Matters at Hand

Posted on Sun Sep 8th, 2019 @ 7:01am by Commander Owen Nash & Lieutenant Cailus Griffin

Mission: Death in Paradise
Location: Security Office
Timeline: after "Passing the torch"

Having met the new Chief of Operations and feeling very happy with her attitude and also her enthusiasm towards joining the Pandora and her crew, Owen finally took the chance to speak with his friend and Colleague, Lieutenant Cailus Griffin.

He was also glad to have caught up with Nyx and discussed Cailus future onboard, however that was a discussion for Nyx to have with Cailus.

There was a troubling matter that needed sorting out, from the previous mission where a situation has caused Cailus, in Owen's view, to overrule him in his actions regarding Ensign Rochester and the olive branches offered in order to get the un-cooperative officer to hand over much-needed information.

From this, Owen decided it was time to speak with his friend and discuss this further. Having stopped by his quarters, Owen had downloaded a message sent from a Director Sebastien Lloyd at the Starfleet Criminal Investigation Service to a PADD and decided to bring it with him. He was also troubled that he hadn't heard anything from his partner Janet Glyndar and hoped this wasn't another "Please hold" message.

During the mission, Cailus had also offered to help with getting in touch with Janet and he hoped that, once the Rochester matter was sorted (if it could be), his offer was still open. Approaching the security Office, Owen pressed the chime.

Meanwhile the Security Chief was firmly trapped in his office, steadily chipping away at the mountain of paperwork that had built up as a result of the visit to Paradise. It was a distinctly unpleasant aspect of the job but it also couldn't be denied, especially since that paperwork would prove crucial to Sasha Vieers' court martial when she returned to the Federation. Her conviction might well depend on Cailus' investigative report being as thorough and airtight as possible, so he grimly made it happen.

Even as he worked, however, cross-referencing statements and referencing the laws that Vieers had broken, the irony of it all didn't escape him. It had been only two years ago that Cailus had written a very similar report with the same expectation of conviction, also for a woman who had murdered fellow Starfleet officers for the 'right' reasons. That woman had also been an Ensign at the time, he mused. The similarities between the two cases were more disturbing than he liked to contemplate.

At the chime, Cailus looked up and rubbed his eyes, glancing at the time. It was getting late, now, only half an hour until his shift finished. "Enter," he called, and as the doors opened, he immediately got to his feet at seeing his visitor. "Good evening, Commander. What can I do for you, sir?"

"Good evening Lieutenant, I was wondering if you had some time to discuss a couple of matters with me? There are some things from the previous mission that we need to talk about," Owen said, deciding to be up front about things.

"Of course sir," Cailus replied, his tone grim as he recognised what the XO likely wanted to discuss. He gestured at one of the chairs in front of the desk, his expression sober. After Owen sat, Cailus did so as well. "I was just working on the investigative report for Ensign Vieers' court martial. I expect to send it you for final verification by the end of the week, sir. The extent of the evidence, and her own confession, should be sufficient for the JAG to convict."

"Thats good to know, I'll look forward to reading it," Owen admitted. Having known Cailus for a while, he knew it best to just go straight in with his reason for being there.

"The reason I'm here is regards to the incident with Mr Rochester in the Brig," Owen started. "Quite simply, you broke protocol and superseded the chain of command in a situation where I was showing authority not just to Mr Rochester, but also the staff working in the Brig as well."

Sitting forward for a moment, he paused. "We need to sort this out, otherwise we'll have junior officers following the same precedent set by the actions of the Senior staff in front of them." Owen hated to question his friend, but there was the chain of command to follow as well as how Senior Officers acted in front of junior officers.

"Yes sir," Cailus said simply, his carefully controlled face showing no indication of his inner thoughts. "I made a deliberate decision in that moment, based on how Mister Rochester was responding to us. He had a problem with authority, likely stemming from when he murdered Captain Temple in the Bubble and everything that happened afterwards. By openly subverting your authority as the senior officer present, I was able to entice him into providing additional information that proved valuable to identifying Ensign Vieers as the murderer."

Owen sat back for a moment, almost stunned that this action was taken on purpose, but not in a insubordinate way, but as part of an improvised tactic to get Rochester to talk, on his level. "Thats one hell of a tactic, Cailus, I'll give you that," Owen admitted. "So you stooped to his level in the spur of the moment to get him to talk...well it worked."

Owen considered his next question carefully. "I realise that you couldn't warn me before taking this action...but I need to know that you still recognise the chain of command, even if you had to repeat this action again in a later situation."

Cailus didn't answer immediately. He took a moment to compose his next words before locking his ice blue eyes on Owen again. "I accept full responsibility for my actions, sir. I recognise the chain of command and its necessity. You are the First Officer. Your authority needs to be absolute, just like the Captain's, or else this crew will fall apart."

Cailus paused, and just for a moment, his iron control cracked as he sighed. "In any case, Commander, however tactical my actions were, I made a mistake all the same. By removing Mister Rochester from the Brig per his demands, I also removed him from a secure facility and downgraded his protection. I failed to ensure adequate security for his quarters, which led to Vieers seizing the opportunity to strike. His death, therefore, is my responsibility. I accept whatever punishment that you deem is fit."

Owen already knew how he was going to proceed from this answer and wasted no time on it. "That won't be necessary on this occaision. My gut instinct on this matter was that you acted on the spur of the moment to gain the trust of the late Mr. Rochester and you have confirmed that," he explained.

"My report to the Captain didn't involve the matter as I wanted to speak with you about this. You are a cunning and clever detective, Cailus and this time you did your job well. We'll not speak anything more of it," he finished.

Owen pulled out the PADD and handed it to his friend before starting to discuss the next subject he had on his mind. "Now, I wanted you to see this comm from SCIS... I suspect its the same garbage that they have been sending me previously, telling me that Janet is well and not willing to get in touch with me as she's undercover. This time I seem to have garnered the attention of an SCIS Director."

Cailus frowned as he took the PADD. "That's better than what I've been able to manage. I haven't been able to get past the SCIS office at Carnwennan Station." He tapped through the PADD and read the first few lines before immediately stopping, looking away. Wincing, he handed the PADD back. "It's a forwarded letter from Janet."

"What?" Owen asked almost out of an unforeseen panic as he took the PADD back. After getting so many messages from SCIS, Owen had presumed this was more of the same again. He opened the letter and began reading it. He gave Cailus the bridge notes version after he reached the end.

"She explains that she's been deep undercover for the last few months and out of contact with her handler. However, she also explains that for the safety of her child and herself, Janet is staying away from the Pandora and its crew," he said, staring at the PADD.

"She's very clear in that our relationship is over, despite how much she loves me and in glorious Janet style, tells me that I am to get on with my life and to go and find the next potential Mrs Nash out there in the galaxy..." He paused for a moment as he let everything sink in. For so long, Owen had waited for her return and now Janet, in her usual blunt manner...had told him to move on.

"I'm sorry," Cailus said. "At least you have closure now. It's a damn sight better than wallowing in doubt."

Owen sat himself up and put the PADD down. "Very true," he admitted. "Well, Janet never was one to beat about the bush. I suspected if we were ever to go our separate ways, it would be in a blunt fashion that severed all ties... At least she lived up to my expectations," he admitted.

"I just need some time to get used to the fact that I'll be on my own for a while again. Ten years ago, I'd probably be going out, having a good night's drinking and then waking up in the arms of some strange exotic female who decided to answer my call for the night. Not sure that's what I want to do now though." Owen acknowledged that he needed a little time to get his thoughts together.

Cailus nodded. "You'll find away."

"One good thing is that I've got some time to get off the ship and meet up with Dad soon. I've finally managed to arrange a meet and greet between him and Krys, so that will help to clear my head a bit too. unless you fancy another game of pool anytime soon?" he offered.

"Of course," Cailus said with a small smile. "We both have a Bridge shift tomorrow morning, so how about after lunch?"

Owen smiled before admitting, "That sounds like a plan. I'm due to start my leave soon, so a game of pool after luncg can be my last appointment on board before I leave," he said.

Standing up from his seat, Owen nodded to Cailus. "The short break away will help me clear my head, but I... also wanted to say thank you for taking the time to listen to me, that means a lot."

He walked over towards the door before turning for a moment and looking at his friend. "Take care of that wonderful lady you have and also your daughter whilst I'm away... you're a very lucky man Cailus Griffin," he finished before leaving the office and heading back to his quarters.