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Two Sides to Every Story

Posted on 31 Mar 2020 @ 2:28am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Sentience
Location: Security Complex
Timeline: MD 2 || 0945 hours

The benefit to security being centralized on the Black Hawk meant that the trek to the Chief of Security's office would not be far from the brig. Harvey had managed to arrive at the brig a short while ago without encountering a drone or a patrol, likely due to the overall timing of the situation. He did not find this a concern, especially since the security complex was abuzz with activity. Several of the personnel noticed the Captain moving across the complex, and they also noticed that he did not acknowledge any of them.

Harvey didn't know what they were thinking, and none of that bothered him. What mattered to him was getting to the bottom of whatever was happening on board his starship that wasn't even a full day away from New Bajor. He arrived at Commander Di Pasquale's office and pressed the chime. This was, of course, assuming that she would be keeping near the brig to keep an eye on its sole occupant.

"Enter," came the call as the door slide open and Camila looked up from her desk. A stack of PADDs stood on the right side, each color coded with a colored tab on one side of it ranging from green to red in different shades. On the other side was a mug of Raktajino and a small green tab beside of it in a clear wrapper. "Captain," she said differentially as she came to her feet. "Another inspection, Sir?"

Harvey grunted. If only it were an inspection, and Harvey, if only momentarily, found himself wishing it were so. Instead, he stepped inside so that the door would close. He waited for a second to be assured that no one was dropping eaves before starting with, "Not exactly. I would like for you, however, to imagine my surprise that when, during my regular morning inspection, my first mission-related inspection in months, when I arrived at Counselor Tivan's office to find that she had a... surprise change of venue."

"Yes, Sir?" the Security Chief said, waiting for him to get to the reason he came straight to her.

He raised an eyebrow. There was no denial, no remorse, no guilt, no shame... just nothing for him to work with on that. If anything, perhaps there was a hint of annoyance, but he doubted that annoyance had nothing to do with him. "Perhaps you would like to tell me why a member of the senior staff is currently in the brig?"

"On stardate 66917.1, Lieutenant Commander Tivan entered my personal quarters, grabbed a bottle from my table, attempted to coerce me into counseling sessions, then smashed it for no apparent reason, Captain," Camila stated simply. There was no anger in her voice, no accusation, nothing but straight Security Chief.

Harvey remained still for a moment. He was unsure of what to think about this. Tivan had mentioned the bottle, but already the stories had a point of divergence. Camila claimed the bottle was intentionally shattered, whereas Tivan stated it was accidental. Regardless, it seemed that whatever this was... all came down to a fucking bottle of ale. He inhaled, then exhaled, attempting maintain a cool composure about all of this. "You... arrested Tivan over a bottle of ale? Why today? Why not the day after? What are you expecting to happen here?"

"What the contents were was unknown to Commander Tivan," Camila stated. "What I expect is for her to undergo the same penalties that anyone else on this ship would, Sir. I expect to receive the same fair judgement that you lay out for all when someone files a complaint where they were wronged. As for why I waited, it's simple. I told her to schedule counseling sessions at any time and I would attend them and she didn't. After a month of no appointments, I decided to press charges against her for destruction of property."

He crossed his arms, thankful that the action kept from issuing a frustrated sigh. "Judgment cannot be rendered without an investigation," Harvey simply replied. "As I've told Commander Tivan, protocol will be observed, even though we've already started out of order." The situation seemed to now go beyond a broken bottle to now a misunderstanding. "And, regardless of the outcome, I will certainly perform a fair, and impartial judgment, regardless of the consequences. So, in the nature of fairness, I don't suppose you don't mind providing the official report and answering a few questions?"

"You told Commander Tivan?" the Chief of Security said with a raised eyebrow. "Yet, you want to bring up protocols? Isn't that a violation of protocol to talk to an accused without myself being present or even informed that you were doing so? I'm sorry, Sir, but that isn't being impartial and you just recused yourself from being able to act as an arbitrator in this matter." She reached into her desk and retrieved a PADD and handed it to him. "Ensign Mitchell was the officer that made the arrest and filed it, Sir."

Harvey accepted the padd, but chose not to look at it yet. "I believe it's also protocol to inform the ship's Commanding Officer when someone, especially a member of the senior staff is arrested. I had to find out from HASA, of all things, and that wasn't until I noticed Tivan wasn't in her office. And if you believe that I've recused myself because the entire situation blindsided me, then you're probably right. I'll step aside as arbiter and you can report the incident through the chain of command. Let me tell you what will happen when you do. Gamma Command gets the charge, and the Black Hawk is recalled immediately. Commander Tivan's charge will likely be handled first. Whatever dispute it is between the two of you will be quickly settled, I'm sure. Then, Tivan, exercising the privilege granted to her by Admiral O'Connell--who assigned her to this ship to evaluate all of us after the incident in the Convergence Zone, will file her reports and recommendations to Starfleet Medical. A fair portion of the ship's senior staff, especially those controlled by the Dolmoqour, will be placed on medical leave immediately. Mandatory counseling sessions will begin post haste.

"And... as for me, since I've managed to forget my own place within protocol will likely find myself relieved of command. If I am, I'll probably never see the center chair again and will wind up piloting a desk somewhere, if I'm lucky. Is it a worst-case scenario? Maybe. Am I overreacting? Likely definitely."

"Her methods of evaluation are to bully, threaten and coerce us, and that makes for a hostile situation, Sir," Camila said, not flinching in the face of his comment and potential outcomes. "If Admiral O'Connell had sent a professional officer instead of a bitch that strips naked in the pool with others present, including yourself, then he must have hit the bottom of the barrel."

She paused for a moment. "Let's say for a moment that protocols are ignored and you aren't recused," she said. "What possible outcome could there be for me except myself being relieved of my position and placed in mandatory counseling? There's no way that she is going to accept that she was wrong, and since you talked to her and she's already lied to a commanding officer, there's no way she's going to back down from her stance now without a fall from grace that she's too arrogant to accept."

The Captain had arched an eyebrow. He hadn't told anyone besides his wife about the incident at the pool, but the pool hadn't been empty either, and it was surprising it had taken this long for the scuttlebutt to circle back to him. That was a matter for a different time, however. He had many other questions, but instead of asking them, he looked downward at the padd and began to read its contents. It did not take him long to review what it contained, and so far it had matched Camila's story perfectly.

Sighing, he lowered the padd to his side and looked at his ombre-haired Chief of Security. In a calm voice, he reasoned, "O'Connell is many things. Were it not for the circumstances from a couple years ago, I doubt I could have come to trust him. I have to believe... I want to believe that he wouldn't put this crew in jeopardy by finding a crackpot Vulcan psychiatrist and giving her our heads on a platter. With what we've been through, there is every reason to keep us on the sidelines and even on the bench. That hasn't happened, and I know O'Connell is the reason why."

Harvey sighed again, this time planting himself in one of the chairs in front of Camila's desk. "I can't say I approve of her methods, I can tell you one thing. Tivan wants to talk to you. For whatever reason, our messed up minds are the most fascinating things she's seen in years. I guess it takes one cracked pot to mend another. You. Jayla. Mila. Joey. Thiago. Hell, even Mac and Adam... you all helped me."

Camila listened to him, and while he had some sentiments that she didn't echo about O'Connell, she did know that O'Connell controlled the vertical and horizontal in the Gamma Quadrant and he could make all their lives hell. Well, more like hell, if that's possible, she mused. She took a moment to gather her thoughts without turning them into bitter words, but it was a fight.

"I originally scheduled an appointment with her. She went hostile, then attempted to threaten me, then decided to smash the bottle out of sheer pettiness," she said. "So why, Captain, why should I go to her? Why should I think that she will give me any sort of favorable evaluation after that? For that matter, why should I even care? She's a V'tosh ka'tur and the crew isn't happy with her methods, so I doubt anything beneficial will come from it, anyway. For that matter, did she even express any guilt at all for her side of things?"

"She led me to believe that she was waiting on you for the next step," Harvey stated, calm overtaking his voice. "She also indicated that she has every plan to... what was the word she used... make recompense for what was broken or damaged during the next counseling session."

Harvey sighed before continuing, "So her methods aren't the greatest. Would you rather a Betazoid or Ullian that is pulling out every thought you try to keep from escaping your mouth? Her methods may not make sense, but she is highly qualified. Her work is renowned in the world of psychology, which is worth something, at least, to Starfleet. As to why you should work with her... she's utterly fascinated by you and the others that were possessed by the Dolmoqour. Members of this crew aren't the only ones known in Starfleet's two-hundred year history to be possessed, mutated, puppeteered, shrunk, abused, et cetera et cetera against their will. Experiences like ours are used to better equip new cadets and counselors throughout Starfleet for the dangers the final frontier holds."

"She seems to be leading you to believe a lot of things, Captain," the Security Chief said while she looked at him. As far as she knew. Vulcans, with or without logic couldn't control someone's mind, but it seemed that the Counselor had some power over him. O'Connell, no doubt. "As for Betazoids and Ullians, both species respect the boundary of another beings mind. I could care less about her work. It's her methods and the fact that she keeps lying to you, which makes her a threat to this ship, crew, and you. I'd rather go talk to Doctor Stuart and when Commander Tivan makes recompense, then I'll let her out."

Harvey waved the PADD he held. “I thought the matter was in my hands now? As for her lying... well without looking at security footage from your quarters, it’s your word against hers. Both of you do agree that the bottle is broken, and since charges are filed, it’s up to me to investigate, which I’m doing, and then proceed accordingly.”

He sighed and rose from the desk. “But I’ll tell you what I see. We’ve had our moments, from the day you stood up to a Commander del Rosario, to dealing with the Consortium, to D-S-Fifteen, to the zone and now to here. Good moments. Bad moments. Frankly, it shows on both of us. I resolved a long time ago that I would never ask my crew to do something I wasn’t willing to myself. So, for starters, I’m going to complete my duty here, complete what is necessary.” Harvey waved the PADD again. “And then schedule a series of appointments with Commander Tivan for myself because the sooner this is over, the sooner we can move on with life and careers. I will expect you to do the same. Now, aside from the bottle that was broken, was there any further damage done to property?”

Camila had to agree that they'd had their moments and they'd been through pretty much nothing but hell since she'd been aboard. "So she replaces the bottle, I go to counseling, and it's a done deal? I'll get you the video from my quarters. Do you need to speak to Ensign Mitchell?"

"Assuming that there aren't any further instances." Harvey looked down at the padd and looked through its contents. "I can work with Ensign Mitchell on the rest of this. Or, we can head for the brig and see if we can settle this ourselves first, whether that means Captain's Mast or formal review or whatever is fair."

"I'd be happy with fair," the ombre haired woman said as she came to her feet. "Oh, and one request."

Harvey tilted his head to one side, the lighting highlighting the faint scars on his face left behind from the Dolmoqour crisis. Unfortunately, the dermal regenerator hadn't been able to get all of it. "What's that?"

If the scars bothered her, Camila didn't show it in the least, but she knew it was because of what she had done on the surface of that damned world. "Next time you want to talk to one of my prisoners, have the decency to let me know. I couldn't stop you if I wanted to, but I'd give you the decency to talk to them privately."

He rose from the chair and nodded. "Of course, Commander. Will you also make sure I'm personally informed anytime a member of this crew is confined in the brig?"

"Certainly, Captain," she said with a nod. "I won't make that error again, Sir."

"Don't go far," Harvey said. "I'll speak with Ensign Mitchell and we'll get this taken care of shortly."

"I'll be here if you need me, Sir," Camila assured him as she reached for the foil pack on her desk, popped a green tab of something out of it and put it in her mouth.

 

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