OOC: Takes place a few days after "Reprimand"
((Starbase 118 Ops - Alora’s Quarters))
DeVeau: No, you didn’t tell me the truth. You tried to make it out to be something that it wasn’t. Which means it was a lie, pure and simple.
Meeks: There are many times when members of my team will have a beef, and that beef gets handled between those Marines and it’s done. They lick their wounds and go have a beer afterward. It’s a done deal… It’s over and done with. This is exactly how this would have ended up.
DeVeau: Again, not the issue, Tony. You’re changing the subject.
And Alora would have loved to go over how she thought that was a stupid reason to get into a fight and that violence in those types of situations weren’t warranted. Not to mention it was unbecoming of a Starfleet officer. That, however, wasn’t something a friend would say but his First Officer, so she refrained. For the moment.
DeVeau: I don’t care what the reason was. I don’t care if you didn’t want to tell me the reason. That’s fine. The fact of the matter is, you were deceptive. You purposefully created a story instead of saying “We had a personal issue.” If you had simply been up front, things would have been different. And the fact that obviously someone else has told you the same thing should say something to you about your perception.
Tony tried to see the situation from Alora’s point of view. He sat quietly, pondering her last words, trying hard to put her meaning into his perspective. Try as he might, all his pondering did was cause him to become angrier. It took everything he had to keep from expressing this anger.
Meeks: ::the tone of his voice was slow, calm, and quiet:: Alora, I couldn’t be that upfront with the First Officer. When I was in your office, you were acting in that role. I can be that upfront with my friend. I’ve told you what I can tell you about what happened. I’ve told the First Officer what I could tell her about what happened. If she can’t stomach that, then that is that. Can my friend handle that?
Alora sigh, glancing up at the ceiling as she pondered how to respond. She had a feeling that he wasn't going to like what she had to say no matter what.
Alora: If you can't be candid with your first officer, then maybe you should think about why that is. Secondly, you're completely missing the point. I don't need you to tell me what happened if it was personal. I can accept the answer of "This was a private and personal issue between us that had no relation to our duties as officers.". The problem was that you tried to spin a yarn and lie about it. It's not the lack of information I'm upset about. It's the fact that you literally lied. Lied to me. Lied to your first officer. Lied to your friend. Does that make sense?
Meeks: It makes sense that you feel I lied to you, and I’m sorry you feel that way. I told you, as First Officer, exactly what I felt I could tell you. You had better get used to that… boss. People aren’t going to be as open with you as you think they should be all the time. That’s the nature of the beast. I learned that when I became an officer with men under my charge.
Tony sat, staring at Alora, unsure how she was going to take in what he just told her. Unfortunately, to him it felt there was nothing he could say, and no one would even attempt to understand his side of the issue. He had almost reached the decision that he would never be able to get past it. If that was the case, then so be it.
DeVeau: Tony, that’s not an apology. Obviously you have no regrets, and you still don’t understand. You still don’t get it. You didn’t have to tell me anything. Nothing at all! I just didn’t want you to lie. Period. I can’t understand why you can’t understand that. Why couldn’t you literally just say, “It’s personal, I can’t talk about it.”?
Meeks: Because, “It’s personal, I can’t talk about it.” doesn’t work in the C.O.’s office. By the time it gets there, it’s way too far ahead for, “It’s persona,. I can’t talk about it.”
Alora licked her lips and shook her head.
DeVeau: Actually, that’s not true. Do you remember what I asked you before you left?
Meeks: Not really. By that time, I wasn’t hearing much that was said… other than “dismissed”.
Evidently. He also wasn’t hearing much in their current conversation, but Alora elected not to say that. Instead, she repeated the content from their previous conversation.
DeVeau: I specifically asked if the fight occurred during times when either of you were on duty. Since the answer was no, I felt like it was, at that point in time, something out of my jurisdiction. It was a personal matter - which is why there was no formal report or reprimand put on your file. If you had simply told me that from the very beginning, it would have all been over in a matter of minutes. Instead, you decided to come up with a story rather than be up front.
Meeks: What I told you was there had been something that happened between two consenting adults, Ashley and Me. You didn’t ask until the end if what had happened occurred on duty or as a part of our duties. When you did, you were told it didn’t.
Alora raised her hand and pinched the bridge of her nose. He didn’t get it. Would he ever? It seemed like they were just going around and around in circles, with him unwilling to see what the actual problem was.
DeVeau: Right. But before that, you lied. And you keep trying to justify it, but there’s no justification, Tony. You might consider it only partly true or bending the truth, but if it’s not a whole truth, then it’s a lie. It’s one or the other. It can’t be some.
Meeks: I guess, what I’m trying to say Alora, is that I am sorry you got dragged into this, and I’m sorry about how it went down. If you want me to apologize for protecting my friend, I won’t. I’m sorry for that.
DeVeau: You don’t get it Tony. I’m not asking you to apologise for protecting your friend. I’m not even asking you to tell me what it was about. That was never something I needed. I’m asking you to apologise for lying to me. Lying. That’s the issue. You seem to think it’s something else, but it’s not. The fact is, you lied to my face. Then you tried to lie after I called you out on it.
The twisting of words, the shifting of facts, an attempt to mislead her. That was the problem. They had misled her, and they weren’t sorry for it at all. Whether it was as first officer or as friends, that fact hadn’t changed.
Meeks: I’m truly sorry you see it that way, Alora. I told you the truth as it needed to be told. You may see it as a lie, and I understand your perspective, but it wasn’t a lie in it’s foundation.
Tony stood from the couch and moved to the center of the room. He turned to face her as she spoke.
DeVeau: I don’t think you do see my perspective at all, Tony. If you did, then you’d understand that it was a lie. Pure and simple. I don’t like lies. I can’t trust people who lie to me.
Meeks: I’m sorry.
Turning for the door, Tony stopped himself short just before punching the button to open it. He turned to face her once again.
Meeks: And, someday when you are the one I am protecting I will be just as adamant about that then too. You are my friend, and you deserve that respect.
He shook his head and turned, walking out the door into the hallway.
He still didn’t understand. He wasn’t sorry. He wasn’t sorry at all. And that was what hurt so much. Watching the doors close behind her, Alora fought against the tightness in her throat and the tears in her eyes, wishing he would just take a moment to really see what he had done and why it was wrong.
Marine Captain Anthony Meeks Regimental Commander 292nd TMR Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narendra R238801IG0
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops