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Miniature Disasters, Minor Catastrophes

Posted on May 25, 2015 @ 10:31pm by Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on May 25, 2015 @ 10:32pm

Mission: The Lights of Hyperion

"Miniature Disasters, Minor Catastrophes"
(cont. "The Judas Addiction.")
* * *=/\=* * *

Stardate: 2.150525.1551
Scene: Marine Ready Room.

{{Commander Crichton to Major Thytos,}} Jake’s voice said tinnily from the earpiece lying on the top of Kassandra's locker. Kassandra hurriedly finished pulling her gauntlet on and crammed the headset into her ear.

“This is Major Thytos, what’s up, sir?” Kassandra asked as she began to pull on the other gauntlet. She locked it into the articulated joint of her rerebrace and began to pull on the chest plates. She found it perversely amusing that technology had come so far but the construction of armor remained very similar to that of a medieval knight - albeit far more lightweight, and jam-packed with a million bits of technology to protect and enhance the performance of those wearing it.

{{Hey, Kass - the replicators in the refugee camp are down, and we don’t know when we’re going to be able to fix them. We’ve got problems of our own in Engineering.}} Jake sounded apologetic.

“Well gee, why don’t you just open the door and insult their mothers while you’re at it,” Kassandra groaned. This development was not good. “We ain’t gonna be able to keep them from gettin’ antsy if they ain’t well fed and watered.”

{{I’m sorry Major, but I really can’t afford to make it a priority, it’s replicators or the damn warp core, and I know which is worse to have go down.}} Jake sounded as stressed as Kassandra felt now.

“I know, Commander. It ain’t your fault. You keep us in the sky, I’ll keep us safe. We’ve got cases and frickin' cases of protein cubes in the Marine supplies, and a handful of field replicators. 'Course, all those replicate is flavored protein cubes. I’ll check with Lance Corporal Flannigan, but I think we may be able to provide food for a few days - it will be just protein cubes, and they’ll have to wait in line for it, but at least we’ve got something. I’ll have her check, we might even be able to scare up a couple of holoprojectors.” Kassandra sealed her chest piece together and put on a light helmet. She knew her hair would make her highly recognizable to the refugees and the longer she could avoid being outed as the ‘Butcher’ the better. She’d even put on some makeup to soften her face and hopefully make her seem less threatening.

{{Thanks, Major. Sorry. I know you guys are even more shorthanded than we are at the moment.}}

“Just keep us flyin'. Do me a favor though: Over the next few hours I need you to start raisin’ the gravity in the bay real slow, and at the same time start droppin’ the oxygen levels. You can drop the temperature a degree or two as well. Not enough for ‘em to notice the cold though, or we’ll have other problems to deal with,” Kassandra said, attaching her chinstrap and clipping some weapons from the crowd control armory to her belt. “We need any help we can get - startin’ with keeping them a little bit sluggish to make em less likely to start trouble. Ain’t ideal, but we have to use what we can. I jus’ don’t want em realizin' we’re doing it, so real subtle-like, okay?’

{{I can do that,}} Jake said agreeably. {{I have to run though, too much to do, too little time.}}

“Tell me about it,” Kass muttered to herself, suddenly dearly wishing that she was somewhere else. She needed to get down to the bay right now to see the situation for herself.

* * *=/\=* * *

Scene: Shanty Town


Horatio turned at the sound of Kassandra's voice approaching. Her face was still pale, but the familiar sparkle of her sensor nets had returned to the skin he could see under her body armor. "You done PMSsing yet?"

After three decades she knew just how to push his buttons. The fact that she was doing it meant she still wasn't feeling up to scratch. She was still favoring her recently wounded side. She hid it well, but Horatio knew how she moved and carried herself and he knew when something was off. Sometimes Horatio got the feeling that he probably knew her better than she knew herself.

"Are you sure you should be here? Didn't the doc tell you to take it easy until that wound of yours was fully healed?" Horatio murmured to her, making sure none of the refugees could hear him. The situation had started a slow but steady deterioration since the replicators broke down. While they sorely needed every Marine just to maintain the illusion of control, he was worried that her wound might slow her down at a critical moment. The refugees were unhappy, and if someone managed to make one of the Marines bleed… well, it’d be like tossing chum into a pack of sharks.

"C'mon Harry, this is just a matter of lookin' mean and smackin' down the occasional bully what's too big fer his britches. I could do this in my sleep," Kassandra said with excessive braggadocio.

Horatio groaned inwardly. That was her stubborn I'm-not-going-to-listen-to-your-arguments voice. It meant there was no way of reasoning with her. " 'sides,” she continued, “if you don't let PFC Massimo have some rest he really will be doin' this in his sleep. I have an announcement to make anyway."

She fell into step with him. He tried to subtly take a look at her on the pretense of scanning the room. He was worried that she was pushing herself too far too fast. *He* hadn't yet gotten over her nearly dying and he couldn't see how she could possibly be back to normal.

He and the other Marines had been watching the fight as it was broadcast from the station. They’d watched her deathmatch against Kalenda, cheered as the Klingon fell, then watched in horror as Kalenda sunk her blade into Kassandra’s back. Horatio had been sure she was dead and gone.

"Stop starin' at me," Kassandra growled. "You're actin' like a mother hen again, Harry. I ain’t some sort of delicate china doll. It's nothin’ a little light exercise and time won’t cure. Hey, where's that Barnes guy? Squish - Lance Corporal Flannigan - said that he was acting as a community security organizer? I need to confer with him and Embry about the situation here."

“Over there. Actually, it’s probably good that you’re here, we’ve found a few people that might solve the Massimo problem.” Horatio put his hand on her back and steered her in the direction of Arthur Embry’s camp. He knew his concern was annoying Kassandra but he couldn’t help himself. Of all the young men and women he’d signed up for the corps during his tenure as a Marine recruiter she was the last one still alive. He understood it was ridiculous but he felt that as long as she stayed that way it meant that he hadn’t sold hundreds of naive colony kids on a dream of excitement and glory just so they could be used as cannon fodder. “He’s got some possible new recruits.”

“Really?” Kassandra’s interest was piqued, and Horatio was relieved. Looking over the possibles would keep her occupied and out of trouble for a while.

“Yeah, I’ll let Arthur Embry and Mister Barnes introduce them to you.” Horatio pushed her over towards the two men, hoping she wouldn’t be focused enough on this new task that she wouldn’t notice all the minor infractions of the rules that were taking place. Kass had been smart enough to wear her lid to hide her hair and had even put on a bit of makeup to soften her face, but it was only a matter of time until someone recognized her.

Once someone recognized her she’d be a target. Sure, her reputation would keep 99% of the low level scum scared and in line, but that left the other one percent who might be dumb enough to challenge her to prove their toughness.

“Ahh, Major, a pleasure to see you again,” Arthur Embry said with a smile. Remembering his first encounter with her, he didn’t extend a hand, but Kassandra stretched her hand out with one of her lopsided ‘aw shucks’ smiles. It was an affectation of hers when she wanted to be underestimated, or seem non-threatening.

“That sounds like Mister Embry - very nice to put a face to the name,” Kassandra said warmly, at her most effusive and charming. Arthur Embry returned the smile and apologized and excused himself to deal with some matter or other. Kassandra turned to face Jacen Barnes and cocked her head at him. “You look pretty much like I thought you might, Mister Barnes.” She flicked her eyes deliberately towards Horatio, as though to let him know she was comparing them. Horatio had a couple inches on Barnes and about 75 pounds, but unfortunately it was mainly in the form of the beginnings of a spare tire and a layer of fat that softened his muscle definition. Both those had begun to form somewhere around his late 40’s, much to Horatio’s chagrin. "Reminds me of you twenty years ago Harry, but maybe a tenth as ugly. I'da paid good money ta see you two fight, except - " one of her eyebrows shot up. "Never mind, it mighta been close but he'da made mincemeat of you in the end. So Jacen, where are these prospective Marines of yours?"

"Right there." Barnes pointed to a cluster of young humans who had assembled a polite distance from them. Horatio recognized Marvin among them and nodded. "Winnifred Nguyen, Marvin Potter, Lars Jager and Rico Suarez. This is Major Thytos."

"Winnifred Nguyen. Pleased. Former Marine. Company Echo Bravo Delta," a lanky Vietnamese woman said with the clipped accent and stripped down syntax of a colonist from Beloti III. The oxygen content of the atmosphere of the world was at the lower limits of human tolerance, so the colonists who lived there had developed the shortened speech patterns to conserve breath. "Been working as an armed guard."

"Retired or kicked out?" Kassandra asked bluntly. Horatio sighed inwardly, his lessons on tact had yet to stick. Fortunately it turned out to be the right tactic with Winnifred. She seemed to appreciate the direct approach.

“Kicked out, Ma’am. Bad temper. Much better now. Took up meditation,” the woman bobbed her head with satisfaction. “Have references. Deadbeat former employer in the cargobay.”

“I’m Private Marvin Potter.” Marvin stepped forward and snapped off a sharp salute. “Gunnery Sergeant Bellecotte can vouch for me. I’m enlisted, but considered AWOL due to circumstances beyond my control, ma’am!”

Kassandra’s face was stony, and Horatio could tell she was inwardly rolling her eyes. There were few things that annoyed her more than over-eagerness to please. Not that she minded her men and women being eager to please her, she just preferred they be quiet about it. Marvin Potter looked exactly like what he was - a core world kid convinced that the Marines were the way to excitement, adventure, and glory.

“Lars Jager,” a heavyset blonde man came to stand next to Marvin. “I haven’t had any experience as a Marine, but… I was one of Tella Yavin’s Black Stars. I didn’t want any part of what she was planning to do, Major. So I came aboard with the rest of the refugees.”

Kassandra nodded her approval. She respected honesty and forthrightness. That was one of her more admirable traits, if you were honest with her, she’d forgive and forget very quickly.

“I’m Rico Suarez, no affiliation to anyone,” said a tall, thin man with a greasy swept-back hairdo. “Been travelling as a bodyguard for a young lady who’s now in the safe section of the ship. Babysitting hasn’t been the best, but I’m handy with my fists, and enjoy working security. Plus the Marine chicks ain’t half - ”

He trailed off as Kassandra skewered him with a stare.

“What do you think, Gunnery Sergeant Bellecotte? I think they look like rejects from the chess club. This one here’s too skinny, this one is a puppy dog begging for approval, that one’s just plain ugly, and THIS one, this one’s gonna get slapped by all the female Marines.” Kassandra’s vacant eyes roved down the line.

“I think we still have to put them through their paces tomorrow, Major Thytos,” Horatio said with a serious tone in his voice. He and Kassandra had played this game with recruits many times before she’d been discharged from the Corps. She’d play the mean one, he’d play the reasonable one, and together they’d test out the recruits’ strengths and weaknesses. “Looks can be deceiving, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

“Huh. What do you think, Miss Chen?” Kassandra suddenly addressed someone that Horatio didn’t see. A tall woman with Vulcan features and dark eyes of a Betazoid suddenly materialized from around a pile of crates. She would have been rather pretty if her face wasn’t so gaunt and hard, and her mouth so severe. She was wearing long black gloves, and a modest cowl-necked black dress and boots. Where her skin was bare, dark jailhouse tattoos were starkly visible.

“Just Selyara is preferable. What do you mean, what do I think?” the woman asked, her voice expressionless. From behind her, an incongruous small dog trotted out wearing a teal Starfleet counselor’s uniform. “I’m not a Marine. I have no idea what qualities a Marine needs, and I do not have the resources nor the inclination to run background checks for you.”

“I mean, what do you think? Do that voodoo that you do so well.” Kassandra wiggled her fingers for emphasis. “Tell me if they’re trustworthy.”

“I don’t think I’m supposed to do that.” Selyara looked uncertain. “I would rather not be tossed in the brig or confined to quarters, if it’s all the same to you.”

“Come on. It’s the only way for us to be certain. I trust you. Besides what good is it gonna do you to try any monkey business with them? Four of them couldn’t cause too much trouble even if you did get to them,” Kassandra wheedled.

“Fine,” Selyara said, peeling off one of her gloves. She walked down the line of potential recruits and looked at them with her cold eyes. The four recruits remained still while she briefly touched them as she passed. “They are acceptable. You can trust them as much as you can trust anyone, which isn’t much. But it’s enough, I suppose.”

“Great,” Kassandra nodded happily. “Then you four report to the door at the beginning of the next patrol. Lance Corporal Flannigan will get your weapons and armor coded to your DNA, and then you will perform rounds. After that you will return to the Marine Barracks with her.”

The recruits nodded and dispersed quietly back through the crowd. Kassandra turned back as Arthur Embry returned and began to give him and Barnes a short version of her plan of action. It involved distribution of Marine MREs to the refugees, and setting up some entertainment. Arthur Embry nodded, and gestured to a stage that had been made out of empty cargo crates. He, Kassandra, and Jacen Barnes climbed up to the top of the stage. Once there, Kassandra turned on her armor’s voice amplifier.

“Ladies, gentlemen, beings of indeterminate gender, may I have your attention please?” Kassandra’s voice echoed through the bay’s speakers. Her voice was firm, polite, and charming. Horatio wished she would use that voice more often, even though he knew it was fake as hell. He’d seen her convince panicked people to follow seemingly crazy orders when she used that voice. “My name is Major Thytos. I’m the Phoenix’s MCO. I’m sorry I ain’t been down before now, but I’ve been working upstairs tryin’ to get all the logistics sorted out for you. I realize your situation here is very difficult. You’ve lost your homes, many of you have lost your livelihoods an’ escaped with naught but what you could carry. Now you’re bein’ told that the replicators are down. I know this makes things even harder on you; I know you’re worried about bein’ hungry. I’m from Sherman’s Planet and I remember the famine years when the quintotriticale crop failed.”

Kassandra paused for effect and made eye contact - such as she was capable of - with people in the crowd. Horatio was glad it was her up there. Her backwater drawl and plain speech that caused derision in the core worlds was an asset here. It made her seem relatable to the refugees instead of another Starfleet Elite talking down at them and making empty promises.

“I know what it’s like to have to wait in lines for handouts from the Federation an’ bein’ scared that every scrap of bread you get is gonna be your last,” Kassandra continued, her voice softer now, but still firm. “I promise you, we ain’t gonna let you starve. You won’t have much choice in food for the next coupla days, but it’ll be filling. Mister Embry is gonna go over what will happen, and if you have questions, Mister Barnes here will be available to answer ‘em or relay any concerns you have to me.”

“Thank you, Major,” Embry said with a smile, and shook her hand as she stepped off the plinth. “Starting tomorrow morning, the Major and her Marines will set up ten sites and distribute protein cubes rations to everyone during the day. You’ll have to get a quick biometric scan - that’s how they’re going to ensure that no-one is getting more than their fair share. If you’re unable to get rations yourself, you will need to see me or one of my representatives, and we will ensure that you get your share. In addition she’s scrounged up some holoprojectors so we can have some entertainment. We’ll be setting up two of them on either end of the bay.”

Embry started outlining the rules that would govern the distribution of rations. Horatio was listening when the Vulcan woman Selyara appeared by his side like a ghost.

“Someone’s going to start trouble,” she whispered in his ear, her breath tickling his cheek. He jumped slightly. She creeped him the hell out. “I’d get up there if I were you. Your Major did a good job with her speech, but some people just have to test authority, and *all* the authority figures are up there.”

Horatio needed no further prodding, he was in motion pushing his way to the front of the stage. Suddenly from out of the crowd a large and clearly intoxicated man lunged onto the stage screaming.

“Who died and made you boss of all of us, Embry? And you, you pint-sized bossy bitch, what makes you think you can feed us your empathetic I-understand-your-pain bullshit and we’ll just do what you say? You're keeping us down, treating us like second class citizens! I say we stop listening to weaklings like Embry and just take what we need!” The man bellowed and charged at Embry, a makeshift weapon in his hand. Kassandra was already stepping out in front of him, ready to use his momentum to send him flying. Horatio was close enough that he could see the moment things went wrong - she was moving confidently across the stage and suddenly she hesitated, second guessing her plan.

That split second of indecision was all the man needed. His knife came slashing down at her and she blocked it sloppily with her forearm. The knife squealed across her armor and went skittering off into the shadows but she hadn't stopped momentum of his fist, which slammed into her cheek. She staggered back.

She fumbled at her belt trying to unhook her stun baton, but she was at an awkward angle and sufficiently dazed and she was having trouble. The man, sensing he had the upper hand, aimed a hard kick to her head. She flexed away at the last moment, and his boot slammed into the podium .

Jacen Barnes came out of nowhere, bowling the man over and putting him into a submission hold on the floor. He moved faster than someone his size had any right to move. Horatio could see now why Kassandra had been so certain that Barnes would have won a fight with him in his prime.

Kassandra, trying to maintain an air of nonchalance, clapped Barnes on the shoulder in thanks. They exchanged a few words, and Horatio could see that Kassandra was rattled.

She turned on her voice amplifier again and in the same voice as before reiterated the dedication of the crew of the PHOENIX to making things as comfortable for the refugees as possible. She urged patience and explained the importance of following the rules and the rationale behind them.

Arthur Embry stepped back to the podium, and Kassandra beat a hasty retreat.

* * *=/\=* * *

Kassandra leaned weakly against a stack of crates, the pain in her side competing for attention with the pain in her cheek. Her eye was rapidly swelling, but that wasn’t what concerned her. Her heart was pounding at a rate that made it feel like it was going to come out of her chest and she could barely breathe.

Everything had been fine. She’d been handling the situation on the stage as she had a thousand times before and she had just lost it. Suddenly a nagging voice in the back of her head asked if maybe, just maybe, this time she should go straight for submission, rather than merely disarming the troublemaker and trying to talk some sense into him. Almost as quickly that idea was replaced by wondering if, given the climate in Shanty Town, both of those ideas were terrible and it'd be much safer to just go on the defensive to protect Arthur Embry.

Then suddenly it was too late for her to do anything but avoid a stab to the neck and try to make sure she wasn't knocked out cold.

Kassandra felt nauseous and leaned over to vomit on the side of the crates she was leaning against. Her chest was tight and painful. Her nets picked up Horatio making his way over to her, and she braced herself for another lecture.

“What the hell happened there?” Horatio demanded. Yup. Right on schedule. They were close friends, occasionally with benefits, but somehow they always slipped back into the role of mentor/mentee. Even once she outranked him he still sometimes treated her as though she were the sixteen year old he’d recruited on Sherman’s planet.

“Just what it looked like,” Kassandra spat to rid her mouth of the taste of vomit. “I choked. I bottled. I’m leaving.”

“You okay?" He looked worried. "You don't look very good."

"Well..." Kassandra toyed with the idea of not being honest, but decided under the circumstances full disclosure was important. "I think I'm havin' a panic attack, and I'm worried that I've got a case of the yips."

Her giant First Sergeant regarded her for a long moment, letting her words sink in.

"You aren't coming back in this bay until you take care of it," he said brusquely. She bridled a bit at his tone, but said nothing. "You're going to talk to Eve as soon as she is free, correct?"

Kassandra's sensor nets picked up Jacen Barnes making his way towards them. He was nearly in earshot. Her pride and desire not to appear weak in front of her rescuer a second time waged war with her need to reassure her First Sergeant. The latter won out.

"Believe me Harry, no one is more invested in fixin' this as me. And even though I know it ain't gonna stop you from bein' a worry wart, I'm fine, promise. Got lots to do, even if I do got a case of the yips, so I ain't gonna be fallin' apart this time. Plus ain't enough booze to get drunk in this place, and bein' dosed earlier reminded me how shit bein' high feels the day after. So no self implosion this time, my hand to the goddess."

Horatio regarded her with suspicion, but said nothing. Jacen Barnes was standing at a polite distance but Kassandra was sure he'd heard. An enigma, that one. Bulked up to the gills with genetic enhancements, clearly quick to use his fists and think later, she still got the impression that he was incredibly fragile in some ways. Which, she supposed, was precisely what some might say about her.

She waved him over and began to unhook some of her equipment from her belt. She'd noticed on the stage that he had a Ferengi disruptor hidden in the small of his back. Good as a back up, but she very much didn't want that thing used in the Shanty Town. Better to give him some more tools to use to make that his last resort.

"Listen, gotta apologize for the Captain - he's a good man, I swear, but a little short on trust right now. Partially my fault, I'm afraid, since not too long before we headed out to LIMBO I was duped into leadin' a mutiny." Kassandra set about re-coding the gene locks on her equipment to let Barnes use it. "Course I obviously ended up comin' out on the right side, but it didn't help his sense of trust for unknown elements. But he did give me a second chance, so I do have a soft spot for him."

She handed him the equipment from her belt. He looked at it curiously.

"What's this for?" He turned them over in his hands.

"Well, I think it would be good to have some less... disruptive... methods of defense and crowd control. That's a stun baton, deck plate electrifier - effective AOI of 20 meters, grav trap, and tear gas, all gene locked to you, so no worries about other people taking it. If you need anything else, just let one of the Marines know and we'll get it to you discreetly. I'm gonna make myself scarce here, don't think findin' out the person in charge of the armed Marines is the Butcher would do much for morale," Kassandra said, pointing at each in turn. Barnes was giving her an odd stare, so she forced her eyes to meet his.

"Why do you trust me so much?" he asked in an almost plaintive voice.

She shrugged. "Told you, got a soft spot for people that give me second chances. Besides, I get the feelin' you could use a second chance yourself. Take care," she waved as she headed towards the exit.

* * *=/\=* * *

Scene: Marine Armory.

After her ignominious retreat from Shanty Town, Kassandra had busied herself with making preparations of another sort. She’d seen enough fighters lose their spark to know that it was no good for her to push it. Each fresh defeat or humiliation would just cement whatever psychological block was rendering her unable to fight.

She had other worries anyway, Shanty Town being the primary one. That place was volatile, she'd felt it, and she didn't trust Embry to have the best interests of her people at heart. His people, sure, but his people were the refugees.

She finished rigging one of the canisters of anesthezine she'd gotten from Cade Foster and set it in line with the others. Over on the other side of the armory Massimo was performing maintenance on the sets of loaner armor.

The door swooshed open, and the lean form of Selyara entered the room.

"You wrote new security protocol," the woman said with no preamble.

"How did you know that?" Kassandra felt Kane was giving the woman far too many liberties. She seemed to be everywhere on the ship at once.

"I have been monitoring the computer, it caught my attention. You are really planning for having to kill all the refugees?" Selyara's eyes looked bright.

"If it's us or them, I'd rather it be them. I'd prefer to have a plan I don't have to use than be caught flat footed," Kassandra pulled out the last canister and began to rig it up.

"Oh, I approve," Selyara blinked, face inscrutable. "It's refreshingly sensible coming from a human. Have you told the Captain yet?"

"No, and you ain't gonna either. He's got enough goin' on. I don't think he needs the burden of knowin' it's possible we'll have to resort to that until it's a reality."

"He's not delicate, you know," Selyara objected. "He's quite ruthless and pragmatic in his own way."

"No, he's just an idiot who wants to shield his crew from havin' to do anythin' unpleasant, so he takes needless burdens on himself," Kass snorted. "I think he thinks he's savin' our immortal souls. Anyway, everyone deserves one person in the galaxy who tries to spare their feelings."

Selyara was about to say something more, but instead she began to scream, clutching her head in pain. Kassandra's sensor nets went wild as they locked onto an odd pulsing globe of light. All sorts of odd readings that she couldn't make sense of assailed her brain. It wavered in the corner of the room then vanished, leaving a gloopy patch of radiation on the floor.

Her ears pricked as she heard an unwelcome and familiar noise, steady and calm under the whimpering of the half-Vulcan - the countdown beeping of a plasma mine

Her sensor nets honed in on the culprit. With a jolt of adrenaline she threw open the box it was in and pulled the mine out, swearing violently. She opened the program panel to try and disarm it, but the circuits had been fused.

"Major!" PFC Massimo's voice cut through the noise of the mine and the still howling half-Vulcan. He had a blast proof locker open, and was gesturing frantically for her to throw the mine to him. She did so without hesitation, and he crammed the mine into the locker and started to seal it shut.

It detonated with a wave of searing heat and a dull thud that made Kassandra's ears ring. The blast of the explosion caused the door of the locker to deform, and acrid smoke billowed out. Massimo was slumped in a pile on the floor, coughing weakly. Selyara was clutching her head, curled into a fetal position.

"Major Thytos to engineering - emergency medical transport for three from the Marine armory," Kassandra said, lungs burning from the heat and fumes. If there was a response she couldn't hear it, but a moment later they dematerialized in a flash of blue light.

* * *=/\=* * *

Scene: Sickbay

Cade heard the alert that an emergency transport was coming moments before Kassandra, her Marine and the resident psionic sociopath appeared in sickbay. Suvek quickly bustled over to help triage the patients. None of them were seriously injured, though the male Marine had a few third degree burns on his face and hands and a cracked rib. The half Vulcan woman complained of a migraine, but the scans revealed nothing. Suvek suggested that it might be some sort of psionic disruption by the radiation burst.

Finally he took a look over Kassandra. A few light second degree burns to add to her black eye, some ear trauma from the blast and smoke inhalation. She looked rather glum.

"You know you can just stop in to see me, right?" Cade said as he fixed her ear drums. She gave him a confused look. "I mean, I find it flattering and all, but you don't have to injure yourself as an excuse to come up here and see me. This is what, the fourth time in 24 hours? I mean, I can understand being desperate to bask in my brilliance..."

This actually garnered a chuckle from the Marine.

"I may be a masochist, but I'm not *that* much of a masochist, Mister Congeniality," she gently flicked his shoulder. "If I wanted to expose myself to a loud, bad tempered, demandin' creature with delusions of godhood and a vast overestimate of its relative intelligence, I'd get myself a Targ."

"I'm insulted, Major Pain - I'm vastly better looking than a Targ. I smell better too."

"Debatable - hello sir," Kassandra stood to greet Kane.

* * *=/\=* * *

NRPG: Woooo. Post.

Alix Fowler as:

Kassandra Thytos

Accident Prone MCO


Selyara Chen

A woman without a plan


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