“Cyrin & ‘Kara: Charon’s Bonnie and Clyde”
[USS Charon, shuttle bay]
Once again Sakarra found herself in the middle of hectic activity. The flight deck was swarming with people, patching up whatever they could in the short amount of time they had been given. The result was not exactly pretty, more like an old fashioned terran quilt, but it would have to do.
A more pressing concern was in fact the shuttles that were supposed to use this patchwork … something (at the moment one could hardly call it a shuttle bay) less than three hours from now. More than two third of them were in dire need of maintenance but nothing was moving as it should have. Certainly, there were some crewmen tinkering with engines here and there, even an entire engineering team running diagnostics “Like it’s gonna go outta style” as Mr Chell had so aptly observed.
But it wasn’t going to be enough. Not if the situation on Lyrilia was as bad as reports indicated. And it was only going to get worse.
Brushing some stray strand of hair out of her face, the young woman looked at her PADD again. What good were the best calculations if reality couldn’t keep up with them? Well, logically there was but one thing to do now.
She stuffed the PADD into her uniform jacket, located a lonely toolkit and made towards one of the unattended shuttles. Couldn’t be that hard, it had engines and it flew. How much different from a fighter could it be? And she sure had taken apart and put back together more than one of those.
The first thing M’Riarr noticed when she walked towards where apparently her department head had disappeared to, was the lower half of a humanoid sticking out of a maintenance hatch.
“Yes. Would you kindly hand me that hyperspanner?”
The Caitian looked around and saw an open tool kit placed conveniently next to the legs that belonged to the voice echoing in the hatch.
“Here you go. Watch your head though… sorry. What are you doing in there anyways, Ma’am?”
For several seconds M’Riarr received no other reply, but then the half-Vulcan helmsman slowly emerged and placed the spanner back in the kit with a rather satisfied air about her. It went rather cute with her mildly ruffled hair, the Caitian noted idly and then remembered why she was here.
“Obviously I am tending to the minor issue with the “Verona’s” engines, Ensign. And I believe I have mentioned..”
“Yes. No Ma’am-ing, sir. And no sir-ing either. Sorry. Anyways, there’s a communiqué from the Chief of Operations. He wants to talk to you.”
“Indeed.” Sakarra tilted her head briefly, checked her internal clock and nodded. “Has the damage to Santa Fe been evaluated yet?”
“From the sound of Shenn’s cursing, she’ll be up and running by tomorrow.”
Sakarra closed the hatch, straightened her uniform jacket and dismissed the Caitian with a nod before tapping her comm badge. If Mr Dicari wished to see her, now was just about the only time she had to spare.
Cyrin was sitting at his desk going over the damage on the Flight Deck. He wasn’t too pleased with it, but luckily Sakarra would be understanding. He wondered why she didn’t hate him so or dislike him especially with everything he had put her through. He sat waiting for her to arrive.
Moving down the corridor with her usual dignified stride, Sakarra kept her gaze fixed on the PADD containing the maintenance and repair progress.
Logically, they would have to improvise yet again, there was simply no helping it. With half of the engineers already toppling over from sheer exhaustion, one could hardly expect every shuttle to be ready on time.
She turned to walk through the doors to the Chief of Operation’s office and found Mr Dicari behind his desk. Greeting him with a polite nod, she noticed not only a small change on his uniform collar, but a mildly troubled air about the young half-Betazoid. At first Sakarra was mildly surprised to even have picked it up, however all things considered it was not entirely unexpected.
“I am gratified to see you have returned to duty, Ensign. You asked to speak with me?”
“Please take a seat Ensign. And please Cyrin, you know me a bit too well to be calling me Ensign.” He said smiling. “Can I offer you some coffee?” He asked before standing up and pushing a few buttons on the replicator which produced a pot of coffee, cream, sugar, and two cups. “I have gotten the reports on my flight deck as well as the shuttles. I take it you are reprimanding those crewmembers responsible for the destruction of the flight deck as well as the shuttles?” He asked. He was wanting to get past this part as fast as possible to really ask her what was on his mind.
“Reprimanding?” she accepted the coffee rather gratefully and wrapped her fingers around the cup, for the moment simply enjoying the warmth emanating from it. “No, … Cyrin. I should in fact think many of the crew deserve a commendation for going above and beyond what one could expect - at least where individual effort is concerned. What has been lacking is coordination and of course there are numerous other… problems on board that influence the proceedings.”
Sakarra studied the young Betazoid’s face for a moment and then continued
“I would however appreciate assistance in organizing repair and maintenance. It has become rather difficult to do that in addition to my other duties.” she handed the PADD across the desk so Cyrin could at least get an overview of the proceedings in what was by all accounts one of his domains.
“And I believe ‘Sakarra’ shall suffice as well.”
“Ensign…Sorry, Sakarra, my terms of reprimanding is typically those crewmembers aiding in fixing the problem. Nothing more than that. If I knew fully what has been going on, I would most likely be inclined to agree with you, but as I do not, I do not leave room for much judgment. At least on my behalf.”
Taking the padd, he quickly scanned over it before setting it aside. “I would be more than happy to send a team to aid in repair’s of both the shuttles and the flight deck. I really don’t want to irk the Commodore again, especially after she has given me a second chance, and this promotion still.” He said with an air of respect for the Commodore, one that he lacked awhile back. “Though this pip weighs heavy on me and is a constant reminder of what I have done.” He said with remorse as he added some cream and sugar to his coffee before taking a sip.
“Ens-Sakarra, now that we have that out of the way, I have some other things I need to talk to you about.” He took a breath, “First, I wanted to thank you personally for all the help you have given me during that…incident. Secondly, I wanted to a apologize for any undue stress that I presented to you. Thirdly, out of everyone on this ship…I trust you, even more so than I trust myself.” He paused for a moment to let her absorb what he was saying. “I can only hope that your judgment isn’t clouded of me because of what I have done, and I hope we can become friends. Though if you wish to remain colleagues that is understandable. I also know that you are part Betazoid just like I am, so we both are hybrids. I could use your guidance and advice. I am mentally blind, I look at people and see their faces but I don’t see them. This is weighing heavily on me and is interfering with my ability to perform my abilities let alone my ability to communicate with people because I can’t see them, if you will.”
Taking a sip of his coffee after blowing on it for a few seconds, he continued “I tell you this because I know that you might be able to help me out, but I will understand if you would rather not help me out. I have not told sickbay this, nor anyone else save for one person, and she is full Betazoid. Will you help me? If not, I again reiterate that I do understand, and I am not saying we have to do this right away. I have managed to do my job as best as possible. Yet, this isn’t a life or death issue.” He had said a mouthful, and leaned back slightly more relaxed in Sakarra’s presence.
The young woman had set down the cup and listened intently, fingers steepled under her chin. When Cyrin leaned back, she still kept her level gaze on him for several seconds. Finally, she nodded.
“Cyrin Dicari, before I can give you an answer I believe it would be wise to clarify a few matters. While I am indeed a hybrid like yourself, you should be aware that in any matter of consequence I am in fact Vulcan. Or to put it in simple terms, you are very likely more Betazoid than I will ever be. However, I have lived on Betazed long enough to be able to … comprehend.“
She tilted her head like she often did when deep in thought, allowing her own mind to settle and focus towards this new situation.
“For both those reasons, neither thanks nor apology are necessary. Nor can I pass the judgment you mentioned. While it may be impossible to explain the Vulcan point of view to you, … “
Sakarra dropped her folded fingers into her lap and gave a small exhale. This was slightly difficult, but Four Deities alone knew how frightening and painful it had to be for him to be mind-blind. Her dark eyes squarely rested on those of the young male across the table.
Before he could answer, or ask any questions she was not quite prepared to answer, the young woman briefly raised her hand.
“And yes, I am going to help you. You better than anyone should know that ‘no life and death issue’ is not entirely correct. However, since I do not know what has caused your condition I cannot say how long it may take to find a solution. Am I correct in assuming there is no medical reason and this is not a drop in neurotransmitters due to stress and fatigue?”
Cyrin nodded to Sakarra slightly as she spoke. “I have not visited sickbay, not since they let me out. I did not tell them of the ordeal. I know you were there at the onset of it… but it has become far worse. So I cannot honestly answer if it is caused by a drop in my neurotransmitters from stress or fatigue.” He sighed, “What would you do… to help me out that is?” His curiosity peaked at the potentially of getting his empathy back.
Sakarra pondered how to best put things into words that by and large could not be explained with language alone and moreover, were not usually discussed with off-worlders.
Then she remembered T’Meni’s favorite phrase and there was a small but gentle smile twinkling in her eyes.
“Cyrin Dicari, as the Chief of Operations, if there is a malfunction on board - let us assume the sensors are not working properly - and you are unable to trace the problem’s origin, how do you proceed? Let us also assume you suspect which system was first affected and subsequently caused a cascade failure.”
Cyrin pondered the question for a moment, “I would first check the main system, and then progress to each system after ruling out certain variables.” He answered.
Sakarra nodded and picked up the coffee again. It was rather mild compared to her usual blend but the taste was quite agreeable nonetheless.
“What you described would be an equivalent to my accessing your mind to search for the cause of your mind-blindness. However, there is a significant difference between your mind and a ship’s computer - self awareness. You are capable of a self-diagnostic to remain within the metaphor, if only you know what to look for. And considering your … reluctance to allow the touch of another’s mind, I would consider that the preferable approach. But I must point out that this might take some time. And at some point it might still become necessary for you to allow me to relay certain information in the manner that is more natural to a Vulcan.”
She took another sip of the coffee and relaxed ever so slightly in the chair. In fact, she had a theory what had caused the young half-Betazoid’s troubles, but she could not be certain. And the last thing she wanted was to frighten him by proposing something that was indeed natural and instinctive to her kind, but of terrible intimacy at the same time. Truth be told, if she had not already touched his mind before and therefore felt at least a small connection, Sakarra would hardly even have considered this herself.
No, a meld would reveal the source without fail and certainly much faster but she preferred to use it only as a last resort.
“Essentially, I would propose a form of guided meditation rather than accessing your mind directly, and only using the mind-touch when needed and with your explicit permission.”
Cyrin listened to her proposal, he didn’t much care for the mind meld part. He knew that she wouldn’t hurt him, but still none the less he didn’t like it as an option. “I see,” he said taking a sip of the coffee.
“Ensign…Sakarra” he corrected himself, “I am willing to do anything to be able to ‘see’ again.” He placed a strong emphasis on the word see, “Though I lack the discipline that comes so naturally to you. That isn’t to say I can’t do it, but I don’t want to trouble you anymore than what I already have. I don’t want you to think of me as a necessary inconvenience… well not quite necessary, but never the less an inconvenience.” He stated taking another sip of the coffee.
Sakarra slowly tilted her head to one side, studying the young half-Betazoid’s face in the cold starship lighting.
“What is it you fear, Cyrin Dicari? I have already stated that I intend to assist you. It is not the Vulcan way to view rendering aid to another as ‘inconvenience’, quite the opposite.”
Her low, melodious voice had an unusually mild undertone when she continued “As for the discipline coming naturally … do not mistake composure for ease. “
“Sakarra, you have already done so much for me in a short amount of time. You know me better than quite possibly I know myself. I am afraid that I would put you at more of an inconvenience than what I already have.”
He sighed, “I meant no offense to your ‘self-discipline’ in fact I was being xenoracist by just assuming that it comes naturally to Vulcans, forgive me no harm was meant.” He added. “So where do we start?” He was eager to get his empathy back, more so now that he knew there was a chance he could, “One last question though, what is the probability of me being able to ‘see’ again?” He asked.
“Without knowing the cause of your mind-blindness it is difficult to calculate any probabilities.” Never mind that Vulcans really did not like to guess.
“However, I believe the question is rather one of time and patience. And I must caution you that although I am quite capable of assisting with … injuries to the mind, my training has been focused on the Vulcan ways. Essentially, it will be necessary for me to adjust in order to achieve the desired results while you might find yourself confronted with … ideas that differ somewhat from what a Betazoid is used to.”
And that was putting it mildly. If Sakarra did not have an intimate knowledge of the Betazoid mind through her own heritage, this would be an even greater challenge.
The young half-Vulcan finished her coffee and set the empty mug down on the desk, giving Cyrin a look that she hoped conveyed reassurance.
“We should start as soon as possible, considering that your condition is not only impeding your ability to function but might in fact deteriorate. Unless the current crisis requires me to remain on duty, I suggest you meet me in my quarters thirty minutes after the end of our shifts. Will that be acceptable?”
“That is perfect, I will meet you there.” He shivered slightly at the thought of his condition deteriorating, a thought crossed his mind ‘I would rather die than continue going on like this.’ He placed his coffee down onto his desk, “Sakarra, thank you. I am glad for your help.” He said standing up and escorting her to the door, a smile on his face.
((OOC: The pool can stop now, we finished it before we got near Starfleet Space))
Ensign Cyrin Dicari
Chief Operations Officer
Lieutenant (Then Ensign) Sakarra Tyrax
(RaBeem - Betazoid for “I understand“. More than just a simple statement of comprehension, but rather the Betazoid credo. Like the Vulcan C’thia or the Rihannsu mnhei’sahe, almost impossible to translate.)