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Ensign Necessity James - Bakery Blues


Ensign Ambrosia Hayley
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((USS Darwin, Deck 6: VIP Quarters))

Hheinia: The sun beams like a warm oven, but we love it. We're a simple
people Lieutenant and Talvath is a simple planet. We engage in our own
business and the concerns of the empire or those around us are of no
interest.

Eickleberger: It seems like a lovely place that...

::Nessa continued to pace the VIP quarters, noting her plush and
comfortable surroundings for the first time. It just added fuel to her
animosity pyre, which was in no danger of extinguishing as it was. She
couldn't be less interested in the weather on Talvath at this current
moment. To his credit, she sensed, neither could the governor. She could
very well die today - again. At the hands of a group of Romulan
pseudo-terrorists - again. Today was not a good day to die. It was a very
different story when she was a teenager, but over the last three or four
years Nessa had resolved not to die. She hadn't worked out what to live for
yet, so dying already was not an option. It was an ironic twist that one of
the key people in her not having died already was also Romulan. She had to
remember that. It was difficult at times.::

Nessa: ::Butting in abruptly with a question of her own.:: Ever met a
Senator Vreeya, guv'nor?

Hheinia: ::Continuing to look out the window.:: No I haven't.

oO Didn't think so... Oo

Nessa: Frankly, she's the reason we're both standin' here and neither of us
is bleedin'. Never spoke to her, like, but she taught me that Romulans can
be good people, jus' like anyone else.

Hheinia: What a profound suggestion.

::In a distant corner of her mind, a small part of Nessa realised how petty
and vaguely racist that was. But that corner of her mind was well out of
communication range at the moment; between it and her seemed to stand the
entire Romulan Star Empire.::

Nessa: Are you a good person, guv'nor?

::It was a simple question. An honest one, such as your six year-old child
might ask after being taught about morality for the first time and not
really grasping it properly. But Nessa did believe in good and evil. In
between there was a whole lot of grey, she understood that. Sometimes, good
people do bad things; Nessa herself was a shining example of that, and
doing her best to prove it right now. But at the core of it, some people
were good. Others were not. It was a valid question, in her eyes, though
not one she expected an honest answer to. Under the circumstances, the
governor was hardly likely to turn around and say "No, I'm pure evil!", but
it *was* better than punching him in the face...::

Hheinia: I think you'll find my people would certainly consider it so.

Nessa: ::Noddingly, slowly.:: Well, if you ain't, and I live to regret you
not bein' in an 'olding cell right now... ::Softly:: Just want ya to know
that I never got to see the face of the last Romulan that tried to kill me.
As you can see, 'e failed. Me poor addled mind could easily be persuaded he
looked a lot like you though. Play nice an' that honour could be Sindari's
instead, sure as sure.

Eickleberg: Ensign! I think it's enough from you.

Hheinia:: It's fine Lieutenant.

Nessa: ::Smiling sweetly:: Don't mind me, sir. Just conductin' a bit o'
diplomacy o' me own.

::The sudden change of countenance of the Romulan governor was, Nessa had
to admit, briefly concerning. It was almost as if he had resolved to hate
her almost as much as she instinctively hated him.::

Hheinia: The Lieutenant might be able to help me with this, but is it
standard diplomatic policy to threaten people?

oO Seems to be, in the Star Empire... Or is that just in your Intelligence
service? Oo

Eickleberger: I'm very sure she didn't mean it as a personal threat sir.

Hheinia: Oh I assure you Lieutenant, It was meant as exactly that.

::With a slight smirk on her face, Nessa nodded faintly.:: oO Yep. Sure as
sure. Oo

Hheinia: ::Looking at the young Ensign.:: I've seen it so many times. You
grow up hearing all about Romulans and how bad they are and all the nasty
things they've done. Yet you know nothing truly about us or what our values
truly are.

oO Hearing about them? Sure, yeah... hearing... Oo

((Flashback - 15 Years Ago, London Hotel Room))

::From under the blanket, wet, terrified eyes looked out from behind a
tangle of dirty brown curls. The horrible man was still there, chuckling to
himself. The beads of sweat on his pallid flesh glinted in the lamplight,
and even though he'd removed himself from her, the stink of Kali-fal hadn't
diminished at all from the near-noxious odour she'd just been subjected
to.::

S'Lhaerrh: You know, you weren't bad. ::He said, in a tone which disgusted
her. The more she thought it might be genuine praise, the more disgusted
she became.:: A little... inexperienced, but... I suppose that's to be
expected.

::He chuckled to himself. Another thing Nessa hated about the vile man; it
sounded like a metal rod stuck in a wood chipper.::

S'Lhaerrh: Perhaps I'll make use of you again, the next time my employer
sends me to this... place.

Nessa: ::Mumbling under her breath, through the folds of blanket.:: You...
you ain't never seein' me again, sir. Not never. I ever see you come back
'ere, I'll be gone. One way or t'other.

S'Lhaerrh: Little girl, you do not seem to understand. If I want your
company, my employers will see to it. ::He smiled, a disgusting smile which
revealed stained, yellowing teeth Nessa would rather never see again.:: The
wheat rarely gets a say when it is time to make bread.

::With that he left, as quietly as he had entered. As soon as the door
clicked closed, she sprang to her feet and ran, naked, to the window. It
was locked, of course. Part of her knew it was going to be. And she had
nothing to hand capable of breaking through reinforced glass that thick. To
keep out the noise of the street, they claimed. Right now, it felt like it
was designed specifically to trap her here until the woman, Osfrid,
returned. Turning back to the bed, Nessa saw the smear of blood on the
sheets, and her knees betrayed her. She collapsed to the floor, and started
to cry. When she was in tact - before she'd bled - that was the most
valuable to anyone she was ever going to be, Osfrid had said. So now what
was she? Just a sheaf of wheat. Wheat had no say when it was time to make
bread.::

((End Flashback))

Nessa: ::Enraged:: Values? You wanna t-

::The governor began speaking again, which further incensed the pink-haired
Ops officer. She decided to let him continue, closing her eyes and
breathing in through her nose slowly, just like Brey had taught her.
Secretly she was quite glad. He was beginning to have a point, and she
didn't like that one bit. But "grow up hearing all about Romulans and how
bad they are" had lost him that momentum, and the follow-up left jab, "you
know nothing truly about us" had removed all sense of doubt. Nessa glared
at the man now, with dead eyes and a stoney heart. She hoped Eickleberger
was medically trained.::

Hheinia: I'm not finished Ensign! You got a free hit before but I'm not
about to let you slander me OR my people without challenge. ::Pausing to
direct this conversation.:: Don't presume to Judge me Ensign. I made a call
about Sindari and his character for MY purposes. Nothing about his
background said he might hijack a Starfleet Vessel nor could I have cared
less if he did. Our current set of circumstances obviously changes things.
Your vapid comments do nothing for our situation.

oO Vapid? Vapid?! Oo

::As soon as she found out what "vapid" meant, she was probably going to be
*so* cross about that comment.::

Eickleberger: Neither does having to engage such comments. Some things
should be ignored. Even if they do need punishment later.

::Glaring at Eickleberger:: oO Punish me all you want. It can't be no worse
than what he's doin'. Oo

Hheinia: When all this is cleared up, and I assure you it WILL be, I"m sure
you'd like my assessment of my treatment to be one of thanks. As it stands
Ensign you are the physical manifestation of why the quadrant cringes at
Starfleet, and when my report gets handed in as to whether I choose to
enter Starfleet or not enter it. I'm sure your Career might develop a
hiccup when I tell them that you singlehandedly jeopardised any hope of
that.

((Flashback - Two Years Ago, USS Victory))

::Nessa stared at the conn with abject despair. There was literally nothing
she could do right now. Her life, and that of the crew, the Starbase, the
Thracian Alliance, even the sector, was now in the hands of Colt Daniels,
Harold Foster and his team of scientists. And Foster was in sickbay with
radiation burns from the test-firing of the weapon, which hardly filled her
with confidence. Nessa glanced towards tactical, where Daniels was
currently working. Briefly he looked up, and their eyes met. That was when
the faintly-glowing candlelight of hope was finally extinguished. Colt's
eyes weren't smiling today. His eyes always smiled at her, even when his
face didn't want to. But not today. Today his eyes said 'I think this is it
for us, Nessa'. His eyes, much like the rest of Colt Daniels, could get
away with calling her Nessa. Not many officers could say that. But it
looked like this would soon be irrelevant. They were stricken, on emergency
power. A metal husk, floating in space, with innumerable Romulan warheads
heading their way, destined to wipe out the Starbase and most of the
organised military presence in the sector. And Nessa James could do
nothing. They were going to die, she was pretty sure of that now.::

::The wheat doesn't get a say when it's time to make bread.::

((End Flashback))

Nessa: ::Shaking her head ever so slightly.:: You're massively over
estimatin' how much I care about your "assessment" of your treatment, or me
career for that-

Hheinia: You swarm into MY colony and members of my colony attempt to stage
a takeover of your ship, and you stand here and preach and JUDGE my people.
As if you can assess the entire race from the actions of a few. ::Pointing
directly at the Ensign.::You are lucky that unlike you, I can see past
short sighted assessments, like mine of you. Starfleet has much to offer me
and my Colony, unlike your worthless racist assessments.

::Hheinia probably thought he'd got her on the ropes. Or maybe in his mind
that was a knockout blow, or at least a knockdown. What Hheinia didn't
realise was that he wasn't even in a boxing match. This was a verbal
streetfight, lawless and unregulated, and Nessa *preferred* to be backed
into a corner. That's where she was most dangerous. The ensign saw
Eickleberger out of the corner of her eye, desperate to interject himself
and retain some sense of decorum, to maybe salvage some kind of
relationship with the governor. Nessa deliberately stepped forward,
physically blocking him out. If Starfleet wanted decorum, they shouldn't
have sent in Necessity James.::

Nessa: You wanna stand there and bang on at me about how I judge you, and
your race? Tell you what, guv, I'll cut you a deal; The day I meet a
Romulan, and no other Romulans try to kill me, mug me, violate me body, me
mind or me ship or 'urt me friends, *then* I'll stop judgin' you. You say
I'm prejudiced? I am, sure as sure! And I'll remain prejudiced until such a
time as your people stop confirmin' every bloody prejudice I 'ave! ::She
was vaguely aware of a burning sensation in her eyes, and a dampness on her
cheeks, but ignored it.:: *My* people were *asked* to *your* colony by
*you*! To *help* your people when your OWN FETHIN' EMPIRE wouldn't!

::She was dimly aware she was yelling at him, but by this point her mind
was careening down a single track with no hope of return. She was far, far
past caring about decorum.::

Eickleberger: ::Raising his voice and adding finality to his tone:: That is
enough Ensign. Now. ::Turning his head to the Governor.:: Sir, you'll have
to forgive the actions of some of the crew. They know not what they do.

::In one of the many moments from today that Nessa would come to later
regret, she forcibly shoved the diplomatic officer out of her way.::

Nessa: NO, sir! It is NOT enough apparently because THEN, the very people
YOU brought onto OUR ship try to *STEAL IT FROM UNDER OUR NOSES*! They're
up there *right now*, possibly killin' *my* friends, *my* family! And *I'M*
IN THE WRONG?!

::Nessa took a much-needed breath, but it didn't do much to calm her. She
noticed her tears for the first time, and wiped them away with the back of
her hand.::

Nessa: ::Slightly calmer, to begin with:: Listen, I ain't got no problem
with the hundreds of thousands of Romulans down there ::she pointed,
vaguely, at the window:: doin' nothin' wrong. What I *DO* 'ave a problem
with is the ones stealin' me ship, SHOOTIN' AT ME FRIENDS AND FAMILY! ::At
this point she was reduced to vitrolic screaming, as tears streamed down
her face.:: THE ONES WHO VIOLATED ME, *KEEP* TRYIN' TO KILL ME, FIRED
*WARHEADS* AT ME! IT'S ALWAYS ROMULANS! IT'S *ALWAYS* FETHIN' *ROMULANS*!
And now you wanna join STARFLEET?! You wanna be part of *MY* family?! After
all you've DONE?! After all you're doing *RIGHT NOW*? How many *MORE* Tal
Shiar agents are down on that planet right now that you have ::she made
finger-quotes in the air,:: "NO IDEA ABOUT"?! To hell with that! And to
hell with *YOU*!

::As the rage incited by Hheinia's words began to ebb away, only then did
Nessa began to realise what the last few moments must have looked like to
poor Lieutenant Eickleberger, who had been marginalised and shouted over
throughout. Who had watched his diplomatic escort completely implode in
front of him and almost beyond doubt take any hope of reconciliation with
the Romulan governor with it... What she had just committed was suicide.
Career suicide, this time. But still suicide. An officer with her record,
with her past... there was no coming back from this, surely?::

oO But it wasn't *fair!* How *dare* he stand there and say those things! Oo

::But perhaps the millions of Romulans who had not yet committed grievous
acts in violation of her body, health or spaceship didn't deserve to be
tarred with the same brush as 95% of the Romulans she had actually
physically met. All chickens laid bad eggs sometimes, right?::

oO Am *I* a bad egg? Is that *why* all this keeps 'appening? Oo

::Suddenly, the realisation hit her that Eickleberger and the governor were
both still standing in stunned silence, looking at her. She was still
sobbing near-uncontrollably, her eyes red-raw. Breathing in ragged,
tattered breaths with sweat glistening on her brow, she'd been standing
there, staring into space, for at least five seconds... She looked a
complete state, and even the security guards had re-entered to see what all
the fuss was about. With a large sniff, Nessa drew herself up to her full
five feet seven, and looked the governor in the eye.::

Nessa: ::Pathetically, with polite nod that was far too little too late.::
Good day, sir.

::Nessa turned on her heel and tried to calmly leave the room, but after
three steps of near-serenity she quickly degenerated into a blubbering,
sobbing half-sprint, and barged past the security officers. The younger one
tried - too late - to block her path, but Oakley signaled that there was no
point.::

::Behind her, she faintly heard Eickleberger's plea.::

Eickleberger: I understand unfortunately sir that it can be hard to
separate someone's views can color our outlook on an entire group. Just as
you said. Hopefully you yourself are above such base judgements of the
crew...

((Time Warp))

::Several minutes later the adrenaline had worn off, and Nessa found
herself in some Jefferies tube or other. She wasn't sure where, or overly
sure that she cared. She had her knees hugged tightly to her chest and her
face buried in between them, sobbing uncontrollably. As the incandescent
rage disspitated in her little cucoon of calm, her mind drifted towards the
apologies she was going to have to make... Lieutenant Eickelberger, Captain
Reinard, Lieutenant Falcon... Hheinia, obviously. The more she thought
about it, the more upset she became.::

::Once again, she was wheat. And it was time to make more bread.::

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I managed, somehow, to select the wrong round (I'm sure I clicked on 6) as I made this. Could some kind person correct it for me, I can't work out how to from my side :P

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