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Lt (jg) Mikali sh'Shar & Commander T'Lea - Conflict Resolu

S'Acul Aveunallliv

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( Corridor, USS Avandar ))

:: sh'Shar wiggled herself out of the Jefferies tube, stretching. Ahh... what a day, huh? ::

:: It was common knowledge that T'Lea fancied her a bit. Common knowledge and common sense. She was the beautiful big blue... who wouldn't want her? ::

:: It was okay. sh'Shar knew how to handle this. ::

(( Later ))

:: Standing outside sh’Shar’s quarters, two security officers waited on either side of the door, while T’Lea took front and center. She’d hit the door chimes twice already and was just about to order the doors overridden when they swished open to reveal a light blue Andorian woman wearing her uniform. Mostly. She had a large feathery boa around her neck, absently twisting the end. ::

sh’Shar: ::slightly purr-y:: Good evening, Commander.

:: To that, T’Lea simply arched the classic Vulcan eyebrow, and then nodded for the two security officers, who had been out of visual range, to enter the domicile. And so they did, with T’Lea following behind. sh'Shar threw the two security guards a displeased glare. They... complicated things. ::

T’Lea: Confiscate all alcoholic beverages, and include a security lock on the replicator prohibiting the use of alcohol in all of its forms.

Security: Yes, Ma’am.

:: The two burly men immediately went to work, scanning and searching the woman’s quarters. T’Lea stood near the center of the room supervising as every tawdry little square inch was turned over.::

:: Her mouth fell open and for a moment the pink boa was forgotten. ::

sh’Shar: Hey, that's my stuff! You can't just- ...

:: Well, they most certainly could. The Andorian watched as the security staff fairly roughly searched her quarters. The small bottle hidden inside a hollowed out PADD was discovered, along with the one stashed under her mattress. Her eyes grew despondent as one of the officers pried off the grill to the air vent, and her secret stash was discovered and taken away. ::

sh'Shar: ... I'm guessing this is because of S'Acul-face, huh.

:: Clasping her hands behind her back in a non-emotional, non-confrontational, professional manner, T’Lea turned to the Andorian and looked her square in the eyes.::

T’Lea: Mostly. You probably would have gotten away with it longer had you not violated several regulations with your… practical joke in sickbay. However, since I was forced to look at your service records, I came across a standing order from the USS Independence, which has been overlooked since your transfer here. I intend to rectify that. Now.

:: sh'Shar emitted a loud, long whine that varied in pitch from low and annoying to high pitched and screechy, then oscillated wildly between the two extremes. The Andorian's eyes darted between the Vulcan commander, then to the security officers, then back.::

:: Ahh… the beautiful sound of emotional turmoil. It was music to T’Lea’s ears when the Andorian vocalized her displeasure. Beautiful, beautiful, painful and somewhat annoying music.::

:: The clinking of bottles being placed into a large duffle bag pleasingly caught T'Lea's attention for a moment. Some of the stuff looked vintage and very hard to come by. The hybrid had a good mind to keep it for herself and replace her own stash, which Della had hidden away somewhere.::

:: Mikali crossed her arms, absently shrugging off the boa. T’Lea couldn’t help but wonder about the feather apparatus.::

sh'Shar: Aww, come on, Commander! You know that's not faaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaair.

T’Lea: Do not make me use force to accomplish this task, Lieutenant. As of this moment you are officially back on the sobriety program. You will attend meetings, abstain from alcoholic beverages and food stuffs, report to a counselor for regular sessions to monitor your progress, and be assigned a sponsor to help you through the-

sh’Shar: Blah blah blah! I know all that! They assign some hopeless dropkick to tell you all pointless crap that doesn't make any sense and is crap! "Surrender yourself to a higher power", blah blah blah. I surrendered myself to my antenna because they're higher than me and they're powerfu-

:: More [...]ing and moaning… it made T’Lea happy.::

T’Lea: Good, then you do not need me to explain the process. Seeing as how you have experience in this matter already, the reintegration should be relatively painless.

:: The sound of glass breaking in the bedroom drew those outside, in. sh'Shar came running at a tilt, gaping at the ruined shards of one of her bottles. At the doorway T’Lea saw the clumsy-handed security officer apologetically grinning at the shattered remains of a bottle on the floor. ::

Secruity: Sorry, Ma’am.

sh’Shar: That was twenty year Saurian brandy! It costs... ::she sighed, waving her hand, her antenna drooping over her head:: ... never mind.

:: Rummage-rummage-rummage-crash went the security officers. The door to her vanity was pried off and the contents upended; a dark brown glass bottle with "FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES ONLY" was added to the pile.::

T'Lea: That will be verified and returned if the Doctor prescribed it.

:: Yeah, there was no persecription for that. Watching as the guards picked up a small metal flask, Mikali wagged a finger. ::

sh'Shar: Hey, careful with that, you can't get Romuuuuu-... ::her voice faded away, realizing what she was about to admit to:: uuuuuusually illegal and I have no idea how it got in my quarters!

:: Romulan Ale. Didn’t take a genius to figure out what Mikali was about to say. Lucky girl, owning something as priceless as that. Unlucky that it was going bye-bye, never to touch her blue lips.::

T'Lea: Then we shall relieve you of the contraband. Keep it separate from the rest.

:: Mikali sighed again, reaching up and brushing back her antenna. ::

sh'Shar: Just don't crack the casing. If it leaks, the [...] stuff will slowly dissolve deckplating. Why people put it inside their bodies is... well.

:: She waved a hand absently at the Romu-Vulc, looking at the security guards. Not a very good liar, thought T’Lea, but still amusing.::

sh'Shar: You'd have to be a mean heartless booze-thief to even consider drinking such a thing.

T'Lea: You would have to be breaking the law to own such a thing.

:: This was far too entertaining for T’Lea.::

sh'Shar: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

:: The security officers turned to a smallshelf and scanned it briefly. There were a small number of assorted trinkets on the small wooden plank, all of various geometric shapes. ::

Security: Ma'am, this one's got fluid inside it, it's-

:: Mikali, as though suddenly remembering something for the first time, darted forward and snatched one of them -- a short, squat hexahedron with a stopper on top. Frightened, her antenna jamming ram-rod straight, she clutched it to her chest with both hands. ::

sh'Shar: No! Not this one. The rest of the booze, sure. Sure. But nothing from this shelf.

T'Lea: I cannot allow that.

:: Mikali clutched it as though fearful of dropping it. ::

sh'Shar: You don’t understand, these... these are Andorian age-shapes. They're gifts for children... each is supposed to have the same number of sides as the child's age in years on Andoria, which are about three times as long as Earth's orbit. See, um- that first one... it's flat, right? It's got two "sides"... it's for her second birthday. The cylinder is for her third, and and the triangular one -- I don't know the name of, uhh, a three dimensional triangle thingie -- is for her forth birthday.

:: Mikali pointed to the stopper in the six-sided shape. ::

sh'Shar: This one's for when she's six... or eighteen, in Earth years.

:: T’Lea listened closely, and eventually concluded that the vessels were sentimental and from Mikali’s childhood.::

T'Lea: Verify what is in the container?

:: The security officer pointed to his tricorder. ::

Security: It's practically rocket fuel, ma'am.

:: Mikali's voice cracked and she clutched the six-faced bottle closer, her expression fearful. ::

sh'Shar: It's... it's for my d-... daughter. It's full! I haven't had any! You can take the rest, just leave this!

T'Lea: You have a child?

:: Said, admittedly, more surprised sounding than she had intended. T’Lea gave a slightly curious tilt of her head, and quickly corrected her previous conclusion. The Andorian age-shapes weren’t Mikali’s, they were for sh’Shar’s daughter. It made sense now. Unless… this was a clever lie too.::

:: T’Lea slanted her head less curious and more disbelieving. Mikali didn’t have a child. T’Lea had never seen the kid around, and never heard sh’Shar speak of her before. Not even during their ten years on Eden.::

T’Lea: You have a child. Prove it. Where is she?

sh’Shar: She’s... she’s not here. She’s on Starbase 118.

:: It was the truth, but Mikali knew there wasn’t many ways she could prove it. ::

:: Playing along, T’Lea went with it.::

T’Lea: Why isn’t she on the ship with you?

:: Pain. ::

:: That was a painful question and it bought up all manner of painful memories for the Andorian. ::

(( Mikali’s Flashback, before her transfer ))

Walker: :: Blinking in confusion:: You’re pregnant? And um...wow. So are they going with you?

:: She grinned a little. ::

sh’Shar: I was. Now she is. Andorians, huh. ::Mikali nodded:: The rest of the group are staying here... so the kid is too. Just... just say you’ll drop in occasionally and make sure that...

:: Her voice tightened. ::

sh’Shar: That... that- that they’re not abusing her, okay?

:: Had a Borg walked up an asked for directions to a Ferengi swap meet, Luna could not have been more surprised::

Walker: Check for what?

:: Her voice picked up. Energized. Frantic, even. ::

sh’Shar: Check for bruises, welts, or cuts, but make sure they don’t let you see. If they know you know they’ll hide it better... check especially often on the back, or on the upper legs. They might be in a strip, like from a belt, or in a line from a switch or cane; even if you don’t find any, give her a little rub here and there, subtly, to make sure they’re not covering them with makeup. Watch how she reacts around them -- if she’s frightened around them, but not around strangers, investigate. Find out why. Check her hygiene... if she doesn’t take care of herself, or they don’t take care of her, that’s a bad sign. When she’s old enough talk to her, be her friend... when she can first talk she’ll share *everything* with you; young children don’t have secrets, so if she’s hiding something, or if she starts talking about herself negatively, or saying that she’s worthless or talking herself down -- if she’s anything other than a happy little kid -- you call me, okay? I’ll fly here so fast I’ll rip a hole in subspace and tear their heads from their slimy little-

Walker: Mik, it’ll be ok. I mean she’s going to be their daughter too, just calm down.

:: Her eye grew wide. Her voice went up in volume, then she forced it back down when heads began to turn. ::

sh’Shar: I’m not frakking kidding, Luna! You think it matters if she’s their daughter too?! If she acts like she’s walking on eggshells, she’s too polite like they’re about to snap, you gotta step in -- I’m relying on you here! If she’s extremely compliant, or fearful of making a mistake, that’s a warning sign -- if she starts avoiding someone, one of them probably, without a good reason I wan-

:: Finally understanding the reason for the request, Luna broke in::

Walker: If she has any of those warnnig signs, I’ll pull her out and raise her myself. I won’t let anyone hurt her. You have my word.

:: Finally, sh’Shar breathed and calmed down, somewhat. ::

sh’Shar: … okay. Okay.

(( Then, later... ))

sh’Shar: Wanna know something Alleran told me once?

Walker: :: Luna’s guilt spiked as she remembered how he’d saved her life. She nodded mutely for the other woman to continue::

sh’Shar: The fatality rate for small-craft pilots is 8% per year. That means that, on an average five year tour... one in three don’t come back.

:: She ‘winked’ with her good eye. ::

sh’Shar: You honestly think, given what you know about me... I wasn’t going to blow myself up at some point out here? I mean, hell, you practically saved my worthless blue hide by getting me that discharge... now I don’t have to go back to prison, I can... I can go do something worth something.

Walker: Mik, you were doing something worthwhile, that won’t be new you know.

sh’Shar: And... ::hesitantly:: … I can get as far away from Benna as possible, so that she doesn’t grow up to be like me.

Walker: :: Hearing the fear and pain in her friend snapped Luna’s spirit back for a moment.:: Mikali sh’Shar! If your daughter is LUCKY, she’ll be just like you. Willing to fight for what you believe, biting deep into the fruit of life, and spitting the seeds at those who get in her way.

:: Unconvinced, sh’Shar tried a joke. ::

sh’Shar: Maybe she’ll be an engineer too, huh?

Walker: :: Smirking back at her friend:: Well yeah, I mean I’ll be there to guide her away from those silly small ships. Bigger IS better after all.

:: Laughing, Mikali clapped her hands over Walker’s chest. ::

sh’Shar: Yeah, well, hey, if I had your cupsize imagine what I could accomplish-

Walker: :: Blushing furiously:: In SHIPS! More firepower more...:: She blushed more at the Andorian’s nodding smile:: You are unbelievable.

:: Mikali’s antenna wiggled and she grinned. ::

sh’Shar: Hey... I gotta be me, okay?

Walker: :: sighing:: It’s gonna be weird without you to talk to. The ship’s going to be empty.

:: Giving another sigh, Mikali was quiet for a moment then she spoke up, her voice soft. ::

sh’Shar: Wanna know something else he said?

Walker: Sure.

sh’Shar: “To live in hearts left behind... is not to die.”

:: She chuckled. ::

sh’Shar: I’ll be with you, in spirit, no matter where you go, okay? Just make sure you make sure Benna grows up okay and we’ll be fine.

Walker: I'll be there for her, for you. Just don't be gone too long ok? She needs her mother as well as her friend. And :: She paused as the emotion threatened to overwhelm her:: and I might miss having you around.

(( Flashbacks end ))

sh’Shar: I... I thought it was best to keep a small infant away from a Starfleet vessel, even... even one like this. It was just... it was...

T’Lea: I will rephrase the question. Do you want her on the ship with you?

:: Ow, ow, ow. ::

Security: That’s the last of it ma’am, except what she’s holding.

T’Lea: I will handle it. Leave the Romulan Ale with me. Verify the “medicinal” elixir, and get rid of the rest.

Security: Aye, Ma’am.

:: The two security officer’s headed out, and T’Lea turned back to sh’Shar who was still clutching the age-shape like it *was* her daughter.::

T’Lea: Answer the question.

:: For a moment it seemed like she was going to embark on a massive speech, but instead she just gave a defeated sigh and handed over the bottle. ::

sh’Shar: Because broken parents have broken children. Loony- ... Lieutenant Walker... is doing a much better job on her worst day than I could on my best. Just take it.

:: The object was a hexahedron with a tiny stopper on the top. It was modified -- originally just a solid object, Mikali had turned it into an almost-spherical flask, complete with working screw-top and metal interior. On the outside, a small plaque read, “Happy 6th rotation, kiddo! - Auntie Mikali”. ::

:: The age-shape was thrust toward the hybrid, and T’Lea didn’t hesitate to take it. In her mind, however, she did hesitate with what to do with it.::

:: [...].::

:: [...], [...], [...], mother freller. It would have been so much easier if T’Lea didn’t believe a single word, or emotion from the Andorian, but hearing and watching the woman, made it almost impossible for T’Lea *not* to sympathize.::

T’Lea: That’s it.

:: Mikali reached back, tossing her hair dismissively, completely ignoring the twin trickles of salt water running down both of her cheeks. ::

sh’Shar: Well I’m cleaned out, your goons have done their worst and I’m suitably chastised. Guess your work here is complete.

T’Lea: That is not what I meant.

:: Tears. Great. First she’d made tr’Khellian cry, and now this one. ::

:: Mikali, the most obnoxious person she had ever met was crying. It looked weird, not seeing her all annoying, but instead vulnerable. It was making T’Lea uncomfortable.::

T’Lea: Do you require something? Water, perhaps?

:: Water for tears? That wasn’t right.::

:: Whatever. Just don’t ask me for a hug, she thought.::

:: She didn’t react, just stared at the hybrid woman, the tears reaching her jawline and slowly working their way down to her chin. ::

sh’Shar: No, you know, I’m going to be fine. I can make another [...] shape without filling it with enough chemical energy to blast a hole in the hull, and anyway. It’s durasteel and polymer and carbon fiber. It’s just stuff and I can easily make another one.

sh’Shar: oO It’s not like it’s Evanna’s corpse, floating all out in space like a sciencey popsicle entombed within a claustrophobic little canister and tossed away like garbage. You know... its smelly existence subtly reminding us all of our mortality or anything. I mean, we got a new science officer now so who gives a stuff about little miss corpse, right? Oo

T’Lea: Come with me.

:: She left the bedroom behind and entered the living area. Mikali ambled along. ::

T’Lea: You are correct. Broken parents can have broken children. I was frakked up for a very long time, still am, but I am better than I was.

sh’Shar: oO Can. More like do. Oo

:: T’Lea popped the cork on the bottle and took a wiff, immediately retracting it from under her nose with a pinched expression. The vapors alone could get a person drunk.::

T’Lea: I accredit that to my daughter, mostly. It takes a continuous effort, but I am trying to improve myself for her.

:: At the recycle bin she held the bottle over the incinerator, eyed Mikali’s expression for a second, and then tipped the neck of the bottle downward so that its contents poured out and vaporized. The Andorian watched impassively, but it was a heartwrenching moment. ::

T’Lea: Doesn’t mean I won’t frak up ever again, but I would imagine T’Sara would rather have a mother that fraks up on occasion, than not know me at all.

:: The last drop gone, T’Lea put the cork back in the vessel, and held it out to the woman.::

T’Lea: Eighteen years is a long time.

:: It was, but Mikali did not plan on ever reuniting with her child. The gifts... sent under the guise of an ‘aunt’. She took the vial, slipping it into a protected pocket. ::

sh’Shar: ... thank you. ::firmer:: So what now?

T’Lea: I swear if I find that filled with booze again, I’ll break it over your head.

:: Mikali just nodded, numbly. ::

sh’Shar: Sure.

T’Lea: ::a tad softer:: Think about what I said. If you want her here, with *you*, let me know. ::beat, a tad harder:: In the meantime, you will be picking up S’Acul’s duty shifts while he is recovering in sickbay, and as of right now you are late for work, so get your [...] on the bridge, Lieutenant.

:: She couldn’t have Benna here. She couldn’t. What Mikali wanted for her... was more than the Andorian knew she could provide. She could try -- she could always try -- but trying never accomplished anything. “Do, or do not, there is no try.” An old Andorian saying... probably. ::

sh’Shar: Well, actually, I was-

:: T’Lea waited for the Andorian to exit, and then followed behind, still clutching the flask of Romulan Ale. She just couldn’t dispose of the stuff, and figured Della could add it to her collection of hidden booze. Maybe one day the evil Trill would actually let her enjoy it.::

T’Lea: Shut up and go.

sh’Shar: Bridge. Got it, Commander.

:: She stepped into a turbolift, closing her eyes after the doors slid closed. ::

sh’Shar: Turbolift, halt.

:: And out it came. The wailing torrent that had her, half bent over, crying until her lungs got sore. If she knew what she knew now, back last year, then things would be different. The child was a mistake. Coming here was... a blessing, really. But she should have sent the breeding group packing. The whole endeavour was pointless and had created an orphan. At the very least she could have sent them back to the breeding group, but she didn’t want to admit her failings to them. ::

:: More than her parents, more than her commanding officers or peers or subordinates, it was that breeding group whom she had genuinely tried to impress. For a time, too, she had put on a fairly good facade; they, in their regular-salt-of-the-earth mindset were entirely taken in by her deception. ::

:: And it was deception. She’d come clean to them in the end, but... ::

:: But here she was. Benna was light years away. The group could forgive a lie about rank or prestige or titles, but... but not something like this. This was one that she could never let them know about. ::

:: Finally, her body unable to produce any more, she pulled out the little shape and gave it a little rock with her arms. ::

sh’Shar: Hush, little baby, don't say a word, Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird don't sing, Mama's gonna buy you a... [...]it, what’s the word, uhh...

:: Feeling more than a little foolish, she put the little thing back into her pocket, then reached up and made sure she was presentable. ::

sh’Shar: Bridge.

:: She had a lot of duty shifts to make up. ::


Lt (jg) Mikali "Banshee" sh'Shar


USS Avandar


Lt. Commander T'Lea

First Officer

USS Avandar

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