Walk The Line
Episode 4 - The Fires Of Hades
Location: En route to the Infirmary
Timeline: Just after 'Unearthing A Truth'
The large doors swooshed shut behind both Tia and this 'Lt. Reynolds'. They walked in silence towards the large elevator that both welcomed those to Ops, and in its swift clunky movement made them disappear off to their own business.
This woman was taller than Tia, of the same build and something she couldn't place her finger on. They both set foot on the lift and faced back onto Ops before the lift began to move.
"So, Lieutenant, I take it you have not been on this station long?" Tia asked noting the looks in her eyes as she seemed to survey every location. "Still looking for all exit points in every room?" she added to show it was similar to how she thought, but it was for different reasons.
Kaylee gave a slight smile, "This is true, I've not been here too long." She looked over to Tia, "You have found yourself in a rather interesting situation. And I do look for escape routes. Its a habit I've had. You never know when a person needs the quickest way to get people to safety." she stepped off the lift when it brought them to the level they needed to be on.
"It is difficult though to find a safe place to escape when looking into the jaws of a planet killer. That is one for the books." Kaylee added.
Tia nodded as she too stepped off the lift. Their pace was not quick, it felt like a conversation had to be held between the two. It could be a good source of information gathering.
"I can relate somewhat." Tia replied. She could on many fronts, the loss of so many planets. Some invaded, some a battleground where as others were annihilated by the sheer might of Dominion weapons.
Tia placed her hands behind her back as she walked. A habit she'd picked up from her years in service, she often found it helped her posture too and gave off a command vibe. "It is always helpful to know where to go at a moments notice, not only for the people you protect but for yourself. Sometimes being a leader is looking at the big picture." she said with a hint of remorse. There had been many a time where she had to save herself at the cost of others. Being an important resistance leader had its severe drawbacks.
"Who owned the 'planet killer' if I may ask?" Tia asked anyway.
Kaylee paused, her face going slightly pale, then she turned to Tia, "It wasn't exactly who owned it but who claimed to own it. A woman from another universe had sold it to some not so nice people. The So'na, they decided to activate it and we got a problem from that." she sighed slightly then said, "It was a woman who was nicknamed Mirror Fox."
She reached up to hold onto something she had about her neck and actually pulled it out from underneath her uniform. It was a wedding band, which she clutched in her fist for a moment as if to draw strength from it.
"We had heard of the So'na where I am from, not much mind you... they joined the Dominion quickly when they were faced with destruction due to their planet's regenerative properties. Jean-Luc, I mean Captain Picard was meant to go there but circumstances did not allow that." Tia inferred to the failure of Operation Return at DS9, and the disappearance of Captain Sisko.
"I am sorry you had to experience that Lieutenant." Tia said sincerely. "You should take some pride, some strength from the fact you are still here to tell the tale. I am assuming they were stopped?" she asked looking at the ring. She had noticed the chain earlier, but she would be sure to bring the subject up when it was right.
Taking a deep breath, Kaylee could be seen relaxing, "That was what my husband told me as well. And the only way to stop the thing was the Europa, the ship I was chief of security on, it was set to explode. I was on the bridge at that time. Then we... were told to leave. Quite emphatically by the XO. "
"I found over my years in command that the most stubborn of people are XO's and Security Chiefs... a few Captains too." Tia spoke with fondness and experience. "I have sadly had to abandon 2 ships in my life, the Sitting Bull and the Cavalry... albeit apparently I died on the former in this universe, but having those that care about you is important. Is your husband stationed here?" she asked.
"Yes he is. He is Commander Liam Reynolds. And he is so dreamy." giving a beaming smile. "We've not been married long, but he is so fabulous." Kaylee gave out a sigh. She was still rather enamored with her husband.
"It is nice to find a person you can join with." Tia replied remembering when she met her partner, the father of her daughter. Sadly he was dead now the sting of that still did weigh heavy on her heart.
"Was it he that brought you here? Surely it wasn't the enticing personality of the Captain..." Tia commented. Her interaction with the Captain had thus far been filled with suspicion, mistrust and a little hatred from her part due to her experiences with his species.
"I did come here to be with my husband, and the Captain he's not bad. He's been through a lot." Kaylee remembering what she had read up on what's happened in the run of the Copernicus. "What is it you don't like about Captain Haistro?"
"He's a Betazoid, and a snarky one at that." she said as the look of shock on Kaylee's face was very evident to see. "I feel I should explain..." Tia began thinking of the words to use.
"You need to know, where I come from the Dominion rule and lots of races capitulated and gave in to serve. Pre 2374 the Betazoid people were lovely, caring and playful... the same species you know them as now. In my version of how things played out they became Inquisitors, interrogators for the Dominion. Their psychic abilities were ideal for mind breaking, thought placement for sleeper agents and when the Dominion started genetically modifying them... well they became a lot more sinister in their roles. They became the embodiment of a violation, and some even enjoyed the freedom to be barbaric. I have a few run ins with them, and all experiences were deadly. So, I am a 'little distrusting' of them." she emphasised the last part, sarcasm dripping from her words.
A furrow developed in Kaylee's brow, "Well... you may not want to trust me then. I'm part Betazed. Quarter Betazed. Still I have that blood line running through my veins." she gave a slight sigh, "I am sorry that they turned out to be like that. It is awful to be honest that had happened to you. I do find the Captain easy going. He may have felt some distrust towards you as well, with you not being who you portrayed yourself to be. Trust though can be earned on both parts." Kaylee replied, the furrow in her brow disappearing.
"I know." Tia said in reference to her being part Betazoid. "I can see it in your eyes, and I could sense your feelings when I brought it up." She remarked as Kaylee continued.
"They were a product of what my universe made them. Truth be told many species reverted to basic survival instincts, and most in the galaxy would do what they needed to so that they see another day. Goddess knows I have done things I never thought I would have to." she said vaguely as a memory flashed across her mind.
"My deception was for my own safety, if I had show up in this..." she pressed her bracelet and her holo-disguise, her uniform, changed back into her civilian clothes (see bio pic). "Then I would stand out in Ops, and I needed to know who you were. Had I not been seen, or sensed by your Captain, then I would more than likely have tried to get off the station and find my way home on my own." Tia said as she moved out of the way of a crewman who'd stopped at a standstill when they had seen her clothes change.
Kaylee cast a sharp glance towards the crew members and waved them on. Then she caught her image in a reflective surface, her eyes were still the blue she was born with, but they did look a slightly darker blue. Were they changing? "Well, you are here, and you maybe stuck here on the station with us. Look give us a chance, and see what happens. We're not out to get you. Well I know I am not after you. To me you are not a bad person at all."
"And yet here I am, being escorted to the infirmary under guard." Tia replied. She noticed Kaylee was about to justify that action but Tia held up her hand and nodded with a hint of a smile. "I know the procedure, I know your Captain is being cautious... I would do the same. Need to make sure I am not dangerous, that I am who I claim to be and all that." she added before catching a look of herself in the reflection of wall consoles.
She looked thin, but she always had. There was a sigh as she wondered why in this universe her counterpart died and in hers she lived. Maybe this was the ebb and flow their species believed in...
Maybe she this universes Tia had to die so that decades later she could come in and survive this life. She knew that a prolonged stay in a universe where another version existed rarely ended well for either pair.
"Its so you don't disappear, maybe cause we need all hands on deck?"Kaylee giving a slight shrug. "I don't mind this, I need to go to medical anyway. Got to get my check up that I've not had yet."
"If we are facing the T'Kon then I am afraid there are not enough hands on this station to hold them back should they choose to attack." Tia sighed. Given the tech of the T'Kon in comparison to a jury rigged Cardassian/Starfleet Station there was only one winner. Tia had hoped enough stalled diplomacy would give them breathing room to get back to their own time, in time. The T'Kon were formidable back when her people knew them, and the fuzziness in her head told her they were not where, or when, they were supposed to be.
"So question for you are you planning on staying here when we get back to our own time or will you be leaving? Honestly I would like it if you stayed. We need all the help we can get. What with us being out here in the frontier so to speak. And wouldn't you want to explore a planet that will be waiting for us when we get back?" Kaylee giving a bit of a smile.
Tia pondered the question for a moment. "I don't know what I will do... this is not my home, not the place I am from. I'd feel like I was letting my own side down... if that makes sense?" She half asked.
"It does make sense, though... think of it in another way. You are needed here probably, very badly which is why you are here now. At least that is what I am thinking. Its like, well me meeting my husband. It seemed that the stars aligned finally for us and we met once again, when the time was right and now we are married. That probably sounds... like nonsense but its what I believe strongly in."
"The universe does work in mysterious ways. I do believe in the ebb and flow of the universe, that it doesn't move in a straight line. We are where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be." Tia stopped and placed her hand on Kaylee's shoulder. "It is not nonsense. To have a strong belief is a luxury that many cannot claim to have. Faith is powerful, it is important and you should not let anyone convince you any different. Faith has kept me alive through a lot of tough times."
"And maybe finally you will get the chance to have some not so tough times now." Kaylee giving a one armed embrace to Tia. She looked at the doors to the infirmary, "Well looks like we're here now. Once you've been examined maybe we can do some more talking later on, if you would like it that is."
"Would be nice to have some peace and quiet, if only for a while." Tia admitted as she looked at the doors as well. "I always feel chatty after an involuntary probing from medical professionals." It was a deadpan kind of delivery but she was trying to be funny.
"Thank you... for the 'chat'." Tia said with a smile.
"You are very welcome. I enjoyed it very much." Kaylee responded. "And I will be out here waiting, that is if you wish it. For you to get finished with the physical."
"I think your Captain would want you to wait. Even after a physical I am not free to walk the station, and no doubt he will want a close eye kept on me." Tia offered more advice, counsel, than she should have but she'd taken a shine to the young lady and didn't want her getting into trouble.
"That is true, to be quite honest I am looking forward to you being able to just walk around and not have to be kept watch over. I really don't feel you to be someone who will hurt us." Kaylee responded.
"Never know." Tiandith teased. "I do think you are a good judge of character though." she admitted. "I never hurt anyone that isn't trying to hurt me or my people. Well, now I suppose it is just me..." she said with a small frown to herself before looking at the infirmary doors and sighing. "Back soon." she said before stepping through.