River of Forgetfulness: #145&146 - "The Story"

-={On}=- [Nancela's Personal Quarters, Starbase Ronin]

Nancela still sat in a corner, crying, shivering, in the dark. She didn't want to be here, she wanted to wake up now from this horrible nightmare. A knife lay next to her, she tried to take her own life but couldn't bring herself to it. Now she sat, knees pulled up to her chest, eyes full of tears and arms around her knees.

Andrew panted, shortsword hangly loosely in his right hand, shield dropping to the floor. <How many is that now? 20? 25?> He thought, genuinely having no idea. He knew he would haev work to do when he got back, so he was stalling as long as possible. Plus, the combadge was on him if they were desperate.

Nancela slowly lifted her head, she needed to talk to someone, someone she could trust... but she couldn't trust anyone... could she? Her hand shook a bit as she tapped her combadge =/\= Sublieutenant Nancela to Ensign Kennedy... =/\= she hessitated a bit =/\= ...are you there counsellor? =/\=

<Speak of the devil> He thought, then responded. =/\= Kennedy here. What seems to be the problem, Sublieutenant? =/\= His speech was rapid, as he was still regaining his energy.

=/\= I... I need to talk to you =/\= Nancela stuttered slightly

<Ya THINK!?> Andrew thought to himself, but managed to bite his tongue. =/\= Very well, meet me at my office in about five minutes, we can talk in private there. =/\= <So glad the blabbermouth disease was wiped out...> The thought, annoyed at the fact he thought like the pre-Q Kennedy.

Nancela shook her head furiously =/\=No... no... no... that's no good... =/\= she was afraid somebody might recognise her =/\= ... can you come to my quarters...=/\=

Andrew raised an eyebrow at this request =/\= Well, normally I don't do housecalls. I'm not a doctor, I'm a psychologist. But since I want to avoid my office for a bit, I may as well meet you there. Kennedy out. =/\= Andrew spoke while walking through the corridors, entering the Turbolift. "Crew Quarters" He spoke, and the Turbolift took him. A small walk later, and he pressed the chime to Nancela's quarters.

"Enter..." Nancela said only half-heartedly, she knew who it was. She had already put the knife away and was now sitting in a chair rather then on the floor in a corner. The room was even half lit.

Andrew walked in, and immediately began taking mental notes on the appearance of the room. <Hmm... kinda dark... but organized, if a little bare...> "Making sure the door did in fact close behind him, he began. "Okay Sublieutenant, I'm here. What is it that you wish to talk about?" He began, watching her.

"How far are you willing to go to protect your only relative?" Nancela asked him, rather then telling her story.

Taken aback by the question, Andrew thought for a moment. "Hmm... This is tough. Depending on the situation, I guess. If the relative is in danger, I would do anything to ensure their safety. If they're fine, I would watch over them carefully, but not do anything rash. Why? Trying to protect someone?" He asked kindly, not scrutinizingly.

"I did terrible things in order to keep my mother safe..." Nancela looked down at her hands, seeing them go blurry again as another wave of tears accumulated in her eyes "...you know how I fled Romulus after the Shinzon incident right?" she wanted to make sure he understood, because if he didn't he would just shoot her where she sat.

"I've read the reports, if you wish to go into your side, I will listen." He pulled his phaser off his belt, which remained there since the red alert status arose, and placed it on the small table closest to him, then moved away from it. "To prove I won't do anything rash." He said, explaining his action.

Nancela shifted a bit in her chair as he took the phaser off his belt, sure to jump out of the aim if he were to shoot it "They killed my father... Shinzon that is... and in the aftermath the Romulan Empire couldn't care less about me and my family" she shook her head a bit "my brother went insane and stormed the senate, he was shot before he could even set a foot inside..." she looked him in the eyes "...my mother and me lived in poverty, I tried to get a commission in the fleet... to get a little currency... and that's where I heard of this oppertuniry... Starbase Ronin... a new beginning..." she looked down again "...my mother wouldn't come... she was to stubborn"

"Understandable." Andrew shifted his weight onto one leg, and leaned against the wall. "So what's happened to your mother now? You said you did terrible things to protect her, but you came here to make money to help her..."

Nancela shook her head "I don't make enough to support us both... but we were managing... the Federation is a lot more social then the Romulan Star Empire..." she sighed "...and then the Tal'Shiar came"

Andrew quirked an eyebrow. He knew about the Tal'Shiar, everyone did. A ruthless group, devoted to their task, not caring about the well-being of others. "Oh God... They couldn't find you, so they went after your mother instead? Or they were going after her to get to you, or to lure you out?" Andrew asked, trying to learn more abouit the sub lieutenant.

"You don't even know what happened yet, do you?" Nancela enquired.

"It's how I work. I ask probing questions to get the facts out. I'm sorry if it feels intruding, but it's just how I was trained, and part of who I am. And no, I don't know what happened." He said, answering her question.

Nancela jumped from her seat "You think this red alert is because of the Christmas season?!" she asked mockingly, tears now rolling down her cheeks "There was an Explosion in sickbay! A Bomb exploded and killed three people!" she blurted out.

"And you were the cause of it?" he asked calmly, knowing emotions would get her killed, by his hand or her own. he knew a knife or phaser would be close at hand. "And I knew of a disturbance in SIckbay, I did not know what it was that caused it. I thought the Reman had regained consciousness, and was trying to get out."

"They... they threatened..." she suddenly looked alarmed at the Counsellor "...you can't tell anyone, you hear, no one can know of this... they will kill my mother if they find out I told you this!"

"I have an oath that I must follow, one that gives patient confidentiality. I shall breathe no word of this to no one, under any circumstances. He suddenly thought of something. "Wait... who was killed in the blast? And, what was threatened?" He looked right at her, eyes piercing into her.

"They... they..." her breath now stuttering again "...the Tal'Shiar, they threatened to kill my mother if I didn't do it... I didn't want to do it, you have to believe me!"

Andrew pushed off the wall, walking slowly to her. He put a hand on her shoulder. "Sublieutenant..." He began, then shook his head. "Nancela, look at me. I want you to look at my eyes when I say this. I believe you, okay. I believe you." He looke daway, then looked at her again. "Either you're a damn good actor, or it's the truth. I think it's the latter. The body language proves that. We all make mistakes, okay. I don't judge, I can't allow it doing what I do. I have to stay a neutral party as best I can."

"I killed people..." Nancela knew he had every right to hate her "...I killed that Reman... and I killed two Starfleet officers... for all you know they were your friends... I Killed Your Friends!"

"But I don't hate you for it. I hate actions, not people. What you were under? It's called duress. Threatening to get something done is illegal, at least under Federation law. I don't know about Romulan law, and the Tal'Shiar are seemingly above that anyway. But I won't let you get arrested. You have my word, both as a professional counselor and as a person, that I will NOT tell anyone of what transpired here today. Understand?" He thought. "You never answered my question though. Who was it that dies in the blast? I know now the Reman was killed, but the other two?"

Nancela shook her head "One was a Vulcan... in red... rather tall..." she tried to think of if... but couldn't without hearing the screams "...it was the one that came with you guys from the Pegasus" she shook her head "...the other I don't know..." she then looked at Kennedy "...you're lying... you can't keep this a secret from your Security Chief... nor from the CO... you have to inform them"

"Hmm..." He thought about the old crew. "T'Rell. So he's gone now..." He closed his eyes, mourning the loss of a good officer. "As for that last statement, I'll take the documentation, and possible firing, over letting you rot away in prison, or be killed immediately. At least then we'll be alive. I'll be out of a job, but I have options on Earth still. I gave you my word, I intend on keeping it."

Nancela shook her head "I can't live like this..." she then suddenly, out of nothing grabbed the phaser pistol and put it against her head "...you have to inform them"

"See? Now this is both the reason I try to keep emotion out of my work, and a perfect example of duress." He quipped, then grabbed her arm. "As for the threat of your own life, please don't. You're a good officer, why would you risk it all because you don't want to live with guilt?"

"Tell Them!" http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/OF_SB47/join Edit MembershipNancela resisted and stepped back putting the phaser back to her head "Tell them what I told you... make them understand..."

"Will you listen to reason dammit!? I'll tell them, I'll help you in court, just put the phaser away!" He grabbed her arm again, then attempted to grab the gun itself.

A shot fired from the weapon, not hitting her head bit the wall on the far side of the corner, security now surely knew about this. Suddenly she felt all power drain from her body, she didn't hold the phaser anymore, she wasn't able to keep standing... she slumped on the ground and started crying again.

"Well, you wanted security, now they'll be coming." Andrew sat down beside her, and put a comforting arm around her. "Okay, if you really want me to tell them what went on here, I will. Otherwise, we'll have to think of something else. Your call."

Nancela didn't react but curled up in his arms, she cried... she just cried in the comfort of knowing that it was all over now... she was going to take the blame... she did what she had to do.... for herself... for her mother... for the Empire...


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Sublieutenant Nancela (NPC) Romulan Exchange Officer Starbase Ronin (as played by Caelen LaBrie)

Ensign Andrew Kennedy Chief Counselor Starbase Ronin "First don't tell, then tell... what next?"