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 Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]

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Archangel T'Koris
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PostSubject: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:21 pm

[Sickbay]

Archangel stepped into sickbay, a place that she generally avoided like the plague, suppressing the urge to shiver. Perched on her hip was her youngest daughter, who was cuddled into her mother and making soft, sniffling noises. A plush starship was clutched in one tiny hand. The captain looked around, eyes searching for any of the on duty medics.

Her eyes fell on an Andorian with only one antennae. She winced internally. She knew that Thelos had been assigned to her medical department, but she hadn't spoken to him since the incident back on the Chin'Toka, where they had both suffered at the hands of Jarris.

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:30 pm

[Sickbay]

Thelos slid a new row of empty, colourful hyposprays into their slotted trays. He wasn't the CMO, but he did like to have a clean sickbay and would often spend time re-organizing this or that to make it more accessible when he wanted something. A bored tune was humming off his lips- though he truly couldn't carry a tune, it wasn't for lack of trying.

The badly-constructed notes halted immediately when the doctor saw who had just entered sickbay. He knew that T'Koris was his new captain... but somehow, he'd wanted to avoid speaking with her, especially about the incident so long ago. He wondered if she blamed him... or thought he blamed her.

His single antenna twitched as he put on his most professional face and approached the mother with her child.

"Captain," he said in greeting. "What... can we do for you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:15 pm

Well, it was probably a given that this encounter was going to be awkward, and there was nothing that Archangel could do about it. She closed her eyes briefly as memory fragments rose, unbidden, to the forefront of her mind. No, she couldn't let herself think about that. She wondered if, like many medical personnel before him, he had looked up his captain's file to see what gossip about his commanding officer he could glean from it.

Pushing those thoughts to one side, she tried a small smile at the Andorian as he approached, although the expression looked a little worried.

"Aria hasn't been right all morning. Didn't want her breakfast, didn't want to play... I think she's running a fever as well."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:35 am

Well, there was no doubt in Thelos's mind that the captain remembered. How could she have forgotten, really. It'd taken him a very long time to get the mental image of her strapped down and tortured out of his daily thoughts... he couldn't imagine how it was for her. Then again, I wonder how much of it her brain allowed her to process..

Mentally, he shook his head. This wasn't the time to go off on one of his mental concerned-doctor tangents. She wasn't the patient here, after all. The Andorian cleared his throat and pulled out his medical tricorder.

"Not herself, then..." he said kindly as he approached with the scanner. He knew littler Aria well enough- even before the incident with Jarris, he'd often watched them for some periods of time when both her parents were busy. Now, the familiarity just drove another little blade into Thelos's conscience. You saw them in that jefferies's tube... you and your mother should have been safe. It's my job to help the crew and all I did was get myself hurt.

The single antenna on his head pinned back briefly, though his face remained even and level. He wasn't going to ask Aria to leave her mother's side. Scanning right there wouldn't be too difficult.

[*Superficial scan complete - Minor Fever present. Complete secondary scan for further analysis*]

Thelos looked at the softly beeping tricorder as it completed initial scan of the young girl. "Hmm," he said thoughtfully. "Another other obvious symptoms? You were right about the fever, although it's not too high. The tricorder hasn't confirmed it yet, but I'm suspecting it's a minor viral issue."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:56 am

Archangel watched the medic out of the corner of her eye as she kept her child's attention occupied with the plush starship so that Aria wouldn't wriggle and squirm. She noticed the single antennae pinning back for a moment, a sign of discomfort on Andorians, she knew that. While an expression could be schooled to show what one wanted, it was more difficult with things like antennae. The little knot of guilt in her chest, the one that never went away, tightened.

Aria sniffled again, cuddling into her mother. "Other symptoms? Uh... Sneezing, coughing and a runny nose... I think that's about it.". She couldn't stop the look of relief on her face as he said that he suspected a minor viral infection. It was always a hairraising experience for her when one of her daughters fell ill.

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:48 am

Thelos caught the Romulan's eye, and swallowed uncomfortably. This can't go on, he told himself. Eventually the topic of what had happened was going to have to be broached, and Thelos most certainly didn't want to be the one to do it. The antenna waved distractedly, before he returned to looking at his tricorder.

"Right, er... That about confirms it," the Andorian said stiffly, showing the captain the readout on the tricorder. "Just a viral infection... I can queue up a set of hypos that should take care of it... should go away in a few days if taken promptly on time," he added. There would have to be some adjustments made for the child's hybrid physiology, but otherwise, it would be fairly simply.

He clipped the tircorder back to his belt and wandered over to his previous line of hypos, carefully extracting an empty tube and filling it with a calibrated anti-viral medication for Aria. "And here's the first one... would you care to do the injection yourself?"

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:17 am

Archangel's shoulders relaxed fully as the diagnosis came through. Just a viral infection. Nothing serious. She kissed her daughter's head gently, taking the hypo from Thelos's hand and pressing it lightly to the side of Aria's neck. The little girl squirmed as the medication was released into her system, the feeling of the molecules forcing their way through the dermal barrier an uncomfortable one.

The young Romulan handed the hypo back to Thelos, not looking up at him. "Thank you," she said softly before moving on to the words she had been meaning to say, but found difficult to get out. "I'm sorry for... for what happened on the Chin'Toka."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:25 pm

Thelos watched politely as the hypo was depressed into the child's neck. With the light hiss of the device came a sense of relief. He was back where he belonged... in sickbay, doing his job. Taking care of people. It felt... good, much better than he'd felt for the longest time after the incident. A smile broached the doctor's face.

And just as suddenly, it was gone. What he'd worried would happened had- Archangel had brought up the Chin'Toka incident, and he was ill-equipped to deal with this conversation. The andorian let out a long, slow breath of air, and raked his hair back.

Jarris's takeover was something he wanted to forget entirely, if he could. He remembered T'Koris's tormented screams, the blood, the knives... how much Jarris had defiled his current captain by stripping her of her uniform and dignity. The unrelenting, unimaginable pain of having one antenna hacked off with a serrated knife. His fingers brushed past the stump that was the remnant of the crude amputation, bringing him back to the current moment.

"... I'm sorry, captain... There was nothing you could have done. I'm sorry for failing in my duty as a doctor," he admitted quietly. The room was free of most other medics... and the ones who were present quickly saw fit to disperse.

Thelos didn't blame them.

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:22 am

It was easy to see the discomfort that the topic she had brought up caused the Andorian, but Archangel knew that she had to address it with him. It had already festered far too long during the time that it had taken her to recover from the incident.

"No, Thelos," she said quietly, looking up at him. "You didn't fail. You acted as best you could in the circumstances. It was I who failed you. I was still your commanding officer then, it's my duty to keep you safe."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:36 am

Archangel was nearly an entire foot taller than Thelos... but even that aside Thelos was feeling very small at the moment. All that counseling he'd gone through had only slightly deadened his feelings of guilt. He should have kept his mouth shut.

"Even the Captain's got to have someone to put her back together," he said grimly. "I'm responsible for the health of the crew, even you. I didn't keep quiet when that brute told me to, and instead of shutting up and being able to help you later, I got myself into that wreck and made myself useless."

If nothing else, that was the truth. Then again, the lines had all be somewhat blurry at the time. "I saw you, sir. Your condition was clearly so severe that there was nothing keeping you from saying what you did. It was my own fool mouth that screwed me over, and you can't take the blame for that."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:40 pm

"Thelos, when an officer takes command of a ship, they take on the responsibility of ensuring the safety of every living soul on that ship," Archangel said before looking up at the Andorian. "You were a junior officer, inexperienced. You did what you thought you had to do and no one can fault you for that. You didn't have the same training as a command officer." She managed a small smile. "No one can ask a medic to be become a soldier. You did your best, and I commend you for it."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:53 am

Thelos tried very hard not to be offended when she called him inexperienced. Just because he'd never ranked up didn't mean that he hadn't had several years and several assignments under his belt before he came to the Chin'Toka. This wasn't the place for a heated response, though... so Thelos carefully measured his words. "Believe me, captain...I'm no stranger to the fleet, or to combat... I knew what I was supposed to do, and I failed in it," he said evenly, although through gritted teeth.

He realized that this conversation was just going to go in circles... and he didn't want to get the captain mad. "I just... I'm sorry, captain. You're right, I did what I could... but that wasn't enough." The Andorian's eyes were cast to the floor.

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:43 am

Archangel's expression softened a little as she watched the Andorian. It was hard not to play mother to him when her maternal instincts had been so engaged already in worrying about Aria.

"We both did what we could," she replied. "But Jarris' men didn't live to the same rules as we do, and there's no way to win against that." Although the words were coming out, she knew that she would never be able to bring herself to believe them. She had failed in her duty to protect her crew, and several lives had been both lost and almost lost. She couldn't forget something like that.

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:43 am

The remaining antenna on Thelos's head bent to the side curiously. Andorians were often rather gifted at picking up nonverbal communication- even with a species that had no wriggling antennae to work with. What he was getting from Archangel troubled him slightly. She wasn't lying, per se... just didn't believe a word of it herself.

Thelos didn't know how his captain expected him to take her words to heart... even when she couldn't do so herself.

"There are often ways," he said coolly, after a moment. "That doesn't mean we always make the correct decisions, or that we always have a choice. I made the incorrect one by speaking out... I had a choice in that matter and failed to make the correct one. You feel you have made an incorrect choice by failing to protect your crew... but what choice did you have?

What possible outcome could there have been to that? Forced, restrained... you were put in a position of complete and utter submission... and there was nothing you could do. Blaming yourself for something you could not help is... pardon my vulcan- illogical."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:00 am

Archangel looked up at the Andorian with a look of dark, bored disbelief. Maybe Thelos could see it that way, but that was likely because he didn't know all of her history when it came to situations like that. Even when the orders came through for her to take command of the USS Phoenix, she hadn't been sure if she was capable of taking on the position.

"Thelos, a junior officer is allowed to make mistakes. A commanding officer isn't, especially not a commanding officer who has been through worse at the hands of the Tal'Shiar and... at the hands of the Tal'Shiar." She glared down to the side. "I should have been able to escape, to get out of that situation and find a way to reverse it. Dammit, that's what I've been trained to do!"

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:08 am

A white eyebrow shot up. So, that's what this was about. Thelos had never had an incident with that intelligence organization- he knew few returned alive, anyway. He was growing concerned that perhaps this incident was preventing T'Koris from being able to see a situation rationally... but he didn't want to play the paranoid doctor card, not yet.

Captain, I believe what you are experiencing a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... ... yeah, that would go over great.

"Unfortunately, training doesn't seem to hep much against unbreakable restraints and a torture expert," Thelos said, antenna flicked back. "Commanding officers make mistakes, captain... They're not indestructible and neither are you. Even what happened to you wasn't a mistake on your part!"

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:26 am

"We may make mistakes, but that is no excuse. When we make mistakes, people die. There is no excusing that. Torture experts or not, I have been up against worse than him," Archangel growled. "What I did was a mistake. I delivered myself into his hands! I let him restrain me as long as he let Commmander Anderson go. I made a bargain I couldn't handle!"

She let out a long breath. "There is no excusing what I did on the Chin'Toka. I didn't act as a commanding officer should, nor as my duty required me to. Because of that, people got hurt and people died."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:36 am

Thelos leaned back against the nearest biobed and folded his hands together. "You made a bargain to save the life of one of your subordinates, yes? You selflessly put your life on the line even if it meant saving only one life, captain," the Andorian said, his voice even and level, unlike how it had been a moment prior.

"That does not sound like the mistake made by an incompetent officer. I was there, sir. I was injured myself, quite badly. I know what you did... and none of it was anything less of what I would expect from a command-level officer. One who puts the life of a crewmate above her own.

If you wish to tell yourself that you could have pulled some miracle solution out of your ears, saved everyone and gotten away with no casualties, then I consider that a delusion unworthy of a captain, sir. What you did on that ship was nothing short of admirable, and it is painful to see you so blinded by guilt that you cannot see that."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:56 am

Archangel still didn't look up at Thelos as he spoke, but when she replied, her voice was quiet. "More than one hundred people died aboard the Chin'Toka that day, Thelos. Over one hundred people lost their lives because of my mistakes. I should have been the one to write those letters home for them, to tell their families... tell them that they died in the line of their duty, but I couldn't even do that!" Her voice became angry again, a quiet rage that seemed to simmer somewhere behind her sternum. "Four months in hospital, Thelos. Four months, I couldn't move or speak because of that. I should have been stronger!"

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:05 am

Blaming yourself for an injury inflicted by another- check. This wasn't stacking up well. "Do you think you are some kinda of super-being, captain?" he asked. It wasn't said with any kind of malice, or taunting. It seemed, overall, to be a completely legitimate question. "Do you somehow believe you are immune to the effect that torture can have on the body? If the answer to that is yes, then I'd wind up directing you to a psychiatrist."

The Andorian took a pause, then walked around the biobed, dragging his blue fingers on the plastic-like surface. He was thinking, and he'd always thought better when he paced a bit. "However, I don't think that's the case, here, captain... You probably feel like there needs to be blame for the injustices you suffered, and as a commanding officer you automatically directed them at you, regardless of whether or not that's justified at all."

Thelos's tone softened. "You're right on one thing, captain. I'm not a command-level officer... I probably never will be, really. I don't see the reasoning behind the internalized blame... I just see the effect is has on people... how bad and pointless it is for the body to contain."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:20 am

Archangel's dark eyes tracked Thelos' movement with the same wariness of prey watching a predator. She wondered how much of her psychological profile Thelos had seen, if any. She had always pushed herself harder than she needed to, always desperate to achieve the perfection she thought she had to find to make up for being a hybrid.

"Whatever the reasons behind it, the blame for what happens always reverts to the officer in command at the time of the incident, which was me. Whether it was that someone died, suffered a near-disabling injury, or ended up with a ruined knee, it was my fault for not anticipating events and taking a safer path."


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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:30 am

Thelos was aware that his movements were being tracked. He could see it in his peripheral vision, practically feel with with the sixth sense afforded to him by his antenna. He felt like the prey of an Andorian icebird... this wasn't how a junior officer was supposed to feel with a CO, was it?

Stil, despite the scrutiny, Thelos didn't waver in the slightest. "There was no safer path," he said resolutely. If that's the mental process all captains have, then I am highly concerned for the majority of the fleet.

"If you think you could have been better, you are incorrect in this instance, Captain. There were no alternatives. There are situations where you can calculate variables, and then there are those where you mus 'fly by the seat of your pants', or whatever the expression is... the Chin'Toka takeover was one such incident. You did everything you could, and you did a damn good job of it too. Do you know how many more could have died? The whole ship's compliment could have been lost. It was not."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:43 am

Archangel wrapped her arms around Aria, who had fallen asleep sitting on the biobed and resting against her mother. The Romulan took a metaphorical step back, pulling back from her usual commanding presence, ceding that place to the Andorian with the missing antennae.

"I nearly lost everything there, Thelos, can you understand that? I failed in my duty. I nearly killed Gabriel because of that. I put my children in danger. I don't care that I ruined my knee because of it, but those other things? Inexcusable."

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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:54 am

Despite the power shift, Thelos dropped his voice to be softer, more reassuring. "Jarris and his men nearly killed Mr. Arthur, captain. Not you. You did everything in your power to protect your duty and the rest of the crew.... Even your daughters. I met with them in the turbolifts a short while after I woke up. They were doing exactly what you'd told them to do... and do you know what? They were safe, captain. Safe, and they knew that their mother would do anything for them."

The Andorian didn't dare approach her, for fear of upsetting the delicate balance of the situation. "And you nearly gave your life in the protection of your ship, sir," he said, from where he stood. "Even when I was standing there... I couldn't help but admire how strong you were, how much you refused to give in until the very end." This was a new admission for Thelos. He thought it important for T'Koris to hear.

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Archangel T'Koris
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Join date : 2014-06-27

PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:05 am

"But I gave in!" That was something that she had never wanted to admit before and it obviously pained her to do so now. "I started to give him the command codes. He could easily have forced me to give a hand print or an eye scan to authenticate, but the command codes would have been the only thing that kept him out of the ship's systems. If I had given him the rest of the digits, every death, every injury in defense of the ship would have been without meaning!"

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Apologies [Thelos/Archangel]   Today at 7:49 pm

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