Trojan Horse #137, 138 - "Hey Sulan, We're Talking About You."


[Main Bridge, Deck One, USS Pegasus]

Caelen sat in his chair, slumped, hanging was more the word. He was depressed and it could only get worse, at least that's what he figured. He was not in a good mood and until the Pegasus was up and running again it wouldn't be any better. They were waiting for the tugboat SB47 had send for them because they would fry every circuit on the ship if they would continue tugging the USS Lantree with them by themselves. They were drifting in space again, waiting for somebody else to save them, dependant on others and Caelen hated that.

At her own station, Kitty sat caught in the midst of indecision and feeling as if the burden on her own shoulders was getting heavier and heavier. She could go see Evans again in a few hours and tell him all about it... but for now, she had to decide what to do. She wanted to talk about it all to a superior officer, someone who would know better what to do.. because she wasn't sure. She finally sighed as she realized that the only reason she wasn't going right away to talk to a superior was because she'd managed to get yelled at so often that she was nervous at the very thought. So she steeled herself and typed in a message for the captain... ::I'd like to talk to you for a moment, please, when you've got the time. - Lt. Black:: She hit send and sighed again, this time in relief. At least she'd tried.

Caelen almost lept from his chair when he got the notification and wanted to shout 'on-screen'. But then he found out that it was a personal message on his console only, he tapped a few keys to open it up and read through the small, and to the point, message. He frowned a bit and then tapped his combadge =/\= Commander LaBrie to Lieutenant Black, please respond =/\=

Kitty blinked in surprise. She hadn't expected a response so soon. =/\= Black here, what is it, Captain? =/\=

=/\= So you still have your badge on you...=/\= Caelen wondered out loud =/\=...there are several reasons for wearing these things you know, looking pretty isn't really one of them=/\= he said getting up from his chair and walking into his, wrecked, ready room. =/\= what is it that you wanted to talk about? =/\=

=/\= Are you alone, sir? =/\= Kitty asked cautiously. =/\=It's something that's been bothering me, and I don't know any better way to handle it than to pass it on. =/\=

Caelen looked around =/\= unless we've been boarded by invisible aliens that are holding up in my ready room, I'm alone...=/\= he listened a bit for a response =/\=...that was a joke Lieutenant, you need to relax a bit =/\= he knew that this advice might very well be pointed at him and that he would deny every letter of it. =/\= do you want to do it over the com or would you rather come up?=/\=

=/\=Uh=/\= Kitty took a deep breath and considered that. Better to make sure she wasn't misunderstood.. even if the thought did make her more nervous. =/\=I'll be right up.=/\= And indeed she was heading into the Ready Room about as soon as she could make her way around the corridors that were still used as conduits and walk the decks where the turbolifts were having problems.

Caelen walked around his ready room waiting for Black to arrive, she took long enough for him to look around the rubble. He pushed a plate aside and saw the content of his 'trophee cupboard' and picked up the miniature of the USS Pegasus, one he had gotten from his wife. T'Rell had fixed it after his outbirst on the first, or was it second, mission. He picked it up, it was in worse shape then the Pegasus herself. The saucer section crumpled, a nacelle missing and the other only half attached. He shook his head a bit, this ship was never meant for greatness like the USS Enterprise or the USS Voyager. They would be on patrol, stumbling from bad luck to bussiness that wasn't theirs. He heard somebody open the door behind him and he quickly turned around and got to his desk, placing the damaged scale on top of it. "Good evening, Lieutenant"

"Is it evening?" Kitty looked tired.. not physically tired, but strained. She smiled, though, as she sat down. "I'm just hoping to head off any problems early.. crew problems. I know I'm not as good at handling these things with Petrova. I had a talk with our security chief earlier today, and I had a few.. well... You know, I guess they aren't strong enough to be real 'worries'. Maybe I'd just call them 'concerns'.

"Get to the point Lieutenant" Caelen urged his 2nd XO to get on with it, he actually did have enough time having to wait for that blasted tugboat but somehow he felt that he wasn't going to like this conversation any more then the last one he had with Kitty.

Kitty took a deep breath and nodded, and got on with the point. "She draws her conclusions a little differently than most people do, but I think she's doing her best. I was a little concerned about the most recent training program she's set up. She said it was targeting crewmembers and that it was geared towards dealing with shapeshifters. She was very open about it and invited me to watch, but I don't think I could. The reasoning seemed.. sound.. but there's something about it that bothers me, and I don't know what it is, so I thought I'd better just tell you about it. I'm not good at this, and it's probably nothing..."

"Targeting crewmembers?" Caelen leaned forward a bit "you mean as in shooting them?" he tried to clarify it for himself, surely she couldn't be serious, that would be extreme even for Sulan.

"She just said 'engaging', sir," Kitty said slowly. "Might just mean being able to safely disable anyone who becomes a threat, even if they have a familiar face. She invited me to attend, as I said, but I don't think I could handle it. Maybe someone else should? Someone who will know whether or not it's getting out of hand?"

"I have no interest in watching her insanity from any closer then I already do..." Caelen leaned back in his chair again "...she has gone to far but I reckon that if I talk to her it will do No good. You're the Chief Engineer right?" he asked, rhetorically of course.

"Last time I checked, sir," said Kitty. This whole matter was just so bizarre, she felt the need to inject just the slightest bit of humor. "Uh.. She says that there will be people coming after her, probably when we reach the starbase. But I'm not convinced she's actually insane. She might be telling the truth."

"I thought we were talking about her killing the crew of the Pegasus in the Holodeck, to solve that I will let you do your job. We need more power to the engines and hull integrity, take all power off non essential systems..." both Caelen and Kitty knew that included the holodeck " far as the Starbase goes, as long as she doesn't ask me for help there is nothing I can do for her, I can't go protecting her or warranting security escorts based on hear say"

"If she means to deal with it herself I think we will allow her to..." Caelen stated calmly, he had no interest in interfering in Sulan's business if she thought it was her own. "...Replicators are essential, Lieutenant, didn't they teach you that at the Academy? If a Captain is left without his Coffee he'll become cranky... I thought that was the first lesson in Engineering"

Kitty couldn't help but chuckle at that. "I get my coffee from a different source." She nodded. "Alright, non-essentials offline. That's a good idea just on principle, even though we do have main power. I'm glad someone's coming to bring us in. Are we getting a complete refit?"

"By the time they are done the Carpet won't even be the same..." Caelen stated looking around his Ready Room a bit " I will miss this carpet..." he smirked a bit "...Although I think it will take less resources to build a new ship Command thinks differently, we're still flying after all"

"Only because we can't technically sink," Kitty said with a wry smile. "Looks like a working vacation for me, right?"

Caelen shrugged a bit "if you want to... I could also let the Starbase crew handle all this..." he looked the Lieutenant in her eyes "...knowing you it will be a working vacation though"

Kitty looked back up at him, no longer joking. "It depends on how long we have and how far we can go, sir..."

Frowning at this Caelen wondered out loud "I'm sorry, I didn't quite follow..." he stated, looking fully interested but a bit confused.

"Sailing season isn't quite over yet, sir," Kitty admitted. "The main race is done, but I might still get into one of the smaller ones. But mostly... my grandfather had his operation while we were in the mirror universe, and I wouldn't mind having the chance to visit him. Again, depending on how long we have and how far we're allowed to travel."

Caelen nodded "I see, well I think a complete refit of the ship with take about two months on average... according to my records you still have four weeks of shoreleave, you can go to the Delta Quadrant if you can make it back in time" he joked a bit.

Kitty chuckled brightly at that, smiling, a sparkle coming back into her eyes. "New England shoreline will be quite far enough. What about Evans? I wanted to ask him to come with me."

"We all have four weeks of shoreleave coming" Caelen replied to that, because officially they hadn't been on 'vacation' at all since they were assigned to the USS Pegasus, although they did make some sidetrips here and there.

"I'll ask Him, then," Kitty said more quietly. "If he's well enough to come." She frowned. "I have to admit... I... will kind of like not being responsible for everybody for a little while. Is that a bad reaction?"

"To be honest I would love two months of not having to care for anyone's safety..." Caelen admitted himself " joy for me though, I'll be drowning in paperwork after our latest escapades"

"The entire time?" Kitty shook her head a little. "You need a break." She paused and backtracked a little. "Sir." She sat there, wondering how she'd managed to let herself slip and become so casual.

Caelen nodded a bit "tell that to the pencil pusher back on Earth for me will ya... it might help..." he smiled a bit and got up "...I wanted to tell you something, Lieutenant, something I haven't told you before... at least not that I remember"

Kitty blinked and nodded, also rising to her feet, tipping her head just slightly to the side.

"I think you're a great Engineer that has far more potential and ability then you allow yourself to know..." Caelen said, putting out his hand "...and while this Ship nor it's Commanding Officer will ever be legendary as the Enterprise or Voyager you have the Potential to be up there with Montgomery Scott, Geordi LaForge and B'Elanna Torres..." he shook the hand of his Chief Engineer "...I couldn't have asked for a better Engineer, Lieutenant"

Kitty blinked and shook hands... she looked back at him, awestruck by the praise... and didn't seem to have a clue what to say. She opened her mouth, then closed it, then opened it again... she gave a slight, amazed chuckle and seemed to have tears in her eyes until she blinked them back. "Thank you sir..." is finally what came out.

Caelen smirked a bit, it was good to see at least one happy face walking around this ship, he might have exaggerated a bit but after what he put her through last time they made he knew she deserved it "Now back to duty, only two more days..." he then stated, professional again.

"Yessir!" Kitty said brightly, looking freshly energized and 'high as a kite' on the strength of that compliment. "We'll make sure the repair list is laid out in detail by the time we arrive, and I'll take the secondary systems offline as soon as I get back to my office."

Caelen gave a firm nod "Very well, Lieutenant, keep up the good work" he stated and sat back in his seat, picking up a PADD, one of the few that was still intact. He thought he solved the Sulan thing rather well, at least it wouldn't bother him for the not so distant future.

Kitty exited the Ready Room with a smile, feeling quite relieved and buoyant.


Commander Caelen LaBrie Commanding Officer USS Pegasus "Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici"

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus