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SIM:Nicholotti Jupiter's Rain

((Jupiter Station, Stardate 238610.12))

::Makal sat staring out of his office window, looking at the immense gas giant that filled his window. The giant red storm of Jupiter lazily rolled by, it's immense size - eight earths - was hard to conceive, even this close to the planet. From the Daystrom Institute's Offices, the storm looked merely as large as a Trojan-class station. A beep from behind the man brought him out of his idle daydream, and he turned to the desk's monitor.::

oO Communication from Starfleet Medical? Oo

::He opened the comm-link, and was surprised to see the face of the beautiful asian human he had only last seen six months ago - on board the USS Resolution. She was wearing a Blue Starfleet uniform - a serious departure from her Marine greens. He straightened up in his chair and smiled broadly.::

Kora: Kay! What a surprise! I thought you would be with the Resolution, off in the Psi Velorum sector. When did you arrive on Earth? ::She frowned. The messages telling him that she had gone to earth and why had been sent months ago. Of course, he had never responded, but she had hoped that he had read them at least.::

Nicholotti: I've been here for a few months now...

::The look on her face must have given her annoyance at the question away because he offered up an explanation - or excuse, depending on how you looked at it - right away.::

Kora: I know it's been a while... I last sent a message out two months ago... to the Resolution. That is why I figured you were out there, helping with the relief effort. I was wondering when we'd talk again.

::Kali shook her head. There had been a time when he was the only light in her very dark world. But since his hasty departure from the Resolution, that light had faded. Distance had been cruel to them, and it was obvious that they had grown apart.::

Nicholotti: ::Raising a sarcastic eyebrow.:: When you decide to answer my messages.

::Cocking her head to the side slightly, she waited for the response. She wasn't mad at him, but she was furious at the same time.::

::Makal's smile faded as he saw her expression. There was something about her eyes that conveyed anger even when she meant to hide it. He didn't know if others could read her that easily, but he could tell that he was treading on thin ice.::

Kora: To tell the truth, I'd been caught up in the new ship design that the Institute has us working on. I could try to be on the next shuttle to Earth... it's not even a half hour away.

::A half hour away. That was all. And yet he hadn't even known she was there.::

Nicholotti: So quick to jump on a shuttle and leave.

::The raven black hair danced slightly around her shoulders as she shook her head. That was, perhaps, the one thing that she was still miffed about. He had just left the Resolution. No warning, no time for a proper goodbye. He had just up and left one day.::

::Granted, it was the day after the showdown in sickbay. A showdown that had ultimately ended in the decommissioning of the ship. Perhaps he had seen it coming.::

Kora: I've got to clear it with my superiors here at the Institute.

::Makal let out a heavy sigh. He did not particularly like thinking about his time on board the Resolution. Kali, Allen, Guy and Andrus had been the a few exceptions to a miserable experience. Five deaths on a first contact mission... Kali almost killed. His gut felt like a ton of lead just thinking about it, and he felt his temper rise.::

Kora: You know how I felt. That detachment had no business being on a ship the size of the Resolution... and those marines were out of control. It was not you, Kay... I just couldn't take...

Nicholotti: it. I know.

::She knew quite well about the problems with those Marines; an issue that seemed to spread like a virus through the ranks. The sanctity of life was lost to the new breed of vicious bloodhounds stalking down their prey. It was all about kill counts and weapon envy. The core principals that her father and grandfather had fought for were fading away only to be replaced by the shallow thoughts of killing and winning.::

::Kali had known of Makal's extreme distaste for that detachment. She didn't blame him for leaving; she blamed him for leaving her.::

Nicholotti: But whether they belonged there or not, they were part of the Corps.

::It had been a half hearted attempt to stand up for the ideal that once *was* the Marines, and she played it well. It was the least that she could do to honor her ancestors while driving an even wider wedge between her and the man on the screen.::

::Makal's face went from dispassionate to an angry scowl. He clenched his coffee mug and gritted his teeth. As he spoke, his words came out as a low growl. Barely recognizable from his normal, relaxed, even tone.::

Kora: The whole damn corps seem to be nothing more than murderers and idiots. Out to carve notches into their phasers, or die for some outdated sense of sacrifice that has no place in the modern age.

Nicholotti: You can't judge them all based on that sorry excuse for sentient life.

::He would know her reference to the overly aggressive, bald Marine captain.::

::Makal let out a bitter laugh. He had nearly come to blows with that man on several occasions. Just remembering his face was enough to make the half-bajoran's heart race in fury.::

Kora: Him?! Hah. He was just a boil on the ass of an already ugly targ. No, it was the entire detachment. Either eager to die or kill. It was a first contact mission damnit! Why was that Lieutenant's phaser even set to kill?! After a DIRECT ORDER!! ::His eyes narrowed to slits.:: The Marines have no place on a starfleet ship, and they never did. I refuse to serve alongside such degenerate animals.

::Though she had opened her mouth to fire more sarcasm his way, her mind suddenly took over. She still wasn't ready to deal with deep thoughts about her time on that ship. Especially not now.::

Nicholotti: I'm not doing this.

Kora: Fine. Just shut the door and pretend the problem is not there, with every problem.

::He regretted saying it the moment the words came out of his mouth. They had shared a connection that few people ever did - especially non-telepaths. It was entirely uncouth to dredge up such a personal issue. But anger had a funny way of bringing out what could hurt people you were close to the most.::

::The woman sighed and though she replied with fire in her tone, the sadness could be seen in her eyes. Her voice elevated slightly.::

Nicholotti: You can be pissed off about the Marines all you want. Just remember, at the end of the day that's what I am.

Kora: Just another mindless grunt then. Why are you even pretending by wearing those blues then? Shouldn't you be on a battlefield somewhere patching plasma burns rather than learning real medicine?

::She became more animated as the argument ensued.::

Nicholotti: You need to get over whatever...::her hands waved in the air as she tried to find the words.:: this is.

::In her mind, Kali was screaming that it wasn't her fault. She wanted nothing more than for him to come to Earth and just hold her, but it couldn't be like that anymore. The not-so-ex Marine was mentally beating herself up. It was like having a drill instructor in her head yelling for her to get up and deal with it. Yet, in running from that voice, she was forced into the darkness of her nightmares.::

::Makal realized that he was falling into old patterns. The anger... the need to lash out and hurt those who he cared for. This was what cost him his Commander's exam. What led to the fight with Captain Avatar. He took a few deep breaths, closing his eyes to re-gain his composure.::

Kora: Kay... look... I just...

::She cut him off. He had stepped over the line twice now, and they both knew it.::

Nicholotti: You have some serious issues Makal. You can't hate me and love me. It doesn't work like that.

::Kali set her jaw and narrowed her eyes slightly. Was this how it was going to end? She stared hard at the screen trying to remember his every feature all while calculating her next move. Her body language would reflect that she was not backing down, but her mind was tired and didn't want to fight, especially with the man that she did still love.::

Kora: Yeah. Maybe we just need some time.

::He closed his eyes. He could still clearly see the faces of the five men killed by the marine officer who was under his command. Innocent security personnel, with families, friends, entire communities that would miss them. The guilt of their deaths weighed heavily on him. He should have done... something.::

::What seemed like forever passed in mere seconds. Perhaps it was pride that stopped her from repairing the situation and working on some kind of long distance relationship, or maybe it was the fact that she knew it wouldn't work. Either way, she found an out and took it.::

Nicholotti: ::her voice was suddenly quiet.:: I have class in ten minutes. I have to go.

Kora: Fine then.

::Makal hit the switch on his terminal and let the room fall back into darkness. He placed his head in his hands and sat there, feeling his guilt and regret grow. The silence and the darkness overtook him as the immense, ageless gas giant floated silently behind him. It's massive red eye watching as the universe moved on.::


--

JP by:

Lieutenant Makal Kora
Chief Operations Officer
Starbase 118/USS Victory

and

Lt. Commander Kalianna Nicholotti
First Officer
Starbase 118/USS Victory


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