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It's All About The Ears

Posted on Wed Sep 30th, 2020 @ 4:38pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Commander Ichiko Gail

Mission: Into The Delta Triangle
Location: Captain's Ready Room


Abigail stood at the viewport in her ready room, staring blankly at the view beyond. From this distance the two planets looked peaceful and tranquil, yet every report that currently smattered her desk indicated a very different story, not to mention the two individuals she had confined to the brig. Now she had difficult decisions to make, decisions that could, if she made the wrong one, have a serious and ongoing impact on someone's life.

She had already requested that Ichiko join her in her ready room. She needed guidance and her first officer had quickly become not only a friend, but a solid confidant and sounding board, someone she had come to rely on.

Though this time, it would be clear from the moment Ichiko entered that the current situation was weighing heavily on her mind. There was no tea ready, no gingersnaps, just a stressed human standing in front of a view port, lost in thought.

The door swished open, as Ichiko was bidden to enter after she rang the chime. Instantly, the rabbitess felt the weight of the room. The air felt heavy, the lights seemed brighter, everything about the moment felt more... real.

"You called for my council, Abigail?" Ichiko offered, calling her friend and Captain by name to help break the moment as she closed the distance to join her friend at her side.

As she turned, the first thing Abigail did was to cast a sweeping gaze over her First Officer, a small smile of relief finally turning at the corners of her mouth. "I'm glad to see you in one piece," she said, her voice filled with genuine concern and a hint of relief. "And that our team is back safely." She turned her gaze back toward the planets beyond. "None of this situation sits well with me, at all. I try, but I can't come up any rhyme, reason or rationale as to this situation."

Ichiko offered a soft smile in return, moving some of her hair out of the way of her face, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. We're given an awful lot of schooling in not displaying our concerns or fears in public, which came in handy when dealing with the head of local security." Ichiko could be imposing, threatening, even looming at times of need. Here, in this office, her defenses were down, and she allowed herself to just be Ichiko. Not the Ship's Second, but a friend.

"The team was my priority, I'm just glad we all made it out. Maybe even, dare I say, with answers." she offered with a smirk, but the smirk faded slightly, "There's a hand, guiding us. Unseen, but unavoidable. I fear you're right. We'll find out where it leads us when it's time. Hardly reassuring, I know, and I assure you there are many scriptures back on Ts'usu dealing with this subject."

Six hundred and twelve.

"But, I won't bore you with the exacts." she gave a soft smile.

"We have two people in our brig, their destiny is in my hands." Abigail sighed, finally walking across to the replicator and ordering the two teas, handing them off to Ichiko who was only a step behind her before she turned back and ordered a tray of cookies and carrying them back to the coffee table and comfortable seats. "It must have been minutes after you returned I had Lieutenant Levine bombarding me with pleas for clemency for Ms Esni."

She paused, sinking into a seat, taking back her chai before leaning back and crossing her legs neatly. "If I hand them over and they are not involved I potentially condemn an innocent person to a punishment they do not deserve. If I leave them free, they are at liberty of repeat offending." She sighed and took another sip. "If I hand them over, who do I hand them to? The Starfleet emergency response team that is enroute? Or Kessik forces? Starfleet is a known, but potentially with limited juridiction. Kessik forces, do we know how they will react?"

Like that, without even meaning to, Abigail had glossed over all the small talk about the situation and jumped straight to the crux of the issue that was weighing on her mind.

"First..." a sip of tea.

"Their fate is not in your hands. Their fate is in their hands. Their actions landed them into our care. Don't assume the responsibility for children that aren't your own." a pause, as she sat down and got slightly more comfortable herself, her pose mirroring Abigail's. "We have one of our own vouching for one, though it doesn't sound too good for the other. Is this... Ms. Esni cooperating?" the rabbitess inquired.

"If she is, grant her leniency and use her testimony against the other. Combined with everything we have, it spells a conviction. We hand that to Kessik. We keep Esni for our own." a pause to enjoy a moment of tea. "We have two children here. Both have done wrong, but one sees the error of their ways. Now, whether its the punishment they fear more, or the weight of their wrongdoings at the moment isn't important. Not right now."

"Then we just keep an eye on Ms Esni. As for who gets them, the Emergency Response Team is going to have their hands full. I suggest we keep her here. Remind her of who spared her the ... noose, I think is the right word." around this point, Ichiko had already chosen a gingersnap for death. "It's far more complicated than if this were an Imperial matter. If this were so, they'd be brigged. If a travelling judge were in the region they'd be summoned to pass judgement. Otherwise, both of them would be off to the nearest starbase to stand trial."

"A shipmaster's request for mercy would go a long way, but a judge's word is literally law." she paused to nibble on her beloved snack, "Though, what does your haato tell you? Your heart."

Standing up and setting her cup down, Abigail walked across to her desk, picked up a PaDD and thumbed into it as she was walking back to Ichiko. "Ms Esni had a very promising Starfleet career once upon a time," she said as she handed the PaDD across. "Made some bad choices, got discharged and had no further contact with Starfleet since, until now, when she apparently suddenly decides to kidnap a group of Starfleet officers by force." She pursed her lips as she picked up her cup and sat back down again, this time taking a cookie before crossing her legs. "It doesn't seem right, does it?"'

Ichiko took the PaDD, setting her tea aside to actually read it. "No, it doesn't. Moreso, it feels like part of something bigger. I don't want to sound dramatic and say it's all part of something larger, but I can't help but feel that we stumbled into something either halfway through its completion, or at the point where our interference caused this operation the most trouble and the most exposure."

"As for Ms Esni, it seems destiny would demand she give Starfleet further consideration." Ichiko said with a bit of a smirk as she returned the PaDD to Abigail.

Abigail nodded slowly. "I think that's the way I'm inclined to lean. I will hand the other one over to Kessik Authorities, and we'll arrange for Ms Esni to be transported to a Federation facility." A pause, a sip of her tea and finally a nod and a smile of relief toward her friend. "I've spoken to Captain Vonn from Starbase 332. They are the nearest major Starfleet Facility in the area. They have already dispatched an emergency response team to assist both planets with recovery efforts and the Starbase is standing by to receive any casualties should they be needed."

"Good, with any luck we can put a proper image of Starfleet into the hearts and minds of the people here." Ichiko said with a nod. "And we can observe and guide Ms Esni along the way." a sip of tea, "I like it. It reminds me a bit of some of the tactics we use back home. You know... I was wondering when your ears would show up." a soft smirk.

"It's a compliment."

Abigail smiled. "Thank you," she said with a slight nod before drawing in a deep breath. "Come on, lets go bring our people home, then we can get the hell out of here."


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