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JL | Sha'mer, Atarah | Chance Encounter of the Upsetting Kind

Posted on 241709.14 @ 9:27pm by Rear Admiral Cintia Sha'mer & Danielle Atarah

Mission: Reconciliation & Reconstruction [Fleet Plot]
Timeline: SD 241709.14

Dani waited for the transporter to activate, for her surroundings -- from her perspective, at least -- to vanish, and then reappear, the cold stark walls of the space dock transforming into the bright blue skies and green lawn of the Starfleet compound. She covered her eyes with a palm, her head pounding, annoyed, and plucked a pair of sunglasses from her pocket.

She took a breath and nodded to the two guards that kept their distance, watching her from afar. Zett's idea; no, Zett's requirement. Dani grunted. She didn't think she'd need them, but she had to be honest -- after what happened with Jorin's people, one can't be too careful.

The guards gave her a wide berth, as they were asked to. She barely noticed them. And if she really wanted to be alone, slipping out of their protection would be an easy task. It is, after all, what she was good at.

She took a breath, absorbing the fresh air, and walked towards the water, taking time to calm her rage.

Starfleet. God fucking damnit, Starfleet. What did Indi think she was doing? Playing stupid political games, Dani surmised in complete annoyance. Could she blame her? Probably not. And yet, how blind could someone be -- even a Starfleet officer -- to the alternatives, to the other options that were just waiting to beat the door down and take over and be terrible and horrible and--

"God damnit." She muttered, watching the water, and rubbed her eye under the sunglasses, cursing softly.

Sha'mer was leaning against the stone wall near the embankment, elbows resting on the warm bricks, staring out across the water without actually seeing it. Her mind went this way and that, bouncing from the just finished conversation with Sabine to the events of a few days ago, and darker thoughts which she suppressed as soon as they threathened to appear. She didn't even notice the other woman coming to a rest not far from her, but idly rubbed her forehead. Headache.

Slowly realising, Not my headache. Sha'mer frowned, there was something oddly familiar about that mindtone nearby, and entwined with that headache was rage, centered around one name- What the hell?

Now Sha'mer did turn her head to look. Who was this woman? She didn't look familiar, yet her mind seemed to be entwined, however loosely, with Indi's.

Dani grunted to herself and rubbed her forehead, her headache growing with her frustration. She'd need to do something about it, she thought. There should be some hypo back and the compound that will bring much needed relief. For the headache, at least. Not for her anger.

No, that would take longer. She didn't think she was that angry - that stuck in a rut, in a deep pit of dark emotions - for a while. Maybe ever. Ever? Maybe, maybe not. She couldn't remember. Thoughts were hard right now, loosening in her mind, refusing to stick, coalescing around one clear point: Indi.

How the hell did things end up going so wrong, she wondered, annoyed with herself, with the Admiral, with Starfleet, with the whole damn situation. She never expected to be welcomed with a warm hug and a smile, but this? Treating her like a child, like she was just another petty fucking criminal, threatening the sector.

Beyond the concerns of developing a good working relationship with the woman who was, effectively, the head of security for the quadrant -- someone who Dani very much preferred being on the not-bad-side-of, if not the good side of, this was a setback personally.

She wasn't usually this misunderstood. Did Indi really think criminal organizations were all under control in her "back yard"? Was she really that cocky? Did she not realize the importance of having someone who may balance things a bit, yes, the rules were flexible, but the goal... the goal would be similar and the means-- oh, god damn this headache.

"Are you alright?" Sha'mer rarely reacted to other people's projections, but this was getting ridiculous. Maybe it was the woman's headache which intensified her thoughts and feelings, but either way, her projections were unusually strong. Her own mental discipline (such as it was, these days) forbade her from entering and wondering what the hell the deal with Indi was. Sha'mer could always ask Indi later, if it turned out to be relevant.

Dani started, blinking at the direction of the voice, forgetting for a moment that she was in public. Her eyes refocused, her gaze centering on the woman. Civilian clothes, but that was no civilian, Dani could recognize it, smell the fleet on the woman like a perfume. She completely forgot she was still at the Starfleet compound. Damn this headache. Damn this anger. She was going soft.

She let out a smile that looked nothing like her natural one, and nodded, casually. "Wonderful day. Just enjoying the sun." Nothing to see here, Officer.

Sha'mer wanted to rub her head again, but suppressed the impulse. Damn it, the woman was spilling, her mind almost screaming in pain. She was pale, too, and that smile was more a distorted grimace than something else. It was a look Sha'mer recognised all too well. Same with the woman's reply. "You might want to get yourself checked, though," Sha'mer said softly. "You look like you're really hurting." She managed to suppress a smirk at her own thought, too. Look who's talking.

Dani's smile transformed, slightly, to a more natural one as she examined the woman in front of her. She seemed familiar, but Dani couldn't place where she'd seen her before. Was in in a brief? A report from one of her spies? Did they meet before?

Her mind was too preoccupied with the headache and her annoyance to concentrate on figuring this one out, but she kept trying, sifting through the memory bank to find the right reference.

"Yeah," she nodded finally, turning her attention to the water again. "I'm fine. It's just a headache. It's a beautiful day and the skies are clear -- a few minutes in the sun will get me right back up and running." And the frustrating meeting just now; that didn't help. "Are you with Starfleet, or are you just enjoying their view?"

"Fleet, or so they say." Now it was Sha'mers turn for awkwardness. "I mean, I used to be. Will be. But it feels like it belonged to a different life." Would this ever feel familiar again? Comfortable? Sha'mer hoped so. She had been through bad situations before, experiences which had left both physical and mental marks, and she had always rebounded. But this, these ones, those holes in her mind- she hoped so, but deep down she had a feeling this time would be different.

Dani's gaze turned thoughtful again, her eyes shifting back to examine the woman sideways. She didn't expect such a tentative response, and her curiosity awoke, breaching through the pain in her head.

The woman looked familiar, Dani had no doubt she's seen her image somewhere, the distinct look was unforgettable to be a mere illusion of memories. That meant she was probably not a new officer, and, most likely, a rather high positioned person within the fleet ranks. These officers rarely stumbled on whether they are in the fleet or not.

"Sounds like I'm not the only one that's hurting," she pointed out, her smile turning softer, cleaner, and much more natural.

Sha'mer shrugged clumsily. "I guess it takes one to know one," she said, looking sideways at the other woman. "Are you sure you don't want someone to take a look? I could walk you to the hospital," she nodded at the large building not far from them. "Actually," she added with a fleeting smile, "I was gathering courage to go there myself."

"I don't really do hospitals," Dani chuckled, and then winced, her hand lifting to rub her brow. Definitely not hospitals in the Starfleet compound. She thought to herself. If Indi thought of her as a criminal worth stopping, she might need to watch her step a lot more closely from now on. "I'll go private. We civilians have that luxury," she smirked at the woman, a brief memory of a PADD with her image on it flashing in her mind. Damnit, where did she see that...

"I generally try to avoid them too. But if I want to have some functionality back," Sha'mer glanced down, involuntarily, at the contorted, useless leg, "I'll just have to get over my aversion." She scowled and looked out across the water again. Civilians… Was it a good idea to accept Sabine's offer? The alternative would be to resign her commission, become a civilian… And then what? What could she possibly do, other than blasting trees or other people's minds? Despite the warm weather, she shivered. Just a few days ago, she had said something like 'Nobody with a sane mind would want to keep me here' and yet, here she was, offer made and accepted. What the hell had she signed up for? What the hell was she thinking? For everybody's safety, she should just get the hell out of here, away from Earth, Starfleet- But she was selfish, egoistic. She didn't want to run any more. Not now she had found, again, the woman she loved. Even though she was still a danger, maybe even to her. Selfish, egoistic… just too tired to run.

Dani nodded slowly, her eyes stinging, glancing at the woman's leg as she spoke, her eyes pausing there, narrowing. She knew this. This was not just a general detail, this was not just a picture she couldn't place, this was important... connected somehow, and the detail - small as it was - dislodged something in Dani's mind, a memory her mind finally went to, an image of a PADD she was looking at a few weeks ago, an array of Admirals, a hierarchy, their connections with one another, their families, their connections in the fleet their--

"Holy shit," Dani blurted, her headache clearly preventing any chance of tact, "you're Indi's wife." She exclaimed, finally, almost accusingly, staring at the woman as if she just stole her puppy. Was this planned? Was this the Admiral's way to keep tabs on her? To get more information? A weird -- and, Dani suddenly panicked, perhaps potentially somewhat successful, had they had more time to lower her defensiveness -- method of interrogation? What the fuck are the odds. She stared for a moment longer, trying to calculate the logic through her raging headache.

"Yeah," Sha'mer said simply. She wasn't the most tactful person either, at this moment. "I am. I don't think I know you, though…?" She studied the other woman more closely. She didn't look familiar to Sha'mer, but with those holes in her head, who could tell? The look back was angry, defensive. Sha'mer raised an eyebrow, wondering again what had set the woman off.

Don't you... Dani thought, half in question, stared, suspicious, the adrenaline that jumped in her bloodstream doing a moderate job pushing some of the headache away. Was she being played? She was usually the player, and that tactic... well... that probably wouldn't have been beyond her to do.

But was it Indi's tactic? She wasn't sure anymore.

"I used to serve with your wife," Dani nodded, her eyes still suspicious, her mind trying to search for more points of information, for logical strategies and outcomes. "A long time ago." She turned to face the water again, taking a breath. She had to calm down and regain her control; this uncontrollable anger was unlike her - and unhelpful. "In fact, I just came from a meeting with her." Do you really not know, or is this a trick?

Judging by the other woman's temper, that meeting hadn't gone over very well. Sha'mers own head began to hurt from the headache spillover. "Catching up on old times?" Sha'mer cut herself off, shook her head. "Never mind, none of my-" She was beginning to lose thread. Of the conversation, of the whole situation. "I'm sorry to have bothered you. But seriously, I'd have that headache looked after. It's- you look really bad." She turned and began to move away.

"Not even remotely," Dani muttered, referring to the old times. This wasn't catching up. This was catching her. She grunted, rubbing her eyes. "I'm sorry, I'm not usually this serious," she turned again to look at the woman, though her eyes were still suspicious behind the sun glasses. That meeting really did a trick on her, didn't it... or was it just the headache.

She hasn't had one of those, so badly at least, since her eyes were replaced. Not good memories there, not at all. "I think I better go and get this headache settled. I hope our next meeting is" not as bad as this "under better circumstances." She let out a pained smile, nodding politely. I hope I can figure out what the hell your wife is playing at, too She thought, and the frustration bubbled the pain inwards, deeper.

"So do I," Sha'mer said sincerely. "It was nice to meet you. And I hope you'll feel better soon." And with that, she finally headed towards the hospital, to arrange an appointment she had been avoiding for… days? (time, fuzzy thing.) She didn't dwell much longer on this odd meeting. The memory sank into one of the holes, gone for now, but not completely forgotten.

Dani watched her leave, sighed, and turned as well, tilting her head towards the two guards at her periphery. She needed rest. She needed a hypospray with something hardcore in it. She needed sleep. They joined her as she walked towards the outskirts of the compound, on their way back home.


RAdm Cintia Sha'mer
as of yet unassigned

Danielle Atarah
Earth Syndicate


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