[JP] Reynolds, Sevo & Freeman - The Verdict
::At precisely thirteen-hundred hours, Reynolds re-entered the conference room alone, making her way back to where she had been seated that morning. Once the recording device had been set on the table and activated, she settled into her chair, eyeing Sevo and Freeman. She didn't invite them to sit, instead leaving the two women standing, and cut immediately to business.::
Reynolds: First of all -- and I think you know this -- you both behaved badly. I'm not even talking about the actions that you took, but rather the actions you *didn't* take. This was not an impossible situation. There was a cooperative and peaceful solution to be found.
::Grace, hands clasped at the small of her back and standing at parade rest, nodded at the Fleet Captain, but didn’t actually respond. She had nothing really to say right now, and just wanted this over with - but she did her best to not let that show on her face or in her body language.
::Ayiana remained silent as well, standing perfectly still. It was hard to hear what was about to come from Captain Reynolds. Ayiana had looked up to her as a role model, and she had let the Captain down. But what was the peaceful solution? It had evaded her on the planet, and still did so now ::
Reynolds: Ensign Freeman, I am truly sorry for your loss. I appreciate that you went through a great deal, and you're no doubt still working through it. ::She paused.::But you need to figure out how to keep your head straight when the worst happens. However, given the extenuating circumstances, and that this is a first offence, I'll only be placing a formal reprimand on your record.
Freeman: ::Inclining her head:: Sir.
Reynolds: I understand that Commander Cavallero neglected to inform you that the four-fifty-first are now assigned to the Gorkon. We'll be bringing the new complement on board and taking shore leave once we reach Earth. As you're now part of the Gorkon's crew, that includes you.
::Grace’s jaw dropped open slightly with the news, and she forced it closed it with an audible clack. That had been… entirely unexpected.::
Freeman: Ah… staying, aboard the Gorkon, sir? I… yes, sir.
::Her mind spun at the news. She had been expecting to be getting off the ship soon enough, but all of a sudden… the 451st, transferred? And being rebuilt? Her brain squirmed uncomfortably around the thought. She hadn’t heard of another squad being assigned directly to a ship like this, at least not recently. Carried by a ship, well yeah, that happened constantly, but assigned to one permanently? That was totally different.::
::It was some small satisfaction to Ayiana, to know that Freeman would be under the permanent watchful gaze of Captain Reynolds. The woman had lots of experience in Intelligence, and things rarely went under her nose. Freeman, and Ayiana, for that matter, would have to keep their noses clean.::
Reynolds: I don't know if counselling was made a condition of returning to active duty -- that's between you and your doctors -- but if not, I urge you to see our counsellor. Lieutenant Uzoamaka was assigned to the Gorkon specifically because of her speciality in trauma and post-traumatic therapies.
Freeman: Yes sir. I’ll… try to do that, sir.
::Reynolds nodded. Finished -- at least for the time being -- with the young ensign, she turned her attention to the more experienced officer of the pair. A vague look of dismay passed briefly across her face, banished with a deep breath.::
::The feelings that passed inside Ayiana were indescribable. She always hated letting people down. All her life in school, she was often considered the “teacher’s pet.” She always tried to be nice and friendly with everyone. And now, one of the people she looked up to most was staring at her, sorrow and regretfulness in her eyes. Ayiana had truly let Captain Reynolds down.::
Reynolds: Commander Sevo, I'll also be placing a reprimand on your record and removing you from the post of second officer. :: She paused. :: This is the second time you've lashed out while in uniform, and I'm obliged to take stronger action than before.
::Ayiana mentally gasped. She half-expected to be beaten down to Ensign again! In some ways, Ayiana was relieved. Being “Second Officer” wasn’t a job like First Officer, it just meant you were second in line to the Chair, and took over when the XO was away. You still had some big ship-wide responsibilities. Perhaps now she’d have more time for her research again. ::
::But Reynolds was also right in that this was a recurrence. A few years back, Ayiana lashed out at a Romulan Republic officer, clobbering the man in the face. She had received a reprimand as well, but her XO at the time, Lt. Commander Eerie, went easy on her and had it removed after a year. She doubted she’d get the same leniency this time. ::
Sevo: ::Nodding,:: Sir.
Reynolds: Commander Vess has also recommended counselling. He's concerned that your host's previous experiences in the Dominion War are influencing you now.
::That...was a distinct possibility. Toran had been through such a traumatic experience, and his traumatic death at his own hands, that the Sevo symbiont buried all memories of him, and jumbled its timeline, thinking the host Vereesa was just before Ayiana. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that someone broke the news to Ayiana that they had counseled a “Toran Sevo.” After that, the memory blocks started breaking down and began integrating with the rest of Ayiana/Sevo’s memories. It was entirely possible that Ayiana’s Romulan incident may have been influenced by hidden emotions, even though she was not aware of Toran’s existence at the time. ::
Sevo: Yes, sir. oO Back to the psychiatrist. Great. Oo
Reynolds: He was also of a mind to recommend that you contact the Symbiont Commission and arrange your zhian'tara, if you haven't undergone it already.
::Ugh. That was something she was *not* looking forward to. She had clear memories of being the other people, and she really didn’t want to confront Toran. Why did she need to go through such a boring and archaic ritual?::
Sevo: I...no, sir. I have not.
Reynolds: Then I suggest you get in contact with the Commission as soon as you can. ::She frowned.:: I understand that they're known to come knocking if you wait too long, and I'm of a mind to be obliging toward them.
::There was a pause, the Fleet Captain's gaze sliding from Freeman and Sevo, then back again, as though she were weighing something up in her mind.::
Reynolds: Oh, and one last thing...
::Reynolds shifted her gaze, addressing both of the officers standing in front of her. Was that a sly twinkle in her eyes? It was hard to tell, as her face and posture remained decidedly neutral.::
Reynolds: You'll both be working together under Lieutenant Stoyer in engineering, for an as-yet undecided amount of shifts every week. ::She paused.::And sharing quarters for the next six months.
::The captain nodded, polite and demure, hands loosely clasped on the table in front of her. This time, when Grace’s mouth dropped open, she didn’t bother closing it. She didn’t really want to argue with the Fleet Captain - it was akin to career suicide to do so - but really? Making them share quarters? Grace didn’t have issues with sharing quarters, she’d been doing so for a year plus - but with the CSO? Seriously? She swore in her head for several seconds before responding.
::Wait, what?! Losing SO was understandable. “Dirty work” in Engineering was understandable. But being forced to sacrifice her own quarters and “bunk up” with this woman next to her?! She took it back. She’d rather have the zhian’tara with a gang of Klingons. ::
::What could Ayiana say? No? That’d be the end of her career. But she was sure it was a bad idea. The two nearly came to blows over the few hours they knew each other. If they were forced to *live* together?! Ayiana hated sharing rooms. She never did with her sister. Bunking at the Academy was an eye-opener. How the hell was she going to get through this?! ::
Freeman: Sir, with respect… should I not be rooming with another Ranger? We’ll have a lot of training to do.
::Reynolds shook her head, without missing a beat. This was an objection she already had an answer to.::
Reynolds: None of the Rangers will be sharing quarters with one another.
Freeman: Ah… right then sir. ::She was too stunned to argue the point any further.::
Sevo: But...I… ::She sighed.:: ...Yes, sir. oO I’m not going to hear the end of this from anyone. Oo
Reynolds: Good, then we're done here. And let's make that a sweeping statement, rather than just one for today. ::She glanced between them, and then nodded.:: You're dismissed.
::And with that, the inquiry was concluded. Investigations completed, decisions made, punishments doled out. What the future would bring for the two Starfleet officers, and the tensions between them, only time could time tell.::