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The Brig

Posted on Wed Jan 20th, 2021 @ 3:27pm by Commander Jordyn Elbrun DSci & Captain Acker Kather

Mission: Moving Forward
Location: Starbase 67, Deck 7

Acker was surprised to be summoned from her holding cell. She had been there several days without so much as a word from anyone. The meals were delivered through a port in the wall. Even the guards wouldn't speak to her. The only hope she had was that the crew was able to get the ship working and escape. The guards led her to a small room with a table and two chairs. She sat there alone as the guards went outside the room and closed the door.

"Captain, are you well and being cared for?" Jordyn Elbrun said from behind her. He quickly came around the table and sat down in front of her. Deep concern was etched into every fiber of his face. He had just come from that rude and obnoxious admiral's office to see her. He knew that the guards had been keeping the letter of the law and holding her without even knowing what she was being held for. In fact, he didn't even know what that was and he was her defense 'attorney'. He had no idea what he was doing and he was certain that that fact was known by the prosecutor and the judge who he had just seen.

So, he was at a disadvantage from the out. He was distressed about the outcome of this trial. But, he pushed those thoughts our of his mind when he sat down and focused all his attention on Captain Acker.

"Hello, Jordyn," Kather said with a smile. Her hands were below the table, and she seemed to be fidgeting. "You look well. I hope the rest of the crew is equally well. Nice quarters they gave me, huh?" she said with a chuckle. "At least the food here is terrible. I'm sorry they dragged you into this. You really do have more important things to do than defend a mutinous Bajoran who won't give up the command codes to her ship." She smiled slyly and winked. "I guess the powers that be already decided to scatter all of you across the universe. Just give them a message from me before they go, would you? Tell them I am proud to have been their commanding officer. I have the fullest faith and respect for all of them, including my amazing XO." She smiled again and stood. She reached out her hand to shake his. As they shook, she passed a microchip to Jordyn in the handshake. "I know you'll do the right thing," she said, smiling again. The guards came in to take her back to her cell.

"Stop right where you are! I am her defense attorney and I DEMAND more time with my client. You can tell whatever admiral gave you the order to take her away, that is he doesn't like it, he can come down here himself and take her out of this room!" Jordyn bellowed. "Now, if you will kindly leave, I have a few more things to discuss with her."

The guards grumbled and said "Five more Minutes," before leaving and closing the door again. Kather laughed when they were gone. "Those Commander pips have gone to your head." She laughed again. "Look, I don't expect you to win any case against me from Starfleet. They have actual lawyers to do their dirty work." She paused for a minute, unsure if she should say what was on her mind. "I think they'll try to use my time on DS9 against me. I killed a lot of people. I...killed some of our people. It was a mistake," she hurriedly added. "They were supposed to have evacuated. We, I mean I didn't know they were still on board. Damn Klingons!"

"See? That's what I'm talking about. I don't know what I'm doing! I feel so helpless not knowing what I'm up against, the charges against you or anything. What happens when I lose? To you. to the crew and ship? Captain, with you permission, I would like to read your mind. Now, one benefit of Betazoid telepathy is that I can focus on memories that you wish to share and only those if you focus on them. But, again, that's up to you," Jordyn said with a sad tone to his voice.

"Jordyn, I wouldn't want anyone else in my corner. I trust you completely. We have been to Hell and back, almost literally. Do you remember what I said when I offered you the XO position? Everything you do, everything you think, has to be with the ship in mind first and always. If you do that, you can do this." She smiled and took a deep breath. "Read my mind if that will help."

"I know that, Captain, and I thank you for trusting me. And for this," and he pointed to the new full pip on his collar. "I had no idea this was happening. When did you decide to do this?"

"I sent that in as soon as we were intercepted by Starfleet in this time," she laughed. "I can't have my right hand man being a Lieutenant Commander after all." She winked at him.

"If you say so, Captain Acker. Open your mind to me and I'll try to make this as easy as possible. I just need some context here," Jordyn said. "Whenever you're ready, Captain, we can begin."

At first, it was a rapid succession of singular images, dizzying to Jordyn. Then it started slowing down to show the Cardassian prison camps, the explosions at the Revenant and the siege of DS9.

As a child in the prison camps, rape was common. When she was 14, Kather lured a Cardassian soldier into an area known as a rape site, then quickly slipped a knife into his head as he began his dirty deed. She showed no remorse, even as the guards were lashing her with whips. No tears, no emotions.

At the SFM Revenant, Kather enjoyed a relatively exciting life. She loved dissecting creatures and sketching diagrams of their internal systems. While some thought it was morbid, it allowed a fascinating insight to future medical officers. When the explosions rocked the nearest city to the base, the screams and cries for help echoed in Kather's mind. She could not help any of them. They evacuated without helping anyone.

On DS9, Kather stayed behind with the Bajoran militia. Her days as a cold, uncaring medical officer had ended, and her new job as militia fighter began. She still aided the injured Bajorans, but she also killed enemies. After the evacuation by Starfleet personnel, an alert sounded of intruders near the main sick bay. Kather and a few other militia members responded, killing the "intruders" in rapid fashion without thought. Only after the threat was eliminated did they realize the enemies were Klingons from the station who had stayed behind to fight. Regret was instant and lingering. Those involved decided to turn themselves in to Starfleet as war criminals. They were all exonerated. That didn't make it better, though.

The mental images 'seen' in Captain Kather's mind were dizzying and almost painful for the both of them. Even the cold and 'emotionless" ones. Because as he had come to understand this, there were no memories that were truly devoid of feeling. Everything experienced by someone held some emotional 'baggage' or why else keep that memory at all?

He severed the link and said, "Captain, I had no idea. I feel so bad if I have done anything to denigrate your Bajoran heritage in any way," still holding her hands. It was his way of keeping a telepathic/empathic link between himself and whomever he was linking with. Plus, the physical contact always made him feel better. He was almost in tears as they opened their eyes and looked at each other. But, he felt that he knew his Captain better now.

Kather quickly withdrew her hands and placed them in her lap. "I hope that helped," she mumbled, shaken by the intensity of the memories. Pulling herself upright in the chair, she said, "I have always done whatever was in the best interest of Starfleet. Now, as a commanding officer, I do what is in the best interest of my ship and my crew. I have regrets, but they are just memories now. If Starfleet cannot understand that, then I belong in whatever prison they have waiting for me. I don't wish to be part of anything that denies my responsibilities to my ship and crew."

She almost wanted to reach out to Jordyn and comfort him. "I'm sorry that upset you so much," she said quietly. "The pain allows me to go on, even when all seems lost. It's weird. Those emotions you're feeling must be part of any defense. Use my pain to prove my devotion to the ship and crew. Tell them about the many people we lost trying to survive in a world where there were no other Starfleet vessels to help us. Use that isolation and loneliness to our, I mean my, advantage. I won't be allowed to speak to the panel until sentencing, so it's all up to you."

"But, that's just it, Captain, your regrets define you. I'm not sure how better explain it but, those memories aren't just memories. You draw strength from them and they define you as you. I'm not a counselor so I'm not equipped to explain it any better than that.

"You have no reason to apologize. I'm quite alright but I simply had no idea of what you went through back on Bajor. None of us non-Bajorans have any clue what it was like to be on Bajor during the Occupation. I've spoken with Vedek Kira just to try to get a better idea of what happened but she wouldn't allow me access to her memories so I just got the words.

"I appreciate you allowing the link because it helps me understand you better as a captain and hopefully as a friend," Jordyn said as he reached for her hands again simply for the touch of comfort. "And I promise you this; I will tell them exactly what kind of Captain you are and how much you have taught this scientist about the Federation, Starfleet, respect and service. And if they find you guilty, then they will have to throw me in prison for insubordination too! Because I will give that petty little Admiral the berating of his sorry, sad life!"

Kather smiled, and took Jordyn's hands in hers. "I appreciate it, more than you can know," she said quietly. Then she laughed. "Well, I guess you do know now that you've been inside my head. Do what you can, Jordyn, but please know that I will not hold anything against you if we lose. I wish you nothing but the best life has to offer. And the rest of the crew as well. Take care of them. They will need a strong commander with a good head on his shoulders, especially now."

"Okay, okay. Time's up," the guard said as he re-entered the room. "And no means no, Commander. I have a higher authority than you to answer to."

Kather got up, smiled at Jordyn and left with the guards.

"That's fine, gentlemen. I just want her treated with the dignity and respect owed her by her rank," Jordyn said trying to remain in control. Because, this was the last place he needed to fall apart.

Captain Acker Kather,
Commanding Officer, USS Ascension

Commander Jordyn Elbrun
Executive Officer
USS Ascension


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