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Consequences for doing the right thing (Back post)

Posted on Sat Jan 17th, 2015 @ 3:28pm by Commander Jey Cleh & Commander Eliana Masters

Mission: Bloodpath
Location: USS Bettina - Morgue
Timeline: Shortly after "Atmosphere"

OLD:

All you have to do is wake up, Ellie.

NEW:

As Eliana slept, the door to the morgue opened, and quiet footsteps were heard going down the short hall. The woman entered the room to check on Rosaleen's stasis unit, but then she just stopped...

"Wake up!" The quiet of the Bettina's morgue was suddenly shattered by the familiar voice of the Starbase 80 XO, as she stood there, looking at Eliana. When she didn't move right away, she got a little louder. "Ellie, wake up!!"

"Wha... huh?" Masters woke with a start, having spent the last few hours tightroping the line between consciousness and a restless, uneasy sleep. Her senses were still hyper-sensitive, especially in the silence generated by the well-insulated room. Sounds from the stasis equipment had become auditory stimuli in Eliana's dream, but the easily distinguishable patterns of speech brought her fully back into the conscious world.

The tricentenarian looked up to see who had awoken her. Seeing who it was, she tilted her head to the side and looked up, trying to avoid the glare of the motion-activated lights looming on the ceiling above.

"Remind me to have them install some diffusers on the auxiliary fleet," Ellie groaned, looking around to see what time it was. There was no way to know. The morgue was completely cut off from the outside world.

"You're in a lot of trouble right now." Lizzy said, as she moved to run her checks on Rosaleen's stasis unit. "By stealing a shuttle, and running off alone to who knows where, you've disobeyed orders I gave for everyone's safety, including yours!" She turned to face Ellie, offering a hand to help her off the floor. "What in the galaxy prompted you to do something so dangerous?"

With some help, Masters rose to her feet and used her hand to sweep as much hair back into place as she could. The realization of potential discipline coming her way had not been lost to her. Somewhere between atmosphere reentry and touchdown she knew there would be consequences. After all, her name was on the order given to establish the no-fly zone.

"I had to tell Kathleen. I just had to. In my experience, nothing good comes out of waiting to deliver bad news. But, you're right, it was dangerous and I'll accept any consequences that come from it," Masters sighed, rubbing her temples in an attempt to wake up. "I just . . I don't know. I guess I acted out of emotion and impulsiveness."

Lizzy sighed. She understood where Ellie was coming from. After the loss of her own parents, it was hard, and she knew it. "I can't say I blame you for what you did, and Kathleen will probably have my hide for doing this, but I'm grounding you, until we leave here." She said. "We're all in a tight spot here, and after what happened to Rosaleen, I don't need people taking reckless risks."

"That's the right decision," Eliana simply nodded, drowsiness rendering her incapable of saying anything further. "I'll let my guys know too. It's a good example. Everyone has to follow the rules. What do you want me to do in the meantime?"

Lizzy thought about the question. Ellie had been helpful to her since her arrival on Starbase 80. "Our main concern is the safety of this base, and the refugees for the moment. To that end, just do what you can." She said. "But I need a little more from you too. Help me out... Ya know, give me advice when you think I need it, and try to keep me from making too much of a mess of things. Can you do that for me?" She asked, offering her hand to Ellie as what she hoped would be a welcome offering of friendship.

"That's part of the job description," Masters managed a grin. "I'm supposed to make you look good so you can make the CO look good. Don't worry, I've been in Starfleet for eight decades and I've been dealing with them for even longer. It's hard to come up with a good team, but we've got a good start here."

"One more thing." Lizzy returned Ellie's grin. "Next time you decide to do something like this again, come talk to me, or the Commodore first. I would've given you the go ahead, with an escort, if you'd recommended it to me."

"I understand completely, and that's good to know. I'm sort of cautious when it comes to waking people up when the chronometer reads 'ridiculous o'clock'. I'm glad we're on that level now." There was something of the El Aurian's usual, playful demeanor returning to her the more she woke up. Half successful in her attempts to stifle a yawn, Masters stretched and narrowly avoided clobbering a medical container in her follow through.

"Don't worry. I'm not a problem child, I promise. We can move forward together," Masters stopped for a moment. "We've got to get things more organized by the time Kathy gets here."

"I've been through enough to know that nothing in life is ever black and white. I have no problems breaking the rules, when the situation calls for it." Lizzy replied. "Getting more organized... That's going to be the tough part for me." She said, as she recalled what she's read from her sister's files. In this, she wouldn't be lying. "I've handled all kinds of medical procedures from scrapes, and bruises, to heart attacks, and brain surgery, but this is one thing I've never had to deal with. I don't know how to organize anything like this on my own. Rosaleen was beginning to help me out here, but..." She turned away from Ellie, trying to hide the tears that spilled from her eyes. "I can't do this alone." She finally admitted, while still facing away from Ellie.

One did not have to have the intrinsic empathic abilities of an El Aurian to understand the difficulty that Cleh was going through. In one form or another, every single member of any organization across the galaxy that had been trusted with the lives of others had faced the doubt and questions that came with the knowledge that poor decisions could cost people their lives. A few gave in to the pressure. Fewer rose above it and conquered it.

"Jey, it's going to be okay," Masters dropped all pretense of rank, walking over and putting an arm around her shoulder. "Your actions and abilities put you in this position of leadership, and I'd bet there's hundreds, if not thousands, of others across the fleet that would vouch for you. Everything will be fine."

"Nothing is fine for me." Lizzy explained, looking at Eliana. "Maybe you haven't noticed, but I keep screwing things up, I have no friends, and my disorganized nature is putting everyone in danger. I don't even belong in this hell hole of a war zone, and there is no one I can talk to that can really help me with the things that eat away at me every day."

"Do you honestly believe that anybody belongs in a war zone? It's not a choice anybody makes - at least, not anybody that I want to associate with. We're here to make the best of it, I mean, that's all we really can do."

Eliana stopped for a moment, wishing she could think more clearly and be of more help. It was clearly going to be a long day.

"You can't just hold it all in all the time. It's not healthy. Sometimes, you have to find the right places and the right people to let it all go. I mean, this transition to the station hasn't been easy for any of us, but it's the same thing. It all comes back to attitude. It's more about what you want to make out of it," Masters tried to explain. "For what it's worth, you've got a friend in me for as long as you need one."

"That's good to know... It's a start, if nothing else." Lizzy replied, as she regained some of her composure. "Did you find any evidence from our shooter in the woods?"

Masters remained still for a moment. Back to work then, she thought to herself.

"No, we're going to have to try again when daylight comes. Whoever did this was good at covering his or her tracks, so that's something out of nothing I suppose," Eliana replied, wishing for all the world that she was back on station and tucked comfortably into her own bed. "The search team is back recuperating, give it another go in the morning."

"Sounds like a plan." Lizzy said, taking a deep breath, and letting it out. As she looked at Eliana, she seemed much more like her normal self again. "Get some rest, Commander. I'm putting you on the morning shift to lead that search personally."

"Understood," Masters nodded, leaving the morgue and heading for what she hoped would be a warm blanket and a quiet space to grab a few hours' worth of rest. She had survived the day's events and no matter what the next day held in store, it was unlikely to be more trying than the past few hours.

There was a bunk open in the crew area on the Bettina. It was more than adequate.

Lizzy watched her go, part of her wondering how much worse things were going to get for her, before she finally followed Masters out of the Morgue.

OFF:

Captain Jey Cleh
Executive Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Starbase 80

Commander Eliana Masters
Director of Flight Operations
Second Officer
Starbase 80

 

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