=/\= Begin Log =/\=
What the hell am I doing here? It wasn't a shot at Yel-nu'riko. It was a fine space station, at least as far as floating tuna cans go. Who she needed to see. That's the problem. I don't want to see her. Aria couldn't help but feel like she had been assigned to the Charon as some sort of sick joke; she just could not shake the feeling that it served as some kind of retaliation for what had happened during the last war. She felt sick, physically so, and could do nothing but shove the feelings away.
She stepped through the entry way and down the hall toward the observation lounge. The whole place was a flurry of movement, enlisted personnel and officers alike crisscrossing every inch of the station, motivated by one task or another. Space had become limited very quickly, so privacy wasn't immediately practical. The Colonel took a breath and made her way over to the Charon's captain, stopping beside her, the portal in front of them, showcasing the planet Valdena below. "Captain," she said flatly, quietly.
It was quite a sight to behold. Charon's battered hulk was being encased in the silver metal of the station's primary drydock. Beneath it the dusty beige marble that was Valdena twisted in a serene ballet apparently unaware of the chaos that had stricken it's solar system only hours before. Silence met the Colonel's words- a long silence downed only by the background chatter of crew and starbase personnel interacting just outside of the airlock connected to Charon by a dull metallic hose. Must I continue with this nonsense? What is my part in this universe? "Oh elements guide me!" She finally muttered before turning around to face the Colonel.
"Colonel." Shiarrael said with the same flatness that had encompassed the woman's address to her "what can I do for you?" Her statement screamed disinterest. She was exhausted and it showed. Her nerves were held together by a simple strip of flesh that threatened to break away at any moment.
"A shame to see it like this. I'm sure it will look stunning once it's patched up." She sounded surprisingly sympathetic. "Maybe even with some new goodies installed." Part of her was glad to be meeting the captain like this, not that she had wanted to Charon to get batted up, but because it avoided the usual meet and greet ritual with a desk separating them. It made her feel less as a subordinate to the Romulan.
"Undoubtedly." Shiarrael said, she watched as the copper beams of the Vulcan sun reached out over the edge of Valdena's periphery bathing the window in a blinding light. For a moment she squinted to shield her eyes from the harshness but Charon's broken hulk soon eclipsed the brightness covering the observation window with it's shadow "it is truly an ugly ship- so inelegant...but it has a heart worthy of a Romulan name."
Aria wasn't so sure about the 'ugly' assessment and found the Romulan ships to be rather pretentious in their design. She didn't care for their insides either. "A Romulan name?" The colonel turned to face the captain. "What would you call it?"
"I don't know." Shiarrael answered, her mind weighed too heavily with other matters to consider such things "names are important to my people. It would be considered in bad form to simply assign it one without considered thought towards meaning." She rubbed her temple- looked over the Colonel "since you have been given command of Marine forces on the planet...what will you do? I doubt the Vulcans are content about your presence."
She shrugged, not having let the prospect of dealing with angry or insulted Vulcans bother her. Vulcans weren't supposed to get insulted - that whole logic over emotion thing, but she knew better. "I really don't know," the Colonel answered. "I have yet to meet with Vulcan authorities on the matter, but suffice to say there was no physical protest against the marines arrival." She looked down at her hands, idly entwining her fingers as she spoke. "In any event, whatever grievances they have they will get over. The marines are only there as a show of force to whomever may be watching."
"And why are you here?" Pestering me, Shiarrael left out, but the tone of her statement did not mix the intent. "I will be honest colonel. I am exhausted and my mind is clouded. Unless you have some important business I would prefer to be left alone- with my thoughts." She paused and turned her gaze back towards the battered Charon "it is likely that my time as the commanding officer of this ship has reached it's climax and will soon be heading towards resolution."
"I am new to this whole situation, but seeing as how the Quantum Fury chanced upon your ship after it had been captured tells me that you have a far more intimate relationship with what happened and, perhaps, those who perpetrated it." She turned to the Romulan but made an honest effort not to let her body language be threatening. "What is the likelihood that there will be another attack, or is this an isolated event?"
"Is this an interrogation?" Shiarrael asked. Her tone was still a mixture of disinterest and exhaustion. Let them investigate me! Her mind screamed while her expression remain placid. "tr'Sahen was my cousin- but when I was a child he lived on my my family's estate like a brother. You are correct, at least in part, with your assessment- but I have nothing to hide. Decades have passed and our relationship has always been strained." Even so, if this were the Empire she would have found herself executed for even the thinnest affiliation. "Am I blame for this?" Shiarrael eyes narrowed as a veiled hint of bitterness crept into her tone "perhaps, but, the true perpetrators are the victims themselves."
Aria sighed, resisting the urge to roll her eyes and just leave. She had little patience for Romulan arrogance or the captains sob story. "Blame yourself or write an Apology, either way I don't care," her voice gathered some force then, continuing, "I just want to know if something more can be expected." Again, more force added to her voice, not anger, though, but a kind of irritation from her question being blatantly ignored, "I am not here to interrogate you. I just want to know if this shit is going to hit the fan again, understand?"
Her eyes momentarily widened at the rudeness but she quickly soothed her temper. Frayed nerves made for a knife-edged self control. Shiarrael finally shook her head at the colonel and allowed a few minutes to pass before she actually spoke "the technology has been destroyed and Itsak's allies have no doubt been subjugated by the agency. Is it going to happen again? Possible. In the near future? Doubtful. I hope that answers your question colonel." I have little patience for this...
She smiled, satisfied with the answer, regardless of its thin substance. She really just didn't like not getting a straight forward reply. "See, that wasn't so hard." Was it an appropriate way to speak to the captain? No, not in any way, shape or form. One had to wonder whether Aria was in a mood herself or actively looking for a fight. "Thank you for your assistance, Captain. In the future, answering my questions directly will get me out of your sight much, much faster."
"You are truly blessed colonel. A decade ago I would have had your tongue cut out for such rudeness." Her nostrils flared as she took in a deep breath. "This uniform is restricting but remember this well: it is not enough to stop me." Shiarrael turned her back to the colonel and returned to watching the chaotic ballet occurring just outside of the window.
The Colonel's eyes narrowed, blood boiling from the threat. How dare this creature issue threat against her. "Not enough to stop you from what?" Her tone an aggressive mix of taunting and defiance.
Shiarrael said nothing. Her reflection in the window showed a serene calmness- almost vulcan-like but inside she was smiling. Let her chew on that for awhile.
Aria smirked at the Romulan, a bit surprised at the inaction, but otherwise content to let the matter drop on what she considered a position of strength. "Right," she said, "nothing. As I suspected." And for the Colonel, that was that and so she turned to leave.
=/\= End =/\=
Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu
Colonel Aria Falcon
Starfleet Marine Corps