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Hearing his side

Posted on 12 Oct 2023 @ 12:41pm by Captain Easton Lawe & Lieutenant Commander Harva Taliborn
Edited on on 12 Oct 2023 @ 2:58pm

802 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: Miranda

Whenever one thought things were a mess, the universe always found a way to make more of a mess. In this case, for the ship's captain, it was the report about what happened to the ship and Commander Sha'mer. He would need to speak with her immediately but he chose to start with Taliborn. He felt a little uncertain about the timing but given the security risk, he'd start there. He put through a call to sickbay, hoping there was a terminal available in a private space to speak with the engineer.

Harva looked a mess, as he answered. His eyes half lidded, without their normal energy. Ears floppy, fur matted, with none of the vitality the massive engineered normally carried himself with. "Yeah? - ... Oh. Captain Lawe," he sat up a little bit more straight as it registered who was calling. "I reckon I can guess what this is about, Sir."

"I'm sure you can," the captain agreed. "I'm sure you're not up for a long conversation right now so I don't plan to keep you. I just wanted to hear from you about what happened."

"You'd be right about that, Sir," Harva answered, voice raspy. He got caught in a few deep, loud coughs before continuing. "The short of it is, under the influence of the disease that's going around, and weakened by it, I believed myself elsewhere and with a mission to inflict a sabotage. Commander Sha'mer caught me after I did so, and I attacked, with intent to kill. Fortunately, she was able to - well, knock me out of it and back to lucidity. Upon seeing how she was injured by my hand I initiated emergency transport to sickbay. Doctor Martin stopped Sha'mer's bleeding and sutured her leg. He also confined me to quarters."

That was a whole lot, though he also knew the basics already from the report from sickbay. Commander Sha'mer was at least well, overall. "I see," he said simply. He paused thoughtfully before continuing. "Do the doctors believe you're suffering from the same illness that has captured so many of the rest of the crew?"

"I think so, Sir. Which means that deliriums are a possible symptom, at least in the more serious cases," Harva explained. He hesitated, almost as if he wanted to add something more, though he decided not to.

"I will, of course, be speaking with Doctor Martin and Commander Sha'mer," Easton said, still speaking cautiously. "Before I do, is there anything further you'd like to add about the matter?"

"There is, Sir. The 'elsewhere' I bel - " he broke out into another violent coughing fit, punctuated by throwing up just outside of view. It took a moment for the Sirran to appear in front of the screen again, looking possibly more miserable than before. "The 'elsewhere' I believed myself to be, was - something from my past. Something highly classified. During the - interaction, Sha'mer reached into my mind and saw parts of it. I've already talked with her about it. She didn't see anything real, just what I believed to be real."

He sat up a bit straighter, wincing as he did, shoulders slumped. "However, during the discussion I learned that, basically, any telepath could theoretically reach in here - " he tapped the side of his skull " - and learn about these classified things. Now, Sha'mer offered to seal them away, to raise - for lack of a better word - a firewall around the memories. This means other telepaths would have a lot more trouble breaking through. However, doing so would mean she'd come to learn about these things. Which she doesn't have clearance for. I'm - not sure whether to accept her offer or not."

This was a new one for him, Easton thought, though outwardly he only raised his brows slightly. The idea that the big engineer had that sort of past surprised him, but it wasn't his place to comment on that. "I think the cat may already be out of that bag, Commander," he said after a few moments. "At this point, only you can know the boundaries of your work's classified status. Given that she already knows some of it, it may be worth considered preventing anyone else from doing the same."

"That is the advice I was looking for. Thank you, Sir," the big engineer managed. "Now, was there anything else you needed? I have some cleaning up to do," he added, glancing down at the floor next to him.

"No, that's all for now," Easton said, although several areas of his thoughts were already somewhere else. Even so, he was sincere when he said, "Take care of yourself, Mr. Taliborn, and I hope you--and everyone else--feels better soon."

"Agreed, Captain," And with a nod from the sirran, the channel closed.


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