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Advance to Contact

Posted on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 @ 2:13pm by Lieutenant Finnley Keating VII & Lieutenant P’rel M.D & Petty Officer 3rd Class Sam Saghir
Edited on on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 @ 2:22pm

Mission: The Shadow of Arachne
Location: Corridors, USS Athena
Timeline: After the crossing - Prior to "Interrogation x 3"
1763 words - 3.5 OF Standard Post Measure

Sam hurried down the corridors, looking for the bosslady. He had been discharged from sickbay finally, and was not keen to be any later than he absolutely had to be. That established, he was half minded to go back to sickbay to have his head looked at again; he had sworn that two old ladies in ancient Earth clothing had walked through wall. Assuming it was something wrong with the integrated holodeck systems, he hurried on regardless, on a mission to make himself as useful to the ice queen as possible.

----

P'rel exited a turbolift, having to take a somewhat longer journey to the brig than would normally be required due to the physical and systems damage still wreaking havoc through Athena. The options raced through her mind, as she took a moment to critique the chances of success for each scenario, she ultimately came to the conclusion that she lacked data about the clones to be able to decide on a definitive course of action.

----

"Finnley!" Sam shouted as he caught sight of the radiantly stunning woman, she was glowing - actually, literally physically glowing - "uhhhhhhh" he muttered as he realised he had just shouted down a commissioned officer in a busy corridor, and was presently stood with a stunned gape across his face as he also wondered if he really did need to go back to sickbay.

Finnley was strolling down the corridor headed for her quarters, having just left engineering in Paxton’s hands while she got a much needed sonic shower and fresh change of uniform. Annoyance was her first reaction to hearing her name yelled down the hall. Her sole desire in that moment was to make it to her quarters without having to repair anything or interact with anyone. As soon as she realized it was Sam that had shouted down the hall to her, her demeanour changed and she chuckled as she turned to face him.

“Hi Sam, it’s good to see you. Finally been discharged from sickbay?” She asked, ignoring the awkward look of wonder that seemed to have become standard anytime she interacted with him.

---

Rounding a final corner on the way to the next turbolift which would take her down to the brig, she caught sight of her assistant talking to a female engineer. Saghir could have his uses at this point, and she was keen to recall him back in to her service. He hadn't seen her, as she approached from behind him, nodding politely at the engineer as she arrived.

---

"I uhhh yeah...." said Sam bashfully, looking at his feet. He played with his own hands awkwardly as he tried to find some words; he had really just called out to her instinctively and was nervously wracking his brains trying to find something to talk to her about, as the gorgeous officer just looked at him, waiting for him to speak. "So uhhmm...yeah I'd better find Lieutenant P'rel...." he chanced a look up again at her face; nope it was still glowing, he was still going to need to get his head looked at again, "...I don't want the uncaring queen of the damned to think I was spending more than thirty seconds not working after all...". Sam looked again to Finnley's face, the glow was becoming intensely bright, like she had a small sun running under her skin, he noticed her acknowledge someone behind him...

Finnley smiled as Sam fumbled through his words, it was like watching an adorable kitten learning to walk. Her expression shifted and became straight faced as Sam continued to talk, eyeing the Vulcan Lieutenant strolling up behind him. She wanted to warn the poor petty officer before he inserted his foot into his mouth, but it was too late. “Hello Lieutenant,” Finnly quickly interjected after Sam’s derogatory statement, hoping to clue in Sam and prevent further damage.

Sam's blood ran cold. His heart stopped in his chest. A terrified gulp seemed seal his throat behind it on the way down. Frozen in place, he dared not turn around.

P'rel held her hands behind her back, staring at the back of the young Petty Officer's neck; "Mr Saghir?" she asked, being deliberately pleasant so as to unnerve and unsettle him.

Unable to turn around, Sam kept his eyes fixed on his own boots as his head dropped with defeat; "Ma'am?" he replied, certain that the terror inside was escaping in his voice.

"If you have thirty seconds, you should report to the intelligence suite. You will find orders from me in your terminal." The stoic Vulcan informed him.

"Ma'am" Sam said sheepishly, glancing up to smile a meek 'goodbye' to Finnley; as he did so he jumped with fright. Her fair and beautiful skin had given way to the intense brightness; the stunning engineer no longer was framed by her intensely alluring hair, which had melted away, and her face had become a burning featureless surface. All of her visible skin now looked like the surface of a sun, burning and flowing with fire. In the next moment he looked to her again, and she was back to normal. Those beautiful eyes and her soft flowing hair, everything where it should be. Not particularly wanting to spend more than a fresh nanosecond around Lieutenant P'rel, let alone explain why he had just jumped in fright, Sam hurried away to the suite.

P'rel observed as her assistant rushed down the corridor, he was clearly infatuated with the somewhat less than spectacular engineer. "You are Lieutenant Keating." P'rel stated more than asked.

“Yes ma’am,” she responded, keeping her voice neutral as she sized up the Vulcan. “And you must be Lieutenant P’Rel.” Although they hadn’t officially met before, Finnley knew that Sam’s ‘uncaring queen of the damned’ description was fairly accurate according to most who’d had the pleasure of interacting with the intelligence officer. Not to mention, she hadn’t forgotten about the outrageous request P’rel had made to install a dedicated and uninterrupted hard wired line between the comms terminal in the intel suite.

Making an unimpressed sound of acknowledgement, P'rel raised her eyebrows. "I understand you limit your orders and tasks based on what you feel able to do..." she began, provokingly, "do you feel you are up to bringing one of the clone devices to the brig, or is that beyond today's limits?".

The Vulcan wants to play games, Finnley thought, acknowledging the jab. “I understand you like to make unreasonable requests of departments.” She shot back with a casual smile. “On a continuing note, I’m not sure where you got your intel from, but engineering doesn’t have any of the devices. They are in Senior Chief Petty Officer Malone’s custody. Although I don’t run a courier service, I do have an engineer in that area that I can re-task. If you specifically require an engineering skill set then I can have him pick one up, bring it to you and provide whatever support you need. If you just need a lackey to bring the device to you, then I suggest you look elsewhere.” Finnley stated with a level voice as she narrowed her eyes, awaiting a response from the intelligence officer. She knew that she was bordering insubordination with her response, but she couldn't help it. Her rebellious streak tended to override her marine upbringing anytime someone insulted her work ethic.

P'rel stared blankly over the lieutenant's shoulder, not especially paying attention. She was far more concerned with the shadow playing across the far wall at nearby T-junction in the corridors, a soft green and mildly pulsing light was sending the shadow of a thick arm-like appendage across the wall, a chunky component looking like a hose ran looser from one end to the other, as the arm raised and fell again; revealing three spindles where a humanoid hand should be.... She snapped her attention back to Keating; "Yes, a lackey would be fine, thank you Lieutenant..." she mumbled, barely half attentively as she took several cautious steps away from the engineer and towards the T-junction.

Finnley gave P’rel a slightly confused look as she moved away. “Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear, ma’am, but my engineers are not couriers. If you just need a lackey, not an engineer, then I suggest you talk to operations or someone within your own department and find someone more suitable to the task.”

Taking her eyes off of the shadows and back to Keating, P'rel regarded her with disdain; "I can assure you, my people are far less couriers than yours....there is a clue in the job title after all Miss Keating....intelligence...." she turned to place her back to the shadows, putting it out of her mind for a moment. "Mr Saghir for example... he seems to be under your spell quite usefully, to you...."

“You’re right, maybe I should just ask him to pick up the device and bring it to you then? Since you have no need of someone with engineering knowledge.” Keating spit back.

Bristling with irritation, the Vulcan suppressed the urge to reel off numerous expletives in various languages. "Mr Saghir is off limits, Lieutenant junior grade Keating" she said instead, flatly but emphasising "junior" as she had done with Lieutenant Aer on the Caliban. "Judging by the standard of your department's service to mine thus far, I'm sure it won't be too difficult to find a barely competent lackey to attend to the to brig." She turned to walk and took a half turn back to Keating, "and just in case it's too much to expect of this person's own initiative, please ensure that they bring the relevant power systems with them, hm?".

Finnley could scream. The boiling rage inside demanded that she lash out at something, preferably via a fist to the Vulcan’s face, but she knew that hitting a superior officer would firmly secure her crossing into the realm of insubordination and land her in the brig. Instead, Finnley did the only thing she could. “Aye aye, ma’am,” she formally accepted the order as she snapped to attention and sarcastically saluted.

Once P'rel was out of sight, Finnley continued towards her quarters and relayed the order to Paxton. As she walked she wondered how that confrontational prick of a Vulcan ever managed to make lieutenant and made a mental note to hit the gym later for some boxing.

 

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