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“Lessons" JPL: Commander Carishai, LtJg Sierra Garr, S’Talon Ruwan

USS Excelsior Logs and Narratives


by Commander Carishai, Lieutenant J.g. Sierra Gar, Centurion S'Talon Ruwan
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“Lessons"

JPL: Commander Carishai, LtJg Sierra Garr, S'Talon Ruwan



Cari followed Sierra to 12-Forward eager to learn this darts game.


Sierra entered 12-Forward and looked about. She had only been down here... once? Twice? And even then she wasn't really focused on the room itself. From the way she looked around now, anyone skilled in body language could tell. Indeed, her appearance turned a few heads. She just smiled and waved in response.

"Well, where do we go? Is there a place to play here?"  Cari asked.

Sierra's head swiveled about briefly, before gesturing at something on an out of the way wall. "There," she announced, pointing.

Gar indicated a round board hanging on a far wall. 

The board was marked with concentric circles in various colors and numbers.  Several piles of differently colored pointy projectiles were neatly stacked on the nearby ledge.

"Hmmm, I didn't realize this was a blood sport."  She walked over an picked up a red dart.


Sierra shook her head and laughed. "Well... I suppose if someone walked into the path of a dart it could definitely turn out that way. But it's not hard to figure out that when pointed tips are flying about that you shouldn't be anywhere near them." She chuckled, before retrieving a few of her own darts.

"So,  this looks easy." Cari quipped.  "I just lob this at the round target right?"

Sierra nodded. "It looks easy, but it's not. Go ahead, try a couple throws."


Cari picked up two darts and threw the first one at the board.   Instead of connecting with the target, it  wobbled and dropped, spearing the floor.

Sierra watched Cari's throw, nodding. "Here, let me help you fix your aim," she offered kindly.

Cari frowned and tried to use more force this time.  Instead of falling, the projectile sailed into the wall above the board and bounced backward. "Yeah, I think that would be a good idea."  She replied.

Sierra moved to retrieve Cari's darts, handing them back to her. "Now, look over at me," she said, seeming to prepare herself for her own throw.


Sierra stood in front of the board, holding the dart between two fingers. "Like this," she said. She bent her elbow, testing the direction of the dart by moving her arm back in forth as if to throw, but not actually doing so. She glanced at Cari out of the corner of one eye, making sure she's watching closely.

Cari kept both eyes on Sierra, carefully studying her form and was even more intent on seeing what happened upon release.

Satisfied, Sierra let the dart fly. She did not throw it with force, more of a gentle release. She watched it strike the circle in the middle of the board for ten points, and blinked. Even she looked surprised.

"Nice!" Cari exclaimed.  "Let me try again."

She picked up a dart and imitated Sierra's grip and position before letting it go.  This time, it reached the board but still did not stick and  fell to the floor at the base of the target.

Sierra smiled gently. "You almost had it," she reassured. "Try again. Raise your arm just a little."


+++

As the dart game was going on several other patrons were enjoying themselves.


It had been an interesting first day on the job. Senior Chief Petty Officer Judy Baker, a Transporter chief and Specialist Emma Smith who worked in the shuttlebay as the deck officer were in enjoying themselves and having a Dr. Who  themed evening.


Smith had ordered Captain Jack Cocktails for the whole bar.  At her own table she ordered “the Grandfather”: cocktail as a tribute to her favorite doctor William Hartnell, Baker had ordered the Casandra Face Lasagna  and Weeping Angel cookies.


Between the two of them they were planning to try to build the Tardis in one of the cargo bays -- if they could work out the engineering unbeknownst to anyone. This was a research night.


Ruwan had never seen the show before but after two episodes was hooked to the renegade Time Lords' story. He made himself another drink on the Whovian special drink list Rek'klas had provided him, a drink called Baker's Scarf.


Checking on his “guests” Ruwan approached the dart throwers. “How's  everything this evening. Is there anything I can get you to eat or drink Lieutenant?”


Cari  nodded and picked up the fallen dart.   She was ready to  let it go when she heard Ruwan speak.

Sierra smiled over at Ruwan, shaking her head. "The offer is much appreciated..." then she blinked at Ruwan, "Oh... my. I don't think I ever got your name."

Cari stopped her throw before releasing and turned sharply.  "His name is Ruwan." She said coldly.

This sudden outburst made Sierra look instinctively over at Cari, her eyebrows going up. Calmly she asked her XO, "Is there a problem, Commander?"

Cari fixed her eyes firmly on Ruwan.  It was like Sierra wasn't there.  "What are YOU doing in here waiting tables?"

Ruwan stepped back for a moment realizing the commander had some beef with his people. He did not want to drive any more customers away considering the Andorian's outburst earlier that day.

Sierra watched Cari with a frown. Gently, she poked the other woman in the arm, repeating her question. She turned her head slightly to give Ruwan an apologetic look. Suddenly, Sierra was a woman on a mission. She didn't know what that was all about, but she wanted to. And she wanted to solve whatever problems there might be. Taz might be better suited to, but Sierra didn't care. She was here, right now,, and guessed that Cari might not be as open to talking to a professional as to a friend.

Cari inhaled sharply.  "He is Tal'shiar, supposedly ex but how would we know.  He asks us to allow him to remain aboard.....and to trust him....but I don't." She gritted her teeth. "I can't."

Sierra nodded in understanding. "Trust is earned, not given," she said simply. She glanced over at Ruwan to see how he was taking the statement she just made, before continuing.

Ruwan bowed his head . his shame on display again. Because of his former ship's political officer the only contact he could have was with the Praetor himself, who still agreed with his actions and on very rare occasions he could contact what remained of his family. He had given his word as an officer that he would not intentionally harm this ship or her crew but the Federation had been his peoples enemy for the past 300 years. Getting past such bigotry and hate was going to be a very difficult task. As the Commander had implied he could have been a plant, a spy.

Sierra continued, looking directly at Cari with an intensity that demanded attention. She wasn't willing to risk Cari not taking her words seriously. "I don't know what it's like in your time, but back in the academy when I was there, rumors were always circulating about a, "Section 31." So far, your dislike for Ruwan here sounds as though it's strictly based on organization. Would you appreciate such a dislike if you had recently been kicked out of an organization, that may or may not exist? That you couldn't talk about? While you were just trying to show that you can be trusted, Commander? He may be an agent of the Tal'shiar, or he may not. But that doesn't change the fact that he's here. You may or may not like him, but at the very least civility is an order. Would you not agree? Everyone on this crew looks up to you for an example, even me. Please, set the right one."

Ruwan's eyes were wide in disbelief at how the junior officer seemingly attacked the disrespectful commander. If this had been his ship the XO would have shown the the junior officer to the brig and if she resisted to an airlock…… that is just the way his Karoa was.

Cari physically recoiled as if the Lieutenants words had been a physical blow.  She had been so fixated on her dislike and disdain for Ruwan as a member of the Tal Shiar but even more for being a Rihannsu.  She blamed the Romulans for the death of her first husband, Milx.  He had been a kindly older man who made a living as an independent trader.

He had been accused of breaching the Neutral Zone and smuggling contraband. The Rihannsu ship patrolling that area vaporized his ship and Milx along with it.

"I....I...." Cari hung her head.  What was she doing?  Letting a 11 year old wound make her sound like a fool? She put the darts down and sat. "It's been so long...too long."

Sierra watched the look on Cari's face, her own mind reeling. She was surprised at the force of what she just did. She was even more surprised that her words actually seemed to have an impact, seemingly making Cari take a step back and think. She took a step closer to Cari and examined her closely. Sierra opened her arms as if to offer a hug.

Cari's eyes glittered with tears.  "Just a minute Lt. I'll deal with you next.   Sir, Ruwan.  I owe you an apology.   I've been blaming all Rihannsu for the actions of one ship commander.  You see my first husband was killed because he refused to let a Neutral Zone Patrol board his ship.  I was wrong to let my prejudices color how I view and reacted to your presence.  I'm sorry.

"What was his name and the name of his ship?" Ruwan asked.  "I can use my remaining contacts to research the matter and learn more about what happened.  To see if what we have on record correlates with what you have heard."

Sierra mentally prepared herself. She knew she was probably about to get her butt handed to her for what she just did, challenging her XO so directly, but she watched Cari interact with Ruwan, and couldn't help but think she did the right thing.

Cari  breathed in again.  It wasn't easy talking to this man about her husband.  She still felt reservations deep inside but she was trying

"His name was Milx.  The ship Berina., his first wife's name. Thank you." She stammered.

Given the Commander's comment to the young Lt., Ruwan nodded and apologized for her loss before bowing out to serve other patrons in 12-Forward.

Cari turned back to Sierra. Her eyes were soft, her shoulders slightly rounded.

"You have a lot of nerve Lieutenant.  And under some circumstances, I'd say you were out of line."

Sierra didn't think it was her place to speak. She had said her piece. Instead, she just listened.

Cari raised her arms. "Still want to hug?"

Sierra nodded, chuckling softly. She stepped forward, and gave Cari a reassuring hug. "I did what I thought I had to," she whispered. "You might've done the same, in my place. I don't know. But I wasn't going to let you make a bad example of yourself like that."

"I owe you Lieutenant.  Right now, I need to go home, and work this all through in my head.  We'll have to try darts another time."

Sierra nodded in understanding. "If you need to, call me."

Cari smiled and put her hand on Sierra's shoulder.  "I might just do that."

END

&&Gar, Ruwan&&

   
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