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What Are You Thinking?

Posted on 16 Feb 2017 @ 8:48pm by Lieutenant Commander Temerant Bast & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Endgame
Location: Briefing Room
Timeline: MD 14 || 1200 Hours

With the briefing over, Camila waited until everyone was out and caught Temerant's eye before she gave a nod for him to follow her. She didn't trust herself to say a word while others were around and she couldn't give him an order since he outranked her, but she was planning on finding somewhere private that they could talk. By talk, I mean I'm going to yell at him until I'm hoarse she thought as she exited and moved down the hall to a room that was designated as a secondary briefing room and entered her access code. She didn't even wait for him before she entered, took a few steps and turned, crossing her arms over her chest in a defensive position and waited.

Bast followed Camila out of the main briefing room and into the smaller conference room, steeling himself for the confrontation that was about to come. He knew she might have been blindsided by the sudden announcement, and he was very sorry for it, but mission imperatives being what they were, his involvement was really their best shot.

He entered the room and waited for the door to close before speaking. "Now I know you're upset," he said. "But this is our best shot at beating the Consortium once and for all."

"Upset is finding out that my kitten got landed on by a shuttle when I was nine, Temerant," Camila said. "I'm beyond upset. You've already had not one, but two encounters with the Consortium that have nearly killed you. Do you have a death wish?"

"I had one encounter with the Consortium," he corrected her. "And no, I don't have a death wish."

"I meant Confederation with the second one," she said. "And you're still hurt on top of it and don't give me the line that you used in the briefing. You may be off doctor's orders by then, but you and I both know you'll still won't be ready."

"Physically, I agree with you, I may not be at my best. But I know the Selamat. We won't win against them by brute strength alone. Show me one person on this ship who's better prepared to go against them mentally, and I'll step aside right now."

"Damnit, we have other joined Trill on the ship, Temerant," Camila pointed out, even though she couldn't think of a better person. That still wasn't going to make her see logic where he was concerned at the moment. "Why do you insist on putting yourself in harms way like this? I just spent a week worrying myself half to death that you were being tortured or worse."

"None of them are prepared to face a Selamat, they don't know what to expect. I've had to deal with them twice now, I think I'm getting the hang of this. This time they won't have the opportunity to drug me like they did the first time. And I. Want. My. Revenge."

"You're a Starfleet officer," she said. "We don't do the revenge thing, but we do set things right. If I have to make sure you aren't going to compromise our team on the station, I'll drug you myself and stuff you in a Jeffries Tube."

"You know I'd never do anything to compromise the mission," he replied. "And my revenge will be to see Terlexa and her Selamat lapdog service life sentences in a Federation penal colony. But I want to be on the mission that will help to bring them down."

"There's going to be other teams going in for that, Temerant," Camila said. "I know you want revenge, but you may not be able to get it. Don't let yourself obsess over something that may get you killed. Someone in her position isn't going to let herself be taken alive and I'm not going to see you drive yourself to a showdown with her only to end up dead."

"Don't worry about me," he countered. "Worry about the Selamat who might be getting ready to ambush your team. I know how their minds work. Their first line of attack will be to slip into your mind. Make you see things that aren't there. They can make you jumpy enough that you'll aim for one of your teammates. They'll have you believing that things are jumping out of the walls. Or turn one of your teammates into one of them, and have you fire on your own team."

"Okay, so you know how their minds work, but what about the rest of us?" she asked. "If they get into my mind and make me see you as an enemy, it isn't going to help you at all if I turn on you. What do we do in cases like that? I seriously doubt that I'd listen if I saw you as an enemy." She remembered the scene in the cargo bay of the freighter when he was under their control and firing on her and her team. "I don't want to go up against you again, Temerant."

"You won't," he said. "The point of me going is that I'll be able to resist these psychic attacks and take them out before they get a chance to mess with your mind too much."

"Too much, he says," Camila said before she turned away and paced the small briefing room before she looked back at him. "That leaves a huge margin for error and for one of the rest of us to kill you the moment they realize that you're able to resist them."

"I know it's a risk," he replied. "But it's a risk we have to take. It takes a moment before they can get a firm hold on your mind and impose their hallucinations on you. I'm confident I'll be able to take them out before that happens - or at least break their concentration enough to give you a chance to do that yourself."

"Then tell me what to look for," she nearly pleaded, but stopped herself even though the tone started to creep into her voice. "What signs, what feelings, what urges? What do I need to do to protect myself, you and the team?"

"If I knew that, believe me, I'd tell you." He searched his mind for any indication that he could give her. "You might feel something in the back of your mind. A cold touch, an unfamiliar presence. But that won't last for long, and in the heat of the moment, you might not even notice it. Someone next to you might seem to be acting odd. Or they could suddenly turn into someone else. You could get the certainty that our objective lies in one direction, when in fact it's the opposite..."

Camila sighed. There were a lot of variables and she knew she had to take responsibility for a lot of actions that were likely to take place. "I'm trusting you," she said. "But I"m also going to have an escort on you and I'm not taking no for an answer. I've almost lost you once and I'm not going to lose you again."

"I'm not a flag officer," he replied. "But it's your attack plan. If you have the personnel to spare, then it's your call, I won't argue that point. But isn't that like painting a target on my back?"

"All you have to do is stay in the middle of the group and everything else will be fine," she said. "You wear the same color uniform as Security so you won't stand out and I know you know how to use a phaser. It'll be okay."

"I know," he said. "I don't want you worrying about me. Stay focused on the mission, and I'll do the same."

Camila stepped up to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Just promise to come back with the rest of us," she said quietly as she looked into his eyes.

"Make sure you do the same," he said, wrapping his good arm around her waist.

He held her tight, burying his face in her hair for a few seconds, and finally let go. "I have to go and coordinate the repairs with Lieutenant Marion," he said.

She gave him a kiss and stepped back. "I'll see you at the briefing, then," she said. "I love you."

"I love you too," he replied, before kissing her hand and walking out of the briefing room.


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