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Moment of Truth

Posted on 17 Sep 2019 @ 2:56am by Commander Jayla Kij & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Sick Bay

It was now time for Kij to report to Sick Bay. She was not happy about it at all because she was still having trouble getting information from the host. For starters, she still had no idea who this Alex character was or any of the names of any of her staff. She barely knew how to hold or read a tricorder. Maybe she could avoid doing any sort of work for a few days, until the plan came together.

With a sigh, she walked through the doors of Sick Bay and glanced around while making a bee-line for her office. Best to avoid people, too. Pretend to work. Whatever.

Alex saw Jayla come into Sickbay. She'd been dodging his attempts to communicate with her since the Away Team returned, which was both odd and extremely troubling. What happened down there? Why wouldn't Jayla talk to him about it?

"Jayla," he said, catching just as she entered her office. Alex almost never called her by her given name at work, but he was distracted by his worry. "I tried to get a hold of you when you got back. You didn't respond. I was worried."

Which one was this? Was it Harvey? No! Harvey was the Captain and the Captain wore red- that much she knew. No, this must be-

"Alex," she replied with a tired smile. "Sorry. I've been really exhausted and I was afraid I might have some sort of alien virus or something, but that's absurd because they would have caught it at the physical when I got back and- sorry. I'm rambling," she finished. "It's just stress, I'm sure."

"Well," Alex said. "I think I have the perfect cure. I'll come by your quarters after work and pamper you. The full treatment. Massage, wine, more wine, dinner, peach cobbler, my dad's recipe, the one that he used to make when you came over to our quarters to study with me." Really, that meant Jayla helped Alex pass his classes because he was hopeless as a student, enjoying herself while pretending she thought he was an impossible idiot. Occasionally she even flirted with him, though at the time she'd never have admitted it.

At the mention of peach cobbler, Jayla- the real Jayla- perked up and an involuntary moan escaped her lips. Peach cobbler! "I just..." she started. "I'm so tired..." but the argument was weak. Jayla was bombarding her with memories of peach cobbler and it made her weak.

"I can tell," Alex said. He gently and discretely took her by the arm and guided her into her office. Once inside, he let the doors close behind him. "It's contrary to good order and discipline for the boss to collapse in front of everyone. Sit." Alex said. "Relax. Lead from the rear for the day, at least until you're feeling better. If we need you to swoop in and save us with your stunning brilliance and fantastic sense of style, we'll let you know. Okay?"

Kij visibly relaxed at that. "That sounds like a great plan," she replied wearily and honestly, allowing him to lead her to her desk where she sat and leaned her head on her hands with a sigh. "I don't know what's wrong with me lately."

Alex set the office windows to privacy mode, then began to rub Jayla's shoulders. "You feel pretty tense. Want to talk about it?"

"Eh, it's nothing," she replied, brushing it off. "You know how I get in unknown situations. Or... I don't know maybe you don't. We haven't really been dating long, have we?"

Alex frowned. Long enough to know when you're behaving strangely, he thought. "I'd like to think that even after all that time we spent apart, that we've gotten to know each other pretty well again. We've certainly gotten a lot closer than we were before, now that we're adults. Well, now that I'm an adult and you're finally an adult in an adult's body."

Kij's brow wrinkled and she blinked in confusion. Wasn't he supposed to be in love with her? Why would he say that? "What's that supposed to mean?" she asked before she could even stop to consider the implications.

Okay, what the Hell has gotten into her? Alex thought. "Do you not remember how we met?" he asked out loud. "What had just happened to you? You had Kij's adult memories competing with your raging teenage hormones, literally an adult in a child's body, and I was actually a teenager, one who fell head over heels for you the moment you walked into that classroom. All I meant was that now we're both adults now, we have a better idea of who we are and what we want from life. That's all I was talking about."

“Right!” She replied, feigning exasperation. “Right. I’m sorry, Alex, I’m just all out of sorts lately. See why I avoided you? I probably would have started a fight. I almost wish I had picked up a virus or something. Then at least I’d have an explanation.” She sighed and mentally congratulated herself on her quick thinking. “Anyway, enough about that. Did anything exciting happen on the ship while we were gone?”

"Well," Alex said. "There was this weird case of food poisoning," he replied. "Don't worry, I'm looking into it. It was really strange. A Bolian Master-At-Arms named Aramm was supposed to go with you guys, but he managed to get food poisoning from a cup of coffee out of the replicator. I analyzed it a bit. It was coffee, but... it was off. Like the replicator had gotten it wrong in a way that just happened to be unfriendly to Bolians. Anyway, leave with me for a bit. If I hit a wall, I'll come back to you."

Pseudo-Jayla searched her memories- carefully- for food poisoning. She had never experienced herself as far as she could tell, but as a doctor, had encountered it a few times. "Oh, that's nasty to go through," she commented. "How is he doing?”

Before he could reply, though, the coms beeped to life and the voice of diPasquale intruded into their conversation.

Attention all hands, Captain Geisler is working with the enemy and is not to be trusted. Apprehend him immediately!"

“Liar!” snarled the real Jayla from deep inside the body, and the pseudo Jayla was surprised to find it had actually come out of her mouth. In fact, she was so surprised that the next sentence to come out of her mouth also came from the real Jayla. “She’s the traitor!” At once, her mouth snapped shut as pseudo Jayla regained control. “I mean...” she stammered. “I mean... certainly not Geisler! I can’t believe it!” But, her attempt at recovery was poor and it showed.

"Wait, what??" Alex said. "What would make you say that? Why would Camilla lie? And why would the Captain work with the enemy? Jayla, what the Hells is going on here? What the Hell happened on that away mission??"

And without warning, the others rose up and began railing at the Dolmoquor, allowing the real Jayla to take over again. “Because she’s lying!” she snarled. “I was there! I saw it! She’s possessed! She’s-“ she stopped suddenly and tapped her combadge. “Kij to bri-“ she started before realizing that her con badge had given her the failed connection chirp. She tapped it again and the fail chirp made her jaw set in rage. “Damnit!” she hissed.

Alex took one look at Jayla and frowned, as if not sure what the Hells was going on and not sure if he could trust Jayla. Then he shrugged. "Okay," he said. "I'm confused. You can explain while we're running off to do whatever harebrained thing it is you're planning to do to save the ship and crew from certain doom."

“You stay here!” she growled, sounded nothing like the Jayla anybody knew. “I’m going to the bridge!” And with that, she rose and made her way to the doors to Sick Bay rather jerkily, as if unwilling to actually go anywhere.

"Wait, what now?" Alex said. He jumped up and followed Jayla to the door of Sickbay. "Excuse me Commander but you don't look like you can even make it as far as the turbolift, let alone the bridge. I'm coming with you."

“I gave you an order!” snapped Jayla, whirling to face him. “Stay here!” And she walked through the doors of Sick bay.

Having heard Dr. Kij’s uncharacteristic outburst, Dr. Abbey Road came to see what was going on. “What happened?” she asked, seeing the confused and concerned look on Rylan’s face.

"Well, Jayla is acting like she's drunk, high, or crazy," Alex said. "I've seen her crazy, and this isn't what it looks like, and I don't think she's drunk or high, so something is up. You heard the announcement about the Captain? Jayla is headed up there and for some reason thinks that making the guy with the combat training stay here is sound reasoning. I disagree and I'm about to exercise my Chief's discretion to disobey a direct order on the grounds that I judge it to be harebrained. So I'm going to the bridge, which may get me in a lot of trouble. You coming?"

"You're not breaking any rules," replied Abbey, grabbing a couple of medkits and handing one to Rylan. "I'm a senior officer and I say you're coming with me. We'll take these in case anything odd is happening up there. Ready?"

"Just a sec," Alex said. He went to a locked compartment in the back of Sickbay and entered a code. It opened to a rack containing Type II phaser pistols. He took two phasers and two belts with tricorders and spare charge packs for the pistols, as well as two small field kits. He came back and gave one belt and associated gear and strapped on the other one. "I go first, you stay on me and watch my six. Follow my lead. If you get killed you'll make me look bad, and, you know, you'll be dead and that would suck, too. Now I'm ready." Alex opened the doors to Sickbay, didn't see anything alarming, and stepped through, motioning Abbey to follow.

Abbey rolled her eyes, but strapped the belt on anyway. “D’ya really think all this is necessary?” she asked as they stepped into the corridors.

"Lieutenant Di Pasquale just got on the squawk box and announced that the Captain is a traitor and is working with 'the enemy' whoever that is supposed to be," Alex said. "So, yeah, I think it's necessary and if I'm right, our chances of living through whatever the Hells this is just went up. Besides, if I'm wrong, and it's not, I'm going to blame the whole thing on you anyway, so I've got nothing to lose, we get killed. I don't know about you, but dying is my least favorite reason to assume a horizontal position."

Abbey grinned at that last bit. “All right, all right,” she relented. “Let’s just catch up to Dr. Kij and make sure she’s all right.”


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