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Wulfantine & Richards: Guilt Ridden


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((Eyas’ Quarters; USS Mercury))

::Mister Richards paused before he rang the chime on the Lieutenants door. He was tired but very grateful for the blunt, honest advice he had received from Walker and Rahman. This still wasn't going to be easy. He had heard the news on the grape vine that the lieutenant had been demoted and he knew he was directly responsible for that. Eyas hadn't been the one to start the firefight but, as the CO of the away team, and the tactical/security department, the buck stopped with him for any transgressions on the mission. Due to his arrogance it was rare that the young man of 29 years felt guilt or remorse for his actions or words. This was one of those times. He adjusted his collar and wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead before pressing the door chime. It was time to bite the bullet and come face to face with one of the many consequences of his actions. Although this would be difficult, starting with Eyas Wulfantine was logical. Commanders Velana and Matthews followed by newly promoted Lieutenant Bale. Issac would be the hardest to approach because he knew he would have to set aside his anger at the way the then Lieutenant Junior Grade had treated him. . He took a deep breath and pressed the door chime.::

Wulfantine: Enter…

::The tall ensign entered and stood at attention waiting to be told to stand at ease. At six feet, two inches tall, Mister Richards wasn't exactly a small fellow but, the blond Pythro male dwarfed him. Normally he would have found this intimidating but, given the situation, he felt he would have to take whatever his department head said on the chin. He knew Eyas to be an honorable man full of integrity. His dedication was second to none and this demotion would have hit the man hard. Much like for him how leaving Star Fleet all those months ago during the hologate affair had cut him up inside. Beads of sweat continued to form and drip from Mister Richards brow as he waited for Eyas Wulfantine's next move. His reaction to Alex's presence would tell the young man how to approach the situation without causing any drama.::

Wulfantine: Alex, thank you for visiting. Please sit.

::Mister Richards took the seat and gave the Lieutenant a smile. He was trying to hide his inner emotions regarding the mammoth task that lay ahead of him. His posture however, was a dead give away that the ensign was very uncomfortable.::

Richards: Forgive my unannounced visit sir but I have something I need to get off of my chest. (Beat.) I feel it unfair that I have as of yet received no punishment for my actions on Valdor III and that you have paid a great price for them. As someone who has been through both the Academy and it's fast track program for returning personnel I still have the rules and regulations fresh in my mind. My decision to break the chain of command and fire first was in direct violation of those rules and regulations and endangered the entire mission. (Beat.) A lot of us received injuries, some of us were even forced to take actions that they may live to regret. I created an uncontrolled mess and placed both the team and the hostages in mortal peril. (Beat.) For all of this, I can only apologize. I wish there was more I could say or do but I can't undo what has been done.

::Mister Richards slumped further into the chair. The more he thought or spoke about it, the more the consequences of his actions sank in. In this case, he had caused a distinguished member of staff’s service record to be marked permanently with a punishment that he felt was severe. Of course, even in his arrogance he would never dare to challenge the Captain’s decision. There was a reason after all as to why Aron Kells was the captain of the Mercury.::

Wulfantine: Alex, I appreciate your thoughts and accept your apology. But as you know, the chain of command works both ways. I was heading that away team, and I am responsible for all under my command. You acted in the stress of the moment as you saw best. If I had had my finger on the pulse of the situation better, than maybe I could have not led us into the encounter in the first place. ::Pause:: When you get to command away teams in the near future, as I am sure you will, you’ll understand why I must accept what the Captain has rightly imposed upon me.

Richards: Doesn't mean I can live with the fact I'm getting off without even a slap on the wrist for my actions. Others on the ship have suffered greatly for my actions and I'm still here, in my uniform as if I had committed no transgression. Do you think the Captain will ever have faith in your abilities again?

Wulfantine: I am sure I will be able to redeem some merit in the Captain’s eyes, one day, but in the short term I intend to enjoy my shore-leave as much as possible.

::The young man still needed to discuss a few things regarding the away team debacle, and they really couldn't wait. However he appreciated the Pythron's attempt to shift the discussion to small talk. Sitting with a slightly better posture in his seat, he spoke again.::

Richards: Did I do the right thing sir? (Beat.)

Wulfantine: You acted as you thought was best given the situation. That’s the least we can ask.

::He could understand the tall blond man’s frustration that he was not ready to move the conversation on just yet. However, this was important.::

Richards: What I mean sir is (beat) I am well aware that one can never use the ends justify the means as an excuse. However, I was one hundred percent sure that we were as good as dead. It was something about the look in the Klingon’s eyes and his tone of voice as he issued the threat to vaporize us. You pick up a lot about peoples demeanor when you work as a barman just based on their facial expressions, posture and tone of voice.

Wulfantine: Reading someone’s intentions is vital. In truth, I dare say the Klingon had lethal intentions, but I guess we shall never know.

::Mister Richards looked the Pythron male directly in his eyes before he spoke the next part. This was a difficult question to ask of the freshly demoted man.::

Richards: Hypothetically speaking (beat) do you think we would have made it off the planet alive had I not fired and knowing now, just how many were waiting for us in the hangar?

Wulfantine: That is something I cannot answer, however, the fact of the matter is we DID all make it off the surface, and are here to talk about it. In situations like this, survival can be classed as a success.

::He was happy with Eyas' response. It was almost what he had expected. The ends could never be used to justify the means but, knowing that things may have been much worse helped the Ensign feel more at ease with his actions.::

Richards: I think I might need to run a few target practice programs on the holodeck. Although we made it through, my aim wasn't as true as it should have been.

Wulfantine: Sounds like a good idea. Do you have any plans for our time on Starbase118?

Richards: A nice romantic candle lit dinner with Marissa. She has already booked a baby sitter. I've not been away from her long this time, but it may as well have felt like years. One thing I learned in my time as a civilian is that counselors can work wonders if you let them in. I still have nightmares over what happened on the Independence last summer but they no longer distract me from my life, or my work. How about you sir? Do you have any plans?

::Eyas sighed, and looked out of the porthole.::

Wulfantine: Nothing cement. Maybe a dinner as well, maybe with someone. It depends how they feel dealing with an officer in disgrace.

Richards: You are more than welcome to have a few beers with me at my old haunt sir. I wonder if the Tellarite still works there. His debating skills are second to none, though his arrogance makes me look like a saint! Be wary of his insults though, they can cut deep. The trick is if they insult you, to throw one right back. Then again, you more than likely know that.

Wulfantine: ::Chuckling:: Indeed, and thank you. I’d like that. A drink to the Independence and the Mercury it shall be, and absent friends.

Richards: Aye sir. Oh and sir, thank you for your time.

::Mister Richards stood and smiled at his old friend. There were many more things he wished to discuss with Eyas but for now they could wait. He walked to the doot feeling slightly better in himself and with more confidence in his stride.::

END

Lt. Eyas Wulfantine

Chief Tactical Officer: USS Mercury

&

Ensign Alex Richards

Tactical Officer: USS Mercury

__._,_.___

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