S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Disjointed... Literally

Posted on Thursday October 1st, 2020 @ 08:56 hours by Mayterial Droz & Alexandria Farron & Lozen Nachtnebel

Mission: Safe Passage
Location: Mess Hall, Deck 2, S.S. Fawkes
Timeline: MD06 - Early morning
2975 words - 6 OF Standard Post Measure

For Alexandria, the last few days had been desperate and humiliating. The entire crew had heard about the incident in the shuttlebay, and it seemed that Captain May's efforts to downplay the assassination attempt had been successful. Many in the crew believed that a cat had simply gotten loose, and that she had not only made a complete fool of herself fleeing from it in terror, she'd also gotten in a fight with the captain, who had simply been trying to recover the cat. No one would believe the truth of the cat assassin out to get her, not even with the ugly aftermath of it out in plain sight. The ugly aftermath being her.

For the last few days, Alexandria had been a gooey puddle of allergies and sadness. Her eyes were bloodshot, her forehead covered in hives, and her nose was literally dripping with snot and mucus. She needed drugs. Drugs would help, but that would just be an even easier way for Captain May to kill her. She'd been sent away from her post on the bridge, after sneezing all over the place, and that banishment only served to make her position look worse among the crew. No one cared about her allergies, they only saw what they wanted to see. Normally Alexandria would have taken this time to gladly hide out somewhere alone, but she had to finish making her costume, and she had to eat.

Alexandria had only been two bites into her oatmeal when the female deckhand seated at the table next to her began to meow like a cat. Her male companion began to laugh, and decided to mock her as well. "Not the cat! Anything but the cat!" Alexandria wanted to cry. No, she wanted to die. But all she could manage was a gooey sneeze... right into her bowl of oatmeal. No one liked her. Most of her clothes were ruined. Her job was probably ruined. She felt like crap, and her Star Crusader cosplay was probably going to be the crappiest one at the convention. And now she had bits of oatmeal on her shirt and in her hair... again. She pushed the bowl of tainted oatmeal away and pulled her beanie down over her eyes, promptly getting it snagged on the sunglasses she'd forgotten were on her head.

Unable to take the unwanted attention, Alexandria stood and fled the mess hall, leaving her bowl of oatmeal there on the table. She was supposed to meet with Lo and Kari to finalize their cosplays, but she couldn't stand to be there alone for another minute. Instead, she fled to her secret hidey hole.

Kari had finally made her way into the mess hall. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and yawned as she stood at the replicator and ordered a simple breakfast consisting of a bowl of muesli and a tall glass of klava juice. Still groggy she made her way over to the table that was always Alexandria's preferred spot, she heard the deckhands behind her mumble to each other but didn't pay it too much attention. There was always some gossip going around and it seemed that lately there was only one thing they wanted to talk about anyway and that was the mysterious box humming away in the cargobay. Some were sure it was some sort of bomb, others thought there was a dead body inside. Nobody knew for sure so the stories went in every direction.

It was only then that she saw the bowl of oatmeal in front of her, some splatters of the stuff around it. She frowned a bit, still groggy from a rather restless night, and looked around. Alexandria was nowhere to be found. She leaned back over towards the deck hands, "any of you know what happened to the Navigator?"

"What, you mean growing up?" The man replied, the woman across from him chortled a bit at that, "She was here eating her oatmeal, slightly more skiddish then normal, and that's saying something. I think someone might've mentioned a cat, then she freaked out and ran off." The woman couldn't help but laugh at that.

"You're dicks, you know that right?" Kari downed the klava juice in one go, kind of getting a sense of what might have played out here before she arrived, she ate away at the bowl of muesli for a bit as she tried to narrow down where Alex might've fled.

Lo, currently serving herself an extra-large espresso with cream from the replicator, overheard Kari's exclamation and glanced around as the trill woman stalked away to the far side of the dining room with her bowl of steaming grain in hand. Then she overheard the deck hand's continued conversation.

"No wonder someone like that gets booted off the bridge."

"Cap kicked her out?" The woman laughed into her orange juice. "My gawd, how long before we have a new navigator d'you think?"

About then, Lo realized who they were talking about. The unfairness of it struck her. In the last few days of getting to know the skittish navigator, she'd developed a sisterly affection for her and an accompanying edge of protectiveness as well. She had heard about the great cat disaster of '95, but the delight it caused some of the crew both confounded and angered her. Aboard a Starfleet ship, bullying like this would be considered a serious problem of morale.

"Hey!" she called out to the deck hands. "Mind explaining the joke to me?"

The man and woman looked up, mouths snapping shut halfway through a shared chortle. They looked worried, which made Lo feel a little pleased. At least rank still counted for something on a boat like the Fawkes.

"U-uh, no joke," said the man. The woman nodded in agreement.

"Well, that's good. I'd heard there's need of a complete scrub of the sanitation system. By hand. I always find it funny when people are forced to smell like old manure for a week. Why don't you two head to your next duty shift?"

They shot her a look that positively smoldered, but both set about collecting their dishes. Not making friends there," she thought. But her spirits were lifted somewhat. Her gaze turned toward the trill from earlier.

"Hey," she said. "You're Alex's friend, right? Kari?"

Kari scratched her neck a bit, while she continued eating and thinking, "Oh, hi. I guess." She wasn't really sure what to call herself in relation to Alexandria, "We've bonded over some common interests." She smiled at Lozen, "thanks for that by the way." She said as the doors closed behind the two bullying deck hands.

"I have the feeling that those interests include Star Crusader?" Lo grinned, glanced over her shoulder at the two deck hands who were currently in the process of leaving the room. "And yeah. I don't like bullies."

"I'd never heard of that, to be honest, not big on old-style games," Kari focused down on her meal a bit, "It was the Trill-pop band Disjointed," It was such a cliche for someone like her to have liked the band, but she was a young girl and on Trill during their prime, so she couldn't get away from them, "there's this whole thing about a cat sent to kill her going around, I don't even know..."

"That cat thing's been going around. These idiots have too much time on their hands. I'm up to my neck in backlogged paperwork and even I'm hearing about it non-stop." Lo's smile left her face. " Um, Alex hasn't talked to me for three days now. I tried to check in after... well, after I heard about things, but she just yelled at me through her door. I don't know her that well, I guess, but... is she going to be okay?"

"Okay is relative, we better go find her though, before she does something we'll all regret." Kari shoved a couple more spoonfuls into her mouth before getting up and carrying her tray in the direction of the reclamation system, "I know where to look."

"Lead on."

It took them some time to navigate to the remote area of the ship where Alexandria had set up her secret hide-out. As they approached Kari motioned for Lozen to keep back a bit as she came closer, "Hey Alex," She said carefully, "are you alright?"

"What's the secret password?" Alexandria said, stating the challenge by habit, even though it sounded like Kari. Still, there was an awful lot of noise for just one person. It sounded like she'd brought others to her secret hidey hole. If it was a cat... she shuddered. She'd be done for.

"Fuck..." Kari muttered under her breath, "What was that song again?" She started to hum the melody, fast-forwarding through the words she could still remember until she got to the Chorus, "Always seen, never spotted!" She suddenly exclaimed in joy, hoping that the secret password hadn't changed in the meantime. If it had she at least hadn't received a memo on the updated password. She turned to Lozen, "wait here a moment, I'll try and ease her mind a bit." Lo grinned and nodded.

"Wait, who's with you? Show yourself!" Alexandria called out, even though that demand never worked in the holovids. Had Kari betrayed her? What she'd said sounded like something someone would say when laying a trap. Was she issuing commands to another assassin cat? Or had May stepped up her game and hired a real killer? Oh no! Alexandria squirmed, her back literally up against a wall.

"Lozen is with me, we were supposed to work on our costumes, remember," Kari tried to sound soothing and comforting, "She's worried about you, we're worried about you, Alex." She approached the silver blond navigator, hands up to show that she meant no harm, and squatted down near her, "What's going on?"

"Oh... well, uh, you were both late, so I figured you weren't coming." Alexandria lied. They'd only been three minutes late. Her usual cut-off time for social appointments was five minutes. Still, that didn't really explain why she was now in her hidey-hole. The mess hall had been full of haters, but she didn't want to admit that they'd gotten to her... even if she had fled the cabin in front of a bunch of people.

"But uh, you don't need to worry about me, my cosplay's done. I'll just need help putting it on. Are you both done?" She said, attempting to deflect their concerns.

"I think I'm almost done," Kari looked over her shoulder at Lozen, "And Lo made sure the people in the mess hall won't bother you anymore."

"They'll think twice before acting like that," Lo agreed, raising her voice to be heard down the cramped crawlway. "That's not how shipmates behave."

"See," Kari pointed over her shoulder before smiling at Alexandra, "and we're both super excited to see your costume. I still need help with some sewing, actually. I don't know how far Lozen is."

"Well, actually..." Lo felt herself flush a little and she rushed on, "I decided on a simple Commander Carter costume. You sort of inspired me, Alex!" And she said this with perfect truth. Before meeting the flighty Navigator, Lo knew that she never would have considered addressing a childhood wish like attending FantasyCon. But something about Alex made her feel free to be younger, sillier, than she'd been even in her youth. It felt good. She's a strange bird, as gramps would say, but I can't stand the thought of her being all alone in there and sad.

Then Lo remembered the sword.

"Alex!" she said, moving a little closer to the entrance. "I almost finished work on The Pulsar Sword. Just need to polish it, really. But listen to this: I decided I couldn't get it looking right with the replicator alone so I used one of the nacelle venting stations like a forge. How's that for an ultimate piece of Star Crusader cosplay?"

Kari was impressed with the amount of time and effort Lozen seemed to have put into the whole thing, and the enthusiasm she was exhibiting at it. Clearly this was something a lot more special to the two of them than to her. Kari was just along for the ride to support their socially awkward navigator, whom she considered a friend and for who she started to realise that being the friend was all Alexandria needed right now.

Alexandria was initially concerned to hear about them standing up for her. That might make some people think twice about giving her a hard time again, but until she learned how to stand up for herself, nothing would really change. But that sentiment rang hollow. She didn't really believe that people could change. The person she was now, was the person she would always be. All she could hope to do was surprise people with sides of her that they hadn't yet seen. Courage was rarely one of them.

But then Alexandria thought about the Star Crusader, the hero of the story, but not the only hero. Some would only do what they thought was right. Others would betray the Star Crusader if they weren't treated the way they wanted to be treated. But generally speaking, more allies made the hero stronger. Maybe the others wouldn't mess with her so much if they knew she rolled with a squad. Maybe Captain May would too... she and her cat assassin.

"Let's do it then. We'll grab everything and meet at my cabin." Alexandria managed to say in a calm voice, even though she was anything but calm. She was quivering with anticipation. The Pulsar Sword had been plasma forged? That was so badass, she couldn't wait to see it. Just when she thought she'd kept a lid on herself, she let out a little squee of delight. Embarrassed, she attempted to play the noise off as simple exertion as she scooted out of the corner and attempted to leave. But Kari was still half in the tiny crawlspace and there was only enough room for one of them to leave at a time. Before she knew it she'd gotten the both of them stuck, or so it felt.

"Uhh.... oops." Alexandria said, finally seeing Lozen there just outside of the crawlspace, in the Jeffries tube. She cracked a toothy grin of pure awkwardness as she flailed her arms in an attempt to find some sort of handhold to either pull or push herself free. But the only places her hands could find were places on Kari that were not very polite for hands to be holding. It was all she could do to keep her hands off of her friend. Forget allies, now both of Alexandria's friends were going to think she was not only a spaz, but a total creep too.

"Wow, hold on there gropey," Kari couldn't reverse course in time and Alexandria had gotten them both stuck, "all you need to do is ask, you know that right?" She added to try and bring some levity to the situation. It was moments like these where she really had to remind herself that Alex was a capable, intelligent, young woman, but that she was like this due to her youth. It would take time to get her acclimated to society. Apparently, a lot more than had been allowed to her in the past, "Just hold still, Lo, grab my hand." She reached out hoping to be pulled free.

Lo held in a belly-laugh with great difficulty and stepped forward to help. Unfortunately, with Alex squirming around, that made it difficult. Lo gripped Kari's forearm and pulled, but found herself outmatched as she ended up tugging both entangled women at once. She found herself snorting with laughter even as she redoubled her effort, placing a foot against the wall to get a better purchase. "You really got wedged in there," she said, failing in her effort to contain an unladylike chortle.

"Thank for pointing out the obvious, Lo," Kari took a moment to calm down and twisted her body a bit to allow for a better exit, she then pulled in her belly to create some room. it wasn't much but it was just enough to wedge her loose enough to allow for a strong pull to dislodge them. Sending the three of them sprawling to the floor with a dull thud and a loud harumph, "That's gonna leave a mark."

For a second or two Alexandria flopped like a fish out of water, but finally free of the net. She'd felt her shoulder pop somewhere while stuck in the great crewman pretzel, and now it hurt quite a bit. A lot, actually. She may have dislocated it. How ironic it would be, to become literally disjointed in a secret hidey hole, with a password named after a song by a band of the same name.

"Uhh.... before we finish our costumes, we may need to make a detour to the medical bay first." Alexandria said with a wince, clearly trying to move her arm, but unable to. "But first... we need a lie. Any lie. But something badass." There was no way she'd be able to go in there and say she fucked up her arm getting it stuck between a hard place and... Kari's butt.

"The doc might not care, so long as the procedure is paid for," Kari sat on the floor for a moment catching her breath, "maybe something with the sword?" She looked over at Lozen and Alexandria, wondering how they could concoct a convincing lie on how a navigator would've dislocated a shoulder during a dull and uneventful passenger and cargo run, "We'll think of something before we get there."


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