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A Night in the Brig

Posted on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 @ 3:29pm by Lieutenant JG Aurelia Garrett & Lieutenant J'remar Menun

Location: USS Falchion brig
Timeline: A week before launch

J'remar reached into the circuit panel with the hyperspanner, attempting to reroute enough power from other parts of the ship to keep the force fields in the brig at optimal levels. He'd been busy enough with making sure all the torpedo guidance systems and phaser targeting scanners were operational before he remembered he needed to do some routine maintenance on the brig.

He grunted as he finished linking up several more conduits to the brig, setting the spanner down and walking to the control panel. He keyed in a few commands.

Nothing happened. He frowned. The force fields hadn't gone up like they should have. He sighed and went back to the panel, looking inside. "Why didn't I take that extra engineering course at the Academy..." he muttered to himself. Looks like he'd have to call in backup. He tapped the combadge on his chest.

"Lieutenant Menun to Ensign Garrett. Please assist me in the brig."

Garrett had been pouring over personnel files for the last four hours. Her eyes were beginning to burn. She wanted to ensure she was familiar with each member of the new security teams background. Aurelia only liked the surprises she was involved in. Most of the files held promising individuals she was eager to personally meet with, but first she wanted to get all her homework done.

As she reached for her cup of now cold coffee she heard Lieutenant Menuns voice over the comm. Tapping her com badge she replied, “Aye sir, I’m on my way.” Letting out a tired sigh she rose from her seat.

On route to the brig Aurelia tried rubbing the tired burning from her eyes. Her work days seemed to be getting longer and longer, if not connecting all in one. She refused to topple under the pressure of the work needed to successfully secure a space station along with the Falchion.

She perked up before entering the brig, donning a smile she addressed the Lieutenant. “I thought you would of called it a day hours ago Lieutenant Menun.”

He donned his usual frown. "As long as there's work to be done, the day is never over," J'remar replied. He gestured to the open panel outside the brig. "I require your assistance finalizing the routine maintenance check. The power systems are being very fickle, and my engineering skills are someone lacking."

Surprised at Menuns need for assistance in any matter, she thought better not to comment but smiled to herself. Walking closer to get a better look inside the panel Lia furrowed her brow. Her engineering skills weren’t the best but she refused to admit it.

Lia moved a few wires this way and that before speaking her analysis. Looking over Menuns shoulder she gestured to the missing wall panel inside the cell. “Have you tried tinkering with the circuitry within that? This panel doesn’t seem to be the issue.”

He looked into the cell. "Not yet." He stepped inside the cell, peering into the open wall panel. "I thought I asked Lieutenant Ellis to send someone down here to fix this," he said, his frown deepening. "I suppose we're all equally busy with securing the ship for it's launch, but this shouldn't have happened."

Aurelia mentally cursed the engineers who left the wall unsecured. Letting out a sarcastic chuckle she said," Well I'm glad we haven't had an immediate use for this brig....seeing its still apparently under construction." Picking up a few tools she stepped into the cell following J'remar.

J'remar began using a hyperspanner on some of the circuitry. "Hand me a coil spanner would you?"

She handed J'remar the interphasic coil spanner she held. Lia bit her lip holding back the urge to warn J'remar to use caution. She had to remind herself she reported to him, not the other way around.

"If I did this right..." he said, concentrating heavily on correcting the circuitry, "we should be able to turn the force fields" With one final adjustment, J'remar ducked his head back out of the open panel, prepared to step out and activate the force fields manually. To his blank astonishment, before he took even one step, the force fields went up with a low psshhht, locking them inside the brig.

"Well that was unexpected," he said, blinking several times to make sure he was seeing this right.

The sound of the force field coming to life gave Aurelia satisfaction, until she realized what side of that force field they were on. Her bright green eyes widened as she processed this dilemma. She swallowed her panic as she reached inside the open panel. Grunting with frustration she began to attempt to disarm the force field.

With in seconds there was a loud crack and Aurelia was sent flying backwards. Smoke started to seep from the open panel. To her dismay the force field was still in tact. “Just lovely.” She said coughing.

J'remar stepped over to Aurelia, kneeling beside her. "Are you alright?" He asked, his concern carefully hidden behind his professional calmness. "We probably shouldn't mess with the circuitry anymore. It's too risky."

Between coughs she managed to respond, “Yes I’m alright, just my pride that’s bruised. I doubt our comm badges are going to work in here.” She extended her arm for assistance to stand.

He grabbed her arm and helped her off the floor. "Of course not. These cells are built to be secure. Allowing any form of communication device to operate within one would be a breach in security. Ironic that we're the ones locked inside."

He stepped up to the force field and reached out to touch it with his hand. Like it was meant to, it sent a surge of energy into his hand shocking it and causing him to yank it backwards. "At least they work."

"Well that's one way to look on the bright side." Lia placed her hands on her hips as she gazed around the cell. She could cause a lot of damage in an attempt to escape, but she highly doubted either Menun or the Captain would be very happy about it. She started pacing back and forth the small cell. "If i'm not mistaken Ensign Lao is to report to the security office at 0800. But other then that I'm unsure of any maintenance that would bring anyone here to find us." She looked over the J'remar hoping he would have some insight on how to get them out, before then ended up locked up overnight in the brig.

J'remar looked around as well, though aside from the unfinished wall panel there was no other way to access the force field control systems, and given neither of them apparently had the necessary level of skill to fix it, they appeared to be stuck.

"By Orion's moons!" He said angrily, beginning to pace. "I was a fool to attempt to fix it myself. I know my limits."

After almost colliding twice with Menun as they paced restlessly in the cell, she made her way to the wall opposite the open panel. Sliding down the wall she let out a large exhale. Her temples were throbbing and her stress level had hit an all time high. Aurelia began focusing on her breathing. Closing her eyes she leaned her head back against the wall and waited for the pounding in her skull to conclude.

After a few moments she opened her eyes and watched J’remar as he continued to pace. “Menun. Please, sit.”

J'remar glared at her, but then realized being upset wouldn't do either of them any good. He stopped pacing and stood by the open panel, breathing deeply and steadily. He sat down after a moment and looked across the Aurelia. "You seem stressed. This situation may be unexpected, but it's nothing so terrible. We'll face worse I'm sure."

Aurelia returned the orions glare at first, the moment he stopped pacing the corner of her lips perked up into a smirk. "Stressed only due to the fact I have work I need to get done. This ," she waved a hand lazily towards the force field "is just an inconvenience." She began to fidget with an imaginary fleck of dirt on the floor.

The Orion looked out of the cell, over to the control panel, thinking hard. The force field was up, the controls were on the other side, the only access they had to the power systems was the open panel...

"Unless you're hiding anything more than a level 1 engineering class in your Academy portfolio, I think we're stuck until morning," He said, trying his best not to sound irritated, but that was hard for him. He sort of ALWAYS looked irritated.

“Sadly, engineering isn’t my strong suit...” Her voiced trailed off. Aurelia flicked the imaginary piece of dirt and let out another sigh. Crossing her legs she leaned forward. She hadn’t attempted small talk with J’remar, the Orion didn’t seem like he had any interest in anything other then his duty. He always looked concentrated on something, but maybe that was just his camouflage. His way to divert others from getting to know him.

Unfortunately for them they were stuck until morning, fortunately for Aurelia, J’remar had no where to run. “So Menun, ever gone up against a Gorn in hand to hand combat?” She doubted J’remar would open up to her but she wasn’t going to sit in silence for ten hours either.

He glanced at her quizzically, shaking his head. "No. Have you?"

Wearing a coy smile she replied, "Once or a holodeck." Aurelia laughed at the memory of her first encounter with a Gorn. She was so overly confident in her abilities that she under estimated the Gorn severely.

He smirked. "They're very tough, and excellent hand-to-hand fighters. Remember the stories of Captain Kirk and that Gorn on Cestus III? That man knew how to fight." Crossing his legs and sitting up as straight as a tree, he looked over at Aurelia. "Now I may not have fought a Gorn, but I have fought Nausicaans, and I have the scars to prove it."

Finally! Aurelia thought. So he does have a relaxed side, perhaps this night wont be spent in awkward silence. Her smile widening she replied, "Those stories are what fueled some dangerous dares!" She let out a chuckle. "I'm gonna have to see the scars to prove it, those suckers are brutal!"

He thought for a moment, his professional stoicism battling with his interest in trading stories of battles and combat. He sighed internally, finally letting his guard down. There was no point remaining that neutral and passive when there wasn't anything better to do.

He pointed to his left hand, where there was a long scar that branched off into many smaller scars. "This one was from a Nausicaan knife. I was trying to bring a pair of Nausicaans into custody aboard the starbase I was stationed on many years ago. They'd been caught stealing from a Yridian trader, so I attempted to place them under arrest." He shook his head, remembering his younger self. "I was more naive back then. I didn't realize one had pulled a knife on me. Next thing I knew I was battling for my life after he stabbed my hand."

Aurelia squinted but the cell was too dim for her to make out the details of the scar from where she sat. She rose to her feet and walked across the cell to sit in front of J'remar taking his left hand and bringing it close to her face to inspect the scar. "Wow, I bet that was nasty, lucky you didn't damage the nerves too much to render the hand useless!" She released his hand. "You had back up right? Your not telling me you took on multiple Nausicaan and made it out alive." Aurelia chuckled but in the back of her mind was rather impressed he hadn't gotten himself amputated. Perhaps she had underestimated Menun like everyone seemed to underestimate her. She felt a sense of guilt at the realization.

He smirked again, though he was very uncomfortable at the fact that Aurelia had grabbed his hand. He didn't show any reaction to this though. He didn't want to upset her.

"I'm not THAT naive. There were three of us, though the other two security officers suffered far worse wounds that I. We did manage to stun the Nausicaans, but we spent the next several days recovering. This is something I want you to learn, Ensign," He said, becoming slightly more serious. "Never, and I mean NEVER, turn your back on an adversary. They will use everything to their advantage, including feigned attempts at diplomacy. Always be suspicious of the enemy that talks peace."

Aurelia nodded giving the advice a moment to settle. She knew all too well to never let her guard down when dealing with just about anyone regardless of race. She debated within herself as to whether she should share her biggest learning experience, not many knew about it. The incident was more embarrassing on her part, the scar a reminder of her faults. Menun had shared with her, he'd opened up. Why shouldn't she do the same? She couldn't expect from someone what she wasn't willing to give.

"This uniform acts more like a target then a coat of armor. It took me awhile to adjust to that." Her voice was heavy as she continued, the bubbly persona gone. "I was ignorant of that my first few years in Starfleet, I felt untouchable. I got a little cocky in dealing with some Klingons, I went to walk away and he felt disrespected so swung on me with his bat'leth." Aurelia sat up on her knees and lifted her uniform top to expose the thick shiny scar that stretched from her sixth rib around to her lower back. She sat back down crossing her legs. "Not my brightest moment, it almost cost me my career, let alone my life." She kept her eyes down waiting to hear how foolish she was, how she was "lucky".

J'remar, surprised by her sudden openness, was again a little put off when she exposed her scar. After she had sat back down again and finished speaking, he nodded.

"We all make mistakes Ensign. I don't expect anyone to be perfect, especially not in their youth. Just take your experiences to heart and never let people see you as weak. Your mistakes, even your failures, make you stronger." He truly meant this sentiment. It had gotten him through many tough situations where other men would have broken, but he had stayed strong.

Aurelia felt a bit on display after opening up. She was on no account shy or bashful but didn't show her vulnerable side to anyone, it was odd she was opening up to the most up tight member of the crew. Whatever it was about being stuck secluded with him must be having an effect on her. She wasn't sure how she felt about it yet. Something told her Menun wouldn't hold her weakness or past mistakes against her, he wouldn't judge her. She didn't know how she knew it, only that she did.

There was silence between them for a while. The hum of the force field they were trapped behind the only sound in the cell apart from their quiet breathing. Aurelia thought about sleeping but knew she wouldn't be able to. It was going to be a long night. Looking back to the Orion she furrowed her brows.
"Your not what I expected Menun."

He blinked. "In what way?" He asked, frowning slightly.

"You're more understanding that I thought. Forgive me if I'm being too forward or out of line...but your kind of unapproachable." Aurelia braced herself for how he might respond. She cursed herself silently, she knew better then to speak with her supervisors in this manner.

He was quiet for a few moments, keeping the slight frown from earlier. "A good officer must be loyal, firm, and brave," he said at last, looking at Aurelia. "Ever since my first day at the Academy, I strove to be the most loyal, the most firm, and the bravest man I could be. If I let everyone think that I was weak, if my enemies saw I had those I cared about, they could use that against me. I keep almost everyone out to protect them. I'm unapproachable because I choose to be, not because I want to be," he finished quietly.

“It’s seems rather lonely.” She looked at Menun with an almost sympathetic gaze. Aurelia knew she had no room to talk or judge, she had taken a position half way across the galaxy just to put distance between the ones she cared about. She could relate to The Orion more then she would have guessed. Perhaps this time together was a blessing, perhaps the more they understood one another, the more effectively they would work together.

He shrugged. "I got used to it a long time ago. Besides, being so...emotionally neutral allows me to better command those under me. If my subordinates saw me as soft or weak, they'd be less likely to follow out my orders, or take my suggestions seriously. Same goes with my superiors. If I remain stern and focused, they'll see that I will always get the job done and won't be distracted by emotions."

“Well if that’s isn’t the most “Vulcan” thing I’ve heard since I’ve been on Ds 12.” Aurelia chuckled softly. “For what it’s worth... and it’s just my opinion... but showing you care isn’t weakness. There’s strength in having a bond with those you care about. I let those who follow me know I care because I want them to know they aren’t just pawns, they mean something to me. I’ve found, in my short time as a leader that I have just as much to prove to them as they do me.” She shrugged, pulling her right knee up to rest her chin on.

J'remar was silent, contemplating what Aurelia had said. He tapped the floor of the brig with his foot absently. "Our opinions may be different, but I can see we are similar in many respects, Ensign. We both care deeply about those around us, and we both want to do our best to protect them, even if we go about that differently." He smiled, genuinely, for the first time in a long while. "You'll make an excellent leader one day."

Aurelia couldn't contain the pride the lieutenants compliment gave her. Her grin spread from ear to ear, she momentarily had to break eye contact feeling a slight wave of embarrassment she didn't know how to compose. Racking her brain on how to change the subject took longer then she thought, she was distracted and admittedly flustered after the compliment from Menun, someone she never thought would open up his shell. Her conversation skills fell short which was new for her, Aurelia was nothing if not a social butterfly. She felt knowing everyone in a room was a tactical advantage, as long as she didn't allow herself to become distracted by any one person. She lost track of how long she had let her thought get away from her. She finally looked back to Menun,"Is it too farfetched to hope the Captain doesn't hear of our misfortune tonight?" She forced a laugh.

He nodded, his smile dimming slightly. It honestly kind of hurt to smile, he was so unused to it. "There won't be any records of it in the official logs." He was glad he'd opened up to Aurelia. It felt...good to get everything off his chest for once.


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