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[2007: MAR-APR] The Nature of a Lie


Estantia
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OOC: Each part of the story can be read alone, but if you want to read the other parts check out this.

The Nature of a Lie...

The screen jumped into life, the neatly trimmed face of an Admiral appearing on the screen in the dimly lit room. The shift in colours of the screen also changed the light sliding across smooth purple-tinted skin of those watching it, sinking into solid black eyes with only a few blinks from unfamiliarity.

“Ambassadors, I regret to inform you that the USS Ascanius bearing your gifts has still not arrived.”

“Still? The passage between our planets is long, but should not be too difficult...”

“Do not worry, it is just that they were experiencing technical problems due to a large ion storm and so needed to stop in order to complete repairs,” the Admiral assured them, “Your gifts will be received safely.”

“That is good to know,” one of the aliens replied, “though if we used our transport then I’m sure we could get...”

“Oh no,” the Admiral said with a laughing smile, “Please, do not stretch your limited resources to make another set of expensive gifts, you require them for the war,”

“No it really is no prob...”

“I assure you,” the Admiral said firmly, “our crew is quite competent enough to deliver them safely, it simply means the date for the formal agreement will need to be moved back to a later date.”

“We understand, but it is urgent that the date is soon, we require your aid desperately,” the other ambassador replied calmly.

“I assure you we will do everything in our power to relieve you of this burden,” the Admiral replied before ending the call.

++++

The Yeoman standing just inside the doorway frowned disapprovingly at the man who had just leant back and let out the whistling sigh that he always did after negotiating his way through a message like that. “K’lass, stop looking at me like that..."

"I am sorry sir,” the Yeoman replied stiffly, “but I cannot see why you felt the need to, well lie to them Sir.”

“That’s simple,” the Admiral turned and stood, “Sometimes a little lie can make a situation much simpler, in this case it had several purposes. Firstly it saved face, these people are in the middle of a war, imagine the embarrassment if the very people they’re asking for help cannot deliver a few items on an easy journey!” He walked over to the replicator before the yeoman (still disapproving) spoke.

“You said purposes sir?”

“Yes I did. Tea, Red Bush,” the man picked up his mug of tea before returning to his seat, “The fact that ion storm cropped up to knock them off-course is useful in a way, Intel haven’t had any feedback from that binary system, they want us to wait until they’re certain we know what we’re dealing with. The fact that the major report they were sending is aboard the Ascanius is another reason to stall for time. The captain used to be Intel, and Julian hasn’t failed them on a mission yet. He’ll find a way to deliver that report, come Hell or high water."

“Out of curiosity sir....” the yeoman asked, “How are you going to cover this next time? If the Ascanius is still missing?”

The Admiral’s face was grave as he looked out the window, “We’ll have to deal with that when it comes.”

++++

“We should be wary of how well the Humans can bluff, Brother,” said the Ambassador with a deeper purple skin, turning to his counterpart, “It could prove to be our downfall.”

“I know Brother,” replied the other, “however I think that we must be better at it, to catch them at their own game, not to mention stop the spies from reporting out.”

“A lie can only be kept for so long Brother,” the darker one said warningly, “good or not, all it takes is one leak. That ion storm we used to cover the tractor beam will only keep them from suspecting for so long.”

At this the second turned back with a slight hiss, arching his neck so that the forehead bone was straight up rather than tilted back as normal, “We have taken care of all the leaks, and thoughts like that will weaken our resolve.”

“Have you forgotten that ship’s crew?” now the other was in an aggressive stance, ready to ram, “They were not all killed in the crash or by Shadow officials!”

The lighter-skinned one smirked, returning to a normal posture, “You act as if someone could survive in Shadow country... let alone get out.”

The other smirked too, “A good point, let us keep the pressure on them rather than us, that way they will be too busy trying to cover their own tracks to look at ours.”

++++

The Terran pilot winced as she tried to stand, not entirely surprised that an arm threaded itself under her shoulders to support her after that stumble, the Doctor was far too perceptive for her liking. “Seriously, I’m ok, I just tripped over a stone.”

“You’ve been showing instances of pain while walking for the last five miles,” the doctor informed her, “somehow I doubt it’s unrelated.”

“It’s not like there’s much you can do about it,” the Ensign replied tartly as she tried to shake off his arm, giving up trying to get him to stop it as her leg twinged again, nearly sending her plunging. “On second thoughts, I’ll accept the help...”

“I knew it, you did something,” he said with a frown, “it doesn’t look like anything’s damaged...”

“Only the jacket,” the ensign replied with a grin, patting the dusty, scuffed leather at the hip nearest him, “I really want this thing to survive though, the Captain gave it to me before we escaped the city.”

“Then we’ll get it back to Starfleet in memory of him, how about that?” came the grinned reply before the ensign smiled.

“So now our mission’s to protect a jacket... I feel so loved. It’s your turn if I go by the way, this thing doesn’t fit me properly anyway.”

“Fair enough,” he said with a shrug, “but I think he gave it to the right person, you’re a hardy little thing...” he tried to stop the smile creeping back onto his lips, “except when you have a mild sprain.”

“We can rest when we get to the proper mountains smarty pants,” she said with a mock glare, “There we can cover our tracks.”

When the conversation died down Sabrina let herself think. The doctor was far closer to the truth than he realised, as she had remembered when her hand brushed the stylishly fat hem of the old jacket. She was the only one who knew the way home, if the jacket was ever going to make it back she was going to have survived.

She looked up at the doctor briefly, then decided against telling him the truth. The other reason was easier to live with and would be easily accepted as a joke in the group, a lesser reason covering the true one. Was that lying? Using the truth to cover a bigger truth? She didn’t know. But life was simpler this way.

++++

Sometimes a lie is good, sometimes a lie is bad, and sometimes it’s just not telling everything you know. Only one thing about a lie is certain.

The truth will out.

Edited by Estantia
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