((Corridors, USS Gorkon))
::Though she was a jovial and genial as ever, a smile on her lips and a sparkle in her eyes, there was a subtle, serrated edge to the words that betrayed her underlying opinion. Vondaryan had been an analyst — and that was fine, people like her often relied on people like him — but looking over his records she'd come to the conclusion that he had spent far too much time analysing and not nearly enough taking action.::
O. Marshall: You'll be hard pressed. I don't know if it's a badge of honour for me or a very sad fact for his career that I was under his nose for a year.
::Another crowd of shore leave goers passed them by, paying the two conversing officers little attention, if any at all. An interesting contrast to their time on the Scream, where Syndicate eyeballs were everywhere. Bear shrugged broad shoulders; he was glad to be rid of him. One less incompetent intelligence officer.::
Josett: A year? ::She raised her eyebrows, and shook her head with vague, resigned amusement. Her hand found its way into her pocket, the other idly swinging the bottle back and forth as they walked.:: How did you get under the Syndicate's thumb, anyway?
O. Marshall: That is a story for in between Jupiter and Mars… ::he said, slipping the bottle from her loose grasp and sidling past her,:: ...and more of this. The Syndicate might not have been involved.
::The revelations of their last moments on the Scream had dragged that nugget of truth out of the mire, and brought the dirt with it. If the Syndicate had ever been involved in his affairs, they were in and out quickly, perhaps brokering his allegiance to someone with greater need of a rat on a ship. Curiosity lit up in Lena's eyes, her head tilting to the side, and she grinned at him as she followed his footsteps.::
Josett: Now I am intrigued.
O. Marshall: Then you better fly fast.
Josett: It's the only way I know how.
O. Marshall: Oh, I'm well aware. I've still got whiplash.
::He grinned, and as the doors to the turbolift opened, letting out occupants for their deck, he grabbed her hand and took off at a run for the cab. Lena laughed, his hand a soft and welcome warmth in her own, her curls bouncing with her stride as they dashed through the pristine halls of the starship. Maybe, just maybe, there were a few shining lights in the gloom that was serving aboard the Gorkon.
::Her shuttle looked as much at home amongst the immaculate white Starfleet craft as a Cardassian war criminal at a Maquis reunion party. The stocky, rust-coloured ship had been Klingon once upon a time, though it had clearly had "upgrades" since it had fallen off the production line. These days, it looked a great deal like someone had rolled it through a debris field and half of it had just stuck. She slapped her hand against the door panel, and it registered her unique presence, the door grinding and whining open. As rough as it looked on the outside, it was perfectly ordered inside, everything assigned a home and stowed safely within it.::
Josett: I'd say buckle up, but I never installed seatbelts in this thing.
::She grinned at him, dropping herself into the pilot's chair. The ship came to life under her touch, a shudder as the miniature warp core stirred from its slumber, plasma pulsing through conduits, air sighing through the recycling systems. Bear slid into the chair Valesha had so recently occupied; the one in which he'd held her shoulder as she'd started to blur the line between the land of the living and the dead. In such a short amount of time, the small shuttlecraft had impacted his life in a monumental way.
::From out of the viewscreen, the Flight Deck Officer could be seen peering down at them from the raised control platform. With frantic motions, Bear watched him flick through the padd in his hands, possibly noting that a flight hadn't been scheduled by the bridge, nothing was in the plans to leave the bay, and this was likely someone off for a joyride.
O. Marshall: He looks in a good mood. ::He indicated with a lift of his chin and a wicked grin to Lena.:: You'd think someone had stolen a shuttle lately.
Josett: I wonder if Ollie's dropped that thing off yet.
::She beamed through the cockpit viewport at the deck officer, waving cheerfully in his direction, then pointing toward the vast shutter door that stood between them and their jaunt around the solar system. All the while, as if that wasn't making her intentions clear, her other hand fired thrusters to raise the shuttle from the deck, a small lurch in hers and Bear's stomachs as the shuttle's artificial gravity took over from the Gorkon's.::
O. Marshall: What thing?
::A mote of panic rippled across the Flight Officer's face as he saw the thrusters come alive. Eyes widening ever further, he looked from them to the hangar doors as Bear swallowed and pressed himself down and back into the seat. His foot found something to press on; something solid that felt like the underside of the console, just in case the hybrid beside him decided she was going to fly straight at the doors.
::The officer leapt for the controls; the flat of his fist thumped onto the release panel and slowly the shutters began to open from the centre. Smart move, as far as Bear was concerned. He'd rather be hung for a lamb than have to explain to the Admiral why there was a Do' joH sized hole in the door.::
Josett: That shuttle you liberated. ::she chuckled, swinging the shuttle around and angling it toward the doors, fast enough to give the Flight Officer a mild heart attack.:: He's bringing it back. Eventually. Depends on how many detours he takes along the way.
O. Marshall: In that pirate magnet, let's hope he gives them the run around for a while. ::Still, he chuckled remembering leaving it behind on the Hai Tac outpost and that being the last time he thought about it.:: And here I thought he'd sell it for parts.
::She smiled at him, taking her attention off the controls for just a moment before turning back to them.::
Josett: You don't know Ollie very well, do you?
O. Marshall: Not at all. His affinity for cutlery didn't escape my attention.
::The shuttle blew through the shuttlebay doors before they had finished parting, and Lena silenced the proximity alarms with a springy slap of her palm. Accelerating past the ship's elongated nacelles, the hybrid stole a disinterested glance at the glowing blue marble of Earth before banking her little ship away.::
Josett: You'll have to come treasure hunting with us one day. ::Then, reminded of her current assignment, she finished that thought with a resigned note.:: Once I find something Starfleet will deem valuable enough for an expedition.
O. Marshall: Treasure hunting sounds like him. But doing it for Starfleet's benefit doesn't.
::He scratched at his beard with a chuckle as his heart climbed down from the heady heights it'd climbed to; fully convinced she was about to rip the top of the shuttle off on the doors like a tin opener. The swirling mass of Earth was but a passing glimmer in the corner of his eye, somewhat glad to be moving so far from it.::
O. Marshall: I met him years ago in a bar fight. He hit me on the back of the head with a radio antenna and I shot him with a phaser on stun. He called me “Pickle” and fell asleep.
::Lena laughed, her hands sweeping over the helm controls. Astrometric data appeared at her touch, the cosmic dance of planets in their orbits, a course plotted first for the storm giant that stood guard over the inner system.::
Josett: That's Ollie.
Lieutenant Orson Marshall
Logistics and Communications Officer
Lieutenant (JG) Lena Josett