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Posted on 07/24/2020 @ 8:26pm by Captain Hailey Konuha

=/\= Docking Port S11-14 =/\=

Hailey sat quietly looking at the stars. The events of the last weeks were - by all reckoning - disconcerting at best .. heinous at worst. Not at lot could be said about the cruel trick played upon her. To Hailey, that's all it was .. a cruel trick. Security looked at it as a "breach". FAdm Cerywyn looked at it as an "intrusion". Hailey looked at it as a violation.

She was having trouble sleeping. Her appetite was decreased. Her thoughts were jumbled a lot of the time and concentration was becoming tedious. She knew what was going on ... it happened before right after she lost the Endeavour rescuing Cerywyn. She was depressed.

Hailey shifted her seating arrangement as her posterior was becoming a little numb from the cold, hard titanium. She was lost in thought .... then she felt a touch.

"What the hell!?", she snapped as she simultaneously spun around ready to deck whomever it was that invaded her space. Lt Maria Ibarra recoiled in bonfide terror thinking she was about to make a trip to Medical. "Hailey it's me!", she screamed. Hailey blinked several times trying to less the rush of adrenaline she felt. "Maria? How in the .... ", she fumbled. "Where ...? How ...?" SHe looked at Ibarra like she was a two-headed Mugato.

"You think just because you take off your comm badge, I don't know where you are?", she chuckled. "You know me better than that!" Hailey looked at her smugly. "Sure .. and you place a tracker in me years ago ... I remember", she said sarcastically. "..and it obviously still works", Maria shot back.

She finally relaxed and took a seat next to her long time boss and friend. "You know, Grace and I have a unique part to play", she said. The comment seemed extremely non-sequitor to Konuha. "What!??", she spat. "Grace .. you know .. her and I have a leg up on you and the Admiral. That's why you'll never replace us."

Hailey scoffed and answered, "Remind to put i that transfer when we get back"

"Yeah yeah ... you say that. But seriously ... Grace has been with the Admiral and I with you for so long .. it's a marriage at this point. I can finish your thoughts, almost can tell you what you need before you need it. Grace can do it too ... even with the Admiral's barriers up."

"I'm sure you're getting to a point, Ibarra", Hailey said annoyed. Maria looked at her closely and narrowed her eyes. "You can be a little nicer, Hailey. We've been through too much for you to be a "la perra" now", Maria answered indignantly. Hailey swiveled her neck and look at her yeoman with a measure of shock and admiration. It wasn't often that she heard Ibarra get so direct, let alone so insubordinate. She knew full well what that spanish phrase meant. However, she also learned long ago that when you got on her bad side, she'd let every bit of her Latina dander come out.

"Well, well ... just go ahead and speak your mind, LIEUTENANT!", she said with a sing song voice emphasizing the last word for good measure. Maria bristled. Yes, she was a Lieutenant but someday she'll be more. "Fine, I will CAPTAIN!", she retorted in kind.

"I know EXACTLY what's going on with you. I saw this right after the Endeavour, I saw this when you took that desk job at the Academy on Earth, I saw this when you said goodbye to your parents when you left for Versailles. You're depressed, damn it! I know .. YOU know .. and you can best be sure the ADMIRAL knows it!" Maria stopped to collect her thoughts and calm her tone. She reached out and took her long time friend's hand in hers. "You don't have the luxury to get in a funk again, Hailey. We're just ramping up here on Cyrga - and you and I both know what kind of demand that is. We've been here before - this is NOTHING new to us." Maria shifted in her stance to face Hailey dead on.

"Captain, You need to see a counselor. That's the plain and simple truth about it."

Hailey widened her eyes and felt her stomach go sour. The truth was nothing that was ever easy to swallow, but what Maria was saying was having to swallow it with a gulp of something from Focus III. Hailey looked at her as the tears welled. "I have to be strong, Maria. I'm in charge here, I'm in command!", she explained. "I don't have time to talk to a counselor - I have duties to perform .. I - I - ... " Hailey broke down and sobbed.

Maria reached out and drew her mentor into a long, caring embrace. "I know, my friend. I know ...", she said as she shushed her and hugged her tightly. They say there for a minute or two when suddenly Hailey pushed away and tried fiercely to regain her composure. It was like doing battle with a entire House of Klingons. Somehow she had to stuff it all back inside it's little box. 'No! Damn it!", she spat. "I am NOT going to let it beat me!"

She stood up quickly and walked briskly to the Station window turning her back to Ibarra. "Whoever did this will pay, Maria. I *swear* to you .. they'll pay!" Ibarra could hear the hate and anger rising in Konuha's voice. Hailey spun around are glared at her Yeoman. "They ... will .. pay", she said with an almost evilness that made Ibarra instinctually shift backward. Hailey just continued to glare.

Maria, seeing the person before as someone she had never met before, simply nodded her head. "I know...", she said soothingly. "You always get you man, don't you? Ever since you were Chief of Security on the Endeavour, right?" Maria calmly stood up. "You know what you have to do. All you have to do is ask her. She'd be there for you in a nanosecond." Maria looked at her friend with compassion and a sadden face. She could almost feel the waves of hurt emanating from her. "I've already checked her schedule and she's free for the next 2 hours", she explained. " ... which is AMAZING when you think about her NORMAL schedule.", she continued with a chuckle. "I leave it you" Maria look solemnly her Hailey and sighed. Then she turned and started walking back to the office.

All HAiley could hear was a loud buzzing from the amount of blood pumping through her head. If Maria were close enough her hands would be around her throat for being so callous! She managed to catch the odd words here and there as Maria spoke. " ... Endeavour ... She .... nanosecond ... and then finally, "I'll leave it to you". Hailey shook her head to reality. The anger started to subside and the feelings of terror and violation began to return. Hailey watched Maria start to disappear into the distance. "Wait!", she said suddenly as she broke into a full tilt run. It took only a few moments to reach Maria who had stopped.

Hailey stopped and looked into her eyes and then hugged her with all her might. "What would I do without you?", she asked gratefully. Without letting go Maria answered, "I would imagine by know you would have flushed yourself out an airlock", she said comically.

Hailey released and pulled back to respectable but still within Maria's "personal space". "I'll call her as soon as we get back... promise.", she said. "Of course you will", Maria said with her radiant smile. "Otherwise, I will!"

The pair and walked off into the corridors arm in arm.


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