanist would express just how incredibly stupid such an idea was. But, reminding himself that his pride didn’t matter for much in the grand scheme of things, he was determined to proceed. At least to an extent, he could count on non-disclosure on her behalf, as Vulcan’s weren’t exactly known for their gossiping prowess. Hell, if so inclined, and if the idea were confirmed to be as stupid as it seemed, he could even pull the old ‘this conversation never happened’ card. It was classic of sorts in spy lore, and one that had been adopted by spies everywhere in a rather sarcastically amusing way.

[Deck Seven. The Hydroponics Bay is immediately to the right at the end of the corridor.] guided Thea as the Turbolift doors opened.

“Thank you, Thea.” Fisher acknowledged as he exited and made for the standard cargo door that would lead into the lab.

Stepping inside, Fisher took a cursory glance about the facility so as to gauge it, and also to fight back the voice in his head that was telling him how incredibly wasteful of his time this was going to be. However, he reminded himself that for the moment, there wasn’t much more he could do, as data decryption took time and effort to complete. This, if anything, was using downtime to an advantageous effect, at least that’s what he tried to convince himself of as he began to walk along the bank of growth trays that were literally packed with greens. Had he not so thoroughly forgotten the basics of botany that all Cadets were required to learn at the Academy, he might have been able to identify them by outward appearance. But for all he knew, they were cabbages, and or iceberg lettuces. And as he reached the end of the row of fertile greens, he peered around a corner and saw a teal-collared crewman tilling for some soil samples.

“Excuse me. Crewman. I’m looking for Ensign Cir’Cie.”

The crewman in turn raised a quizzical eyebrow, as they clearly hadn’t recognized who he was, a common theme among the crew. One that offered both advantages, and disadvantages. With a shrug, they pointed with a small trowel in the direction that led past the next row of stacked growth trays. With an appreciative nod, Fisher moved in that direction, feeling somewhat lost as he was still dreading this whole thing. At least the air was aromatic and well humidified he thought for a moment. It certainly beat breathing the cold aseptic air that was re-circulated all through the ship, if even for a modest break in time. A thought that intensified as he breathed deeply in anticipation of an equally as deep sigh of reticence, as he spotted the young Vulcan Ensign standing before a small elevated tray of what he again could only assume was lettuce of some kind.

“Umm... Ensign?” he exclaimed as he approached her, raising one of his thick eyebrows as he attempted to take an immediate appraisal of her. “I’m Lieutenant Commander Fisher, I was hoping you might have a moment to discuss something?” Fisher held up the PADD that he’d brought with him, filled with his incoherent notes on the subject that he would run by her, confident that she’d later rather thoroughly shut him down on all accounts.

This might be painful, he realized.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #1
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

Cir'Cie was among the crew members who had to sleep early and wake early; her duties within the Hydroponics Bay were critical for both scientific study and to keep the vegetation and fruit based foods of the Theurgy's storerooms full. She had spent the last three hours going over her routine examinations of each individual crop unit within her allocated rotation cycle - working alongside with the other officers to ensure that everything was correct and within nominal parameters. Ph Levels, Humidity, Mineral Intake and other such factors that could make the difference between a failed crop and a successful one. She had become very accustomed to this menial work and understood fairly well why many didn't really look forward in participating with both the work and projects that came from being in Hydroponics. Aside from herself and Praise; many of the officers here were assigned out of necessity rather than passion.

While many would have considered the repetition soul rending, it was that repetition and predictability that gave Cir'Cie some peace of mind. Each specimen was in a way, its own mini-project that would later result in someone being fed, or perhaps some small scientific clue being learned from possible mutations and variations. In this way; Cir'Cie felt both comfortable in her routine work and able to keep her usually active and manic mind in a state of relative peace.

Today however; she would find her routine being disturbed - by someone from the upper decks, someone she had not met yet despite all of her time being onboard the Theurgy. And while she was aware that new arrivals and recruits were common place in order to keep the life blood and objective of the vessel ongoing, she chose to remain out of the loop unless her Captain insisted it was absolutely necessary.

While Cir'Cie was only an Ensign, her dedication to the work within the Hydroponics Bay made many see her as being the one who essentially ran the place, she would often comment on others performances, complimenting where deserved - and criticizing often for small things such as overdosing on plant feeder, lacking punctuality or not carrying out tasks as requested.  Naturally this had given her a reputation as being somewhat uptight among her peers - but Cir'Cie paid no heed to this, all that mattered was the work and well it was carried out.

Currently, she was working on her own - going through the process of tending to the crop health and providing them with water or nutrients at their specified intervals. She perks up and looks over at Fisher upon seeing him but shows no interest and simply goes back to her work, making mental notes to herself on what she needs to do next and also what she has planned to do later for this evening.

Her thoughts however are shattered when she realizes in the time she had been working and mulling over ideas to herself, that the Lieutenant Commander had made himself over to her and was in fact requesting her attention. She glances up at him with a neutral expression, but her exotic green eyes hold irritation. Never the less, she says. "Of course, Lieutenant Commander. What it is it you wish to confer with me?"

She looked back at the plant she was just about to spray with water - which she then does. Much to Fisher's luck or natural intelligence, he is correct in assuming it is a Lettuce. Cir'Cie often works on growing crops from the home worlds of the various crew members onboard the Theurgy in the hopes of providing them with naturally grown food that will remind them of home, Earth included. Setting the spray bottle down, she brushes her hands off and then places them behind her shapely posterior before standing attentively and looking at Fisher - then she performed the famous gesture most associated with Spock. She raised her left eyebrow in puzzlement.

"It isn't often someone of your rank or caliber comes down to Hydroponics, so this must be important, I assume." she would state calmly.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

As he waited for the Vulcan woman to acknowledge him, his less exotic yet also green eyes darted about his immediate surroundings as if to gauge what it might be like to spend your days surrounded by flora. Immediately he figured it was probably very peaceful, but also probably mind-numbingly dull. Though, in a way his own job, tediously pouring through file after file, report after report in search of even the most remotely actionable piece of information was certainly that as well. However, there were times when his job was outright exciting; it was the stuff that had inspired old serial novels and comic books. It was also at times harrowingly dangerous and could more often than not lead someone to their death if they didn’t take it seriously. He doubted anyone was down here in the Hydroponics Bay was ever in any real imminent threat, surrounded by a couple dozen ficus and ferns, as the were. Then again, he had read some reports of the Niga planet that made his skin crawl with unease.

Still, in his own estimation he imagined that work as a Botanist would have driven him insane with tedium.

With a wandering gaze that soon returned to the young Ensign, he observed her as she regarded him with what he could only assume was an ounce of irritation. Not at all to be unexpected, as Vulcans rarely seemed to exude any sense of politeness or consideration for others. No, that would have meant giving an ounce of credit to the emotions of other species, and Vulcans dared not do that. Though, with a barely visible twist of his neck, he realized how prejudiced that thought had been. He’d not even know this woman, and he was already about to ascribe to her the same fair of undue stereotypes that others might have assigned to him and his species. He needed to be better than that, he reminded himself. It was however an easier thing to say, rather than do, as Fisher had more than a cursory aversion to anyone with extra-sensory perceptions, be it empaths or telepaths. He didn’t like the idea that someone could read his thoughts, without his permission or awareness. His untrusting nature as a veteran spy playing into that prejudice.

Hell, he’d already had one rather pleasant experience with a Vulcan since coming aboard, though her profile had listed her as only a quarter-such.

Digressing back to the immediate focus before him, he appraised Cir’Cie as she went about setting down the tools of her trade on a cart behind her, taking note of the rather lovely shape of her in the process. ‘What is it about every woman on this ship?’ he thought to himself in a brief moment of realization, as thus far, every one of them he’d met could have passed as a model, or even an actress in the old days of Earth’s Hollywood. They were all beautifully sculpted, with charming and alluring facial features that could melt even the staunchest of men’s hearts. His own having been eroded away just three nights earlier over what was supposed to be a simple drink among new colleagues. Instead, he’d found himself deconstructed from the onset, and judging by the lovely features of this woman too, he figured he would have potentially been as equally as compromised, if she were so inclined to push. Though he doubted she would, and he also felt as if in a sense his personal interest had already been firmly attuned elsewhere, with another woman.

Clearing his throat as he realized his thoughts had wandered, he cursed the lack of focus that sometimes presented itself as a symptom of little sleep, and the physical exhaustion of the previous day spent engaging in exercise that he probably pushed too far.

“Sorry to disturb your important work.” There may have been just an increment of detectable sarcasm in his appraisal of the work she was doing, perhaps a slightly subtle and sarcastic note meant to repay the Vulcan for her somewhat irritated reaction to him in the first place. “I have a number of plant species that I’ve been looking into for their anesthetizing properties and was wondering if you might be able to offer some expertise on them. I’m not exactly read up on my Botany journals.” He held out the PADD to the woman, so as to offer her a means to run through the somewhat lengthy list of plant species from various worlds and backgrounds, that had exhibited the properties that interested him. “I’m hoping to narrow this list down into species that might offer a more... gentle... means of subduing individuals that have been infected by these damnable parasites. In my investigation of said infected individuals, I’ve come to realize how durable they are to traditional means of physical harm. Phasers, and other traditional energy-based weapons seem somewhat less than useful on settings that don’t physically injure the host; and physically, they seem to possess the strength and constitution far beyond what they rationally should.”

“I suppose it’s a bit of a far-fetched idea, but these days seem to be teeming with them.” His gaze went back to examine a nearby tree that seemed to sway unnaturally in reaction to the slight breeze that persisted throughout Hydroponics bay.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #3
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

Cir'Cie naturally glanced at Fisher with a curious expression when he cleared his through - a flash of perverse suggestion coursing through her which she repressed through her internal techniques of keeping her emotions largely under wraps. Exhaling softly through her nose, she would glance at the PADD he offered to her before gently taking it - being deliberate to ensure her fingers would not brush against his hand. Despite what her carnal side was telling her - she logically deduced it would be improper to attempt fraternization with someone like Fisher, getting involved with someone of his caliber was large turn off in of itself.

She would glance over the information detailed within the PADD and her green eyes could be visibly seen tracing from left to right as she read over the list of plant species that Fisher had selected from both his own knowledge and the recommendations he may have obtained from the Starfleet Database.

1. Moreka - a Plant found on Bajor - specifically in the Rakantha Province that was a popular exported commodity due to its medicinal properties. Although primarily used as an immuno-booster, it could be used in heavier doses to calm muscular activity and became popular with the more 'artisinal' and 'merciful' Cardassian Occupiers to induce muscular paralysis within their targets.

2. Muktok - A flowering Plant that hails from Betazed - already known for the pleasantly calming aroma they give off, when further refined the chemicals make for a strong relaxing agent. It may be possible to make some form of natural tranquilizer with the correct amount of modification or research.

3. Nah'Ru Vines - Cir'Cie was intimately familiar with this species, they were native to Vulcan and chosen to adorn gardens for the aromatic scent they gave off, along with how pleasant they were to look at. Their natural chemical compositions also made them a viable choice for creating natural medicinal solutions relating to neural activity.

4. Fredalian Tea Leaves - Difficult to grow upon a Starship, but she understood why Fisher had considered this as an option. The leaves of the Fredalia were primarily used by the natives of Kaminar to brew and create Tea. This stooping process if done without care and premature serving would cause the leaves to release the a chemical that could cause respiratory paralysis of varying degrees.

5. Foxglove - A plant that has been used by the Humans of Earth since 1785, it contains a number of chemicals that hail from the drug family of digitalins, known as Digoxin when refine for administration. Through the use of cardiac glycosides, it was used as a way to irregular heartbeats, but could cause heart failure if used in high enough quantities. Needless to say, the usage was eventually deemed inferior to alternative methods that were later discovered.

6. Falla Bush - Found on the planet J'naii, the Falla is known for producing a single blooming flower for only one day, once per year. Given the extreme evolutionary path of this plant, the Falla bush itself is laced with a chemical that can induce heavy sleep and digestive problems.

7. Diomedian Scarlet Moss - Considered to be a challenge to reproduce by both Doctors and Botanists alike, the extremely 'fussy' nature of this Moss made it difficult to maintain, but it was considered highly useful due to its high content level of Sevoflurane - an anesthetic with a short amount of time before it vaporizes - that also has the potential to be neurotoxic.

8. Edosian Orchid - Extremely beautiful, but also highly toxic, the Orchid is harmful to touch with out the right protective equipment and can quickly induce convulsions which eventually may lead to coma's and then shortly there after, death. It may be possible modify the toxin this plant produces in some way.

9. Kaladian Thorn Flower - A plant of much scientific study during the 2360's, ultimately abandoned due to its only notable features being the production of rubber and extremely toxic thorns that could induce intense neuropathy that could lead to severe life-lasting issues even after treatment.

10. Opium Poppy - Restricted to Higher ranked Botanical Practitioners and Medical Staff, this plant hailing from Earth is well known for producing Morphine - which had largely fallen out of favour due to other anesthetics such as Anesthizine and Neurozine - but it is potent effects are still widely noted, with heavy addiction being the cause of its restricted status.

And these were only a few of the choices that were on the list, she could clearly see that Fisher had taken his time to carefully consider as many natural options as possible in dealing with the threat of Infested individuals he may encounter in the field. As such; her irritated demeanor vanished and she looked at him with a soft expression that showed respect.

Once she finished reading over the various plant species, she offered the PADD back to him and upon his taking of it she would place her hands behind her back once more before starting to speak.

"Many of those plants will be difficult to cultivate, and a few will require authorization from someone higher in command... I am also very curious as to why you have chosen to turn to Botany for the solution of creating a potential tranquilizer or neutralizer in order to confront this problem. Many of the chemical based substances within Sickbay would achieve the same purpose you're trying to achieve here."

Looking over the Iceberg Lettuce she was tending too earlier, she takes a brief moment to check if it is within her accepted parameters before pressing a LCAR styled switch on the small console located on the Hydroponic Unit, causing the plant to be encased within a acrylic glass cloche.

"I believe it can be done though, if you're insistent, Lieutenant Commander."

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

There was a relative uneasiness in Fisher as he stood there, his green-eyes watching the young Vulcan botanist as she read his notes. In his estimation, he figured she would find them to be rather sporadic at best; lacking much of a coherent thought, other than the somewhat thin commonality that linked the selection of plants together, that they all exhibited some form of anesthetizing properties. It was still a stretch to say the least, the idea that hidden among one, or even a mixture of them was the key to more humanely subduing the infected. Still, it was an avenue worth exploring, and she hadn’t outright laughed in his face upon being presented with the PADD. No doubt a benefit of her Vulcan heritage. One of a few, he considered as he examined the alluring features of her face in an attempt to weigh her reaction, however measured and reserved such a reaction was likely to be. They’d make for a hell of a species of Poker Players if they were so inclined to give into such proclivities. But, for the most part, they weren’t prone to such impulsive streaks.

He assumed that Ensign Cir’Cie was of similar stock, his gaze shifting slightly as she seemed to reach the end of the list; here it would come, and he braced himself.

“True enough.” He rationalized along with her as she began to explain her thoughts of the matter. “Authorization I can get. That’s not an issue.” So far, so good. He found himself surprised, that she hadn’t outright rejected his concepts, and perhaps a little over-zealously he stepped a few paces closer to stand within proximity of her, coming to a position just beside her as he appraised the PADD still in her hands. “Well, the truth is I’m exploring both avenues. I’ve reached out to the Ship’s Chief Surgeon with similar inquiries, and she’s agreed to look into it... though her immediate availability wasn’t as readily as yours.” Raising an eyebrow so as to continue to gauge the situation, he was wondering if maybe luck really was with him today. If another of his ideas seemed even remotely possible, he would indeed count it as an abject win. Often times, it was off the wall concepts like this one, that offered the highest potential rewards, at the lowest cost.

This most certainly was low cost. After all, it was only a matter of growing the plants. How hard could that be?

As she seemed to give it another thought, examining her patch of what he again could only assume to be lettuce of some kind, he thought that maybe he’d overstepped the boundaries of professionalism, letting the sudden energetic flow of intrigue get the better of him. Realizing that he’d stepped a little closer to the Ensign than protocol dictated, he took an obvious step away so as to reaffirm that more appropriate distance, affording her the space she’d need to put away the plant she’d been tending too. All the while, he crossed his arms over his chest, and waited for a yes, or a no to his proposal. When he got the answer he wanted, he offered a simple grin of appreciation and a nod of acknowledgment. “Well alright then. I’d say I’m insistent on it, Ensign.” Taking a moment to appraise his surroundings a little further, feeling a slight bit more comfortable in his surroundings now that he wasn’t considered an unwelcome annoyance, his gaze soon returned to Cir’Cie.

“So... what do you need from me? Aside from the authorization, which as I said, I can get you. Supplies? Testing equipment? Personnel? You name it, I can put in requisitions. Consider it a blank check to be cashed.” Cocking his head to the side slightly, he afforded her a gesture of his hand, so as to give her the floor. “I’ll follow your lead on this, since... well, if it doesn’t generally require an ounce of espionage, or sabotage... it’s not usually my forte.” He was attempting to be charming, as was his usual demeanor when working with someone new, though he did realize that such an outwardly disarming approach may not have been warranted, or necessary for a Vulcan. He remembered his past experiences with the species, and in fact could distinctly recall them not appreciating his attempt at amusement, or his often-sardonic sense of humor. He would need to curtail that a bit if he didn’t want to annoy the Ensign and eliminate whatever sliver of prospects that existed for an amenable working arrangement between them.

The last thing he wanted was to spend hours of his time, around a Vulcan who wanted absolutely nothing more than to get rid of him.

“So, where do we begin?” he asked sincerely.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #5
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

Hearing that he was insistent was all she needed to dedicate herself to his request and the mission task before her. She had studied dangerous plants before, it was part of her required learning, but she was more so specialized to growing edible vegetation now. This had not always been the way for her; in truth it was her wanderlust and desire to know more about strange exotic plants and seemingly environmental defying flora that got her into heavily invested into Botany once the initial passion of learning about Vulcan's native plants had worn off.

For the most part he would be correct that Cir'Cie was not an impulsive individual - quite the contrary, she was extremely calculating, perhaps more so than most Vulcans. But she did possess an aspect of impulsivity that she wrestled with a daily basis, something that only the counselors and the Captain themselves knew. In regards to his sardonic and usually disarming humour, Cir'Cie didn't seem to acknowledge it wasn't that Cir'Cie didn't appreciate his humour, she just simply understand it. She would raise an eyebrow in a puzzled manner and the first thing she would say was: "A blank check to be cashed...has the crew started relying on currency without my knowing?" rather than pursue a question further she would shake her head lightly and turn back to the matter at hand.

"Ideally, what I would need is genuine and real seeds from the specified plants within your list. However; given the fact that the Theurgy is on the run and it would be risky to visit many of the worlds associated with those plants; I find we are restricted to two options. Either eliminate the chosen options on the list that cannot be obtained...or I am given the time needed to replicate and create such plants. It would be difficult, perhaps near impossible. Replicators can successfully create any inanimate or dead matter; but they fail in re-creating live organisms. It is one of their failings...and also why you hear people complain about replicator food tasting 'off.' Passing the PADD back to Fisher, Cir'Cie would let out an exhale in a display that the Intelligence Officer would clearly see was a sign of discomfort. She did not trust herself being so close to a man of Fisher's physique and she didn't want to cause any complications and when he stepped back; he could see her visibly relax and her facial expression came across to him as a silent 'thank you' before easing back into its usual neutral stoic form.

She would muse over this line of thought, considering what she could do to alleviate the problem when she had a long-shot of an idea. "Assuming you choose the option to try and re-create as many of these plants as possible, it might be prudent to replicate the seeds of each plant...and modify them from there to try and invoke some sort of metabolic response. I believe in theory it could be possible..."

Upon being told that she had the 'lead' she would glance at him with a slightly annoyed expression - she was an Ensign and not trained to handle command, at least not anyhow. Realizing it might be another one of those euphemisms that Humans fondly enjoyed overusing at almost any given angle rather than using the correct language and semantics that they had been taught to use within their respective educational systems; her response came in a cool manner. "Perhaps, but poisons and anesthetics are not my forte either. You handle and work with them on a regular basis so I will need your input at various junctures. Given your position; this work supersedes my need to report to the superiors within my division. Any results I obtain will go straight to you. I can also appreciate a need for discretion. I do not think many of the crew members would take kindly to finding out that one of their crop growers was now experimenting with potentially dangerous plants."

With her thoughts presented and her position now clear, Cir'Cie would wait to see what Fisher would respond with. She wouldn't admit it, but the mind of an Intelligence Officer intrigued her greatly. The Human aspect making it more alluring and appealing to her due to seemingly how infinitely creative the species was. What they usually lacked in rigid and authoritative logic, they made up for with ingenuity and spontaneity. But she knew that Fisher had both.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #6
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

“It’s an old Earth expression. It means that I’m essentially giving you unlimited access to everything you might want or need from me.” A faint grin crossed his face as he couldn’t help but find some semblance of amusement in the fact that Vulcans were generally far superior to Humans when it came to the vast amounts of knowledge they could retain and call on, yet they quite often had little frame of reference in mind when it came to commonly used colloquialisms, which they no doubt found to be rather confounding. In fact, had such a swing-and-miss been made by almost any other Vulcan, Fisher would have been more than happy to chalk it up as a win in his book, and moved on; but for the young Ensign who had thus far been kind enough to approach his concept with relative openness, he’d relented in an explanation of the meaning for her. Albeit in a somewhat unintentionally misleading fashion that may have spelled some future concerns.

“Please continue.” He beckoned her on, to which she had then laid out what she’d had in mind for the project to proceed forward. Listening closely, he found himself surprisingly appreciative of the directness and pragmatism that Vulcan’s were so known for.

“I like the sound of all of that.” He interrupted after having detected an opportunity to respond to her recommendations on what was both ‘prudent’, and also ‘possible’. “We can come at it from two fronts then; we can start in on the cultivation of the plants that we do have seeds readily on hand for, and in the meantime we can work out the specifics necessary to replicate and modify the others. As you’ve suggested.” He waited another short moment to continue, his green-eyes settling on her to gauge her reactions, which were nigh-undetectable. “...and if you find yourself in need of any additional personnel to assist in this, I can work with Commander Kaeris to get you all the help necessary.” He had some pull among the other Senior-staffers and imagined it would only take an official requisition with the Chief Science Officer to make such machinations come to manifest.

Though he could sense an internal turmoil in the beautiful Vulcan woman as she regarded him with her own emerald green-eyes, which seemed to settle as he had re-established the distance between them after she’d returned the PADD to him. It was something of a curious reaction to see in someone of her species, but Fisher truthfully didn’t know what to make of it. He wasn’t a psychologist, or a counselor of any kind. Sure, he had an innate ability to measure the outward reactions of others; it was a vital skill of the trade he was employed in, but Vulcans were exceptionally difficult to gauge. After all, they weren’t generally driven by the same motivations as other species; their emotional reactions kept in check almost entirely. Still, there was something strange about this particular member of the species.

Unable to put his finger on it, Fisher moved on after she’d continued on in her suggested route.

"Well, by nature my personality and profession have a general preference for discretion, so I can appreciate that. And if you think the crew’s reaction would be that negative, then we can keep it as just a project between the two of us. With command level oversight of course.” He offered her something a wry wink, emphasizing that regardless of how far-fetched this all ways, it had the necessary backing from him and his superiors to proceed. “Besides, I’m sure I could find a way to work in some time to lend a helping hand if the workload seems too great for you. I might even discover something of a green thumb of my own.” He held up his broad hands before him, a silly examination on his own part, meant to be the crux of what would be his next attempt at humor. An attempt that was made in futility around an emotionally repressed companion, but his sardonic sense of humor could only remain tamed for so long before it broke loose.

“I mean, they may be officer’s hands, but they’re rugged enough to get the job done.”

Realizing how lost his attempt at charm was, Fisher digressed by clearing his throat, and let his hands go back to his side. “Sorry. All that said, I like the potential outcome, and I more than appreciate the fact that you’re willing to explore this concept with me.” The tone in his voice betrayed the genuine sentiment he had extended to her before his attention shifted to the PADD which had been tucked under his arm. Punching up a query to forward onto Commander Ducote for approval, he knew it would take time for a response to come back, so better to get it out of the way now. Fisher had a great deal of leeway when it came to measures aimed at disrupting the ‘Nameless Darkness’ and it’s agents, and this project more than qualified as such. “I’ve just put in a request for your database clearance level to be elevated with regard to this project. It’s limited access, but It should allow you to get started without running into too many restrictions; any that you do encounter, I can bypass with my own higher clearance level.”

“Thea.” Fisher called out next, his eyes darting upward as though he were speaking to a higher being.

[Yes, Commander Fisher?] came the disconnected sultry voice of the ship’s AI.

“Would you access my secured personal database and locate file ‘Project Jormungandr’. Please grant full security clearance access to Ensign Cir’Cie, under the codename of ‘Sif’.”

[Understood. Codename created. Access granted.]

“Thank you, Thea.”

With a succinct little nod of his head, he had then re-attuned his focus to that of the young Vulcan botanist. She’d now had full access to the files he’d already started gathering and cataloguing in advance of this meeting. It wasn’t exactly thoroughly sourced, or vetted, but it saved them some additional homework that might need doing. That access combined with the increase in general database security clearance that he’d requisitioned from CO Ducote would allow her almost all of the resources and information she would likely need in order to proceed accordingly. Only in the case of a small number of highly sensitive and classified files would she need further clearance from him in order to access; though Fisher was confidently determined to get her whatever she needed. It was an implicit trust that had just been established on his part, though like any good spy, he still had a number of counter-measures in place should things take a turn. He just doubted he’d need to make use of them in this instance.

“Well, I think we can definitively say we’ve put some balls in play on this one. Just need to wait and see if they find the field or a mitt before we can round third and slide home.” It was an old habit of his, drawing upon his personal proclivities when manufacturing analogies, all without the realization of how obscure those proclivities were for others, in this case especially so for a Vulcan scientist. Sensing the confusion before it was outwardly visible, he turned to face her, and let a charming little chuckle escape him as a hand went to the back of his neck. “Sorry... Baseball reference. It’s... nevermind.” He had been about to explain what Baseball was to the Ensign but had thought better of it. Though, the concept of running advanced statistics through her Vulcan brain, might have be an amusing avenue to explore later on during their working/personal relationship. He’d have to circle back to that, he made mental note of.

“Anyway, I have another hour before my next meeting, and could use a bite to eat. Would you care to join me for a little brunch?” One of his thick eyebrows raised inquisitively at the innocent invitation, waiting to see if she’d accept his offer.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #7
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

Listening to Fisher intently and taking note of both his words and his mannerisms; she would maintain her analytical gaze as he spoke. She wasn't too surprised when he made the offer of being able to provide her with additional personnel. Normally she wouldn't entertain the notion of working with other people when she could do a task on her own. But given the extenuated circumstances and the importance of this work in finding a way to possibly render the Infested inert or better yet; eliminated - she would reluctantly nod and say "I agree with you, having cultivation work and research working at the same time should make the process go much more smoothly. Although it may take require some provisional teaching and a new work rotation along with additional supplies. But I believe a suitable routine could be established" she would say, both explaining some time will be needed while also noting to herself she'll need to brace herself to work around others more closely as opposed to enjoying her isolated work.

She would watch; seeing how he was analyzing her with his keen and well trained eyes and in truth; it made her both feel excited and unsettled. That wry wink of his did not help her either; if anything she felt somewhat embarrassed that a Human with this level of charm was enough to make her otherwise rigid Vulcan heart flutter. But she had her mental discipline and training, she had her work and she knew for certain it would not be appropriate to consider such a relationship with a man in his position and rank. Three strong reasons to not reciprocate his actions.  Letting out an exhale that showed him visible discomfort she would take a moment to gather and choose her words before responding to him again. In this moment she would watch and listen as he went on another tangent to his thoughts on how this joint project between Intelligence and Botany should proceed. She would give him a glance of skepticism when he proclaimed he may come to learn how to garden himself. "While I imagine a man of your caliber is incredibly gifted at learning quickly; the art of cultivating and growing flora is not as...exhilarating as the art of infiltration or sabotage that results in volatile plumes of wonderful display; all while you walk off to your next assignment with style...no. It is more like compiling information and assessing duty roster reports...quiet and methodical. Perhaps dull. I hope you can handle this challenge." If it weren't for the fact she was talking in the usual monotone 'as a matter of fact' manner that most Vulcans chose to spoke with, he could swear she was trying to be funny.

Watching as he both explained his optimism and used his rank and position to tell Thea to grant Cir'Cie permission to access otherwise restricted information made her come down from the uncomfortable experience she was feeling - instead the discomfort was now replaced by slight shock - slight enough for him to notice it at least. She understood perfectly just what kind of power had been tempoarily put on loan to her and also knew that with it came very high level of trust - not like Cir'Cie would ever try to exploit this situation though, the Theurgy was her home and even if she was just an Ensign, she felt like valued member of the cruel regardless of what minimal permissions and powers she had. More over she had the power of giving people sustenance that didn't taste synthetic or rubbery, for her this was enough. Still that did not lesson the impact of the decision that Fisher had just taken and she would consider the meaning over this action for a few seconds.

However her expression would quickly return back to a stoic stance as he began to use metaphors in relation to Baseball when he explained that everything they required for the next phase of this plan was now set up to be put in motion. She would choose to surprise him for a change and say "It is very good to see you taking such measures to ensure our success. I suppose one could say you play hardball. In our current circumstances you could say we have two strikes against us...but with you being on the ball and practically batting a thousand from what I've come to understand of you as a commander... We should be able to secure a home run quite easily.". She would turn away to glance over one her plantation units for a moment before looking back at him with a very, very minute smile. "The Logicians are popular on Vulcan...not as enthused or as crazed as most Baseball teams. But they recognize the cultural...value and logical stimulation it can provide. So; if it is something you'd like to talk about...I would be happy too. Just please; don't get a Pitcher confused for the gardening instrument once you begin botanical work; Commander. Sir." Realizing she might have overstepped her bounds she bites her lip lightly and gives him a slight apologetic look with her eyes.

Noting how he would raise his eyebrow in an inquisitive manner after asking if she would be interested in attending brunch with him - she would feel slightly uneasy. But; she would choose not to let her emotions control her or get the better of her - it had become somewhat of a strategy of hers...avoid people at all costs if the chance for intimacy was there. But she scolded herself and slowly nodded. "Yes...I will agree to attend brunch with you. I could use some sustenance myself...Plomeek Soup is not a good substitute for breakfast as I found out this morning" her cheeks would tinge green somewhat as she admitted that she did something foolish in her morning awakening routine.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #8
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Hyrdroponics Bay | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

Truth be told, Fisher was searching for an intriguing new activity which would occasionally allow him an opportunity to escape the doldrums of Intelligence work, even if it meant tilling soil, and watering a few plants. Besides, there seemed to be some facet of a promising lead here, with the young Vulcan Ensign, and any lead was worth exploring.

“Excellent!” he remarked, a genuine tone to his voice as an appreciate smile crossed his face.

It dawned on him that it wasn’t the easiest of prospects for a Vulcan to entertain someone like him when it came to indulging in sciences, since she and in fact almost all Vulcan’s expressed a far more advanced knowledge of said sciences. He imagined they viewed as though they were teaching a child to read, or even something as simple as walking. But Cir’Cie seemed at least passively accepting of the idea, and of his desire to work along side her. As innocent as his request was, he was entirely ignorant of the way it had played into the internal struggle and personal difficulties she was suffering through. To him, he was just being his usual, calmly charming self, and establishing a mutual rapport with her, even if she was Vulcan and wouldn’t have been capable of reciprocating such a human notion. Of course, there was a facet of flirting being played on his part, which was most certainly innocent enough, and was probably more incidental than intentional. He just wasn’t aware of how dangerous such behavior was around someone as compromised as Cir’Cie was, or at least had been.

She had an air about her that was mystifying, which appealed to his inquisitive nature. Like a puzzle laid out to bear before him, demanding to be solved.

Of all the Vulcan’s he’d thus met in life, she was already off seeming like one of the more, if not the most pleasant to be in such close proximity around. It boded well for their future working relationship, and made his commitment to this project more palatable, if not outright enjoyable. “While I may have fulfilled that specific action trope a few times over, it’s not always so glitzy or glamorous. Most of the time it’s just piles upon piles of paper-work.” The painfulness of that reality stung deep, he realized with a little chuckle. “You may however want to hold some of that praise in reserve, since I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly disappoint your sensibilities just yet.” He mused as his hands motioned in a playfully coy manner, one finding the the back of his neck as fingers ran through his thicket of a chestnut mane. “I uhh... once tried caring for a Japanese Peace Lily a few years ago, at the behest of a friend, and it wound up serving as an impromptu weapon against a would-be assassin.” Shrugging a little, he felt a little embarrassed at recalling that particular memory. “But enough of such silly exploits; I’m honestly looking forward to dull.”

It was this surprising little bit of banter which had eased many of the concerns that had plagued him prior to arranging said meeting with the beautiful Vulcan botanist, though at the time he hadn’t been privy to her pleasing outward appearance. It also made his level of comfort about having granted her accelerated and heightened security clearances. However, that level of comfort reached a new stratosphere when he detected a hint of ‘Baseball’ talk in the woman’s speech, igniting a boyish excitement in him as his thick eyebrows both furrowed upward; like a puppy had heard its name called from a great distance. “Wait... what was that? Was that a Baseball reference you just made?” he probed with a pointed finger, taking another step toward her again as he’d forgotten how overtly uncomfortable his close proximity had made her earlier. He didn’t need to wait long for explanation, as she expressed her knowledge of the Vulcan Baseball team, which had earned something of a notable reputation among those who favored the sport to this day.

What’s more, if he didn’t know better, he could have sworn the Ensign had followed everything up with a decidedly pointed quip. With a sneakily approving grin, Fisher knew better than to try and coax out an admission of such from her, as it likely would have scared that exposed facet of her personality back into hiding.

“No worries, Ensign. I may not be a Botanist, but I think I can handle a tool well enough.” His wry little grin snaking its way across his scruff-lined lips again, he shook his head at the deliberately playful double-meaning, again entirely ignorant of how he was playing with fire, and the danger of getting burnt by it. “...and I’m sure under your tutelage, I’ll master the basics of seeding in no time. After all, a pitcher is nothing without his catcher to make the right calls from behind the plate, right?” at that, even he felt he had crossed a bit of a line in terms of formality, and couldn’t help but let a more full bout of laughter escape him, so as to alleviate the ridiculously silly tension that had probably mounted as result. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend. It’s not often that I get to engage in such silly Baseball related expressions, and the other party member actually understands them." He held up a reassuring hand, meant to emphasize the apology he was offering to her.

Thankfully, she seemed to accept it as such, as well as his subsequent invitation for a bit of brunch.

“Sounds good, Ensign. It’ll give me a chance to pique your mind over a few relevant subjects.” He began, motioning for her to accompany him as they left the Hydroponics bay behind, engaging in a short walk to the nearby turbolift. “Deck 13. Officer’s Mess.” he ordered once it had opened, and after they had both stepped inside. There was a modest silence that permeated them as they were shuttled about the ship, finally coming to a halt a minute or so later. Another short walk later, this one spent by Fisher extolling his firm belief that the use of a designated-hitter was a far better approach to the game, they arrived at their ultimate destination, which was a surprisingly empty Mess Hall. Given the time of day, situated firmly between common breakfast and lunch hours, it made some sense that they’d have the facility mostly to themselves.

[ Officer’s Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

“I mean, it just doesn’t make sense for a player who sees action every forth or fifth day to trudge up there with a piece of pine at his shoulder, in the slim hopes that they might luck into a hit!” He continued making his point, which had started upon their emergence from the turbolift, and extended even now as he selected a Coffee and bowl of cinnamon-apple oatmeal from the replicator. “But there I go again, rambling.” Stopping himself, he settled into a chair at one of the tables after she had selected some form of refreshment herself. “There will be enough time to indulge in personal proclivities later on.” He explained as he dug a spoon into the bowl of steaming grains, mixing in the chunks of crisp green able and brown-sugar / cinnamon. “For now, I’ll settle for at least getting a better understanding of what it is you even do as a Botanist. It can’t be something as simple as watering plants all day.” He honestly didn’t have a complete picture of the role she played but did express a genuine interest in the matter. Not only because he’d just volunteered to share in that role, but also because he felt a legitimate intrigue in understanding this Vulcan woman.

It was a friendly interest, that belied the reality of the Universe in which they both currently existed.

“So, what’s a general day in the life of our ship’s Botanist, like?”

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #9
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Officer's Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Cir'Cie had, honestly, been enjoying her nattering and discussion with the Lieutenant Commander. She replied where she could and however she felt was necessary as they ventured from the Botany Bay to the Officer's Mess Hall, and if Fisher could have sworn it, she even cracked a few very light smiles here and there as his charm gradually eroded her stoic barricades that kept her true self largely under lock and key. She been largely able to just relax and allow Fisher to dominate and lead the conversation, responding to his quips, jokes and ramblings. However - when he decided it was his turn to pass the conversation over to her with his question of what working in Botany was like, she blinked and sat up even more so than usual, looking at him with an incredulous expression before realizing she was slipping too far. Taking a moment to adjust and compose herself, she would simply say. "Well..." her sentence would hesitate as she tried to figure out what to say to this man who was both trained and used to chasing after more exciting avenues of work than what she usually spends her time doing. But she then remembered his comment about how much of his time is spent sifting through data and reports and this gave her some comfort. Taking a sip from her Vulcan Spice Tea she would begin with:

"On most days, 'just watering plants' would be a very apt way of putting it, but yes. We have to maintain the artificial biospheres and ensure that the plants we grow receive their required amount of water and sustenance. For some that's daily. For others it is weekly or longer. When I'm not going over that routine however; much of my time is dedicated to studying other potential species we can cultivate - if we can acquire, or as we spoke earlier...create, those seeds. We're fortunate whenever the Theurgy is able to stop for trade or re-supply, it gives me a chance to procure new samples or gain data. In addition to providing food for the members of the crew; we provide certain chemicals to the Medical Staff so they can synthesize chemicals they need without reliance on the replicators. Every cluster of molecules we save from being used from the replicators bank because of our work means someone can enjoy one more drink...or make one more piece of equipment."

She would tap her cup softly a few times, thinking over what she had and then stated. "If the work we're doing now proves to be a success, Hybridization projects of other plants may be more frequent. There could all manner of interesting combinations myself, Zephyr and the other staff members could formulate and work on...truly; this effort you have come forward with in regards to the Infested, might lead to the Botany Department becoming improved as a whole."

Pushing her empty cup forward slightly, she would close her eyes and have an expression of relief as she rolled her shoulders, allowing Fisher to gaze at her beauty fully for a full few seconds before she finally stopped and slowly opened those piercing green eyes of hers and she would relax. "Then they are the other duties such as genome mapping, disease study and control...and general duties on the arboretum. I've been wanting to place more flowers around the ship in an effort to increase morale...but I doubt the Captain would appreciate his ship looking like a Galaxy Class." she said this with a light smirk which quickly subsided.

"If you have any other questions or topics to discuss, I would very much enjoy doing so...you're an intriguing individual, Sir."

Sitting back in her seat, Cir'Cie felt comfortable around a man for the first time in a long time - the usual problem was still pertinent within her. But between Fisher's easy going nature and her already strong level of discipline...along with the security of knowing that Fisher's rank put him under the eye of scrutiny. These factors together made it feel like she could simply relax and talk without worry or feeling her usual urges sweeping through her, despite how persistent they were.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #10
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Officer’s Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

Diving into his oatmeal, Fisher found himself surprisingly hungrier than he had initially thought, though he was careful to not offend his Vulcan companion’s more modest sensibilities by over-indulging. He’d remembered times in the past when old acquaintances had expressed concern over the manner in which human’s ate their food, and a general annoyance at how they were prone to speaking with food still yet in their mouths. After all, if they were going to be working together, it was better he not outright hit on a nerve during their first interaction. So it was with dutiful attention that he minded his manners as best he could and adopted something of an attentive listening conveyance as Cir’Cie went on to describe some of the facets of her work. And as he had surmised, there was far more to it than was outwardly evident, and sure enough it hadn’t seemed outright dull, but in some respects inquisitive and to a degree relaxing. Maybe there was to be a therapeutic benefit to spending time in the Hydroponics Bay, that Fisher hadn’t been readily aware of when he’d made such an offer.

“I hadn’t exactly considered the long-term ramifications of providing natural sustenance alongside that of replicated offerings.” The thought was genuine, and for a moment his own green-gaze trailed away from where it had been transfixed in an observance fashion, to that of the bowl of warm oats and chunks of apple that he’d been digging at. Letting his spoon settle into the thick mixture, he left it to rest as he reached for his coffee to take a sip. For a moment, he remembered the last time he’d actually had a naturally grown apple, and how replicated approximations paled in comparison to the naturally sweet and crisp taste of freshly cultivated fruit. But he let the memory fade so as to not be disrespectful of his companion as she raised a new point on consideration, and his attention returned to her while she spoke on the matter. “I guess it’s something of a mutually beneficial situation then.” He admitted in response to her appraisal of how his interest in Botany would likely increase their effectiveness and yield unforeseen promise in the future.

When she had finished her tea, in surprisingly short-term, the sage-eyed spy found himself relatively amused at the straight-forward approach that Vulcans took to something as simple as eating or drinking. It was a process to be done in a calculated manner, with practiced timing and rhythm. Not at all haphazard or chaotic, as was the typical human penchant. Vulcans weren’t as easily distracted as humans either, as was evident by the loss of general focus that struck Fisher when he found himself watching the young woman roll her shoulders in a manner which accentuated her subtle loveliness. Another time, another place he might well have taken a pass at her, but the situation dictated otherwise. There were a litany of considerations at play, some professional, and others which were personal in their own right, as he couldn’t well escape a lingering interest that had already developed in another female member of the crew. An interest which didn’t come with any guarantees, but which had sparked something deeper than just an outward attraction.

“I don’t know...” he began to speak, sipping at his coffee once more before setting the aluminum tumbler back down onto the table between them. “...some color might do a space like this one some favors. Small gestures, often times are the most meaningful, and can have the biggest impact on a person’s morale. If anything, I imagine a little lively beauty in the way of something as simple as a flower, might even make the difference between a good day, and a bad one. Plus, I think Thea herself might like it.” Retrieving his spoon once more, he dug back into what little was left of his oatmeal and finished it off in three quick bites before letting the utensil clatter against the ceramic container as if to punctuate the matter. Leaning back once more, he considered the appraisal / compliment paid his way by Cir’Cie, as he wasn’t sure how to take such from a species which was prone to such analytical thought, and to one extent or another viewed humanity as decidedly immature.

“Well...” he leant back again, his arms crossing over his chest. “...I imagine we’ll have ample time to go through the usual ‘getting to know each other’ discussions as I’m learning how to properly till soil, so I’ll leave that for then.” It was an amusing thought he imagined; himself bent over a soil pan digging away with a hand-trowel unskillfully at a root system, all while his beautiful Vulcan teacher watched on in typical quizzical scrutiny. “I guess for now though, I’d wonder what your appraisal of the mission is?” It was a genuine interest of his to know how the rest of the crew viewed the reality within which they all existed. For him, the topic was as therapeutic as those flowers might well have been for others, because he was having trouble making an accurate assessment of his own feelings. He tried to externally espouse a defiant determination, but internally he was as unsure as anyone might have been. He had doubts at every turn, and it helped to know that he likely wasn’t alone in such considerations.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #11
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Officer's Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Cir'Cie would simply watch, blinking every so often but between very long intervals so not come across as simply staring at the commander as he expressed his thoughts and concerns with her. She wasn't entirely sure why he was taking the time to connect to her on a social level, but she was enjoying it none the less.

She would give a slight smile upon him stating he had lacked any real consideration in regards to how eating replicated foods in the long term might be in comparison to having some real grown food - and she could understand why, many in Starfleet tended to simply forego eating real foods. The convenience and on the go capability of replicated foods didn't just make it easier to eat during off duty sessions, but for some it made it easier to spend time with their loved ones who might be onboard a ship or station with them. And if they had children? Even more so. But now she had piqued his curiosity in this manner, it made her feel...dare she admit it. Excited. "Then perhaps at some point, I will need to take you through a comparison test of both replicated and grown foods. You'll find the cellular arrangement and molecular composition really does make quite the difference in regards to taste. I would offer you a meal at some point in the future...but perhaps that would be crossing my bounds as an Ensign." her cheeks would flush a faint tinge of green and she would trace her finger around the rim of her cup as if to show shyness or embarrassment that she had dared to even make a suggestion like that - even if it was just innocuous.

Thankfully - she now had another goal to pursue due to his suggestions in regards to encouraging her idea of decorating the ship with plants, even if she had initially shown skepticism that such an idea would be accepted. Calming down just a bit; she would exhale through her nostrils lightly and then nod with slight approval. "Very well then...I will talk to the Captain at his or her nearest convenience in regards to manner. Who knows; maybe some other people onboard will gain a hobby out of looking after the plants that will be placed around the ship. I find having something to focus on...can be good for the mind." Yes. Something to focus on. Especially when you have urges and impulses, or when your mind insists on thinking back on terrible, terrible things. She knows that many in the ship might be in such a similar experience, even if different in their own unique ways.

Her positive feelings however quickly receded when Fisher brought up the question of what her thoughts were on the mission and for a brief moment he was greeted by an expression of uncertainty; as if speaking about this topic might get her into trouble. "Can you be more specific Commander...if it is in regards to the mission of the Theurgy as a whole, then I am...unsure if my words would be appreciated or understood in a suitable context. If it is in regards to our current task, I believe I made it clear when I said the opportunity for both medical and botanical research; while also giving people who have been infected by the parasites; is something I would deem to be definitely worth chasing. To put it in a Human expression...I have a good feeling about this."

Setting her cup aside now, she would place her hands together and sit in a more formal manner - treating the situation as no longer social now he had asked her such a question. Her green eyes would meet his directly and stare into them with a piercing gaze that would make most other men feel flustered. If he would persist and push her for an answer in regards to the overall state and mission of the Theurgy itself, she would give him an honest and truthful answer; but in honesty she did not really want too out of fear of personally upsetting him and tarnishing what friendship they had just started to seed together. Even as her face remains stoic he can tell she feels uneasy, noticeably given away by how she gulps in anticipation of his response.


Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Officer’s Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

Contentment found within his belly, and within his mind in no small part due to the pleasant company he was sharing in the moment, Fisher let his eyes stray away from how they had been appraising the beautiful features of the Vulcan woman before him. Beyond the viewport he could see several additional Klingon vessels approaching the Aldean Shipyards, their visage casted across the brilliant backdrop of the plant which was omnipresent just beyond the vale. He allowed himself a moment to absorb Cir’Cie’s words as she responded to his queries, and his quips in turn. Each of them drawing some form of fascination, or intrigue from the Botanist in one way or another. Not wishing to seem as though his thoughts were anywhere but focused on her, knowing it would have seemed flat out ignorant, he returned his attention directly to find her austere emerald gaze once more. There was a delicate consideration with almost every word, as was traditional for Vulcans, but he could sense there was something more hidden behind them. It wasn’t necessarily an easy thing for him to read into, as her kind were notoriously difficult to get a good read on, but he definitely was picking up an additional tone or reservation in her voice.

“Not at all.” He sought to reassure and reaffirm that exploring a friendship wasn’t crossing any barriers of acceptable protocol. “I think I’d rather enjoy a chance to sample what you have to offer.” Picking up on the slight manner in which her skin shifted with a more greenish hue, he was starting to understand in cursory what may have been nagging at his companion, as though a lightbulb had gone off. His approach, and worse still his mannerisms and teasing had triggered some sort of an interest beyond that of professional, or even of friendly concern. In a sense, it was flattering that his charm worked in such a hasty fashion with the exceedingly lovely Vulcan botanist, and perhaps if circumstances were different, he might have pressed on the that apparent attraction, but again it didn’t seem appropriate given their new working relationship, as well as their relevant ranks within the hierarchy of the ship; not to mention a stronger, more prevailing interest in another member of the crew which hung fresh in Fisher's mind. No, he was decidedly ignorant to the true conflict that was waging within Cir’Cie, and couldn’t help but chalk up the way in which she seemed to struggle as something of an ego boost, but he’d not let it show in the moment.

Yet as their conversation soon shifted to that of an appraisal of the general situation facing Theurgy, and their greater mission, he could see how Cir’Cie’s expression began to shift from that of an open and inquisitive tone, to that of a more concerned and distressed one. Leaning forward, he let his forearms come to a rest on the table between them and he interlaced his fingers as she voiced the periphery of her thoughts. It was a forewarning of sorts, meant to sus out the potential for a poor reception on his part, and to ensure that their new-found dynamic wasn’t damaged so soon. He appreciated the fact that she held him in such regard so as to make such a thoughtful gesture, as most Vulcans would have relished in the opportunity to speak their minds freely within the company of a superior, and member of the Senior Staff. In fact, the fact that she held such reservations only intensified the intrigue that she represented within Fisher’s thoughts and caused him to wish that he would press on the matter.

For a minute or so, he let silence linger between them when she’d finished diverting the direction of his question.

Was she hiding something? Was it something worse than just a questioning of how things were progressing, or was there another element to play that had caused her to offer such a consideration? In truth, the sage-eyed spy found himself struggling in kind now, as he wondered whether or not it was prudent to bring what she had warned into the spotlight. After all, Fisher wasn’t exactly a Counseling Officer. Sure, he could navigate, and bull shit his way through just about any awkward scenario or situation, but usually at a cost for those around them. But the sense of intrigue was too great for him to truly pass up, and if anything he could at least try and quell any worried that the Vulcan woman had, as he wasn’t exactly the kind of man to run and tattle if an opinion didn’t mesh with his own appraisal. “It’d be dishonest of me to let the subject go, especially when your reservations only further intrigue me. However...” he let his voice soften a little more as he leant further in toward her. “...I’m not exactly the kind of man to share gossip, so much as I am one to absorb it. Comes with the job. That said, if you have a concern, and wish to express it, I can more than assure you that your concerns stay between us.” The sincerity was genuine, as Fisher had generally preferred to keep quiet, and let other spill their thoughts and minds. It was something of an advantageous position to be in; like holding all the best cards when everyone else had already laid theirs out to bear at the end of betting.

But this wasn’t a game of Poker, it was someone’s thoughts and concerns he was playing with. Knowing that he may have been pressuring her into something she wasn’t comfortable with, Fisher found it necessary to ease that tension. “But that may be a little... unfair... on my part. I understand if you’d rather drop the subject and discuss something a little less tenuous.”

Leaning back again, he retrieved the aluminum tumbler which contained his coffee, and took a healthy sip of the caffeinated beverage, letting it burn rather soothingly down his esophagus.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #13
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Officer's Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

She would listen to Fisher express his opinions while also offering his considerations and, after taking a few moments to compose herself her gaze would briefly shift to look out at the windows - taking note of the Klingon ships, but she also seemed to looking for other potential ships, she couldn't help but wonder what it might be like to just leave all of this behind her and find a new way to make something out of her life - she never asked for this wild adventure that seemed to be going nowhere. Still; she had now garnered Fisher's attention and not exactly for the right reasons either. Not wanting to simply apologize or dismiss what she had been moving to talk about, she instead chose to compose herself and look squarely at the Intelligence officer before finally; the words she needed came to her.

"It's alright Commander, I am someone of integrity - even if my words may cause discomfort. Quite frankly, it is also your job to know things, even among the crew I would wager." she would let out a soft exhale through her nostrils before looking at him intently. "I know Captain Ives is a skillful individual with a strong sense of compassion and sound judgement, but continuing to operate under the Flag of Starfleet seems...illogical. We may be only one ship - but it is also one of the most advanced vessels within the known galaxy. Our people are skilled and many of us have influence."

Setting her now empty cup aside, she gets up and moves to stand by the windows to look out over Aldea and further beyond that, the stars before continuing. "I don't believe seeking the aid of the Klingon Empire is the correct move in regards to seeking allies to face the Infested. It would be more logical to gather mixed races together from the neutral areas of space and forge our own faction to face the Federation directly... The Klingon Empire is too opportunistic, they'd see a damaged and corrupt Federation as a reason to expand and take over. I also feel the decision to eradicate life on N9GA Majoris was short sighted of the Captain... other than that though, we have been able to handle just about any threat that has been thrown at us so far to the best of our abilities...

Now that she had gotten her personal opinions off of her chest, she turns to look back at Fisher once more, a look of uncertainty briefly befalling her perfectly symmetrical and near Elven looking appearance as she realized her words might consequences to be faced. Regardless, she shook her head and moved back to sit back down, not looking at Fisher now but rather looking at the floor somewhat as if to show she felt a bit guilty for expressing what she had just confessed. "I understand if you wish to report what I have said to the Captain, I will accept the responsibility of sharing my opinion. But please note that my words are just that, an opinion. I trust the mission to succeed and for Ives to lead us to success, it is not within my duty ,rank or qualifications to assume that the opinions of one Botanical Ensign matter that much to change the course of how we operate. I just wanted too..." pausing for a moment, she thought of a way to best express herself before deciding on a Human expression. "Get it off my chest"

With that she could finally look at Fisher properly and await his verdict - maybe she was taking this too seriously, maybe she was worrying too much, but in either case she did not want to offend the Intelligence officer, especially since they had started becoming good friends.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #14
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Officer’s Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

As a mere human, devoid of any extra-sensory perception of any kind, Fisher wasn’t exactly privy to the deeper thoughts which permeated the mind of his lovely companion, though his intuitions as a trained Intelligence Operative could pick up on even the most subtle examples of body-language and or facial expressions, even if they came from a species as notoriously difficult to read as Vulcans. It was why he loved playing Poker, and why he was so frustratingly good at knowing when to call someone’s bluff, and when not to. That same inherent intuition was now lending itself to the current theme of discussion unfolding between himself an Ensign Cir’Cie, and while he had detected an initial interest that went beyond that of ordinary friendliness from her, he could now also detect a measure of unease at approaching the subject that he’d pressed on. But curiosity had won out in the end, and he truthfully wanted to know her appraisal of Theurgy’s mission, and all that went along with it. And of course, he knew that blunt honesty wasn’t anything to be feared, but rather to be indulged upon, and appreciated as a gesture of trust.

Though, there was a modicum of regret with realization that he had elicited that trust from her, regardless of how innocent his intentions had been, because normally he reserved such forwardness for opponents, rivals, and downright enemies. None of which the beautiful botanist represented to him or anyone else for that matter.

Still, as she seemed willing enough to explain herself, and her viewpoint, the sage-eyed spy settled back into his chair and offered her his undivided and unabashed attention. And indeed, there were some troubling realizations that she brought to light, that he’d not necessarily expected to be presented, but which he had in fact mulled over on his own time, especially about the point of sticking to Starfleet and Federation protocols. But, rather than interject and echo her sentiment, he instead let her continue on as she stood and approached the nearby viewport, her back to him, and though he might have let his gaze innocently trail over her figure once, man that he was, he knew it to be somewhat disrespectful if his thoughts weren’t focused more directly on what she was saying. The point about seeking out the help of the Klingons he might not have agreed with, nor her opinions regarding the decisions made to eradicate all life on N9GA Majoris, but he couldn’t fault her for sharing those opinions. It was a ridiculous concept to expect that everyone aboard the ship would be of like mind on every matter, and wholly unrealistic.

In fact, there were likewise some disagreements he had with regard to policies that were in place aboard Theurgy.

However, after she’d settled back down at the table, intimating that he would report her to the Captain, Fisher couldn’t help but let an amused smile cross his face as he reached for his aluminum tumbler, still half-full of coffee. “Relax, Ensign.” He assured her before taking a sip. “I’m not the kind of guy who likes to run and tell Daddy every time someone thinks ill of him or his doings.” Leaning forward again, he returned the tumbler to where it had sat on the table between them and crossed his arms. “Cir’Cie...” he used her name, rather than rank as a sign of comfort and familiarity. “...I may not echo your sentiments exactly. But, between you and I...” he peered about in a playful manner, though there was also genuine need to ensure that no one might have been listening in on their conversation, as the chain of command demanded that as a member of Ives’ Senior Staff, he fell in line according to the dictates of the Captain. “...I have my own reservations when it comes to standing orders.” Clearing his throat, he recognized the chance to repay a modest sense of trust to the young Vulcan, even if he truly didn’t care if his concerns did find their way to the Captain.

Especially when said concern he was about to divulge, was one he had already forwarded to the Captain in writing.

“Case in point, I don’t agree with the policy that allows someone who’s carrying one of our enemies in his abdomen to be privy to guests.” It was a minor gripe along the lines of security protocol, well, perhaps a little more than minor, but the matter had been left as is. It wasn’t that Fisher didn’t understand the reasoning behind Dr. Nicander’s freedoms aboard the ship, as the Câroon had proven himself more than forthwith when it came to valuable insight on the ‘Nameless Darkness’ and in fact seemed to have stable control over his own body again. But the creature that infested him was still of such an unknown quantity that he couldn’t rightly accept the judgement of the Captain on the matter, without at least voicing his concerns. There were other examples where he might have made different decisions than Ives, but that didn’t make him any less loyal in terms of following orders. Fisher would do that, and in fact would trust in the Captain to make the right ones. But advisement was just an integral part of being a member of the Senior-Staff, as falling in line behind him was.

“So if they’re shoving you out an airlock as a traitor, that means they’ll be doing the same for me.” He offered her a reassuring wink.

Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #15
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Officer's Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Sitting back in her chair and relaxing somewhat and returning to her more stoic state, she would remain quiet for a few moments, just enjoying the ambiance of the mess hall, it had felt good to convey her real feelings and vent to someone she could trust - even if they themselves were apart of a department most known for secrets and lies in order to get the job done. "I appreciate your candor, Sir. And I imagine you disagree with a lot I have said...but I figured you're a man who considers pragmatism above all else second only to his patriotism. It is imperative we consider all options... If we are to echo the Federation we seek to protect, then I feel we should reflect on how it operates. In a more...diplomatic manner. But I do also appreciate the fact we are constrained for time as our enemies are never resting and always moving to put their goal into motion... It makes sense and it is more efficient that the Captain favours a more Oligarchy based approach. I just trust that when the time comes for us to make the final push - He will make the right decision."

Cir'Cie would turn to look back out the viewport and exhale slowly through her nose before saying "I never thought it logical that Humans or other species who share like minded natures with them could get so frustrated or defensive in regards to protecting their origin world. That sense of home. It is something Vulcans typically reserve for the family they care for or are married into. We learned to discard a sense of hearth and home as part of our efforts to calm us down as a species...but truth be told, being stuck on this ship, knowing I cannot return to Vulcan and see my family for risk of the Infested's plans to cannibalize the Federation for their agenda... It instills a fury in me that is enough to put aside my problems...it helps me focus, keeps me driven" with another exhale she would turn look down at the table and then slowly stand up before looking at Fisher again with a certain fire in her eyes that had not been there before.

"Well...I enjoyed our time together, we have made great progress - but right now I should return to my work and ensure my duties are carried out...as well as additional research into finding a viable neutralizing agent that can destroy these so called Infested." With a respectful nod, she would move to leave the mess hall and take a deliberately long walk through the labyrinth like corridors of the Theurgy before finally finding a suitable turbolift and using it to reach the Hydroponics Laboratory. In that time her mind had raced harder and faster than usual as she tried to summarize the finer points of the research they had discussed earlier in regards to neutralizing the Infested through controlled introductions of various toxins. There was plenty of work to be done and as always...time was not on their side. She set to work immediately, moving to her workstation so she could go over her current findings and then continue in her work to both synthesize a suitable formula and begin the work of growing a cultivation of the desired plant required for Fisher's work.




Re: Day 35 [1000 hrs.] - A Spy walks into the Botany Bay.

Reply #16
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Officer’s Mess Hall | Deck 13 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia

Relaxed and rejuvenated by his modest brunch, and the companionship he’d shared it over, the Chief Intelligence Officer leant back in his chair as the lovely Vulcan botanist before him went on to explain more of herself, and her thoughts on the matter they’d been discussing. In truth, Fisher was more than capable of fielding opinions and considerations that weren’t necessarily in line with his own, but in this particular instance, they weren’t entirely of that variety. Sure, he might have had a little more trust in the Captain and his mission than Cir’Cie seemed to espouse, but that trust wasn’t blind, and it certainly wasn’t absolute. The list of people he trusted explicitly so, was an incredibly short one, and thus far the Captain had yet to find himself on it, not that he had been guilty of any doings which had merited distrust. It was more so a result of the relative unfamiliarity of Theurgy, its commanding officer, and the crew which staffed it. After all, Fisher had only been aboard for a week, and trust was something that didn’t exactly come naturally to someone in as tenuous a profession as he was. Placing it in the wrong person could, and often would result in not only failure, but also potentially the loss of your life and those around you.

Still, surprisingly enough there had been at least a modicum of trust established between himself and this Ensign. At least enough that they had delved into a topic of discussion which carried with it the promise of dire consequences if it went awry. It was especially odd in a sense, as pleasant interactions with Vulcans were something of a decided rarity for Fisher.

And even after the young, clearly conflicted and firey woman laid out her sense of determination, he found himself more than content to let her have the final say of their conversation. That it hadn’t merited his additional input, as neither affirmation, nor a condemnation of what she had said. That notion had already been communicated by the discussion itself, as he had made it plain and clear that whatever they had discussed would be kept between the pair of them. He wouldn’t betray that established agreement. Not for anyone, regardless of their rank or reason. The very fact that Cir’Cie had been so willing and receptive of such a controversial subject, spoke to the trust that she had placed within Fisher. A trust that he knew he would undo him to the very core of who he was if he sank so low as to break. No, he owed her at least that much, if not more, and would afford it to her without let, hindrance, or regret. Others might have condemned him for his refusal to correct or criticize Cir’Cie for her voiced concerns, but he honestly didn’t care in the slightest bit what they thought about him, or his approach on the matter.

“Indeed. Thank you for joining me, Ensign. It was an enlightening conversation. Enjoy the rest of your day.” Content to watch her as she left the mess hall, and now alone, Fisher’s own attention shifted back to the viewport that she had been staring out of with her emerald green eyes and caught glimpse of his own of sage reflecting back at him.

“It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.” He whispered softly to himself.

-FIN

 
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