Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in Comp Science Lab 2- Post-Jefferies Tube
Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Comp Science Lab 2- Post-Jefferies Tube
Her sea-grey eyes looked over the smooth surface of the device and for a moment her breath caught in her throat. At length, she exhaled. Rising and turning to face Cochrane, she reached out and took the oft-surprisingly light ovoid item and held it between her hands. Her fingers tips pressed tightly against the metal casing and, still not meeting his gaze, she turned t over carefully in inspection. It seemed, on the surface, undamaged. “Well, at least I suspect I won’t be getting any angry calls from R&D,” she said, her voce shaking slightly.
Moving away from the captain, Faye felt yet another stab of despair, similar to the one that had risen to the surface during her last call with Blue. She was caught in the middle between realities and orders and there seemed no good choice she could make here. Setting the device down with extreme delicacy on her worktable, she turned to face her commanding officer, wishing she could banish the distraught lines on her face she knew were undoubtedly there. “At what point are orders worth disobeying?” she asked, feeling her heart rate leap now that she was actually stepping out onto this dangerous terrain.
~Faye Calloway, Data Scientist
Cochrane took a breath and exhaled slowly. He then looked around, grabbed an empty case and set it on end on the floor. Sitting down on the makeshift stool, he looked at Calloway for a few moments before speaking. “Worth disobeying? I guess that depends on the order and what the fallout for disobeying them would be. For me… I’ve had to obey orders that I didn’t agree with. But I’ve refused some as well. I won’t put my ship or my crew in outright jeopardy for just any order given, there had better be a damn good reason. And I won’t accept an order that goes against regulations or Federation law unless there is a justifiable and immediate need to do so. Other than that? Honestly, if you can’t in good conscious follow it… you might want to give it some thought. At the end of it all, it’s your call.” and he paused a moment, still looking at her. “But there is a flip side to that. No officer worth their salt would give an order like that to begin with. Not without a frank and open discussion with whomever the task was falling to. If they don’t, my personal feeling is that if the order isn’t justified and the issuing officer won’t discuss it? Probably not worth following… at least without protest. Formal or otherwise.”
She wasn’t sure what she had hoped he would say, but she had hoped it would allay her fears. It did not. Moving in the spacious lab in what could only be described as pacing, Faye weighed her situation and whether any of it matched the conditions he had put forth. It didn’t; not exactly. And yet, it brought her back to her initial frustration when everything began to clearly unravel and she had told Blue as much. His response then had been reassuring, but only to the Faye Calloway that thrived on clear cut, on right and wrong. This was very much a grey area and she loathed this space.
Stopping, she ran a hand through the pulled back brown hair that had been tied back loosely at the nape of her neck. Her fingertips dragged slightly and her nails scratched at her scalp, eliciting a slight pain that blissfully helped distract her from her tumbling thoughts. Lowering her hand and looking to Cochrane, Faye seemed to silently make up her mind and moved back to her workstation.
One hand moving swiftly at the keys, she reached for a blank padd with the other as she spoke. “I’ve never disobeyed an order. Not once. Which would surprise most people, given my background and my penchant for trying the patience of authority figures. But I, not so long ago, was put in the position where I should have at least questioned orders, and I didn’t. And for that I paid dearly.” She glanced briefly over her shoulder at him. “Being at the whims of the Tal Shiar was not exactly my idea of fun, and yesterday when I lay in that jefferies tube feeling like my face had burnt off, It felt like those nine months all over again. I was conditioned by them to handle massive amounts of pain and brush it off like it was a scratch. And in the aftermath I now hold things in my head that people want dearly. And they seem to be banking on my just going with this, no matter the cost. But not anymore. I can’t do it.”
Finishing her task, she grabbed the padd and came to stand before him, holding the data device with both hands and the top edge resting against her upper chest. “I want you to know that I am loyal- to you, this ship and the Federation. I could have walked away many times, but I choose to serve. And I have never done anything on this ship that is illegal or put the crew in danger. But… while I also have never lied to you outright, I have been under orders to keep certain things from you. My orders did NOT give me the discretion to choose when to share this information with you, and thus, the bind I’ve been in. But I’m choosing to now, because I can’t keep this up. It’s breaking me in a way worse than being under the mercies of the Romulans. It doesn’t make sense anymore and when my orders were reconfirmed, I realized I can no longer follow it in good faith. So, I formally acknowledge my actions and accept the consequences that will surely follow. But you need to read this.” She offered him the PADD.
The device had a single file on it that was sealed with a Level Ten security level and marked ‘Captain’s Eye Only’. It read thusly:
To: Current Commanding Officer of the USS Manhattan
From: Rear Admiral Yi, Myles- Deputy Director, Starfleet Intelligence
Please be advised that Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Service Number 17746Alpha29) is hereby under the jurisdiction of Starfleet Intelligence and is hereby assigned to the USS Manhattan as Chief Intelligence Officer. As such, she shall be engaged in various projects on top of her expected position duties on an experimental level to improve the protection of the ship’s computer framework and associated processes.
Secondary to this assignment, Calloway has been ordered to conduct a high-level security audit of all senior staff assigned to the Manhattan. This includes, but is not limited to, additional background checks and surveillance as authorized by the processes outlined in the Extra-Ordinary Circumstances Clause of Standard Starfleet Operations. In order to accommodate this delicate process, she has been instructed to join the crew as a Mission Specialist only, and not reveal her role as CIO until cleared to deliver these orders. Additionally, her experimental data protection work includes other classified portions that she is now free to explain, as the situation warrants.
Questions about these orders can be directed to me personally at Starfleet Intelligence.
~Rear Admiral Yi
Faye swallowed, knowing it was blatantly clear by her previous statements that she had not been given permission to let him read it. She didn’t know exactly what it said, only that it contained her sealed orders as proof to her CO when her secondary assignment was complete. Which it wasn’t and which she had just now compromised. Although as she had already complained about more than once, it had long ago been compromised and was pointless.
Lt. Faye Calloway, CIO
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