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[Last Round 2008] What's Left Unsaid


Delinda Sharee
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(( Intelligence Liaison Office, Starbase 118 ))

::The welcoming feast was over at long last and the boisterous Klingons that

had been in attendance were now preparing for their operatic performance

later on in the night. Quinn had taken the opportunity to retreat to her

office for a short while, at least. She needed the time to reorganise her

thoughts after the whirlwind of upsets, surprise ceremonies and unexpected

awards.

::The first thing she set eyes on as she stepped inside was the small

greenhouse perched on a podium toward the back of the office. Unable to

bring herself to get rid of it, she couldn't face it in her quarters either

and so had compromised by finding it in a place in her workspace. A small

sandstorm kicked up as she watched, churning red dust around the inside of

the glass.

::She sighed.::

REYNOLDS: Computer... Open a channel to the USS Independence. Priority

one, Lieutenant Commander Cody eyes only.

COMPUTER: Working.

::Unbuttoning the collar of her dress whites, she took a seat in front of

the console and waited. The report had come across her desk earlier that

day and she had intended to leave this call until tomorrow at the earliest.

But after the problems at the banquet, she wanted to make sure the message

got to him before she spent evening playing spy games on a black operation.

Quinn wasn't really one to assign much value to hunches and gut feelings,

but...

::...Better to be safe than sorry. That was her story and she intended to

stick to it.

::Eventually there was a small chime from the console and the Federation

logo was replaced with an all too familiar face. All the speculation in the

world hadn't quite hit this moment on the head and she forced an awkward

smile. How should she even address him? Commander? David? Why did even

the little things have to be so complicated?::

(( Bridge, USS Independence-A ))

::Dave was finalizing his own summaries as he caught up with the current

crew compliment in the chair. Although he knew this couldn't last forever,

there was a sense at least for the moment, Captain Mar was keeping him

somewhere within the command capacity. He still felt somewhat disjointed, as

if he were merely a voyeur of a new crew he had barely gotten the chance to

know, and not entirely certain of his fate.

::A twinge of a upturned mouth corner, he wondered what Ehlanii might say.

While outwardly he stood confident, inwardly his emotions whispered

unconscious thoughts he would not entertain in the spot moments of sleep.

::Speaking of which, that reminded Dave he had given Jophry his old medical

records from his Skiptrace days, and what he hoped were the answers to the

incurable insomnia that had plagued him after leaving. Would the Skiptrace's

old transporter logs have Dave's vitals, and preserved well enough for

either Dr. Calhan, or Dr. Remo, to work with? The grin did surface this

time. How strange to seek something simple as sleep. He hoped those old logs

were enough. He hoped there was still a place for him here.

::The HCO on duty interrupted his thoughts, turning in his chair.::

HCO OFFICER: Commander, you have a priority one com channel from Starbase

118 Operations. Your eyes only.

::David blinked in his direction, raising one brow.::

CODY: Excuse me?

HCO: That's what I have. It's an encrypted channel.

::He had a very good idea. David stood and nodded to Mr. Barnes, heading for

the turbolift.::

CODY: Take con, Mr. Barnes. I will receive this in my office.

::Or, at least the office that was his quarters.::

((mini time-warp: Cody's Quarters))

::Dave pulled the chair up to his desk before bringing the channel up,

studied the Federation logo, then input his access encryption code to have

the logo replaced with the officer he never thought he would see again,

staring at him through the screen as his thoughts froze. He took in the

woman with an uncollared shirt, zeroed in on two solid pips and one open one

as his crooked smile betrayed his enjoyment seeing her again.::

REYNOLDS: Commander.

CODY: ::Nodding.:: Commander.

REYNOLDS: I, uh... I have some news about your fa- About the JTSC-03.

::The enjoyment fell as Dave reassumed his professionalism. This wasn't a

personal call.::

CODY: Have we located the ship?

REYNOLDS: No, no sign of the shuttle itself. But we have the analysis back

on that triquetra you found.

::The object out of the sand Dave had taken with him. He pulled out the

triquetra from his knapsack and set it down in front of the screen, the

unusual piece of tech his Daedalus crew suspected was galactic in origin.::

CODY: Alright... Report.

::Quinn looked at him oddly, then took a breath and began to speak.::

REYNOLDS: Well, it has an unusual molecular structure, almost crystal-like.

It's possible that it could be used as a kind of energy storage - a

capacitor, essentially. But for remarkably high quantities, given its size.

It looks simple, but it's an incredibly advanced technology... I've never

seen anything like it.

::Dave listened, although he wasn't sure if he liked the direction the

findings were heading. He scratched his chin, suddenly reminded of his last

real time off here at this station, and where both he and Quinn were.::

CODY: ::With a slight smile:: Off topic, you're... looking good, really

great... Did the package I sent arrive alright?

::A startled blush crept up her neck and she glanced behind her, before

turning back to the screen and nodding.::

REYNOLDS: I, ah... Yes. Not so much as a scratch on it.

CODY: ...good. I hoped you'd hold onto it.

::He tried putting his professional face back on, but he suspected it was

halfway between that and the uplift coming from getting to chat with

someone, seeing her again, did funny things with his heart that he thought

was pumping a little too loudly in his chest.::

CODY: What else do we have?

::She blinked and stared blanky for a moment, caught out by the sudden

reversion of the topic.::

REYNOLDS: Uh... The elements present in the triqeutra aren't unusual, but

the isotopes are. They're not native to the Milky Way.

::That was not what he wanted to hear, but suspected, and Dave visibly

sagged. Dangerous thoughts returned, remembering as he crouched down in the

sand back on that planet. Quiet a moment, he and everyone else who had been

keeping track knew this was the first fact.::

CODY: [...]…

REYNOLDS: How are you?

::She looked a little surprised at the question herself, as though the words

had escaped her lips before she had fully thought them through.::

::Dave glanced at Quinn, although several hundreds (or thousands) of light

years away, the question was a welcome comfort, and offered a crooked

smile.::

CODY: I've had better days.

REYNOLDS: And how are you really?

::He chuckled. Guess they had spent enough time together to pick up on the

subtle ebbs of their respective personalities. Rubbing his eyes, Dave

lingered at his old work bench a moment, where he had crafted the greenhouse

for her what seemed like an eon ago.::

CODY: I'm not commanding right now, been gone on what you and I would

classify as a field operation, recalled back, and I'm not entirely sure

where I fit in anymore. At times it feels like home, other times… guess I'm

feeling a little useless at the moment.

::She nodded slowly.::

REYNOLDS: You're a good officer, you don't need to worry... You'll find

your place again.

CODY: I'm just getting some stuff out. It'll work itself out eventually, but

still…

::He let the thought settle a moment. There were a mix of myriad thoughts

and emotions behind that, but perhaps it was best to leave them alone. The

best he could hope for was one day the opportunity would come again. The few

facts behind the triqeutra were disturbing enough, only cementing the

knowledge the first leg down a long journey was commencing to a larger

issue. Oo Would it be my command, or someone else's? oO ::

CODY: ::Quelling his thoughts, smiling at Quinn.:: How about you? How are

you doing?

REYNOLDS: I'm fine.

::Dave gave her a long look, although still smiling.::

CODY: You're blushing. Shall we try asking again?

::She looked at him, rubbing a crimson cheek as a small, but genuinue smile

appeared on her face for the first time in the conversation. It faded

quickly and she shrugged as she started speaking.::

REYNOLDS: I, ah... ::She pursed her lips for a few seconds, then

continued.:: I can't sleep. Nightmares. About... You know. And a few

new things. Though I think its getting better. Intel's very different, but

it seems to be working and some old friends of mine have been posted to the

Starbase since I got here.

::It was a delicate subject. She gave him the full details once, although he

didn't press inward for the emotions driving behind the events. He wasn't

even sure if she wanted to talk about that. He suddenly realized there were

several things he didn't know if she wanted to talk about, nodding.::

CODY: Friends are good. They help us through the difficult times, sometimes

without realizing it…

::Quinn smiled faintly and nodded, her gaze unfocusing and drifting down and

off the to side - a clear indication that her thoughts had wandered

elsewhere.::

CODY: :: after a moment :: …do you want to talk about it?

::She looked up again, chewing her lower lip.::

REYNOLDS: I don't know if I can.

::Dave closed his eyes a moment as the emotions he thought were safely

locked in his heart tore a moment, remembering standing alone in these very

quarters after Quinn departed for Starbase 118.::

CODY: You mean…

REYNOLDS: I mean with you. ::She paused after a wince, then continued

quietly.:: I needed you, David. The one time I really needed you, and you

weren't there.

::Pain tore through him. The memories came as they had played out this

morning. Quinn, laying in Sickbay after the explosion. The imposter

masquerading around until they found out the truth, and remembering inwardly

screaming his inability to leave to check on her once they got her back. A

lightning kiss inside the JTSC-03 as it was parked inside the Independence

hanger bay, leaving the bedside on DS17 for the emergency meeting Admiral

Anassasi called, the one night together here.::

::David never hated his quarters more at the moment, himself. All things

that might have broken out, he kept his eyes closed a moment longer before

staring at her, finally nodding sadly.::

CODY: I know what I did.

REYNOLDS: I'm not try- ::She sighed and shook her head.:: I'm sorry. I

shouldn't have brought it up.

::Too many conflicting emotions tore through him. He wanted to leave, catch

a fast ship back to the station and try, try to make up his mistakes. David

blinked a few tears and took a breath.::

CODY: No, you had every right to say it. Like I said at the very beginning,

I was never very good at that sort of thing.

REYNOLDS: ::Low.:: Well, that makes two of us.

CODY: It doesn't mean we can't still work together. I.. ::swallowing:: I

want you to be happy. And have the bonds of a strong crew, a family, that

isn't going to be called away at a moment's notice, or not be there at your

side when you need them the most.

::Quinn looked down, uncomfortable and awkward, no words with which to

reply.::

CODY: ::He felt tears threatening.:: I'll always be around, if you ever need

to get a hold of me. Intelligence related or otherwise. For what it's worth,

I'm sorry. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you really needed me. I should have

been there. I wish I was.

::She looked up, then nodded slightly and slowly.::

REYNOLDS: It's okay. ::She paused.:: We'll be okay. You will, won't you?

::He felt horrible, and it killed him what came out. Was it wrong to want

the woman you loved happy?::

CODY: I will… you?

::She took a few moments to answer, watching him through the screen.::

REYNOLDS: Yeah. I'll get there.

::He nodded, all of sudden tired. He hoped one day she would forgive him.::

CODY: Let me know if you guys make any breakthroughs on the device… see you

again?

::Once again, Quinn took a short while to answer, drawing in a breath before

nodding.::

REYNOLDS: I'll keep you updated. I'd like to see the shuttle back where it

belongs. ::She reached forward to end the call, then hesitated, taking a

last look.:: Take care of yourself, David.

::After the screen winked out, a silent scream plagued him as the tears

finally tore.::

CODY: Computer… lights.

::The room went dark. Alone, he curled and heaved, feeling everything

accumulate that he kept locked inside his heart. It was always the same, no

matter what happened to the ones you loved. It never stopped you from still

loving them. Dave bridged his nose, wiping tears and shuddered, saying to

himself what wouldn't be fair to say to Quinn, and let her have the freedom

to live, and love, for what life brought.::

CODY: Love you… always will.

::He pulled the bluefire diamond necklace from a hidden compartment within a

drawer, a sad smile touching his lips, remembering her smell, holding her

the few nights they had, and the surprising intimacy of a simple cuddle. If

those memories were all he had left… he would live with that.::

::A moment later…::

CODY: ::Screaming:: [...]IT!

--

Lieutenant Commander Quinn Reynolds

Chief Intelligence Officer

Starbase 118 Ops

&

Lieutenant Commander David Cody

USS Independence-A

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