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Just Who do You Think You Are?

Posted on Jun 01, 2017 @ 4:42am by Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Jun 01, 2017 @ 4:43am

Mission: The Romulan Way

"Just who do you think you are?"
(Cont. "Nächste Zréck")
* * *=(/\)=* * *

Location: USS PHOENIX
Stardate: 2.17.0531.2030
Scene: Deck 2, Officer's quarters

Kane was trying to sleep, but after the third time the clanging of Marine boots- it had to be Marines, Starfleet security officers didn’t take the same pride in doing everything in cadence- jarred him out of his slow drift into sleep he got up and threw on a dressing gown to give them a piece of his mind.



“CAPTAIN ON DECK!” Kassandra Thytos’s less than dulcet tones bellowed from very close by as he doors swooshed open. There was another heavy thump as all of the Marines whipped to attention, saluting. He winced, and looked down to where the woman stood a few feet to his side. She was dressed in full battle rattle, a dark V of sweat on the exposed sections of uniform, and her face was flushed with exertion. Kane reflected with a bit of amusement that it was somewhat comforting to see her as winded and tired as everyone else after exercise. “Sir?”



“Do you know what time it is?” Kane gave her a stern look that would have left most of the junior officers shaking in their boots. Kassandra stared back, blue eyes vacant, her characteristic half smirk on her lips. On anyone else he would interpret it as insolence, but he knew from well over a year of commanding the woman that it was merely a permanent fixture of her countenance, insolence towards the universe, as it were. “Why are you training in the living quarter decks? Surely you can confine yourself to duty decks?”



“Sir, this Marine determined this was the optimal time to minimize the amount of crew disturbed. This Marine-”



“No need for that level of formality, Major,” Kane said, massaging his temple’s briefly. He appreciated formality, but had never quite understood the Marine penchant for needlessly elaborate protocols.



“Sorry sir. We’re runnin’ muster drills to cut the time it takes us to get from the Marine Barracks to here takin’ a variety of routes,” Kassandra dropped her hands behind her back and relaxed. Her Marines followed suite. “I know it’s a bit late n’ all, but I figured most people’d have music or ambient sound on at this time, so it would be less intrusive than if we did it earlier in the day.”

“Why are you practicing getting from the barracks to here?” Kane had a fairly good idea. Kassandra was exacting and almost pathological when it came to practicing for possible scenarios, and she had the military mindset of the CO as the lynchpin of the ship.



“So if the Romulans board we can get up here to protect the senior officers, sir.”



“You’re running drills to the bridge as well? No Security personnel involved?” It wasn’t really a question, but he somewhat curious how she was getting along with Jasmine Yu. Her relationship with Barton had been contentious, a weird push pull of admiration, insecurity, camaraderie and antagonism, and Kane was curious to see whether this uneasy relationship was due to the inevitable power struggle between the Marines and Security, or whether it had been mainly due to Barton himself.



“Yes ta both. Talked it over with Mister Yu earlier. We got ourselves a good break down a’ responsibilities. We got guardin’ you and the officers, then holdin’ down the bridge, an they got engineerin’ an the rest of the ship. An’ if we gotta do boardin’ we head in first, they mop up,” Kassandra said with a shrug. Apparently the beef had been with Barton, even as they’d made a rather effective team when it was just the two of them. The word ‘Frenemies,’ an anachronistic 21st century phrase sprung to Kane’s mind.



“You’re worried about being this close to Romulan territory, aren’t you,” Kane asked her, knowing what the answer was even as he observed the niceties. Of course she was worried, everyone was worried. He sure as hell was.



“Course I’m worried, I’ve got half a brain.” Kassandra made a face. “I feel like we’ve been given a stick an’ told ta poke a Regulian hornet’s nest, don’t you?”



“To what end?” Kane was surprised by her analysis of the situation.



“Soldiers are always inconvenient in times of peace, Captain. You ain’t so young as all the others around here, an’ I suspect you know that just as well as I do. Right now, the Federation wants nothin’ more than to forget Edgerton, and the Neo-Essentialists, an’ we was so embroiled with all that we might as well be nearly synonymous. So what better way to deal with us than shuffle us off to dangerous areas where we’ll either prove to the core world gentility that we’re nothing more than rough soldiers, get ourselves killed, or fade into obscurity?”



“You’re very cynical.”



“I’m too old *not* to be, sir. When you get as old as me, you’re either cynical, or you’re dead.” Her lip twitched up cheerily, to indicate that this was intended to be taken as a joke, even though she actually believed it.



“Well, I believe I’d rather become cynical, so carry on, Major. But try to keep it down, please?”



“Sir, yes sir! Marines move out. No cadence, keep it down!” Kassandra bellowed. Kane winced again. If ever the intercom system went down, at least he’d be able to communicate with the rest of the ship. The Marines broke back into a jog, this time their feet in a muffled rumble, instead of in time. Kane watched as they opened a Jeffries tube cover and disappeared.

* * *=(/\)=* * *



Scene: Corridors outside sickbay.



Kassandra limped down the hallway to the sickbay, she’d smacked her knees hard on a run in the jeffrey’s tube and bruised one of them. Alas her sensor nets did not make her immune to occasional bouts of klutziness. She figured it would make a good excuse to go and bother Aerdan. She was going to get the man to crack a smile if it was the last thing she did. Besides, she could really use some aspirin.



As she approached them, the sickbay doors suddenly whooshed open, and a tall man walked out. Kassandra froze her hand going to her side reaching for a sidearm which wasn’t there. Something was off, *everything* about him was wrong, but she couldn’t make head or tail of the readings that she was getting of of him.



“Who are you, *Lieutenant*?” she snapped, feet unconsciously shifting into a fighting stance. “Haven’t seen you on this ship before, and I know everyone on this ship.”



He looked back, taking in her appearance. She expected him to relax, but instead he cocked his head and frowned slightly, taking a closer look.



“I just arrived here today, as it happens. My name is Tomas Vukovic, and I’m the new pilot,” the man said matter-of-factly. He was still staring at her, even as she was focusing her sensor nets on him to try and get a better idea of what he was.



“An I’m Major Thytos, head of the Marines, an’ you kin stop staring, you’ll be seein’ a lot of me,” she slitted her eyes, trying to impress on him that she knew he was suspicious.



“You first,” he said pleasantly, this time looking amused. “That’s an interesting sensor array you have. Based on Borg technology, isn’t it? Impressive, though a pale imitation of the original. 500m range in high definition, a further 500 in low, then nothing? Very basic cortical-”



“How the hell do you know about my sensor nets?” Kassandra snapped, allowing her suspicion to fill her face and stance.



“Simple, I am Borg.”



“Bullshit. I know Borg, and you ain’t Borg. Dunno what the hell you *are* but you can bet yer ass if you’re here to cause trouble I *will* take you out.”



“If you need proof, just look how your nanites respond to my presence,” Tomas smiled, all white teeth and annoyingly good looking stubble. Kassandra reflexively looked down at her hands as she diverted her attention to the sensor readings from there. The nanites were going crazy, pulsing with green lights and busily motoring up and down the lengths of the sensor fibers under her skin. “They’re not so far removed from the Borg that they’ve forgotten what they are. They’re trying to communicate with me, tell me what sort of environments they’ve encountered so that I can program any of my sensors-”



“Well I’ll thank you to not be talkin’ to my nanites, thank you very much!” Kassandra was incensed by this bit of information. It had never occurred to her that the millions of nanites running around on her sensor nets might be collecting information on her. She certainly didn’t want any of that information to find its way to this strange being.



“I’m not *trying* to talk to them,” the man said in an irritatingly no-nonsense tone. “They’re just loud. A little like their owner, I might add. But I think we may have started off on the wrong foot, so, if it will make you feel better, you might call Xana Bonviva to assure yourself that I’m what I say I am.”



“I’ll do just that. Until then though, just know I’m watching you,” Kassandra was not mollified.



“But of course. I’d expect nothing less. Have a nice day, Major,” he wiggled his fingers insouciantly at her, and walked away whistling. Kassandra glared at his retreating form, and decided that perhaps she would talk to Xana. Or, since she doubted she was high enough on the totem pole to get a call through, to the next best thing, Xana’s younger sister.

* * *=(/\)=* * *


NRPG: Short, but if I didn't write something, I'd have written nothing. I'm sure there will be plenty of craziness upcoming!



Alix Fowler

as

Kassandra Thytos

The World's Least Welcoming Welcoming Committee

USS PHOENIX.

 

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