[JP] Marshall & Sienelis - Road Trip (Part II)

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Jo Marshall

Apr 30, 2019, 8:29:39 PM4/30/19
to UFOP: StarBase 118: USS Gorkon

((Cabin, the Unicorn))

::She didn't answer straight away, worrying at the corner of her thumb until she realised what she was doing. A habit she'd mostly put aside by the time she was a teenager, courtesy of a stream of admonishments from her father.::

Sienelis: You know why I'm here? I'm buying the Admiral time; time to try and fix the mess someone else has put me in. If we pull this off, you'll get out from under the one you made for yourself. You can go back to your friends and family, claim it was all a special operation and they don't even have to know what you've really been up to. Me, I might just get back to exactly the same problem I left.

::She breathed out a huff of air. If it had been coloured with even a little bit of amusement or joy, it might have been a laugh.::

Sienelis: It's funny, in a way. You've done everything wrong, and you'll come out of this as though nothing happened. I've done nothing wrong, and I could end up in prison for even longer than before. Only now I'll have no one who'll even be bothered enough to miss me.

::Her response left the tongue in his head but a deep crease setting in above his eyebrows, turning just enough to see her. Every knife she threw had laser-like precision for all his soft bits. *If* they pulled it off, *if* they bought the Admiral enough time. Bear expelled a frustrated exhalation and the confidence he'd had in trying to attempt this felt like it was being held in place with two four inch nails.::

O. Marshall: Stop feeling sorry for yourself. ::He snapped his gaze back to the stars, shaking his head.:: You've got people who care about you back on that ship, otherwise the Admiral wouldn't be moving mountains to try and get you out of this.

::She couldn't deny that. It wasn't the first time Reynolds had put herself out there for the Romulan — though she hadn't the faintest idea why, nor the courage to ask — but really, the Admiral hadn't been the one she'd had in mind. That honour belonged with a certain Russian, who she was fairly certain wasn't ever going to want to speak to her again.::

Sienelis: Just so we're clear for the future, how much worse *does* it have to get before I'm allowed to feel sorry for myself?

O. Marshall: What, exactly, is feeling sorry for yourself achieving?

Sienelis: No more or less than any of the alternatives.

::This time, the huff Bear expressed was a near laugh. It earned him — or at least, the back of his chair's headrest — a scowl.::

O. Marshall: If I were you, I'd be angry. Starfleet out for you, Syndicate bounty on your head, no idea where we're going, no friends, no home, and to top it all off, you're stuck in here with me and the tiniest bathroom I've ever seen.

Sienelis: I'm a multitasker.

::Sarcastic and laconic as her reply was, it was hardly a joke. Her mood was shifting from sentence to sentence, moment to moment; heartache, fear, frustration, grief, rage... and yes, self-pity, too. So much had happened so fast, it was all raw and unprocessed, churning and crashing like the waves of a storm-driven sea, and it was all she could do to keep her head above water.::

O. Marshall: You're something alright.

Sienelis: Yeah.

::That wasn't an description Valesha was inclined to deny. She lapsed into silence, shuffling in her chair and wrapping her arms around her middle. Her gaze drifted away to the side, out into the void of space and the glimmering streaks of light rushing past the cockpit. Her thoughts fell away to the starship, or rather the people upon it, whom she'd started to call home.::

O. Marshall: Jo was on the Gorkon. Over There. ::He leaned back in the chair, chewing on his cheek.:: When Starfleet gave the order to abandon the search, the Syndicate said they could bring her back. They knew where the Gorkon was and how to reach it.

::Even as he said it, he was well aware how naive it sounded. A former Ranger and Starfleet Officer trusting the words of the Orion Syndicate to retrieve a starship lost in another universe felt akin to trusting a starving wolf not to ravage a helpless lamb when presented with it on a platter. The words took on a near lyrical lilt as he continued.::

O. Marshall: In return, all I had to do was provide them information. Small stuff at first, then it just kept getting bigger. They had nothing to do with the rescue of the ship, and I doubt they ever intended to, a debt like that is never paid. ::He cleared his throat.:: I went AWOL to try and disappear, but they threatened my family's safety if I didn't return and cooperate with their demands. ::His eyes dropped, a world weariness in it.:: And, here we are. Does that answer your question?

::She was quiet for a long time, not expecting the answer to be laid bare like that. It resonated with the young Romulan, softening some of the sharp edges of her opinions. A radical devotion to family was a fundamental part of her culture, and she'd sometimes come into conflict with that idea — or rather, with certain individuals covered by it.::

Sienelis: If I ever thought the Syndicate could bring my brother back, I'd burn down the whole Federation for them.

::That revelation made him pause, fingers half connected to the instruments on the console in front of him. He glanced up out of the cockpit window, however, he could see the Romulan's reflection quite clearly. Her gaze was distant, focused on some unknown star or memory, well outside the confines of the small craft.::

O. Marshall: Thankfully, they didn't ask that. ::His inhale and subsequent exhale was somewhat relieving.:: They asked for you. Who, as it happens, brought my sister back. So, you can see why I'd have some issue with handing you over. ::He chewed on his cheek for the length of a breath and looked back down at his hands.:: What happened to your brother?

Sienelis: He died. ::She frowned into the middle distance.:: When we were trying to board the refugee ships. Stopped to help a little girl and he just... vanished.

O. Marshall: When you were boarding the ship?

Sienelis: In the crush around it. Or afterwards, when the supernova hit. ::She shook her head.:: I don't know.

::Bear looked up at her reflection again in the cockpit forcefield, his expression softening but the pull of a frown still knitting his brow.::

O. Marshall: I'm sorry. That must have been hard.

Sienelis: Still is. ::She drew in a deep breath and changed the subject.:: What's your sister going to think of all of this?

O. Marshall: Probably nothing good.

::A fairly common opinion, she suspected. He'd punched out an Admiral, she'd fled from custody, and between them they'd stolen the chief engineer's favourite toy. If they weren't thought badly of, she'd be very surprised.::

Sienelis: I suppose that's the point.

O. Marshall: The less anyone knows, the better. Safer for everyone if they think exactly what we need them to.

::Her gaze jerked away from the unfocused distance, meeting his in the reflection of the cockpit. Still quiet, her voice reacquired a sharp edge when she spoke.::

Sienelis: Like Chris?

O. Marshall: Especially Chris.

::At the sound of the razor in her words, Bear found it difficult to look her in the eye, reflection or not. He dropped his down, laced with a short stab of guilt, while she glared at his profile in transparent aluminum.::



Orson Marshall




Valesha Sienelis



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