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Trust Issues

Posted on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 @ 12:25am by Lieutenant Mindo & Lieutenant JG Cailus Griffin

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Mindo's Quarters
Timeline: Current

In his office, Cailus was reluctantly working through paperwork when the security notification came in, with the computer announcing it with a brief whistle. His thoughts had been of a much more personal nature as he'd been working, writing the evaluations without really paying attention to such a menial task, but the alert managed to jar him out of his melancholy.

Preprogrammed Security Notification (Griffin-Alpha-162): Petty Officer (1st Class) Greep.

Cailus sighed as he tapped the notification, skimming through the alert in seconds. He moved his hand to tap the communication control on his desk, but his hand paused in mid-motion. No. Better to go to the man then just call him. If anything, it would at least serve to distract him from thinking about Harriet's phantom.

He did eventually tap the control, but with a different purpose in mind. "Computer," he said, "provide the current location of Lieutenant Mindo."

"Lieutenant Mindo is in his quarters," the computer said.

"Of course he is," Cailus said with a sigh, remembering the last damned time he'd been there. Still, it was better than doing paperwork.

Probably.





Inside his quarters, Mindo was watching an old film on the new screen set up in his quarters and using a projector he'd created using a tricorder and a PADD. The film was old, a "love story" of sorts from an old Farengi library about an arranged marriage and some drama about a family business. Mindo hated the old Farengi cinema, but he didn't feel like browsing much and this was one of the first things that came up in his search. He'd seen it before, and for Farengi theater, it was pretty good.

Hearing the knock on his door, Mindo immediately figured it was Cailus at the door, since only Precambrian Cailus would do such a thing.

"Yeah?" said Mindo to the closed door, which opened up to reveal, surprise, Cailus.

"Hi Cailus," said Mindo. "Popcorn?"

Looking back blankly at Mindo, sat comfortably in a chair, Cailus shook his head. "No...thank you. I came to talk about Greep. Can I come in?"

Mindo furrowed his brow. Greep? For what reason did Cailus want to talk about Greep?

Mindo hopped off his chair. "Viewer off," he said and crossed the room to the dining table, inviting Cailus to sit.

"Care for a drink?" he asked, heading to his cupboard and pulling out a half-filled bottle of something orange.

Cailus eyed the bottle with distaste, but he stepped inside anyway. "What is that stuff?" he asked with resignation.

"Orange juice," said Mindo. "I know you're not really into alcohol."

"Fair enough," Cailus said, still plainly tense. Reluctantly he sat down, forcing himself to relax a little. "I used to, but...not lately. Just synthehol in this century."

Mindo nodded and poured Cailus a glass of juice. Then, pulling out a flask from his pocket and taking a drink, Mindo sat on his knees on the chair across from Cailus.

"So what's going on?" asked Mindo, thinking to himself not for the first time that Cailus was probably going crazy again. Mindo hadn't heard from Greep in months. What could Cailus possibly know that he didn't?

Cailus sipped his juice, hesitating, before shrugging. "Greep is coming here, as soon as we rendezvous with the Palatine. His transfer order was just transmitted." He paused, frowning. "You didn't know, did you?"

"I don't usually look at the transfer reports," said Mindo. "So, no. I had no idea. Does this worry you? I mean, he hasn't shown hide nor beak in months. Last I heard he was headed back to Starfleet Intelligence. For what, I don't know." Mindo furrowed his brow. "He did warn me," he said, carefully. "But that was on the Tornado. Before I came here."

"I set up an alert on the computer to notify me if Greep's name came up in connection with this ship," Cailus said evenly, stilll frowning. "I know he's your friend, but I don't trust him at all. Why the hell would be come here?"

"Maybe it's an honest reassignment," said Mindo. "I mean, it was coincidence that brought me and Zo here, right?"

That drew an exasperated eye-roll from Cailus. "Come on, Mindo, you can't be that naive," he said contemptously.

"You can't be this paranoid!" said Mindo, taking another drink from his flask. "I would think after everything we've... I've been through, Starfleet Intelligence would have nothing to do with me. They weren't crazy about me spilling the beans to you and Takato back on the Tornado. Heck, maybe they send me here to get rid of me. Maybe they want to get rid of Greep too! Where better to send him? I haven't heard from Vice Admiral Chase in a long time. Last I heard, he was heading up some program called 'Operation 31,' or some such nonsense. It has nothing to do with me!"

"Section 31, you mean," Cailus muttered darkly. It was a name that he knew, of course, if only in passing. He sat back in his chair, looking up at the ceiling. "How far do we have to go to get away from this rubbish? Another damn galaxy?"

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm away from it. For good." Mindo got off his chair and headed back to the tricorder projector. Halfway there, he stopped and turned to face Cailus again. "How do you know about Section 31? I don't even know what that is."

"Neither do I," Cailus said, seething in frustration at his mistake even as he kept his expression blank. Idiot, you damned idiot. He should've lied, pretended not to recognise the name to preserve Shae's privacy. It was stupidity of the highest order. Sure, Shae would probably tell Mindo the truth, but it wasn't his secret to tell and for all he knew, it could put her and Aoife in danger.

Still, the cat was out of the bag. "Shae told you a little about her past, right?" he ground out. Mentioning Shae's name to Mindo felt like being dragged through a bush of throrns given what had happened between them, but he forced it out anyway.

Mindo sighed and closed his eyes at the mention of Shae. He just wanted to put things behind them.

"She told me she ran with some bad people," said Mindo. "Told me she's been locked up before. She said there were deaths on the Tornado shortly before I arrived. Deaths she was responsible for. I didn't pry. Why? Does she know something about Section 31?"

"That's for Shae to say," Cailus said grimly. He rubbed his eyes with his left hand, feeling inexplicably dirty for discussing such a subject. "I shouldn't have said anything."

Mindo looked away. It was like Cailus to be this damned difficult. But perhaps he was right. Perhaps it was for Shae to say.

"I guess it's none of my business anyway," said Mindo. "Anyways, it'll be good when Greep gets here. He's never been anything but a friend. If you give him a chance maybe he'll be yours too."

Cailus leaned forward, downed the rest of his orange juice, and looked straight into Mindo's eyes, his demeanor cold and serious. "Mindo, we're talking about lies and secrets and all sorts of idiotic nonsense. If Greep is on our side, fine. That's great. The reason I'm concerned is that Greep has already admitted to working for your enemies, and for all we know, he could be still. Do you absolutely, unquestionably trust him?"

Mindo was silent for a moment. Cailus' paranoia was worse than his. Mindo shrugged. "What do you want me to say? What should I do here, Cailus? You're always the man with the answers. What? Should I just live my life never trusting anyone? Greep was my only friend in my darkest hour, and the only person who spoke for me, who advocated my side, when you had to drudge it all up. Why wouldn't I trust him? I certainly don't trust you!"

That outburst left Cailus silent for a long moment, feeling even more dirty than before. "Damn it, Mindo, I'm trying to help you. Think about it." He grimaced, his gut twisting at potentially poisoning a real friendship. "You don't like me, fine. I don't particularly care for you either. The one thing you can do is trust me, because until a year ago, I was a damned frozen popsicle off in deep space. Do you at least understand that I'm trying to help you? I'm not saying all this out of bloody sadism."

"Help me?!" shouted Mindo. "Since when do you want to help me?! All you've ever done to me is talk down to me! You're like every other stuck up bastard, picking on someone half your size because you don't have the stones to face your own problems. You're telling me not to trust my own best friend when you've clearly never had one!"

Cailus was completely unaffected in the face of Mindo's anger, although his eyes did briefly look oddly sad. "You think you know me?" he said quietly, looking back at Mindo unflinchingly.

"No! I don't," said Mindo. "And I don't want to either. You've been nothing but trouble for me since day one on the Tornado. When is it enough? When will you be done ruining my life?"

"So the totality of my existence has been to hurt you," Cailus said softly, his tone becoming quietly, subtly dangerous. His brown eyes were piercing and he was even smiling, although his smile was a small, cruel thing. "You have no idea who I am, you self-righteous bastard. You have no idea what I've lost. I've been trying to help you from day one when I didn't have to do a blasted thing. I could've just put you in the Brig for that assault charge on Keselowsky, but I let it slide. I should've reported your entire damn mess of conspiracy up the chain of command to Starfleet Security, but I respected your privacy. I should've told Shae everything about you, but I didn't, because I've been trying to help you even after what you did with her."

Cailus slowly stood up, his features as cold as death as he glared down at the tiny Fesarian. "I don't care if you hate me, Mindo. I'm still going to help you regardless, even if I have to die a second damned time to do it. You're Shae's friend, and despite everything, I still think you're a good man. That's all I need to know."

Mindo took in Cailus' words, and paused to consider them. "I want to believe you," he said. "And maybe deep down I do. Believe it or not, there is a side of me that respects you. But in all of this, everything you've told me to do is to trust you. And I can't do that until you trust me."

"Yeah," Cailus said crpytically. He turned to the door before hesitating and glancing back at Mindo. "Look...just be careful with Greep. That's all." He paused again as a thought occurred to him, and this time he looked at Mindo with resignation. "And you may want to talk to Shae about...everything. It's possible that your pasts are connected, in one way or another. I don't really understand it, but you and Shae might. Even if we are far away from all that junk in the Federation, it could do you both some good to talk about it."

Mindo nodded slowly. "I'll do that," he said. There was an awkward pause between the two, then Mindo said, "You sure you don't want some popcorn?"

That gave Cailus pause. He gestured at the large display mounted inside the bulkhead, plainly uncomfortable. "Sure...if you've got a decent movie on hand. Something that doesn't involve the...what's that species with the big ears?"

"Ferengi," said Mindo. "Actually, this is a Ferengi drama, so naturally it's hilarious."

"Well...I've got a free hour until I have to pick up Aoife, so...okay," Cailus muttered. He reluctantly sat down in another chair besides Mindo with a decent view of the display, although after a moment, he raised a cautionary finger at the Fesarian, glaring. "But if I see so much as a hint of a naked Vulcan..."

Mindo smiled at that. "Vulcans and Ferengi cinema do not really mix. But there's plenty of naked Ferengi women. It's kind of their custom."

"Of course they do," Cailus said wryly, rolling his eyes. It was taking real effort to stay, of course, but Cailus genuinely had nothing else to do. Shae was buried in work, Aoife was happily playing with the other kids and he had nothing else to do besides write evaluations and mope. "Have at it, Mindo. Show me the wonders of 24th century cinema. Just make it good."

Mindo tapped the PADD and the film continued. After a few minutes, Mindo swore he heard Cailus laugh.

 

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