<USS Banshee> Easing the Pain (Part One)

  • From: CptMorrigan@xxxxxxx
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 14:14:25 EDT

Easing the Pain
Part One

A Joint Log by
Captain Morrigan
Lieutenant Junior Grade J'van D'nalls

It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that she wasn't going to get anymore 
work finished. Captain Rhiannon Morrigan, proud Captain of the newly 
commissioned Nemesis class starship, had been staring blankly at the PADD in 
her hands for the better part of 10 minutes.  Her eyes were focused on the 
latest inspection to medical, but her mind was still in the turbolift, 
replaying each moment of her encounter with Ensign Kaelyre frame by frame as 
she tried in vain to piece together what she was feeling and why.  With a 
fractured sigh that comes from the feeling that her carefully constructed 
house of cards was about to come tumbling down around her, she noticed that 
the alpha shift for the bridge had gone off duty about a half hour 
previously.  She dimly remembered someone telling her about the change in 
shift, but she had forgotten when and whom. "And I still have to speak with 
D'nalls," she noted to herself.

Though her crew seemed to believe otherwise, Rhiannon Morrigan, the captain, 
was not the hard case that they seemed to think she was.  It wasn't that she 
didn't like her crew or was trying to make them miserable.  She was just 
painfully aware that they were young and inexperienced.  The Dominion War and 
all its casualties had created an influx of officers who were young for their 
posts.  It was her driving need to make sure that they were ready for 
anything, and if that meant she had to berate them at every turn, then so be 
it. All she wanted was for them to remain alive.  "Someday, they'll thank you 
for it," she consoled herself.

Her new Chief of Security, however, was a different story.  The man obviously 
had seen his share of active duty and yet on their first encounter she had 
treated him like a wet behind the ears ensign. Security was suffering greatly 
from the lack of strong leadership and the man obviously had his shit 
together.  She had studied his record intensely before accepting his transfer 
into the position.  He was an ex-Marine badass who probably had the attitude 
to boot.  She felt he would be a good match to her floundering department.  
Actually, much to her surprise, and probably it would surprise the crew to 
know as well, she felt bad about treating him with such arrogance.  Of 
course, there was also that smile that he gave her in medical after her 
encounter with..... Cyanah. Almost as if he.... knew something.  How could he 

Lieutenant Junior Grade D'nalls was sitting behind his large, custom made 
desk as he waited for the call that he knew would inevitably come.  She had 
apologized to him in an offhanded manner, and informed him that she would be 
following up on their meeting in medical with a personal visit.  He was 
looking over the various panels in it, making sure everything was running 
flawlessly when his commbadge twittered like a school girl on her first date.

"Captain to D'nalls."  Her voice was cool and collected with just a slight 
edge of something indefinable to it.  Stress? Worry? Curiosity?

Trying to hide the fact that he was looking forward to this call, he 
responded.  "Yes, Captain"

"I apologize for the delay, Lieutenant..... are you available at this 
moment?"  A second apology and a question instead of a command?  Morrigan 
berated herself for putting herself in a somewhat weak position.  "I should 
not be asking if it is convenient for him," she chastised herself.  "I should 
be telling him that it is now convenient for ME."  She looked at the two 
empty margarita glasses on her desk and wondered for a moment if somehow..... 
nah.... couldn't be.  It's just synthehol, right?

"Yes Ma'am, I am,"  His voice was professional and cool.  No trace of 
eagerness, just another day at the office.

"Excellent. I will be there shortly."  She stood and adjusted her tunic.

"I look forward to it." D'nalls winced internally as he realized that he 
probably did not need to say that, but was careful to not let her hear his 

"Captain out." Without pausing to think about it another moment, she exited 
her sanctuary, and nodded to the Beta shift's commanding officer.  "Keep me 
informed."  She knew she didn't have to say it, but it helped keep others 
aware who ultimately held the reins on the ship.

Knowing that the game was about to start, J'van began to straighten up.  He 
really didn't need to, the place and more specifically, his office, had been 
spotless since he took over.  Sitting and readjusting his position, he 
awaited the Captain.  His eyes narrowed slightly as he noticed his heartbeat 
had elevated somewhat.  "Am I actually somewhat nervous," he mused.

She strode from the lift with her trademark no nonsense manner and into 
security, not stopping to overtly observe the area, but her eyes capturing 
the details nonetheless.  She noticed the tired expressions on some of the 
faces and those whose bodies seemed to be recuperating from extended training 
sessions.  She had long ago gotten used to the way people seemed to snap to 
attention when she passed by, Morrigan's aura (as her mother would have 
referred to it as) both commanded and usually received respect... and she was 
used to getting it.  Even at the academy, people tended to stand straighter 
in her presence with the glaring exception of one Victor Andros.  She didn't 
stop as she made a beeline for the security chief's door, but that didn't 
stop her from noting the looks of satisfaction that some of the staff 
exchanged as they believed the visit would end with the *new guy* being 
served with a hot BBQ sauce.

She stopped at the door and hit the chime without hesitation, refraining from 
doing her normal act of just barging into the room.  A few snickers caught 
her attention and she turned slowly, skewering the offenders with an icy 
glare that made more than one set of cheekbones redden with embarrassment.

J'van idly wondered is she would even recognize that his office had been 
totally refurbished as he looked with pride at a few displays that were 
filled with ancient Betazoid hand weapons.  As the chime rang, he stood 
slowly and called out, "Enter!"

Rhiannon felt the air move behind her as the doors opened, and remained 
looking at her victims a moment longer, giving the security chief ample 
opportunity to take note of her single braid of raven black hair that lay 
perfectly between her shoulder blades as if stapled there.  The breadth of 
her shoulders tapered slightly to the graceful curves of her back and 
narrowed to her waist before her curves filled out into a firm, yet rounded 
derriere which melted into a pair of long, strong legs that seemed made to 
wrap themselves around a man's hips.  She executed a perfect 180 degree 
StarFleet approved turn before entering the office and waiting for the doors 
to close behind her.

The security officer complimented her entrance with a sharp salute. 
"Captain," he acknowledged as he gestured to the newly installed replicator.  
"Can I get you anything?"

"Lieutenant," Morrigan acknowledged as she nodded in greeting while looking 
around her surroundings with more interest. "You've made some... 
improvements, I see."

"Yes, ma'am... the place was rather... drab."  He underplayed the statement.  
Most ship's offices were designed for function not comfort or beauty.  "Since 
I plan to spend the majority of my life here for the time being, I thought it 
would be good to make it a bit more ... personal."

Rhiannon thought for a moment about the sparseness of her ready room.  There 
was nothing in it that StarFleet had not put there.  Not a trace or clue of 
the woman who sat in the Captain's chair.  Then again, in order to 
personalize a living space, one had to have a personal life.  She sniffed in 
an almost disdainful manner.  "As long as it is functional ... that's all 
that matters."

"Yes, Ma'am, it most certainly is."  Keeping his expression and body language 
as open and non threatening as possible, he indicated the nice comfy chairs 
that sat invitingly before his desk.  "Please, take a seat if you wish."

Morrigan looked at the replicator from where she stood. "Spiced cider ... 
warm," she ordered as she sat in one of the chairs rather gingerly, making it 
rather apparent that she was unaccustomed to anything other than StarFleet 
certified padding under her buttocks.

D'nalls sat himself in his high backed leather chair, that looked more like a 
throne. "So, what can I do for you, Ma'am?"  The same knowing grin that he 
exhibited in sickbay earlier seemed to return to his lips, ever so slightly.

"I'm afraid that I have blatantly used you as an excuse to get out of my 
office, Lieutenant."  The events of the last few hours began to play 
themselves again.  Kaelyre's kiss.  Asper and Crusher in a romantic moment. 
Every muscle in her body began to tense as she fought the emotions that she 
was struggling to suppress.

J'van smiled a bit more.  "Well, My Captain, you may use me in this way 
whenever you like. Unlike most of the crew, I am comfortable around you."  He 
stood  and walked to the replicator as it finished replicating.  Taking the 
drink from the machine he walked it over to her, his motions indicating a man 
who was very much at ease with his surroundings and himself.  He extended his 
arms, handing it to her.  J'van sensed her reluctance to make bodily contact 
with him as she took it from his hands, being careful not to touch him.  He 
took his seat again, maintaining an open and inviting air.

A faint smile lit Rhiannon's grey eyes.  "So... you believe that you are 
comfortable around me?"   She sipped the warm liquid tentatively.

"Yes, I do... call it intuition...maybe stupidity, but I do not fear you as 
most of the others do."  He leaned forward slightly. "I learned that fearing 
a superior vilifies them, and is quite counterproductive."

Morrigan arched her eyebrows in appreciation.  "Are you always so clinical?"

"No, not at all... But, being clinical is a good start, at least until I know 
my limits... it is far better then going too far." His smile widened warmly.  
It didn't take a Betazoid to tell that the Captain was on edge.

"Lieutenant.... I know you've been on this ship just a short while..." She 
noticed that he was listening intently. "But security is the pulse of the 

"Yes, I would have to agree there," he nodded.

"For instance... they seem to know all the... gossip."  Reluctant to 
continue, she studied the simple mug in her hands.

"They, no... me, yes. Most of my men do not know nearly as much as they seem.
And as far as I am concerned, they are on a need to know basis."  His tone 
was reassuring.

"What is it that you know about me?"  Her eyebrow quirked at the veiled 

"Facts, or impressions?"  He kept the question light so as to not alarm her.


"Alright, well, the fact is your crew seems to fear you.  Impression, I see 
no reason for that, your not nearly as tough as they seem to think."  He 
answered matter of factly. 

Surprised by his answer, she nearly snorted cider from her nose.  "I'm not?"  

"No, Captain," he explained patiently. "I come from a strong military 
background, and I was a Marine for 4 years.  I find you to be capable, but 
hardly someone to fear."  He could see that she was relaxing, despite 
herself.  "Personally, I find the humor in the situation to be almost too 
much to bear."

"You may think differently if I have reason to admonish you." 

The softly dangerous contralto chuckle that came with her warning made 
D'nalls smile again.  "Perhaps, but you'll be hard pressed to find a reason 
to admonish me
That much, is a fact.  I run a tight ship."

"Perhaps I'll have to watch you more closely," she threatened with a voice of 
cool silk.

"Feel free."  The quiet confidence to his tone seemed to please her.  "Closer 
scrutiny can only make me look better.  Though I must say..."

Finally appearing to relax, the Captain sipped at her cider and leaned back 
against the chair, crossing her legs in front of her. "Go on."

"I do find that the crew's... fear... can be a bit... extreme." 

"And this is bad in what way?"

"The chance of revolt."

"There are some who do not fear me enough," she thought to herself as a warm 
tingle crept across her lips, making her uncomfortable. "So.... you think I 
am too hard on them?"

"Their... reluctance... it is a human trait I have found to be troublesome."  
He stopped to address her question.  "Not at all, but, you are seen as the 
lone person that they fear."

Her eyes narrowed as her primary defense systems came online. "Maybe I prefer 
to be thought of as alone."

Well, perhaps that is your way, and you are welcome to it," he turned his 
tone light at the first sign of defensive attitude. "But I must say, that the 
Security department does not see you that way anymore.  I have worked them 
hard, and not one of them even considers challenging my authority."  He 
stifled a conspiratory chuckle.  "It seems to me that they are sharing the 

Morrigan  smiled once more as the topic turned back to business.  "How is it 
Are you making progress?"

"Quite well... we are making a lot of progress."  It appeared as if a light 
bulb flashed in his head. "Oh, I should have told you sooner."

"Yes?"  She questioned with a tilt of her head.

"I have installed holoimaging devices in several areas as an augmentation to 
the internal sensor grid."

"In what way will this be effective?"  Morrigan did not realize how tense she 
had been as her muscles began to relax further and ache from the process.   
She rolls her shoulders and swivels her neck to ease the kinks out more fully.

Standing and crossing to a nearby wall, he replied.  "Well, it makes the main 
security office able to monitor a lot more effectively.  Unfortunately... it 
can sometimes inadvertently record images that were not meant for public 
viewing."  He pressed a button on the wall and a large dark wood panel slid 
away, revealing a bank of monitors, with one large one in the center.

She bit hard on her lower lip as the tension returned with a wrenching 
cramping and what little color she had drained completely from her features.  
As if he was feeling the sudden flood of tension, J'van looked directly into 
her eyes.  "You may relax, Captain... I am the only one with access to these 
images."  He could see by the defiant tilt of her chin and the look of hard, 
cold steel that returned to her eyes, that she was not comforted by these 
words.  "Computer, play time index 1242mark 56 on main monitor."

Morrigan held his gaze for a moment, before looking as the monitor came to 
life.  It is a view from within a turbo lift.  The Captain is there, along 
with Ensign Kaelyre.
Suddenly there is a violent shake, and they grab to keep themselves up. With 
a voice coated in ice, she orders,  "You don't have to go any further."

"Computer, pause, delete the next 2 minutes." He pressed a button and the 
panel slid back into place, as he reseated himself and looked at her 

With cool deliberate motions to mask the trembling fury inside her, Morrigan 
stood and placed the mug on his desk.  "If you are thinking to black mail 
me... I can assure you I will have you off this ship faster than...." she 
stopped herself and fell silent.

To Be Continued.....

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