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Stout Fellows [CD]

Posted on Tue May 14th, 2019 @ 7:21pm by Lieutenant Cynfor Rees & Cadet Freshman Grade Gianna Djokovic
Edited on on Tue May 21st, 2019 @ 8:40pm

Mission: Interlude 3
Location: Empok Nor - Brig
Timeline: 24 December, 2394 -2300 hrs


The past few weeks had been a whirlwind for Rees. His whole life had begun to come crashing down and it was all because he stopped to help Moonho. The burly Welshman harrumphed as he sat on the bunk in his cell. After assisting the man he would come to learn was Commander Han's son everything unraveled. He replayed the events in his head, going to see Moonho, meeting with Commander Han after, the Commander placing him under arrest as she stated he knew what he had been keeping secret. My boys always told me to come clean, and here I sit rotting in a cell because I was too stubborn to listen. he thought. Cynfor's one shining hope at the moment was his daughter Maia Rees who was on her way to take up his defense. The sound of footsteps and muffled talking came from outside the cell, this pulled Cynfor out of his brooding.

It seemed that it was his favorite time, when guard shift changed. This allowed Rees his escape to be friendly and to have some contact with the outside world. He was astonished to see that Gianna Djokovic was taking over. This would be a special treat for him, a fellow Firebird.

Gianna exchanged a few quiet words with the officer she was taking over for. Kopok Nor wasn't really her assignment, but being between Iowa and the next phase of her career had given her more free time than she knew what to do with while awaiting transfer orders and she was willing to put in some hours as a last minute substitute. Brig duty was easy, anyway. She certainly wasn't expecting to see anyone familiar on the other side of the forcefield.

"Lieutenant Rees," she said, sounding surprised as she glanced up from the console with his name on it toward his holding area. Some things about her were different now. Her hair was cut short into a edgy pixie cut and she seemed to have aged, if not physically certainly mentally. She no longer seemed quite the babbling teenager she once was but a confident woman who carried her duties with a sharp weight of responsibility. The last mission of the Firebird had certain been her forge of transformation. She slipped off the chair at the workstation and walked over to the forcefield. "Are you... alright?" She wanted to ask him why he was on the wrong side, but knew it was inappropriate. He'd share if he wanted to.

He smiled wearily. "Aye lass that I am. I am fine, and it is just Crynfor or Cyn if you would like, at least for now. However, I must say that you are a sight for sore eyes. I did not expect to see a member of the Firebird family here." He sat on the floor of the cell by the forcefield in an effort to bring himself closer to the woman. "So what brings you here for the late shift?"

"I'm just filling in a few shifts," She answered with a small shrug, "Apparently there's a Bajoran flu going around, everyone is vomiting and security is short handed. Anyway," she paused, let out a slow, quiet sigh that seemed heavy. "I've made the decision not to return to the Firebird, so I'm not sure how much you'd still consider me family."

"Oh once one serves with another and risks it all together, then one becomes family regardless of station. Come tell me why you wish to leave the Firebird and I will tell you why I may not be able to return." Cynfor spoke quitely and hoped that she would take him up on his offer. In the back of his head he could hear his daughter telling him to keep his mouth shut.

She smiled sympathetically as Cyn reminded her that they were indeed on different sides of the forcefield-- and maybe, depending on his reason for being there, on different sides of a larger picture. "I'm going to the Academy. Starting all over. I feel a little strange leaving the ship, like I'm letting the Chief down a bit -- and I know he would never say that, but it does, really feel like I'm leaving my family behind. Captain Llwyedd and Commander t'Aegis can be quite... uh, persuasive though, I guess you could say."

"Indeed they can be. Going to the Academy, the officer's track that is admirable and will pay back it's rewards. I am sure that you will be missed, however, I am also sure that once you have that gold pip there will a place for you on the Firebird just waiting..." Cyn's jovial rant trailed off as he thought that there would most likely not be a place for him on the Firebird or any other ship for that matter. "Just remember that whatever you do in your youth can and will come back to haunt you, so make sure that you do it for the right reasons. That is exactly why I am here before you today."

She'd heard that before and she knew it wasn't wrong, that eventually she would be back out in the field doing something to make a difference, even if it meant a few years sitting on her hands. It still felt to her like a betrayal of her desire to make a difference now. Gia slowly got down on the decking and sat cross-legged facing the forcefield. "My gram used to tell me that it's smart to learn from your mistakes, but even smarter to learn from other people's mistakes." She let the pause linger in the air between them for a moment before asking, "What did you do?"

"I made a decision, a choice between two oaths, and now I have to pay the price." Cyn began to tell the story and then stopped himself and took a deep breath. He wondered if telling his story to a Security Officer equated to guilt, then he shook that thought off as the fact was he was guilty. "You see many years ago, my son was seriously ill. There was one doctor who could cure him, and cure him she did. However, I had to pay her price which was some secret information that I was privy to at the time, I gave it to her and I would again. It seems that our esteemed XO has found out about that secret and here I sit. So I chose the oath of being a father over my oath as a Starfleet officer, I think that is a choice worth sitting in a cell over. Don't you?" A few tears seemed to well up in the corners of his eyes as he spoke.

"I... don't know," she admitted quietly. "Honestly? It's hard for me to imagine loving anyone so much that it would be worth it. Maybe, if I had a child, I suppose? I don't know." She bit her lip for a second. "But supposing that were true, I guess it depends on what the information was and how it could be used. Could I live with trading the life of my child for the lives of someone else's children?" She slowly shook her head, doubtfully, but also threw in an unsure shrug. Ethics are hard.

"Did it? Did it hurt other people?" Gia asked quietly after an awkward moment of silence.

Cyn stroked his beard as he pondered his answer, he tread on rough waters and knew it. "Probably... You see at the time I worked for Starfleet Weapons Development at Utopia Planetia. I traded the Maquis weapons for the cure for my son. Mind you these were weapons that we already had a defense against, after all we designed them. So it is possible that the Maquis used these designs to gain the upper hand in some battles. However, I think it was a fair trade and would do it again if I had to. This is something that in my opinion no one will know unless they have children. You will discover it someday I have no doubt." His voice got a bit softer as he spoke trailing off into silence.

He continued to speak after a moment of silence. "Now I sit awaiting trial and if all goes well I will be returned to duty, but somehow I doubt that will happen."

"It sounds like it's still a possibility, though. Don't let go of the hope," She told him as she raised herself up from the floor and crossed back over to the security station. She really wasn't sure Cynfor's decision would have been worth it to her, personally, and she was glad it wasn't her place to judge him in an unwinnable scenario. "Would you like some tea? Gram always said chamomile helped calm the nerves. It's good before bed," she promised as she punched the order into the brig's replicator but held off on executing it until she heard his confirmation.

He smiled warmly at her, in many way Gianna reminded him of his Maia. He remembered when they had this talk and she told him that she was going to join the JAG office. Now he sat waiting for her help. He sighed "Tea would be lovely thank you. I will tell you one thing from this experience and from the years that I have been in the fleet. Despite the protocol, and regulations we are a family. It feels good to come clean and get everything out in the open to your family. For that I am grateful to Commander Han."

The cup materialized on a tray with a few lumps of sugar and a small packet of creamer. "I bet it does feel better. Hiding something like that inside for so long can't feel good," Gia replied with a shudder. She thought about the moral decision that Yumi had to make: finding out that someone on your crew did something awful in an awful situation and having the fortitude to stand up for the rule of law, not allowing yourself to get swept up in the emotional arguments-- that was something Gia could really admire. "And yeah, she is pretty amazing."

"That she is, as is her son." Cyn chuckled as he remembered what had occurred just weeks ago that lead to his arrest. "You know I would have to say that it doesn't, feel better that is. Having the knowledge of the deed is one thing, keeping it hidden is not a small task but an easy one if you feel that you were in the right. However, feeling like you have let someone down, that is where it hurts."

"Well, I still can't imagine keeping a secret that cost people their lives would be easy for me. Seems kind of... selfish," she admitted as she started to fill out one of her hourly shift reports on the console, but something kept nagging at her about Cyn's lack of remorse, perhaps. Quiet seconds passed by. "The fact you're more upset about letting Yumi down than you are about the lives the weapon took seems... strange," she commented out of the blue. And monsterous, she thought to herself.

"Sorry," she explained, lifting her head and looking over toward him in the cell. "I'm still dealing with a lot of emotional pain from the Seeker stuff. I'm still sorting myself out. Ignore me, please." She went back to her report and would have been content had they just left everything there and remained in silence the rest of the night.

"Do not ever be sorry for your emotions or how you feel. It is what makes you, well you." Cyn began and smiled paternally at the woman. "You say I have no remorse for the lives that the weapon took and you are right. I have none because the weapons would have taken lives whether I did it or not. I believe you feel the way you do because you believe that the lives lost were Starfleet and therefore more important then others. I believe that any loss of life is intolerable. Heh, funny notion I know coming from a weapons designer but it is still how I feel. You also do not have the whole story, at least not yet." He rose to his feet and paced the cell, more as method to stretch his legs than out of impatience. "The fact is I didn't steal the weapons, I leveled the playing field. Once my son was saved, both Starfleet and the Maquis had the same weapons and the same defenses it was an even keel." The fact that Yumi could see his point and Gia could not upset Cynfor. He wanted his crew, his friends, his family to believe him and support him. However, he was realizing that the younger folks wouldn't, and couldn't understand. He sighed as he thought of his years in service coming to an end.

Gia frowned as she lifted her head again from the report she was still working on. "Except that you don't know how those weapons were used. Sure, maybe they were used against Starfleet and maybe Starfleet had defenses against them-- and let's just pretend that's okay and not completely treasonous for a minute-- who else did they use it against? How else did the balance of power shift because of what you did? Did they sell them to another group? What's that group going to do with them? Terrorize weaker people? You signed up because you believed in the mission of Starfleet. You believed in something bigger than youself. If you aided an enemy regime, then that means you must believe in their mission as well. You must have faith that they didn't sell the technology or use it against innocent people themselves. How could you possibly know that? Once let out of the box, chaos can't be put back in. I've seen what people do to other people they don't agree with, that they want to silence. Starfleet is supposed to be that shield."

He turned on his heel and faced her. "Supposed to be that shield, that is the key word in your statement. Starfleet is supposed to protect it's citizenry and assist when needed. Starfleet has failed in that mission more times than anyone can count. However, you are too right... Too right, I did commit treason and that is why I sit in this cell. I am more than willing to pay the price for what I did. However you are also wrong I did not believe in the mission of the Maquis, not for one minute. I believed that they could help me where Starfleet failed, and I had to pay their price. My son lay dying a child who did not have the time to live, to see what was out there to need to be shielded as you put it. Where was Starfleet for him, they were no where to be found. They tied the hands of doctors who would try to help because the type of procedure he needed was outlawed. So I believed in something bigger than myself, than Starfleet, than the Maquis, than anything. I did what I did because I believed in my family and it's future." Cyn was breathing heavy as his speech ended Gia had really touched a nerve. "And you know what I would do it for you as well if needed." He turned to face the back of the cell as he did not want anyone to see the tears that welled up in his eyes. Rees ran his hand through his hair and his beard as he gathered his emotions.

"Yeah, well, do me a favor and don't, sir," Gia said, her hand actually trembling. She crossed her arms so that he wouldn't see that, even though he was facing away from her. "I put my life on the line to protect the Federation just like thousands of others do and hundreds of thousands of others before me. You dishonor that sacrifice when you sell out to the enemy. Starfleet isn't perfect... no one ever said it was. But just... I just... can't do this argument right now." She pushed a button so that he couldn't see or hear anything outside of his brig cell and she could cry in peace. She didn't talk to him for the rest of the shift.

Cyn stood there he wanted to speak, but he was at a loss for words. She didn't understand, and perhaps she never would. He shook his head no, in an effort to shake that thought loose. Gia would understand in due time and with due course. Perhaps with age, perhaps with a family, perhaps with experience, but most likely because of all three. It would be then that she would realize that the Maquis, well the original Maquis were not enemies, merely people who wanted to stay in their homes. Cynfor Ree felt for her, but he knew that talking would do no more help. He hoped that she followed what was to come because now more than ever he planned on letting Starfleet know exactly why he feels the way he does.


Lieutenant Cynfor Rees
Chief Operations Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Petty Officer 3rd Class Gianna Djokovic
Security Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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Comments (4)

By Commander Yumi Han on Wed May 15th, 2019 @ 9:05pm

That was one potent argument! I'll be very, very sad if this is Gia's last post. She's a great character. Cynfor's honest and unwavering belief in his decision is refreshing. He may be right that only a parent could understand the willingness to let the rest of the world burn to save your own child.

By Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan on Sun May 19th, 2019 @ 3:47pm

Really great back-and-forth in this one. Fantastic argument from both parties.

By Lieutenant JG Yikete Oggt on Wed May 29th, 2019 @ 7:00am

This exchange was so much fun to write. Yeah, Gia didn't let him have his moment of peace and she was really hard on him, but I really think she was true to her arc and I was happy to have had this moment where she could let that out before she moves on. -Liam

By Lieutenant Commander Rhiana t'Aegis on Fri May 31st, 2019 @ 2:20pm

I really liked this post. I especially liked that Gia didn't shy away from telling Rees that he was selfish and not considering the possible consequences of his actions. At the same time, I do understand his argument that a parent would do anything for their child. It was a good scene without a real outcome, but that's not always necessary.