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I give up!

Posted on Thu Dec 25th, 2014 @ 7:56am by Captain Kathleen O'Shea & Commander Jey Cleh & Commander Eliana Masters & Commander Andrew Matheson & Lieutenant Commander Adria "Tempest" Desoro & Master Chief Petty Officer Allison Wilshire & Ensign Arianna D'Tal

Mission: Bloodpath
Location: Taranok IV - Forward Base
Timeline: Day 3: Following "Blood of Our Kin"

The night had been quiet for the most part. Several people were moving from one part of the camp to the other doing various things, completely unaware that many of them were being observed through the scope of a sniper rifle.

After several minutes of watching, the mysterious woman got up from her hiding place, and picked up her gun. ~Let's get this over with~ She thought to herself, before moving slowly towards the camp.

Arianna was helping out moving some of the supplies that were needed for the refugees. As she turned to pick up another box, she saw someone stepping out of the woods, and carrying a rifle. Without thinking about it, she snatched up her machine gun from where it was hanging by the strap, and pointed it at the strange woman.

"Hold it right there!" She yelled out, causing several heads to turn in her direction. "Let me see your hands!"

"Please don't shoot." The woman said as she stood there, looking at Arianna. Her federation standard was heavily accented, but still understood.

By now, several people had made their way over, and most were pointing guns, or phasers at the newcomer.

"Slowly place your weapon on the ground, and step out of reach." Arianna ordered, and when the woman didn't move right away, she snapped. "I said drop it! Do it now!"

The woman did as she was told, keeping her hands in plain sight as she stepped away from it. As she stepped away, another woman came into view that she recognized from the earlier shooting. This person was pointing a pistol at her.

"Get down on your knees, and place your hands on top of your head!" Arianna ordered, and the woman did as she was told, but not without words.

"I am responsible for the death of one of your people." She said as she placed her hands on her head.

"What?" Lizzy asked as she approached with a few others.

"The woman." came the heavily accented reply. "The bullet that killed her came from my gun."

Adria came running then came to a sudden stop. Hearing the unknown woman's comment sent a chill up her spine combined with a sense of deep race. Immediately aiming her own weapon at the woman.

"You're the one who did this!" Arianna said, still training her gun on the woman. "Give me one good reason not to kill you right here, and now!"

"Enough!" Lizzy called out. "Put your gun away, D'Tal! This woman is to be taken into custody for questioning... That's an order!"

After another moment, Arianna dropped her weapon, and stalked off angrily. In her eyes, the Captain was wrong in the order she gave. Rosaleen deserved justice.

Quickly dropping it at the sound of Captain Cleh's voice. Forcing herself to walk away from it at least for a moment. Heading straight for the Bettina to find something to occupy her attention. Her pilots were due to check in.

Lizzy sighed. "Put her in restraints, and take her into protective custody." She said, running her fingers through her hair. "I'll go tell Kathleen."

Andrew came walking over with a box of supplies in his hands. He rounded the corner just in time to see people moving in to restrain someone. There was a decided air of tension, and he figured this couldn't be good news. He saw the captain and walked over to her. "What was all that about, ma'am, if it's any of my business?"

"That woman claims she's Rosaleen's shooter." Lizzy explained as she gestured for him to walk with her. "I'm having her placed in protective custody to have her questioned."

Andrew's knuckles tightened firmly and appeared to be ready to burst through the skin as he gripped the box. "That explains the atmosphere. I need to find the recruiter who told me thirty years ago that life on the frontier would never be boring and beat them with this box." His tone of voice was perfectly calm and matter of fact, with no sign of the maelstrom of emotions he didn't dare let loose with. At some point, he needed to ask Adria if he could borrow a psi-null pilot and a shuttle for about an hour.

"No offense, but that's why she's in protective custody." Lizzy explained as they walked. "I get the feeling she wouldn't last long otherwise."

"None taken. With the mood I'm sensing, you're probably right on that front. I'll admit to a particular interest in learning who the target was, but it's not as if anything that happens to her helps bring Rosaleen back." Andrew chuckled with more gallows humor. "At least this time it can't have been something I said."

The two made their way into the Bettina and into the morgue, where Rosaleen's body was being kept in stasis. Ever since Kathleen's arrival, anyone who tried had been hard pressed to get Kathleen to leave this room.

Lizzy looked at Kathleen, sitting quietly with Rosaleen. She didn't want to disturb her, but knew this was important. "Sorry to disturb you, Commodore, but... we may have a problem."

Kathleen initially ignored Lizzy's statement. "What is wrong with this unit? It keeps alarming several faults and won't maintain proper containment. The tech had to re-align the field in a manner consistent with a comatose patient in order to minimize the errors."

"That's because I told him to." Lizzy explained. "I ran diagnostics twice, and everything checked out, so I think it's just a glitch in that unit."

"At least there's something with a sense of optimism around here right now." Andrew thought that the machine insisting Rosaleen was merely comatose fit in perfectly well with the rest of the rapidly fouling situation. "The emotional climate on site is not good, and it just took a turn for the worse."

Lizzy took Andrew's statement as a good moment to tell Kathleen why they were here. "A woman just turned herself in." She said. She was inwardly dreading the next words that had to come out of her mouth as she said them. "I've ordered that she be taken into protective custody for questioning... because she claims to be Rosaleen's killer."

The room turned ice cold instantly. Kathleen did not turn though...she did not trust herself to. Not yet. "Bring her to me. Now."

Lizzy wasn't sure this was a good idea, but she didn't want to be the cause of another problem, so she turned to Andrew. "Stay here, while I go get her." She gave a hinting gesture towards Kathleen, before leaving the morgue

Andrew nodded to Lizzy. "Yes, ma'am." The wheels were turning in his head as he'd been remembering his time with Rosaleen. Kathleen was demonstrating several very eerie similarities to some of what he knew Rosaleen could do, and that had him very intrigued - and very nervous as well. He maneuvered himself such that anyone rushing through the door would have to go through him to get to the commodore.

Kathleen finally turned to face Andrew. Her eyes had the appearance of blue electrical currents flowing through them. "I don't need a babysitter. I am perfectly capable of controlling myself."

Andrew met Kathleen's gaze in a direct, non-confrontational manner. "I don't believe you need a babysitter, ma'am, and I trust you can control yourself just fine. I'm staying in the room on the captain's orders, which I recognize your authority to supersede at any time you see fit. I'm standing where I am on my own initiative because we don't know who the prisoner's target was and I'd rather not risk you getting hurt if you were the target and the prisoner decides to try and complete their assignment."

Kathleen's gaze did not waver as she spoke her next word. The effect was chilling. "Commander, I can promise you that the last person you need to worry about protecting here is me." Behind her the alarms sounded yet again. Why in the heavens name could they not..."

'Why will you not leave me alone?'

Andrew flinched at the comment and looked away. "Be that as it may, I still have the captain's order to be in the room. If you want me to go away, just tell me; you don't have to project it into my head like that."

"I...that wasn't me." Kathleen started to search the room with her senses. "What the hell is going on?"

Andrew stopped and rubbed his temples for a moment. "Well, the only two people I knew of around here that could do that were you and Rosaleen. If I heard you say that the equipment thinks Rosaleen is comatose... Could it somehow be right?" Part of him couldn't believe what he was saying, but part of him was damned if he could come up with any better idea.

But Kathleen had already tuned out everything in the room. She stood directly in front of the stasis unit, eyes closed, reaching out with every bit of energy she could muster. As she did, the rooms temperature noticeably increased.

'Are you there? Are you still with us?' As she reached out with her inner voice, she turned her attention to Rosaleen herself. What she saw was....

"Oh my Gods." Kathleen quickly snapped back into normal. "Her body...it's not here."

Andrew walked over, dealing with the all too common recent sensations of his blood rushing to his toes and his jaw dropping open. "That's not possible..." He looked into the now-empty chamber. "Computer, who has activated or deactivated this chamber in the last 48 hours? For that matter, who has entered or exited this room in the last 48 hours?"

The computer quickly provided a list of all personnel who had occupied the space withing the given time frame, and then went on to confirm that nobody had deactivated the unit. Eliana Masters had spent the most time in the room, at Kathleen's biding.

He cataloged the temperature swing for further discussion, as it was of far less relevance than the missing remains at the moment. Then he gave himself a good hard pinch; that always worked in nightmares to wake someone up.

"No...she was just here. When I started to try..." She was silent for a moment. "Phase variance." She spun to face Andrew. "She is not here because she is not here. She exists in a different time phase. She has been slowly falling out of this one, and..."

Kathleen's eyes blazed with life. "She's not dead! If she was, this would not be possible!"

"A different time phase." Unbidden, the memory of Rosaleen's demonstration of that particular ability flipped through his mind. "I haven't had anything past basic temporal mechanics at the Academy, and that was twenty years ago. That said, it's a better explanation than anything I can come up with."

------------------------

As Lizzy left the Bettina, she made her way down the gangway to head over to the Command module, where the woman had been taken. She got halfway across the distance, when Arianna approached her.

"I want to apologize for what happened a few minutes ago." Arianna said. "You were right. Rosaleen deserves justice, but not vengeance."

"Not only that, but we have no chance to get any important information from her, if we just kill her." Lizzy said as they continued walking. "Anything she could give would probably help give us an edge."

"Who's going to question her?" Arianna asked, genuinely curious.

"I haven't figured that out yet." Lizzy confessed. "I think a lot of people here want her dead."

"Then I suggest that you do your job and ensure that does not happen" Allison had moved to stand beside the two officers. "No more screw-ups will be tolerated." Her next comment was directed straight at Lizzy. "I hope that I am perfectly clear in this, Captain."

"Everyone wants to tell me how to do my job." Lizzy replied with a sigh. "If you've never made a mistake in your life, then I applaud you, but I'm Human. I'm not perfect, so I make mistakes."

Allison's stare was filled with malice. She had already been briefed on the events that transpired after Rosaleen had been wounded. "Well then, sir...you must be very human."

"I don't like any of this," Masters walked into the command module, having returned from sharing a large breakfast with some pilots and a group of refugees. Her comment drew a few glances, so she offered an explanation.

"An assassin doesn't just have a change of heart like this - not unless she's up to something else. I wasn't going to say anything, but I needed to bring this up. It might just be conspiratory in nature, but what if?" Eliana asked of the assembled group, turning to face the captive marksman.

"What if she's been planted here for another purpose? A distraction, perhaps, from whatever is truly happening. We have to consider it!"

Adria didn't like the way this was headed. Entering the command module she stopped, "I don't like this at all." Clearly the situation didn't sit well with her.

"I don't either." Lizzy's voice came from behind the group, as she entered the Command Module in time to hear the last bits of conversation. By this point, she was thoroughly annoyed with people questioning her decisions, and not taking her seriously. "This prisoner is under my protection, and will be questioned in accordance with the law. Anyone who tries to interfere will find themselves in restraints." As she said this, she gave Eliana a look that dared her to try to interfere. "You all have more important things to worry about than this prisoner."

Lizzy moved to where the woman was sitting in restraints. "The Commodore wants to see you." She said, as she pulled the woman to her feet. "Let's go." She said, before walking the woman out of the Command module.

*USS Bettina - Morgue*

Lizzy entered into the morgue area with the prisoner. "You said you wanted to see the prisoner, Commodore." She said, oblivious to anything that had happened in her absence.

However, the last thing on O'Shea's mind was the prisoner. By the time Jeh had entered the room, she and Andrew had opened the stasis unit, and were looking for...well, anything. Kathleen had her shields completely down, hoping beyond hope that she could find Rosaleen. She was there, but at the same time was not. But to Jeh, it looked like...

It took Lizzy only a moment to see what they were looking at, and confusion crossed her features. "What the hell?" She said, as she reflexively moved to unsnap the safety strap of her pistol, where her hand was now resting. "What happened to Rosaleen's body? Where did she go?"

"It would appear she is missing." Were the simple words from the woman standing in restraints next to the Captain.

"We're still attempting to figure that out, Captain. Her body was here when you left the room; the commodore and I have been here the entire time; there was a psychic disturbance a minute ago where I thought I heard Rosaleen's voice; the commodore looked in the stasis unit, and well, here we are." Given the reflexive move to her weapon, Andrew figured sticking with broad strokes was the smartest course at the moment.

His next step was to seal the door to the morgue. After tapping in a standard security seal for the door, he turned to address the visitor. "Rather a well-trained eye, ma'am. I don't suppose you would happen to know anything about this recent development?" The question was delivered neutrally, as Andrew was honestly trying to pick up all the pieces of this puzzle.

"I'm a sniper." The woman replied casually. "Making bodies vanish isn't my specialty."

"Wait... " Lizzy seemed confused as her mind's eye began to put two and two together. "Did you say there was a psychic disturbance?" She'd remembered before when Kathleen sort of explained what she was, and that Rosaleen was the same race.

Kathleen looked at the prisoner, then back at Jeh, hoping that she would get the message. "Well something to that effect. I think that a bit more privacy might be in order here while we sort things out."

Lizzy backed away, grabbing the arm of the woman she'd been escorting, forcing her to step with her as she opened the door. She looked at the two security guards standing outside. "Escort her to the brig, and stand watch."

"Yes Ma'am." One of them replied as they took charge of the woman. "I'll need you to follow us."

As they left, Lizzy sealed the door to the morgue, and turned around to face them. "Ok... Just so I get this right..." She said as a start. She'd put the pieces together sort of quickly, but she had to be sure of her answer. "You're telling me you heard Rosaleen, and then she was just gone, so she what... vanished into thin air?"

"She exists in a time frame that is different to ours. I don't know how...or why, but somehow she managed to 'change her internal clock', for lack of a better way to phrase it." She turned to Andrew, placing a warm hand on his chest. "I can try to find her, but...I need a link to this point, or I may not be able to return. I've...I have never tried this before. This is going to involve a lot of creative guessing." Her touch cooled noticeably. "I have to try, no matter the danger to self. She would do the same for me."

"Kathleen, wait." Lizzy said. She picked up a medical Tricorder, moving over to where they stood. "Let me get a thorough medical scan first." She was adamant. She had to be now, since she was the only doctor between the three of them. "If something goes wrong, I'll need it to treat you."

But Kathleen simply reached over and gently moved the hand holding the tricorder down. The smile that greeted Jeh was warm and sincere. "If something goes wrong..." She left the rest unspoken. There would be no coming back.

"No. I can't accept that, because I can't do this without you." Lizzy said, looking at Kathleen. "You're going to come back, and I'm going to be here when you do."

Andrew looked around the room None of this was making any sense, but what Kathleen was saying felt right. "Well, the sooner we do this, the less likely we are to have to explain this to anyone else. Is there anything you need me to do to facilitate this link, ma'am?"

Kathleen turned back to Andrew. "Keep your mind focused on me. It will take me many tries to figure out just exactly how she has phased. And there are still no guarantees. But she is still in contact, so she is reachable. But she is...confused."

"So am I, but that's nothing new." Lizzy said casually. She didn't want to face the possibility that she may be left on her own to face the horde of people outside, who were already on her case about her mistakes. "What do you need from me?"

Kathleen looked over her shoulder at Jeh. "Make sure we are not disturbed. I need to concentrate, and so will Andrew."

"I can seal the room, but I'm not leaving." Lizzy said. She looked at Kathleen for a quiet moment, before speaking again. "A Doctor might be needed, and I'm the only one here."

Kathleen did not turn to speak. "No...wait outside. I do not need the distraction."

Lizzy sighed heavily, and turned to Andrew. "If you need me, don't hesitate." She said as she unsnapped the safety strap on her holster, then turned to Kathleen. "Bring her home." She said, then turned, and walked out of the morgue to stand guard right outside the door.

Kathleen waited until Jey exited the room, then made her way over to the closed door. Kathleen did not believe that Jey understood the importance of no distractions during her attempt to recover Rosaleen. However, her command codes in the doors lock system would ensure their privacy. Then they could get started.

Failure was not an option.

---------------------

Commodore Kathleen O'Shea
Commanding Officer
Starbase 80

Captain Jey Cleh
Executive Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Starbase 80

Commander Eliana Masters
Second Officer
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Matheson
Chief Diplomatic Officer
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Commander Adria "Tempest" Desoro
Commander Air Group
Starbase 80

Master Chief Petty Officer Allison Wilshire
Command Master Chief
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Stacy Pierce
Director-Starfleet Corps of Engineers Division 16F
Starbase 80

 

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