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Xavier - Alexa JP

Posted on Tue Dec 29th, 2020 @ 5:39pm by Petty Officer 1st Class Alexa Williams & Lieutenant Xavier Leiko

Mission: The Shadow of Arachne
Location: Operations Office
Timeline: MD-05
1301 words - 2.6 OF Standard Post Measure

Alexa charged headlong through the doors of the Operations Chief's office barely even aware of what door she had just run through. Out-of-breath, the young yeoman tripped over something and tumbled to the deck, sliding almost to the point that she was alongside someone else that she hadn't seen in the hallway.

The tall man was cradling another man. The Operations Chief. Daniels, she seemed to recall. The tall man looked like he was crying.

"Oh..." she gasped. "Did...did you..." She pointed back to where she came. "Did you get chased by an angry Targ too?"

Xavier looked up in shock. His cheeks were wet with tears and his hair clung to his head with sweat. "What?" He asked, confused. "A Targ?" he repeated. His head was swimming, he felt like he was in a daze, almost like waking up from a nightmare, but the nightmare was real. "No, I mean, I don't think so."

"Are you kidding? It practically chased me across the entire deck! So big...and scary..." She shivered involuntarily. "Reminds me of my uncle's dog back home. Just bigger and scarier..." She paused and looked at him. "If you're not running away from a Targ, why are-" she saw the phaser burn on the Chief's body and recoiled several feet. "D-d-did you...!?"

"Did I what?" Xavier asked, frustrated. He wanted this person to go and the medics to arrive, he wanted this nightmare to be over, he wanted to sleep. Xavier noticed her backing away and followed her eye line to the body and the phaser, now her question made sense. "NO!" He yelled, his eyes widened in shock and his nose flared in anger. "What, you think I did this?"

"Well...if you didn't, then who?" Alexa asked innocently, looking between the man and the other one he was cradling. All thoughts of the snorting, vile-smelling Targ were gone from her mind.

"I...I... don't know," Xavier heard himself saying. "I found him like this." Xavier wasn't too sure why he lied but he knew in the moment it felt right. He didn't want to diminish the memory of the Chief. It wasn't like the suicide was the Chief fault, it wasn't Xavier's either, was it? "Who are you anyway?" He finally asked.

Alexa's formerly worried expression shifted into a bright smile. "Oh!" She extended a hand. "I'm Alexa. Captain's Yeoman. Pleased to meet you!"

Ah shit, he had lied to the Captain's Yeoman. 'Good going', he thought to himself. "Xavier Leiko," he said. He didn't take her hand, he didn't want to let go of the Chief, not until the medical staff arrived, in fact where the hell were they? "Assistant Chief of Operations..." He trailed off. He guessed he wasn't the assistant anymore.

"Assistant Chief. That makes sense." She paused. "Why you're with the chief, that is. That makes sense. Although..." Alexa frowned. "I suppose that makes you the acting chief now, right?" It didn't really click to her that it was an extremely morbid question until after it came out.

"Well now you have the motive to why I killed him!" Xavier shouted angrily. "A promotion is as good as a reason as any, right?" He added, every word drenched in sarcasm and bile.

Alexa recoiled sharply as the man yelled at her. It made her want to cry. " killed him!?" she started to back away. "W-why?"

Xavier stared at the young woman blankly. How did she become a Captain's Yeoman? Wasn't it obvious that he didn't kill the Chief? Wasn't it obvious that he was just as upset by this series of events as she was? Wasn't it obvious that they shouldn't be arguing over the Chief's death? Was it obvious? "For the last time crewman," Xavier said through gritted teeth. He said each word slowly and carefully so that there could be no misunderstanding. "I did not kill the Chief."

" said..." Alexa shook her head, brow very furrowed. "I'm so confused. One minute I'm being chased around by a rabid Targ, the next I'm finding you here...with him...oh gosh, am I going crazy? Is this all just me having a big crazy breakdown?"

Xavier was very tempted to reply that she was going crazy, but the truth was he didn't know this woman and he was not qualified to determine her mental state. In fact the bigger truth was, maybe he was going crazy! After all he had just had a conversation with his mother in his quarters, when he knew for a fact that she was back home on Betazed, and he had just seen his dad's dead body, even though Xavier knew his father was alive and well. What was going on around her?

"I don't think it's just you," Xavier said with a sigh. Whatever was going on, it wasn't her fault and he had no right to take it out on her. "I've been seeing things too, and the Chief was talking to someone before he did this to himself. I think we're all being affected by... by something."

"Something? What something?" For a Yeoman - the Captain's, no less - she was often remarkably ill-informed. Or she just wasn't paying quite as much attention. "Never mind. If that something is making us see and hear horrible things, what are we supposed to do? We could all be in danger without even knowing it!"

Though Xavier was frustrated with her lack of professionalism, he had to admit that he too had that same panicky feeling inside, he had no idea what to do. However, he was the senior officer present and had to set an example. "We keep our cool, speak to the Captain and the other senior staff, and we form an action plan." He said, sounding way more confident than he actually felt.

"Right." Alexa nodded, clinging onto that spark of optimism. "And if we see any Targs on the way, promise me they're not real?"

"Real or not, we will fight them together," Xavier said.

He gently removed himself away from the Chief's body and stood up slowly. Every muscle ached, he felt as though he could sleep for months, a long overdue hibernation. "I don't think the comms are working," he said out loud, more to himself than the crewman. "That explains why the medics haven't arrived yet. We should find someone."

"Good idea," she agreed. "I don't really want to be on my own anyway. Let's see who's around!"

Xavier made his way to the door but stopped before he went through. He turned back to look at the limp body behind him. "I don't want to leave him alone." Xavier knew it wasn't rational but he couldn't the way he felt.

"Oh." Alexa frowned again. "Do you want to try and carry him? Or did you mean cover him up?"

Xavier shook his head, "sorry I am just being stupid. There's nothing we can do for him," he added a tear silently falling from his eye. "Let's go find someone. After you... sorry what did you say your name was?"

"Alexa Williams. Petty Officer First Class!" she answered brightly, pulling up to almost attention. "Right you are, sir!"

Xavier nodded. He exited the room with Alexa right behind him. His heart was heavy and the events of the last few hours were playing on him greatly, but he had a job to do and so he compartmentalised whatever he was feeling and pushed on like the Starfleet officer he was trained to be. His mother would have commented that it wasn't the healthiest approach and as a Betazoid he should be able to delve into these emotions. But she wasn't here, and for the second time tonight, Xavier found himself grateful of that fact.


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