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Topic: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest (Read 588 times) previous topic - next topic

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CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Arboretum | Deck 22 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

Another usual day upon the Theurgy... Usual being a relative term of course; even when the ship was in relative safety or going along its journey to avoid the Federation and find a way to restore it back to its normal state; something or other was happening onboard and it usually was a commotion or a general sense of unrest. That is why the Botanical Expert cherished every minute she could with doing her routine assignments and work, it didn't just make the crew happy when they received fresh fruits and vegetables for their meals, it also kept her happy and more importantly - stable. At present she was going through the task of ensuring the flowers and trees within the arboretum had not developed any irregular patterns of growth or somehow obtained disease. This place was a small sanctuary in of its own right, a place where everyone onboard could come and take time to unwind or focus on heavy thoughts in a peaceful environment, only further enriched by the holographic birds from various worlds that sung and fluttered around the large space. She sits back on her knees and wipes her brow, observing one of the new plants she had just placed within the soil and then she takes a obligatory Tricorder scan of it to ensure the plant is in good health. Once this was done, Cir'Cie would let out a soft exhale and close her eyes to take in the artificial yet extremely convincing 'natural' air that could be found within the Arbetorum, choosing to take a moment to try and relax herself.

Only Cir'Cie's mind was naturally restless, aside from pondering about what other duties she had to conduct for the remaining hours of the day, she also found herself re-calling the information she had recently heard upon regarding what happened with Liam Herrold and Eun Sae Ji, granted it had happened almost a month ago now - but with how her own impulses had been lately becoming erratic resulting her taking additional counseling sessions with Lieutenant Stellan, and how Herrold had to face the very same thing being that changed her life...a plant with distinct purple adornments - bent on forceful reproduction through the distribution of a virus. It made her relaxed state quickly change to one of dread with the tingling sensation of subtle arousal, almost longing. She would roll her sleeve up and look upon the tattoo that he had given her, Poison Ivy. Fitting given how determined and tenacious the plant was, simple yet highly herself.

Slowly; Cir'Cie would stand and exhale to herself as she re-considered the decision she was about to take, if only for a brief second. She had been avoiding the company of men for quite some time now and had only been in the presence of Lieutenant Frank Arnold and Lieutenant Commander Andrew Fisher because her assignments had demanded it. But if she was going to make any real progress with her internal struggle - she knew she would have to go out and speak to someone of the opposite sex...on her own accord. And despite how gorgeous the young Chief of Deck was, she argued that he might be in a time of emotional crisis or just perhaps...might want some company. With reluctance, she taps her combadge and then says. "Thea, please locate Liam Herrold for me."  'Ensign Herrold is currently in his quarters; Deck 11, Vector 1'. "Thank you Thea." she would reply out of habitual politeness that had been taught to her when she was still a girl on Vulcan.

Taking a moment to brush down her knees and sure she was clean and looked respectable, she would then adjust her shirt to make it more seamless in appearance while letting it hug her chest some more and than proceeded to venture through the corridors of the Theurgy, using directional aids when and where needed, occasionally nodding respectfully or greeting fellow crew members who passed her by before she would ultimately reach one of the many turbolifts on the impressive vessel. "Deck 11" was her only statement as she took her position within the turbolift, placing her hands behind her back and just above her posterior as she decided to take this moment to calm herself - the pulsing shift of the lights and sound of the turbolifts motion aiding her breathing until finally the lift stopped and the doors shifted open. Once she had navigated her way through the remaining corridors she found herself stood before the doors to the new quarters Herrold was residing in. With a moment of pause to consider if this was the right thing to do, if it was worth checking on Herrold after their last meeting was both long ago and fairly awkward.

Her final decision was yes as she shook her head in a way to convey self-scolding and she then adamantly chimed the bell to the quarters, awaiting a response, stepping back and bracing herself.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #1
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
Alpha shift was over, and Liam Herrold had returned to his quarters. All warp fighters had been accounted for, and the remaining personnel in the Fighter Bay were working on equipment and engine maintenance. There were no patrols underway by Tactical CONN given the extraordinary fact that Thea was currently travelling at some insane Savi-engineered velocity into Klingon space, and no warp fighters would have been able to keep up. Therefore, despite the scuttlebutt about what had happened on Earth, Liam had found that he'd actually been able to leave the bay after alpha shift. Weary, hungry, and sore from the physically tasking duties in the Fighter Bay, he's entered his empty quarters.

That they were empty was a harsh reminder that Eun Sae Ji and he remained estranged after that anyonic emission failure in the transporter room. Even more, presently, she wasn't even aboard the ship either, having volunteered to go on a mission on the Allegiant. Despite his attempts to mend things, to build some kind of bridge across the damaged caused by the Niga-infected Doctor that they had encountered aboard the parallel universe Theurgy, Ji had been avoiding him still. She wouldn't talk to him, explain what had happened between her and the present-reality Doctor, and she'd been forced to hear from Security that there were - indeed - recordings of Ji visiting the Brig and Doctor Nicander. Why wouldn't she tell him what had happened? He knew in his heart that unless she'd stopped feeling anything for him, he would forgive her. At least, if she wanted to be with the Doctor instead, they'd be able to be friends, not the kind of strangers they'd ended up as now.

Of course, he could understand if she felt ashamed, feeling that she should have told him about her past and present with the Doctor. In fact, he knew other men would feel completely crushed, jealous and heartbroken over being betrayed, but who was he to judge the nature of her heart? He believed himself a man of high morale and ethical standard, forgiving instead of spiteful, for he had learned to be more than the arrogant you man he´d been before the Resolve was lost for 3 years. He'd learned a lot about being a good person during the strife and hardship on the Resolve, so what hurt the most with Ji was the silence, and the manner in which she shut him out, so that they couldn't figure something out.

Sighing, still not giving into the grief and loss of Ji, not just as a girlfriend but a friend - all because of that scientist that made the Niga virus - Liam shed his jumpsuit and his undershirt, along with his underwear and socks, so that he could shower of the sweat and grime of the day. While he rinsed himself with water instead of sonic waves, making sure to get the dirt under his nails as well, his thoughts lingered on Lieutenant Zephyr Praise, whom had been freed from the brig even though she'd been the one to create that virus. Since that event, in which he'd lost Ji, he harboured a deep distrust towards scientists, thinking that they might all be so careless and irresponsible in their work. He couldn't fathom how the woman had been exonerated, and it was an aspect of it all that made it difficult for him to uphold the moral standards that he held himself too, finding himself bitter and resentful when it came to that woman. After all, wasn't just Ji and him who'd suffered from her creation, but almost all of the original Theurgy crew...

He'd just finished his shower and was about to replicate himself a lonesome meal when there was a chime coming from his door. He had no idea whom it might be, but he quickly tossed his towel aside so that he might hastily don a pair of denim trousers and a white t-shirt, not wanting to keep whomever had come waiting. "Enter," he said, and stepped barefoot towards the front of his quarters.

"Ensign Cir'Cie?" he said after the sliding doors parted, remembering her from before the insanity with the Savi, the Asurians and the Klingons. Not to mention the Borg and the month spent at Aldea. Last he'd seen her, they'd been in his old NCO quarters. It has been a strange encounter. [Show/Hide]
"Is there anything amiss?" he asked, wondering why she had come to him. "Please, come in."

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #2
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

Cir'Cie's eyes would briefly skim over Herrod's unusually casual 21st century vibe giving outfit and then look at him with her piercing green eyes before distinctly raising an eyebrow as if to say 'curious attire'. Slowly; she'd walk into his quarters with silence - her slender legs swaying and her toned yet svelte posture doing the same. Any attention to her lovely figure however would be quickly cancelled as she would turn on the spot to face him, placing her hands together before softly stating. "Amiss? Hard to say these days... Though I would say nearly everyone onboard this ship is...missing something."

Realizing her statement was vague and not entirely appropriate, she shakes her head. "I'm fine, currently. If anything, I came here to see how you were doing... It has been a long time since we last spoke, and I just figured I would check up on you...if that isn't an issue. If it is, I suppose I will have to use my tattoo as a reason to speak to you." she rolls her sleeve up and looks over the detailed Ivy Plant that Herrod had bestowed upon her before continuing with. "I've been thinking about having it removed...or modified. I'm unsure as of yet.".  as she moved to take a seat and she folded one leg over the other - Liam could see that Cir'Cie's mannerisms had changed in the time since they had last spoke, or at least that is how it appeared. She wasn't being direct or overly wordy yet the expressions she carried upon her face seemed more emotive. Was she simply hiding behind a stoic facade last time...or was something on her mind right now?

Glancing upon him she offers a very faint smile before saying "Your own tattoos...or markings as I called them before. That was the catalyst for our last conversation" her smile widened slightly before she reined it and took a moment to compose herself "among the other things we discussed...I called you presumptuous..and you even suggested I thought you were a convict.. It may not have seemed it, but it was a pleasant interaction."

Now that she had taken a moment to vent her nerves in the form of reminiscent talking, she let out a soft exhale and gazed at Liam intently and just allowed the silence to continue for a moment, the distinct humming of the Theurgy's ventilation system helping her to gain control over her nerves. She reminded herself of Stellan's counseling and once she felt capable of speaking again she would break the silence with. "But yes... a social visit. I realize I might not be the best for casual conversation - but you were patient and kind with me - I had hope to extend the same courtesy, if you would like it." once again Cir'Cie's eyes traced over Liam's 'strange' outfit. She had not seen simple denim jeans before, particularly since the people of Vulcan enjoyed robes and dresses, and many of the people in Starfleet wore uniforms or in some cases - specialist overalls. To see such a dated style of clothing before her that she had never seen before piqued her curiosity far more than she thought it would have.
  • Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 01:15:44 AM by UltimaImperatrixia
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #3
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
Well, Liam did feel  like he was missing something all right. Why had it felt like it was his fault when Ji left on her mission? It wasn't he who'd made her go, much less gone to the Brig to stir up old flames with one of the Infested, so why did it feel like he'd done something wrong? Why was he given the silent treatment by Ji? Was she so ashamed of what she'd done that she wouldn't even let him comfort her in the wake of what had been done to her beyond the anyonic phase variance?

Was the Vulcan scientist saying outright that she might use her tattoo as a pretext to talk to him? Again, Liam felt like he'd missed something, and he blinked as he looked at the other Ensign and listened to her. If she said outright that it was a pretext, then surely he should count on her actually having come to check up on him, being genuinely interested in his well-being? Logical creatures as the Vulcans were, he supposed that would make sense for her. She's... smiling? She never smiled when we spoke last, did she?

It was all very confusing, yet he made a point not to stare overtly on her figure before she'd seated herself, even if it was rather difficult not to do so. He didn't want to cause offence. Cir'Cie, on her end, didn't seem to have any compunction about staring at his denim trousers, however, and if he didn't know better, he'd say she had tricorder-eyes and could see how he'd not had the time to don any underwear. He scratched the back of his neck and cleared his throat a bit, suddenly rather self-conscious about what she could potentially see in the outline of his garments. A social visit? So, she wish to talk, as if she's concerned about me? Is that why she's using the tattoo as an excuse for it?

"I... would like it," he said in the end, chuckling since he didn't know what else to make of the situation. "Thank you, for wanting to talk, especially since you don't think it's one of your strengths."

Why would she think I needed to talk with someone? Did she hear about the incident in the transporter room? Liam was still trying to piece things together when he stepped to the replicator.

"Do you want anything?" he asked, and if she made a request, he'd bring it to her. For himself, he asked for coffee, and brought the UFP-emblazoned mug with him to the sitting area of his quarters, where Cir'Cie was at. He sat down in the corner couch, putting the coffee on the table along with anything she might want, and he looked at his impromptu guest as if she was a riddle that had come to visit him at the end of the alpha shift. She did say their last 'interaction' had been pleasant, so he didn't feel like he had to change his behaviour for her sake either.

"I... might be guessing here, and I am not the sharpest when it comes to understanding people. In fact, there is a clear reason I am better with tools and machinery than with people." He caught himself looking at how the lights of their QSD travel filtered over her feminine frame, and he had to avert his eyes so that he might not seem impolite. He really didn't have any intention to offend the Vulcan. She was likely stronger than him anyway, and more versed in martial arts, for that matter. He didn't know the first thing about how to defend himself. Not beyond the basic hand-to-hand training they all got at Starfleet. "In any case, I suppose you're here because of what happened to me a couple of weeks ago, before we'd left Aldea?"

A qualified guess, at least, for he had the distinct idea her tattoo had naught to do with her visit.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #4
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

Sensing that her smile had made him somewhat uncomfortable - she realized that she was letting her eagerness to try and prove to herself that she could handle herself around men - without the need for self scolding, calming techniques or call backs onto Stellan's words or even Surak's teachings. Slowly, Cir'Cie would stand and slowly she would approach the Replicator, her legs swaying with a grace only highlighted by the patterns of the QSD's light flickering over her frame. Pressing a few buttons on the Replicator's LCARS she made herself a cup of Vulcan Spice Tea and took hold of it to enjoy the warmth flowing the cup into her hands, after which she took a step forward and consumed a gulp of the substance within the cup, her jade green eyes meeting Liam's as she did this.

Taking a moment to process his words in silence only added to the awkwardness of her social interaction - though her silence could also be interpreted as methodical that when combined with her youthful and near 'Elvish' looking appearance gave her a strong aura of influence - especially with her piercing eyes. Finally she exhaled to signify she was about to speak.

"Yes, I had heard about what had happened...and I fully understand what you have gone through. I understand if you do not wish to discuss it; it was some time ago. And while time does eventually heal all wounds...or so the Human adage says; sometimes it doesn't heal fast enough" turning away, she moves over to one of the seats where she carefully sits down and then promptly folds one leg over the other, looking at Liam once more, without realizing it she had chosen to sit in rather close proximity to the young Ensign and it was only when she noted how his shirt hugged his frame that she realized she was playing a risky a game as a light blush would come to her cheeks, a noticeable green tinge against her lightly bronzed skinned cheeks.

"Tools over people though. That is a sentiment I can fully relate too. Unfortunately, the crew onboard this fine vessel is all we really have to help us get through this bitter trek that none of us asked for." a slight scowl appears on her face momentarily before fading back to a neutral expression and she would softly exhale through her nostrils before continuing. "I apologize...I just don't like the irony of it all sometimes. We're on the most advanced starship Starfleet has ever created and yet we are; at times...powerless. I try to get by each day knowing my work helps the people onboard this ship...but sometimes I just want to go home. Do you ever feel that way? Do you miss home?"

She would turn to gaze out the window, her eyes skimming over the 'patterns' she could see in the trails of the Quantum Stream the Theurgy was gracefully pushing through. "An illogical thought I suppose, given the current state of affairs. But enough of what I think. I said I came here to talk to offer you my company - should you want it." Given that she was gazing out the window now and not looking at him, he could take note of how the tattoo upon her wrist was partly exposed due to her sleeves being slightly rolled back from her work within the Arboretum. The Hedera Helix as she called it, had settled into her skin rather well and was visibly very detailed and smooth in its appearance, a fine example of his work. Though if he looked carefully, he could see Cir'Cie had drawn faint purple markers in vine like patterns emanating from certain parts of the Ivy's stem...evidently a certain plant had been on her mind, just as it had been on his.
  • Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 07:09:12 PM by UltimaImperatrixia
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #5
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
The question of whether he missed home was easy to answer, so he chuckled and went to that facet of the conversation first.

"I've was trapped on the USS Resolve for three years, Captain Kendrick slowly taking us all the way back from far, far beyond Romulan space, and I was barely able to set my foot on Starbase 84 before all hell broke loose, we lost our ship, and I ended up here on the Theurgy." A bitter smile came to him, and he shook his head at the absurdity of it all. "So, in so many word, yes, I really miss home, and at this rate my hopes of ever seeing my friends and family at the Utopia Planitia shipyards or down on Mars are... withering under the yoke of duty. Especially now, after Sten Covington died at the hands of the Borg, and I am the Chief of the Deck down in the fighter bay. I'm an Ensign now as well, one of the Line Officers, tested and promoted to have my rank match my position better, and I never really asked for that. I was picked for the task because I was the Asst. Chief on the Resolve. I have appreciated the shore leave, though, at Aldea. Not that I got to go down there more than a couple of times. But still..."

He realised that it was very typical of him to try and see the positive in things, regardless the circumstances. Regardless the odds and the hardships endured, he shifted focus on what was good rather than lingering on the bad things. He just didn't like to bemoan things outside his own control, and he really shouldn't be complaining about getting a promotion. There were people in the deck crew that would love to get the chance he'd got. Ji - for instance - would likely appreciate such a responsibility more than he did. Had he been picked because he was better qualified than her? Had he been picked because he didn't see rank or position as relevant as long as the job was done? He had no idea, and there was no use to ponder that, much less complain about it.

Unfortunately, that meant the topic had to shift towards the transporter room incident.

"I do want your company, of course," he insisted with a smile, looking into Cir'Cie's green eyes, just to shed any doubts of hers in that particular regard, "and as for what happened. Well, it is not a very light topic. Of course, we went through some stuff on the Resolve, and I've seen my share of trouble even after coming aboard this ship, with the Devoted, the Asurians, the Savi, the Klingons and the Borg, but beyond that anyonic phase variance... the situation was altogether more... personal."

He was frowning by the time he added that last word. "Chief Eun Sae Ji and I were alone in that strange dimension, in which the Theurgy was a Prometheus-class ship and where that Niga virus outbreak had swept through all decks. I am just a deck hand with a new pip in my collar, and the tests I took for my promotion barely even touched upon the Sciences, so I have no idea how it all fit together. I have been told it was an alternate reality, in which Thea was a smaller ship, but how that came about escapes me. I guess it's not even important. Chief Engineer Blue Tiran managed to get us back to the transporter room and this present reality, but before then..."

Liam swallowed, his light blue eyes lowered to the floor. He found himself having to unclench one of his hands. "There was a lone survivor. One of the Infested, who could survive the seeds of the Niga virus. The entire front of his torso bore the marks of where the seeds had burst forth, and where the flesh had been mended, over and over." Liam remembered the sight of the Infested vividly. "It was your old Chief Medical Officer, the version of him that lived in that alternate universe, whom walked the ship like a demon, and decided to toy with me and Ji. He almost managed to vent me out of the fighter bay by opening the bay doors, but I managed to stay aboard, climbing into one of the jefferies tubes. I tried to save Ji... but I was too late. He'd already infected her with the virus... and she... she let herself be mounted by the doctor right before me."

His voice had become strange, thick and filled with resentment. Not towards Ji, but the Infested, and by extension, the one who had created that virus. His eyes remained lowered, reliving the entire thing in his mind. "I couldn't reach her, because the plants... they had seized my ankles. They were pulling me away. The doctor... he said things, about how he was connected to this reality as well, through this nameless darkness that animate them... He claimed that Ji had been intimate already with him, with the version of him here. With Doctor Nicander, locked up in his cell. She never told me. Perhaps she meant to? Perhaps I had the wrong idea of our relationship? I just don't know. But... hearsay had it that there is security footage of Ji in Nicander's cell, where they..."

He frowned, not able to complete the sentence. "So it was true. The demon didn't lie."

This was when his eyes fell on her wrist, and the inked outlines she'd made. He realised, then, that perhaps she'd come for her personal reasons after all, and that he might have talked too much about himself. "My apologies. My qualms about what happened and the scientist who made that virus shouldn't burden you as well..."
  • Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 11:52:49 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #6
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

Hearing him say how the Virus should not burden her made her look at him directly and with what would be mistaken for a glare given how her sharp eyebrows gave people of her species a slightly more intimidating or tense expression - even when relaxed. "Anything involving the Niga is my burden, I was the second to be affected by it - and while many of us have gotten over its effects and been able to continue our duties with ease...the biological make up of being a Vulcan has made it a constant shadow for me to contend with." She would exhale shakily, visibly letting out some anger - but he could sense this anger was more so directly aimed at herself than at him, she would pause to take a few breathes to retain the stoic facade that most of her people took pride upon as well as depended on.

"I apologize... We have both suffered at the hands of the virus, albeit in different ways. I've worked with many types of plants before, and I have known of some that have parasitic or protozoan symbiotic relations with other microbial life-forms. But it was my lust for knowledge that lead to being...touched by those plants. Those alluring and logic defying plants..." Judging from how she had paused at the end of her statement, he could see that Cir'Cie may have developed some kind of respect or admiration for the twisted yet highly efficient and advanced design of the Niga. She would shake her head, as if scolding herself before following with an apology. "I am sorry, what happened to you and Ji was terrible... You're a strong individual for choosing to share that story with me. I just wish I could do more than offer you words of comfort...I'm not exactly a counselor and as a Vulcan I...tend to annoy most that I do offer words of guidance too. They say I come across as desensitized or patronizing."

For a few moments awkward silence would pass between them and she would stare out back at the beauty of the quantum slipstream in motion before she would finally abruptly speak. "I believe you received your position because of your aptitude. We don't just need good officers who will aid with ship operations. We need people that can keep each other going, the emotional stability of this ship is important - many of us have lost people, or experienced things...we wish were only nightmares. Despite this; we must all count our blessings when we can, realize bad as things are - they could always get worse at any given moment. The Captain has done the best of their ability to ensure we have been able to get this far...all things considered with how the galaxy is practically against us...I think they've done well. And you; Ensign Herrold - I believe you will continue to do what you do to the best of your ability while still maintaining that air of professionalism you try to maintain...which believe me...I know it is difficult at the best of times." After finishing her attempt at trying to motivate Liam or at the very least give acknowledgement of his pain and his misgivings regarding his position , she would show slight discomfort and trace a few fingers over her tattoo, her eyes darting very slightly from left to right as if she were processing many thoughts within her mind like a machine working to try and figure out a problem until she would raise her voice again, this time to present a question to the young and handsome faced Ensign who now turned to face once again...something he would be noticing in that she couldn't seem to maintain facial contact with him for too long - most likely her way of not wanting to get lost in his eyes or admire his chiseled features.

"When you have time to yourself. Time when your mind is allowed to wander, and...feelings you don't want, start to surface in you. How do you confront them or deal with them? I am curious in how Humans manage to get through instability within their lives. Many of your kind do not turn to meditation or other rites my people use to maintain clarity... and Syntheol isn't exactly a good substitute for pain relief either" judging by the very small smirk she gives, he could see she had tried to include a poor joke into her words, possibly to try and show that she wasn't entirely here to make him think seriously or heavily, she wanted his company - she just, wasn't very good at social interaction. Though she had noticeably improved and come across as less robotic than she had been in their last encounter when he had bestowed the very tattoo she kept stroking softly upon her forearm.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #7
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
After Cir'Cie had offered her words of comfort, Liam had heard how she'd said she'd wanted to do more than just speak to alleviate the pain, in the numbness that followed his admission - along with the harsh realisation that the Vulcan was a victim as well - he had not found any other recourse either. Words seemed inadequate, so the silence that lingered became more honest. Quietude shared in reflection upon the hurt and the loss of self. The manner in which they both had become undone by the virus.

The Vulcan scientist spoke up eventually, however, and Liam raised his light blue eyes to catch her staring at him anew whilst she began to talk about his aptitude. Or at least the manner in which she believed he was fit for his position. It made him give her a lop-sided smile, being far too humble and modest to yield an inch of ground in that regard. He could agree in regard to the Captain, however, in how he shared Cir'Cie's sentiment about how the Commanding Officer had gone beyond all expectations given the situation and the opposition the ship had faced for five months, starting at the flight from Earth in November of 2380. "I don't know about me, but Ives is still here, unwavering, even when they were held captive by the Savi on that white nightmare ship I keep hearing about."

The young Vulcan then shifted the conversation to something more closer to home, or rather to a topic more easily delved into. She asked about what Humans did in order to cope, and that made Liam chuckle a bit - distracted as he was by the manner in which she was lightly caressing her tattooed wrist.

"Well, I can't imagine synthehol would have any effect on you anyway, since not even alcohol can get to Vulcans, from what I hear. You need to eat sucrose to get that kind of effect, correct?" he asked rhetorically, since he'd picked up on that aboard the Resolve. Little did he know about the incident with Lieutenant Kaylon Jeen and the Ter'anakul plant, just before the Battle of the Apertures. [Show/Hide]
Instead of lingering on that note, Liam set out to answer her question instead, suppressing the idle notions that sprung from the way Cir'Cie was touching her skin in that way, and what she could be touching instead in such a fashion. He cleared his throat, surprised at where his own mind had gone. "We are generally really bad at confronting or dealing with our emotions. We have a tendency to distract ourselves instead. Good or bad, I don't know, but time tend to heal wounds, and before that can happen, we try to think about other things as best as we might. He dedicate ourselves to duty, to hobbies or to other people, soothing the pain with friendship and finding comfort in each other. Sometimes, like now... we actually share our hurt with others, because talking about things help us process, and eventually... move on. If we loose someone, or we are really hurt, it will always be there. Grief takes many expressions before we accept loss or pain, but and the memories will be there."

A faint smile came to him. "I guess that is the small mercy with that virus. The antidote, I understand, also affect the memory engrams - I believe they are called - that were formed during the time of being infected, so the crew barely remember what they did. I guess that is a small upside of it all, and perhaps its something that has helped keep this crew from completely falling apart. Then again, you are left with your imagination instead, and you may assume the worst about your actions under the influence of that plant."

Liam realised, right then, that if he were to distract Cir'Cie from her experiences, instead of tearing at the stitches of the wound, he would do what humans did, and try and distract her before she got caught up in dark thoughts. "So," he said and cleared his throat, "you never told me why you approached me about getting a tattoo in the first place. Why me, instead of any other random officer with tattoos?"

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #8
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Liam's mentioning of sucrose made the youthful Ensign experience a hot sensation upon her face as her cheeks tinged a distinct green, a noticeable blush as her mind gave her an image of how she had ended up having intercourse with Lieutenant Jeen. It had been a mixture of being lost in the heat of the moment and her system being pumped with chemicals from the Ter'anakul plant, but given her urges and how she had been trying to wrestle with her desires as of late - it didn't help her predicament much, especially with being sat so close to a handsome young man such as Liam. Any potential for analytical or scientific thought in relation to what he might have been saying was drowned out by vivid and hot memories that made her feel the tingles of arousal. Exhaling through her nostrils, she would raise the hand away from her forearm and sheepishly run it through her hair before simply saying. "Yes, it is true. And its largely why I try to avoid consuming it or substances that could potentially create the same effect..."

Thankfully Liam had quickly changed the subject and her blush would fade, but lingered around long enough to be potentially noticed. Gulping, she did her best to listen to him intently, her eyes fixated on him as she hung onto to every word that came forth from his mouth that his strong and handsome jaw supported - a thought coming to her and wondering what his lips might feel like against her own, but that thought was quickly shoved aside when he did not give her a chance to ask questions in relation to his explanation how Humans dealt with their problems on the emotional or private level and instead she was given a question of her own to answer.

Opening her mouth in hesitation, she sat back slightly and folded her arms under her bust, taking a moment to consider her words before deciding the truth would simply be the best. "If you re-call, it was out of genuine interest and curiosity. I had largely assumed that tattoos were for ceremonial or religious purposes within most cultures...yet Humans have the tendency to get them for other reasons, it was something I didn't understand at the time...but I'm glad I did approach you regardless. I would like to think we are friends because of that encounter...come to think of it - I realize I have not been a good friend, if I had been, we would have spoken like this more often" realizing she may be coming across as somewhat stand-offish, she lowered her arms to her sides before relaxing in her seat.

"As for the viral antidote - yes, you're right that it removes most memories related to the initial infected, but as a Vulcan, our brains can be physically altered by the experiences we go through. Even though the memories are gone, the physical damage is present. Its why I've been continuing my counselling sessions more so than most of the other crew members...more of an assurance to myself I suppose. But coming back to what you mentioned earlier though, I'd like to know what it is you do...or consider doing, when you feel like you need an outlet for your troubles. I can't imagine you consuming actual alcohol regularly, and exercise only gets you so far I personally find. Do you perhaps...draw or paint? You clearly have an artistic flare... If so, perhaps we could explore it together sometime."

Cir'Cie offered a soft yet forced smile before her expression reverted back to its usual stoic self. Realizing she was starting to feel somewhat flustered around the young Ensign, she would get up and move with elegant swaying to the replicator to grab herself some water before closing her eyes and consuming the cool substance. Once this was done she moved back to sit beside Liam and remained silent for his response.

Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #9
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
At some subconscious level, Liam did realise that Cir'Cie was acting a bit strangely around him, but given the first impression she'd made when she first approached him about getting a tattoo, he had a preconceived notion about her opinion of him. In fact, it wasn't a bias towards her Vulcan manners at that time that prevented him from realising what might be obvious to others. Little did he know that it was a combination of factors that kept him ignorant, even when she had to replicate some water to cool off after he'd brought up the effects of sucrose.

Besides her first impression to him as a very Vulcan officer curtailing an NCO's off duty time so that she might get a tattoo, there was the simple social conventions of life aboard a starship - a workplace - which did not immediately make Liam leap to the conclusion that the Botanist might have interest beyond mere friendly support during his time of recovery from the Niga virus. Then there was the mix of anger, hurt and even a sense of betrayal that surrounded Eun Sae Ji, which had benumbed him to notions of other women approaching him. In fact, he had been largely clueless before he even met Ji.

"Well," he said, clearing his throat a little when she circled back to what he did to distract himself. He gave it a moment of thought. "Up until the accident, in which Ji and I were lost beyond the anyonic phase variance, she and I shared these quarters. We had a relationship, and whenever I needed to forget about my duties in the fighter bay, I had her to loose myself with. Before you ask, yeah, we had a thing going on before I was promoted to Ensign and Chief of the Deck, and she ended up reporting directly to me as Asst. Chief of the Deck and Propulsion Chief. It wasn't by choice, since I only ended up getting my commission because Sten Convington died, and I was the most experienced officer available in terms of my service record."

Looking away, he frowned, unable to keep the minute hurt from lacing his voice. "Ji... She is no longer sleeping here. She moved out immediately after the incident, and she has refused to talk to me about.... why she went to Doctor Nicander in the brig, doing what she did with him, and not telling me about it. She was so... protective of me too, cutting off women who seemed too friendly with me. I didn't think about it that much, but she was quite possessive of me, whereas I never had that kind of attitude about her close friends around the fighter bay. Knowing this... it makes it so strange that she would do... that with the former CMO. Doing it whilst knowing her visit was being recorded, and half the Security force would know about it."

Frowning, Liam shook his head, looking towards the deck. "It makes no sense. I thought we had something nice going on. Did Nicander make her do it against her will? Did he drug her?" The furrow in his brow grew deeper. "I know that's impossible, but I just... can't bridge the logical leaps and see how she did anything else than betray me for one of the Infested. Why would she keep officers whom she believed interested in me away, yet allowing herself the freedom of being with others?"

Liam took a deep breath, his heart racing since he felt the hurt mould into anger, and he didn't want to be angry with Ji. She wouldn't give him any answers, keeping him at a distance, even leaving on an away mission, but that didn't allow him to make assumptions about her. He refused to judge her, because barring a select few, he believed the best in people. Blinking he glanced towards Cir'Cie, whom was now seated right next to him.

"Since she left, I have not been able to find much comfort or distraction. I've just been second-guessing myself, thinking it was something I did that made her go to the brig that day. I've immersed myself in studies of topics and protocols that comes with my new rank, focused on my duties, and tried to stop thinking about what happened to us."

Pausing, he glanced at the Botanist. "Thank you... for asking. I guess I... needed to say these things out loud. Funny how things unsaid have a way of getting distorted when bottled up, straying from reality, just because you're lonely."

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #10
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Cir'Cie would listen to Liam intently, unable to not fidget slightly when he mentioned how and Ji would often frequent this room to 'vent' their stresses with each other, she couldn't help but wonder what it might be like to have the Adonis like Chief of Deck to herself and she would visibly bite her lip in a uncharacteristically seductive or needy like manner before wresting control of herself. She was supposed to be here to offer comfort, support! Not see a potential chance to satiate her own burning and heightened sense of need. What would her counselors think if she decided to simply throw everything she had learned to get to where she was now.

As Liam continued to pour his feelings out, his questions being presented too her - all she could do was listen and try to make some sense of his own internal chaos that had been troubling him. That was something that always irritated and yet pleased Cir'Cie. She always found it near impossible to reason with her own internal thoughts and yet found it much more plausible and even rewarding to offer order to someone else's thoughts. Once Liam had offered his thanks and seemingly finished saying what he needed to say, Cir'Cie would shift to be slightly closer to Liam, her leg pressing at the side of his own opposite leg facing her direction.

"The Infested have shown they rely on impulse and the corrosion of logic to get what they want... what happened was not your fault." Cautiously, Cir'Cie would reach over and gently take one of Liam's strong and defined hands into her own before placing her other hand on top of it. "From how you describe her, Ji clearly loved you and wanted to do everything within her power to make sure she didn't lose you. However in safeguarding you so much, it seems she lost herself... But she will recover, as all of us have recovered before at the hands of the Niga and the Infested...and she will need your help. Help in realizing she will need to forgive herself, assuming she has regrets about what happened. And if you love her'll make that happen - or at the very least, fight to make it happen."

Realizing her intimate approach and her words might be conflicting, she reluctantly removed her hands from his own but maintained her gaze with his. She couldn't help feel sexually charged around this man and she was wondering if it might simply be better to wish him the best and to leave his quarters immediately... But she did not. She felt determined to show that she had made progress, that she could be alone and close to a man without letting her base wants consume her. So with an exhale and a slow nod she would continue.

"I wish to offer my support to you when you feel you need someone to talk too...or just wish to spend time with. They are many things we could learn from each other, or explore on one of the holo-decks. To share our perspectives and grow stronger from them...that is my hope at least. If you are interested." With a gulp, Cir'Cie would scold herself for briefly allowing her composure to slip - she really wanted to try and step out past her comfort zones. Humans were difficult to work with at the best of times, but Liam was amicable and open minded and she had come to appreciate it. Even if his physical attributes were a test in of themselves to her.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #11
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
To his great surprise, not thinking the Vulcan had such compassion in her, Liam felt Cir'Cie take his hand and offer words that he'd sorely needed weeks ago, when the doubts had come to seed his mind. What Cir'Cie said represented a manner of hope, in how the fault wasn't his at all, nor was it truly Ji's. The Vulcan seemed to suggest that the Infested corrupted logic, and by that extension, was he to think the present-reality Nicander had corrupted Ji when she met him in the brig?

Could it truly be so simple, that Ji was so ashamed she wouldn't talk to him?

"But," he said quietly, before Cir'Cie had made her offer of support, "why did she go to the brig and visit him just before the away mission?" Given what the Doctor had said beyond the phase variance, how could she still go there and see him? Weren't the two versions of the Doctor connected in some way, through this dark, collective consciousness the enemy had? It made no sense, and he'd not been sure how he was supposed to interpret what Varder Ridun, a Petty Officer in Security, had told him. Why would she even go to say good bye to an Infested before an away mission? In all honesty, he felt betrayed still, even if what Cir'Cie told him made sense in how she might have regrets and needed to forgive herself, and that he needed to forgive her too if she loved him still.

He just couldn't see how she might do so, when she was both possessive about him and yet allowed herself to be with others. It just put her in an unflattering light, which he'd refused to acknowledge due to his feelings for her.

Did he need to accept that she was manipulating him? Objectively, it did seem that way... but he just couldn't see how Ji was the kind of person to do something like that. She was a victim of such mind-games herself, in how she'd been abused by Covington. It just doesn't make any sense.

The Botanist, however, seemed far more friendly than she'd been the first time they'd met. It was as if she had bottled something up last time they spoke, keeping a perfectly tight rein on herself. Now, it seemed she was far more communicable, and allowed herself to speak freely and without the normal inflections common of her people. He looked at her and smiled when she made the offer to be of support, and it did seem like she was genuine about it - meaning that she wanted to do so.

"I would like that," he said quietly, her green eyes easy to look into. The whole of her was easy to look at, for certain, but her eyes were so clear and fixed on his that there was naught else which beckoned his gaze. "Thank you, Cir'Cie, for the offer, and being there. The last couple of weeks have been... difficult, but it's good to know I am not alone with all these doubts and feelings about the mission. We, as a crew, need each other to carry on, I suppose."

He realised his white t-shirt was still damp from his shower, and that he remained bereft of underwear beneath his loose denim trousers, remembering the haste in which he'd dressed when she'd chimed his door. The warmth of her leg pressed against his, and the lingering warmth of her hands holding his had come to spark his imagination. The shimmering light of the quantum slipstream they travelled down caressed them both where they sat, and accentuated the atmosphere with a manner of ethereal glimmer. He remembered her tattoo, and looked down towards her wrist. He cleared his throat and tried to push the notions of her body and close presence from his mind, and focused instead on her wrist so that he might quell the manner in which his loins reacted too her. Without the support of underwear, he feared his body might betray him lest he spoke.

"So, your tattoo," he said and gently took her hand, turning it over in his fingers. He rubbed the area he'd inked many weeks past with his thumb, seeing the outlines, and trying to not bespeak the manner in which she was affecting him. "It looks to me like you have an idea about expanding it?"
  • Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 01:15:39 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #12
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

"The only thing I can say in regards to Ji and Nicander is...well - you will gain knowledge on the situation when the time is right. Ji should...I would hope, come to you and explain herself... I would advise against speaking directly to Nicander though, not just because he isn't to be trusted - but because he might attempt to exploit you emotionally."

Cir'Cie would smile slightly at Liam's expression of gratitude, noticeably so for him. It was quite appreciable how a simple smile would change Cir'Cie's level of beauty to mysterious and sharp to radiant and pretty. Yet it didn't last as she quickly retracted the smile for her stoic expression. "Certain things tend to bring people our case, pain I would say. But I too am grateful in knowing there is someone I can see who isn't a counselor or a co-worker...just another crew member on this voyage of struggles. It is agreeable for both of us...and I do believe we could be good friends. The Human condition is...most appealing to me. Sometimes looking at things logically just doesn't offer the kind of solace one can get from choosing to explore their feelings...that isn't to say I'm part of the V'tosh ka'tur... It's just in my time on the Theurgy, I've come to see there is a time and a place for both logic and feeling..."

And she was certainly starting to feel one of those feelings win out in her daily battle to keep herself suppressed and stable as all Vulcans do.

The young Vulcan's eyes would visibly trace over the outline of Liam's pectoral muscles and abs and she would gulp in an attempt to remove the dry feeling in her throat as the excitement she had fought to stave off earlier returned with a vengeance. She noticed how her body was heating up with latent desire but tried to save face. As much as she wanted to straddle his lap and press herself against him, something told her that this would be inappropriate, especially given the emotional state Liam was in regards to his relationship and uncertain future with Ji.

With a heavy gulp, she didn't move back from him and instead placed her other hand on top of his. Her warm bronzed Vulcan fingers guiding his own fingers along the extending segments of the tattoo, the soft purple 'veins' she had marked with a simple ink pen. Even as she felt her heart beat rising - she chose to struggle, to remain as calm as she could even as her eyes remained locked on is handsome facial features.

"Yes...I wanted it to take on a trait to make it seem similar to the plant encountered on Niga. I could understand why several might see this is a strange or...illogical choice. But the fact of the matter is, a part of that plant touched my mind and changed me that day. And I've been fighting it or struggling with it ever since. In my time studying, I turned to the stoic philosopher Seneca...he was very wise for a Human, especially for his time period. And something he taught is that...we have no real control over the world and what happens within it. The only thing we can be sure off is how we react to what happens...and in doing that we can grow stronger. I realized that I can change who I am - but I can't run from myself. So...I am going to accept these changes and learn to incorporate them into my life. Rather than fighting myself all the time."

She paused to consider these words, before nodding lightly as if affirming to herself it made the most sense. " I know most don't really take solace in the ideas of others or even philosophical teachings. But I'd urge you to consider looking his works up, you might find them helpful in this uncertain point of time..."

Realizing her fingers had now interlaced between Liam's partially she faltered and looked down before glancing back at him quietly. After a painful moment of silence had passed between them that only served to stoke the desire welling between her nether regions she shakily exhaled and then asked. "So will you modify the tattoo for me? I can understand if you wish to object..."
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #13
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
While he was ignorant of what V'tosh ka'tur was, Liam believed he understood Cir'Cie's sentiment about not strictly relying on logic, but to allow herself to indulge in emotions as well. That would certainly explain why she was behaving a bit differently compared to last they'd met.

As for not visiting Nicander, Liam made no comment, but he took her advise about it. He knew far too little about the enemy, but if the Infested man in the brig was to blame for making Ji do what she did with him, he wasn't entirely sure that dissuaded him from going there. If the Doctor had intentionally hurt her - hurt Ji and him both - by seducing her wish some kind of mind-trick, he wished to go there and give him a piece of his mind, but then again... if this wasn't a case of the enemy manipulating Ji to do things, then that left him with the unavoidable answer that Ji had sought Nicander out and been unfaithful to him out of her own free will. Going to the brig might give him an answer...

...but was he prepared to hear it?

It certainly seemed, judging by the words of the Security officers in the NCO ranks that he'd aquainted himself with, that Ji had done what she did without Nicander doing anything that seemed strange. Varder Ridun had offered to show him the security footage of Ji's visit to Nicander, but Liam had refused to see it. Not only would Ridun have violated protocol by showing it, but Liam wasn't prepared to see it either. It was bad enough knowing that an unknown number of Security officers had been privy to see Ji and Nicander...

Wouldn't she know she was being recorded? How could she have done it, knowing that she had an audience? Did she care so little about us? he wondered, but he was having a rough time focusing on the hurt and the mystery revolving around Ji being unfaithful when Cir'Cie dominated his field of vision, seated so close and touching his hand. His light blue eyes trailed down to the flower and the added lines she'd made, but it wasn't until she explained it that he actually saw what she'd drawn.

The Niga flora. Does she want to turn the ivy into one of those things? he thought, perplexed as to why anyone would want that abomination inked into their skin. Cir'Cie offered an explaination, however, but Liam had difficulty marrying the noble and philosophical sentiment with the creation of Zephyr Praise. This scientist that had created something so vile the whole crew present during the incident still wore the scars of the encounter in the Mahéwa System. Cir'Cie, however, had opted to react in spirit of inclusion, not meaning to suppress the memories of the virus but learn from it, and allegedly grow stronger from the experience.

"I... don't know the philosopher, but I suppose that's one way of doing it," he said, and had to clear his throat, since his experience with the virus was so recent and viceral, in how his girlfriend had been twisted into this crazed thing by it, and had infected him in turn. "I... think you would have to be strong to begin with in order to adopt that kind of method of dealing with it. I am not sure I could do that, even if I was just infected for a very short time in sickbay, before I was given the antidote."

An antidote that, apparently, Doctor Nicander - of all people - had synthesised during the Niga incident itself. It seemed so contradictory, and he had no way to know what motivations drove the Infested man in the brig after hearing that. Either of the two Doctors with that name that he'd met, in present reality or beyond the anyonic phase variance. Realising that Cir'Cie wanted an answer from him, Liam shed those thoughts from his mind, and while he didn't share her opinion about the tattoo, he certainly wasn't going to deny her request. Not when she is looking at me like that... he thought, and her fine-boned fingers held his to her wrist.

"I'll do it," he said, perhaps a bit too quickly since he caught himself lingering with his eyes on her, and the manner in which the quantum slipstream light ran over her. He stood up, without thinking about the consequences, and the state of his loins became perfectly clear to them both, since there were no underwear keeping him restricted and in place. What was he supposed to do about it? It was too late to hide it, so he simply did not mention or acknowledge his bodily state. He just headed off to the other side of the room to dig out the tattooing kit he'd replicated last Cir'Cie had visited him. While crouched down, he clandestinely tried to push his tumescence into a less obvious position, but there was no availing it. Damn, you're a bloody embarrassment. Get your head together, Liam. At least try to act your rank, will you?

The embarrassment didn't end there, of course, since he'd have to turn back and face her, and head back to where she was seated.

"Will you... remove your jacket and hike up your undershirt's sleeve a bit?" he asked, realising that it might be a precarious thing to ask her, since it certainly wouldn't alleviate his distress in the slightest.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #14
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

"I believe you're right. It always takes a certain amount of strength and personal integrity to come to grips with something or someone that has befouled us... That being said, I would really advise you consider reading some of Seneca's works, they can be quite insightful." She would say, her voice trailing somewhat as she felt his eyes tracing over her body which in turn made her gulp. The sexual tension between them was slicing through the air like a knife through butter and as well trained as she was with her disciplines, as good as her counseling sessions were, she felt her will power to resist slowly diminishing.

When Liam agreed to perform the tattoo, her initial reaction was a nod of appreciation followed by a light smile. "Thank you." However, upon seeing the distinct outline of his pulsating erection - her throat grew dry and her expression became one of uncertainty as she felt her restraint weaken even further. With her cheeks flushed a dark green, she would reluctantly unzip her uniform and carefully placed it aside. While her undershirt covered much of her skin, it did allow the curve of her smaller bust to be more so noticeable to Liam - especially when she let out an exhale in a vain attempt to circumvent the heavy desire permeating her body, the distinct outline of her nipples pressing at her shirt - indicating she was not wearing a bra, a sight that might catch the young Chief's eye.

Slowly; she would glance back over at the Chief, but not before her eyes would trace over the distinct rod like shape in his jeans. The sight of it made her mouth open slightly as if to emit a silent gasp and as he stepped closer to her, moving to sit down - an internal argument in her mind played out.

I should leave...I'm reaching my limit
You just said you weren't going to turn away from that which you desire
He's on a emotional pain from what happened with Ji!
And he's also clearly aroused for you, you're aroused for him. It is only logical.

Now that he was sat right next to her, his masculine frame and his clean scent once again proving to be an intoxicating distraction - she shuffled up slightly to press her leg back against his own - only this time she now brushed her lips over his neck gently while running a hand down over this thigh, her fingers grazing close to his manhood but not quite touching it. Instead, she used that hand to reach over and grab the tattoo kit so she could place it aside and out of the way; her hand coming back to rest upon his thigh. Now face to face, her sharp jade green eyes were staring into his bright watery blue, her breathing quite apparent, the heat from her body noticeable.

"Liam..." she would start, taking a moment to clear her throat so that she might find the right words. "Earlier you said...Humans deal with pain by distracting themselves... and judging by your apparent arousal, I'm proving to be such a distraction... If getting lost in me will help the pain...I am here."

She would remain deadly still in her close proximity to his Adonis like figure, realizing she was taking one hell of a risk here. She had come to Liam out of friendship in the hopes of adding a symbolic expression to her wrist and to enjoy his company. And now here she was, making a very obvious sexual advance upon him, simply because he was fully erect in her presence. Her heart was racing and her mind was screaming at her, telling her she had no right to be doing this. But her move was made, her position was clear and her body was hot with a selfish need for sexual satisfaction that she had begun to grow to accept rather than resist.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #15
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
With little forewarning, the transition from an apparently platonic conversation with unspoken undercurrents happened. This, in the form of the Botanist kissing his neck.

The touch was so unexpected that Liam nearly leapt back to his feet. As electrifying as it was, it was as if the shock paralysed him instead, making him remain there, feeling how she was pressing her leg close, and her hand on his thigh. Spell-bound, he made no motion when she discarded the tattooing kit - putting it aside as if it held no manner of import any more. Eventually, all manner of thoughts - high and low - didn't keep him from looking into those eyes. He felt himself drawn to her, with her proximity and her voice permeating his entire consciousness, and he ended up looking back into those green eyes. The lights of the quantum slipstream shifted in her irises, and whatever emotions were held back by her Vulcan manners seemed almost animated by the shimmer - bringing her gaze more alive than ever. Then again, it could simply be her, and how she craved the same thing he did.

For he found himself wanting her, obviously so, and while he didn't know why she held any interest in him, he knew he wanted her beyond the mere promise of her physical presence and her willingness. She, unlike Ji, hadn't lied to him. Hadn't been unfaithful and yet been possessive of his feelings - wanting to keep him to herself whilst not having any problems being intimate with one of the Infested. He realised, as he looked into Cir'Cie's eyes, that her betrayal had been so shocking that he'd shut himself off entirely - unable to feel the pain of what she's done since he'd refused to believe it was true. Realising, as he'd spoken to Cir'Cie about what Ji had done, just how much she had hurt him... it made him leap past the stage of anger... and straight into grief.

And the Vulcan next to him offered comfort, and distraction, now that the pain began to set in.

Ji was on an away-mission, and he had no means to know if she ever wanted to speak with him about what she'd done. She'd just talked in riddles down in the fighter bay, that singular time when she hadn't avoided him completely. It had been weeks since they crossed the anyonic phase variance, and she'd refused to give him answers about what she'd done. She'd forced him to learn the truth on his own from Varder Ridun, and to process the fact that she'd betrayed him equally alone. Now, Cir'Cie had heard him, and offered to soothe the pain, in a fashion he'd never imagined. Stray thoughts turned to the effect of the Niga virus on the Vulcan, and how it would play into the offer she just whispered to him in the privacy of his quarters, but he couldn't attribute any blame towards her on that account. She had her ways of dealing with her own pain, which was more than he did.

"I..." he said, but his throat was so dry he had to swallow before he continued, still looking into her eyes, "I don't... I mean, I want to. I am just not sure I... know how to distract myself." Certainly not without her help, he knew, but emotionally? His emotions were in tatters, and he wasn't sure he could preform well enough to please someone else. Liam swallowed, and tried again, unsure how to phrase himself in a way that made any sense.

"I guess what I am saying is... that you're extraordinary, and kind. Just know that... my heart would not be in it, as much as I might need it, for I am not sure where my feelings are at now, given all that has happened," he said, and he wanted to be honest with her. He felt... vulnerable, and unsure of his footing, but she was offering him shelter in the storm, so he would accept it - desperate for some respite.

So he lifted his hand to her cheek, and stroked it with the back of his fingers, before he slanted his lips across hers.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #16
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

Carefully, her luscious and warm lips would brush and caress over his own before she would tentatively initiate a soft yet sexually charged kiss with the young and emotionally conflicted man before her. With a gentle nip at his lips followed by a soft exhale of pent up desire that was mere moments from erupting forth from her, her efforts to contain and control herself withering down second by second, she would feel both of her deft and delicate hands gliding over Liam's broad chest, her fingers outstretching to feel every aspect of the fine and muscular physique the Chief had maintained throughout his tenure onboard the Theurgy... The fact he was Human only made the experience more potent for her. That distinctive scent that most Vulcans claimed to hate, was like an intoxicating musk that permeated through her being, firing her need for relief to an even higher level as her tongue now softly yet cautiously danced across is own as if trying to pry and unlock his own pent up need for release.

Despite the tension of it all truly getting to her, her mind starting to feel somewhat light headed as reason weakened within her, it only clicked to her what he had said after a few moments into the erotic yet steady kiss. With great reluctance she would force herself to remove her lips from his own and sit back, visibly shaking for but a brief moment as she did her utmost to contain her visceral instincts within her that were trying to escape, that animalistic side she had once wrought upon the crew seeking to claim another 'meal' to sate its hunger. She would let out a quiet gasp, she could feel the power of her racing heart racing and her cheeks were visibly blushed with a dull green.

"I...understand your reluctance Liam..." she would start with, her voice lacking its usual steady conviction and clearly having a held back taint of lust within how her words escaped those shapely lips he had just felt upon his own.

Slowly, she would shift back into the other side of the corner couch, partly to get some distance from him - but also partly to tempt him further. With her sharp facial features and how her body was presented to him, she was like a Succubus in the level of surreal allure she held. especially with her long and slender legs being slightly parted for him to see and her vest hugging at her bust and fertile frame, a look of lust apparent on her face, but the words that came next would conflict with the image she was offering.

"If you're not certain in your want...for this...I won't force it upon you, even though I offer my body to you willingly... If you feel it is inappropriate or not right...I will force myself to leave your quarters and we can...reconvene at a later date. I would not want you to feel like I was taking advantage..."

Although Cir'Cie was doing her best to be sincere, it was fairly obvious to see that she was hoping he would cave into his baser instincts, the need to consummate and let his seed flow. Her legs would visibly shake and open slightly more as she stared at him with her hungry and piercing jade green eyes, the Quantum Slipstream patterns of light only serving to highlight how her Starfleet slacks hugged her thin yet model like curves.

It seems she had left him with a choice, and a difficult one at that.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #17
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
As if she was still a vector for the Niga virus, Liam was intoxicated by Cir'Cie, and the grief over Ji's betrayal melted away by the heat of her lips.

Momentarily forgotten by the comfort the Vulcan offered, the past few weeks of uncertainty fell away, even though he knew deep down that if he were to let himself get carried away, things between him and Ji might not just become more complicated. He might even be burning his side of the broken bridge between them, and yet he also felt that Ji had no right to dictate whom he might be with any more. He might have understood her past protectiveness - how she'd pushed away any women getting close to Liam - when he thought her invested in their relationship.

Yet Ji hadn't even told him she'd seen one of the Infested behind his back, so why should he care what he decided to do?

So when Cir'Cie leaned back in the couch, in such an inviting way, he was grateful that she had the respect to offer him a way to end the development. Likely because his emotional turmoil was so plain. His breathing shallow, lips warm from her, he didn't have to think for long, however. He might not admit it freely, but his anger towards Ji might have fuelled the building need for Cir'Cie as well. The unspoken fact was that the Vulcan was a means for retribution, and his anger wanted to seize the opportunity.

In the end, they both wanted to take advantage of the situation. One to sate repressed desires, the other to destroy something beautiful he'd believed real... but had just proved to just be a false image.

Wordlessly, he leaned down betwixt her legs, and began to remove her uniform trousers. With urgency, he shed them from her long legs, along with the undergarments, so that he might taste her nether lips as well. He preformed the cunnilingus as he would have on Ji, giving Cir'Cie what she would have liked instead. With almost vindictive passion, he used his mouth to please her, and soon enough, he also introduced two fingers as well. With tongue and digits working in tandem, he readied the Vulcan for what may come next.

He persisted in his efforts too, until the point where she might come. Only then would he straighten up and remove his t-shirt.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #18
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Auctor Lucan

Surprised at how sudden Liam had chosen to follow the boiling desires between his loins that had now begun to override his sense of reasoning, she would gasp lightly at the sudden level of eagerness he was putting on display to her; her bare legs coming into his view - the same  light from the Quantum Slipstream that had previously aided in defining her sharp model like features upon her face, now serving to accentuate the beauty of her olive-bronzed and lithe legs. This is what she needed, to finally be free to let herself go and enjoy the sensation of a man's touch upon her, that touch which briefly grazed and teased over the skin as he pulled her briefs and undergarments down feeling like electric to her. But the promise of true release followed by a sudden jolt of pleasure from the deft intrusion of Liam's tongue upon her womanhood would only serve to excite her further.

Leaning back on her elbows somewhat, she would perch herself up to look down upon the betrayed and hurt Human who now shared and bestowed upon Cir'Cie the same proficient and skilled cunnilingus technique he would usually treat Ji with and as such; he was treated to the sound of her light moans, her voice escaping with need. Try as she might to retain a level of self control, an expression of relief would sweep across her face as the Ensign continued to slather and lash his tongue over her folds, which while very similar to that of a Human's, were partially different in terms of the scents they rewarded him; taste and scent filling his senses.

Given her heightened libido and regular battle to control herself on a daily basis, his combined level of skill along with her intense lust that was now finally finding an outlet caused her to achieve a small orgasm in a relatively short amount of time, her legs tensing and shaking slightly as she let out a guttural moan of pleasure.

The course was now set; she wanted more and she wouldn't let anything stop her. Taking a moment to watch Liam as he sat back to remove his shirt, she would promptly do the same, fully discarding her Starfleet uniform and the vest underneath so that her own svelte torso with small yet perky breasts and a lean stomach would come into her partner's sight. Now lunging to straddle his lap, keeping her slit above his large tenting erection as if to tease him just that bit more she would lean forward and kiss him once again, only this time with aggressive intent, she would clamber onto his lap and pull him into a fierce kiss, darting her tongue into his mouth with reckless abandon. A fiery passion would continue to brew forth from her as she deliberately pressed her chest into his own and clawed her delicate hands down over his broad and toned back, yearning to feel the warm and chiseled Adonis like frame against herself.

Although the moment was clearly bound in lust, there was something serene about it as well, two individuals who had been hurt and had tried their best to deal with their pain however they could - only to now throw caution to the wind and allow themselves to become lost in each other.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #19
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @UltimaImperatrixia 
When she straddled his lap, Liam sat back in the couch and allowed her more room - eyes transfixed upon her bared body as it was caressed by shimmering light.

She began to kiss him again, and Liam found his lips quickly responding, thoughts of Ji bleeding away in favour of the present. Her lithe body felt warm in his calloused hands, and given how she teased him with the manner she undulated her hips - grinding down unto his clothed hardness - it did not take long before he slid his his hand down to the waistband of his denim trousers. Urgency held no quarter for hesitance. He popped the button in the front, and firmly yanked the trousers down to the middle his thighs, even as she still straddled him. Certainly she wanted more judging by the way she had rocked her hips against him? His thoughts were leaden with desire, making it hard to focus.

With his heart thundering in his ears, he ran his fingers through her short hair, and laid his lips to her chest - taking one of the hardened peaks into his arm mouth. She was so different from Ji, not just in the sense that they were entirely different species, and as if breaking free from unseen chains, he learned that it was what he needed: to seek comfort in the eyes of another woman because the one he'd thought he loved had betrayed him for another man. Not just a man either, but one of the enemies. An Infested.

Cir'Cie had her own demons, and he had a keen loathing towards the other botanist - Zephyr - whom had created the Niga virus. But he also knew that as haunted as he was from the ordeal beyond the anyonic phase variance, it was nothing compared to what others aboard the Theurgy had endured before he had become one of the crew. The Niga virus held significance to him since Ji had been infected by it, and so had he, if only so briefly.

Yet the virus had naught to do with what Ji did before they had even stepped into that transporter room. Her betrayal had been a fact before then, and he'd just come to learn what had happened in the worst kind of way possible. So, the virus had merely been circumstantial, whereas it means a lot more for Cir'Cie, whom seemed to have had to deal with an emotional turmoil quite more profound than what he'd felt by its effects. The Vulcan botanist was dealing with her demons, and if Liam was able to aid in that - while also getting over the hurt he felt - then he certainly wasn't about to stop.

Instead, with his embrace, he pushed her down unto him.

Re: CH02: S [D01|1930] A Reconvened Interest
Reply #20
Ensign Cir'Cie | Junior Officer's Quarters | Deck 11 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Letting out a distinct gasp of pleasure at the combined sensation of Liam's mouth upon her breast and his length slipping up between her legs, Cir'Cie relished the sensation of being able to engage in those feelings had been craving and yet - expected someone else to enact upon her. But finding both solace and consent in someone who allowed her to be free and who also needed emotional healing in their own right only made this moment much more sweeter for her.

Treating him to the rare sound of a Vulcan moaning in sexual bliss, she would insistently push her lithe hips downward to allow his girth to slip further up her love canal, her tight insides firmly gripping him and ensuring he will not escape. With her piercing eyes once more looking into his soft blue ones - Cir'Cie found herself just letting her mind truly relax for the first time in months. She didn't have to worry about her duties, nor did she really care for the consequences that might come from this. Her telepathic senses could sense the pain and anguish that Liam was feeling towards Ji, how it was also melting away now that he was enjoying the heat and desire that only a Vulcan who had surrendered to desire could offer.

How it excited her... Her hips would gyrate and roll harder, the curve of her shapely rear brushing over Liam's toned thighs with each descending motion she applied to his upward thrusts, ensuring he was able to hit deep and at just the right angle. Her moans became more consistent and her breathing heavier and through it all the light of the Quantum Slipstream continued to wash over the injured lovers who sought healing in each other, in this moment.

Now that they were fully indulged in each other, Liam had no reason not to hold back. To pin her to the floor or to throw her onto his bed...unless of course he enjoyed the sight of the lithe and taut beauty who continued to ride upon him as she now ran her hands up over his sides and then down over his back - savoring and enjoying every smooth yet powerful feature his body had to offer her.

Slowly, she would press her forehead against his own and brush her lips over his before attempting to re-initiate another kiss with this Human who, while she knew little about aside from his role onboard the ship and his general easygoing nature, felt she could genuinely come to trust because they had allowed her to make the first move.

There was a certain irony in how Cir'Cie was expressing her defiance to logic and new found freedom in choosing to finally embrace the heightened libido she had been given as a result of the initial infection from the Niga Virus and the following unwanted sexual encounters she had found herself in afterward. To her she felt empowered that she could not only successfully arouse another person, but also make them give into that arousal.

Cir'Cie didn't plan to be raped, seduced or drugged anymore - from now on, she would be in charge of her own sexual wants.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.