Pandora's Box: #95-96 - "Pride and Prejudice"


<Kristiana's quarters, some time later>

She has all the reports and had a pretty good idea of what happened now. She knew that Ryylar was trying to protect Virginia's honor. But she also knew that it was Ryylar that threw the first punch. After thorough baiting, yes, but still. She needed to talk to him about this. And so she hit her comm badge. =/\= Petrova to Ryylar. =/\=

<<Bellerophon's Den>>

Ryylar was cleaning several tables up after patrons had left since the dinner rush ended. His comm badge chirped. Kris was calling him.

=/\= Ryylar here Commander, go ahead. =/\= He said, standing straight and listening.

=/\= Report to my quarters, Ryylar. Petrova out. =/\= was her entire reply. She muttered quietly as she paced a bit, brows furrowed.

He moved forward and shrugged, handing his rag to another waiter who came over to finish the job as he trotted out of the lounge and made his way to her quarters. When he arrived he tapped the chime.

"Enter." she called out. Last time he had come to her quarters, he was wearing his dress uniform, and had a bottle of Dom with him. Oh how things can change. She moved to sit down on the couch, watching the door.

He stepped in, still looking a little roughed up from earlier as he walked into her quarters wearing his normal duty uniform.

"Have a seat, Ryylar." She'd tell him, motioning to a chair. Her eyes were narrowed everso slightly, as she was quietly counting, under her breath. All to control her thoughts, to not speak them out random, and embarass herself and make an already difficult situation even worse.

He calmly sat down.

"I'm in deep sssshit... she didn't assssk me to go to the couch." He said in a mumble, trying her tactic of just saying them under his breath as he sat across from her.

"I have a problem, Ryylar. And I'm sure you can guess what it is. I have several security officers in my brig, who all claim that you threw the first punch. Is this actually accurate ?" She came straight to the point.

He stopped and thought for a moment.

"Firrrrrsssst punch? No... That issssn't the trrrrruth. Did I tackle the firrrrrssssst one? Yesssss." He said with a nod, answering as truthfully as possible.

She frowned and nod. "That still comes down to you initiating the brawl. Now, I have several eyewitness reports and reports from the security officers involved, detailing the events that led up to that first physical offense. Can you tell me in your own words what happened ?"

"Yessss, I wassss wiping down tablesssss when I hearrrrrrd a crash. I walked overrrrrr and ssssssaw Virrrrrrginia on the floorrrrrr picking up broken glassssss becaussssse that idiot Lieutenant tripped herrrrrr so he could look at her asssssss. I told him that he should leave herrrrr alone and pick up the glasssss that was brrrroken and then leave. So he started prrrrrrovoking me." He said.

"Called me pusssssy cat, assssssked what I wasssssss going to do if they didn't sssssstop, and I told Virrrrrrginia to get back behind the barrrrr. I told them I would rrrrrrreport it to Commander LaBrie himsssssself if they didn't sssssstop. They called me a cowarrrrrrd and kept prrrrrovoking me, sssssso I tackled the Lieutenant." He said with a nod.

She sighed softly and furrowed her brows, starting to count again. Obviously deep in thought but managing to keep counting, despite several random words poking through the numbers every now and then. Another sigh before she spoke again. "Attacking a ranking officer .. Engaging in a brawl .. It isn't looking very good for you, Ryylar."

She narrowed her eyes everso slightly as she looked straight at him. "I can protect you. But I won't. Because, if I do, people will lose faith in my ability to function as Second Officer of this ship. They will say that I pull in favors for those I like. And they'll stop respecting me. When they do that, I can just as well pack in and resign."

She paused a moment, before continuing. "This is why I will leave the final decision for any disciplinary action up to Commander LaBrie. But, to be fair, I think you should be prepared to get a note on your record and a day, possibly several, in the brig." She remained silent now, waiting for his reply to this news.

"I didn't know that ssssssexual harrrrrassssment wassssss ssssstill allowed in the Federrrrrration... And rrrrrracccccisssssm I thought was banned too... How little we Caitiansssss know of cccccivilization by defending people who arrrrrre being abusssssed. It'sssss a good thing that the ssssmarrrrrt human Federrrrration hasssss come to sssshow usssss how backwarrrrrdssss we arrrre." He said sarcastically.

"Damnit, Ryylar !" She rose to her feet in anger. "The fate of those security officers is NOT your concern - just know that even if LaBrie gives you a Week in the brig, it'll be a walk in the park compared to what those bastards are getting ! I just signed off on two rank demotion, transfer Off the ship and a month each in the brig !"

She paced a bit, fuming. "But that doesn't excuse the fact that you Attacked a ranking officer - instead of calling security - or, in this case - command ! We might've been able to diffuse the situation without the need for violence, and without causing a crewman mental issues."

She stopped pacing and looked straight at him. "And now I have the great misfortune of being the one to tell you that you screwed up ! Because you Did ! No matter how much right you had - this is Starfleet - we don't start beating up other people because they call us cowards ! No matter how honorable your intentions were - the biggest part of me is Proud of what you did, Ryylar !

And I need every ounce of self control to not pounce and tackle and hug and kiss and smother you with affection, but I have a Job to do ! And it's outbursts like That one, that make this job a Lot more difficult than it needs to be ! So - as both the ship's first officer And your girlfriend, I ask you - strongly - to just accept whatever disciplinary action Commander LaBrie thinks suitable for the situation, and rest assured that you did the Right Thing ! .. GOD I hate this job some times !" She'd add, steaming, as she flopped on the couch again, pulling her knees up folding her arms around them, plopping her head on her knees and closing her eyes, rocking back and forth a bit.

Ryylar watched Kris stand and shout at him, telling him at one moment that he royally screwed the pooch, and the next she said how proud of him she was. He stood and took a ragged breath.

"I can't in good conssssscience acccccept punisssshment forrrrrr doing the rrrrrrright thing. I'll be appealing Commanderrrrrr LaBrrrrrie'ssss decissssion on the matterrrrr until all charrrrrgesssss arrrre drrrrropped." He said, moving over to her and ever so gently wrapping his arms around her as he moved up behind her on the couch.

"Ryylar, please .. " She'd whimper a bit, half pulling away from him, half wanting to just snuggle against him. The latter half won out and she leaned into him. "Please, just go with it. They insulted you. You started the brawl. It's their fault, but you aren't completely clean either. Please, just .. let it go. Appealing will take time, will give us all headaches that, quite simply, I cannot use."

She nuzzled into his neck, wrapping an arm around him. "a day in the brig, maybe two, that's not so bad. I'll come and visit, and you'll know for yourself that you did the right thing, and in the end, that's what matters, isn't it ?"

"I knew forrrrr myssssself what I did aboarrrrrd the Rrrrrhode Island wassssn't honorrrrable. But my rrrracccce punished me forrrrr it. You pointed out to me that I ssssshould be prrrrroud of my actionsssss. I may only be ssssssome little Warrrrrrrant officccerrrrr, but I'm ssssstill yourrrrr man... and I won't have it be sssssaid that you date a man that isssss willing to ssssstand by and let injusssssticccce ssssstand." He said with a nod.

"I would kill forrrrrr you Krrrrrisssstiana... But if I did it in ssssself defenssssse ssssshould I be sssssent away forrrrrr murrrrrderrrr?" He asked her, holding her in his arms.

"No .." She'd quietly admit. "I want a man who fights for a woman's honor, but who can .. .. " She'd sigh. "I don't know what I want .. I .. just know that .. I don't want to see you go through all those hearings and stuff that an appeal inherently brings. If you accept whatever punishment LaBrie sees fit to give you, that'll be the end of it. But an appeal will last months .. "

She sighed quietly and nuzzled him again. "Months that I'll be here, on the Pegasus .. Months that you'll be in a holding cell, wherever they are holding the hearings. You'll need a lawyer, and witnesses, and you'll put Mason through that whole event again, because I just know that she'll be called out as witness .. Is that what you want ? To drag this whole thing on and on and on, much longer than it ever needs to ?"

"I want to be prrrrroven innoccccent of a crrrrrrime which isssss being unjusssstly leveled againsssst me." He said softly.

"I may not be therrrre with you... but I will alwaysssss love you Krrrrisssstiana Petrrrrrova." He said softly.

"Damnit, Ryylar, you stubborn .. " She'd kiss him to silence herself. "You attacked first .. That's a fact. And That is what you're being accused of. That's not unjust, is it ? You admitted so, yourself. They egged you into doing it, and they are serving their sentence for doing that. And for their remarks and actions towards Mason. And for engaging in a bar brawl. But you should've called someone in to help defuse the situation .. And you didn't. I know it sucks, but Starfleet is just anal about these things."

"In one man'ssss eyesssss he isssss a herrrrro... in anotherrrrr'ssss he'ssss a crrrrriminal." He said softly, acknowledging that while what he did was right by anyone's standards, there were always going to be some who didn't agree and would demonize him for his actions.

"But if it'ssss what makessss you happy... I'll do it Krrrrissstiana..." He said with a slight sigh. It broke his heart to give in and give up, but it was for her, not him, and he was thinking of her now.

She frowned as she looked at him .. Looked hard and deep. "..... No. We'll .. await what LaBrie has to say .. Then we decide. Maybe he'll just .. wave the whole thing away - I don't know." She'd close her eyes again and snuggle with him. ".. But enough about this, for now .."

"All rrrrrright dearrrrr." He said softly, holding his Russian angel in his arms. He softly whispered that he loved her as they sat in her quarters just holding one another.


A prideful JP by:

Lt Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer USS Pegasus "My sig is bigger than Caelen's"


Warrant Officer Ryylar Morale Officer Lounge Manager USS Pegasus "You only have the rights you are willing to fight for."