STF

Anger and Accountability…Nash and Emily…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted Oct. 7, 2023, 3:09 p.m. by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Anger and Accountability…Nash and Emily…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in Anger and Accountability…Nash and Emily…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in Anger and Accountability…Nash and Emily…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present
Posted by… suppressed (14) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Entering the promenade Nash would be dumbfounded. The number of weapons fired would lead one to believe the space would have been a smoldering mess with blackened pockmarks along the walls and floors. From his vantage point however the scene was vastly different than what he could have imagined. The promenade was more disarrayed except for the large robotic MECH’s that surveyed all movement with what appeared to be a blue sensor. Ethan’s entry swiveled most of the MECH’s sensor eyes on him and then directly to what was in his hands.

The promenade was a disaster but not destroyed. “Ethan,” Emily’s voice carried laced with panic and fear as she and a few others tried to open the steel bullet-shaped coffin that was holding the kids. “Ethan, I can’t get her out.” Her fingers slipped over the completely seamless metallic surface. “Do something.”

Emily Nash

“Hang on, I’m here.” Nash ran to where Emily was struggling against the metal cocoon, casting a sidelong look at the mechs and half expecting them to do something.

Upon entering the space the MECH’s scanner like eye trained on Ethan but made no move to react otherwise. The intense blue color remained the same on all the robotic-like equipment.

Casting a side eye at the machines, he nevertheless ignored them as he stopped a few feet before running into his wife. “What the hell is this thing?”

Emily turned immediately and threw her arms around Ethan. Hope had been trapped in the device for the past half an hour. If the worst was to happen, Hope was already gone however the tricorder stated the occupants were still alive and Jax had confirmed that. “I couldn’t stop it. It…it happened so fast. Like a blink. The alien showed up and then there was this inky oil everywhere and it coated,” her voice hitched as Emily held him tighter.

“Alright, alright,” Nash spoke in a soft voice that lost every trace of the harsh, gravelly tone he had used for many years. Instead he wrapped one arm around her and pulled Emily tighter into him, kissing her forehead and resting one cheek against her while he looked at the cocoon, searching for a seam or a control panel while he comforted his wife at the same time. “I’m here, we’re going to fix this, alright.”

“Sir,” an Ensign security officer cleared his throat not wanting to break up the embrace with the missus but there would be time for that later. “Tricorders are showing the life signs are extremely low but holding steady. It is like they are in some kind of statis pod.” His comment sounded more like a question instead of an answer.

“Good,” Nash nodded at the Ensign. “If she is in stasis then she’s safe enough while I get this thing open. You need to bring me a tricorder with a readout of those scans.” he told the officer.

His comment seemed to agitate Emily more than console her. “Then you know how to open it.” Directing her attention to Ethan, Emily’s tone became more panicky and anxious. “You build them, fix them. You are an engineer. That is your sole career purpose is to make and fix things like this right?” Her tone was tense but the words showed her absolute faith in the man she married and his designation as chief engineer.

“Its’ a bit more complex than that, this is alien tech but, basically yes,” his words didn’t hold the normal self confidence that they usually did. “I wasn’t always an Engineer, remember Em?

“Kelly and Dante had to have gotten stuck in something like this once so do what you did to get them out,” Emily moved back to the metallic-like coffin. Putting her palms flat on it, Emily began to talk slower but with more emotion.

The worst thing he had gotten Dante and Kelly out of was, honestly, jail cells. Not all of them were Federation, either, and not all of those times was the extraction done legally. This was a little different, but he didn’t dare say that to Emily at this exact moment.

“Hope…baby…Daddy is here okay,” she patted the device as if it were Hope’s arm. “He is gonna get you out okay,” Emily struggled to keep her tone steady and still.

“Baby step back, I’m not sure how this works but it must do something.”

In his hand was the device the aliens had brought with them onto the ship, but as yet had been all but forgotten about. Holding it out in front of him, he turned it over to see if there was a button or control panel.

As Ethan turned the device over, the MECH’s moved slightly to the right as if the movement of the staff shifted them. They produced no other reaction except the mental image of a certain lizard’s reaction when a ball was waved toward his face.

Concentrating on the staff as he turned it over in his hands, Nash didn’t notice the mechs movement. He was too busy looking to see if this thing did anything.

“Sir,” the security office gestured with his head at the MECHs not sure if the engineering chief saw what was happening around him as he inspected the staff.

“What?” Nash replied without looking up. He was busy.

Emily Nash

Without waiting for a reply from the officer, Nash looked up at the cocoon and lifted the staff. Holding it above his head like a spear, he slammed the butt of it against the wall of the cocoon. Not expecting it to do much, the action was more an act of frustration and anger and he was using it to clear his mind so he could think clearer. Making a dull thudding sound, it only seemed to infuriate him more and he pulled his arm back, and slammed the staff into the wall of the cocoon twice more in rapid succession with a vicious snarl under his breath.

Nash

The MECHs closed in with a menacing feel but did not attack Nash or the others. A strange gibberish blared from their speakers as they hovered and waited to see Nash’s next move.

“Um baby maybe you should not do that,” Emily said looking at the machines.

Pausing, Nash lowered the staff, muttered something unintelligible and turned around, seeming surprised at how close the Mechs had come. “What the blazes do you want?” Nash addressed them as if they were sentient droids.

As if understanding more of the language, an artificial and tinny voice replied. The contents of the MECH’s belong to the Galactic Union and are set for re-education. They will not be harmed however if you interfere in any way you risk fines, imprisonment, or both. Please step back. May the Divine light shine on your black and withered souls but rejoice for those encased in the pods will achieve ever-lasting enlightenment. The cadence and the rhythm of the message would remind Nash of the automated response he had earlier from the bridge.

“This black and withered soul is about to put its foot so far up your mechanized jacksie you’ll be needing an extended oil bath to fix the emotional damage those receptors are completely incapable of currently experiencing,” Nash said as he pulled the small coin from inside his tunic and his grip tightened on the staff, taking a step towards the machines, “unless you open these damn cocoons immediately. I am revoking Galactic Union ownership rights in this Galaxy under the Nash I don’t give a damn about your spiritual enlightenment clause.”

The crystal staff did not react to being used as a weapon but was incredibly strong as was the casing of the pod his daughter was trapped in. Whatever had caused the device to levitate Kelly and knock her unconscious was not as easily activated by swinging the staff or striking it on something.

Gripping the handle tighter, Nash’s hand seemed to find some grooves in the handle that felt as if they had a pattern to them that was at odds with the smooth crystal that looked unblemished, and began to explore the grooves with his thumb realizing that they fit perfectly between the grip of his hand and his thumb if he moved it over the staff. Like an activation panel that was all but invisible to the eye on the crystal.

From off to the side Jessa had nearly forgotten the children trapped in the metal devices. Walking over to where Nash and the other parents were she took a breath. “Your people are not hurt. Just in stasis.” Jessa knew she could not admit the MECH’s were set on civil defense mode. If she did, she would have no protection against the crew if they turned on her.

“Thanks for nothing kid,” Nash spoke in a low growl. “Your pet killer robots pretty much just explained that. How about doing something useful and good for a change and getting these kids out of harms way and back to their families that love them?”

“If you lay down all your weapons and back away and lie face down on the decks the pods will release them.” Jessa knew this was completely counter-intuitive to what a person thought would work. For these heathens it might even seem unthinkable to bow to what was a perceived enemy. She held her breath and waited to see if Nash would comply.

Jessa Novar

“What?” Nash looked at her as if she was insane.

“You need to show that you are not a threat to the Galactic Union. Comply and you shall be forgiven.” In this moment it was easy to slip back into the role she had been assigned for the past seven years. It was also a chance for Jessa to show the crew that the Galactic Union did not mean any harm to the Federation. She looked up at him not with the expression of confidence and arrogance that seemed to perpetually be plastered on her face but one more of confusion.

“Forgiven,” Emily stated feeling her temper flair. It was rare she lost her temper as a counselor but this was far from a normal counseling session to bring a patient under control. Rinker was the only one with access to Jessa due to his years of experience. Seeing firsthand the blind zealousness to her organization confirmed the psyche chief was the best person for the job

“These machines just said these kids are scheduled for enlightenment,” his voice was mocking. “Now you want us to put down whatever defense we have against your death machines and submit to your cult religion, and the pods will just pop open and let the kids out, just like that?” Nash shook his head. “You’re still trying to get us to submit to your Galactic Union and religion of death despite everything that just happened? Open these damn pods and let the kids go back to their parents!” He raised his voice, “you may have been abandoned by people that should have loved you but you don’t get to hurt other kids with your hate, not on my watch!”

Jessa felt a burst of anger welling up inside her. “Never stop your enemy from sliding off the path of enlightenment. It will only allow one to defeat them faster for their own stupidity for those that do not fight with the passion of the Divine will rot in the oblivion of hell.” The quote by Adar Vyce was not the typical spiritual mumbo jumbo she spewed out but contained the zeal of the Union and its religion. If these people were too blind to follow orders then maybe their children did deserve a better life. It would only be a matter of time before Pellan Vell and the fleet arrived. They would be taken again so why not just leave them safe in slumber?

Throwing the coin at the nearest mech, Nash raised the staff and pointed it at another one, pressing down hard on the biggest groove in the staff he could find and hoping for the best.

When the coin hit the mech Nash had thrown it at, a bright flash of electrical discharged lit up the room. When Nash had used this special coin to disable the force field that had trapped the Command Staff in the briefing room, the metal had stored it until contact with another metallic object was made, enhancing the electrical discharge . It was a small device Nash had picked up somewhere during the time between leaving prison and officially coming back into Starfleet, and it was handy.

Electrical waves rolled over the surface of the mech, but Nash took no notice and turned his attention to the Staff. If it worked, it worked. If not, it didn’t.

The coin did not instantly clatter to the floor or against the MECH. It seemed to hover against the field as if it were drawn to it like a magnet. The MECH did not envelope it like it had the Marine fire or the other energy weapons that had fired upon it. Internally the machine was analyzing its components. The metals were an alloy found throughout the universe with amounts of copper, nickel, and zinc with a gold plating. What interested the MECH more was the interior of the coin and the delicate circuitry encased in the metals. The electrical charge did not seem to be enough to use as a weapon but it did cause the MECH to go offline for a microsecond as its systems rebooted. The effect was not noticeable except for a blink of the blue sensor eye winking out before it immediately came back on and seemed to get brighter. The action would have been missed by most if not all who weren’t looking at it or for an effect from the coin toss.

The MECH quickly ignored the minuscule threat as it focused on Nash picking up the Elder staff.

Nash

The crystal glowed a dazzling blue so bright it almost hurt the eyes of anyone looking at it. It pulsed a tone out that at first was felt more than heard. Those on the promenade would feel a pleasant sensation that calmed the nerves of everyone around Nash and the MECH’s. Slowly the sensation changed from relaxing to what would resemble an inebriated state. The effects made one feel slightly dizzy and off balance.

Jessa watched as many of the people who were desperately trying to save their children earlier began dropping to their knees before the MECH’s as the tone, caused by Nash gripping the crystal, moved from a mild analgesic effect to a much more aggressive effect. Waves of nausea and pain seemed to escalate and grow inside each individual.

“Drop it,” Jessa yelled out feeling her stomach knot up but not from the tone. The nanites in her body pulsed with a coordinating tone preventing the acoustic assault from affecting her. “Please,” she begged walking up to Nash. “Let the crystal go. I can’t stop that. I can’t fix that. I can’t stop it unless you let it go.” Dropping to her knees next to Nash she put her hand over his. All he had to do was open his fingers and it would transfer from his Nash’s grasp to Jessa’s.

“Please…please let it go.” Her tone was bordering on hysterical. “I will open the pods. I swear but I can’t do it until you stop the tone. Please…please I will do it.”

Jessa Novar

Nash let go of the stick

The second the stick left his hand the sound instantly ceased along with the symptoms anyone was feeling. It was like a reset button returning everyone to the state they were in prior to the tone. The MECH’s, which had been closing around Nash and those around the pods, slowly retreated back to their original position.

Her armor had protected her from the effects of the pulse but not those around her. The pulse was a measure of passive crowd control causing vertigo and nausea through acoustics. If one was experiencing it, it did not feel passive. Looking around Jessa could almost feel the tension radiating off the parents. The pulse had deterred them momentarily but that was far from stopping them. On Halston, she had seen parents clawing at the MECH’s until their nails broke and bled trying to remove their children even though the pods were going to save them. The MECH’s would stay in civil defense mode until the threat became so great, the only other option for crowd control was eliminating enough of the threat so an equilibrium could be re-achieved. “Stop stop,” she said yelled with her hands out as if trying to control both the MECH’s and the crowd. “They are pre-set for now,” she looked at Nash.

“Please trust me more than I have shown I trust you,” Jessa whispered to Nash before standing.

“Just don’t try anything and keep your word,” Nash answered her, and gone from his voice was the aggressive stubbornness. “My daughter is in one of those, and I can’t lose her again. I’ve already lost the people I love once.”

“If you do as I say no one will be hurt I promise but you have to follow my lead. Every object can be a weapon or tool based on how it is used.”

Turning to face the crowd, she made several ritualistic gestures with her hands before speaking. “True faith lies in submission to enlightenment. Your love, devotion, and strength to enlightenment show you believe in that which is more than just you. The Galactic Union cherishes your sacrifice.” Balling her hands into fists, Jessa flicked her hands to the deck hard opening her palms in the process.

“Sacrifice? What?” Nash zeroed in on that word and reached for the Phaser at his side.

Jessa knelt and bowed her head as if paying homage to the pods encasing the children. “Please…do not touch your weapon. I can not stop this if you do.” She was begging him to pray to the mechanical monstrosity like she was. Her tone was getting desperate and frantic as if she were scared in the moment even though she was all but encased in her own armor.

A very strong urge to kick the kneeling girl in the head as she pressed her hands to the deck filled him, and he stepped back. It could have been a stance to hold the Phaser in or equally a better angle to kick the girls head across the deck, either way, the pods started doing something before he could do something, and his eyes flicked up to the movement.

The metallic case surrounding the children melted away like an ocean wave retreating back from the shore. The movement was fast but controlled lowering the children to the deck plating without impact. As the metal casing coalesced into liquid mercury-like balls of fluid, they rolled away from the children and towards the MECH’s which now was no longer hovering but sitting on the deck. The balls incorporated into the Mech’s skin like reverse condensation.

Each child slowly began to wake up as if from a deep slumber, pushing themselves up on elbows or being scooped up into a waiting parent’s arms.

“Mum,” Hope called out rubbing her eyes. “Dad,” she followed looking for either of them in the moment.

Jessa Novar

“We’re here,” Nash said as he lifted Hope into his arms, sliding into a kneel beside her.

Hope felt her father’s strong arms crushing her into his body. She blinked trying to adjust her eyes to the light before his uniform blocked all the light from her face. It was hard to see and she was shaking not only from being scared but also from being cold. Her body felt like she had been playing outside without her winter coat when she visited her Grandprimes back on Mintara. “Mum,” she spoke in a muffled tone due to Nash holding her.

Emily slid into Nash hard already trying to check her daughter over as she also tried to just relax into the moment knowing Hope was at least alive.

“Mum and Dad are here baby.” Picking her up he held her tight to his chest but turned her so she could see Emily beside her, and so Emily could check her. Nash was no doctor and Emily had more knowledge than he did. “Are you hurt? Oh thank god you’re awake.”

“I can’t breathe,” she grunted starting to push back slightly from Nash’s crushing grip. As she moved back she looked up at her dad. The fear and worry on his face alarmed her slightly. It was clear as she moved back her comment was directed at the grip and nothing else. “My hands are cold. My feet are cold.” She shook slightly and let it ripple down her body laying her head on his chest. “I feel like I can’t wake up.”

Holding Hope closer to him for just a moment he passed the small girl into Emily’s arms and ran his fingers through his daughters hair, then putting his arm around his wife and kissing the side of her head as she fussed over the girl.

Looking around to where Jessa was, Nash looked at her in silence for a moment and then nodded once. “Thank you.” He said simply, but the words carried a wave of emotion and gratitude that few people had ever heard from the gruff Engineer for years.

Ethan Nash, CE

“They are fine I promise. I would not hurt them. The pods are designed for transport. It’s hibernation sickness but they are going to be okay.” Jessa looked all around feeling like she wanted to break down in tears herself. “We don’t hurt children.” She had seen and tended to kids coming out of hibernation in the Union but they had nano’s and medical staff that instantly treated the kids. Here in this backwater area of space, it seemed one needed to have a strong constitution to make it. She did not know how long it would take for the kids to be back to normal levels but she hoped it was fast.

At the words we don’t hurt children Nash opened his mouth to offer a scathing, cutting reply. But then closed his mouth. Arguing with the child was clearly pointless and wouldn’t achieve anything, and was best left to the people she spent time with who could understand her better. Anything he said would be lost on her as the girl wallowed in her self absorbed supremacy and Nash, honestly didn’t care about her. His daughter needed him.

Bending down she picked up the crystal Nash was holding earlier and slipped it in her pocket. The MECH’s hyper-focused on her action but did not do anything. Jessa did not want them to pick up on the link between the crystal and the Elders so she clumsily grabbed the coin and handed it to Nash with all the grace a twelve-year-old had with sleight of hand. “You can’t buy these robots loyalty,” she said offhand. “They are not independent entities and for the most part, you want to stay clear of bots. They lack the compassion and emotional subroutines to be effective in helping people unless that is their designation. Medbots are different but you were treating it like a corp-sec bot. Trying to use currency with a corp-sec bot is a crime and there are not any adjudicators here.”

Jessa Novar

“What are you talking about?” Nash looked at her with a raised eyebrow. “Currency? Oh you mean the coin. Yeah sure, that’s what it was, totally.” The man had no desire or time to argue about what the small device that looked like a coin actually did, but it hadn’t done what he hoped.

“The crystal too,” Nash held out his hand, clearly waiting for her to give it back.

“Triff that. It’s government property. I can’t just give it to you,” Jessa tightened her grip on the crystal.

“You honestly think that after all of this I’m going to let you pocket it and keep it?”

“Well, I am not giving it to you so that you can melt down into a necklace and new ear baubles.” Jessa rolled her eyes as if Nash had stated something outlandish.

“That was used to attack the Captain, and look what it did to the people here. “

Jessa looked around the space and could not deny Nash was correct. The Elders and those helping her on the Altantis had turned the space into something that looked like a war zone with broken glass everywhere and shattered furniture.

You aren’t keeping it, and if you try to then nobody is going to trust you, especially after what happened here. If you want us to start trusting you, like I did just now, you need to give it back.”

Nash

“Giving you this is not going to make anyone trust me. You are just saying that because you see me as a child and stupid.” Jessa looked at Nash and pursed her lips tightly before holding it out to him. “But at least you ask me so take it,” she shook her hand slightly. “Our tech is far more advanced than anything you have so you are not going to understand it or how it works. It is also not gonna suddenly make you and Elder. It is just a crystal.” She was not lying completely but she was also not being utterly truthful. The crystal was a crystal of the most stunning sapphire blue color. It did resemble a gem at a casual glance.

“I am going to need that back though later. Like I said it is government property.”

Jessa Novar.

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