That's my Q 63 & 64 "Loose Ends." (backpost)

-=On=- [Starbase Ronin, hours before the Halloween party]

Kitty had just finished putting her luggage in her new room and already she was ready to go on the move. Having made her decision to give back the chip, she felt she could not wait until it was well out of her hands. Just having it there made her nervous. She checked the computer and was relieved to see that Sulan was out of the brig. "Let's see..." Kitty sent a text message, hoping that it sounded casual. ::Good morning, or afternoon as the case may be. I was hoping I'd get a chance to speak with you, when would be a good time?:: She reread it three times before sending it.

Sulan sat in her quarters, and was finishing the last calibrations of her halo, when the console beeped. she sat the halo on a nearby table and renewed the newly arrived message. Her face went slightly pale and she controlled the surge of emotion with effort. "Now, it begins..." She said quietly to herself, and she glanced up at her display of weapons without thinking.

She remembered how she had opened the locker containing her weapons, after figuring out the password of "Elmer". Only to feel a wave of dread at seeing the tools that she had used for assassination neatly packed with the rest of her gear. Her nearly panicked mind had insisted that perhaps she hadn't examined the contents of the box, but logically she knew, that could not be true. Shoving the thoughts of the past to the back of her mind, she responded to the message. ::You are welcome to speak with me anytime that you find agreeable.:: and hit the send key.

Kitty heard the beep of her console as she was upbraiding her hair and brushing it out. She smiled with relief. ::Great, I'll be right there.:: She sent that, shook out her long hair, and smiled wryly as the kinks from the braid all fell right out, leaving her hair just as straight as it always was. "Ah well.." she said with a wry smile. She didn't bother changing out of her traveling clothes, that preferred ancient Earth style of flowered t-shirt and bluejeans. She had to ask the computer for directions to Sulan's new quarters, but after a moment of confusion she was tapping the doorbell.

"Enter." Sulan said, as she hung the pearlescent dress on a hanger, on a hook on the closed closet door, with the wings and halo. Her new quarters were larger, yet still spartan and functional. Her weapons glittered on the wall, with Elmer in front of them, seated on a brown false wood chest of drawers.

Kitty took a deep breath and stepped inside. She smiled, though she was a little nervous. Not of Sulan... but of anyone who might be listening... who might find out what she was about to do. "Hi... uhm..." Kitty saw the weapons set almost at once. "Oh good, you got them out. Were they all in good shape?"

"Yes. The weapons were well stored." Sulan said carefully, as she watched her approach, Kitty bore no weapons. Good. So surely Kitty was only interested in blackmail. she relaxed slightly. "How was your trip?" Sulan asked trying to make it sound light.

"It went well..." Kitty relaxed a little, starting to try to think of how she could work mention of the chip into the conversation without actually mentioning it. "We tried a boat race... the weather went bad, but everyone ended up okay. I met Evans' family.. they're really nice. I'm guessing things went alright for you?"

"Quite. I meditated heavily. After my release from the brig, I assumed command of the marine detachment on board the station. It was quite an experience."

"I think you'll do well there," Kitty said with a wry smile. She took a deep breath. As much as she tried to be 'properly subversive', she was really very bad at it... "Did you find all of your stuff there? Uhm, nothing missing?"

"Yes... In fact, there was more there than I had expected there to be. Your search methods are quite thurough."

"Oh, uh.. yeah." Kitty gave up trying to read Sulan's expression. "But I think there was something I missed." She wondered quietly... do Section 31 people have cameras in everyone's rooms? HOW the heck do you find out?

"Oh? What did you miss?" She read the girl's expression, and interpreted it correctly. "You may speak freely. This room is free of recording devices."

Kitty blinked at that, then gave a sigh of relief, relaxing considerably. She gave a slight chuckle in relief and nodded. "Uh, 'scuse me a second..." She reached down the front of her t-shirt, fiddled slightly with something in her undergarment, and drew out the somewhat warm chip in it's protective case. She offered it to Sulan with a sense of deep relief. "There you go, it's the original."

Sulan blinked, accepting the chip with a shaking hand. "This...this is indeed the original. but... but your actions are not logical... why would you return this to me?"

"Because it belongs to you." Kitty was slightly shaky too, looking heartily glad to see it back in Sulan's hand. "It... didn't seem right... to destroy it, when they probably destroyed the copy... and... oh, it was all my fault, I'm so sorry, I hope I didn't make everything worse..." That all just spilled out of her, as she'd been thinking it over and over in the past weeks.

"No... You did not. I-I had assumed you had meant to blackmail me with it... I did not- I suppose I had come to expect subversion from others. I am honored in your faith in me, and regret that I did not have the same faith in you. I humbly ask your forgiveness." She said, and she bowed.

Kitty blinked, quite confused and taken aback by that whole admission. She remained silent for a moment, watching the bow, letting it all circulate through her mind, and then she reached out to touch Sulan's shoulder. She paused just in time, remembering what she'd been told about Sulan's training, how even touching was difficult at times. Her first inclination was to say that there was no need to bow, but she bit down on that. If that made Sulan feel better, she was fine with it. "Forgiveness? Given, readily and gladly." She smiled, though she was still a bit shaky. "Blackmail... Hah. I never even thought of that."

"The fact that you had never thought of it... That is what amazes me about you. That, and the fact that you trust me so, even now, after all this." She gently embraced the girl, before letting her go.

Kitty hugged back gently, wide-eyed, then gave a slight, wry chuckle. "You never hurt me. You protected me back on the ship, and you're helping me with my nightmares. You trusted me with your entire weapons collection. That, and I'm not good at being subversive, really."

Had she been able, Sulan would have laughed at that. Instead she simply commented. "Yes, you do seem to lack skill in subversion."

"It's because I'm just an engineering geekette," Kitty chuckled. "Look at us, we're both shaky." She had noticed, just hadn't commented on it. "Want something to drink?"

"I would find a drink with you agreeable, but the time for the costume party has nearly arrived. perhaps once it is concluded, we can start the sessions in combating your nightmares?"

"Oh no, I've still got to change!" Kitty nodded. "After the party, sure. Thank you." She smiled wryly. "I think I'd better let you know that I was ordered to destroy that chip. So 'technically' it doesn't exist. I think they probably got all the other copies."

Sulan nodded. "Please do not think that the risk you've taken for me shall go unremembered. I believe that this is two favors I owe you now."

Kitty shook her head. "I'm just trying to do as I feel is right." She smiled. "And I feel a load off my chest just having given it up. I'll see you at the party, right?"

"Correct." Sulan said emotionlessly, yet she felt great relief internally. "I'm sure the event will be quite interesting."

Kitty thought for a moment of her crewmates all closed into the same room together in costume and quirked a smile. "Always," she said, and waved good-bye as she headed back out the door, walking with a light step now.


A join post by:

1st Lieutenant Telek Sulan Marine Commanding Officer SB 47

& Lieutenent Kathleen Black Chief of Engeneering SB 47