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Lt. Commander Roshanara Rahman & Lt. Alora DeVeau - "Bigger Th

Sedrin Belasi

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((Corridor, USS Garuda))

::She was roaming through the halls, so that was a good sign, wasn't it? Okay, maybe not roaming, but she was free to move about, so that was something. As Alora trotted to catch up with Rahman, her lips soured into a frown when she realised she'd been stripped of her uniform and her rank. That was not so good a sign.::

DeVeau: Hey.

::The science officer slowed to match strides with the Kriosian, a friendly smile that couldn't mask her concern fixed upon her features.::

DeVeau: Are you okay?

::Making her way to her quarters from the Captain's ready room, Roshanara turned, surprised to see the science officer. Truthfully, she had hoped to avoid running into anyone as she ran back to hide in her quarters. Even on a ship as large as a Galaxy class vessel, gossip traveled at warp 10, and it wouldn't be long before people's curiosities could turn into something much uglier.::

Rahman: Alora! What are you still doing here? You should be enjoying your shoreleave.

DeVeau: Yeah, well, I wanted to see if you were okay.

Rahman: Thank you, but I'll be all right. Really.

::Rahman was awarded with a quirk of her mouth. All right? Yeah, sure. She'd only been stripped of her rank and any and all access to what had once been her job. Her career was gone. If it hadn't, then she'd still be wearing a uniform.::

::She looked back at the young science officer with a sad smile. Would this be the last time she'd talk to her, at least from outside a prison?::

Rahman: Alora, promise me... whatever happens, you don't lose your sense of hope and wonder while you're out here. I know it can be scary at times... but don't forget what made you want to come out here in the first place. Cherish the opportunity you have while you're aboard a starship.

::The advice was unexpected, and those bright green eyes stared at her for a moment. What she had said sounded so final. Rahman had been stripped of her rank, but did that mean she was leaving?::

oO Well, what else does it mean, stupid? If she did, or even if they think she really did what she's been accused of, what exactly do you _think_ is going to happen. Oo

::Alora halted and caught on to Rahman's arm, gently, but firmly, her gaze steady and piercing as she focused on the Kriosian's eyes.::

DeVeau: Nara...what happened? What really happened? That wasn't you, right? Tell me it's just some...huge cosmic joke. Some mistake. Some sort of mixup.

::Roshanara glanced over at a pair of crewmen who were walking the other way down the corridor towards them. She beckoned Alora to follow her into a cross junction away from the main pathway. Alora did as bit, tucking herself as far out of the main corridor as possible.::

Rahman: I'm afraid I can't.

DeVeau: You can't because you actually did do what they accuse you of or you can't because you can't explain what really happened because you don't know yourself?

::There _had_ to be an explanation. Even if it was, 'that person looked like me but that wasn't really me doing what they said I did even though it looks as if I'm the one actually doing it'. Surely Rahman was truly innocent. Wasn't she?::

::The former chief engineer sighed.::

Rahman: Alora, the less you're seen with me, the better right now. After Commander Ross's apparent betrayal... the sabotage... there's something much more nefarious and larger than we think going on.

DeVeau: So you _are_ innocent.

::Roshanara didn't affirm that statement, instead looking directly into Alora's eyes.::

Rahman: Listen, don't worry about me. I wasn't kidding earlier. There could still be others hiding aboard or nearby. Watch yourself, Alora. Don't trust anyone, no matter how many pips they have on their collar.

::That had been Roshanara's mistake, hadn't it?::

DeVeau: Nara, wait.

::It didn't make any sense. None at all. What was she trying to tell her? Alora was really bad at figuring out clues. She always was surprised by the end in mysteries. Well, maybe not always, but most of the time. She just wasn't the sort who did well resolving that sort of question. In a way, it wasn't that much different from coming up with a solution to a scientific problem - except she just couldn't seem to catch on in that manner.::

::Another set of crewmen passed by, and one of them--the same guard who had escorted Roshanara earlier to the Captain's ready room looked at the two women curiously as he passed.::

DeVeau: I want to help. What can I do to help? There's got to be something I can do!

Rahman: ...look, forget I said anything. Don't worry about me now. You still have a lot more to see out here.

::She gave a sad smile and touched Alora gently on the shoulder.::

Rahman: Go enjoy your shoreleave. I need to go.

DeVeau: No.

::Alora's hand found Rahman's arm once more, her hold tighter. She stepped closer, closing the space between them.::

DeVeau: No. I'm going to worry about you. And worry about you. And I'm going to start doing some digging and looking into things. Tell me what's going on. I want to help.

::Well, Roshanara couldn't deny the science officer's commitment was touching. But she needed to protect her.::

Rahman: Alora...

::But she could tell from the look Alora was giving her, it wasn't going to be any use to try and convince her otherwise.::

Rahman: Just be careful, all right? And if you're going to look into things... don't do it alone.

::She thought for a moment.::

Rahman: Seek out Captain Kells. Maybe he can help figure out what's really going on out here... with Ross... with everything.

::Kells. Don't trust anyone, but seek out Kells. Did that mean she could trust Kells? She wished Saveron were still there, Alora knew she could trust him more than anyone else. The Kells that had returned was almost a stranger to her, not that the former Captain had been _much_ more than that.::

DeVeau: You know, you're really not giving me much to go on.

Rahman: ::smiles:: I know.

::She took a deep breath and gently removed Alora's hold of her.::

Rahman: Good luck, Alora. I'm sorry I can't give you more, but it's for the best.

DeVeau: Are you sure about that?

::The other woman nodded and then stepped back into the corridor, but turned one last time to Alora.::

Rahman: Don't follow me. Please.

DeVeau: Nara...wait...

::Roshanara paused as asked.::

DeVeau: Look...I may not have the same sort of 'contacts' as most people around here, but I have...well. I'm not without ways of getting information or providing assistance. So...if you need anything, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask. Okay?

Rahman: I'll keep that in mind.


Lieutenant Alora DeVeau

Chief Science Officer

USS Garuda


Lt. Commander Roshanara Rahman

Under Investigation

Awaiting Transfer to Custody of StarBase 118 JAG

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