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A Matter of Opinion

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 @ 11:07am by Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Oct 16, 2015 @ 11:08am

Mission: Civil War

"A Matter of opinion."
(Cont. "Mongrel")

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“Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.”
― Mark Twain
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Location: Elandipole IV
Stardate: 2.15.1015.2248
Scene: Shanty Town

One of the rules that Kassandra had in life was that you never pass up a chance for real, un-replicated food, and so she made her way to the communal dining area that had been set up for the Starfleet and Limbo Refugees, braving the dirty looks she got from all sides.

She got a plate of seafood stew that she was fairly certain had some spit in it, if the expression on the cook's face had been any indication, and made her way to the tables and long lines of benches that had been built to host the masses of diners that would come through the doors. As she approached the tables, the conversation died away. Most of the Limbo refugees gave her nasty looks, and the Starfleet officers avoided her eyes and quickly shifted so that any empty spaces quickly vanished. Kassandra tried ignore it, but she felt a little deflated by the mass rejection. She was about to turn away to find herself a rock somewhere out of the way, when a familiar voice called her name.

"Captain Thytos, I have a seat for you over here." The lilting brogue of the Phoenix's captain cut across the silence in the open air dining hall. Her sensor nets picked him out on the end of one of the Starfleet tables. He was surrounded by empty space, as though he had an invisible force field around him that repelled all the crew under his command. She 'met' his eyes and nodded her appreciation and made her way over to him.

"Feels weird to be busted back down to Captain," she grinned her relief at him as she slid in, and was feeling in a good enough spirits to tease him lightly. "Thanks Sir, I wasn't startin' to worry I'd have to swim over t' one of the atolls with the bowl on top a' my head in order ta find somewhere I'd be welcome. Hey, seein' as we're planetside, and I ain't in uniform, I'd be much obliged if you'd just call me Kass, or Kassandra if y' find that overly familiar."

"I think Kassandra might be overly familiar," Kane replied primly. Kassandra's sensor nets caught the brief tightening of the corners of his lips that indicated a slight smile, so she made an exaggerated grimace of pain and clutched her chest as though he'd mortally wounded her, then flashed a grin of her own.

"Ouch, sir, way to put me in my place. In that case, will you call me Captain Kassandra Thytos, Marine Commandin' Officer of the USS Phoenix?" she said jokingly, and pulled a pack of freshly replicated cigarettes out of her pocket and began the familiar ritual of tapping the pack against her hand to pack the tobacco, and then opening it, and pulling out a pristine cigarette. She paused for a moment, letting it hanging from her lips, the open flame of her lighter a scant inch from the end. "Sorry, I should ask - d'ya mind?"

"Go ahead," he waved permissively with one hand, his eyes subconsciously fixed themselves on her mouth, a familiar expression on his face. She reopened the package and proffered it to the Irishman.

"Go on, have one yerself, sir. I can see the longin' for a long lost vice from a mile away." Kassandra took a long drag and blew the smoke up into the air, away from Kane and the other diners. The Captain hesitated, but his hand inched imperceptibly towards the package nonetheless.

"I lived on Vulcan for seven years, I think I've overcome that particular vice," Kane said dryly, and moved his hand instead to pick up his glass of some sort of fruit punch.

"Oh, so that's where you learned to give up fun?" Kassandra said sotto voce.

"I beg your pardon?" Kane's mismatched eyes blinked as he tried to decide whether or not he'd heard what she said properly.

"I said you're a better man than me," Kassandra kept her amusement out of her face. "If I got rid a' alla my vices, there wouldn't be much left! But really, if you can't give into your old vices after becomin' a rebel, destabilizin' the balance of power in the Triangle, plottin' to over throw a heavily militarized rogue gov'mint, retakin' a ship after an attempted coup by an idealistic whackadoodle with an imbalance of forty t' one, an' nearly bein' toasted by radiation creatures from another plane of existance, when CAN you?"

"Good point," Kane conceded, and took one, allowing her to light it. "You seem to enjoy being a bad influence, Captain Thytos. I'd better keep an eye on you, or I'll have the entire ship sassing me."

"It's lonely by myself in the gutter, Sir! Gotta drag other people down t' my level jus' for the company." Kassandra felt wistful for a moment, the statement had been made in jest, but it had a little too much truth to it when she thought about it for too long. Kane let it slide and they enjoyed a moment of silence as they indulged in a moment of vice.

"You know, this will kill you." Kane said absently, flicking the ash from the glowing end onto his plate. Kassandra's good humor returned.

"If you think that's what's gonna kill me, Sir, you ain't been payin' attention. I got loads of other bad habits that'll get me afore then." Kassandra took one last puff, stubbed it out, and then began to eat her stew. None of the flavors were familiar, and spicy enough to make the back of her throat burn, but rather delicious.

"Yes, bad habits like picking fights with people bigger than you? So... basically: picking fights." Kane's delivery was so deadpan and full of his usual gravitas that it took Kassandra full two seconds to realize that the Captain had just made a joke. "Speaking of fights, how have things been going with the crew since you return from Limbo?"

Kassandra winced and ate a few more bites while she formulated her response.

"A little warmer than an ice comet," she confessed. "But since jus' after Limbo it was basically absolute zero, that's a huge improvement. At this rate I figger I jus' another 24 or so more crises where I risk life an' limb to save them to go, and everyone should have the warm fuzzies fer me. But ain't really anythin' fer you to concern yerself with, sir, an' I feel like I've talked the issue to death recently."

"Duly noted. Well then, why don't you tell me what you think about Thoris P'Trell and Sardak's proposition?" Kane's eyes suddenly narrowed and he leaned in. Kassandra blinked in surprise, and held up her hands

"Captain, I don't get involved in politics, I let wiser heads than mine figure out what needs doing, and I follow orders."

"Cop out, Captain. You're smarter than you pretend to be, and you never seem to be short of opinions, you just don't want to give an answer on this one. So tell me what you think. That's an order." Kane stroked his chin and looked thoughtfully at her. She sighed.

"Fine, sir. Thoris P'Trell and Sardak are both men of words, and very little action, and while I agree in principle that the Federation should be run by civilians for alla the reasons that Edgerton has so kindly demonstrated, this ain't gonna be a war won with words. I think that if there is gonna be a government in exile there needs to be a military presence on the council, even if only to make plans for the worst case scenarios. I ain't sure whether or not P'Trell and Sardak have the balls to be ruthless when it comes right down it it. Sometimes you need someone to make hard decisions and do distasteful things if you want to win a war, and I ain't sure the two of them alone are gonna be able to do it. That's it. I think there has to be balance, because this is a government at war." Kassandra said carefully, her sensor nets honing in on his face to gauge her reaction. "An' it ain't because I want someone to have to make one, and it ain't because I like war, but we need to have as many opinions as possible on that council. That's it. That's all I have to say about that."

Kane gave no indication of what he thought about her opinion and she very nearly asked, but was stopped by the beeping of her commbadge.

[[Kass, we've had word they're going to start beaming over the new Marines. Asta and Lysander should also be beaming over soon as well.]] Horatios voice issued from her badge. She tapped it.

"Acknowledged, I'll be right up," she glanced at Kane. "Sorry to rush off, got a crew of handpicked Marines comin', I think you'll appreciate them. I've tried to balance our squad towards the type of operations you prefer to run."

"No problem- Asta and Lysander, are those your children?"

"Yeah." Kassandra's face split into a giant smile as she cleared up her things. "They made it out on the Demeter, and they're transferrin' over to the Phoenix. Engineerin' and Counselin' respectively."

"I'm glad to hear it. Go get your Marines in order, and don't forget to spend some time with your children, Kassandra." Kane's called out as she turned to move to a clear spot for transport. This time, he didn't bother to cover up his smile.

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NRPG: Short, sweetish? More this weekend. Wanted to get this out before Jerome ;)

Alix Fowler
Kassandra Thytos


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