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LCDR Core & Lt. Shandres: Good Will Hunting

Rahman and Rivi Vataix

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((Quarters: LCDR Core))
::Ki stood outside of the door for a long time. He debated with himself over and over again on why he was doing this. Tristam had never expressed any real liking for him. Yet, he found himself drawn to come here.::
::With a sigh he straightened and tugged at his black collar. Almost angrily he pressed the chime. Tristam could just as easily ignore him.::
::With a quick glance up towards the door, he pressed a button on his PADD. Verbal commands to the computer had become increasingly difficult, so he’d had to revert to old fashioned remote controls. It wasn’t as much as a problem as he’d expected it to be - it simply reminded him of home, where not everything ran on voice control. Tristam had to admit that he was surprised when he saw Shandres standing in the open doorway.::
Shandres: ::he raised a dark eyebrow.:: Mind if I come in?
Core: oO Door’s open, is it not? Oo
::Unable to speak any sarcasm, and in lieu of a telepathically readable brain, the Rodulan simply gestured to a chair. This was very odd indeed - Shandres willingly coming to see him? He gave an amused huff.::
::Ki dropped into the chair indicated and slouched. He gave the impression of being relaxed and uncaring, but he was anything but.::
Shandres: I thought I would drop by and check on you. 40 zillion volts can’t have been much fun.
Core: Wasn’t.
::Though he’d been shocked enough times by various equipment throughout his life that he wasn’t as concerned about permanent injury.::
Core:::shaking his head.:: Healthy.
::Ki snorted.::
Shandres: I suppose… although your hair's still standing on end and I still hear an occasional crackle… ::pause:: Unless that’s normal for you?
::Tristam laughed.::
Core: Ah . . . probably. ::Pause.:: What’re . . . why here? Reports . . .
::Reports could have done a better job than him explaining how he was.::
::Ki pretended to misunderstand.::
Shandres: No, I’ve turned in all my reports on the incident. I’m just here to check up on you. ::pause.:: It's become something of a habit.
::The Rodulan frowned, not buying what Shandres was selling him.::
Core: Can’t talk. Great listener. ::pause:: What’s up?
::shakes his head::
Shandres: You can talk… ::gestures toward a PADD.:: I’ve seen the speed you type.
::He paused, staring at the Rodulan.::
Shandres: And yes, I mean what I say. I am here to check up on you. I do care if you’re all right as bizarre as that sounds.I know you don’t like me. Though I don’t know why. After that fiasco on Perplexia, looking after you is a habit.
Core: . . . like you.
::Hell, he appreciated pretty much everything Shandres had done, not only for him, but for the whole team, over the last couple of weeks.::
Core: But . . . uh . . . arrogant. On duty. First day? ::Tristam shook his head.:: Impression.
Shandres: Nah, I’m always arrogant and snarky. ::pause:: A long time ago I made a promise to myself that I would be myself and not what people expected.
Core: Seen you - not, uh, not like that.
::Ki smiled slightly.::
Shandres: I admit I do it for fun some times. Watching people’s reaction. Did you know that when people are [...]ed they show more of their true selves? ::He tapped his forehead.:: And their thoughts become a little more uncensored. Useful in my line of work.
::Intelligence, Tristam mused. The first words he’d thought when he’d considered the idea of someone like Ki working closely with him was along the lines of “untrustworthy [...]”. How far he’d come.::
Core:::shrugging.:: Never, uh . . . I’ve never . . . ::Again with the words forming incorrectly.:: . . [...]ed someone off *intentionally*.
::But he’s definitely done it more than once.::
Shandres: Are you sure about that? Heard you did a number on a certain nurse… Does she really grab a scalpel when she sees you?
Core:::giving a smirk.:: Unintentional.
::None of Bakari’s girlfriends ever really shook a shine to Tristam for various reasons. One of them tolerated him - barely - but . . . eh. Constantly butting heads with women he’d see maybe once, twice a month wasn’t much of a big problem for him. And he’d tried his best to make it up to Bakari in different ways.::
Shandres: Ha! I bet…
::Ki swiveled in his chair to look around the room. He had gotten into the habit of reading Tristam’s body language, which for him was a good as speech. But he was curious about the Engineer in a technologically advanced setting.::
Shandres: Tristam, your place is a mess.
Core: Hardly!
::This? This was *nothing*! The Rodulan barely had time to pack up his things on the Garuda - thus, everything had been unceremoniously thrown into bags that were now strown all over his new quarters. A few had been opened - clothing somehow ending up in the spaces around said bag, his chessboard still unassembled on the coffee table, knick-knacks from home in unorganized positions - though the most horrific mess was the fact that there dishes everywhere (either because of disappearing into Engineering for the final time or because he’d simply become too distracted to replace them into the replicator). Tristam was not a people person - or, at least, not a very good one - and thus didn’t normally expect visitors. And when he did, all this mess would be thrown into the bedroom, with the exception of the dishes, of course, which promptly disappeared.::
::Ki pointed to the dishes that had every sign of being used. In fact the food particles were so dried on, even the replicators gave up and secretly jettisoned them into space.::
Shandres: I mean really…. You’re growing your own pet… ::shakes his finger at Tristam, but his grin took anything serious from his words.:: You’re an engineer… not a biologist.
::He got up and poked at the dish.::
Shandres: Or mad scientist… I can’t even tell what you’ve been eating…
Core: Morluawg.
::Or, more specifically, Morluawg *paste*. All the tastes of Morluawg from home in paste form, since Starfleet didn’t necessarily accommodate his sensitive Rodulan taste buds. He kept telling himself that he’d work on the actual dish later . . . that was something he’s been telling himself for six years, now.::
Shandres: ::shaking his head:: Ew.
::Ki prowled around the room. By any standards is was larger and more luxurious than the Garuda had been. As far as quarters went, the only thing he had seen on this level were suites on commercial ships.::
Shandres: What am I doing on this ship? ::he glanced at Tristam.:: Sorry, I don’t know why I said that. At least not out loud.
::A trait they seemed to share on occasion. Tristam gave a small grin.::
Core: Needed here.
::There'd be no other reason for Shandres to be around, and it was certainly a good one. The Betazoid had proven himself time after time.::
Core: Sometimes proves self worth.
::Ki shook his head clearly not in agreement. He really didn’t know why he was on the Invicta. They had plenty of security officers. His specialty was intelligence. He reported to Captain Reynolds. He spent years as a field agent getting in and out of places he wasn’t supposed to be. He gave up a lot to be what he was.::
Shandres: A ship full of scientists, engineers and Vulcans. There are plenty of Delano’s Minions to babysit them.
::Tristam rose a questioning eyebrow.::
Shandres: I know I’m not dumb. I’m not smart in the things you and the others are. ::shrugs:: I don’t need to be. Something Rosh could never understand.
::He dropped back into the chair he had vacated.::
Shandres: You know, back at the Academy, she used to drag me to her little get-togethers of engineers and physicists… trying to ‘include’ me. ::He snorted in amusement.:: Probably when I started to be snarky.
::Tristam blinked. He knew Roshanara and Shandres were friends, but . . . wait. Where they friends? Or had they been involved? What on Rodul was going on!?::
Core: Tech all day. Tough.
::Engineers together tended to clash occasionally. Whether it was because of strong personalities (dealing with malfunctioning technology 24/7 tended to bring the worst out of people attitude-wise - there was only so much computerized “unable to comply” responses one could put up with before they started having a one-sided argument with the computer) or simply because of differing opinions, not everybody knew. His own relationship with Roshanara was initially based on differing opinions when it came to slipstream drive; Roshanara was willing to take far too many risks whilst Tristam always argued for safety, thus a stand-off and an eventual compromise.
::That being said, since Tristam himself didn’t really take kindly to Ki’s attitude on that first mission they’d spent together, he could understand why a group of engineers of whom didn’t know him would be easily offended at his attitude.::
::Ki’s black eyes were alert on Tristam, watching the play of expression on his face. He didn’t know? But then, why should he? It hadn’t come up before.::
Shandres: The point is, I’m not an engineer or scientist. I don’t want to be. Hanging out with the lot is blindingly dull for someone like me, especially once you get into advanced technobabble which only you understand. Rosh never understood that. ::pause:: We went our separate ways after the academy. There was no way we could have made it work between us.
::Tristam stood stock still. So Shandres *had* been involved with Roshanara.
::He wasn’t entirely sure what he was meant to do with this information. And he didn’t know how he was supposed to respond to Ki’s words now. Tristam was . . . sort of glad that he and Roshanara didn’t work out - there was no way Tristam could compete with a guy like Ki, absolutely none. Just because the man wasn’t well versed in the science and engineering departments didn’t mean he wasn’t intelligent.::
Core: Other interests.
::Surely there were other things Ki was relatively well-versed in. If he couldn’t make a couple of friends in the Science or Engineering departments, then surely he could banter with a fellow Intel or Security officer about a take-down he’d made one time. Was that not a thing for Federation races?::
Shandres: ::shrugs:: I suppose. I’m good at strategy and tactics. Especially in the field. I even learned how to play a guitar.
::He chuckled a looked away for a moment.::
Shandres: Don’t worry. I’ll find a way to stay out of trouble. ::he raised a finger.:: But the minute I spend too much time babysitting, I’m putting in for a transfer so fast I’ll be leaving my own personal warp signature.
Core: oO Fair enough. Oo
::Ki looked at him in silence for a long moment.::
Shandres: So how are you holding up? I heard you’ve been put on medical leave and they are putting another warm body in your place.
Core: Ha.
::Roshanara wasn’t entirely pleased with having to have that job, but at least they’d managed to glaze over it without many issues. He hadn’t found out who his replacement was at this moment, but he made it a priority to not comment. If luck was on Tristam’s side, this would be a temporary setback - he could get used to not wearing a uniform for a couple of weeks while he and Medical sorted out a way out of this hole his brain had dug himself into - and he’d hopefully be back after a month or so. At least he wasn’t stuck in a hospital bed.::
Core: Holiday.
::Well he certainly planned to spend it like a holiday, at least.::
Shandres: So what do you plan to do? Sit around here, break things and then fix them?
::Tristam had spent a lot of time sitting in the cave maintaining their equipment without support. Ki could see him doing something similar here.::
Core: Technological. Environment. ::The Rodulan shrugged, doing a click and clap as he sat down on a table.:: Still officer.
::If he truly wanted to, he could enter and leave Engineering as he pleased. It was just that he had no real authority to go ordering people around and do actual work, so long as it wasn’t vital systems he was “interfering” with. As such, in an emergency or red alert, he either needed to report to Sick Bay (no thanks to the “medical” part of his LOA) or remain in non-vital areas and out of the way. Things he was quite capable of doing with no hassle . . . well. Maybe *some* hassle. He’d at least try to find out what was happening to someone's annoyance.::
Shandres: I’m trying to imagine you not haunting engineering…. ::smirk:: I just can’t. Sure… you could read all the specs on the drive… but can you really not put your hands on it?
Core: Yes. Drive - propulsion. Hate propulsion.
::As for the rest of Engineering . . . probably not, no. Not since he’d been introduced to it. Hell, even if he *wasn’t* introduced to Engineering prior to losing his active status, he still wouldn’t be able to stay out of it. But alas, a particular Kriosian would probably frown at him for not taking the time to hang around the more public areas of the ship or, dare he say it, rest.::
Shandres: Awwww…. how can you hate it? If you just got to know her better…. dinner and a movie maybe…?
::Tristam couldn’t stop himself from cringing. The Pioneer *did* have a date with him during their slipstream drive test.::
Core: Dangerous.
::Why the obsession with going faster? Tristam never quite understood it. Sure, it was probably useful to outrun hostile ships during an attack, but for regular cruising speeds? What difference did it make? So you got to someone faster than you would have if you used a less advanced ship. At what cost, though? Try to break the Warp 10 barrier, and people start evolving at a faster rate than they should - hence, no one tries to break that barrier anymore. Slipstream was a different story altogether, but in creating that, there were the ridiculous amounts of risks. He’d almost *died* proving that.
::Propulsion was not the answer. The transporter was - all he really had to do was keep working at his own theory until he could prove something. They already knew that they were able to beam someone from one planet to the next. If they could somehow manipulate the mechanics to the point where they were able to beam something as large as a starship from one star system to another, then propulsion wouldn’t even be a priority.
::Unfortunately he was simply deemed as a deluded Rodulan who hated propulsion just because he apparently needed to hate *something*. The stigma that came with being a Rodulan was sometimes just cruel.::
Core: Not worth it.
::Ki raised an eyebrow. He didn’t know what Tristam was thinking but he was lousy at keeping his thoughts to himself with his particular manner of body language. That alone made him smile. If what he heard was correct, the Rodulan’s own snark kept people from looking too closely.::
Shandres: I think I can translate that look. You don’t see the need to keep trying to go faster when there could be other ways. And you happen to have a theory. But nobody is listening even when you could talk.
::The Rodulan literally gave the man a round of applause, a smirk on his face.::
Core: Winner.
::Ki laughed, pleased with his accuracy.::
Shandres: So you have all this spare time… why not work on it?
Core: Theories. Tests. Text done. ::He stumbled through the next word.:: Require assistance. Simulations. ::The Rodulan shrugged again.:: Holiday.
Shandres: Simulations… ::frowns:: See… this is stuff I don’t understand. ::pause:: But if you want me to take you down to the brand-spanking new holodeck, I can follow simple instructions.
::The Betazoid paused.::
Shandres: Or I can show you my holo-programs. I’ve got some fun stuff.
::Tristam laughed quietly, but had to shake his head.::
Core: Talking. And violence. ::He shook his head again.::
Shandres: Humph! I’ll have you know I own programs that don’t involve bar brawls or picking up women. Well some of them don’t.
Core: Ha! See? Federation violent. Will warn home. ::He gave a cheeky grin.::
Shandres: ::laughs:: I’m not violent… I’m… firm…. always in control. After all, I didn’t strangle you on sight.
Core: Hmph. Wouldn’t be first time.
::He shook that thought away.::
::Ki arranged his expression to one of dignified affront. It would have been convincing if he hadn’t opened his mouth and spoke.::
Shandres: I’m well known for my restraint. I keep my opinions to myself . And I am the most diplomatic individual you could meet.
Core: Ha. oO Time will tell. Oo
::Tristam grinned, an ache forming in the back of his head again. His eyes closed for a few seconds too long, arms now crossed.::
::Shandres smiled as he realized how much of Tristam’s nuances he had observed and made use of in communicating::
Shandres: Headache again?
::Tristam forced himself to open his eyes and retrain them back to Shandres. He flashed a grin, and though he’d fought to train them towards the man in front of him, his gaze dropped.::
Core: Yeah.
::Lying without the ability to speak properly was significantly harder than Tristam had initially thought. And, even if lying was an option for him, he didn’t see the value in denying an obvious thing to a highly trained Intelligence officer. Well - at least, he *thought* Ki was a highly trained Intelligence officer. One could never be too sure about these things.::
::Ki pushed himself out of the chair again and clapped Tristam on the shoulder. His hand curved around the back of his neck and he squeezed gently, an almost affectionate touch he used with the other man to say things that didn’t require words.::
Shandres: Get yourself a painkiller and get some rest.
Core: Hmph.
::The Rodulan had tried to stay away from painkillers since the slight incident when using them for his shoulder. Besides, this headache wasn’t horrifically bad like . . . multiple times before.
::He stood, arms still crossed. His next word was directed at Ki.::
Core: Rest.
::Ki smiled, gave a mock salute and headed out the door. It had gone better than he had hoped. The unconscious tension he had held was gone and he whistled off key as he strode down the corridor.::
LtCmdr Tristam Core
USS Invicta
Lieutenant Ki Shandres
Strategic Operations / Intelligence Officer
USS Invicta
simmed by: R. Moonsong
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