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 Revelations [Stark/Zero]

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Zero Alpha
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PostSubject: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:29 am

[Private Room off the main Sickbay]

A pale figure lay quietly on the lone biobed in the small room, blinking at the ceiling.  For some unknown reason, the ceilings in all medical establishments appeared to be identical.  Most irritating when one was seeking some form of distraction from their own thoughts.

Zero Alpha had been through extensive healing and reconstruction following her stay with the Tal Shiar, but was still required to spend several days resting in order for the healing process to take hold properly and minimise any chance of undoing the medical team's hard work.  Since Captain T'Koris had brought her back from Romulus, she had lost track of the number of hours she had spent under laser scalpels, osteo- and dermal regenerators.  She had wondered if she would ever get out from under them.

With a growl of frustration, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, rubbing an arm over her eyes as she tried to ignore the room's spinning.  Lying there feeling sorry for herself wasn't going to help anyone, no matter what the doctors thought.  

Hearing the door open, she looked up sharply, eyes wide, heart racing, still expecting a Romulan to walk in and tell her that it had all been an elaborate simulation.

_______________________________

Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:36 pm

[Sickbay]

A few of the sickbay doctors had given him an askance look as Stark entered, making a beeline directly toward Zero Alpha's ward room. If his admiral's rank hadn't stopped them, the look of solid determination on his face certainly had. Corman knew that there were dozens of stories about him floating around. Most of them were true, but some were genuinely entertaining. Like...for instance...the one about him standing up during a state dinner and shooting a known Cardassian terrorist. Of course that hadn't happened, but...the thought was purely amusing.

The door slid open, and Stark stood in the frame. Apparently, Zero wasn't taking well to lying about. "I'd hoped to ask you a few questions," he said, entering the room. "If you feel up to it."

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:54 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
The door slid open, and Stark stood in the frame.  Apparently, Zero wasn't taking well to lying about.  "I'd hoped to ask you a few questions," he said, entering the room.  "If you feel up to it."

Seeing the Admiral standing in the doorway, Zero relaxed a fraction. Of course, the brass weren't all that much better than the Tal Shiar in her experience, but at least this one had never done anything directly to hurt her, as far as she was aware. The stories about Admiral Stark were varied and generally exciting, owing to the general human need for hyperbole. Sorting through fact and fiction wasn't something that Zero particularly indulged in, but no matter what you believed, it all added up to Stark being a no-nonsense, tough as nails man who hadn't let his promotion to the Admiralty go to his head. No one wanted to cross him.

Dropping her gaze to the floor, hoping to present as little a target as possible, Zero nodded . "Yes, sir," she replied. Strangely enough, the Tal Shiar seemed to have at least given her a better respect for the inferior officer/superior officer relationship. "What is it that you wish to know?"

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:17 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

Seeing the Admiral standing in the doorway, Zero relaxed a fraction.  Of course, the brass weren't all that much better than the Tal Shiar in her experience, but at least this one had never done anything directly to hurt her, as far as she was aware.  The stories about Admiral Stark were varied and generally exciting, owing to the general human need for hyperbole.  Sorting through fact and fiction wasn't something that Zero particularly indulged in, but no matter what you believed, it all added up to Stark being a no-nonsense, tough as nails man who hadn't let his promotion to the Admiralty go to his head.  No one wanted to cross him.

Dropping her gaze to the floor, hoping to present as little a target as possible, Zero nodded .  "Yes, sir," she replied.  Strangely enough, the Tal Shiar seemed to have at least given her a better respect for the inferior officer/superior officer relationship.  "What is it that you wish to know?"

Alpha's body language was as easy to read as an old-style open book. Hunched shoulders, averted eye contact. This was a kid who had been through something...and, knowing what he did of Romulans, he had a pretty damn good idea of what that 'something' was.

His time as commanding officer of the Phoenix was coming to an end, but before that, Stark wanted to get a few things straight while Alpha was still in his grasp. Honestly, it was hard to even know where to begin. The situation with Jiseth seemed to be only a tip of a very large iceberg...the kind of iceberg that gave headaches.

"We'll start, Zero," he said, pulling up a chair close to the bed, "with the beginning. Namely...why did one of my officers kidnap another?"

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:12 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Alpha's body language was as easy to read as an old-style open book.  Hunched shoulders, averted eye contact.  This was a kid who had been through something...and, knowing what he did of Romulans, he had a pretty damn good idea of what that 'something' was.  

His time as commanding officer of the Phoenix was coming to an end, but before that, Stark wanted to get a few things straight while Alpha was still in his grasp.  Honestly, it was hard to even know where to begin.  The situation with Jiseth seemed to be only a tip of a very large iceberg...the kind of iceberg that gave headaches.  

"We'll start, Zero," he said, pulling up a chair close to the bed, "with the beginning.  Namely...why did one of my officers kidnap another?"

Watching out of the corner of her eye as Stark drew up a chair, Zero realised that he intended to be there for a while. She had noticed that if individuals were only intending a fleeting visit, they remained on their feet or perched on the edge of her bed, which irritated her to no end.

The reason behind Jiseth's kidnapping attempt was one that had puzzled the young Augment for the several days it had taken them to travel to Romulus, during which she had been left alone with Jiseth.

"I do not believe she was acting under her own counsel," Zero murmured, looking down at her hands. "After she had confined me on the Romulan vessel and logged her actions, she appeared most distressed to discover what she had done, but by that point it was too late."

_______________________________

Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:04 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

Watching out of the corner of her eye as Stark drew up a chair, Zero realised that he intended to be there for a while.  She had noticed that if individuals were only intending a fleeting visit, they remained on their feet or perched on the edge of her bed, which irritated her to no end.

The reason behind Jiseth's kidnapping attempt was one that had puzzled the young Augment for the several days it had taken them to travel to Romulus, during which she had been left alone with Jiseth.

"I do not believe she was acting under her own counsel," Zero murmured, looking down at her hands.  "After she had confined me on the Romulan vessel and logged her actions, she appeared most distressed to discover what she had done, but by that point it was too late."

Most distressed, indeed.

Stark already knew all of this, and in fact, it hadn't really surprised him all that much. Tal Shiar mind-programming was rather legendary, so he wouldn't put anything past them. Perhaps Jiseth had been acting not of her own accord. Perhaps.

"Lieutenant Jiseth did an adequate job of convincing her tribunal that she was not in control of her actions," he quietly said, leaning back in the chair and leveling a look at the young officer. "That's one of the primary reasons she wasn't taken out back and shot..." he murmured. "However...that is also not really my question. Why would the Tal Shiar, one of the most pervasive intelligence agencies in two quadrants, spend the time, energy, and resources...let alone risk the diplomatic aftershocks...to kidnap a junior officer?"

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:25 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Most distressed, indeed.  

Stark already knew all of this, and in fact, it hadn't really surprised him all that much.  Tal Shiar mind-programming was rather legendary, so he wouldn't put anything past them.  Perhaps Jiseth had been acting not of her own accord.  Perhaps.

"Lieutenant Jiseth did an adequate job of convincing her tribunal that she was not in control of her actions," he quietly said, leaning back in the chair and leveling a look at the young officer.  "That's one of the primary reasons she wasn't taken out back and shot..." he murmured.  "However...that is also not really my question.  Why would the Tal Shiar, one of the most pervasive intelligence agencies in two quadrants, spend the time, energy, and resources...let alone risk the diplomatic aftershocks...to kidnap a junior officer?"

The report that Zero had read about the court martial, provided since she was a key element in Jiseth's trial, had been dry and factual. She had wanted to talk to Jiseth about it, to apologise for not being able to be in the room with her to act as support. In fact, Jiseth hadn't been to see her since their return from Romulus, something that was slowly killing the young woman inside.

She was still determinedly not looking directly at Stark, fidgeting with her hands. They hadn't stopped trembling since her rescue from the Tal Shiar, but she had been assured that it would eventually go away along with the psychological scars.

Normally, her commanding officers were informed of her nature, but since Stark had only been in temporary command, she couldn't be sure of how much he knew.

"I believe that they learned of my existence from Jiseth before she returned to us from her previous stay on Romulus. Perhaps... Perhaps they wished to ensure that I would not serve as a distraction to her?" she offered, hoping that he would take the bait.

_______________________________

Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:55 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

The report that Zero had read about the court martial, provided since she was a key element in Jiseth's trial, had been dry and factual.  She had wanted to talk to Jiseth about it, to apologise for not being able to be in the room with her to act as support.  In fact, Jiseth hadn't been to see her since their return from Romulus, something that was slowly killing the young woman inside.

She was still determinedly not looking directly at Stark, fidgeting with her hands.  They hadn't stopped trembling since her rescue from the Tal Shiar, but she had been assured that it would eventually go away along with the psychological scars.

Normally, her commanding officers were informed of her nature, but since Stark had only been in temporary command, she couldn't be sure of how much he knew.

"I believe that they learned of my existence from Jiseth before she returned to us from her previous stay on Romulus.  Perhaps... Perhaps they wished to ensure that I would not serve as a distraction to her?" she offered, hoping that he would take the bait.

"I'm sure they knew of your existence before they even thought about debriefing Jiseth," Stark said, his voice somewhat wry. Something about the story still didn't hold water. Well, actually, most of it didn't make sense, and he didn't like it a damn bit. "Distraction," he quietly said, nodding. "Maybe. I suppose it depends on what the Romulans did to you while you were being held by them." Stark leaned forward, eyebrow raising very slightly. "What...did happen while you were there?"

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:35 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
"I'm sure they knew of your existence before they even thought about debriefing Jiseth," Stark said, his voice somewhat wry.  Something about the story still didn't hold water.  Well, actually, most of it didn't make sense, and he didn't like it a damn bit.  "Distraction," he quietly said, nodding.  "Maybe.  I suppose it depends on what the Romulans did to you while you were being held by them."  Stark leaned forward, eyebrow raising very slightly.  "What...did happen while you were there?"

As soon as the question was asked, Zero was drawn back into the memories that she couldn't shake. She had known that it was going to come up sooner or later, but that didn't stop her flinching and drawing her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them as she balanced her heels on the edge of the biobed, clenching her hands into fists as she tried to keep the tremours from getting worse.

"They performed a variety of actions and experiments," she replied, making an effort to keep her voice level and indifferent. "Generalised violence, taking of various biological samples and vivisection were amongst them."

_______________________________

Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:57 am

Zero Alpha wrote:

As soon as the question was asked, Zero was drawn back into the memories that she couldn't shake.  She had known that it was going to come up sooner or later, but that didn't stop her flinching and drawing her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them as she balanced her heels on the edge of the biobed, clenching her hands into fists as she tried to keep the tremours from getting worse.

"They performed a variety of actions and experiments," she replied, making an effort to keep her voice level and indifferent.  "Generalised violence, taking of various biological samples and vivisection were amongst them."

"Vivisection," Stark quietly repeated, shaking his head. "Not exactly your bog standard interrogation of persons of mild interest, wouldn't you say?" He raised his hand, pressing the tips of his fingers against the bridge of the nose. This was...going to take some time. Alpha was, understandably, reluctant to get into details. He couldn't blame her - who would face the fact that someone they loved, or thought they did, would subject them to such horror? Even if Jiseth hadn't meant it (and it was impossible to trust what Jiseth did or didn't think or know), it would certainly play into any future association the pair would have.

He stood, clasping his hands behind his back and walking over to the display chart readout. Physically, Zero seemed fine. It was what was under the surface that he was interested in. "All this...because they wanted to 'keep you close'?" Stark turned, tilting his head in curiosity. "There's still something missing, Lieutenant. Why are you of such interest to the Tal Shiar?"

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:38 pm

The stories that had been propagated concerning the Admiral, particularly those suggesting that he could be as dogged as a hound when following a scent were starting to seem distressingly truthful to the young Augment. It was as if he could smell that there was something more to the story, the corner piece of the puzzle that would allow the others to start falling into place. It hadn't been of import to the tribunal why she had been the target chisen for the kidnapping, but apparently Admiral Stark knew that there was more to it than the simple fact that she and Jiseth were involved romantically.

But just how much could she tell him? Just how much would be too much? The trembling in her hands grew, prompting her to clench the sleeves of her sickbay-issue pyjamas. The frequency of the quiet bleeping of the vital sign monitors that had been her constant companion became more rapid as her stress increased. She may have been healed completely physically apart from needing a couple of good meals, the mental wounds, old and new, were rawer and bloodier than ever.

In a quiet, tentative voice, as if afraid that the fact that she was about to give an undesirable answer would immediately bring punishment from the Admiral, Zero said:

"I am... I am not permitted to tell. It... It is classified."

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:59 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

"I am... I am not permitted to tell.  It... It is classified."

Well. That certainly was an interesting turn.

Of course, Stark had suspected something like this. Zero Alpha was known for being as blunt as a hammer. Much like himself, he realized, though for very different reasons. The fact that she seemed to be dancing around the subject was enough to set off any number of silent alarms.

"Classified," he repeated, nodding. "I see." Stark walked purposefully toward the wardroom door, close enough to activate the automatic slider. Nobody was skulking around by it, though a few of the medical bay staff glanced up at the sound of the door opening. He stepped back, allowing it to shut again. "You understand, of course," he said, turning back to Zero and walking over to the bed, "that I still have Paladin-level clearance in matters of Starfleet security. I'm a former Chief Security Officer, Captain, and current flag officer. I dare say, Lieutenant, that there isn't much that you might know that I don't. Barring your story with the Rommies, of course," he said, smiling slightly. "So...why don't you not worry about breaking confidence, and concern yourself more with starting somewhere at the beginning of this story."

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:19 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
"Classified," he repeated, nodding.  "I see."  Stark walked purposefully toward the wardroom door, close enough to activate the automatic slider.  Nobody was skulking around by it, though a few of the medical bay staff glanced up at the sound of the door opening.  He stepped back, allowing it to shut again.  "You understand, of course," he said, turning back to Zero and walking over to the bed, "that I still have Paladin-level clearance in matters of Starfleet security.  I'm a former Chief Security Officer, Captain, and current flag officer.  I dare say, Lieutenant, that there isn't much that you might know that I don't.  Barring your story with the Rommies, of course," he said, smiling slightly.  "So...why don't you not worry about breaking confidence, and concern yourself more with starting somewhere at the beginning of this story."

As Stark moved to check that there was no one trying to eavesdrop on their conversation, Zero watched his movements warily, her grey eyes peeking out from over her knees, unwilling to move from the hunched, protective position even as he moved closer to the biobed again and stood over her. Despite the smile, she still wasn't all that reassured.

But... surely Admiral Corinth couldn't punish her for telling another Admiral, especially not in these circumstances? But how would Stark take the information? He had just told her after all that he was a former security officer, and it was well known that he had made quite the reputation for himself both in the security and command roles he had fulfilled. Question was, did she take that leap of faith and potentially give him a reason to do her severe harm, or did she try to divert him onto a different path? A different path would certainly protect her, but it could also do significant harm further down the line should he find out about her deception.

The decision that she came to was an easy one for a very simple reason: Her mind, while brilliant, was scattered and traumatised. It was in no condition to start playing mind games with this Admiral. Her chances of emerging from such a battle victorious were not ones she was willing to bet on.

"I am not human," she murmured, her voice growing quieter and quieter with each word. She also seemed to be drawing her shoulders up higher, as if she was preparing herself for some form of physical punishment. "I was created in a laboratory."

_______________________________

Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:38 pm

Corman Stark wrote:

As Stark moved to check that there was no one trying to eavesdrop on their conversation, Zero watched his movements warily, her grey eyes peeking out from over her knees, unwilling to move from the hunched, protective position even as he moved closer to the biobed again and stood over her.  Despite the smile, she still wasn't all that reassured.

But... surely Admiral Corinth couldn't punish her for telling another Admiral, especially not in these circumstances?  But how would Stark take the information?  He had just told her after all that he was a former security officer, and it was well known that he had made quite the reputation for himself both in the security and command roles he had fulfilled.  Question was, did she take that leap of faith and potentially give him a reason to do her severe harm, or did she try to divert him onto a different path?  A different path would certainly protect her, but it could also do significant harm further down the line should he find out about her deception.

The decision that she came to was an easy one for a very simple reason:  Her mind, while brilliant, was scattered and traumatised.  It was in no condition to start playing mind games with this Admiral.  Her chances of emerging from such a battle victorious were not ones she was willing to bet on.

"I am not human," she murmured, her voice growing quieter and quieter with each word.  She also seemed to be drawing her shoulders up higher, as if she was preparing herself for some form of physical punishment.  "I was created in a laboratory."

And I was created on Wrigley's Pleasure Planet, Corman thought, but decided to leave the glibness to himself.  He supposed he should have felt some shock at the revelation, but in hindsight, it all made perfect sense...let alone with just how odd Zero looked.  It made sense that she be almost so unnaturally perfect.

"I see," he quietly said, re-taking the seat.  The poor girl was hunched up like she was expecting him to backhand her.  Knowing the Romulans, it wasn't surprising.  He wished he knew something to do about that, but...well, counseling had never been his strong point.  "Many people were created in vitro.  It's rather common.  Why would the Romulans be interested in that?"  Of course, he figured there was more to it...but he wondered how much Zero would get into it on her own.

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:54 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
And I was created on Wrigley's Pleasure Planet, Corman thought, but decided to leave the glibness to himself.  He supposed he should have felt some shock at the revelation, but in hindsight, it all made perfect sense...let alone with just how odd Zero looked.  It made sense that she be almost so unnaturally perfect.

"I see," he quietly said, re-taking the seat.  The poor girl was hunched up like she was expecting him to backhand her.  Knowing the Romulans, it wasn't surprising.  He wished he knew something to do about that, but...well, counseling had never been his strong point.  "Many people were created in vitro.  It's rather common.  Why would the Romulans be interested in that?"  Of course, he figured there was more to it...but he wondered how much Zero would get into it on her own.

Pale grey eyes followed Stark's movements as he sat down again, a fraction of the tension leaving Zero's muscles. He was no longer in the dominant position, looming over her. There was no doubt that he was still the commanding force in the room, but the change of position and height softened it slightly.

At the mention of in vitro fertilisation, she shook her head miserably. She could see how he could have come to that thought, but it hadn't been the one she had intended. "I was not conceived in such a manner," she murmured. There was silence for a moment as she appeared to be gathering up what scraps of courage she could still find in her mind. The single word she blurted out seemed to have been forced, as if she wanted to get it out quickly before she lost her nerve.

"Augment."

_______________________________

Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:36 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

Pale grey eyes followed Stark's movements as he sat down again, a fraction of the tension leaving Zero's muscles.  He was no longer in the dominant position, looming over her.  There was no doubt that he was still the commanding force in the room, but the change of position and height softened it slightly.

At the mention of in vitro fertilisation, she shook her head miserably.  She could see how he could have come to that thought, but it hadn't been the one she had intended.  "I was not conceived in such a manner," she murmured.  There was silence for a moment as she appeared to be gathering up what scraps of courage she could still find in her mind.  The single word she blurted out seemed to have been forced, as if she wanted to get it out quickly before she lost her nerve.  

"Augment."

Augment. The word was what Corman was expecting, but not at all what he wanted to hear. He sighed a little bit, rubbing the bridge of his nose again. "Jesus," he quietly said, shaking his head. The word spawned a thousand questions, and he wasn't exactly sure where to begin.

"I would say that genetic augmentation is strictly illegal, but I suppose the point is moot anyway," he said with a wry twist to his mouth. "So. I guess the next question would be...how in the hell are you a Starfleet officer?"

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:51 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Augment.  The word was what Corman was expecting, but not at all what he wanted to hear.  He sighed a little bit, rubbing the bridge of his nose again.  "Jesus," he quietly said, shaking his head.  The word spawned a thousand questions, and he wasn't exactly sure where to begin.

"I would say that genetic augmentation is strictly illegal, but I suppose the point is moot anyway," he said with a wry twist to his mouth.  "So.  I guess the next question would be...how in the hell are you a Starfleet officer?"

Peeking warily over her knees, with the same caution as a scientist looking over the blast shield at an experiment that hadn't exploded when anticipated, Zero looked at Stark as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. The stray thought that it seemed to be an action picked up by many command officers crossed her mind, but was quickly shooed out the other side.

"I am aware of its illegality. It has been pointed out to me on several occasions," she said, a trace of her former superiority and sarcasm creeping back into her voice. She did, however, take a moment to think about the question he had asked, and how best to deliver the information in a concise enough manner. "I am under the guardianship of a team of medical personnel under the direction of Admiral Jason Corinth of Starfleet Medical. I serve because they were unable to keep me confined at Medical but required an environment in which they could constantly monitor my actions."

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"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:23 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

Peeking warily over her knees, with the same caution as a scientist looking over the blast shield at an experiment that hadn't exploded when anticipated, Zero looked at Stark as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.  The stray thought that it seemed to be an action picked up by many command officers crossed her mind, but was quickly shooed out the other side.

"I am aware of its illegality.  It has been pointed out to me on several occasions," she said, a trace of her former superiority and sarcasm creeping back into her voice.  She did, however, take a moment to think about the question he had asked, and how best to deliver the information in a concise enough manner.  "I am under the guardianship of a team of medical personnel under the direction of Admiral Jason Corinth of Starfleet Medical.  I serve because they were unable to keep me confined at Medical but required an environment in which they could constantly monitor my actions."

Stark paused a moment, scanning his memory for any mention of an Admiral Jason Corinth. He came up empty-handed, though it wasn't surprising. He had very little dealings with Starfleet Medical, and the company he kept tended to be former or current commanding officers.

He sighed again, placing a hand on the coverlet of Zero's biobed. He poor girl looked rather like a turtle that was attempting to crawl so far into her shell that she disappeared. Though he wasn't the best at sitting and listening to feelings and putting people in comfort, Stark figured he should at least try. "Lieutenant...Zero," he said, his voice low. "I have not ordered you to do anything. This is not an interrogation. Please...try to relax."

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:46 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Stark paused a moment, scanning his memory for any mention of an Admiral Jason Corinth.  He came up empty-handed, though it wasn't surprising.  He had very little dealings with Starfleet Medical, and the company he kept tended to be former or current commanding officers.  

He sighed again, placing a hand on the coverlet of Zero's biobed.  He poor girl looked rather like a turtle that was attempting to crawl so far into her shell that she disappeared.  Though he wasn't the best at sitting and listening to feelings and putting people in comfort, Stark figured he should at least try.  "Lieutenant...Zero," he said, his voice low.  "I have not ordered you to do anything.  This is not an interrogation.  Please...try to relax."

Zero immediately cringed back as she saw the hand being raised, but looked almost bewildered as it was set down on the biobed rather than the trajectory she had imagined. She stared at it for a moment, blinking, trying to figure out what had just happened.

The low, quiet tone of Stark's voice broke through her thoughts, bringing her attention away from his hand and back to his face. It was a reassuring voice, not one she would have expected of him, but it seemed to work. Slowly, she let her shoulders drop from their hunched position, although there was no getting rid of the weight that still seemed to have settled on them since her return from Romulus. Then, she shifted her legs from being hugged to her chest to being crossed like a schoolchild sitting on the floor.

"Achieving a state of relaxation is... difficult," she admitted quietly. "I do not... I do not know how to cease remembering."

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:18 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

Zero immediately cringed back as she saw the hand being raised, but looked almost bewildered as it was set down on the biobed rather than the trajectory she had imagined.  She stared at it for a moment, blinking, trying to figure out what had just happened.  

The low, quiet tone of Stark's voice broke through her thoughts, bringing her attention away from his hand and back to his face.  It was a reassuring voice, not one she would have expected of him, but it seemed to work.  Slowly, she let her shoulders drop from their hunched position, although there was no getting rid of the weight that still seemed to have settled on them since her return from Romulus.  Then, she shifted her legs from being hugged to her chest to being crossed like a schoolchild sitting on the floor.

"Achieving a state of relaxation is... difficult," she admitted quietly.  "I do not... I do not know how to cease remembering."

"I imagine not," Stark said, nodding. He frowned, wondering just where to go next. It seemed like Zero had handed him a sack of bombs to be defused, and he didn't know which wire to slice first. "You're under guardianship?" he asked, deciding on another line of questioning. "You've reached the age of majority for a Starfleet citizen. Wouldn't you be free to go as you pleased?"

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:04 am

Corman Stark wrote:
"I imagine not," Stark said, nodding.  He frowned, wondering just where to go next.  It seemed like Zero had handed him a sack of bombs to be defused, and he didn't know which wire to slice first.  "You're under guardianship?" he asked, deciding on another line of questioning.  "You've reached the age of majority for a Starfleet citizen.  Wouldn't you be free to go as you pleased?"

As more and more information came out, and they strayed into territory that she was more familiar with from having to repeat it several times to Kaz in an attempt to get her to understand the situation. In fact, when she spoke, it was in a tone more resembling recitation than true speech.

"Until such a time as the guardian deems them to be capable of being an independent, contributing member of society without posing a danger to the Federation or her allies, Alpha 01419 will remain in the care and custody of a team at Starfleet Medical chosen and headed by Admiral Jason Corinth."

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"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:24 pm

Zero Alpha wrote:

As more and more information came out, and they strayed into territory that she was more familiar with from having to repeat it several times to Kaz in an attempt to get her to understand the situation.  In fact, when she spoke, it was in a tone more resembling recitation than true speech.

"Until such a time as the guardian deems them to be capable of being an independent, contributing member of society without posing a danger to the Federation or her allies, Alpha 01419 will remain in the care and custody of a team at Starfleet Medical chosen and headed by Admiral Jason Corinth."  

Alpha certainly had that little speech down pat. The almost-robotic nature in which she spat the information out sounded a little uncomfortably Borg-like. He wondered if, perhaps, the poor girl had the misfortune of being assimilated...would anyone notice?

"Fine," Corman replied, shrugging. "Except that it's illegal. This is all Starship Captain 101. You are a biological life-form, you have brain capacity, you have the ability to self-determine, you can reproduce. You're a sentient being, and as such protected by the Federation Charter."

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:37 am

Corman Stark wrote:
Alpha certainly had that little speech down pat.  The almost-robotic nature in which she spat the information out sounded a little uncomfortably Borg-like.  He wondered if, perhaps, the poor girl had the misfortune of being assimilated...would anyone notice?

"Fine," Corman replied, shrugging.  "Except that it's illegal.  This is all Starship Captain 101.  You are a biological life-form, you have brain capacity, you have the ability to self-determine, you can reproduce.  You're a sentient being, and as such protected by the Federation Charter."  

"If we are to adhere strictly to what is legal or illegal, I should have been destroyed along with the other elements of Doctor Kincaede's research. I was spared simply because I was a child and the Admiral who ordered the raid found himself unable to sentence me to death," Zero muttered. "I am not protected by the Federation because of my origins. The actions of Khan Noonien Singh continue to weigh heavily on the minds of those in power."

While this line of questioning was hardly comfortable, it was still far more so than talking about what had happened with the Romulans. "It is likely that I will remain in the care of Admiral Corinth for the remainder of my days, short as they may be."

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
"While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:58 am

Zero Alpha wrote:

"If we are to adhere strictly to what is legal or illegal, I should have been destroyed along with the other elements of Doctor Kincaede's research.  I was spared simply because I was a child and the Admiral who ordered the raid found himself unable to sentence me to death," Zero muttered.  "I am not protected by the Federation because of my origins.  The actions of Khan Noonien Singh continue to weigh heavily on the minds of those in power."

While this line of questioning was hardly comfortable, it was still far more so than talking about what had happened with the Romulans.  "It is likely that I will remain in the care of Admiral Corinth for the remainder of my days, short as they may be."

Stark raised his hand, making a dismissive little wave. "Believe me, I don't need reminded about anything to do with Khan Singh. The situation with him is practically taught verbatim when Command school drills home General Order 12." He frowned, tapping his lip in thought. "You act as if this Dr. Kincaede did you a favor in saving you from destruction. I think your outlook is a bit myopic in that regard, however...true, genetic tinkering to that extent is illegal in the Federation. Once you were created, however, you were endowed with certain basic rights of citizenship. Whatever your point of origin...those don't change."

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PostSubject: Re: Revelations [Stark/Zero]   Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:15 am

Corman Stark wrote:
Stark raised his hand, making a dismissive little wave.  "Believe me, I don't need reminded about anything to do with Khan Singh.  The situation with him is practically taught verbatim when Command school drills home General Order 12."  He frowned, tapping his lip in thought.  "You act as if this Dr. Kincaede did you a favor in saving you from destruction.  I think your outlook is a bit myopic in that regard, however...true, genetic tinkering to that extent is illegal in the Federation.  Once you were created, however, you were endowed with certain basic rights of citizenship.  Whatever your point of origin...those don't change."

Zero's pale eyebrows furrowed slightly in confusion as she listened to Stark. What he was telling her, while similar to the efforts of the handful of people who were aware of her situation, clashed with what she had always been told by Starfleet, what she had been lead to believe to be true.

She shook her head slowly, trying not to set off another headache. "That... that is not what has been taught to me in my time with Admiral Corinth. I am, to adopt his words, an unnatural occurrence, the illegal product of an unbalanced mind, nothing more than an amalgamation of cells that belong in a test tube. I have no rights because I should not exist. I should have been destroyed along with the rest of the doctor's work."

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