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Posted on 01 Jun 2015 @ 4:13am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Emily Carter

Mission: Answers
Location: Brig
Timeline: MD 7 - 1000 hours

For two whole days, Harvey had avoided talking to the woman in the brig who used to be his closest confidant for the last three months. He wanted to be calm and rational when he finally confronted her, but seeing the darkened and blank control panels throughout the ship only served to make matters worse.

Harvey did his best to quell his rage even now as he stepped out of the barely functioning turbolift onto Deck Seventeen. The corridor was filled with engineers, pouring over every possible maintenance hatch as they worked to dial in the systems in conjunction with Commander Kos' team that was still rebuilding the computer. Anyone's best estimates put the ship's full restoration at a month's time.

But they didn't have a month. The ship was still adrift and defenseless. At least Reza had gotten the torpedo launchers functioning, but targets would still easily escape them. Harvey was determined that if the ship didn't start moving soon, the Syndicate would be back with a bigger army, and this time it wouldn't end well.

The Captain turned the corner and spotted the brig with two security officers standing watch outside the room. Harvey nearly hesitated, and forced himself not to. Morale was higher than he expected throughout the ship, but now more than ever he had to appear resolute at all times. His day to relax would come. He walked past the guards and through the heavy set of doors. The room was empty, save for a lone active cell and the guard at the desk. Looking at the adjacent cell, Harvey figured Doctor Kij must've taken the Dosi stowaway for another checkup.

Fine by him.

Harvey didn't want a soul to be witness to this confrontation. He knew it was against protocol, but he didn't care. The Captain had to insist for the ensign to step outside with orders to keep anyone from entering. In fact, he halfway expected Lieutenant Reza to barge into this interrogation with a long list of complaints and regulations in contrast to Harvey's actions.

Again, he didn't care.

Harvey waited until he and Emily were alone in the room. He stood several feet outside the forcefield, staring at her bowed head, not knowing why she would look at him.

Emily, too, knew this day was coming. She promised herself she would not dread its arrival, but now with Harvey standing in front of her, she couldn't help but feel aggression. She'd studied regulations for months, even after she assumed this role, in preparation for the worst. As long as she was alive, Emily had assured herself, she still had a chance to win. The forcefield that kept her contained in this room was merely an obstacle, not the end of a road.

She kept her head down on purpose, knowing it would enrage her Captain. Thanks to his meddling, she'd lost the Black Hawk. And if she had any chance at all, it would be to destroy his character. Desperate times...

Captain Geisler didn't move, remaining still and focused on Emily's knotted, matted hair. It surprised him that she did little to keep her appearance. Unless of course the brig's facilities were without proper resources, which was likely the case. She, in fact, was still in most of her uniform, wearing only the yellow top and black pants. Her boots and socks lay tossed under the bunk, as well as a wad of what Harvey assumed to be the uniform jacket.

He could not help but feel that her actions even now were a calculated move. She was smart, Harvey knew that quite immensely. She'd anticipated him on more than one occasion, and was instrumental in cementing his routines, including the one where she was able to effortlessly arrange his capture. As much as he didn't care how this went down, he would indeed have to be smart.

Part of him wanted to recall the ensign he'd sent outside. Doing so now, would weaken his position. No, he had to continue on. She'd keep her head down for as long as she had to, as long as it took to make him angry.

That was the key then, avoid anger.

Harvey frowned, considering his move. Finally, he decided on an unexpected topic. "I'm having the quartermaster pick up a few of your things," he said, not taking his eyes off of her. "I suppose you'll want to get out of that uniform."

"Starfleet uniforms are designed for comfort," she fired back after a moment's hesitation. "Even though they're not the most flattering."

He took note that Emily made no movement whatsoever. "Enjoy it while it lasts then," he said, taking a step forward. "As soon as we're done here, you're going to be shipped off to Deep Space 11 for a court martial."

"I'll never get there," she said instantly, flipping her hair back and looking up at Harvey with a daring expression. "Your Starfleet, your Task Force, it's about to be in shambles. Everyone knows it." Smiling, she added, "Except you."

The Captain crossed his arms. "I don't know what the hell you're talking about."

"Of course not," she said with a curt smile. "I'm sure your comm array is still down. Not that there will be any traffic anyway."

Harvey's eyes narrowed. "The ship barely works, dammit!" he snapped. "Do you have any idea how many of this crew died!? Ensign Sanchez, Crewman th'Dane, Chief Sikes, Lieutenant Moore!"

"No one was supposed to die," Emily said, the names not phasing her one bit. "We just wanted the ship, nothing more."

"We?" Harvey asked. "So you're not just in league with the Syndicate. You're--"

"I'm not one of them!" Emily retorted.

Eyes still narrowed, Harvey stood still, letting silence reign for a few moments. "You engineered an attempt to take over this vessel. As far as I'm concerned, you are."

It was Emily's turn to frown as she folded her arms. "You wouldn't understand."

"Understand what?" Harvey said, arms wide. "Starfleet rarely makes sense. How else would a simple medical researcher wind up in command of a starship? At least you still have a future." He dropped his arms upon realization of what he said. "Well, had a future."

"This ship was our future," she muttered, low enough for Harvey not to hear. Sighing, she stood up from the bunk, and inched towards the forcefield. "I'm not with the Syndicate, even if you don't believe it."

"Okay," Harvey said, taking a step towards the forcefield. "Five minutes."

Emily gave the man a quizzical look. "Five minutes?"

"To convince me otherwise."

Emily's eyes widened in surprise. Fighting off shock, she stepped backwards before regaining her composure. "Three years ago, I was recovered by the USS Yorktown during a survey mission four sectors away. I was... serving aboard a Karemma frieghter, not much unlike the X'annon."

"Serving?" Harvey asked, letting his mind imagine the worst. Even after this betrayal, he couldn't not sympathize. Before she could attempt to explain, Harvey waved his hand, indicating for her to continue.

"At the time, I had no way to reunite with my family, so I took matters into my own hand." She then gestured to what remained of her uniform. "So I enlisted."

Harvey took another couple of steps closer to the forcefield, doing his best to keep his distance. "If you weren't in Starfleet..."

"Then how did I wind up here?" she asked. "Captain, you gave me five minutes." Sighing, Emily began to pace on her side of the forcefield. "I was born here. So were my parents. And their parents." She looked back to Harvey. "The SS Orion, a sleeper ship, left Earth in 2054, before what you call World War Three began. Nearly 90 people were aboard, and we were bound for a planet in the Alpha Centuri system. The ship encountered an ion storm, and killed the live crew. We're not sure how exactly we wound up in the Gamma Quadrant, and we never could piece together the logs."

She resumed pacing. "We crash landed on what we called Gamma Sigma Epsilon Seven. We started a colony, and eventually encountered Dosi, Karemma, Paradans, whoever really wanted to stop by. Even the Jem'Hadar, but they were more interested in the dilithium that rested under our colony. So, we entered into a trade agreement. Life, I guess, was great, at least until your war started and ended. The Dominion withdrew, and dilithium fell out of demand. This entire sector was focused on trade with the Dominion, and has been for at least the last ninety years. We tried to start piecing things back together, starting up new trade routes and partners, but others had different ideas."

"The Golden Stars?" Harvey asked, catching her gaze the moment she turned towards him.

"The Syndicate." Emily closed her eyes and shook her head. "They started raiding our homeworld, carting off what they wanted, no matter what or who."

She unfolded her arms and stood in front of Harvey. "The Golden Stars isn't just an organization. It's a family. A family whose name has been ruined by the Syndicate. The X'annon never trafficked anyone for the Golden Stars. At least, not the real Golden Stars."

"That doesn't make any sense," Harvey pointed out.

"There's a lot more to the story," Emily countered. "More than what five minutes can explain. You've been searching these sectors for two months looking for answers, Captain--"

"Answers you've possessed and have been withholding."

"For good reason. I was snatched three years ago because I went searching for answers of my own and my family. This was never about capturing the Black Hawk. It was about getting the leader of the Syndicate. He knows where my family is. Everything I've done has been about finding them, from enlisting to staying in this quadrant, to getting assigned to this ship."

Harvey stood as close as he could to the field, though his arms remained crossed. "Even if any of this were true, why didn't you say anything when this all started?"

"Being enlisted offers an interesting perspective," she said. "Your Starfleet can't be trusted."

"And neither can you." Harvey shook his head, knowing none of what she said added up with what they'd learned so far. This was going nowhere. Maybe Lieutenant Reza could offer a different perspective. He turned to leave.

As soon as the doors opened, Emily called out to Harvey. "Everything I told you before this, it's all true, Captain! Go to my quarters. There's a yellow isolinear chip I keep in my drawer. The X'annon logs, the star charts, everything I know is on it. You might not believe me, but you can at least see the data for yourself."

Harvey, having stopped in the doorway, turned to look at Emily a final time. Choosing not to say a word, he kept a serious expression before stepping out officially into the corridor. He didn't trust her, but if there was an ounce of truth in what she'd said, Harvey would have to have a look at that chip...


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