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Don't Listen

Posted on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 @ 3:11pm by Cadet Junior Grade Zul'arra & Commander Mercia Kavi

Mission: Jarland
Location: Holding Cell - Memphis Island Security Department

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As she walked though the building, being escorted by the local security staff, Cadet Zul'arra scanned the area trying to understand how things worked with this area. She was alien to the ideas of the Federation, but she was starting to learn real fast how Star Fleet worked, but it wasn't always black and white. Captain Hawkins and his crew had taught and showed her much. Now she had been given entrance into starfleet academy. Even though she hadn't really planned on joining, she had nothing else in her future and travelling back to the Delta Quadrant to her, so called, life and people was not an option, even if she wanted to.

The hallway that they were walking through was long, at least it seemed, after clearing a couple security checks. Even though she was fully cleared for carrying weapons of her own, this was security's area only select few personal were cleared to carry. So she felt almost defenseless in the back of her mind, but she was ready to defend herself as she mentally memorized her area, the people, what was visibly noticeable, and unseen possibilities. She was going to be ready, but her thoughts were redirected as the security personal came to a stop inside the security field in front of a holding cell, where a woman sat in the corner by herself. Zul'arra blinked at the security personal, who were older, but quickly learned that her star was a way of saying 'leave us'. Persuasive.

"Commander," the cadet called out loud as she made sure that they were alone, at least physically. She still knew that the recording systems were in place, both on her comm badge and the security systems in the cells.

Mercia's hair was loose around her face, cheeks pinched with red and eyes no less red from the crying. She'd been given civilian clothes to wear, so at least she was no longer in the uncomfortable dress uniform. She lifted her head hearing her rank called by a familiar voice. She locked eyes with the Alien youth she'd helped rescue from a dangerous Island here on the planet, giving her and the children she protected a chance at life. "Zul'arra... why are you here?" she demanded, not really in the mood to see any one.

"Colonel Hayter asked me to come down and check up on you. He would have come in person, but had to deal with some Romulan and marine training briefings," Zul'arra responded.

Mercia humphed, "Every one has an excuse." she muttered. "What does he want to know?" she demanded. "If I'm as belligerent as I was when I was drunk?" she demanded. She felt sick right now, she hadn't had that much to drink for years, and certainly notice since she'd been rescued and her precarious health was still recovering from the near death starvation it had suffered.

"No, he assumed that you would be sober by now, ' and hung over like no other'," the younger female responded as she blinked at her before wandered what had come of her female roll model. "I understand that you do not like this Commander Jarland?"

Mercia put her head back against the wall, glad at least that the lights were dimmed. a Hangover indeed. "No I don't like Jarland." she grumbled. "Five years ago he was the XO on the Gladiator. He was brash, irritating, and decided he didn't like me. He harassed a female pilot, and made a grab at me." she said. "I hit him then, but did not press charges as he was transferred away with a reprimand. I regret that." she said.

Mercia couldn't clearly remember everything that happened last night. Just anger, she saw Jarland and saw red. She remembered enough to know she was stupid, but not enough to recount it with clarity. "The man deserves a uniform and rank less than me."

"From what I understand, he deserves an orange jumpsuit and no rank," Zul'arra stated trying to sound almost like Hayter when it came to Jarland.

"I agree, but he has an uncle in JAG that managed to get him off, and shifted around his assignments so it went away." she eyed her, "Corruption is as real in starfleet as it is among the people of your own world. There are sick people everywhere." she sighed, "Don't follow my example Zul'arra. Being pissed off and drunk makes people do stupid things. I'm likely going to get kicked out of starfleet, and maybe even spend time in the penal colonies for what I did. It depends on how badly Jarland goes after me." she said. "You'd best distance yourself from me, like every one else."

"Everyone else have been sent on their shakedown cruise. I hardly see that as them distancing themseles from you and more of them following their duties for the time being. You still have myself and Colonel Hayter here on the planet to assist where we can," Zul'arra tried to reassure her but knew that the commander was as bull headed as they came.

Mercia looked up at her and then looked down, a world of emotions rushing through her. Gladiator left with out her. Zeti would take her spot, and while Mercia got forced out of Starfleet they'd likely send someone else to take her place. As much as she'd considered leaving the fleet the fact she might be forced out riled her. It pissed her off. She wanted to leave on her own terms.

"I appreciate it." she said bitterly. "I still think you should do yourself a favor and distance yourself." she said. "The people coming after me have the power to stop your career... have the power to slow down the adoption process of your friends." she warned. "Real kinds of evil." she said feeling like she was looking for ghosts in shadows. Its how she felt though. Her life was over and even if she didn't end up in prison she had no idea what to do with herself. Could she stand being the little woman at home with the baby? With Khelev still tinkering to his hearts content and Molli growing up to be as spirited as her biological parents combined?

If she went to prison would Khelev stick around? Would he take care of Molli and Tali? Or would they fall to the federations care and dissappear? Would Lyla take Molli?

The different avenues her life would take in the next few days and the way it would affect her love ones was driving her insane. She was being over dramatic maybe, but she didn't know what else to do. She couldn't slow her mind down.

"At least you were not disowned by your parents due to the desire of your people to have some kind of power from powerful species that say they are friends," Zul'arra spoke out-loud as she looked at the woman in the cell. "I joined Star Fleet because you and others wanted me to. I do not want to lose this family as well, and now that I have the skills and ability to, you have another fighter."

Mercia actually chuckled, "Careful, guards hear your talking like that they'll think you're wanting to start a rebellion with me." she said. She stood up and approached the field, "I'm glad I inspired you Zul'arra, but I hope that I also inspire you to learn what not to do. Don't ever strike another officer with out legal protection." she said. "And Don't get drunk at diplomatic functions..." she said starting to list off the don't.

The cadet looked at the commander and nodded slightly before smirking slightly with a slight shrug. "I'll learn from that last part, the rest... Not so much."

Mercia smiled, "You learn from everything girl. That's how you survived. You're a natural leader and you never stop, and you better not stop. You get yourself close to Grayson, and stick with Hayter. If Hayter messes up you'll have the back up of Grayson to help you. Build your bridges, and manage your future, don't let someone manage it for you. You know all this, and I think you will be will be fine, no matter what happens to me."

"You have told me this already, Commander," Zul'arra stated as she leaned against the wall and slouched down to the ground to relax. She sighed as she look through the force field. "But you have never given up. Why are you now?"

Mercia shrugged, "Ten months of every bit of my identity being robbed from me? My twin taking my place? My boyfriend abandoning me with a child? OK So Khelev coming back was a good thing. Zul'arra I've not been happy in years. I don't remember happy any more. I'm tired. I keep fighting uphill battles and keep failing. I don't know what to do now." Mercia rubbed her face, she was an emotional wreck and she knew it. She couldn't really answer that question well.

She stopped and took another breath. "You don't just get away with striking an officer because your drunk at a diplomatic event. Maybe I gave up because I know there isn't a way out of this and fighting makes me look more a fool and could get me in deeper. Keeping my head down and accepting my fate might mean I still get to raise my baby... maybe. I might just get dismissed form the fleet rather than sent to prison." she said trying to be more reasonable, but it was hard, and her head was pounding.

"I will not lie, I do not like this side of you, Commander. I look up to you. There has to be some way out of this," the cadet remarked simply as she opened up thinking about her situation. She was on similar paths as Kavi and didn't want to have to come to an abrupt ending to a choice to joining starfleet only to deal with having several loop holes to jump through.

Mercia shrugged, "Can't say I'm a fan of this side of me either." she said returning to the cot and sitting against the wall, her knees pulled up. She idly rubbed the back of her hand with her thumb before she looked up at Zul'arra, "I have a hang over, I'm angry, and confused, I don't just turn off my emotions. I've lost my ability to mask everything like I used to." she smirked, "Ask Hawkins about that one. Masking was how I processed anything. I would pretend my emotions did not exist and I would turn in a flirt. Then I'd go pick a fight in a bar to release every thing once in a while." she examined her hands, so often bruised and cut from the fights or physical torment she would put herself through just to process negative emotions. Honestly a good brawl WOULD feel good about now. Give her an hour on the holodeck and maybe she'd walk out thinking straight.

"Truth is I eventually learned that my masks, flirts, and need to feel constant physical pain was ruining my integrity, which I took pride in." she said. "So I've been trying to not be that way, I'd love to hide in it again right now... but I can't, so you get to witness my anger." she shrugged, "Don't like it? Then go away. I don't have the tools to process the same way most people do, and it is chaotic, depressive, sullen, and at moments explosive." she said.

"And you don't think I haven't gone through that either having to survive with hundreds of my people looking up to me, thrusting leadership on me when all I knew was that we were not wanted anymore by our own people, parents, loved ones," Zul'arra countered as she looked at the commander. "With all do respect, Commander. That is bull and you know it. It may not be easy at the moment, but you are a fighter, and will get through this. If you are forced out of star fleet, I'll leave too. There is more to life then Starfleet."

Mercia glared at the girl, "Ok stop right there." she growled. "You are NOT going to throw your lot in with mine. You have a chance to be shown the way the Federation works, to learn about Alien races you never knew existed from the relative safety of Starfleet. You have seen NOTHING." she said. "I know you went through hell Zul'arra." she bit her lower lip, "There are worse hells, and being thrown blind in to a universe you never knew..." she remembered her first days off her home planet. She had been lucky. Very, very, very lucky. If she believed in a deity she'd believe that deity had arranged for her to be arrested and put in right prison camp for her to find this path. "My eyes are open, I have connections you don't have. I'll land on my feet no matter what, that doesn't mean I'm not going to have emotional reactions to my fate. My fate is not yours and you will get yourself killed or worse if you try and strike out on your own right now." she met the alien girls eyes, "The universe is cruel Zul'arra, evil, and you'd be prime pickings for those who would take advantage. Why do you think it took so long to adopt out all your charges? Its difficult to find homes for troubled kids and ensure they don't end up in a new hell." she licked her lips. "Do you even know where I came from?" she asked. "Where Halen Zeti Came from?" she asked. "We are the lucky ones, because of Starfleet. You are too, don't throw that away out of misplaced loyalty. You can be loyal and not ruin your life at the same time."

There was a long pause between the two of them before Zul'arra smiled slightly and stood up. She wiped her uniform off and looked at the Commander. "Good pep talk, Commander. I just hope that wasn't just for me... but for you yourself. Don't worry. I will not take it lightly. Star Fleet and the Federation are nice, but not everything is perfect but it will do for now," Zul'arra responded. "Is there you need me to get you, Commander?"

"A beer." she rolled her eyes knowing it couldn't happen. She sighed, "No I need some time to think. You should get back to work." she said as she moved to her sink and poured herself a cup of water.

"I'll see what I can do," Zul'arra replied with a nod and smile. She wished her well, and stepped away. Deep down she knew that they were good, but the cadet knew that this was going to eat away at the commander. So she knew that this wasn't going to be the last visit to the Commander.

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