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The Vulcan and The Spider

Posted on Tue Apr 8th, 2014 @ 12:25am by Crewman Recruit Kanson Pyder & Lieutenant JG L'Nivek

Mission: Shoreleave: Kaslau - Submission
Location: Shuttlebay 1, Deck Six
Timeline: Current

A Mission Post by Ensign L'Nivek & Crewman Recruit Kanson Pyder
Mission: Photons Everywhere Part 2
Location: Shuttlebay 1, Deck Six
Timeline:

Shuttlebay One.

L'Nivek, having come from the Academy only rather recently, was no stranger to large spaces: just look at the pavilion outside Starfleet GHQ, on Earth, for example. However, the sheer scope and size of the Shuttlebay (an enclosed, empty space) was remarkable in and of itself: it helped to remind one of just how large a ship like the Gladiator was...and as a Sovereign battlecrusier, and sitting at a pretty six hundred and seventy-two metres, she was no shrinking violet herself. Add to it that the same ship class carried a total of seven independent, warp-capable shuttlecraft, and you've got quite the daunting space.

It was one of those reasons that she was there, as a matter of fact: the arrival of a particular, up-armoured and up-gunned runabout. It looked like a Danube, albeit one with a host of in-the-field upgrades and more. She and a trio of Security red-shirts behind her watched as the unusually massive craft slid in, hovered for moments overhead, and gently descended, settling onto the deck. She waited for the occupants inside to emerge, idly wondering if the new prisoner/recruit would be quite what the dossier and related information that she'd been supplied were accurate...

As the ramp of the runabout descended, four Security riflemen in Starfleet Correctional Personnel riot armor jogged forward in a column, the back two taking a knee and leveling their rifles to the ramp while the front two took up a staggered firing position as well. Standard operating procedure for prisoners deemed Class-5 threats. The ranking Chief Petty Officer barked the order when the outside crew was ready.

"Prisoner Six-Seven-Five-Zero! Step forward, slowly! You have ten seconds to comply!"

Kanson had learned the hard way that they were deathly serious about those time constraints. If the guards got the notion that you were taking too long to do something or cooking up an escape plan and buying time, they never hesitated to send at least two men in with shock batons, backed up by riflemen to remove any ideas that you can escape if you're lucky enough to get passed the first two. Two of those Security Guards brandishing shock batons were at each of his sides one meter behind him to make sure he wasn't getting any ideas in his new surroundings. Kanson stepped forward at a steady pace as ordered. Behind him, four more riflemen moved along with him, rifles trained at his midsection.

He exited the runabout wearing a slim fitting Intel uniform with a disabled commbadge and Crewman Recruit insignia on his collar which enforced his belief that he truly was at the bottom of the food chain and property of the United Federation's Starfleet. When he stepped into the light and stopped with eight rifle barrels leveled on him at various distances, he caught his first glimpse of Ensign L'Nivek which startled him. At a glance, she looked remarkably similar to his ex-girlfriend Kai'li. Of course, he could tell the difference between Romulans and Vulcans, but the similar features they did share put him on edge. He felt his various scars, compliments of the Tal Shiar, burn slightly under his new uniform. The silence was absolutely deafening at this point, and Kanson wondered if everyone was waiting for him to say something. Unable to bear the awkwardness any longer, he meekly raised a hand from his pulse cuffs in a wave and managed to let out a weak "Hi" with a forced friendly smile.

"The prisoner will remain silent and compliant at all times!" One of the Petty Officers yelled sticking the tip of his shock baton under Kanson's chin. He jumped hesitantly and began visibly shaking as the threat of being beaten overcame him.

The ships' CIO was, as it stood, unimpressed. She was about to snap at the Petty Officer in question, having a reasonably good idea that, given Pyder's medical report, he had undergone a set of tortures and the like that a beating would certainly not have helped. However, she knew it was not quite her place: especially as he was someone else's underling.

"As you were, Petty Officer!" the ranking Security Chief barked as he stepped forward to L'Nivek with PADD in hand. "Allow me to introduce you to Prisoner 6750, AKA Kanson 'Pyder the Spider'. Am I correct in assuming that you are this..." the Chief gave Kanson a brief look up and down before returning his attention to the CIO "'Operative's' Intel handler, Ensign L'Nivek?"

L'Nivek picked the PaDD from the Chief's hand, looking even less amused: no small trick, for the (traditionally) ever-blank Vulcan face. "I am Ensign L'Nivek, yes...Chief Intelligence Officer." The man stiffened, and she looked down at the PaDD, reviewing the information upon it.


"As soon as you sign off on him, we can get on our way, Ma'am. Would you prefer to keep him restrained or would you like us to unshackle him?" The Chief asked.

Signing off, she looked back up. "Unrestrained. The man we have here is a thief and an escape artist, not a murderer." She handed the PaDD back, eying Pyder...and giving him the barest of nods: an untrained eye would have missed it completely.

"Cut him loose!" the order came out as the surrounding guards undid Kanson's wrist and ankle restraints before stepping back. Kanson rubbed each of his wrists, grateful to be freed of the annoyance. As the Security detail shuffled back aboard the runabout, Kanson stepped up to Ensign L'Nivek. Seeing as she'd likely be in control of his life over the next 5 years, Kanson thought it best to try and make a good impression with the lessons in military protocol the Drill Instructors at the correctional colony taught him when he was issued his uniform. Kanson ran the steps through his head and followed the ques. He pulled his shoulders back, forced himself to stand at attention, issued his salute and reported for duty:

"Pyder, Kanson, Crewman Recruit, reporting, Ma'am..."


"At ease, Crewman. This is a shuttlebay, not a parade ground." She gave him another once-over with her eyes: coming from anyone else, it was the traditional gesture of 'scoping out': from a Vulcan, it was probably downright unnerving, considering how their faces were virtually expressionless.

Something about her cold, emotionless gaze sent a chill down Pyder's spine. He quickly remembered she ordered him at ease. After the slightest of flinches, he stood down to a rigid parade rest as the Drill Instructors had taught him, but even that didn't seem to please her. L'Nivek's eyes seemed to bore into his frightful soul as if to say 'Don't try to impress me by playing soldier, scum.' Kanson fell out of parade rest, and instead resigned to hanging his head and sheepishly placing his hands in his pockets. "I'm sorry, Ma'am, I'm still really new to all off this..." he spoke softly with any shred of confidence the Drill Instructors may have instilled in him now completely evaporated.

"Let's set one thing straight, Mr. Pyder. I am, first and foremost, your boss. For lack of a better phrase, your life on board this ship, be it pleasant and relatively free or shackled in pulse-restraints, is going to rely almost exclusively on me." She crossed her arms behind her back, continuing to speak.

"I know what I would prefer out of you, Mr. Pyder. The idea that you would have to traipse around this ship in restraints is...illogical. You, according to what I have read, are not a violent criminal; despite the official reports: I am not concerned for my personal safety around you." Recalling some of the items that he -had- stolen, however, made her blood boil, even through the depressants for her Pon Farr and her personal control.

"However, Mr. Pyder, this is not going to mean you are going to have free leave: at least, not yet." She paused, letting this sink in. "There are going to be a series of restrictions and the like upon your behaviors, and activities, but they will, with good behavior, slowly be phased out...and I have, again, read into your file, and your ability to escape and the like: be aware that the Gladiator is a warship: there is no place on this ship, on her hull, or within her scanner range that you will not be found. I have put forth my own good name in this olive branch, Mr. Pyder, I would appreciate it if you took advantage of this." She half-turned, facing him in profile.

"If you come with me, I will show you to your quarters, and the office where you will be working. I would expect you to remember your training..." She trailed off, eying him further. "But in private, Mr. Pyder, I am somewhat more relaxed, speaking officially. Others, however, will not be."

"I think I understand, Ma'am" Kanson stammered slightly before continuing. There was something he felt he needed to say but didn't quite know how to convey it in words. He tried, regardless. "I know you have no reason to trust me, and I get it. It's just....I never wanted to be a bother to anyone. Especially now. I'll do whatever you ask and keep out of your hair. I won't even bother you with stupid questions. Honest. You won't have to worry about any trouble from me, Ma'am."

"You're right, Mr. Pyder. I don't have any reason to trust you. As a matter of fact, everything I've read about you, and heard about you, has said -not- to trust you. That' you're an eel, slippery as a snake, he whom is the flower, but be'est the serpent beneath. I'm going to be frank. I will assume, however incorrectly it may prove, that you are going to do your work with eyes on your eventual freedom. Violate these terms, and the consequences will be swift, but just. Come along, now." She turned on her heel, her step quick, determined, and typical: she had a job to do, herself, and was going to execute said duties like any others.

Kanson couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity with L'Nivek. Much like another pointed-eared woman in his life he felt compelled to do as she commanded, this time out of fear of punishment than out of manipulation through 'love.' As they walked to his new living arrangement, Kanson made sure to walk at her side as opposed to behind her. Knowing a man like Pyder was walking behind them tended to put people off. As they passed uniformed personnel, Kanson resisted the urge to pickpocket in his new surroundings. It was second nature at this point, and the crew of this ship were clearly well off from what he could tell. The looks he was getting from some of the passing crew were another story. Glares, confused expressions and general disdain caused Pyder to lower his chin even more and avoid mutual visual contact. He suddenly felt ashamed that he was wearing a Starfleet uniform, because everyone around him was making it clear that he didn't deserve to.

"Stealng, and theft, Mr. Pyder, are not taken lightly onboard the Gladiator." She let this sink in, before continuing. "Yes, I can see the glances you're giving others: analyzing their alertness, where they would keep the personables...I highly, highly recommend you avoid that kind of behavior, as it will only set you back and further cause consternation between you and the crew." She didn't bother waiting for a response, as they'd come to the entrance to his new quarters. She typed in the security code, and the doors hissed apart, allowing them entrance...and hissed shut behind them, locking silently.

When they stepped into Kanson's assigned quarters for the first time, the air in his lungs escaped audibly as his eyes were overwhelmed with what he was seeing. The space was small but came with a bed, a desk and a modest bathroom. That didn't matter to Kanson. Given what he was used to he thought they stepped into the CO's quarters. "This...This is where I'll be living?"

Despite being fully aware of the feelings that Kanson was going through: she herself had gone from the cramped, four-person rooms at the Academy to the large, modern space that a member of senior staff qualified for. She stood by the door, crossing her arms behind her back, watching him. "Yes," she responded simply, "These are your new quarters, Mr. Pyder...I hope you'll grow to like them, as you're going to see a lot of this for a while."

Kanson stepped over to the bed, sinking his palm into a mattress that was softer than anything he'd ever had the luxury of resting his head upon. His eyes found the replicator and with a sharp inhale, he bounded quite acrobatically over the bed and scrambled towards the true luxury. He stood there, shaking excitably with his hands outstretched towards the rather common Federation technology as if he were a child who's parents bought him a pony for his birthday. "I get my own replicator?!" he asked in hyper disbelief.

L'Nivek was still well area of what he was going through, even if she hadn't reacted in a sort of similar manner: she was much more self-controlled, after all, and with very few exceptions, did not express emotions or partake in similar activites. She did, however, deign to respod. "Yes, Mr. Pyder. Your quarters come fully equipped, as bereft any Starfleet personnel."

His mind almost melted with joy as she confirmed what he thought too good to be true. His thoughts raced over what his first meal would be. That he wasn't having a bowl of slop thrown into his cell like every other boss he worked for was unfathomable to him. He vowed to go all out at dinner time, replicating all the things only the rich folk on the fringe worlds were allowed to have and stuffing his face until he felt he'd explode. But that wasn't all. With the giddiness of a child and the aerial agility typically reserved to stylized martial arts holonovels, Pyder leapt over the bed once more, rolled over the tiny couch and screeched to a halt when he got his head in the bathroom.

"NO WAY! I GET A SONIC SHOWER?!" his voice echoed from the restroom to his no doubt unamused new superior.

If she were a human, L'Nivek would have been sighing, or rolling her eyes, or letting show another example of amused irritation...but, she wasn't human, so her response was as flat and emotionless as ever: not even the slightest hint of sarcasm. She didn't really know him well enough yet, after all, to dabble in -that- social minefield.

"Yes, Mr. Pyder," she responded again, much more simply.

Kanson made his way back to L'Nivek breathing deeply to prevent further hyperventilating. He was so overcome with happiness at something she no doubt viewed as commonplace her entire life. Everything in these cramped new quarters of his were by no means 'standard issue' in his upbringing. He was so deeply touched by the tiny living space she'd allotted him, that he wanted to run up and kiss her! He wanted to replicate her the biggest cake the food production technology could handle and give it to her, but remembered that Vulcans weren't typically into sweets...or gratitude....or fun... But that didn't stop him from trying to show his appreciation!

"I don't know what to say" he began between calming deep breaths. "I know you could have just thrown me in the brig and made me Security's problem. Thank you...Thank you so much for this, Ma'am. This is the nicest a boss has ever been to me!"

As rather taken aback (and flattered, though she'd never admit it until forcibly coerced) as L'Nivek was, she couldn't help but feel different. She could have, of course, had him thrown into the brig and used like any other tool: used when necessary, and repaired or discarded entirely when it ceased to function. It did leave her mildly curious, however. "You have not yet proven yourself harmful to me or this ship, Mr. Pyder. As such, I see no reason to order preemptive discipline: according to my readings, it's been tried before, and done nothing but breed the malcontent and malice that leads to such behavior. That being said, aside from major security concerns, you will be treated like any other crewman until you prove yourself otherwise...and that is a two-way street. Prove an unusually god worker, and rewards will be forthcoming at my discretion. That does, however, leave me with a question: what is it you're used too, in terms of bosses, and their behavior?"

Pyder shrugged. "Uh... Depends on the boss. They usually just throw me in a small room and lock me in there until they need me for a job. Every once and a while they'll send some enforcers in to wail on me if it looks like I'm cookin' up and escape plan...or I'm snoring too loud...or they're just bored..." Kanson shared rather mater-of-factly. There wasn't a hint of anger or pain his his voice either. It was as if it was simply a fact of life that he'd accepted long ago and brushed off.

"I can assure you of two separate things, Mr. Pyder. If there is any deliberate attempt by you to disrupt the operations of this ship, or violate the terms of your agreement with Starfleet, I -will- have you thrown into the Brig and made Starfleet's problem. On the other hand," she continued, but her voice grew just a tiny, weensy-bit colder...and for a Vulcan, that was indicative of some serious feelings somewhere. "If there is any reports of your mistreatment at the hands of other personnel, be they with or without cause, I can promise you that the full, 'rightous fury'," she uses the phrase with only a moment of pause, "Of my department and Starfleet's JAG system will come down upon them like a tonne of bricks...I will not have my people mistreated, or abused. In return, however, I expect results, Mr. Pyder. Do not make me regret my advocacy."

"I'm gonna be the best operative you've ever had, Ma'am!" Kanson smiled from ear to ear with a bit of his excitement returning. "I'll break in to any place you can think of, steal anything your superiors need, OH! And I'll be extremely quiet when you're hanging out with your friends and work pals, just like how people like me. I'll never be a problem for you" he promised, hoping she knew he truly meant it.

At this, L'Nivek cocked an eyebrow. "I hope that you can perform as well as your tone and the like are suggesting, Mr. Pyder...though, looking over your records, I've no doubt that you can follow through. As for staying quiet...I'd be rather disappointed, if you did. It would be most unwise of me to deliberately stifle a portion of my intelligence repertoire, after all, especially a portion like the one you are skilled in...as perhaps the most valuable asset in that portion of my department, there would be no reason for me to suppress that."

Kanson was slightly taken aback. L'nivek used an awful lot of big words that he wasn't overly familiar with, but he was pretty sure he gathered that she wouldn't mind him talking. This was new territory for Kanson. Everyone he'd ever worked for didn't like him talking...ever. In Kanson's line of work, opinions were bait for a beating. "In that case...I'll try not to be annoying when I do have something to share." All off this was going to take a lot of getting used to.

"That all being said, that brings us to our next point: I want, from you, a personal, not just an official, promise that you will obey and comply with all of the rules and regulations onboard the Gladiator. I will not play easy with you, Mr. Pyder." Her sudden use of vernacular, even with the harsh, clipped, exacting tonality of Vulcan language, showed that she was -trying-, at least, to be more informal. Question was, did it really work, or did it just intimidate others into going along? She'd yet to find out.

"There are minor infractions, of course, that I do not believe warrant a full Brig sentence: a mussed uniform, an unclean room upon inspection...things of that nature. As a matter of fact, I would consider it almost...silly....to involve Security personnel with that at all. Add to it your fresh-out-of-Basic status, too, I would consider it most wise to continue with the types of things that you were used too." She held up a hand. "Do not, however, take this to mean that I will holler, jump up and down, and order you forced physical training, like boot camp. On the other side of the plate, though," She then, in a move as calculated as anything else she did, she gave him a soft, little smile, that even reached her eyes...and it was even a little genuine, to boot. "As I do not want to have Security here unless needed, or the officers of the Marine contingent. I will be undertaking these inspections myself...and, as I mentioned before, I do not want them officially involved...so any punishments that I have to enact for these stipulations will be...creative. I hope I have made myself clear?"

That frightened Kanson a bit and it took him a while to respond. He'd heard rumors that an adult Vulcan had the strength of two human men, and he had no desire at all to test that rumor. He'd never seen a Vulcan smile either, and wondered if he should be deathly afraid of that as well. Pyder cleared his throat "Uh, yes, Ma'am. I'm used to not leaving any indication of my presence, so a clean room won't be a problem. Still getting used to some of the Starfleet regulations, but if following them to the letter keeps everyone cool, I'll double my efforts. It's Rorschach, Prozac, and everything's groovy.....Ma'am" he stated using an old, old human term (meaning agreement to terms stipulated) that no doubt flew right over Ensign L'Nivek's head.

L'Nivek was no stranger to old phrases: her novels, and other things, gave evidence to that fact, at least. She continued to eye the new crewman. Almost without thinking, she reached forward and damn-near touched Kanson's chest. The combination of his youthful exuberance, the room, and her own fluctuating emotional/electrochemical state nearly robbed her of her sense! She yanked her hand back at the last possible moment, after her fingertips had touched his chest. He certainly was handsome, after all, and she took a large step back, almost tripping over a low table. Her cheeks are tinged a light green, to boot. "I think, m-Mr Pyder, that...that," and here she was tripping over her words, "I..we must met with the captain and his exec: t-time is wasting, yes?" She cursed herself, in her head: her conduct was -most- unbecoming, and almost overwhelmed her. She resolved to see the CMO as soon as she could; this was ridiculous.

Now Kanson was thoroughly confused. She DID just touch his chest. Light as it may have been, he couldn't help but notice that. Was there some lint on his uniform, he wondered? No, that brief touch reminded him of the way Kai'li used to touch him. It was slow, deliberate, but in L'Nivek's case, ended before intent could be ascertained. And then her behavior following... That light green tinge in her cheeks was a trait he'd seen in Romulans as well. Mostly with Kai'li whenever he told her something sweet. Once Kanson began putting two and two together, his eyes widened and his heart began picking up the pace. He tried to remember everything he could about Vulcans, but in his panicked state nothing came to mind.

"Um...Yes, of course, Ma'am..."

He didn't know what to do. Act like it didn't happen? What if it happened again in the future? Yeah, what if?... She was by no means unappealing. There were even multiple physical aspects he favored more on L'Nivek than he did on Kai'li. Besides, he'd already toned down the truth with one thing he told her today. He said that these quarters she'd accommodated him with was one of the nicest things a boss had ever done for him, when in all actuality, it was one of the nicest things *anyone* had ever done for him. Of course, he could think of a slew of lovely things Kai'li once did for him, but all of that now didn't amount to much after she sold him out to the Tal Shiar to cover her escape. With all of this weighing heavy on his mind, he felt compelled to act as he moved in behind her. He wanted to place his left hand comfortably on her hip and with his right, tenderly caress the tip of her ear as he lightly allowed his teeth to graze what he imagined would be the silkiest of skin on her neck. Halfway into making these thoughts a reality he stopped himself and placed his hands nervously back at his sides. Was he TRYING to get sealed away in the tightest cell the Federation could muster again?!

To talk himself out of ever being tempted by something as irrational as that again, he looked back at his personal history and tried to be realistic about it. *No one* liked him. His branding underneath his eye, missing finger, and countless torture scars and disruptor fire burns that pocked his entire body were proof of that. Higher class women in general tended to avert their eyes from him in disapproval when he walked the streets of the fringe worlds. But one thing was for sure. He did like this Vulcan woman, whether she did or did not favor him in return. And regardless of what exactly transpired less than a minute ago, he was determined at the very least to repay the kindness she had already bestowed upon him with his unrivaled mastery in the arts of stealth and 'ungentlemanly' cunning as one Cardassian police officer had once put it.

As Kanson Pyder followed his new superior he found his eyes admiring her tall, domineering, yet sleek figure and the grace in which she moved. He already knew that the Vulcan would be haunting his thoughts tonight when he'd lay on the softest bed he'd known in years...

 

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