SIM:LtCmdr Blake & Maj Hannibal Parker: Causality (Part 2)

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((Embassy of Duronis II, Armory))

::The reaction to Blake simply observing combat scenarios run by these marines had been less than savory over the last three days - as she'd expected. Some had taken pride in their own work, others had acted cocky, and the rest just plain ignored her, which was a relief in itself. Those that saw her with some recognition she avoided like they harbored a plague of some kind. She wasn’t here to command others, wasn’t here to offer advice or changes in tactics. She was hardly here as an active officer, mainly there to witness and observe fast assailant defeat by a group.

::A woman whom had recognized her from before the incident had been a bit miffed that Sky didn’t reciprocate that recognition as Martinez ran her through weaponry (many of which Blake had a good understanding of already, thanks to Sabor’s profession). It had resulted with Blake unwittingly engaging in hand-to-hand combat training with her, both flooring each other multiple times, dealing with some anger. She woke up fairly bruised the next morning.::

::She didn’t see the comparison between what their combat scenarios displayed, to what she *might* have to deal with in future. For starters, she couldn’t pull all kinds of weapons out of the woodwork because of each law or regulation for each colony world. Not to mention that the Veritas didn’t house marines, and didn’t have a ranger platoon either - platoon training was pointless in Blake’s eyes. Rangers out in the Shoals operated solo, as a single Starfleet assistant for the Colonial Coalition Marshals Service. When in lieu of the Veritas, officers answered to the marshals.

::Speaking of the Veritas, she’d been unable to report back to the Shoals - if she had, they’d likely only receive it when she was halfway back on her return trip to Shadow’s Edge. That in itself was a horrible feeling - she could get reassigned again or go missing here today, and her people back in that pirate territory wouldn’t find out for another few weeks. But it was things like this that drove one mad with paranoia.::

::And then there were her kids - closer to arms reach then they had been for the last twelve months, safe and sound on Ornara, still waiting for Faith’s clearance from Federation immigration. As she equipped the range, placing her non-lethal Aquila onto the bench in front of her, she reminded herself to get into contact with them again before she left tetryon-free space.::

::She’d managed to set her phaser to the lowest stun, hitting six targets in that short period of time before she was interrupted by Caide’s irrationally professional voice.::

Caide: Lieutenant Commander Sky Blake, this is Major Hannibal Parker - he heads the Embassy’s Marine contingent.

::Blake nodded her head once, standing at attention when a large hulk of a human appeared in view, uniform collar green. She’d recognized the name, but couldn’t for the life of her remember where from.::

Blake: They’re a fine unit, Major.

Parker: Thank you, Commander….and at ease. We’ve drilled them hard and they unfortunately, have had a lot of experience in doing these things. Once you instill the instinct, you just have to keep it reinforced. There are no shrinking violets here.

::It was so formal. So different. Hannibal had not seen Sky in quite some time, but it seemed that all they shared was now no longer inside Sky. They were at one time rivals, occasionally close, and almost lovers. Her daughter Faith was born at the Embassy when they were transferred there from the Ronin, daughter of a man Hannibal swore he would kill on sight. Kamela did not like Sky one bit, and Hannibal remembered clobbering one Valentino who (to Hannibal at least ) was taken unfair advantage of Sky. Before that, they were aboard the USS Challenger-A, where Hannibal had been on the verge of killing Tobias Walker when he thought he was a collaborator with the Orion Syndicate...and who could forget the barfight on Deep Space Nine? It was epic and way beyond the normal barfight, but they were lucky his sister Stephanie had still been assigned there to help mitigate things with the command staff::

:: They had so many memories they had shared, but it seemed either Sky did not want to reminisce or there was something else at play. She had been there for two days, and not so much as a com call. Of course Hannibal was flattered that his Marines had attained such a reputation throughout the fleet, and that their reputation of responding with lightning speed , ferocious firepower, and merciless combat was becoming legendary. His Marines were not only feared...they were respected. Turning the Sky as one squad was finishing a drill of shooting the bad guys from amongst non combatants, Hannibal spoke::

Parker: How is Faith?

::There was a moment where she'd been considering the words “shrinking violets” when her five year old daughters name was added into the equation.

::Her eyes narrowed, missing Caide's words as he excused himself from the two.::

Blake: I'm not here for shore leave, Major. I'm not certain what my children have to do with my being here.

:: There was ice in her voice, as cold as space itself. This was Sky, but not the Sky he had known. She was different...very different. Hannibal was not used to being so ignored by anyone::

Parker: I know you are here to see how we have been so successful here. Perhaps you remember I was there when Faith was born? That she was born right here?

::Her heart simply grew cold. No. She didn't recall. The records did stated Faith was born on the Thunder, though - which had been assigned to Duronis.::

Blake: Is there a point to this line of questioning?

Parker: Making conversation. Catching up with someone I considered an old friend. In our line of work, close friends are in short supply.

:: It would take Hannibal over an hour to recite the names of people he had known over the years who were no longer alive, people whom he considered friends. Sky was a link to the past, a link he had regretted in not working harder to keep open. The demands of work and family often got in the way, along with distance. The Federation was vast, and expanding, which made it hard to keep in touch::

::She took a calming breath.::

Blake: I see you haven’t read my file recently. Here's a refresher. I suffer from retrograde amnesia. I was reactivated as a specialist for the USS Veritas in their attempts to stop felicium trafficking. If I knew you before, which seems to be the case, I apologize. I don't know you now.

::There is was, the answer he was looking for. No, he had not read her file, mostly because he had been thinking of their past, what they had shared. Now, he was the only one with the memories, and he wasn’t sure whether she wanted him to fill in the blanks, or just let things be::

::Every instinct told her to pick up the phaser and return to what she'd been doing, to ignore his current existence. This was a ploy by Caide, she was sure. After this, it was a psyche evaluation. How ironic that she was now facing old demons.::

Parker: I’m sorry , Commander. I...I...didn’t know. I was thinking that you were the Sky I had known, my shipmate, my friend, the Brekkian wild child….

::Part of her would have begged to go back to that irrational wildness people claimed she was known for, but truthfully, after hearing assessments of her, she was *glad* she wasn’t. But Sky Blake woke up in a medical centre one dreary Brekkian afternoon, not recognizing where she was, what had happened to her or who those children were. She knew only that there was a comforting connection to this Vulcan at her bedside that she trusted somewhere in the back of her mind.

::She had that for four months before it had all come crumbling down. Her bondmate lost, leaving essentially a dark hole in her head and heart.

::The rest was history.::

::She sighed, running a hand through her hair.::

Blake: You wanna play catch up, then fine. But I need either something to hit, or a stiff drink.

:: Two things Hannibal was quite good at were shooting and drinking. Since they were at the range, shooting sounded like a good way in. Keying the keypad, a set of silhouettes at varying ranges popped up. Taking the catch off his Desert Eagle phaser in his thigh holster, he spoke::

Parker: We shoot first, then we drink…

Blake: Wonderful.

LtCmdr Sky Blake

Ranger, USS Veritas


Major Hannibal Tiberious Parker

Marine CO/Chief Tactical Officer, USS Thor/Duronis II Embassy