A Mirror Shattered #27, 28 - Cat's Paw

ON: <<USS Pegasus, Ryylar's Quarters, Prior to Yellow Alert>>

Ryylar sat in his quarters, playing a computerized game of 'Cait's Paw' on the desk console. He smiled a bit as he watched the cards being dealt to him. It seemed he was having a lucky streak today.

Andrew walked to Ryylar's quarters. As per orders, he was required to give psychiatral help to Ryylar, if needed. He highly doubted it, which is why he brought the chess set with him. He hit the chime on the door, and waited for Ryylar's response.

"Come in." He said, closing down the computer game of Cait's paw and standing to move towards the door.

Andrew entered. "Hello Ryylar, I trust you remember who I am, and why I'm here. We both know neither of us actually wants to be here, so I'm gonna make this easy. I'll try to get you out of this early with a good psychological report to Caelen, it'll look good on your record, and we'll be free of each other soon. Of course, this'll be shot to hell if you anger me." He said, jokingly at the end.

"Ah grrrrrreat. Ssssssoundssssss good to me." He said with a bright smile and a salute.

"Come on in and have a sssssseat. Can I get you anything to eat orrrrr drrrrrink?" He asked in a friendly tone.

"If you can get me some water, that'd be great." Andrew replied, sitting down. He placed the chess set on the table, but didn't make any move towards setting it up. That would come after a brief talk.

"Ssssurrrrre thing." He said, walking over to the replicator and ordering a plain glass of ice water with a slice of lemon on the glass. When it materialized he nodded and turned to take the glass over to Andrew, sitting down at the table as he set the glass before the counselor.

"Thanks, nice touch with the lemon." He took a sip from the glass. Nice and cold. "Okay, what I'll do is have a brief talk, then, to see an example of thinking patterns, we'll play Chess. I find it reveals a lot about a person's character. When they go on the defense, when they're aggressive, and such. How does that sound?"

"Ssssoundssssss good to me." He said with a nod, folding his hands and relaxing as he sat back and waited for Kennedy to begin the psychiatric evaluation.

"Okay, I know why you did it. I have a talk with your barmaid, who told me, in her words, what happened. You've had four days to think about what happened. With that, would you have changed what you did?" He grabbed a PADD from his pocket and began making notes. He thought for a moment and furrowed his brow.

"I believe that I would have, yessssss. I did the rrrrrrright thing forrrrrr prrrrrotecting both my rrrrrrightssss and my crrrrewman'ssss rrrrrightssssss. I jussssst did it in the wrrrrrrrong mannerrrrrr. If that makesssss sssssenssssse." He said with a nod to Kennedy.

He made some notes. "Makes perfect sense. Defending what you believe in, using the wrong methods is what radical groups always do. Rioting, blocking traffic, those were always used in large arguments in the past. What would you have done, now that you would have changed it? "In hindssssssight which isssss asssss you humansssss ssssssay, 20/20, I would prrrrrobably have called forrrrrrr Commanderrrrrr LaBrrrrrrie orrrrrr Commanderrrrrr Petrrrrrova to interrrrrvene." He said with a slow nod.

More notes. "So, you would have swallowed your pride, and called one of the Commanders in, letting the security guys insult you? Commendable, not many people would actually do that. I see a change of heart here Ryylar. I must say, it's in the positive direction." He drank some of the water. "Would you say pride dictated what you did then, and does it dictate what you do now?"

"I don't know if prrrrrride wassssss the anssssswerrrrr therrrrre. I rrrrrreally didn't have any. Not sssssinccccce the Caitian rrrrrrraccccce kicked me out. I think perrrrrhapsssss it wassssss angerrrrrr. The Federrrrrrration and Sssssstarrrrrrfleet became my family and my new rrrrrracccce of ssssorrrrtssss. But you sssssee, when I ssssssaw officcccerrrrrrssss disssssplaying attitudesssss like that it made me angrrrrrrry that my new home. My new family. My new rrrrracccce would act in ssssssuch a mannerrrrrrr." He said with a slow nod as he analyzed his own actions and did his best to describe the emotions and thought processes behind his actions.

"Intriguing. So, Starfleet is your home, and you acted like the security personnel were older brothers making fun of your younger sister? Sort of the 'defender of the weaker siblings' ideology?" "Sssssorrrrrrt of... yessssss... yesssss... that'ssss it. I guessss I alssssso prrrrrobably didn't like the idea that we werrrrrre both wearrrrrrring the ssssssame uniforrrrrrm. I mean I won't lie. I've been a bit of a ssssssslut myssssssself frrrrrrom time to time. Neverrrrrr until rrrrreccccently did I everrrrr have much rrrrrrresssspect forrrrrrr rrrrrrelationssssshipsssss orrrrrrr anything. Maybe what I ssssssssaw wassssss angerrrrrring asssss I didn't want it to sssssseem to otherrrrrsssss asssss a rrrrreflection of Sssssstarrrrrfleet." He said with a shrug.

"Interesting. One more set of questions. How are things with you and Kristiana? And has that relationship affected how you think now? What would happen if the relationship ended? Would you revert back to what you once were?"

"Krrrrrissss and I arrrrre grrrrrrrreat. And yesssss, it mosssst undoubtedly hassss. I am doing my bessssst to change my behaviorrrrrrr and become a betterrrrrr officccccerrrrr and perrrrssssson sssssso we can ssssstay togetherrrrrr." He said, then thinking about the second set of two questions. "I don't want to think of the ending of ourrrrrr rrrrrelationsssship. If it did end, I don't know how I would turrrrrrn out. I would be devassssstated and would prrrrrobably currrrrl up in a little hole and die." He said with a nod.

"Alright. I like the change you've made, Ryylar. I really do. Now, how about some Chess? I want to see how you act under pressure, your strategies. Both reflect how you behave in real life." "Ssssssurrrrrre." He said with a smile as he moved a small table ornament to the side to make room for the chess board.

Andrew quickly and efficiently set up the board. "I'll go first." He moved the pawn in front of the king, his normal opening move.

Smiling, Ryylar moved his Knight on the queen's side forward and towards the center of the board. "Therrrrrre." He said with a satisfied nod.

Andrew raised an eyebrow. The computer did this, once before. Then it continued, trying to draw out his single pieces to annihilate them one at a time. "Hmm... Based on that first move, I'll have to do this." He pulled out his moveable bishop, placing it in the middle of the board,below Ryylar's knight. <This'll be interesting, the one strategy that almost beat me out before...>

Ryylar paused and nodded slowly, pushing a pawn forward to sit up by the Knight it threatened the Bishop now and was covered by the Knight which was in turn covered by more pawns behind it. The Bishop had a choice of retreat, or annihilation.

Andrew nodded. "Just as I thought." He made a couple quick notes on his PADD before continuing. "Very well, I'm not gonna sacrifice my bishop for a pawn." He defensively moved it back out of reach. "Your move."

He nodded with a satisfied smile, slipping his bishop out one space, all he could.

Andrew pulled a knight out from the back row, ending his move immediately. <Almost like before, he's good. I'm gonna have to watch him>

Steepling his fingers, Ryylar narrowed his eyes and aggressively moved his knight forward. It likely wouldn't be threatened, but now it was unprotected.

"A sudden aggressive movement. Strategic, or suicidal? We'll soon find out." He placed the PADD down, and moved a pawn so it was in range of the knight, but covered by his own knight.

He moved his Bishop forward almost across the board. It now targeted the Knight covering that pawn.

"Bah." He moved another pawn up, covering the path between the bishop and the knight. He chuckled and moved the Knight around so it was now out of any threat.

Andrew pulled his queen out, so that it could move freely, but wasn't in any immediate danger. Smiling, he moved a pawn two spaces forward that was in front of the queen's bishop.

Andrew sighed. Nothing taken, nothing gained. A fairly boring opening. "Currently passive", he wrote on the PADD, then moved a pawn forward, resting beside his pawn from his opening move. He moved his queen and to the side which now threatened the strongest piece Kennedy had, his queen. His own queen was covered by the Knight he had moved back earlier.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not good." He moved his knight so it was now in the way of the two queens, and was defended by his bishop.

He chuckled and nodded, moving another pawn two steps forward.

Andrew moved a pawn two steps forward, allowing his right hand rook freedom.

The game of cat and mouse went on for quite a while. Ryylar would play the cat's paw routine and try every bit of subterfuge and misdirection he could think of while Kennedy would react and make daring moves forward to force Ryylar into retreat.

"Gah. We've made no progress whatsoever. Neither of us have made any ground. You remove a piece, I remove the same piece on your side." He moved his remaining rook to the middle of the board, threatening Ryylar's remaining bishop. He chuckled and slid his bishop forward diagonally, just out of the Rook's movement.

"Check." He said with a nod.

Andrew stared. If he moved the king left, it would be in check by the rook at Ryylar's end. He moved his last knight into the line between the bishop and the king, and was covered by Andrew's queen, which had been around the entire board evading enemies.

Ryylar narrowed his eyes and shifted his Rook forward to the King's rank. "Check" He said, knowing that his bishop was safe only by the rule that one had to get out of check.

Andrew looked at the board. Nothing would happen if he killed the Rook with his King. Nothing would force him to remain in check, so he was safe that way.Queen was safe as well. He moved his king, killing the rook. "I hope that works..." He said, watching Ryylar's face.

He smiled and nodded, looking at the board. There was now no true way to win for him and so he took his king and laid it gently down on the board, a symbol of surrender.

"A game well played." He said, reaching across to extend his hand in a friendly sportsmanlike shake to Kennedy.

Andrew returned the handshake. "Yes, well played indeed. You had me skirting around quite often. "I think I have an idea of your character now, from this. You can be aggressive, but prefer to be passive, allowing the other side to force themselves into trouble. Am I correct?" He began cleaning up the chess set.

"Well I don't know if I want the otherrrrrr ssssside to forrrrrrcccccce themssssselvessssss into trrrrrrouble sssssso much asssssss I would rrrrrratherrrrrr obsssssserrrrrve and let them rrrrrrreveal theirrrrrrr weaknesssssesssss. It'ssssss one of the toolssssss we werrrrrre taught in the Caitian Militarrrrrry Academy." he said with a proud nod.

"Intriguing. I had it almost correct, just a small piece out of place. I must go write my report of this meeting, and perhaps we can get you out of this two week period."

"That would be nicccccce. I enjoy the two weekssssss of ssssssitting herrrrre, but I missss my frrrrreedom." he said with a nod.


An Evaluating JP by,

Ensign Andrew Kennedy Chief Counselor USS Pegasus


Warrant Officer Ryylar Morale Officer USS Pegasus