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Reprieve

Posted on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 @ 1:02pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Commander Ichiko Gail

Mission: Dead Moon
Location: Sickbay

 

"How are you feeling my friend?" Abigail asked, resting a hand lightly on Ichiko's arm as she sank down into the seat next to the bio bed. "About ready to get out of here? I don't know about you, but I for one am looking forward to seeing you back on duty where you belong." She smiled gently as she leaned back.

Ichiko offered her friend a smirk, "Abigail. I had the strangest dream. I was the ship's second on a grand starship." she joked, but then shook her head, "I was ready to return to duty the moment they took me to medical." that dedication to duty and service was a strong trait among the Ts'usugi.

"I belong out there, not in this bed. Though, I have faith in the good doctor's capacity. I'll be by your side in no time."

"So what have I missed?" she asked.

Abigail took a deep breath as she leaned forward again. "I need to ask something from you," she said quietly. "It will, unfortunately, put you in an awkward position and potentially jeopardize your position within Starfleet... but I need to contact the Ts'usugi government and you're the only person I know who can likely make that happen."

Ichiko gave the matter some thought, then put her hand on Abigail's.

Contact.

"For my Shipmaster, I will." there was conviction there. "For my friend, I couldn't refuse." though she gave a pause, "I'll need access to a comm panel."

"I've already arranged for Lieutenant Morgan to give us unrestricted access to his office, that is, if you're up to moving?" Abigail asked, her concern for her friend genuine in the tone of her voice.

"I am very up for moving." she stated, then looked over towards Koh and Callisi. "Think we should wake them?"

Koh started to smirk, "Oh, we're already awake."

"Eavesdropping is rude, though." Callisi cited.

Abigail looked across at the other two, one eyebrow raised slightly. Clearly there was something she was missing given the comments that were made. "You should know first, it appears there are three human life signs on the Ts'usugi vessel, as yet unidentified, and shields have been raised. Given that all three of you are off duty on medical leave, I know you have no idea about any of this or how it came to be." She paused for a moment. "While investigating the crew has been told not to bother you until Lieutenant Morgan clears you for duty again. Unfortunately, due to the unknown effects that the radiation may have on your unique physiology, we don't know when that will be. Understood?"

"It's such a pity that these circumstances had to occur. I'm certain we'll make the best of such." Ichiko offered. "After all, the doctor is such a busy man."

She gave a nod. Oddly enough, so did Koh and Callisi. Ts'usugi conspiracies at their finest.

Abigail shook her head slightly. At moments like these she found their alien cultures even more alien than usual. "Commander, I've arranged for us to use Doctor Morgan's office to make contact, if that suits you?"

"That would be perfect, thank you." Ichiko said as she started to climb out of the bed that had been her home for the past few hours. Felt like days now. She was a little wobbly on her feet, but only for a moment, before she joined up with Abigail. On the way to Morgan's office, the Daughter of Ts'usu felt it only natural to explain something.

"Did you know that in Ts'usugi culture, overhearing a conversation not intended for you is rude?" she started, "Terribly so, in fact. So rude that the very notion of repeating what you heard is shameful."

"It's the kind of thing you'd never admit to. Because if you admitted that you overheard something, well, you couldn't ever really talk about it."

Holding Ichiko by the arm, Abigail helped to steady her before they started walking toward Lieutenant Morgan's office. "Your people really are big on manners and honour aren't they?"

"It's one of the reasons I value our friendship so greatly. I don't have to offer you a way out. I don't have to offer you a half-truth when I disagree with you instead. I can be honest with you, Abigail. Honestly honest. Brutally honest."

"And you'd welcome it with wide arms." she offered, as the pair made it to Morgan's office with little delay. There wasn't any hesitation as Ichiko started to type away commands at wall console, bringing up the comms control panel to calibrate the subspace antenna to a specific frequency. Different then the ones used by the Federation. Lower. Much lower.

Ichiko then opened up a comm channel hail with a quick series of comm pulses. "Stay here." she asked. "I want you to see this."

The image on the comm panel shifted to the view of a male Ts'usugi sitting at a terminal, a deep purple light illuminating behind him, and casting almost a sinister glance onto him. "You've reached the Network, Citizen Gail. How can the Network assist you?" a tone as cheerful as any switchboard operator's could be, though with the demand for manners that Ts'usu put on all her children.

"I'd like to report a crew mishap on a ship, and a request to retrieve said ship. There's a destroyer abandoned after a Dark Drive misfire at the following location." a quick series of taps to transmit coordinates. "All hands lost. Clean." she informed the operator.

After a brief pause to parse the data to, presumably, the proper authorities the operator got a reply back. "Fleetmaster Gokai acknowledges your report and thanks you for your vigilance. He's dispatching a craft with sufficient crew to bring the lost ship home. The assigned ship will be the ICS Volley Dark, Class three carrier. Expected arrival time is four hours standard from this moment. Mark."

Ichiko gave a nod. "We expect her arrival." and the operator just gave a nod, "Can the Network help you any further, Citizen Gail?" and Ichiko turned to Abigail, just to see if that was all...

Abigail shook her head quickly, not daring to speak. It all seemed so prompt and precise.

Ichiko returned her glance to the Operator, and shook her head, "You've done excellent. We thank you." and with that, the line went cold. Ichiko took a moment to release the breath she didn't know she was holding before turning to Abigail. "And that's the Network."

"No messing about I see," Abigail said quietly. "Just over and done with like that?" She laughed softly, offering another quick shake of her head. "The Federation could learn a thing or two from your people." she paused for a moment. "4 hours... we're going to need to stall intelligence for a couple of hours at least.

"That's what I'm afraid of." Ichiko offered, but did so with a soft smile to her friend. The current situation was beyond her control. No point in holding her to blame for anything. "The Network offers a vital service, and to them we are thankful. There's no time for pleasantries, though, with them. The average operator processes a hundred requests for data, information, and communications relaying every shift. So we do them the service of being brief."

"If there were to be pleasantries, we'd have been connected to the Fleetmaster's office." a pause, "I think you'd like Fleetmaster Gokai. He's very fair, very open."

"Well, let's hope Admiral Lockwood channels some of his fairness and openness," Abigail said with a sigh as she slid off the desk. "I guess we'll find out in a couple of hours."

Ichiko gave a pause, and put a hand on Abigail's shoulder for her to stop. The rabbitess then walked past Abigail, behind Abigail but only just. Shoulders almost touching, as a Daughter of Earth looked at one wall, and a Daughter of Ts'usu looked at the opposite.

"The shipmaster that is coming, I do not know how much of the Federation's ways they'll be educated on, but to carry the day, you'll need to know as much of Ts'usu as I can tell you. Greet them when the lights on the ship come back on, five seconds after emerging from the Dark. Lower your shields, and greet him as a shipmaster greets another. Be honest, and whenever you address him, stand on your own two feet."

"Ts'usugi find it rude to tell someone no, directly. We offer a way out. Such a thing might be difficult, or that it might take some time. Introduce yourself by name, and be proud of who you are. You are a Daughter of Earth. Carry that with you when you speak with them. Anything less, and the whole posture of their arrival will change. I'm sorry I cannot look you in the eye while telling you this. I trust you understand."

With that, Ichiko took a step back, figuratively and literally, to look Abigail in the eye, her own lusterless eyes just pools of color set in her face. Endless and deep. "Four hours is a long time to play cards. Think they'll buy it?"

"All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best," Abigail said quietly. Impulsively she reached out and hugged her first officer before pulling away, drawing a deep breath and straightening her back. "Thank you," she said quietly.

The hug was a surprise, though Ichiko's posture softened gently during it. It was over as soon as it began, but it meant a lot to the Daughter of Ts'usu. "You're ... You're very welcome."

 

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