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[AU] Jumping to Conclusions

Posted on Thu Aug 9th, 2018 @ 3:56am by Captain Nycolas Temple & Ensign Sasha Vieers & Lieutenant Cailus Griffin & Lieutenant Krysia Kaleri & Lieutenant Kalin 'Shae' Brennan-Griffin PhD & Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick

Mission: Divided We Fall
Location: Bridge
Timeline: 13 months in the Bubble

ON:

Nyx had drifted off in the Command chair on the Bridge, having pulled double shifts for the past few days. He had been dreaming of Emilie again and when her voice spoke clearly to him to “wake up”, he suddenly jerked back into consciousness and realised where he was. He cleared his throat and looked over to his counterpart from the Splinter side, Crewman Kaleri.

“Ahem. What did I miss?” He asked, trying to be serious.

"Nothing much" Krysia was sitting in the XO's chair seeing as Owen wasn't there to need to use it, her thoughts were on James and their now five month old daughter. She missed not being there with them both. In the long run it helped their child to bond with both parents, but Krysia's maternal instincts went into overdrive when she was separated from her child. "Just the usual quiet and boring bridge shift what else is there to miss?" she barely looked at Nyx the whole time, she was finding it hard to forgive him for the way he treated James more than herself.

“I suppose when you decide to do nothing, you can only expect nothing.” Nyx muttered under his breath. To him, every second they weren’t trying to find a way home was a second wasted.

At this point the former Ensign Vieers entered. Demoted like Kaleri and Smith, Sasha no longer held her Starfleet rank or position, and she no longer wore the uniform. It was a subtle form of protest as she knew this annoyed Nyx, who had insisted on maintaining all of the usual protocols and regulations. Not wearing the uniform or using previous rank were just part of their quiet dissent.

“Krysia?” Sasha spoke informally.

“Crewman Kaleri.” Nyx corrected, pointedly.

Sasha tried not to roll her eyes too obviously. “Krysia, your Bridge shift is done. I’m here to relieve you.”

Krysia smiled as she looked at Sasha, it felt somehow satisfying to have someone else who was willing to take up the silent protest about the demotions by not wearing a uniform, Krysia herself was also wearing her own clothing as she had since the day she was demoted.

"Thank you Sasha," she turned to look at Nyx who was sitting in the background no doubt getting annoyed at their lack of protocol. "As per usual there's nothing to report."

Vieers looked to the Ops console and frowned. “Starboard sensors are detecting a slight shift in the bubble’s axis. You’re right, nothing to report as yet, but it could pose a problem in... say, a week?”

Nyx shifted in his seat, giving an emphasised sigh. “Starboard side? Sounds like you guys will have to start moving around again. Second time this month, right?”

“Yes,” Sasha replied. “Seems the outer sections are creeping in faster than the inner side.”

“Well don’t wait,” Nyx said cautiously. “Crewman Kaleri, I would start evacuating that area now.”

"I have to agree..." she looked back at Nyx then at Sasha "...this time. Let's get our people moved to a safer area"

Shae was just entering the Bridge from the Observation Lounge when she overheard talk about evacuating. "Evacuation, again?" Shae asked with concern; looked like it was time to rework the shield modulation algorithm again... "Perhaps it's time to start doubling up on the accommodations, because we're going to start running out of space if this keeps up."

Seeing Lieutenant Brennan-Griffin enter, Nyx stood and nodded to the CSO. He crossed his arms as he looked to the others, keeping that heavy parental tone. “The offer remains open for your people to rejoin the crew. So long as you are prepared to follow the orders of your Captain.”

Sasha shrugged casually. “We still have plenty of rooms.”

Krysia looked at Nyx. "We'll be fine for now, thank you for the offer but we prefer to remain as we are."

“Fine,” Nyx replied, in a way that was clearly anything but fine.

As Sasha and Shae were seated in their place, Nyx gave a silent nod to them both before exiting into his Ready Room.

Krysia watched as Nyx left the bridge, there was a certain satisfaction gained from not following his every order anymore. James barely spoke of his feelings towards Nyx but she knew he was stuck in the middle between his friendship with Nyx and supporting her, something she didn't really like for him but that's the way it was. Her attention turned to the turbolift shaft as a familiar cry from a small set of lungs signalled the arrival of James with Aurora.

"Got restless huh?" She smiled, as Aurora was handed over gently over to her.

"Children do not belong on the Bridge," Shae reminded Krysia as politely as possible, thought it was still a strain for Shae to even look at Aurora, not after the way Shae had behaved months ago, and she had a feeling she would be making up for that day for months longer, maybe even years.

"Indeed." Krysia nodded and was just about to leave the bridge when her attention was caught by the sudden arrival of Cailus and Fick.

“Kaleri,” Cailus greeted curtly as he stepped inside from the lift shaft. It wasn’t an especially warm greeting, although since he had been greeting in her in precisely the same manner since Krysia had come onboard the Pandora, it had at least been consistent.

Waiting a moment for Fick to follow, Cailus looked around the Bridge grimly. “Is the captain in there?” he asked, jerking his head at the ready room.

Fick said nothing, his face serious. The time in the bubble had definitely taken the happy-go-lucky out of Fick. He rarely smiled at all anymore. He followed Cailus out of the lift shaft.

Krysia nodded. "He is, he just went in there." She remained in place, standing to one side of the bridge, her senses were telling her something was up and she wanted to know what it was.

“Alright,” Cailus said firmly. “Vieers, please stay here and man the Bridge. Everyone else, come with me.”

And with that, he promptly moved to the ready room and knocked.

Krysia looked at James as she settled Aurora, following Cailus to Nyx's ready room as requested. She wondered what it was that required the attention of everyone including Nyx.

Likewise, Shae followed the others to the Ready Room, concerned with whatever had Cailus so tense.

The door to the Ready Room seemed to slide open slower than usual, revealing an unimpressed Nyx staring back at them. Nyx looked to the collection of officers with a blank, exhausted stare and he actually wondered if he could just close the door again. He gave a heavy sigh before speaking. "If you've started a mutiny, you'll have to wait until tomorrow because I'm too tired to care right now," he quipped.

“No such luck, Captain,” Cailus replied with total seriousness as he waited for everyone to file in. As soon as the door closed behind Fick, he continued dourly, “I wanted everyone to hear this together before the rest of the crew are told. There are supplies missing. Thirty ration packs, a power cell and a phaser rifle.”

"All missing?" Krysia looked at Cailus. "Are you sure they're actually missing and not just misplaced somewhere?"

Shae looked at Krysia with a frown. "If it was just the rations or even the power cell, I might agree, but a phaser rifle? That's Lieutenant Griffin's responsibility and he does not 'misplace' things," she stated in a tense tone. "One item missing is an incident, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern, and considering a phaser rifle is one of those items, I don't like the intent of this pattern."

"Excuse me for a moment." Krysia turned and left the office, taking Aurora to where she could be left for a few minutes with one of their people. She returned shortly afterwards and rejoined the others gathered in the office. "Are there any ideas or suspicions as to who might be responsible?"

Fick positioned himself close to the door. He snorted a little. "Well, it wasn't any of us," he said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. By "us" he meant himself, Calius, Shae, the Captain and the rest of what he considered the crew now.

Krysia gave Fick an annoyed look “Exactly what is that supposed to mean?!” She looked back towards Nyx waiting to see what he’d have to say on the matter.

“If the phaser has been stolen from Griffin’s armoury then it was not one of his crew,” Nyx pointed out flatly. “I know the procedures and checks that all Security personnel undertake, and I know how meticulous Lieutenant Griffin is with his weapons. Unfortunately, without full ship systems, we cannot easily discover who accessed the room, but I have no doubt it is one of the separatists.”

"That's what that meant..." Fick said a little hotly.

Krysia folded her arms across her chest “So the suspicion automatically falls on us is that it?” She looked at James then back at the others “It’s not either of us and I’ll vouch for Sasha as well. I’ll admit I don’t know everyone in our group personally, but I haven’t sensed anything unusual from any of those I’ve been around,” she could see this going somewhere no one would like. “So what next?”

"Well, as separatists, your people have inherently proven themselves incapable of following basic rules and protocol, so is it any surprise that suspicion falls to your group?" Shae countered.

Krysia shook her head. “As separatists we have chosen to live our lives how we see fit, when I was demoted for being pregnant...” She looked at Nyx. “..I chose to resign my commission and carry on in a civilian role. I could have just told you all where to shove your bridge duties and have done with it, but I didn’t. The same goes for a lot of the others. We have all continued our required duties without complaint.”

"Separating yourself from the crew as you have, is in itself a complaint," Shae pointed out. "And if you were so incapable of doing your duty as an Officer, then you should not have joined Starfleet in the first place; your lack of respect and resolve are an insult to the Officers who are committed to the oaths they have taken."

Krysia shook her head and resisted the temptation to get further into the argument. "I think we all know how you feel about me, Lieutenant." She turned to look at Nyx. "What do you propose we do then, Captain?"

“With all due respect, there is only one course of action available,” Cailus interjected with an almost Vulcan coldness. He had been watching everyone carefully, examining each person’s reactions and body movement, even Shae’s as she argued with Kaleri. “A room by room search of the entire ship. It’s a violation of privacy, but I see no alternative. One phaser rifle can, lf set to overload, destroy the entire ship.”

Fick nodded in agreement.

Nyx had kept a watchful eye on the two Splinter members and both had seemed genuinely surprised and concerned about this development. He began to wonder if tribalism wasn’t getting the best of him, and whether he was jumping to a conclusion. “I agree. Let’s conduct a full search and deal with how this happened afterwards. I’m sure Kaleri and Smith will not object to Griffin’s team searching the Starboard side?”

Krysia nodded. “It’s fine by me.” She looked at James.

Krysia looked at Nyx. “I’m not going to assume to speak for the others. I suggest that they be informed.”

“We can tell them when we’re there,” Nyx replied with a shrug as he walked towards the door.

Krysia looked at James she was certain this wasn't going to go down well. "I'll see you all there. I have to go and check on Aurora." She quickly made her exit before anyone had chance to catch her and made her way back to where Aurora was being looked after for her. She smiled and nodded politely before turning to look as the doors parted behind her.

= Deck 2 - Starboard Side =

The group had descended the tubes quickly to the lower deck and walked with purpose across to the "Splinter" side of the Pandora. Two junior officers had been standing in the corridor and they were alarmed by the sudden appearance of the Captain, however when they saw that Kaleri and Smith were present as well, their concerned faces turned to confusion.

"Alright, Lieutenant Griffin, I'll let your team get to work," Nyx said loudly, before turning to Krysia. "You may ask your people to come into the corridor, but Lieutenant Brennan will accompany you. Just in case."

Krysia nodded but she didn’t like having to ask anyone to do anything, she moved to where those gathering in the corridor could hear her to start with. “Please stand clear of your rooms, the Captain and his people need to search our quarters. All will be explained.”

With everyone out in the corridor, Cailus looked at everyone with cold assessment. For all his habitual professional grimness, there was a glint of malevolent harshness to the security chief in his machine-like bearing. “This is what is going to happen,” he said to everyone with a deep, penetrating voice. “We will search these rooms one by one, searching for contraband. No matter how well hidden it may be, we will find it, I assure you. Therefore, if anyone has items in their quarters that are incriminating, or potentially embarrassing, you may come forward at any point prior to the search of your room. Your honesty will be taken into consideration by Captain Temple.”

Then Cailus became even more dire, crossing his arms. “If, however, we are forced to uncover this contraband ourselves, the consequences will be severe.”

One of the splinter group groaned in frustration. “Of course you’re starting with us! Who’s going to be searching your rooms?”

“In the interest of fairness, Mr. Smith and Ms. Kaleri shall supervise the search of my quarters and the captain’s, as well as any others that they feel are necessary,” Cailus responded calmly. “Now, let’s begin.”

Krysia fidgeted uncomfortably, the heightened emotions were making her feel nervous and baby Aurora was picking up on the change too. She looked to Cailus. “In the interest of fairness and the fact that I need to put Aurora to bed, I volunteer our quarters to be searched first.” She looked at James hoping he wouldn’t mind her decision.

"Lieutenant Brennan will accompany you," Nyx replied, softening his tone a little.

The fur on Shae's tail bristled at the order, but other than that she showed no other signs of irritation at the order. "Yes sir," Shae responded dutifully, then politely gestured to Krysia to lead the way and followed down the corridor at a comfortable distance behind the Engineer.

Walking ahead of Shae, Krysia headed into hers and James' quarters. She turned to look at Shae. “Help yourself... we’ve got nothing to hide.” She stood a distance apart from Shae, watching without interference.

"I know, neither you nor Smith have the character or motivations to take the supplies," Shae replied after a cursory glance of the office that had been become their residence. "Even in a container, I would smell a case of rations if they were in this room, but regulations and all, I still must conduct my search. I will be respectful of your personal space," she added respectfully as she began looking around a little more.

“I understand.” Krysia nodded and offered a brief smile. Tensions remained between herself and Shae since the incident between them, but she tried to be civil when in Shae’s company.

Shae did her pass over the room, and if she moved anything in her search then she very neatly returned it exactly where it had been so that everything remained in order. She did find a small stack of extra rations and what was left of the supply of powdered milk, but that she merely dismissed as the extra allotment Krysia had been allowed for the sake of the baby. All in all, she had been respectful and minimally invasive, as promised.

"I am satisfied that there is nothing here that could be considered contraband," Shae stated as she concluded her search, and being mindful of the sleeping infant, she had kept her voice soft. "If you have someone who can watch the little one, then we can return to the others now," she offered.

“Thank you.” Krysia nodded to one of the other women who was waiting out in the corridor as she reached the doorway. “I won’t be long...” She smiled warmly. “If you need me just call me.” With that, she returned to the group.

As the Security teams began their room by room search, it became apparent that not every one of the separatists were as accommodating about the inspection. From down the corridor, there came a sudden bout of raised voices and expletives in the air. Temple gave Griffin a raised eyebrow before they rushed off down towards the source of the disagreement.

"You can't do this!" shouted the former Ensign Rochester, who stood with his arms crossed in the doorway to his quarters. "Hey Captain! Tell your goons to sod off!"

"We are looking for stolen Starfleet equipment," Nyx replied calmly. "Despite your current status, Rochester, this remains a Starfleet vessel and I remain in command of every inch of this ship. So when I order you to stand aside for an inspection, you will do so."

Krysia looked at Rochester. “It’s okay Rochester...” She moved towards the doorway. “We’ve all had our quarters searched. Just let the captain’s people do their search and they’ll be out of your way.”

Rochester baulked at the suggestion, though his face was conveying the nerves and excitement of a young man unsure of his actions. Years of Starfleet training had told Dorian to always obey his superior officers, but the Bubble had broken all of those conventions. Like most of the separatists he now saw himself as a civilian first in a survival situation, and blamed those in charge for ending up in this dire circumstance. This had lead to a dangerous cocktail of resentment and resistance in the former officer. It was never going to end well.

After his eyes darted across the stronger and older Temple and Griffin, Rochester gave a resigned sigh before stepping aside to let the Captain into the quarters. He gave a slight nod to another officer before following Nyx inside the quarters.

“Good man,” Nyx spoke as he entered and started to look around.

“What are you searching for anyway?” Rochester asked innocently, leaning against a disheveled bookshelf near the doorway.

“I’ll let you know if I find it,” Nyx replied, pulling open the desk drawers and moving around the belongings within. Most of the items in the room were not even Dorian’s; they belonged to Lieutenant JG Daiso, who had remained in the real universe. She had a wonderful collection of fine paint brushes for watercolour or possibly oil paintings. It felt wrong for Nyx to be touching another crew member’s personal items, but it had to be done.

“Rations, I suppose,” Rochester spoke again, looking over to Kaleri who remained close by. “What else do we have?”

"Just some missing rations." She looked at Nyx then back at Rochester.

“Seems a lot fuss for some food,” he replied flatly, giving an exaggerated yawn and leaning his arm onto one of the shelves.

"Food is important and you know that." Krysia looked at Rochester.

Nyx had stopped actually looking and was just making noise now. The tone in the young officer’s voice, his shifty glances, his sudden admission to the search, had told Temple everything he needed to know. Without turning around, Nyx spoke, “Just hand it over and no one needs to get hurt.”

Rochester stared blankly for a moment then smirked. “How did you know, Captain?”

“You went straight to it as soon as I entered,” Nyx replied, turning around slowly. “You were a Starfleet Officer, Dorian. We took the same oath, agreed to the same mission.”

“I didn’t agree to this!” the former Ensign growled, showing a sudden spike of anger. “A year of nothing but waiting to die? Seeing our friends get sucked out into space? This isn’t a mission anymore, Temple, this is suicide and it’s your fault we’re here.”

“We’re going to get out of this,” Nyx replied calmly, holding his hands up. “If we work together, stick to our training.”

There was a noticeable tear in the young man’s eyes as they welled slightly. “No. I’m done taking orders from you.”

Rochester dropped his hand back behind the books on the shelf and gripped the missing phaser rifle. With a face full of anger, he turned the weapon on the Captain and fired. Nyx had already been reaching for his own phaser and the two discharged their weapons at almost the same time, the sudden flashes of light crossing the small room in quick succession. Nyx’s aim had been true and struck Rochester on the chest, whereas the junior officer’s focus was haphazard and he hit the Captain in his midsection.

Both of the men fell to the floor. But only one of the phaser had been set to stun.

Krysia had leapt back out of Rochester's way afraid he was going to turn the rifle on others in the room to defend himself. With both men down she leapt across to Nyx. She was no medic or doctor, but she could stem bleeding and to that aim she tore a sleeve off her uniform, rolled it up and tried to make a pad to place over his wound which was rapidly bleeding out. She looked up. "I need a medic!! NOW!!!!"

Shae was right there with her, rushing to action to try to save Nyx. "Good good, apply more pressure," Shae instructed as Krysia tried to stop the bleeding; Shae was no medic, but with her past in shadow operations she at least understood the basics of field medicine. "I've barely got a pulse; his blood pressure must be dropping, press harder," she continued as she checked his pulse. "Where's the medic?!"

Krysia was leaning on Nyx with all her strength the sleeve she was using was sodden with blood, as were her hands. "I need more padding!!!" She looked up. "We've got to stop the bleeding... somehow."

Cailus had been in another room, and upon sprinting inside upon hearing the phaser blast, followed quickly by the other two security officers, he read the situation in a flash. While the two women worked feverishly to save Nyx, Cailus moved just as quickly, securing the dropped phasers by giving them to one of his security officers while snapping his fingers at another, plainly ordering them to go find Nurse Louis. That done, he swiftly pulled out a tricorder, and upon seeing the readings, Cailus’ blood ran cold.

“Keep at it,” he ordered curtly despite knowing the futility of his words. Ignoring the unconscious Rochester, Cailus hurried to the bathroom and returned with towels, handing them to Krysia. “He has severe damage to the abdomen, but the weapon was set on the lowest kill setting. He has a chance if we work quickly.”

"I hope so..." Krysia could feel Nyx getting weaker. Her senses were telling her was ebbing away, she breathed a small sigh of relief as Louis suddenly shot through the door having been summoned by Cailus' people.

"What on earth?!!" Louis looked at the two men down on the floor before diving straight into action, his readings were telling him pretty much the same as Cailus' readings. "Keep the pressure on that." He looked at Krysia. "As much as I hate to suggest this, we need to get the Captain to sickbay... I'm not even sure if we have everything we're going to need to be able to treat wounds of this severity." He looked at Cailus. "Judging from the amount of blood he's lost we'll need people to donate and the sooner the better!"

"If none of the other humans match his blood type, then you can tap me," Shae stated as she drew her hands away from Nyx so that Louis could step in. "I've got a non-traditional blood group and it's highly adaptable, I can accept blood from just about any species except Bolians, so hopefully it will work in reverse for him." Obviously it would be safer to start with humans, but she wanted it known that this option existed if the circumstances were dire enough.

In the corridor outside, a crowd had gathered and voices were being raised again. There were six former officers now, debating the situation with growing tension.

“Look what Dorian’s done! This wasn’t the plan!”

“They came into OUR home! This is THEIR fault.”

“We have to defend ourselves or they’ll take us all into custody.”

“Our ship now.”

“Our ship.”

“OUR SHIP!”

Sasha slipped past the group and quickly made her way over to Brennan, Griffin, Kaleri, and Louis. “You have to get Nyx out of here. The others are getting riled up, I think they’re going to do something stupid,” she said in a hushed tone.

"We're trying." Krysia looked up at Sasha before looking at Louis. "Is it even safe to move him?"

"We have to..." He looked at the others. "We need to hurry!!"

Cailus looked back at the open doorway, calculating quickly. Two gold-shirted security officers stood there, barring the entrance, but the crowd outside was turning into a mob. They clearly weren’t going to let anyone out of the room peacefully.

“Kaleri,” Cailus ordered sternly, locking his steely eyes with the Drax woman while Louis worked quickly. “You have sixty seconds to calm them down before I stun everyone outside the doors. I don’t want to, but if it’ll save the captain’s life, I will.”

Krysia stood she looked at James for a moment then at her hands which were covered in Nyx's blood. She stepped outside "Alright... that's enough!!" She held up her hands. "Is this want you want? Blood on our hands? This isn't what we are... it's not what we stand for. Nyx needs out of here and you're going to let him through..." There was a murmur from the group, "Anyone who tries anything will have to go through me first.... trust me you don't want that. I've never used my telepathy in self defence, but I will do what I have to."

She turned and walked back into the room. "Take him now... while I've got the strength to hold them off..." She ignored the peculiar looks she got from the security team who were wondering how she would off her people. She knelt down by Nyx, close enough for him to hear. " I'm sorry, Captain. I never meant for any of this..." She stood ready to escort Nyx and the others out.

In short order, Nurse Louis assembled his collapsible stretcher and the increasingly pale Nyx was eased onto it, the two gold-shirt security officers picking it up while Krysia kept the door open. Cailus looked at the unconscious Rochester in frustration, but there was simply no time to take him too, not without violence. The criminal would have to be dealt with later.

“Alright, quickly now,” Cailus barked as the small party moved out of the room, taking the rear with his hand pointedly resting on his holstered phaser as he coldly stared down the mob. As he passed Krysia and Nyx was swiftly carried away, he paused next to her. “We need to talk later,” he whispered sternly in her ear, before striding down the corridor after the others.

"Yes, Sir." Krysia nodded as she sadly watched Nyx being carried away. Watching as they departed, she headed for her own quarters to wash Nyx's blood off her hands, she paused to look back at Rochester before turning her glance to the others. "Rochester stays confined in here! Once Nyx's people are free they can have him!!" with that she headed on her way.

OFF

 

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