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Ensign Daniel McGillian Jr & Cmdr Alora DeVeau : Tough Questions Part 1 and 2

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I think this was a tough sim for an Ensign to write. And I think they both gave a great interpretation to the scene. @Alora DeVeau and @Daniel McGillian Jr


(Soldotna, 3rd Floor, Upper Security ))
Mac waited in the conference room for Commander DeVeau, they had to do her security reverification interview and Mac had pushed it back as far as possible to give Commander DeVeau as much time as possible to recover from her child's birth.
Mac had sent flowers down to her recovery room with a congratulatory note attached. He would have gone down in person had he not been breaking up a brawl between two new crewmen at the time. Apparently one of them had accused the other of cheating in a card game at Möbius, an establishment in Denali.
Mac sighed, as he skimmed through his PADD. Commander DeVeau had already gotten to him all of the other requirements for the clearance reverification process, all that was left was this interview.
McGillian: She shouldn't be having to raise that baby alone.
The comment went unheard, but there was no room for more contemplation, because at that moment, the doors parted and in stepped the very woman for whom he was waiting. A couple of months had passed since Shyla’s birth, and although she still slept quite a bit, taking long naps in the morning and afternoon, she was far more alert than she had been even a month prior. Despite being on duty, Alora took her child with her when she could, and when she couldn’t, Bini was on call to take on her duties as a nanny.  
This particular requirement didn’t need her to leave Shyla with the Bolian woman she’d vetted and subsequently hired, so Shyla made the trip with her. She was snuggled in a carrier, a bottom tie wrapped around her waist, and two others criss crossing in the back then coming around her ways to the front where a neat bow kept them from unravelling. The dark haired infant was quite content, wide, black eyes peering at the world. The carrier itself was almost like a piece of artwork, a dark purple background scattered with cherry blossoms and Japanese cranes. On one shoulder, a bag hung down with similar images, though the background on it was a deep, emerald green. Going anywhere without baby supplies was never wise, and despite knowing they didn’t intend on being too long, Alora wasn’t going to chance it.  
Smiling as she entered the room, she nodded to the Rodulan, then sat the bag down on the table while she settled into a chair. Although the baby was no longer on the inside, she had to forgo crossing her legs, for the child still blocked the ability to do so. Instead, she perched upon the forward half of the chair, her emerald gaze studying the Ensign. 
DeVeau: Good to see you. 
McGillian: Good to see both of you, Commander. How are you two doing?
Alora nodded, one hand automatically patting the baby’s bum where it rounded out the bottom of the carrier.  
DeVeau: We’re doing well, how are you?
The young man hadn’t been at Denali for very long, but he’d already found himself on a mission soon after. She’d read the reports, of course, but had been a bit disappointed she hadn’t been able to join, as the place offered a plethora of unique flora and fauna to study. Samples and scans brought back were quite interesting to review, and she hoped to make a planned trip out there to get more time in at some point.  
McGillian: I'm doing well, thank you.
Mac had gotten into a better routine lately. He had resumed his exercise schedule and routine, and made sure he had been finding time to actually get some R&R when he was off duty instead of just working himself to exhaustion.
DeVeau: So, you said I needed to interview for the final portion of my reverification? 
McGillian: Yes, hopefully this won't take very long. Please let me know if you need a break at any point.
DeVeau: Don’t worry, I will. 
Alora had no problem speaking up for herself, and never had. She’d always had confidence for that at least. Her interviewer could start at any time, but a distraction presented itself and he took it.  
Mac waved at the baby and smiled.
McGillian: ::to Shyla:: I'm not sure you have a clearance level for this conversation, but I'll clear you for this one. ::pause:: ::Points finger at Shyla:: No leaking Federation secrets ok?
Mac offered the Commander a smile. He admired her strength. She seemed to have everything together, despite loss and the challenges of having a newborn and the position she carried.
McGillian: Ok now that we've gotten the new recruit cleared for this conversation.
DeVeau: I’m glad. I was a little worried. 
She chuckled softly. The man had a sense of humour, which was good, and already endeared him to her . 
Mac pulled up his PADD, and pressed a few buttons.
McGillian: Do you need anything before we begin? I can get you something from the security replicator if you'd like?
Lifting a hand, she waved it and shook her head.  
Deveau: I’m fine, I have water in my bag, and I ate right before coming. 
As had Shyla, who, since her needs had been met, simply cuddled against her mother, her dark eyes taking in the blurry world that surrounded her. Soon enough, she would likely fall back asleep, but for now, she simply lay quietly against her mother’s chest. 
McGillian: Alright.
DeVeau: So what sort of questions do you have for me? 
McGillian: Most of them pertain to relationships and Federation security.
That sounded like questions which were easy to answer. Shifting a little to make sure the child was in a more comfortable position, she nodded encouragingly. 
DeVeau: Please, go ahead. 
Mac didn't want to ask some of the questions, it was just awkward. He couldn't delay it any longer. So he dove in.
McGillian: Commander, do you currently or have you ever had business or personal relations with an intelligent lifeform whose disposition is hostile to the Federation?
DeVeau: Not that I’m aware of. 
If McGillian was embarrassed, Alora didn’t show any herself. For her, this was simply a man doing his job, and resisting wouldn’t do any good. Besides, she’d been through this before. 
McGillian: Do you currently have any ongoing intimate relationships with any Starfleet Officers or Enlisted Personnel not listed as a spouse?
Most people likely baulked at this question when they first heard it, but it, too, was pretty standard, and Alora had nothing to hide. Shaking her head, she replied honestly. 
DeVeau: I do not.
McGillian: To your best judgement, do you have any prior relationships that ended badly that could lead to a compromise in the security or safety of your crewmates or the Federation?
Alora had only been in two, and while the first had ended badly, there had been no bad blood between them. Saveron had never been the type to hold resentment, nor had Alora. She still cared about the man, and neither of them would ever do anything to compromise the security or safety of anyone in Starfleet. 
DeVeau: No.  
McGillian: That one kind of makes you wonder how many ex lovers have come back with a vengeance in the Federation. ::Nervous Laugh::
She laughed softly, but yes, she could imagine that it had been an issue at one point, which was why the question had been formulated and was not part of the standard set asked when checking security.  
DeVeau: It’s better to cover all your bases. Is that all you have for me? 
McGillian: Just a few more questions Commander.
DeVeau: Of course. 
While Alora didn’t particularly want to spend all day there, she was also not particularly antsy to get out. McGillian was just doing his job, and she wouldn’t make it harder than it had to be. 
Mac stared at the next question on the list longer than necessary. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. This was one of the ones he had been dreading. 
McGillian: Um…
DeVeau: I understand some of these questions might not be easy to ask, but please know that I’ve been through this before, so I have an inkling of what to expect. 
Sometimes they got really personal, and that was part and parcel. If you were an officer, they had to make sure nothing could put anyone in a compromising position.  
DeVeau: Please go on. 
McGillian: Yes Sir. ::Loudly Sighs:: Do you have any deceased family members who died as a result of Federation operations, whether friendly or hostile? If so, do you hold any resentment or hostility towards the Federation or its representatives for their death? 
Mac stared at the widow across the table from him. He didn't have the clearance level to access what exactly happened to the Commander's husband. He hated asking the now single mother this question. He knew it was necessary, and part of his job, but he didn't have to like it.
She knew it was coming, and she knew McGillian had to ask it. From the look on his face, Alora could tell the man hated to pose such a question, and even if he couldn’t see the classified files, he’d likely read between the lines enough to know that something had happened to her and her beloved. 
DeVeau: Yes to the first. No to the second. 



She sat there quite still, the silence that descended as her words faded away spoke far more volumes than her voice.  Her face settled into practised composure, hiding anything and everything behind a carefully cultivated mask.  


Mac felt his mouth go dry, and his palms sweat. He had to reiterate the second part of the question, since she had family who had died, protocols dictated he must ensure the officer was being truthful. He wanted to vomit, and despite his best efforts, Mac knew his facial expression was one of sadness and a bit of disgust at having to do this line of questioning. 


McGillian: Commander, are you sure that you hold no resentment, and no hostility towards the Federation or its representatives for your husband's death?


McGillian: oOThis sucks, this just sucks. Oo


DeVeau: I hold no resentment. 


McGillian: ::Frowning:: I'm sorry Commander, but can you please elaborate on your reasoning.


She wanted to sigh, but refrain.  Alora knew McGillian was only doing his duty, and his pained expression reflected his ill at ease at such questioning.  The masked slipped, sadness creeping through the crackles before she was able to seal them, but when she spoke, it rang with sincerity. 


DeVeau: We were both Starfleet officers, and we both knew what we were getting into when we stepped into this life.  Risk is a part of it.  If I were resentful, I wouldn’t have remained.  


McGillian: Thank you Commander. I appreciate your honesty and forthcoming. Do you need a moment before we finish the last few questions?


DeVeau: No, thank you.


Even though she had prepared for it, Alora found her desire to end the conversation quite acute.  It was better to simply plough through and finish once and for all rather than linger over what was to come.  


Mac nodded and continued. He was sure he struck a nerve, the brief moment that the Commander had dropped her normal visage encouraged him to finish the last questions as abruptly as he could.


McGillian: Commander, if an enemy of the Federation were to offer you something of immense personal value… ::Glances at DeVeau:: in exchange for Federation secrets, are you certain you would be able to deny the offer and report the incident to the nearest security officer, or your chain of command?


DeVeau: Yes, I would. 


Of that, she was certain.  She and Kalin had been dedicated to Starfleet, and both had been involved in classified missions.  What they did could not be shared, nor would they do so, even at great benefit to themselves.  To do so was the antithesis to their oaths as officers. 


McGillian: ::Nodding:: Has anything like this occurred in the past?


DeVeau: No. 

Fortunately, Alora had never been placed into such a position, but even if she had, she knew how she would have responded


McGillian: Alright, Have you ever had any… ::clears throat and shifts in his chair:: Any unreported hostile personal encounters, including intimate ones, with starfleet personnel that could lead to a breakdown of unit effectiveness or loss of life if the issue is not resolved?


A single eyebrow arched upward at the question.  She didn’t remember that one from previous interviews, but she supposed such questions were constantly shifting and changing based upon events that had occurred within Starfleet - or without. 


DeVeau: Nothing that hasn’t been reported, no. 


Mac nodded and continued.


McGillian: Commander, do you currently or historically have any hostile relationships with any fellow starfleet officers that could lead to a disruption in unit morale or effectiveness, or could lead to the death of fellow officers, whether intentionally or not?


DeVeau: No, thankfully.  


While Alora wasn’t friends with everyone and she’d certainly crossed paths with officers who weren’t quite so congenial, she did not have what anyone would call a hostile relationship.  


McGillian: I wouldn't have expected so Sir, you seem to be one of the most amiable people I've ever met.


Mac gave the Commander a brief smile and nod.


Alora blinked, then smiled.  


DeVeau: Thank you. 


Perhaps he sensed that she was tired, though it wasn’t because of him.  The questions were simply heavy, and however subtle, the emotional toll was felt.  


McGillian: Almost through Sir, Do you have any reason to believe your current chain of command is compromised? If so, have you already reported the issue?


DeVeau: No, I don’t, so there is no reason to report anything. 


Both Oddas and Falt were fine officers, and Alora had nothing but positive experiences working with them.  As always, if she felt concerns, she had no problem reporting them.  


McGillian: Final Question Commander, All questions in this interview are to determine the reliability and honesty of Starfleet Officers. I am to remind you that no specific answer will result in immediate dismissal from duty, but intentionally lying on a security interview can result in disciplinary action, including and up to incarceration and dismissal from duty. Given that, are there any answers to previous questions that you wish to change before they are submitted.


Mac looked at the Commander, his expression neutral. Part of the reasoning a security officer had to interview for this portion was that they had to judge whether they believed the interviewed officer was truthful, and submit a recommendation based on their view with the finished interview.


DeVeau: No, I have answered truthfully and honestly and have no reason to change anything. 


She offered another smile.  As harsh as some of the questions seemed, they were necessary.  It was simply part of his job, and she would certainly never resent him for it.  


Mac placed his hands behind him resting on his lower back, one hand clasping the other. 


McGillian: I wouldn't have thought otherwise Commander. ::eyebrows raised, lips pursed:: Well, um do you have any questions for me Commander?


DeVeau: I don’t have any at this time. 


She paused for a moment to study the young man, for she knew this conversation hadn’t been easy for him either, though in a different way.  Mac was in a position that she did not envy, and while Security wasn’t always viewed with the same suspicion that Intelligence often was, she had no doubt this was likely one of the most difficult parts of his job. 


DeVeau: Thank you for conducting the interview with such grace and empathy.  I know this isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do with your fellow officers. 


The Commander's words brought a smile to Mac's face. He was relieved having finished the interview, and not caused the widow to have an emotional breakdown in the process. His assessment of Commander Deveau was the same as before the interview. She was a kind, honest, and genuine person, who'd had a terrible thing happen to her family. Mac knew on some level his emotional response to Deveau’s situation stemmed from his own childhood. Growing up without the mother who gave birth to him had caused Mac so much pain during his childhood, and seeing someone else having to deal with the absence of a parent… broke his heart.


McGillian: Your welcome Commander. Oh. I have something for you. ::kneels down and rifles through his gym bag.


Alora’s smile faded, though out of surprise rather than displeasure.  As the man rummaged through his bag, she couldn’t help but peek in an effort to see inside.  Unfortunately, because of the child upon her belly, she could not lean over far enough to see past McGillian who blocked most of her view.  


DeVeau: For me? 


McGillian: : Well, for the Cadet. ::Stands up and walks over to DeVeau and Shyla::


Mac handed the Commander a soft plush toy starfleet communicator badge.   


McGillian: Please let me know if you ever need assistance Commander ::pause:: for anything.


Alora accepted the toy, and when it dawned upon her what it was, she couldn’t help but laugh.  She’d gotten a few things for herself as well as Shyla, but this was certainly a unique, fun, and very appropriate gift.  


DeVeau: How cute!  Thank you. 


Turning the toy over in her hands, then lifted it for the baby to see.  Shyla, whose eyes had drooped heavily during the interview, perked up a little at the sight of the bright coloured toy and stared at it. 


DeVeau: Really.


Alora’s voice grew soft as she turned her attention back to the Rodulan. 


DeVeau: Thank you. 


Mac noted the change of tone from the Commander, he gave her a soft smile.


McGillian: You're welcome Commander. ::Pause:: There's just a couple things for me to do on my end before I submit the interview, but you don't have to stay for that. Would you like any help with your bag? ::Motions to her bag::


Shaking her head, Alora rose and subsequently pulled the strap over her arm.  


DeVeau: I’m fine.  It’s all part of having a baby. If you need anything else from me, just let me know. 


McGillian: Likewise Commander. 


The Science Officer cast one last smile before she turned to the door.  He would never know how difficult answering some of those questions were, and she would never tell him.  Those who said time would heal all wounds were wrong - they didn’t.  Time simply allowed you to gain strength, because every day you had to work at simply functioning.  Eventually, you moved into surviving, finally, you got to the point where you were even thriving again.  The sorrow remained, she had just managed to grow stronger in spite of it.  




Ensign Daniel McGillian Jr.

Security Officer

Denali Station





Commander Alora DeVeau

Chief Science Officer &

Second Officer

Denali Station 


Matriarch of the 15th House



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