[USS Tempest] Not a Conspiracy by Paul Robsinson and JT Swiftwind
- From: JT Swiftwind <Notaxe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: usstempest@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 20:59:24 -0400
##Please note that this takes place after "Becoming a Bitch"
Paul had nearly choked on his tea when he'd read the medical reports and
Security reports and then one from a Sergeant in the Marines. "Roberta
Van der Pol," he sighed heavily. "Only you." tapping out his pipe, he
stood, straightened his uniform and tried to work out where to go
first. "Sick Bay or the Marines... the Marines. Hopefully this
Swiftwind fellow will be as cooperative as the report suggests."
JT had his feet back on the desk again and another cup of coffee. A
cigarette lay smoldering in the ash tray and he picked it up to take a
long draw off of it as he read from a PADD. It wasn't too much work,
especially since he was on a break. All that was on the PADD was Alek's
It took him longer than he'd have liked to find the Squad Room. Rolling
his eyes, he strode past the working Marines. Using the back of his
hand, Paul knocked sharply on Captain Swiftwind's door.
At least they knocked this time. JT dropped his feet to the floor. If
it was Alek, he'd put it out. Anybody else was up to his mood. "Come
on in," he said, sitting up straight behind the desk.
Paul entered, his eyes automatically drawn to the cigarette. Offering
the man a bright, charming smile, he extended his hand. "Paul Robinson,
Flight CO. I think we need to have a bit of a chat about an incident
involving one of my pilots."
"JT Swiftwind," JT said automatically as he shook the man's hand. "Have
a seat. Tell me what you want to know because I was an unfortunate
party to the last half of the melee."
Paul leveled serious eyes at the man. "How much damage did Pim do to
Taking another long pull off the cigarette, JT shook his head. "You got
it all wrong, Commander," he said, a bit of Oklahoma twang evident in
his voice. "She never laid a hand on me. The arm was really the result
of the stupidity of a Marine from another company."
"Bloody hell, you mean she didn't tick you off on sight?" Paul said with
a tiny amount of awe mixed with amusement.
"Pim? Nah, not at all, though she narrowly missed spitting on my
boots. I can assure you, that won't be happening again," JT said
wryly. "Now, I've only read my sergeant's report and haven't got to
Security's yet. Was it much different?"
"Both claim it started because Ensign Van der Pol was groped by one of
your Marines, one is a little more detailed on the medical side of
things but they seem to say the same thing. In fact, I'd like to thank
you for taking her to Sick Bay and also your Sergeant for returning her
when she tried to 'break out' as it were." Eyeing the cigarette
longingly, Paul tried to bite back the sigh of another half smoked pipe.
"Commander, if you're having a nicotine fit, why not just say so?" JT
asked as he reached into a drawer to pull out his open pack. He tossed
the pack and his flameless lighter to him. "As I told Pim, this is my
one acceptable vice. Now, I don't know a thing about the woman but,
from today at least, I can't say I blame her one bit for what she did.
I told her so actually."
Sighing with total relief, Paul extracted a ciggy, lit it and took a
relieved draw. "Thanks, Captain, you're a hero. I swear that woman has
caused me more half smoked pipes than anyone I've ever known. She's
arrogant, rude, obnoxious, she swears too much, drinks too much, knows
exactly when to say exactly the wrong thing to exactly the wrong person
to tick them off royally but she's one of the best pilots I've ever
seen. And," he added, "in this circumstance, I have to agree with you.
Except maybe she should have hit him harder."
"Well, yeah, I said that too," JT snickered. "I generally don't take
those qualities from anybody but we hit it off well enough. I
appreciate anybody who shares my vices."
"Pim's one of these people that you either really like or you really
don't," Paul observed. "Personally, I like her. We spend most coffee
breaks in my office, sharing our poluted air with each other. Though,
there are times when she digs out some of the rankest cigars I've ever
smelled." At the memory, he wrinkled his nose and shook his head.
"I don't do cigars. They're generally pretty evil smelling. Honestly,
I don't even like pipes unless it's tobacco my kin grew. Least I don't
end up smelling of the stuff afterwards. My sage and sweet grass bundle
gets rid of the odor," JT said, nodded toward the unlit handtied herb
bundle sitting in a shell holder. "How long's she going to be off duty?"
"Ah, now that would be an easy thing to answer if it had been just a
case of her broken arm and a brief discipline for behaviour unbecomming
etc etc, but there's other issues at work here. To be honest, it's
likely to be a fair while and not because of her actions either." Paul
sighed heavily as he took another drag from the cigarette. "I have to
admit, this may be something that ruins her career," he said with deep
"Oh, now that's not fair. The fight was hardly her fault," JT protested.
"No but it could have been prevented if her flight crew had been there.
There's supposed to be a solid bond between pilot and navigator that is
unshakable. And it was, " Paul told him. "In fact only Icebreaker and
Squeak were closer than Rey and Pim, but recently, Rey's been...
distracted. He's shirking duty, runs out of briefings and drops
everything at a moment's notice all because of one man. If Ensign
Tremaine says jump, Ensign Tren asks how high. And this is the ultimate
example of that. I asked the computer for the location of Ensign Tren
at the time of the fight, it placed him in Ensign Tremaine's quarters.
I know it's his free time and I know that flight crews don't spend all
their time together but if their connection were stronger, I believe
this whole thing could have been avoided." Stubbing out the end of his
cigarette, Paul sat back and rubbed a hand over his face. "I have to
ground them both. It will either bring them closer or break the bond
completely. Worst case scenario, I might be able to salvage Pim's
career but not Rey's."
JT let out a low whistle. "Distractions can be a problem if you
actually let them distract you," he said. "You think this will work on
"I honestly don't know. If I could think of any other way, I'd do it.
He's a fine navigator and mechanic, I hate the thought of him throwing
his career away." Paul shook his head sadly. "I'd like to ask you a
favour though, if I may."
"What's that?" JT asked carefully.
"Distract Pim," Paul said bluntly.
"Excuse me?" JT asked, his eyes widening slightly.
Paul smirked. "Not like that. It's an old ploy, one that may or may
not work. You see, Pim doesn't have a huge amount of friends, so if she
started to see more men, perhaps," he crossed his fingers then leaned
over and tapped the wooden desk, "Rey would get jealous enough to start
being interested in her life again. Do you see what I mean?"
JT almost sagged back in the chair. "Y'never know with that sort of
statement there, Captain. She's not a bad looking woman but she isn't
my type. But I see what you mean. I'd be glad to try even if it
doesn't work the way you want. Might ask my sergeant, too. He survived
the walk back to Sick Bay with her so it's either she was really messed
up or Singh's got charm."
"Dear me, Pim's getting friends?" Laughing jovially, Paul shook his head
in amazement. "Maybe I didn't have to ask you at all. Now this Singh
chap, d'you think I could meet him? Outline the plan, as it were?"
"It couldn't hurt to ask," JT said with a shrug. He pressed the open
comm button. "Sergeant Singh, if you're not otherwise engaged, report
to my office. If you are, come when you're through. Commander
Robinson's got a few questions about your report." He contemplated
pulling out another cigarette but waited. If the man was coming, he'd
be there promptly.
"So, this chap, tell me about him," Paul said just before three sharp
knocks at the door announced Alek's arrival.
"He can tell you himself. If that's you, Sergeant, come on in," JT said.
"No," Alek said as he let himself in, "it is the Great Prophet
Mohammad's second coming." Offering both officers a wry smile, he stood
at attention in front of the desk. "How may I be of assistance?"
"At ease, Sergeant. This is Commander Robinson, the Flight Boss," JT
told him, waving toward a seat. The last part of the introduction was
stressed just slightly. ""He's got something of a proposal for us."
"Sirs?" Alek sat down, back rod-straight, eyes unflinching.
"First I need to ask you about Ensign Van der Pol," Paul said slowly.
"What do you know of her current career situation?"
"Only what she told me, sir. That she's concerned for her flight
crew." Alek shrugged. "She didn't say more than that."
Nodding to himself, Paul explained the whole situation for the Sergeant,
watching as a frown developed. "So I need your help, your's and your
"How can I help?" Alek asked.
"By distracting Pim. Make friends with her, spend time with her, try to
be seen with her as much as you both can. If Rey sees you all together,
maybe he'll start to feel jealous and put the effort in."
Alek's frowned deepened. "I like the woman, for myself, but I can't
speak for the captain. But to be frank, sir, this smells too much like
deception. I would much rather like her and befriend her for her own
sake than do so as a favour or an order from a superior officer."
"It's not an order, Alek, and she's not my type" JT began, using his
name to make him recognize the informality of the situation. "I already
told the commander I wouldn't mind hanging around with a friend,
though. I'd've done it without his asking actually. There're those
vices we both have after all."
"Your type?" Blinking a few times, Alek suddenly realised what JT had
implied and his colour started to rise. "She's, er, very pretty, I'm
"That wasn't what I was suggesting at all, I assure you," Paul said
jovially. "Just friends. For my part, I may take her out to keep in
good form in my fighter. Keep Rey grounded. You never know..."
"I was..." Alek began, feeling his colour deepen again, "I was going to
head over to see her after shift actually."
JT knew when to shut his mouth and stop teasing. "See, Commander?
Pim's not so bad if she can get the two most straight laced Marines on
the ship to think she's alright."
When you lose the rhythm of the drumbeat of the Creator, you are lost from the peace and rhythm of life.
-- Cheyenne Proverb
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