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PNPC Ensign Ferentis: ...You're Kidding (Blackwell)

2018-09-13 23:22:44

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((Executive Officer's Office, Deck 5, USS Blackwell)) Ferentis: You asked to see me, sir. ::No, it hadn't been a question. Phrased though it might be like a = request, this was an order, simple and plain. It wasn't the first t= ime that the Pahk'wa-thanh had chafed at the expectation inherent t= o orders, especially those phrased as a friendly suggestion. In a world of = protocol and expected pleasantries, he understood the game, and played it w= ell. But the intentions were different here- the veneer of sociability was = somehow transformed into a perverted assemblage of itself.:: ::He was still grumpy.:: ::Rage was not something a Pahk'wa-thanh allowed to hang out, regar= dless of the circumstances. Of course, his sister, ever hell-bent on defyin= g every societal custom his species had devised, bucked the percentages. He= , on the other hand, absorbed their meaning, not just their relevance. The = politeness was not simply an ingrained, yet skin-depth affectation. As such= , he bore whatever unpleasant circumstances with as much aplomb as his agin= g soul could manage, knowing that on his deathbed, he'd wear a plas= tered smile- not out of joy, but out of habit.:: ::The moodiness was becoming more pervasive. He shut it off forcefully, a s= nap engineering decision, designed to prevent other systems from succumbing= to an insidious cascade of clouded judgement and hurt feelings.:: Thoran: Thank you for joining me Mr Ferentis. Please take a seat. Would you= like a drink? Ferentis: No thank you, sir. ::A kind offer, a kind declination. And though his face was as inscrutable = as ever, much to his satisfaction, humans were sensitive creatures. Most ap= es were. When your heritage could be traced back to an era of unrivaled rep= tilian dominance, certain needs and fears are so genetically ingrained so a= s to make them a building block for the rest of time.:: ::Thoran's hands were shaking, and Ferentis picked up a hint of swe= at in the air. Somehow, that hurt him more. Discipline from a friend was on= e thing, especially when it was warranted. But the chief of security, and h= is holodeck companion, so far as he could tell, was genuinely frightened of= his presence. Of course it was instinctive, but it was yet another gulf th= at no amount of trust could ever bridge. More than anything else in the pre= vious weeks of reflection and hard work, this simple reaction made him want= to weep. :: Thoran: I'm sure you can guess why i've called this meeting= - the events on Arndall. I've given much thought on how to deal wi= th your indiscretion, a matter which I apologise for taking so long. Ferentis: Yes, sir- I understand. ::Only a senior officer could both barb and apologize in the same sentence,= and mean them both with compassion. For better or for worse, Thoran truly = was a good man. He refused to stiffen at the mention of his =E2=80=9Cindisc= retion=E2=80=9D, despite an urge to explain the true nature of events to th= e lieutenant commander. This was one lash he'd simply have to bear.= :: ::He wondered about the punishment. A reprimand? Extra duty shifts? Confine= ment to quarters? The brig? Would Thoran even be so cruel so as to assign h= im to the profoundly unenviable task of refitting the methane toilets on De= ck 8?:: Thoran: You've put me in quite the predicament Mr Ferentis. ::=E2=80=9DI aim to please=E2=80=9D. The smart reply was stifled, but not b= y much. Perhaps Eora had rubbed off on him more than he'd realized.= A moment later, as Thoran turned to gaze upon the ancient alien outpost th= at was Deep Space 26, Ferentis did begin to realize the depths of his decis= ion. It was not him on the line. Thoran's pursuing of this matter m= ade even more sense than it had before. It wasn't so much what he= 'd done. It was what he'd failed to do, and more importantl= y, what he might do again, if not properly incentivized to improve. It was = a curious thing, being old and experienced enough to understand totally the= psychological tactics and necessary leadership reasoning Thoran was certai= nly engaging in right now, and yet still being subject to them under the le= tter of the law, fully aware that his understanding lifted almost all benef= it from their application.:: Ferentis: oO In other words, I'm getting too old for this feldercar= b. Oo ::An instant later, Thoran turned, weary and conflicted, and resumed his se= at before Ferentis. The dinosaur remained respectfully impassive.:: Thoran: You knowingly concealed a device of incredible power, a device whic= h could have caused untold damage to this ship and her crew. Ferentis: Yes, sir. ::It was a fact, and lying was not only directly against everything their o= rganization stood for- it was rude as well. Though he did bear intense sham= e at his lack of foresight and criminally negligent engineering abilities, = the fact was this contraband was taken on as a matter of safety and out of = a need to protect. That had backfired in a way, and Ferentis was extraordin= arily lucky that no one without a carapace had been killed by his erratic w= eapon's foibles.:: ::He was used to standing at the top of the mountain, looking down, empathi= zing with every situation he came across, while naturally taking the lead o= n judging its moral implications. For once, just for the novelty, he decide= d to rescind that policy temporarily. Thoran would bear his fate, on more t= han one level. Despite his disappointment in the security chief, and his co= nsiderable and as yet unrecognized embarrassment at the blunder, he trusted= Thoran's crucial blend of competence, experience, practicality and= fairness more than anything else aboard the ship.:: Thoran: However, I have taken into consideration your actions on Arndall. A= ctions which I have no doubted saved our lives. ::Not everyone's. Not enough. Less came out than went in. The momen= t was long and sombre. Each being knew they'd not done enough. Whet= her this was actually the case or not was a judgement for others to decide.= All they knew then was the failure, and the silence so unwaveringly earned= .:: Ferentis: We each did our part, sir. Thoran: I also believe that you have learnt your lesson and I am confident = that you will not make the same mistake again. ::Learned his lesson. What preposterous words. He struggled, and eventually= succeeded, in focusing on the meaning behind them, instead of the age gap = that left him scrabbling to balance his need for some small shred of self r= espect and the demands of the service. How long could he keep up this chara= de of innocence and naivety? As long as was necessary, he decided. For all = its faults, Starfleet was where he wanted and needed to be.:: Ferentis: Yes, sir. ::He bowed his head, somewhat stiffly.:: ::Here it came. It couldn't be pushed off any further. Thoran had f= ramed the situation, explained his difficulty, apologized as best he could = for the task he must perform that brokered no friendship.:: Thoran: Mr Ferentis, consider this your one free pass. I do not expect to h= ave this conversation, or similar, in the future. ::Ferentis deflated like a balloon. No, strike that. This was more of a cat= aclysmic star implosion. So concerned had he been with presenting a strong = but disciplined front, so consumed had he been with the pain of this offici= al condemnation, that the anticlimactic ruling of Thoran felt almost more c= rushing than the possibilities swarming in his mind. Why had he been so inf= ernally worried? How many days had he devoted to steeling himself for this = one meeting? This was the punishment. Nothing Thoran could assign would top= the cruel, wheeling machinations that tore freely through his thinker=E2= =80=99s cranium. What a brutally cruel stroke. What an unintentionally geni= us display of conniving villainy. He had underestimated this human, his fri= end and tormentor. He would not do so again.:: Ferentis: Neither do I. ::His jaw trembled dangerously. His equanimity was sliding away with rapid = haste. He needed a retreat, a rest, and, most importantly, two or three can= died targs he might angrily devour. In a moment of weakness, he thought som= ething uncouth- a crime of deep and crippling proportion- and used a human = parlance he was now intimately familiar with.:: Ferentis: oO Screw the diet plan Sickbay stuck me with. I'm hangry= . Oo ::Few pounds would be shed that night. Without even asking for permission- = another deeply out of character and blasphemous act from the sinking Pahkwa= -thanh- Ferentis stood and marched out of Thoran's office. He made = his way directly to his cabin, thundered in, and did not come out again unt= il the following day, when his responsibilities could not wait.:: ::A great many targs were harmed in the making of this duty shift.:: END PNPC Ensign Ferentis Engineer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3Das simmed by=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne Ops Officer/Second Officer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 G239202RS0 -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "= UFOP: StarBase 118 =E2=80=93=C2=A0Andaris Task Force" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an e= mail to sb118-andaris+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to sb118-andaris@googlegroups.com. Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/sb118-andaris. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/= sb118-andaris/835374819.1225224.1536880965451%40connect.xfinity.com. 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