SIM:Darwin-A Sims/Trembling Terror
((USS Darwin, Conference Room, Deck 1))
Brice: ... is.
::The Haliian had just been picked up, mid sentence, from the Chemistry lab by a swirl of blue lights and deposited... somewhere. She looked around, noting fairly quickly that she was back in the Conference Room, and quickly surveyed her surroundings. The two senior members of the HCO division were present, as were the first officer, the Captain, and now herself. In front of her, the Captain at the door of the room, slapped at the door release. So they were trapped? And by whom?::
Reinard: Open the door Commander!
::His face bore a look that appeared to be equal parts panic and hatred for the human first officer. At least it did if Karynn was reading his expression right. So this was the first officer's fault? She looked at him, uncertain which of the two was friend or foe.::
Brice: Would someone mind explaining what's going on?
::Between the sudden transport and the situation in general, Karynn's heart was racing and she started to feel the palms of her gloveless hands getting a little damp. She took a deep breath to center herself and eyed the other members in the room a bit warily. But rather than answer her directly, the first officer continued speaking to the Darwin's commanding officer.::
Thomas: Sir, we simply want to make sure you are ok. ::Pausing:: Ordering the shields and warp core offline, while throwing that console from the wall...is out of the ordinary and not in the best interests of the mission, or the crew.
::The Haliian looked around the room again, this time noting the empty wall, as Commander Thomas had indicated, and the pieces of a shattered monitor scattered across the floor. Something was really not right and the pieces of information that she had been gathering over the last few minutes appeared to indicate that the First Officer was a friend and the Captain was... not right now. Her respiratory rate quickened and her mind began to race. For a moment, all she wanted to do was get away. Far, far away. But she was in the back of the room and the door was on the other side. Her eyes flitted from side to side and she backed up closer to the wall behind her.::
Reinard: I'm the Captain. I decide what the best interests are.
::That was only half true - and anyone who had been through the Academy knew that. In general, yes - the Captain was reponsible for evaluating and making decisions about the best interests of the ship and her crew. But officers had the option and even a *duty* to *appropriately* question the rationale behind those decisions. Not in the moment of crisis, necessarily, where the time to explain would potentially cause death, and not in a way or forum that would publically humilate the commanding officer of the ship or cause others to unnecessarily question his decisions or command but... the First Officer (on whom this responsibility to question the Captain most firmly rested) had clearly chosen a private location without unnecessary subordinates. That she was here suggested that perhaps he needed backup.::
::As she observed, even the Captain's speech seemed off. Granted, the Haliian hadn't known him long so she really didn't have much to compare to but it just didn't seem to match what his behavior from the awards ceremony just hours earlier or in his briefing room yesterday (or today for that matter). And inside, the panic was building. Karynn now knew she was trapped in the same room as a man who had destroyed a monitor already and who was displaying all sorts of signs of erratic, unpredictable behavior. And she wasn't going to get out, it seemed, until the First Officer decided to allow it.::
Brice: oOFocus. Focus. Breathe.Oo
::She consciously slowed her breathing and worked on slowing her thoughts. She walked forward and, reaching out, placed her hand on the First Officer's uniformed arm. Although that was normally a safe thing, unexpectedly his emotions came barreling out at her, full force. Her hand dropped and she stepped back, startled. The clothing should have stopped it. She blinked. Nearby one of the Ops officers spoke.::
Falcon: Please, sir, we're trying to understand what's happening, why you feel that's the right call.
With a breath, Karynn focused herself on the situation. Things were not adding up. And already the Laudean seemed volatile - he was now shaking and it seemed it was not because he was feeling the same stifling fear that was threatening to overwhelm the normally calm counselor, making her want to shake just as much as he was. She couldn't place *why* he would be so upset. A normal person would perhaps, when challenged, raise his voice, but not be enraged. She hoped that she could calm the situation down. Perhaps feigning confusion and ignorance would help get an explanation. Although since she *was* confused, it wasn't all an act.::
Brice: Captain... I know you probably don't want to do this, but we've just met only yesterday and I'm trying to understand what's going on and why I'm here. There's clearly been a disagreement. Would you mind explaining?
::She wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. She really did. It wasn't a great precident to do what seemed to be looming on the horizon for this conversation. She was caught in the middle and did not like it *one bit*. But from the conversation it seemed clear that it was the Captain against everyone else in the room when she was beamed in here and it was also apparent that they were hoping that she'd join their side. And she had to admit, so far, he hadn't been rational or reasonable. He hadn't given her *any* reason, really, to trust him, to take his side. In a case like this "I'm the Captain and I said so" just didn't cut it. Had he decided to side with those of his own race against Starfleet?::
::This was all so overwhelming. She felt a bead of sweat trickle down the back of her neck, followed by another. She reached up and pulled on her collar. It was *so* hot in here. Her gaze traveled the room again, looking for a way out. *Any* way out. She was trapped with a monster and ... Her gaze found the table. If nothing else, she was small enough. Maybe she could crawl under there to hide.::
Reinard: No one is listening. I don't have to explain myself to any of you!
::His voice took on an indignant tone. And again, he was only partially right. Under normal circumstances a commanding officer could expect that those under his command would obey. But this was, at best, pushing those circumstances and any reasonable commanding officer would have realized by now that the fastest way to get what he wanted would be to just offer an explanation. Even a partial explanation. That he didn't seemed to suggest that he was no longer reasonable. And then the First Officer spoke up and threw fuel on the fire.::
Thomas: True, but only when what you are ordering makes sense. You need to help us understand!
::Karynn kept her gaze focuse on the Captain rather than the others. She was hoping that she could project a calm into the situation, but that was getting more and more difficult with this sense of panic building in her. She steeled her will and attempted to internally use the years of training she had received from Vulcans to control her own emotions while remaining present in the situation. Slowly she nodded. Reason hadn't worked but perhaps identifying with him would help him calm down.::
Brice: Commander James mentioned that you said it was irritating. I can absolutely understand the overwhelming nature of having a sense that others do not. Any idea why it is suddenly bothering you?
::His voice was unexpectedly loud and harsh, even for the already strange circumstances. Karynn's eyes got large as she winced visibly, willing herself to not cry or curl up in the corner with her hands over her head. The Captain still stood between her and the door - and even if she got there it seemed clear that those doors wouldn't open for anyone but Commander Thomas.::
Thomas: We've done what you asked, we shut down the shields to try and help you.
::Keeping calm was getting harder and harder by the moment, especially since she could now almost feel the heat of the Laudean CO's rage. But that would be impossible for her to *actually* feel it. She'd only ever felt other emotions from a distance with other empaths ... and Ethan when her own abilities were agumented by the *Canar*. But this was neither so she *must* be imagining it, internalizing what she was seeing. Slightly in front of her the human first officer was using open body language - he had gone back to trying to calm the situation down rather than be incendiary. Karynn took a slight step back and to the side, more directly placing him as a humanoid shield between herself and the erratic CO.::
Brice: And are you feeling better now that they're off?
Reinard: A little. I think we need to take it a step further.
::Take it a step further? What could that *possibly* mean? As it was, Karynn was quite uncomfortable with the level this had progressed to already. She could feel her hands shaking as she spoke, still doing everything she could to de-escalate the situation. Especially since every moment it was this intense it was spurring on that welling sense of absolute terror inside her. And until she could get away she wasn't going to be able to figure out *why* it made her feel that way. She just had to get away...::
Brice: I'm sure you're aware that there is significant concern that these actions put the Darwin, her crew, and our mission at risk. You must understand that we need a bit more explanation than this.
Reinard: No. You don't need anything. You just need to do as I command. You can start by opening the door!
Falcon: Sir, please, calm down. We just want to understand so that we can help.
Thomas: I'm not opening that door.
::From deep within the Captain erupted an animalistic roar of rage. Karynn's face blanched, all the blood draining out of it. She pressed herself against the wall, looking for any method of escape. She just *had*to get away. There was space between the ops officer and that first officer. Maybe she could squeeze through and get under the conference table. And then from there head to the door. It had to open. She *had*to get out. But then he strode toward the table and picked up one of the chairs. Now he was too close for that to really be a viable option. But he was away from the door! Maybe, just maybe... Karynn eyed the other way around the room, along the opposite side of the table from the Captain. But if she made a break for it, his legs were longer. He would beat her to the door.::
Thomas: Captain, smashing up the place won't get you out of here.
::Karynn didn't say anything. She was convinced at this point that it would probably just come out as a squeaky whine. The Captain, undeterred by his first officer brought the chair down hard on the conference table, and the force resulted in large long cracks along the surface of the table. Now the table was decidedly *not* a safe place. The Haliian jumped again and, unable to control it started to slide down the wall toward the floor, her hands instinctually moving up to shield her head and face.::
Reinard: No more questions! Do you hear me?!
::It was only the thought that being on the floor would make her *more*vulnerable that stopped the Haliian's slide. With a force of will she pressed her feet into the floor, the force traveling through her knees and her back - her knees straightened but she continued to lean on the wall for support - and keep others between her and the enraged Commanding officer.::
Thomas: I'm not going to stand here any longer and watch you trash the place.
::And here was, unfortunately, where she was needed. She could hear the words in her head, repeating over and over, a drumbeat that echoed with her heart. Not fit, not fit, not fit. But she wanted to couch it in terms that would give him another chance - and keep him from lashing out at her.::
Brice: The behavior
::Her voice trembled a little but she willed it to keep going, trying to give it strength that she no longer had..::
Brice: that you are displaying would suggest that, in my professional opinion, you may not be fit for...
::He lashed out before she could get it all out, breathing heavily as he did so. So she'd been clear enough. Clear enough to worsen his agitation if anything. Not that it surprised her. She just wanted out. out. Out. OUT!::
Reinard: Oh no you don't! Mutiny! I won't have it!
Falcon: ::Voice still calm, but nervousness working its way in.:: Sir, this isn't mutiny. We're concerned for you. That's all.
Thomas: Commander Brice, you'll be accompanying the Captain to where he wants to go.
::It took her a brief moment to realize that he was talking to her since he kept his gaze locked on the Laudean. She was momentarily flooded by relief - they were getting out! - before the wave of terror came flooding in. She had to *go with him*?? No, no she couldn't do that. She was tiny compared to him - and that was before his impressive display of strength. There was no way... She just couldn't... She just wanted to go home. She couldn't go with *him*. Not to...::
::Her voice was almost a whisper, the question more a verbal continuation of her panicked thought.::
Thomas: He wants to go to the Brig, we'll escort him there. But first I need to organise to get him there.
::"We'll escort him." Thank the ancestors she wouldn't be alone. Her mind raced. She just had to get out of this somehow. She couldn't go to the brig. It was confined there. Few exits. What if she ended up *in* the forcefield. She had to go, had to leave. This wouldn't work, it *couldn't* work.::
Thomas: =/\= Ensign Block, lock onto the Captain and Commander Brice, and prepare to transport. Confirm when that is done. =/\=
::The adrenaline surged through her system but the longer it did so the more exhausted she felt, the more her legs felt like jelly. She found herself sliding slowly down the wall again. She had to leave. leave. leave. run! Her breaths came rapidly and shallowly, her vision was starting to swim. For a moment the Captain and the table and the chair were all one thing.::
Block: =/\= Locked on sir, where am I sending them? =/\=
::She couldn't go to the brig. He was trying to confine her. She hadn't done her job and now he didn't like her. He wanted to see her killed! That was it. The first officer had used her to mutiny and now needed to get rid of her so she couldn't reverse herself. That's why he wanted to send her to the brig. It had to be it.::
Thomas: =/\= Listen carefully and when I'm finished do it immediately. Transport the Captain and Commander Brice, =/\=
::His speech became faster. Karynn probably would've struggled to understand it if her mind had been working right seeing as Federation Standard was a second language for her. One she spoke rather well but a second language nonetheless. But in her addled state, the words went by before she could quite grasp their meaning.::
Thomas: =/\= to sickbay and place the Captain behind a containment field...NOW! =/\=
::It was only as the blue lights swirled plucking her from the room yet again that the location finally clicked in her brain.::
::Half a moment later her feet were on ground again but there was no longer a wall holding her up. She crumpled to the floor before she could fully assess the situation. As her eyes flitted around she saw a biobed and quickly crawled to the other side, placing it between her and the captain. And then she began to weep. Crouched on her elbows and knees, her hands and forearms covering her head and neck, the tears flowed, sobs racking her body. Had she been able to think at all clearly, she would have hoped that the containment field was in place - and between her and the enraged Captain - since she clearly wasn't quiet enough to hide. But at this point she just didn't care anymore.
::She had never felt so terrified. Not even on *Rakis*, that awful planet, with those awful creatures. Not when the psychopathic alternate Danny was roaming Earth having kidnapped his other self and his other self's bride. Not when David had vanished from the ship or when Sidney had been taken. Not even when the Reapers invaded her ship. Not in all her fights with her ex on Halii. She had *never* felt this way before. Not like this.::
::The sound of the doors swishing open reminded her that, unlike the last room, *this* room had doors. And this time she *could* get free. She crouched, ready to run, a terror in her eyes, but this time, between her and the exit stood a medical officer.::
::All the Haliian could do was wimper as she collapsed to the floor again Too exhausted.::
::Too exhausted, at least, until someone touched her arm. Even through the clothing, an overwhelming flood of emotion came hurtling through the physical contact. The surprise and shock of it all made Karynn sit straight upright and yell.::
Brice: DON'T TOUCH ME!
Commander Karym Ehlanii Brice