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[Round 1] Stinging Truths


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((Bear's Den, USS Ursa Major))

::Sidney motioned to the seat at the table.::

RILEY: May I have a seat? Or is someone sitting here?

REYNOLDS: No... I mean, no one's sat there...

::Sidney couldn't help but notice the silence, or was it just perceived

silence? She honestly didn't know... Quinn had to hate her....she was sure

of it, she just hoped the woman would forgive her for her short-sightedness

on TE-IV. Sidney's discomfort could be seen in her face and in the drop of

her shoulders as she didn't quite slump in the seat. Her eyes shifted to

the floor.::

RILEY: Congratulations on your award.

::Sidney's bright green eyes looked up at Quinn. She noticed the engineer

look away and down at the floor.::


RILEY: It's good to see you back on your feet Quinn...

REYNOLDS: ::Awkwardly: : Well, you know. Any excuse to get out of sickbay.

::Sidney smiled only slightly through her melancholy expression.: :

RILEY: So it seems to be for most...

REYNOLDS: Hayd... The doctor thinks I'm healing up as well as can be

expected. It shouldn't be too long before I can go back on duty.

RILEY: ::nods:: I'm glad to hear that...

::There was another pregnant pause. A pause allowing just enough time for

the Terran/Deltan to panic slightly.::

RILEY: oO I shouldn't have come over here....She doesn't want to talk to


::Thankfully it was Quinn who broke the silence, broaching the subject

Sidney had on her mind. She felt her stomach knot up at the mention of the

word mission.::

REYNOLDS: I don't think anyone was expecting the mission to turn out the

way it did.

::A look of mild shock crossed Sidney's face before she crossed and then

uncrossed her arms. It was like Quinn had read her mind, Sidney's bright

green eyes focused on the design of the floor.::

RILEY: oO Except Wood...and Sharpe....Oo

::If she could have taken the injury instead of the Chief Engineer she

would have. Why did someone else have to be hurt because she had to follow

regulations to a "T"? Why did she always have to go "by the book"?::

REYNOLDS: Are you alright, Commander?

::Sidney looked up at Quinn slightly startled out of her mental

self-degradation. Her eyes bore the guilt she felt. When the words came,

they were laden with the heavy New Orleans accent of her youth, an accent

which showed itself mostly in her most emotional moments. The words were

slow, deliberate and came with sincerity.::

RILEY: Quinn... I'm sorry.

::Sidney paused and watched the woman's hazel eyes for a moment before she

continued. The flicker of emotion that crossed them was hard to decipher,

for either woman.::

RILEY: You have to know...I didn't know. I would never do anything I

thought was going to hurt anyone on the crew. Y'all are all a part of my

family. I just...I'm sorry....

::Sidney looked at the floor and Quinn chewed her lip, unsure how to

answer. Forgiveness *was* what was sought, but what with the throbbing

pain in her abdomen, head and especially her leg, the engineer really wasn't

sure if she was in a forgiving mood. With a sigh, she drained the champagne

glass completely, grimaced and placed it down on the table, stiffly rubbing

the back of her neck.::

REYNOLDS: I don't... Know...

RILEY: My intention is not to make you uncomfortable. ..I...I just couldn't

let this go without saying something...

REYNOLDS: Commander... I'm not a security officer. I don't see the things

they see. But...

::The words were like a slap across Sidney's face. A slap she knew she

deserved, but one that still stung non the less. Her eyes were blank as

she looked up at the woman she had hurt so badly.::

RILEY: I am sorry...

::And suddenly, fuelled by anger over apologies that did nothing to make her

feel any better, Quinn couldn't stop herself from telling Sidney Riley what

she really thought. No forgiveness, no "that's life in Starfleet"

platitudes. Though she spoke softly, Quinn was unable to entirely keep the

bitterness out of her voice.::

REYNOLDS: I don't understand why you didn't listen to them. Starfleet

officers had been kidnapped on that colony before. The ship originally

bringing medical supplies had been destroyed enroute. And we had

suspicions that the outbreak was a deliberate act of terrorism before we

even set foot on the planet. To blindly trust that there was no threat

because we were on a mercy mission seems... ::She reigned herself in a

little. But only a little.:: Naïve.

::SLAP! Across the other cheek, this time much harder, as all the

accusations which had been dancing around in her mind since TE IV

were fully vocalized out in the open. Sidney's mind tried to regroup, or

rather reboot, as it worked through the million and one thoughts which

flooded through in one single moment.::

RILEY: oO I am to blame...it's my fault...you knew it was anyway....Oo

::Sidney looked up at Reynolds, her normally bright green eyes held a blank

expression. Her skin pale and cold. Her mind still tried to catch up, to

think of something to say. She wanted to offer comfort to the woman whom

she had *SHE* had hurt so badly. But what could she say in a situation

like this. She'd never really *failed* at anything in her life, not that

she could remember, never made a mistake this big. The Engineer started

talking again and Sidney just listened.::

REYNOLDS: I nearly died. I'm still in pain. And it might have been because

you sent our security officer to sit in the shuttle like a naughty schoolboy

when he tried to do his job.

::And instantly, Quinn regretted opening her mouth. Not because of any

effect it might have on Sidney - she was too angry to consider anyone else's

feelings - but because she had essentially just scolded her immediate

superior and the First Officer of the Independence. ::

::Sidney blinked back tears, she may have been a Starfleet Officer, a First

Officer, a command officer, but she was still human, or 7/8 human to

be exact. Still her 1/8 Deltan side was not even remotely Vulcan, and in

many ways friendship and forgiveness were something that was more important

to that side than the human side. She felt as if her crew, her *family*

connection to Quinn was broken, possibly.... mostly likely, in her mind,

permanently. She felt her emotions bubbling to the surface, and tried to

reign them back in.::

::Her mind momentarily drifted back to her step-mother, Cheyenne, and the

scoldings she had received as a child for showing too much emotion. Sidney

couldn't remember a time she felt so weak, such a failure. The proper

words did not come and she looked up at Quinn as she leaned heavily on the


REYNOLDS: Look... Forget I said anything. We don't even know what really

happened down there yet.

RILEY: oO How can I forget this? Oo

::It was then that words finally came her mind having rebooted to a

point it could function at a basic level. Her emotions were more under

control, at least she wasn't going to bawl at what was supposed to be a

celebration. When her words came out they were deliberate,

without accent....they were words from her own survival mode.::

RILEY: No...I...I am sorry Lieutenant. The only way I can justify my

actions is to say I followed regulations. I know that is not any

comfort....I know...::Her voice began to choke up and she pulled

back.::...I would never do anything to hurt anyone on the crew. ::Sidney

let her blank expression fall over the room.:: I seem to have put a damper

on the evening...if you will excuse me Lieutenant.. .

::Sidney stood rather quickly, turned and headed for the door

without waiting for a response from the Terran/Deltan Engineer. Her flight

or fight response kicking in, she walked briskly to the transporter

room. She needed to go home...to the Independence. If she could just get

back home...then things would not be okay, but would be better. She walked

past the celebrating officers not meeting anyone's eyes. The bright

colours a blur as the tears welled in her eyes.::

::It wasn't until the blue shimmer of the transporter took hold that

tears began streaming down her face.::



Lt. Commander Sidney Riley

First Officer

USS Independence- A


Lieutenant Quinn Reynolds

Chief Engineering Officer

USS Independence- A

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Excellent post by two excellent writers. I love the realism of both the description and the dialogue. I can feel each party's pain and frustration and I can really picture the encounter from each person's perspective. I've tried hard to come up with something to suggest to make it better but I'm at a loss. Perhaps someone else can think of something but I really do love the whole post and wouldn't change a word. Well done!

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