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Hell Hath No Fury

Posted on Sat Nov 4th, 2023 @ 12:26pm by Commander Arianna Frost & Lieutenant Commander Leonora Wolf MD & Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Commander BaoJun Qiao & Lieutenant Commander Finley Chu & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong & Lieutenant Calderon Jarsdel & Gunnery Sergeant Roderik Kos & Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Commander T'Bela & Lieutenant Teejay & Lieutenant JG Ryland Dedeker & Lieutenant JG Jaya Maera Garlake & Ensign Nandi Chakma
Edited on on Sat Nov 4th, 2023 @ 4:57pm

Mission: Season 1 Interlude II (E5.5)
Location: USS Phantom
Timeline: ID 6

BRIDGE

One by one, the Phantom was beaming the scattered Memory Theta specialists from their respective locations back on board. The team from the Epsilon Ceti Outpost came first since the Phantom had been docked there when an illegal energy dissipator of either Breen or Tholian salvage was triggered. While it didn't have the catastrophic effects as the Breen's superweapon during the Dominion War, it did cause a few blips in the ship systems that required a soft reboot of key processes. By the time Ryland had pinged the ship from the commandeered workbee, they were able to beam him and Sophie directly to Sickbay where they were soon joined by the crew of the submersible. Mrazak's had come in the interim. The five of them had been beamed to the brig because Akiva wasn't exactly clear on where Mrazak stood in the hierarchy anymore, given his intended resignation. All in all, though, Akiva heaved a sigh of relief that they hadn't lost anyone else. Everyone had made it back.





BRIG

Mrazak pounded on the forcefield. "Ben-Avram! Get me out of here now! I will not be detained on my own ship!"

From the opposite cell, Nandi sat quietly in the corner with her head between her knees. This wasn't going to end immediately. She resigned herself to sit and wait in a heaping pile of futility.

"What the ssheth is going on?" T'Sen pounded on the field as well, although her pounding looked quite small and ridiculous next Mrazak's brightly lit one.

By contrast, T’Bela was seated criss-cross applesauce on the floor, back straight and eyes closed. There was nothing to do right now except to meditate. “I don’t suppose you two could keep it down?” she asked calmly, her voice low and gentle.

"In the name of the Office of Special Investigations, I order you to let me out!" Arex shrieked.

"I outrank you, so my order takes priority!" Mrazak shouted at Arex through the forcefield before he went back to his general protest. "LET ME OUT!"





MAIN TRANSPORTER ROOM

Cal materialised back into existence and stepped from the transporter pad to take a few seconds and adjust to the realm of noise incoming from the Phantom. A change in geography with so many sentients wasn't always a blip in concentration, but recent times had been exhausting and he, like everyone else, needed some rest. He looked to Fin and Leah once his head was straight again and offered up a wry smile. "Sickbay is crowded," he noted, looking to Leah. "Not sure all of us can be of much help, but you'll be welcome, I reckon."

Leah nodded. "I'm on my way." Without further ado, the Nord was out of the room.

"Well, Cal, that was fun. Let's not do it again," Fin said, the stress and exhaustion she had hoped to leave behind on Risa having found its way back onto her mental plate. "I'm heading up to the bridge." And then the doors opened for Fin to put action to word.

"Agreed," said Cal, simply. "Y'know, I was really hoping that was going to be an actual vacation. You think I'd learn... but nope. Still have some optimism left in here somehow." A pause, and he stared at the open doors. "Mind some company?" He asked Fin.

"Yeah, come on." She nodded through the door. "And I feel you on the actual vacation. I was supposed to be on leave for a few weeks, but the Thetans grabbed me after my massage on day one of shore leave to come here. I still have a credited stay on Tarsas 2 that I'm probably never going to get to enjoy."

"Tarsas 2?" Cal asked for more information as he followed Fin on through said doorway. "What was the snatch and grab all about, anyways?" He asked, opting to verbalise the question rather than go raking through her mind for answers. He had a feeling, an icy sense that he was missing something, or someone important, but the detail eluded the telepath for now.

"Turns out when you have my particular skill set and experience, you don't get to just transition back into a non-intel role. Just ask Leah about how you just end up back in the shadows." Fin explained.




INFIRMARY

Ryland and Sophie were already undergoing emergency treatment for exposure to the cold vacuum of space by the time any of the others began energizing into their space. Sickbay was becoming quite crowded in a hurry. There was a shortage of biobeds, so he hopped off and made room for someone else. It gave him a reason to stand at Sophie's bedside anyway.

"Might have to double bunk," Ryland said with a wink.

Sophie sighed and rolled her eyes, but when she spoke, her voice held significantly less of her usual venom. Whether it was because of her recent ordeal or for some other reason was as yet unknown. “Really, Dedeker?” she said. “Maybe we should make sure we’re not about to die before we get into that.”

"Lies," teased Ryland. "The brink of death is the best place to knock a piece off. Everyone knows that." But there was something almost half-hearted in his usual banter.

While they talked, all hands got Jaya and Storr to the empty biobeds next to Sophie. By standard rules of triage, while Storr's injuries appeared more grievous, it was Jaya who received the bulk of medical attention due to her pregnant status.

Consciousness slammed back to Storr with the jolt of an emergency shuttle landing in rough seas. Blinding lights and a cacophony of voices did not help the situation, and his entire body felt like it had been wrung out. Rolling his head to the side took far more effort than it should have (not to mention hurt far more as well), and it took nearly everything in him to reach out and touch Jaya's shoulder. "Ta...take care of my Love," was all Storr could say before he gagged and coughed up a non-insignificant amount of blood onto the floor and slipped back into the merciful black of unconsciousness.

Ari was helped over to a side bio bed, as feet buckled underneath her as she saw her friends being taken care of. With the adrenaline starting to wear off, the full extent of her injuries began to show their head. Her left hand felt like a pulsating ball of pain, the front and back of her ribcage felt tight and swollen, a contusion or two making themselves known - all of this making her pale and sweaty. Breathing decided to be hard too.

Bao looked around the sickbay. There had only a skeleton crew on the Phantom, so there were fewer medics than they might have hoped for. Not that the Sickbay really had a lot of room to begin with on a Defiant class vessel. Four bio-beds and no real surgical suite to speak of. Between the Garlakes, Sophie, and Frost, all the beds were full. Dedeker had, surprisingly, chosen to get out of the way. He paused to think for a minute. "Rodi, love, I'm sorry, but could you please evaluate Colonel Garlake? Medic, please attend to Mrs. Garlake. Computer, activate EMH."

Rodi unclipped his bag and rifle. He then handed both to Bao. "BaoJun." The marine said quietly, touching the man's cheek. "I need you to leave sickbay." Rodi then used the touching hand to pull the tall Lagashi down for a gentle kiss. "I'll see you later." As he allowed Bao to right himself, Rodi added his gloves and helmet in Bao's arms before stepping away.

Fresh from a thorough sonic shower, Teejay strode into medical, hit his shoulder with a dermal regenerator and re-upped a self-administered analgesic without breaking stride. He carried the gunshot wound to his shoulder with no overt sign of pain now, the bruises and minor wounds from his fight with the Klingon already working towards healing. His brisk, purposeful walk took him across to Jaya's side and with a direct intervention, he put himself physically between the EMH and the pregnant Deltan. "EMH - please take a look at Cmdr Frost, then triage Dedecker and Xiong to determine if we can free up another bed." The forensic scientist then looked from Bao to Rodi and down to Jaya. "You okay with me checking you over, ma'am?" He asked, politely, teeth bright in a friendly smile. "I promise I'm qualified for medfical examinations." On dead people, but right now that was sorta irrelevant. Teejay knew where everything ought to be.

The world had finally stopped spinning long enough for the room to come into focus for Jaya. She was among friends. Was this the ship? It looked like the ship. "Are they dead?" she asked. "I think I got one. How did we get here?" Clearly she was not quite all there yet.

"You're safe," said Teejay simply. "Back on the Phantom, in good hands," he waggled his fingers to back up his words. "Team effort, some deaths may have occurred, and you and your hubby are home safe. Now we just need to check on your and the three little mini-mes, make sure you're all healed up. Anywhere hurt or feel awkward?" He asked, scanning Jaya as he asked the questions and looking up to take mental notes on the screen-displayed results.

"I hurt all over," Jaya groaned. "What's a mini-me?"

"I'm not surprised," noted Teejay as he caught up on the info-dump from the scans. "Let me hit you up with some safe meds for pregnant mommas," he added, dosing Jaya with an analgesic that wouldn't otherwise affect her vitals or unborn children. "And a mini-me," he continued smoothly, "is exactly that - 'mini' as in smaller than usual, and 'me' as in you in this case. Duplicates of the bigger version - you - and your hubby. Babies. Small folks. You get the drift?" A lazy, friendly, casual patter to distract his patient from the gentle prodding and poking, slight infusing of meds and yet more scans that checked for all sorts of deeper, worrying injuries that might affect said triplets who had been involved in a highly unpleasant and ultra-violent series of actions.

"Whatever you say, Doctor." The closed-eye, dreamy smile from Jaya showed the painkillers were kicking in and that she wouldn't be awake much longer.

Leah entered Sickbay at that point. She noticed people organizing. "There's a spare bed in the Med-Lab, through that door." She pointed over to the door on the far side of the room. "Everyone who doesn't need to be here, out! Go debrief the Captain!" Wolf then pointed to the other door. "Alert the Yuna Tarka Medical Center on Risa, we may need their services. Tell them to prepare for Protocol 33." She then grabbed a tricorder from one of the trolleys and headed over to Ryland and Sophie.

Protocol 33 was a recognized code for a facility to prepare for classified patients that needed isolated, covert care.

Doctor Soltz, the Bolian medic ran into Sickbay at that point, quickly assessed the situation and moved over to help the two Marines. "How bad?"

"Three broken ribs, left lung perforated. Electrocution through the torso, initial signs of nerve damage. Major abrasions to the face, down to the bone. Major blunt trauma to the entire stomach and chest," Rodi reported. He had cut off what was left of the Colonel's clothing. Rodi had seen a lot of battlefield injuries, the medical evidence of many a brawl both drunken and sober, and even a few enhanced interrogation victims. Storr Garlake's injuries were rating high. "I've got him on three units of smart blood to try and stop internal bleeding. Deployed Altion anaesthetic to keep the pain to a minimum and encourage unconsciousness."

The Bolian nodded as she listened and read the readouts. "Well done, Sarge. You've just saved his life. Mind if I keep you here a bit? I'll need your help stabilizing him till we can get to a hospital. He needs surgery urgently." She quickly rolled over an instrument tray. "Alright, we need to install a patch to keep his lung from collapsing first." She picked up two long, narrow instruments. With one, she cut into the Colonel's chest. "You know how to use a rib spreader?"

"Aye." Rodi answered, accepting the second instrument. With rusty, but practiced skill he slid the spreader into the incision. Through touch Rodi found the first rib. The tool split, the first one wrapping around the bone, while the second was guided to the rib above the first. It then attached to it as well. The moderately flexible metals then firmed up into unbendable steel. "We're in position."

Meraxa was reaching in with two instruments and a flat, bendy object the moment that Rodi pulled the ribs away. Gingerly, she placed the patch over the punctured area and the flat object began reforming, creating a barrier that grafted into the injured lung.

The Bolian then pulled out, "alright, release."

With less rusty skill, the spreader exited Storr's body.

As the ribs re-adjusted to their original position, Meraxa looked up at the display, seeing the vital signs stabilize. "Good work Sarge. Let's patch him up and floor it to the hospital." She said as she handed Rodi a tool, while she used one herself and began suturing up the cut on Storr's chest.

The dermal regenerator quickly patched up Storr's incisions, leaving not even a scar to brag about later. To his private surprise, the stocky marine felt a sense of contentment about doing medical work again. Did he actually miss it?

Leah moved over Ryland and Sophie. "Alright you two. Ryland, I know your leg's fine. Any other injuries? Sophie?"

“Those lousy, dead Pakleds hit me in the head a couple of times,” answered Sophie irritably. “It hurts like a sonofabitch. I’m sore all over and keep finding new scratches and my left knee feels like it’s fallen apart. And we were both exposed to the vacuum of space for about a minute.”

"I wore a helmet the whole time." Ryland shot Leah a wink since Sophie was being no fun. "Gotta' protect the head."

Leah nodded, exchanging a brief nod with Teejay as she continued to scan Sophie. You have a moderate concussion, but that's an easy fix." She reached over to an instrument tray and picked up a vial and a hypo-spray. She adjusted the dosage as she slotted the vial and pressed it against Sophie's neck. "This should help with your concussion and the soreness. It will keep you up for a bit though, until your concussion subsides. If you feel increased sleepiness in the next 12, you need to let me know, and I'll adjust the dosage for you. Now, what happened with the knee?"

"She gets a lot of use out of those, let me tell ya." Ryland knew he was being foul and he didn't care. It was a defense mechanism. "Make sure you get her knee patched up real good though. She'll need it for later."

“That’s disgusting, Dedeker,” said Sophie without much conviction. “Don’t pay any attention to him,” she told Leah. “They had me in a crate and I tried to kick my way out. I probably did something to it at that point.”

Leah rolled her eyes at Ryland visibly and scanned Sophie's knee. "You sure cracked it well, but thankfully it's not broken. Hold still..." Wolf reached over and took a micro suture and turned it on. She began running it over Sophie's knee. "There's a torn tendon in there as well, should be able to patch you up with this." She tapped on the device she was running over Sophie's knee. "I wouldn't suggest using that knee for things other than walking or sitting. No hanky panky on the knees today, y'hear?"

“That won’t be a problem,” replied Sophie flatly.

Leah snort-laughed a little as she finished with Sophie's knee. "Alright, go have a shower, change clothes and take it easy for the rest of the day. We'll need to do reports and debriefs later.

“I hope my brain is working a little better by then,” muttered Sophie, gingerly stepping off the biobed. “Come on, Ryland. Let’s get out of this mess.”

"Right behind you," Ryland said, giving her a slap on the posterior.

Sophie gave him a nasty look, but otherwise ignored that.

The EMH looked mildly annoyed at being summoned but then ignored. Then its programming kicked in and it realized that Commander Frost was lying on a bio-bed, with no one attending to her and having noticeable problems breathing. It quickly requisitioned a tricorder and a basic set of implements and moved over to her. It ran the tricorder over her. "Well, you've certainly had a number done on you, but thankfully, not as bad as the unfortunate marine over there. Looks like you've got several cracked ribs in there. Nothing perforated or punctured. Definitely bruised your kidneys and liver though. Surgery can't help with those, though a bit of subdermal regeneration can sort that. Your hand, on the other hand, has been very, very thoroughly crushed. Simple regeneration isn't going to help with that. You'll need reconstructive surgery to put it to right, I'm afraid," he rattled off, completely uncaring how Arianna might take that information. "Oh right, where are my manners. A painkiller might make it easier to breathe. Would you like one?"

Ari was too focused on being able to breathe at all to pay much attention to his tone, or perceived lack of care. She nodded slowly, feeling sweat pour off of her in waves, yet feeling chilly. "Yes, please, Doc." She said with difficulty as she was starting to feel nauseated from the pain.

"10ccs of Triptacederine," said the EMH for the log. It depressed a hypospray against Ari's neck. "Reconstructive surgery can be postponed until the next available surgical suite becomes available, unless you are in dire need of your hand. In that case, I am capable of performing an emergency reconstruction, but you will still be required to have it assessed by a medical professional."

Ari winced as the hypo started working through her bloodstream before her grimace relaxed. "Take care of the urgent ones first." She said with more ease as she felt the pain subside. "Although maybe I need a splint until then?" She raised her limp, somewhat grisly looking hand. Fingers stuck out at odd ends and the width seemed to decrease into length.

"Very well," the EMH said, its voice falling deep into his throat. It retrieved a metallic sleeve from one of the drawers beneath the biobed and slid it over Ari's twisted hand. "Some patients report a pinching sensation." A quick run of the protoplaser made it shrink into a metallic fingerless glove that forced her digits into proper alignment. "You're not going to have much hand-strength and it won't absorb a significant amount of shock, but it should prevent further incidental damage."

Ari winced as the glove worked itself into place. "Fuck, that's creepy and fascinating at the same time." She commented as she watched her gloved hand regain semblance or normalcy. "I'll be careful, Doc. Not overly keen on doing anything with it till I can get the surgery done." Her eyes began to feel less fuzzy, but her vision still wasn't clear. There would be time to deal with that later. She decided to slide off of the bio-bed. I'll go brief the Captain while you take care of them," she said with some effort. Ari didn't wait for a reply, instead walking out of Sickbay.

"Computer, locate Captain ben-Avram."

"I have a name, you know," said Ferrofax. "But then I avoid using yours, so I suppose the turnabout is fair. Captain ben-Avram is headed to the brig to account for some unwanted guests."

"Thanks, Ferrofax." Ari replied with a smirk as she headed for the Brig.

Leah looked up from Sophie's scans and looked around the room. This wasn't going to be possible on the Phantom. Two people at least needed urgent surgery, possibly more.

"Wolf to Bridge," she tapped her commbadge.

"Go for Bridge," reported an unfamiliar junior officer.

"We need to set course for Risa immediately. We have several people in need of immediate surgery and we don't have the capacity to do that on the ship. Alert the Yuna Tarka Medical Facility that we are coming in with an urgent Protocol 33," Leah ordered as she got back to scanning Sophie.

"I will have to clear that with the Captain," replied the Bridge Officer. "He is currently at the Brig."

"And you're not already doing it? This wasn't a suggestion. Get it cleared and get us there. Wolf out." Leah cut the comms before there could be any reply.





BRIG

Akiva stepped into the brig, nodded at the brig officer, and stepped toward the six cells. Only one was empty. Mrazak, Nandi, and T'Sen he knew. The Cardassian and the Edosian were total strangers.

"Apologies," Akiva began. "We were in the middle of several crises when the transporter request came. Since at least one of you, perhaps more, are not cleared to be on board this ship, I had precautions to take until the matter could be settled." Admittedly there was part of him that was enjoying this. But Akiva was professional enough to repress that enjoyment beyond a taciturn demeanor. He stepped over to Nandi's cell and deactivated the forcefield. "Ensign, you may return to duty."

Without any word or comment, Nandi hopped to her feet and scurried away without making any eye contact with anyone else. Her big doe eyes expressed gratitude more than words ever could to Akiva.

"As for the rest of you, I have to clear your authorization to even be on board before I can even consider letting you out." Akiva folded his arms behind his back and awaited what was sure to be a melodramatic performance.

Mrazak didn't miss his cue. "I will say this only once more: LET. ME. OUT."

"On whose order?" Akiva asked. "You said not long ago that you were resigning your commission."

"I am still the Captain of this ship," Mrazak said. "My commission holds. If you do not release me, I will have you brought up on obstruction and disobeying a direct order!"

Rather than reply, Akiva turned his attention to the others. He was sure there would be a rebuttal. Now that he'd had a moment to recall, there was an Edosian listed in the replacement pool for Mrazak in the event he were to be relieved of duty. Akiva knew this because he refreshed himself on that list quite regularly. Had Starfleet sent a replacement already? This would have to be done delicately.

T'Sen stared daggers at Akiva as he moved towards the sentient hexapod.

T’Bela simply ignored the newcomer and continued meditating. When he was ready, he would speak to her. Until then, she would be patient.

Arianna arrived moments later, still looking worse for wear but no longer in danger of collapsing or going into shock. "Sir..." she nodded to the Hebron, then nodded at Mrazak. "Mrazak."

Mrazak, Arex, and T'Sen were released as Akiva deactivated their forcefields. "As fun as this has been, I don't see any need to detain you three. You're all free to get l'azazel out of here immediately."

"Not until this is settled!" Mrazak protested. He thrust an angry finger at Arex. "He will never run Memory Theta!"

"Last I checked, there is an Edosian next in line for your position," Akiva fibbed. It wasn't a guarantee but he did want to make Mrazak squirm. "So you and your lady fair can go do whatever it was you'd planned. Have a good life, Mrazak."

Mrazak took a deep breath and seethed through gritted teeth. "I am not going anywhere," he finally said. "Memory Theta will never belong to that wretched spider Arex because I am Memory Theta! My resignation is null and void because it was never filed. Whatever reports you heard to the contrary were greatly exaggerated. As the captain of this vessel, I hereby eject Arex with extreme prejudice." He looked at the Edosian medical specialist for Division 13 and gave him a gloating grin laden with a smug and sinister superiority. "Ferrofax, please beam Arex into the nearest ocean and alert the Risian coast guard of his approximate location."

"That is a morally grey order," Ferrofax said, "and I thank you for it."

The Edosian was transported away, leaving only the echoes of his ominous baritone threats in his wake.

T'Sen turned slowly, her fists clenched, a furious grimace on her face. "What the sseth did you just say?" She growled up at Mrazak.

"Don't you take that tone with—" Mrazak started to say.

Her fist straight at his jaw was her reply. Followed by a left hook, before she jumped in a feral manner at him, hitting him in the chest and shoulders. "You foul, lying, vile, disgusting, lying son of a driska! I knew I should have never trusted you! I knew you would betray me, you disgusting lok! I hate you! I never should have trusted you! You lying marisith shosh-kena varoth!" T'Sen screamed her longs out as she clung onto him and hit him at the same time.

"Ow! Get her off me, ben-Avram!"" It was all Mrazak could do to cover his face with his arms as she tore at him like a vengeful harpy.

"Sorry," Akiva said from behind a nearby terminal. "I didn't catch that last part over the screaming. Would you two like to be alone?"

Every word and strike had echoed across every deck in a ship wide channel that also fed video to every terminal. Akiva allowed himself a satisfied smirk.

T'Sen let out a slew of curses in old vulcan, though to a trained ear some klingon slipped in there, each word more foul than the other as her legs were hooked around his waist. Long nails dug into Mrazak's skin, piercing flesh in some instances. She grabbed the side of his face with the other and bit into his pointed ear, using the touch to continue scream at him telepathically.

"I KNEW YOU WOULD BETRAY ME! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!" Her voice blared in his head.

To the side, Ari slid back and over to Akiva, watching the scene with morbid fascination, but not before she gave Akiva a grin. His little play was quite impressive! She didn't think he had the naughty side in him. She liked it!

"Release my thoughts, you feral beast!" Mrazak shouted right before she tore a chunk out of his ear. "Argh! Help! She is devouring me!"

Akiva threw a glance at Ari and shared a grimace. "Think we should intervene yet?"

Ari shrugged, one arm supporting her mangled hand on top of it. "Maybe just a few more seconds. Vulcan relationship problems are fuckin' fascinating. Who knew they go so feral."

"Vulcans Without Logic," Akiva corrected. "I suppose this is the ugly truth behind their strict cultural traditions."

T'Sen spat out the torn flesh and stomped on it as it fell to the floor. "How hurshit could you!? How could you?! How could you?!" she screamed at him as she moved away, towards the wall further away frim him.

Meanwhile, in the last cell, an oddly satisfied half smile had spread across T’Bela’s face. She had only known Mrazak a couple of days and could already tell that he probably deserved this.

"You psychotic p'shta! Are you trying to devour me?!" Mrazak howled in pain and held his damaged ear against with one hand pressed firmly against his head. "I regret every gram of seed I planted inside you!"

"I regret every moment of that short spurt!" T'Sen launched at him again, swinging wildly. Fists, fingernails, limbs - fury poured from the tiny Vulcan. "Why did you marry me if you were just going to abandon your vows for this stupid lok measuring contest with a sentient tripod!"

Mrazak stiffened for a moment, but only a moment, before he declared what came next. "I never married you. Why would I? You insane little woman. I... have a duty. That is all I ever wanted. It's all I ever need." Forcing a hard glare, he said, "Get off my ship!"

"You lying scum!" T'Sen growled at him and swung for his chin with a right hook. "I'm not going anywhere!"

"Ferrofax! Beam this sehlat right on top of Arex," Mrazak ordered. "And cancel the alert to the Risian coast guard."

The almond eyes of T'Sen went from narrowed to wide open as loathing turned to fury. "You fu—" But her words were cut off by a stream of energy which whisked her away.

"Who says chivalry isn't dead?" Ferrofax mused.

To the side, Ari looked over at Akiva, reluctantly tearing her eyes away from the insane display. "We need to go back to Risa, Storr and I need surgery and if Jaya starts popping? We don't have the facilities for either."

"You're right," Akiva said. "I received a request from the bridge during all of that and already gave the order. We should be back in Risian orbit momentarily." Looking at Mrazak, he said, "Are you going to be all right?"

Mrazak turned a steely gaze onto Akiva. It was cold, soulless, and devoid of emotion save for the faintest tick at the corner of his mouth. "Going to be? Ben-Avram, I've never been better." He straightened out his clothing. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to change into uniform."

"Your secret's safe with me," Akiva said, pity rife in his voice. As much as he detested Mrazak, that had been a difficult thing to watch.

"I don't know what you mean," Mrazak said as he walked out of the brig.

Sophie and Ryland were walking by on their way to Sophie's quarters. When Ryland's eyes met Mrazak's, he couldn't help himself. "Hey, look, Soph! It's Short-Spurt!" And he then broke out in a cruel guffaw.

"I don't know what you mean," Mrazak repeated to Ryland as he'd said to Akiva before pushing his way past them.

“I don’t, either,” replied Sophie, confused. She seriously hoped she hadn’t lost some memory relating to Ryland’s comment, or that the concussion had messed with her brain more than she had feared.

Ari shook her head in mild amusement, still cradling her hand in her other arm. "May we live in interesting times come to life."

Looking back at the brig, Akiva took note of the final loose end. "What about that one?" he asked, referring to T'Bela. "The system shows a pending transfer order under Mrazak's authorization. I suppose we should let her out?"

Ari nodded, "she's not nuts, or at least hides it well. I'd say she's earned that at least.”

T’Bela’s eyebrows went up. “You do not wish to interrogate me?” she asked, sounding for all the world like a Vulcan- this one with logic.

"Mrazak conscripted you for some reason," Akiva said. "His track record with that is about 50/50. We can let you out. Whether or not you stay may be another conversation." Akiva deactivated the forcefield. "I apologize for everything that has happened and for everything that may from here on out."

Secretly, T’Bela thought that anything that could happen at Memory Theta couldn’t possibly be any worse than what had happened to her in the 7 years after she had left Cardassia. Scenes of death and destruction passed through her mind and she closed her eyes against them. Best not to dwell, after all.

"Sir, I need to go back to Sickbay, I think. I'm dosed up the wazoo and just being on my feet is pretty taxing at the moment. You good to take care of this?" Ari said, leaning against the wall.

"Go," Akiva said simply and did his best not to watch her walk away. Turning back to T'Bela helped. "Do you need any medical attention? We can postpone our chat for later."

“I am fine,” she replied, noting the lingering glance he’d given the other woman. “I mean, other than being suddenly beamed aboard a random ship directly into the brig by people who don’t exist," she added a very small sly grin.

"We exist," Akiva said plainly. "No one is supposed to know we do. But evidently you've been added to our number. Forgive me if I don't read you into Memory Theta protocols right away. You won't have authorization to send or receive communications until that part is done, so... apologies in advance. Try and make yourself at home as best you can regardless." He gave her a nod. "We'll talk more later. I'm needed back on the bridge."





A chorus of laughter had erupted in Sickbay as the insane fight was transmitted throughout the ship. Leah felt amused and bad at the same time, and had to remind herself Mrazak was just as bad if not worse than the tiny Vulcan and that he's probably earned all of her ire.




Bridge

Bao sat in the command chair, having come to the bridge after putting away Rodi's equipment and getting uniform. He wasn't really of much use anywhere else, so he could at least make sure the junior officers didn't lose control of the ship, again apparently, or otherwise cause any more shenanigans. He supposed he should chastise them for the laughter and glee resulting from the broadcast of the implosion of Mrazak's love life throughout the ship, but he couldn't bring himself to, considering he was try quite hard not to be amused himself. Fortunately, at least for professionalism, the young ensign handling communications reported receiving dual transmissions, one from Risa, and the other one he had every intention of passing off to someone else. "Right, ensign, let sickbay and Commander Frost know the hospital is standing by to receive the transfer and put the Admiral on hold," he said as he looked for a comm since he still hadn't secured a commbadge, his being safely stowed in his room on Risa. Finding the correct button he tapped it, "Captains Mrazak and Ben-Avram to the bridge."

Walking onto the bridge with a crisp new uniform fresh from the replicator, Mrazak straightened his collar to accentuate his captain pips. "Commander Qiao," he said with an imperative tone, "you're in my chair."

Bao stood, "Father of Scien...I mean Captain on the bridge," he said moving towards his usual station.

"Correct," said Mrazak. "On both counts." He assumed his chair and was about to give the order to return to base. But he saw a course had been laid in to Risa. "Why are we going back to Risa?"

"Because I ordered it." Akiva entered the bridge in full stride. "We have crew in need of dire medical attention and the rest still have shore leave. If you don't like it, find your own way back to Overwatch."

"Risa is fine." Mrazak leaned back in his chair, gripped the arms with his fingertips, and faced forward. "Fine indeed." Two captains on the bridge never seemed to work in his favor.


 

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