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A Clash of Conflict

Posted on 24 Jun 2016 @ 4:06am by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Adam Casey

Mission: Risky Business
Location: Talon's
Timeline: MD 2 || 0030 Hours

Adam sat alone in the corner of the Talon's, staring out at the stars as he held a glass of scotch - real scotch - in his hand. He had been there for the last two hours, unable to sleep. He had set up the alert if his girls needed him, and had set up a holographic nanny as well. His mind was now on his tasks, and the mission. But he had much more than the mission to consider, and this was eating away at him.

After trying for countless hours to fall asleep, Joey found herself roaming the corridor toward Talon's for the second time. Maybe a drink would help calm her ever active mind enough that she'd face-plant onto her bed and pass out until it was time for her to wake up for her shift the following morning. She moved over to the bar and requested a tequila shot with a beer chaser, then made her way over to a vacant table to settle down. Lifting the shot glass in her hand, she threw her head and the potent liquid back, then settled the glass back onto the table upside down. Despite having the beer there, she made no move to touch it.

Adam finished his drink, and sighed as he stood up. He needed a refill, so he walked over to the bar, and requested a refill. He saw someone else there, which was unusual since most people were either on duty or asleep. He should have been asleep, but there was so much running through his brain. He took another look at the woman at the bar - must have been new aboard - and thought about saying Hi. But then, did he want company? Well, couldn't hurt, might even take his mind off of things. "Trouble sleeping?" Adam asked.

"A bit, yes," Joey found herself replying as she looked up toward Casey. "How about you?"

"I've had trouble sleeping since our last...mission, as unorthodox as it was. It was my first, though, so I'm also still getting used to this place." He said, as he received his scotch.

"I can relate. Tonight is my first night on board Black Hawk. It's going to take me a little time to get used to it. Before I came here, I was bouncing from place to place." She wrapped her hand around the beer in front of her, but didn't bring it to her lips. This was going to be a huge adjustment as far as what she was used to prior.

"Well, before here I was a civilian. Used to serve, got discharged, the Captain asked me to serve aboard with him. Given everything that's going on, I'm not surprised he needs people he knows and trusts." Adam said.

"And I've got a feeling there aren't very many people that fit that bill," Joey said, gesturing to one of the empty seats around her. "Have a seat."

Adam sat down, and took a sip of his drink. "Probably not." He agreed. "At this point, I think people are going to start wondering who to trust and who not to trust. It's going to turn into the Salem Witch Trials, with everyone under the eye of suspicion."

Joey looked thoughtful as she mulled over what he'd just said. Maybe something like was possible, but as far as she knew there weren't an Consortium on board currently. That didn't mean it couldn't happen at some point in the future, though. Or during their current mission. "If people don't keep a level head about them, then I suppose that could be possible. That being said, panic isn't going to get any of us anywhere, and will only make things worse in the long run."

Adam nodded. "But people don't always know that." Adam said. "Saying it is easy enough. But then the fear takes over, and consumes them. Governments have been destroyed by that very fear, and as much as we say we're better than that, it will always be there. We are facing an attack on our way of life, by those whom we trusted and once called friend. And that makes it harder to know who we can rely on." Adam said, before taking another sip of his scotch.

"That's life in general, not just what's going on now," Corwin said as she finally brought her beer to her lips to take a sip. "You do realize that the vast majority are doing what they're told to by a higher power controlled by Consortium, don't you? They're being made to think we're the enemy." Their current topic of conversation wasn't going to do anything to help her fall asleep.

"Not all of them." Adam said. "But it's a damned clever game they're playing. My wife, when she and I first met, she taught me all about chess. Her father taught her and her sister. They were master's at the game. But it's a giant chess game. They make us look like the bad guy and get their pawns into place, whilst they attack from another direction." He said. "But that does beg the question: How long have they been planning this?"

"That's the million dollar question we may never have an answer to," Joey replied as she toyed with the bottle in her hand. It posed just enough of a distraction, but allowed her to keep her mind on the conversation at hand. What was funny to her, though, was she didn't even know this man's name, and they were already deep in a discussion that would likely have been saved for people they knew a bit better. "Our main focus now is to figure out how to stop them."

"Isn't that the question of the day?" Adam asked. "How to stop someone who knows us, knows our tactics and protocols. I mean, sure, being unpredictable is a good idea, but how long before the unpredictable becomes predictable? But there is an answer. Everyone makes a mistake, and everyone has a weakness. That's what we need to find. But, of course, without knowing the who, it makes stopping them that much harder."

"We will stop them." Without a positive attitude, where would that leave them? In a situation with little chance of getting out. "So, what's your name?"

"Casey, Adam Casey. I'm the Chief Science Officer." Adam said, before finishing his scotch. "Sorry, should have introduced myself sooner."

"Joelle Corwin, but I prefer to be called Joey. Chief K-9 Officer and Security Investigation Officer," Joey said, raising her beer in his direction.

"Nice to meet you." Adam said, looking at the woman. She was younger than him, but clearly she was wise, certainly enough to keep up with his philosophical ramblings. "So how did you get to the Black Hawk? DS9 and the Wormhole is kinda closed to us at the moment."

"Nice to meet you, too," She said, continuing to toy with the bottle she held in her hand. "As for how I came to be here, I was on Unity covering my last assignment before my transfer went through, so... here I am."

"Lucky for us and you then." Adam said, as he was given another scotch. He looked at it, and took a sniff of it. "Sometimes the simple pleasures are the best. Like cooking. I love to cook. My two girls don't like replicated food, they can tell the difference, at least if it hasn't been prepared by hand. I can replicate the ingredients though."

"Fresh air is something we tend to take for granted," Joey commented just before taking another sip of her beer. "How old are your girls?"

"Amy's Eight and Maria's six. I've got them in our quarters asleep with a holo nanny." Adam replied. "I decided to take a brief break from my work. I'm doing some...research at the moment."

"When you say it like that you make it nearly impossible for me to resist asking. What kind of research?"

"Just some files and data on our last mission. I'm also trying to perfect a map of where to leave probes in the mutara class nebula we're going to, in order to use them as a sonar system." Adam replied.

"That definitely sounds like it's pretty time consuming," Joey said as she leaned back in her chair. "We've all got our jobs to do." Some of them were likely going to be worse than others, but it's what they'd all signed up for the second they went into the Academy.

"Yeah, but who knew we'd be facing each other?" Adam asked. He sighed. "The Consortium is an attack on the heart of the Federation, on its founding principles. Those who lead it want to bring the Federation to chaos, to see it burn, because that's what some people are like. They want to see the universe burn. And we are the ones who are meant to hold the line and stop them, much like the Spartans at Thermopylae."

"And that's exactly what we're going to do, Mister Casey. We're going to stop them." Now she was thinking about her upcoming mission. It was definitely going to be a dangerous one, perhaps one she wouldn't make it back from, but she was going to do her duty without question.

"But at what point do they stop? Do they even care about the damage they've done? They released the virus onto the population of a planet of innocent people. That is the measure of their resolve, and that is what we are facing. If they succeed with their plans, then we lose. I can't recall a mission being more important than this one. Do you know the full details?" Adam asked.

"I know what I've been briefed on, and what my part in stopping them is," Joey said.

Adam nodded. "I don't recall ever feeling this tense. A part of me wishes I could send my girls away somewhere safe, but since that isn't an option, I've been coming up with a way to protect them and the crew. I'm trying to find a way to use the shields to block out this weapon, if it exists." Adam said, not wanting to reveal the full details, just in case.

"You do know we're heading to the Hadyn nebula, and that it's going to render our shields completely useless, don't you?" She asked, pushing her beer away. There was no need for it any longer simply because there wasn't enough alcohol on the entire ship to put her in the position where she'd be able to sleep.

"I do. But I have to try and do something. If they manage to get this weapon, and fire it, we have no protection. But whilst we don't have primary shields, we still have the deflector shields, keeping the structural integrity together, and ensuring we don't get ripped apart by rocks or debris from anything else." Adam said.

"You should let Security do their jobs and see to it that the Black Hawk, along with everyone aboard it, remain safe, Mister Casey. It is what we do, after all. Then again, what do I know? I've only been protecting others non-stop for the last six years of my life," Joey said. "We know what we're doing, and I'm sure your skills can be used in other ways. Stick to the Science side of things while me and my department handle Security and shields." She was exhausted, but sleep just wasn't coming, and now it was beginning to take its toll on her attitude. "Look... I'm sorry. I'm worn out. I just think you can definitely put your skills to use elsewhere. Security is going to handle the device."

Adam nodded. "I trust security on this ship. And that's in short supply these days. Anyway, I should probably get some sleep, I've gotta run a staff meeting for my team in the morning." Adam said, with a small smile. "It's been a pleasure, Joey." He added.

"Likewise," She said, feeling a bit bad, but everyone on the ship had a job to do. While she didn't know exactly what his job was, she was fairly certain it didn't include shields. "I'll see you around."

"See you around Joey." Adam said, as he stood up and walked out of the lounge. The woman was interesting, and she had a decent view on the way things were at the moment. But...was she right? And how the hell could he have forgotten that the shields wouldn't be working in the nebula? He was definitely tired, and needed sleep. He just hoped sleep would find him.

 

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