((Outside of the The Prak Zel Grand; Zakdorn))
::The weather was brisk in the quickly fading sunlight, but Eerie did another lap around the complex. He was finding this imposed shore leave only bearable with spending time with Nia. As much has he loved this time with her, he needed his quiet time as well. It was good time to clear his mind and prepare for the evening. She was out with some of her friends from the ship as well. Recently he was thinking about running. It had been an activity that his alter ego in ‘Ravensville’ had found quite relaxing. But he wasn’t if one might have a Brikar committed on such an activity.::
:: He really didn’t want to use the holosuites, he figured that they were probably under surveillance as well. Anyways, a patrol around the complex probably sounded ludicrous, but it actually relaxed him to a certain point. He was walking near the front entrance when he spotted Fleet Captain Herrera. The Brikar had some concerns with the past mission, but he really didn’t want to concern the Captain during his shoreleave.::
::Eerie was just about to start a new lap.::
::Diego watched the greeting he shouted take to the air in a cloud of water vapour. The wind was like razorblades on his cheeks. Either way, it was far more pleasant than being trapped in his quarters, being forced to talk about things he didn’t want to talk about with Sky. He still wasn’t sure quite what had gotten into her. She could be forthright, he already knew that, but it had seemed like she would be hell bent on setting Diego’s love life straight now that she’d found some happiness herself.::
::Initially, he’d looked to check in on A’ern Zerxes, but he hadn’t found him in the hotel. He could have used his communicator but he didn’t feel like disturbing him if he was busy.::
::Eerie turned at once at the call of his name. He stopped and then moved towards the captain.::
Eerie:Captain? ::In his formal mode.::
Herrera: What are you up to?
Eerie: Doing a patrol...::Knowing that it was probably silly to everyone else, but it relaxed him.::Patrol...well...walk.Sir.
Herrera: Worried that there might be someone out for revenge? I’m pretty sure that the Zakdorn have the capital safe again but I can see why you would want to make sure…
::He was assuming that security was the reason he was lapping the hotel at least.::
Eerie: One can never be too sure. Particularly on Zakdorn. Two visits. Two attacks.Not a good track record.::Formally.::
Eerie:oO Track record?...Ah...something to do with horse racing… that is it. Darn metaphors, how many did he know?Oo
Herrera: Oh? Well, that’s fair enough. Mild exercise is definitely a good way to relax. Something on your mind?
::The Brikar was seeming less and less like an indomitable mountain these days as Diego got to know him better. He suspected that his experiences living as a simulated human had led him to drop a few more barriers as well, lately.::
Eerie: Oh. Just clearing the mind, exercise seems to put everything in order. Anyways, Scania is out with the women, something about a ‘girls night out’. Always try to do something productive. Captain.
Herrera: Sounds like she’s taking full advantage of being planetside. ::He wondered how many of the rest of the crew might be doing the same.:: How are you in yourself?
::He’d been serving with the Brikar officer for over a year now and he considered him a friend. He knew that he’d been struggling with the experience he’d had as a human and, even though he had been cleared for duty, he wasn’t sure if he’d fully won that battle yet.::
::Eerie wasn’t surprised by the personal question. He was of course, the Captain had a ‘strong’ interest in the well being of the crew. It was still something that Eerie knew that he must do a better job if he ever would reach the pinnacle of command that he desired. In a Brikar command structure, such a question would rarely if ever, be raised. Eerie had learned during the past seven years, four in the academy and now three as an officer, that he still had strides to take in that area. However, he was making progress. Slow but steady.::
Eerie: Fine, Sir. Just don’t like being here. On Zakdorn, if you know what I mean.
::Eerie’s formal training didn’t really suit him for totally free time. Even on the ship, or at the station Eerie would be working at least some shifts during shore leave. The only time that a Brikar would rest completely was their two to three week hibernation, that occurred every five to seven years. Eerie wasn’t sure when it would occur again. It had happened once during the ‘Eden’ experience. He was due anytime in the next two years by his rough guess.::
Herrera: Yeah, it’s not my choice of vacation spot, that’s for sure. Why don’t you stop pacing and let’s go and get a coffee?
::He was pretty sure that Eerie was a coffee drinker. He knew he was too much of a coffee drinker himself, really, but he needed something to warm his bones in the freezing Zakdorn capital.::
Eerie: I guess the perimeter is secure, that would be most ....ah nice. Sir. ::Eerie had been drilled from day one about respect to one’s elders and superiors. Even if a suggestion was taken as order, it sounded appealing.::
Herrera: Great. My shout. Can’t have you working the whole time, even if it’s tradition.
Eerie: Alright. I guess it won’t hurt. Sir.
::They started walking down the road that led from the hotel’s front entrance back out into the city. Either it was a little milder than it had been, or Diego was getting used to the cold.::
Herrera: True, but look at it like this. You never know when we’re going to get called into action again. You don’t often get more than a couple of days off every few months in Starfleet so, even though I’m still a bit worried about the Vigilant, it makes sense to make the most of the down time.
::To Eerie down time was a chance to do those little chores that one put off, when you didn’t have time during the shift. However, this had changed some since being all but betrothed to Scania. She understood that duty was extremely important to Eerie, but he had carved out a bit part of his time for her.::
Eerie: How are the repairs going, Captain? ::Eerie wasn’t still too adept of small talk, and he was talking to a Fleet Captain.::
::Diego dropped his hands into his pockets and shrugged.::
Herrera: I really wish I could tell you, but I don’t know. I can’t get a lot of sense out of the engineers at the shipyard. I have people from Ops watching them like hawks this time but, apparently, the damage to the computer systems is pretty major. Someone was talking about having to overhaul the entire computer core. Last I left it, they were going to look into a way to get the ship operational again a little faster.
::He hoped that they wouldn’t have to replace too much of the core. Sooner or later the crew were going to want to get their space legs back under them.::
Eerie: Viruses, trojans, worms. Sir, they are all the same.
Herrera: Yeah. The virus that was on the system corrupted a lot of software irreparably before it was shut down. I think it was designed so that if we tried to do anything more than contain it, it would just break the ship, one system at a time. If I find whoever did that, I’ll be sending them your way…
::He left out the part about him having already had visions of the hacker being pulverised like a cheap steak. That did not need to be voiced aloud.::
Eerie: Would be my pleasure, Sir.
.::They walked into the hotel and found the small lounge. Finding a table, Eerie eyed the chair wearily. Checking its supports would handle the stress. He sat down gingerly. Why, he wasn’t sure it wasn’t the first chair that he broke. He was sure that it wouldn’t be the last either. But there wasn’t even a creak from it.::
Herrera: You OK there, chief?
::He could understand why he might want to check the chair. Brikars weren’t particularly light, being as they were carved out of rock.::
Eerie: One can’t be too careful. Federation chairs are too bad, I’m leary of all others. Sir. ::Eerie had broken a number of them during his service. Particularly, at the academy. He had gotten used to it, but he still wasn’t looking to make it a habit however.::
::Diego smiled. He had a feeling that some of the Zakdorn around Prak Zel weighed almost as much as Eerie did, with his gravity inhibitor at least. The chairs needed to be sturdy as a result.::
::The waiter came and got their order. Eerie ordered a large turkish coffee and Herrera ordered a cortado. It was a minute before he returned with the drinks.::
Herrera: Cheers, Eerie.
Eerie:Bottom’s up.::It was like someone had turned a switch. Before, he could take a sip he switched back to his formal mode adding.::Sir.::
Herrera: ::Laughing:: Still having trouble with those earth sayings?
Eerie: Uh...from time to time, but it is a bit more manageable. Captain.
::He took a sip of the strong turkish coffee. Eerie was wondering if the Captain had any information on their next assignment. He was roaring to get started. It wasn’t like his to poke, but he tried tapping into his Ravensville’s character.::
Eerie: Captain...any ideas on what our next area of operation, will be ...once we get back on the Vigilant?::It wasn’t normal for a Brikar to really pose any type of question. However, Eerie figured that it was a simple request. Anyways, his character had a quote ‘it never hurts to ask’. ::
::Diego blew on the frothed milk top of his cortado, shrugging as he leaned forward to take a sip.::
Herrera: Well, it should be business as usual in the Zeta Gelis region. We can’t start looking at that information Bokzadeshti put together for us until we have something a little more concrete, so the most likely thing is exploration, barring any emergencies.
Eerie: Sounds Fair. Sir.::Eerie really didn’t expect a straight answer. Anyways, it was probably for the Captain and the First officer to know.:: I have been reviewing security matters a bit in my spare time, perhaps do some more random sensor sweeps of critical and noncritical areas, might keep any pesky surveillance devices away. ::Formally. He took a sip of the steaming hot coffee.::
Herrera: Yeah, usually I wouldn’t be that paranoid but apparently we can’t trust our allies these days. Run those sweeps as soon as you can, OK?
::He was referring to both the Zakdorn and whatever Vulcans were responsible for moving the Suliban like their pawns. He didn’t think for a minute that the Vulcans as a galactic power were pulling strings behind the scenes; while the old adage that Vulcans did not lie was probably a lie in and of itself, they did make pretty bad liars on most occasions. Besides… what would the Vulcans have to gain by changing the balance of power on a world so far away from them? If they had wanted to dominate the Federation then they’d had decades to do it before Zakdorn became a member world.::
Eerie: Yes, Sir.
::It suddenly struck Diego that he’d potentially done his tactical and security chief an injustice.::
Herrera: Eerie, I want you to know that I don’t consider that particular breach of security to be your fault. None of us had a reason not to trust the Zakdorn when we launched. Phased surveillance devices that have been planted by people you are supposed to be able to trust are kind of outside the realms of things you would scan for even if you were being paranoid.
::Eerie had complete faith in his Captain, he was sure that if there was a problem with his department, he would of heard about if formally or informally from the first officer. He was Brikar, he was used to taking ordered literally and giving blind obedience. He was also taught by the federation to question and think outside of boundaries. Sometimes they clashed.::
Eerie: I strive to do my best Captain. It was situation I didn’t conceive.::Nodding in agreement.::
Herrera: I think you’re one of the most competent officers I’ve ever served with. You’re dependable, efficient, reliable… not to mention the fact you’ve saved us from a variety of situations, including the initial visit to Zakdorn IV. I’m lucky to have you on the crew.
::He meant that. He’d worked with other security chiefs in a variety of different places and all of them had been good at their job - you didn’t just get given a title like that by being mediocre. Out of all of them, though, it felt like maybe Eerie cared more, which was ironic being as he was the most stoic.::
Eerie: Thank you Captain. That means I am doing well at my job. I strive to fill those roles of ‘Duty, Loyalty and Honor.’ While I have served with only one other Captain. I feel that you are the best in the fleet. In my estimation. :: Eerie wasn’t sure what to do after that having praise heaped on him, it actually made him feel a bit nervous. ::
::He paused for a moment. It wasn’t the Brikar way to praise a superior officer as well. Not that he didn’t mean it. Eerie knew that his experiences in Star Fleet had changed him during the past seven years. The academy and now three years as an officer. While he was still Brikar in the core there had been a change in him. One that he had never expected, but he was at ease with it, for the most part. He was learning that one probably should never be totally at peace with one’s self. Perhaps that was a key to life. He filed it away to think about later.::
::Diego smiled and took another sip of his coffee. He wasn’t sure if he agreed with Eerie’s assessment of his performance, although he did try to do the best job of commanding his ship that he could. Still, he appreciated the vote of confidence after everything that had happened. Things had certainly been difficult lately, for all of them. He was glad of some time to clear his head and not think about it, but most of all he was glad that he had good friends around him. He wondered how much free time Eerie had, but hanging around and talking over coffee seemed like a good way to spend the next couple of hours.::
Fleet Captain Diego Herrera
Deputy Commandant: UFOP: SB118 Academy
EC: Captain At Large
Lt. Cmdr. Eerie
Chief Tactical/Security Officer