((Starbase 118 Ops - XO’s Office))
Yael: ::nodding slowly:: I would agree with that statement.
It wasn’t that Kherys had done anything wrong, but it *was* a private issue, and the last thing he wanted was to have to explain that they’d kicked the daylights out of one another because he was an insecure idiot who couldn’t accept his fate and took it out on his friend.
Meeks: This was a contest of strength, between two consenting adults, that got a little out of hand, Ma’am.
Amethyst eyes landed on Anthony for the briefest of moments before he looked forward again. What was he *doing?* A contest of strength…?! What kind of contest was he talking about? What should he say now?? He did his absolute best not to emote what he was thinking. Keep the expression neutral… he was good at masking, but he wasn’t sure he had the stoicism of the Marine sitting next to him.
Yael: We *have* been training together, for several months now. It can get… competitive. Though, this was the first time there were injuries. ::pausing:: It definitely got out of hand.
That sounded absolutely absurd coming out of his mouth. Competitive? He was like half Anthony’s size! The Marine could put him in the ground if he actually got *serious* with him. But he had mentioned to Alora the training previously, so it wasn’t outside the realm of reality that it could be true. It wasn’t even *false* exactly, but it definitely wasn’t the whole truth.
Both of Alora’s eyebrows shot upward and she lifted her head. There was no doubt in her mind that Ashley had literally just lied to her. Both of them had, and she couldn’t understand why. Yes, she was acting in the capacity of her position, but to flat out tell such a falsehood? Not only to her as first officer, but as their friend? Though she supposed she wasn’t their friend in that particular moment, it still hurt.
Meeks: I’m sorry, ma’am?
Yael: We can guarantee it won’t happen again, Commander.
That, Ashley could guarantee. He’d never been in an actual fight before, and never wanted to be again. He briefly wondered what his old Vulcan friend Saveron would think of *him* of all people getting in a fight… he’d been a full on pacifist and vegetarian back then. Convenient moral standings that were easy to maintain when one lived in a peaceful culture, and had the benefit of youth’s naivety… he was a different kind of person now. One that threw punches at his friends and told creative truths to his commanding officers, apparently…
DeVeau: So you really expect me to believe that you two got together and said ‘hey, let’s see who is stronger’ and have a fight? Seriously?
Yael: ::a bit less confidently:: … I wouldn’t say it was that simple...
DeVeau: Then what was it?
Ashley clammed up, unsure how to keep going without all-out lying through his teeth. It was already bad enough.
Meeks: No ma’am. It’s not that simple at all. In fact, ma’am, the more I think about it, the more complicated it gets.
DeVeau: Oh yeah?
Alora leaned forward, watching them both closely.
Meeks: Ma’am, Ensign Yael challenged me to a contest and I accepted. During the contest, we learned that there were limits in each other’s abilities and strengths. Unfortunately, ma’am, the contest did result in minor injuries.
Ashley didn’t move or speak as his mind wrapped around Anthony’s *creative* interpretation of the events that day. It could… technically be true… sort of? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just come clean, truly? Or was Anthony concerned about the repercussions?
Or was Anthony just trying to *protect* him?
They hadn’t confessed to anything yet. Not really. If this was how Anthony wanted to interpret it, he couldn’t exactly contest it now, after the fact.
For a moment, Alora simply sat there, staring at each of them. Meeks was spinning a yarn, that was for certain. Or making it sound like they hadn’t done anything. If she hadn’t known them so well, she might have been fooled - it was a pretty good explanation. Except that she did know them, especially Ashley, and she could tell they weren’t being completely truthful.
DeVeau: You know, if you’re going to come in here with a story, I prefer one that’s not twisted to make it sound like it’s true. I prefer the actual truth.
Yael: ::feeling he had to say something further:: The truth is… I goaded him on. It was my fault. I felt he was holding back, going easy on me, and so I… antagonized him.
Meeks: That’s not entirely true, Ma’am. I was in complete control the entire time. Except when he was standing on my neck… maybe not then.
DeVeau: Wow. You really are digging the hole deeper, aren’t you?
Her gaze slid back over to Ashley.
DeVeau: Okay, so I get the idea there’s some truth to this, and that there’s something you’re not telling me. So tell me this, does whatever caused you to get into this little fight have anything to do with each other as Starfleet officers?
Yael: No, ma’am...
Meeks: Negative, Ma’am.
DeVeau: Did this altercation occur during times when either of you were on duty?
Yael: ::shaking his head negatively:: We were off duty.
Meeks: No Ma’am.
Ensign Ashley Yael
Starbase 118 Ops
1Lt. Anthony Meeks
1/292nd TMR D Co.
Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narendra
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops