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Intermission - Part 1 "Thalisar's Lament"

Posted on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 @ 7:34am by Captain Oliver Lee PhD & Captain Korra Ymir & Sayya Nurim & Lieutenant Commander Johannes Adlerstein & Lieutenant Kevan Dash & Lieutenant K'vagh & Lieutenant Chrysanthe Capulet & Lieutenant Ryley Kincaid M.D. & Captain Jackson Werner & Mackinzie "Mac" Williams

Mission: Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: USS Arcadia
Timeline: 1138 Hours, MD 3 (March 5, 2393)

::Theater, Deck 3, USS Arcadia::

Oliver watched attentively as the play neared the closing of its second act. After yesterday's confrontation with Nami over her genocidal plan against the Founders, he would have preferred something lighter, a comedy perhaps, but he couldn't just tell Director Broht to change the long planned performance in the last minute, so Thalisar's Lament would have to do. At least it's not as depressing as Hamlet. Besides he always appreciated a good historical play, and the Andorian masterpiece was one of the best. And there they come, those memorable lines:

Keval: Rejoice, Councilors, for Thyron has been slain!

Chorus: Thyron is dead! Thyron is dead!

Keval: The Commonwealth is reborn! The People are free! Long live Thalisar the Great!

Thelos: What people do you speak of, my dear Keval? What Commonwealth? One tyrant has been slain by another, and the Council trembles at the name of its new master.

Keval: Watch your tongue, my dear Thelos, lest you shall not taste the warmth of the morning sun.

Thelos: Alas, I shall hold my tongue, lest I shall not taste the warmth of the morning sun. The Commonwealth is reborn! The People are free! Long live Thalisar the Merciful!

The music faded, and the stage darkened. When the light shined again, the stage had emptied.

As per Andorian tradition Oliver, as the official patron of today's performance, quietly stood up from his seat and clapped his hands three times with rising intensity; then the entire theater followed suit and erupted into a round of deafening applause.

When the ovation finally died down, Director Broht walked onto the stage and acknowledged the man who had just led the applause.

"Thank you, Captain Lee," said the Bolian as he bowed slightly. Now speaking to the entire audience, he continued, "and thank you all for your kindness. Please, enjoy the refreshment as we prepare to bring you the rousing conclusion of this wonderful play."

::Later, Adjacent Reception Hall::

George moved through the crowd, a flute of Andorian champagne in each hand, looking for his date.

The first time Amira went to a play was back in high school when her entire class took a field trip to Mogadishu's famed Opera House. Somehow Mr. Lafleur thought it was a good idea to bring a bunch of teenagers to a performance of The Doctor in the original Bolian without universal translators. Needless to say the whole class was bored out of their mind that day. Even now she's still not the biggest fan of theater, but she had come to appreciate it as a gold mine for linguists such as herself. But she hadn't come here today for the play. No, not at all. She's here on a date. Yep, it's her very first date with George - not counting their totally unplanned run-in on the holodeck, that is - and since they had a choice of either the dress uniform or civilian formal wear, she wore her favorite white dress for the occasion. As for George, what a gentleman he had been. And there he was, bringing her the drink she had asked.

"Whoo, bubbly." she grinned at the emerald liquor. Well, technically it's non-alcoholic since they both had to get back to their shifts later, but it's still champagne for their first date. How romantic!

There was something about her smile that warmed George to his core. And that dress! As far as he was concerned, Amira was the most beautiful woman present. "Hey you go," he said as he handed the flute over. He, himself, having little in the way of dressy civilian clothes, had decided to wear his Marine dress blues for the occasion. While he certainly didn't have a very impressive award collection, he was proud of the fee that he had earned so far in his short career.

"Thank you." said Amira as she took the flute from the Marine, her eyes dashing across the medals and commendations pinned to his dress uniform. Pointing at one of the commendations, she asked, "Is that the one for saving the Captain?"

George glanced down at his left breast, to see which award Amira was indicating. "Yeah," he replied quietly. "Actually, all four of the ribbons are for it. One was from my unit C-O, Captain Werner, one is from Starfleet C-in-C, and the other two were from the Commandant herself. The other medals are just my various weapons qualifications and my Orbital Drop Wings."

Impressed, Amira reached out and brushed her fingers across the ribbons and commendations. "That's impressive. I barely passed my phaser qualification."

George smiled warmly at Amira's touch. "If you want, or are even interested, I'd love to help you with improving?"

Amira nodded enthusiastically. Anytime with him would be a good time.

"Of course! When do we start?"

"So long as my platoon sergeant and squad leader say that it's okay, we could start whenever you're ready." George replied with a grin, happy for Amira's clear excitement.

Amira beamed brightly and grabbed the man's arm. "I finish shift at 2000 hours."

The pair moved off towards the side of the room, to further discuss their future plans.

With a flute of Cardassian sunrise in her hand Sayya made her way through the crowd. She had lost sight of Lee, thanks to an inopportune run-in with a particularly annoying Ferengi, who tried to sell her a "once-in-a-life-time" investment opportunity in the Azula asteroid belt. She had no time for crystals - stories were what she was after - and told him off in no uncertain terms for wasting her precious time, but by then Lee had disappeared into the crowd, and now she had to track him down again.

As she rounded an ornate column, the intrepid reporter ran into some blonde and nearly spilled her drink. "Woops, my bad." she quickly apologized, but when she looked up and saw the other woman's face, any sign of contrition disappeared from her countenance. "Oh my, isn't it the great Mackinzie William. Fancy seeing you here. But don't you have some cheating celebrities to track down, Mac?"

"We all pay our dues with the general pieces, Sayya." Mac smiled warmly to her new rival, before she sipped on a glass of spring wine. "Don't normally see you at plays."

Sayya narrowed her eyes at the other woman. As usual, Mac was full of herself.

"Oh, sorry I didn't have a cultured upbringing like you." she barely made an effort to hide the sarcasm, "I mean, how could I? I was too busy picking through scrap metals on Goren IV to have time for fancy boarding schools and opera houses in New York." She stepped closer, and her voice turned more serious. "Now let's just cut the crap. You know exactly why I'm here. So go write all the inane puff pieces you want, Williams, but yesterday's riot in the brig is my beat. And don't you get in my way."

"Lips won't open to you unless you know which ones are the weakest," Mac spoke quietly to her rival. "So happens, I have the connections to loosen those lips, but let's not fight with each other. We could easily make this a joint piece."

Sayya sneered at the suggestion. "I have my own connections, Williams, and mine are not bought with my parents' money. And no, I'm not helping you get your halo back. Go find it yourself if you still care about real journalism." That's when she noticed the man she was looking for talking to the director of the theater troupe. It's a perfect opportunity. Turning her attention back to the other woman, she said, "Don't get in my way, William." With that she turned and dashed toward her target.

"Gotta love friendly competition," Mac mused to herself and went her own way as well.

Korra grumbled inaudibly as she grabbed an entire bowl of carrots from the table. She would rather be down in the hangar bay with her starfighter, but Oliver insisted that she came to the opening performance. Theater would be fun, he said. It wouldn't take long, he said. The food would be great, he said. No, theater sucked, the play was a full two hour long, and the food was . . . well, actually the food wasn't half bad.

"Pass me that ranch sauce." she asked the Trill next to her.

"Only if you promise to smear enough of it in my eyes to give me an excuse to go to sickbay," Kevan replied, passing her the sauce. He eyed the various plates and platters, grazing more than gathering. "Can't believe we have to sit through this. And it's only the intermission." He leaned in to add quietly, "Think we could form some sort of suicide pact if it lasts another 3 hours?"

"Hell no. This sauce is the real deal. I'm not gonna waste it on your stupid face." said Korra as she took the small dish of sauce from him and slid it into the handle on the larger bowl. Smirking, she added, "But if you want an excuse to go to the sickbay, I can always break your arm for you." she paused to dip a carrot in the sauce and began munching on it. "And no, I'm not forming a suicide pact with you, either. You still owe me a bottle of wine. You are not getting out of it that easily."

"The thought of that wine is the only thing getting me through this at the moment," he fired back. "After everything with Captain Ishikawa and . . . the other members of her crew . . ." he chose his words carefully. "I had hoped tonight would be a chance to relax and enjoy ourselves."

"Told you Ishikawa was sketchy." said Korra as she continued her assault on the bowl of carrots in her hands. "You can't trust a word she says. All that crap about destiny, she was just manipulating you. We make our own destiny. If you ever forget about that . . ." she paused when she noticed a slender blonde in a rather expensive looking dress making her way towards them. "Oh, great." Korra rolled her eyes. She never liked reporters.

Tilting her head slightly in the direction of their incoming visitor, the Marine said, "Looks like someone is going to get grilled. And it's not gonna be me." Before Kevan could respond, she took the flute of champagne from his hand and flashed a mischievous smile. In a voice loud enough to be heard by the approaching blonde, she said, "Thank you for the champagne, Lieutenant." With that she made her escape.

The very second Mac heard about some woman with a belief in destiny, she was peaked. Trouble was when the reporter made a beeline for that particular group of people, she lost them due to a mass of enlisted cutting her off. Apparently they were headed for the food bar.

By the time Mac got her bearings agian, the she wanted to talk to, was lost in the crowd.

Lieutenant T'Lor quietly observed the crowd as everyone socialized. The Arcadia's acting chief medical officer had always found social events such as this intriguing, a perfect opportunity to learn more about one's crew mates, although if she were the captain, she would have canceled the scheduled performance, given what they had just discovered about Project Medusa and the subsequent arrest of Captain Ishikawa and her crew. In fact, she had suggested exactly that to Captain Lee last night, but the human politely rejected her proposal. Having served under him since the Bunker Hill, she trusted her commanding officer, but trust did not always entail understanding.

That was when her eyes fell on the Arcadia's fighter wing commander. She had not had a chance to talk to him. The man had come aboard right before they left space dock and had so far required no medical attention. In other words, he was still very much an unknown to her. There was only one logical course of action for her to take. At that thought the Vulcan began to make her way to where the pilot stood.

Erich Hartmann stood by himself near a wall. His ubiquitous pilots jacket was on his back. Technically, it floated regulations to wear it in civilian clothes, but Erich couldn’t help it; he felt naked without it. Despite having reached field grade rank, he was still wary of jumping into social interaction with both feet. He was, after all, Johnny-Come-Lately to the crew, and did not wish to seem too pushy with integration. Several people came up to him at times for introductions and small talk, and the pilot responded amicably. He, however, contented himself to watch and listen.

"Commander Hartmann." T'Lor greeted the human with a slight nod.

Hartmann nodded back politely. He would have spoken a greeting in turn, but frankly had forgotten the person’s name, and so sought to avoid social embarrassment.

"I apologize for the intrusion," said T'Lor, "but it is my observation that you have refrained from interacting with the others for quite some time. Do you not enjoy social activities, Commander?" She was truly curious.

“I enjoy them well enough.” The pilot stated. “It is simply that I am a newcomer to a tight knit community. Best to simply wait and observe quietly rather than risk a social faux pas. I prefer the crew engage me rather than vice versa.”

His accent was smooth, Germanic, with emphasis on hard vowels.

T'Lor nodded slightly. "48.9% of the crew did indeed serve on the Bunker Hill together for several years before transferring to the Arcadia, but most of the other 51.1% had not served with each other for any significant time before coming aboard. I imagine you are not alone in that regard, Commander. And thorough observation before making contact is a logical course of action." A pause. "Perhaps you could organize an association of like-minded crew members who also prefer careful observation before contact. I believe the saying is 'there is strength in number'." Noticing the blank look on Hartmann's face, she made a note to herself: more practice on humor would be logical.

Ryley smiled warmly at those who met her eyes as she mingled amongst the crew. Truthfully, this particular play was not to her liking, but she was also grateful for the distraction after recent events. It was nice to see everyone letting their guards down however slightly and just enjoying each other's company.

Kincaid focused her momentary attention on maneuvering her grav-chair through the crowd without spilling her sparkling and sweet nonalcoholic drink.

Plays were not something that Jackson usually sought out for enjoyment. However, Lee had stated that he would like the entire senior staff to attend so, here he was, wearing a dark suit, which had been tailored in such a way that Jackson could wear light body armor underneath without it being obvious. He also carried a few concealed weapons, just in case. You could take the man out of the Marine uniform, but not the Marine out of the man. Standing at one end of the large room, his back to a bulkhead, he had a good vantage point most of the compartment.

Nola was pretty happy about how everything had turned out so far. The play went off without a hitch, the attendance was much better than anticipated, and most people seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps she should have got into the event planning business instead of joining Starfleet. Chuckling quietly at that thought, she sipped from her glass of non-alcoholic Risian wine - she's still on duty after all. That's when she noticed Jackson leaning against the bulkhead at one end of the reception hall. Taking another sip of her drink, she made her way over.

"Captain Werner," she said with a smile, "you don't look like you are having a good time. I hope it's not the food."

Jackson nodded to Nola as she approached. "Ma'am. No, the food is good. I just am not too keen with crowds. I do better out in the field, either solo or with a small combat team." He chuckled as he continued. "Comes with the training, I guess."

"Once a Marine, always a Marine, eh?" said Nola as she drank from her glass.

Bowing his head slightly and giving her a lopsided grin, Jackson replied to Nola. "Yes, Ma'am." He took a sip from the drink he was holding as he continued to scan the room. "Mind if I ask you something?"

"What is it, Captain?" asked Nola.

The seasoned Marine operator grimaced slightly, as if he couldn't identify a bad taste. "You get the feeling that something bad is about to happen, but you just can't put your finger on what that is?"

"Huh, can't say I do." Nola answered as she glanced around. There was nothing that seemed to be out of the ordinary. Shrugging slightly, she said with a small smile, "Everything looks fine to me." That's when she noticed what appeared to be concealed weapons under the Marine's dark suit. "You sure you are not being paranoid, Captain? The Klingons are back in the big, and so are Captain Ishikawa and her men. In any case, security has already been posted around the perimeter. I doubt you will need those." she said, gesturing at his well concealed weapons.

Looking around casually as he replied, Jackson said, "Paranoia has nothing to do with it. It's simple experience. The arrest of Ishikawa and her crew went too easy." He frowned as he continued. "She was quite forceful in her desire to go after the Dominion. Now she just goes along quietly with the arrest. Tell me the truth, does that sound normal to you?"

"Maybe she realized the futility of her plan." said Nola, "Unlike the brig on deck 43, where the Klingons managed to stage their little failed jailbreak, that's a maximum security cell she's in. She isn't getting out of that cell until we get to Starbase 139 and hand her over to the DTI*." (DTI: Department of Temporal Investigation)

Nodding slightly, Jackson's eyes continued to scan the room. "True. However, my gut is still screaming a warning at me. And if there's one thing that I've learned over they years, is my gut is rarely wrong."

Nola opened her mouth, but quickly closed it again as she reconsidered the Marine's words. She didn't see how Ishikawa and her men could possibly get out of their cells, but again, neither had she imagined that the Martok would ran straight into that Risian cruiseliner, nearly ending her Starfleet career. It was a miracle that they only slapped her with two reprimands. Who was she to question a seasoned Marine with an unblemished service record?

She tapped her comm badge. "Elbrun to Jesse."

Almost immediately the Arcadia's AI materialized in her holographic avatar beside the two officers. "Commander Elbrun, how may I be of assistance?"

Nola glanced at Jackson before asking, "What's the status of Captain Ishikawa?"

"Captain Ishikawa is still confined to her cell on deck 19 along with Commanders Hekoa and Ming." reported the AI.

"Do you detect anything unusual in the brig or its vicinity?"

"Negative. Are you looking for something specific, Commander?"

Nola let out a quiet sigh of relief. Perhaps this was one of those rare instances when Jackson't instinct was wrong. Perhaps she should have trusted her own a bit more.

"No, just checking. Thank you, Jesse." As the AI terminated her holographic presence, Nola turned back to Jackson. With a small smirk, she said, "See, Ishikawa isn't going anywhere."

Jackson shrugged noncommittally. The A.I. could tell them that everything was normal all it wanted, he would still listen to his hit. What bothered him, though, was the fact that he couldn't figure out from where the threat was originating.

From the corner of her eyes, Nola noticed McKinzie Williams, one of the reporters attached to the Arcadia, abruptly stopping Oliver in his path. Williams had been trying to land an interview with him since the news of the Klingon riot broke out yesterday. The Captain's yeoman had been instructed to schedule the interview after the Themyscira and her crew as well as the Klingons were transferred to the custody of station security on Starbase 139. It looked like Williams was not willing to stay put utill then.

"Excuse me, Captain." she said to the Marine before turning. As she made her way over, she walked past Chrys. The science chief was on her way to the exit. You couldn't expect everyone to like theater after all, but at least she had made the effort to come and stayed for a while. Nola appreciated that.

Chrys had mingled for a bit and then left the room. She was not big on theater let alone social situations. And she had things to do.

[To be continued in Part 2 . . .]

Captain Oliver A. Lee
Commanding Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Commander Nola Elbrun
Second Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(PNPC - Roger)
Captain Korra Ymir
Squadron Leader, VMFA-31
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(PNPC - Roger)
Ensign Amira Hye
Linguistic Specialist
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(PNPC - Roger)
Sayya Nurim
Reporter, Proxima Guardian Tribune
(PNPC - Roger)
Mac Williams
Reporter, FNN
(PNPC - Shana)
Captain Jackson Werner
Marine Detachment Commanding Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Corporal George Charles
Scout Sniper
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(PNPC - Werner)
Lieutenant Ryley Kincaid
Chief Counselor
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(PNPC - Werner)
Lieutenant Chrysanthe Capulet
Chief of Science
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Kevan Dash
Chief of Security
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Commander Erich Hartmann
Starfighter Wing Commander, CVW-28
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(NPC - Ryan)


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