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Posted on Fri Feb 24th, 2017 @ 6:59pm by Staff Warrant Officer Nexi & Captain Enalia Telvan & Warrant Officer Cato West

Mission: Cardassian Mayhem
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Day after Away Team

Nexi wandered down the hall, a priceless bottle of well aged whiskey in her hand and two glasses in the other; she'd nicked the bottle from Enalia's private stash and decided to take a stroll down to Sickbay to check in on their resident jarhead who was recovering from his injuries incurred on the Cardassian penal colony. She strolled in, freshly showered and in clean clothes, nothing uniform though, she was avoiding wearing the uniform as long as possible; instead she wore a plain black shirt and baggy cargo pants, and her trademark leather jacket styled after the Starfleet uniform, her long curly hair spilling free down her back.

"Hey, wake up," Nexi said as she approached the biobed where Cato lay, pulling up a chair to sit and then setting the glasses and the whiskey on a side table.

Cato hated sickbay, the only place where they'd wake you up to give you a hypospray to help you sleep. Eyes cracking open to see Nexi and the bottle, he sat up with a grimace. Dermal bandages on his ribcage from where he hit the deck, other than that his upper body was bare. The 'art show' was visible for anyone who would look now, including some of his soon to be new scars. "Thank god, real medicine." He moved to adjust his left leg, dermal wrap freshly applied from surgery earlier. "So, how pissed off is she that I used airburst rounds and a plasma grenade? On a one to ten." he cracked a smile that quickly turned into a half grimace.

"On a one to ten, mmm, maybe a seven?" Nexi replied as she popped the top on the whiskey, taking a sniff and smiling approvingly. "I think more than anything, she's upset we lost 3 men on this mission, which isn't anyone's fault," Nexi then said as she poured the smooth drink into each of the glasses, then offered one to him. "Not to mention, this guy, whoever he is, we keep finding these experiments of his and we can't seem to do anything to stop him. Oh, and he knows who we are, or at the very least me and my sister, and yet we know next to nothing about him. Of course Enalia's pissed, I am too."

Remaining quiet, Cato reached out and took the glass with his left hand. Moving to 'clink' glasses with her, he perked a brow "Heres to almost being number four." he took a sip, the smooth familiar taste made him so happy. A big smile crept over his face before he continued "Cliche time." he took another sip of that lovely drop of whiskey that was in his glass "Don't get angry, let's get even." Cato paused and made sure hey was looking right into Nexi's eyes for this next part "O'Shea, Dover and De'Ath died honorably. Yeah, it pisses me off too. But the best thing we can do is figure out a way to shut this motherfucker down. Permanently. Focus on things that he shouldn't know."

"Yeah, I'm familiar with that one; pettiness is a common thing in my former line of work," Nexi said with a chuckle, then finished off her glass. She waited until he was done to give them both a refill. "As for what this guy shouldn't know... he shouldn't have known I even had a sister, how did he know? Something I intend to talk to Enalia about to make sure there ain't been any leaks in our Intel." She took a swig of the whiskey, holding it in her mouth for a moment to savor the flavor as she considered whether to tell Cato. Clio knew, she was Nexi's superior, she was entitled to know the motivations of her subordinates, and Mal knew because he was the new XO, but Nexi was still fearful of letting too many people know the truth, which was why Enalia promised her the truth would never leave the Hera.

"Aewia Larani, daughter of a prominent Betazoid house, she was medically retired from her service in Starfleet Intel after having part of her brain cut out in a Reman prison. The info her team initially recovered was what led us to one of the stations this fucker set up. I've kept my connection to Aewia secret because I'm her illegitimate half sister, I didn't want to tarnish her family's reputation or want her in any danger because of my former lifestyle; I trust you know how to keep a secret," Nexi said with a serious gaze.

He laughed at the pettiness comment and then switched gears to just listen intently while she spoke. Coming to her secret, Cato gave her a single nod and swallowed the sip of whiskey he had in his mouth. "I'll take it to my grave, you have my word." he replied in all seriousness. Cato was a vault, even though he had his flaws he was good where it counted. "When you had a chance to go right for the runabout, you went for me first. You dragged me off that station. yIn SoH jIH" which the translator pumped out to I owe you a life he took a quick sip of liquid courage before he continued.

"You and I maybe have one thing in common. We get shit done our own way." he paused "We're going to hunt this son-of-a-bitch down and when the time comes, I'll make sure you get to him and you get a chance to even the score; Or I'll die trying." he grimaced as he shifted in the bio bed. "All I need is for you to have my back when it counts."

"Yeah... I'm still getting used to caring about other people," Nexi confessed, pouring them both another drink. "The life I lived before was a very lonely one, and I wasn't lying when I said the transition from profit to duty ain't easy... I've lost people before, but never anyone I was close enough to miss, and since working with Hera I've lost too many teammates; it's like now that I care, I can't shut it off and I don't know what to do about this pit I feel in my stomach." She wasn't afraid of confessing such a thing to a guy like Cato because she had a feeling he was a lot the same way. "As for evening the score, I've seen more than enough death, I don't need to take his life to find closure, I'll be content just to know he's dead."

He bit his lower lip and took a deep breath, Cato didn't really talk to people anymore. This new trend aboard the Hera was different territory for him. Nexi was different "I know, I get it. This life is lonely plain and simple. I'll tell you now, that fuckin' pit never goes away. It's always been easier for me to check out and not give a fuck about anyone or anything." he took another deep breath, showing her the tree branch tattoo on the inside of his left bicep which continued over his left pec (above where his heart was). "When you care, you stop losing teammates and start losing family." he paused and took another sip "I've lost enough." he took another sip. "You start to forget the things you should remember... And you can't stop remembering the things you should forget."

"Yeah, yeah..." Nexi replied softly with a nod; she understood, even if this was still something new to her. "I thought joining Starfleet was something I could do, but... days like this, I question that decision. It would be so easy for me to jump in my ship and disappear. Aewia's the only reason I ain't left yet, and only time will tell if the decision to stay is a good one." Nexi finished off her drink and set her glass aside. "You want another before I return this? I snuck it from Enalia's quarters, I should probably return it before she has a chance to notice... It's old as fuck on your Earth calendar, 1980-something, hope she don't mind..." She looked at the faded label on the bottle, trying to read the old Earth fancy writing.

Cato just about spat the final sip from his glass out, he chuckled and shook his head 'no' before handing her his glass back and swallowed that last sip. He didn't even remotely want to comment on the fact they were just drinking epic whiskey. "You know, I tried the running thing once... Bitch served my heart up to me on a silver platter during my first year at the academy, I dropped out and I just started running and haven't looked back since." they were at the tail end of their opening up and having a heart to heart. "Joining Starfleet isn't about you, it's about standing for those who don't have a voice. It's about sacrifice and challenging yourself" he stopped himself, suddenly realizing he sounded like his father. "blah blah fuckin' blah. You get the idea."

Nexi laughed at his reaction as she took his glass from him and set it aside, then laughed again at his 'blah blah'. "Yeah, I get the idea. At first I joined for Aewia because she deserves more than I can give her, and then I decided to do it for myself, not just for the challenge but because I wanted something better for myself. I never wanted anything for myself before, not really. Sounds strange, before it was about the profit and and making ends meet, and that sounds selfish as hell, but I had all this money and nothing I really wanted to do with it. Now I want something; don't rightly know what that is, but here I am."

He smirked "Well, you sound like everyone I've ever known. I don't know what I want either, I feel like I'm fumbling through my life and career most of the time. But I do know that I look cute in my uniform and I love to blow shit up." he smiled and shot a wink in her direction, just because. "You don't sound selfish, well, you aren't selfish. If you were, we wouldn't be having this conversation." he laid his head back on the shitty sickbay pillow "We need a bottle of something less exotic, the edge of being a chew toy for an overgrown fuckin rat was finally going away."

"And here it is," came Enalia's voice from the entry to sickbay. "Good thing I have a tracker and an alarm on that bottle. And I think I have a good idea why both of you joined. The same reason I did. To see what you can become. To push yourself to be better and see what's worth living for in this universe. Does that sound about right?" Walking over to the two, she offered them a rather large jug of Trill scotch.

Cato looked at Nexi and laughed-smiled as he shook his head "Smooth." looking past her to Captain Telvan "Something along those lines Ma'am." He paused eyeing the large jug of Trill scotch in Enalia's hand "You saved Nexi the long walk to grab a bottle of macallan from my quarters. Not quite the same league as your 1980 mac-daddy, but 2250 was a pretty decent year."

"Helluva lot better than the homemade brew I've been working with one of the crew to make down near the deuterium slush tanks; that stuff can strip the grease off of parts better than industrial solvents, and me and O'Connor tested it one night and after just two hits, we couldn't remember what happened that night; all we knew is he woke up naked in the Captain's chair and I was wearing EV grav-boots and stuck to the ceiling in a Jefferies tube." Nexi handed the whiskey back to Enalia with a grin. "I got a line on that brandy you like if you want me to replace that; it was very smooth, by the way, definitely recommend taking your time with what's left of it."

"If you want to make amends, I have a teacup I'd like sitting in the Louvre on Earth. And if you want home brew, visit the empty quarters next to mine and get another bottle of this. Don't touch the ale though. It's not ready." Enalia replied as she popped the stopper on the gallon and a half jug. She then offered to refill the empty glasses. "It may not be as smooth, but it's real and it'll help ease what pains you."

Cato smiled, he suddenly found that he had landed himself on the only flying distillery in Starfleet; Using his best fake scottish accent he said "I like this ship." he paused "Enough scotch to make us forget about the good choices and remember the bad ones." fake accent off. "First CO I've had that tracks down a stolen bottle of whiskey with a gallon of scotch." He gave a nod in Enalia's direction "I like your style."

"Oooh, and I get to do another heist! Is it my birthday?!" Nexi pulled Enalia into hug and even rested her head on Enalia's voluptuous breasts. "You really know how to cheer me up- hey, did you get a new corset? These are perkier than I remember..." Nexi snuggled up to Enalia's breasts with a goofy grin.

Enalia giggled a bit before gently pushing Nexi away. "I'm a married woman now. I have to look good for my wife, you know." grabbing a stray cup from a nearby station and pouring herself some of the scotch. "We can talk about that job later. For now... I still expect your reports on my desk as soon as possible. I've reviewed some of the EV suit logs and the data recovered and I think I know where we're headed next at the very least." With that declaration, she tipped back her cup and drained it in a flash before pouring some more.

"Enalia, the voice, it knew about Aewia," Nexi cautioned, growing serious once again. "And it said something weird, that I was on their Facility One in 2160."

"Sorry, I misspoke... I know when we're going. Starfleet Intel is still tracking down the where." Enalia was grim at the mention of Facility One and the year. "They have records of similar facilities that were destroyed in the past and apparently we get to go back to 2160 and visit the first labs. But for now, Facility Six is officially destroyed and we can rejoice that it only cost the lives of four of our brave crew."

"Time travel, again?!" Nexi grumbled, but then something odd occurred to her. "Wait, four? But we only lost the three Security Officers we brought with us," she pointed out.

Cato got quiet, suddenly sobering up rather quick. He listened to the conversation and became a wallflower, for the moment. Time travel and then hearing the bit about four, he had this sudden sinking feeling in his stomach that he was going to be the fourth for some sketchy one way black ops assignment. He took a breath, that buzz he had been working on was now gone for the moment "What did you have in mind, Ma'am?" Cato wasn't one for subterfuge.

"Crewman Daniels didn't make it either. A new EPS conduit blew up in his face on deck twenty six," Enalia clarified before downing her own drink again. "As for plans, we're going to be taking on one of the lovely gentlemen from the Office of Temporal Investigations and heading into the past as soon as we have a plan and a location. Don't worry - you should have plenty of time to heal up."

Cato nodded, "Sounds like a plan, you mentioned that you've review some of the EV suit logs. Have you finished pulling the logs from mine? I'd like to get my armor down to engineering to have it repaired and modified." he questioned, fully well knowing that he was going to have some explaining to do either way about his fairly radical (by Starfleet standards) tactics during their CQB engagements.

"We'll need to talk about that in private later. All of your gear is still quarantined in shuttlebay two but I'll let everyone know when it's released." Enalia poured herself another drink and handed the jug off to Nexi.

Nexi took the jug and poured another round for herself and Cato. "I think it's about time I retired my suit; that old Ferengi tech just can't keep up like it used to, and if I'm really gonna Enlist I'll be issued some shiny new Starfleet tech, right? And do we know if the Selune is gonna survive?"

"She won't be the same, but I'm sure she'll be fine. She's built tough." Enalia sipped at her drink this time, rather than just knocking it back. "There's a giant tooth in quarantine if anyone collects trophies."

Cato took his freshly poured glass and took a sip. "Dibs." he stuck his tongue out at Nexi "That's getting framed and mounted on the bulkhead next to the Andorian Snow Anacdona fangs that almost ended me." Cato liked his, um, sentimental value items.

"All yours," Nexi said with a chuckle, sipping at her drink with a grin. "Hell, I'll even go down there and get it for you so no one else can claim it while you're stuck here."

"That would be super, I like reminders of my mistakes. That way I don't make them again." He slammed the remainder of his glass, working on getting to his 'happy place'. "Or just random spooky shit on the wall to show a date when I bring them home."

"Alright," Nexi replied simply with a nod and a laugh, knocking back another drink.

"That's a policy I can get behind," Enalia muttered before finishing off her drink. Reclaiming her four hundred year old bottle of Dalmore whiskey, Enalia nodded meaningfully to each of them and left without another word.

After Enalia walked out, Cato looked at Nexi slightly puzzled "Am I losing my shit or did you just tit-snuggle the CO?"

"Yes, and it was fan-fucking-tastic," Nexi replied with a big grin. "Under her uniform she wears these corsets, for the support because her boobs are so big," she said factually. "I'm her favorite, after her wife that is... and we did a lot more than 'snuggle' before she got married, so there's definitely some awesome chemistry there; anyway, she likes me so much 'cause I amuse her and I get her things, rare things, like impossible to get things."

He laughed "Well, all of that made sense and put it all together surprisingly." Suddenly, everything fit about her relationship with the CO. "Since we're telling secrets, I'll tell you one." he polished off his drink before continuing "Rare things huh? What about getting a rare thing for someone else?"

"Depends on the what and the who," Nexi replied with a shrug. "What do you need?"

"Doubtful it's in the realm of possible..." his voice trailed, almost taunting "I think the next time we go out, airburst rounds and plasma grenades aren't going to cut it... So I need a weapon befitting of stealth. I used to have a plasma infused katana, red handle, red plasma along the blade and around the tip. Where it went after being stolen, who knows."

Nexi narrowed her eyes over her drink as she considered the task. "I'll look into it," she finally said after some thought, and coming from her that was as much as an iron-clad guarantee of success! "A weapon as distinctive as that, shouldn't be too hard to find," she said with a nod. "So, you were about to start spillin' secrets?"

Cato bowed his head just slightly in thanks, holding his glass out to the bottle master for a refill before he bluntly stated "Well, I'm fucking the Chief of Security, for one." his voice trailed off "Gonna have to watch my step and not get my ass hit with a fraternization charge... I'm sure Eneas would love that..."

"Oh that's all? I was living with the last Chief of Security," Nexi countered, topping off his glass.

"Thank you" he said in regards to the refill "Ahh, but you're a contractor. When you're enlisted and fucking an officer, it's a bit different." he shifted in the bio-bed, getting comfy again. Resting his head against the bulkhead "At least I don't have to worry about you, thank god you're not like every other fleeter girl around here." he smiled with his eyes closed, taking a sip of that scotch.

"Hey, I'm tryna enlist! In fact, he's the one that talked me into it! But he wanted more from 'us' then I was able to give, and uh... well, he chose a transfer, didn't want to make me and Aewia feel like we had to be the ones to leave," she explained as she refilled her own glass, then took a drink. "Was probably for the best, I ain't exactly 'wife' material..." she said somewhat bitterly.

Cato got flirty when he had been drinking, mixed with some pain meds and god knows what else in his system and you got drunk truth "Pfffttttttt, it absolutely was for the best! Fuck him, clearly he didn't know what he had. Explain, what do you mean by wanted more than you were able to give? How so? and Wife material? Fuck that shit, I'd totally marry you. I'd probably also be scared you'd cut my balls off if I got out of line, too." he smirked before taking a sip of his drink.

"He wanted to marry me, the desire for kids was also on the table, something I have no interest in, and he was Betazed with no female siblings, hoping that maybe one day his wife could inherit the titles that were endowed to his family... But if it ever got out my connection to Aewia, it would hurt both houses. So I moved out of his quarters and he requested a transfer the next day," Nexi explained in a somber tone, her black eyes staring into her glass as she swirled the scotch around. "I knew he was looking for someone to be an inheritor, but his feelings were real, I could feel them, and by the time he asked me to marry him I knew he didn't care about the titles or the status, but the result would still be the same, I'd be under a political microscope and I couldn't take the chance I'd hurt either him or Aewia with the secrets I've buried. Anyway, people like me don't get happy endings..."

Cato listened intently "That's bullshit." he sat up and eye locked with Nexi, "If you don't get a happy ending, then what the fuck hope is there for the rest of us?... You made another hard choice, I respect that. You continue to put your sister above all else, I can't even begin to imagine what that's been like for you." he was absolutely sincere. "You are a rare woman of even rarer character. You say that you're not wife material, I say bullshit. You're a caring, strong, independent, badass woman." he raised his glass to clink with hers "It's been a privilege SO far."

Nexi offered a lopsided grin when he toasted her. "Don't really consider myself all that 'caring', only with Aewia..." Nexi said with a laugh. "But for the rest, thanks, and you're not too shabby yourself. In fact, I'd love to go a few rounds with you on the sparring mats once the doc gives you the all clear."

"Oh yeah? Be gentle with me, I'm fragile. I mean, a tiny vole put me in sickbay." he chuckled. "I'm game, though. Full contact though, I don't pull punches. I wouldn't expect any less of you. No blades though, shit gets messy when we play first draw." he smirked. "But wait, a fight without something to lose is no fun... Care to up the ante?" he perked a brow.

"I'm not betting my ship," Nexi said right at the get go, chuckling with amusement. "But sure, what do you have in mind?"

"No, no that's too easy" You could almost hear Cato's brain working to come up with something fun. "Dinner." he got a wicked smile on his face. "I win, you wear a dress." he smirked "You win, I'll wear one." he busted out laughing.

"Oh, you're on!" Nexi said with a laugh. "I'm thinking something with lace... you would look great in lace."

He laughed harder, suddenly grimacing from the pain in his side from broken ribs that had been set and regenerated but were still sore. "Fucker. When you're laid up with recently broken ribs I'm gonna come make you laugh." he smirked before finishing off his current glass. "I'm simple, I see you in something with side-boob, knee high leather boots and some black eye makeup. MUAH!"

"Uhg, make-up...." Nexi said with a shudder. She knew how to dress up, she'd done it for jobs where she was trying to attract attention, but she hated doing it. Besides, those were jobs, she didn't know how to be 'just Nexi' in normal dress up situations. "Not gonna be an issue, I won't lose," she said nonchalantly, pouring them both one last glass before capping off the scotch; it was late and he was injured, it was about time to call it a night.

Cato smiled at one more glass before he watched her cap the scotch "Right, so, a quick bedtime story. My grandpa was this crazy badass Major General with the MACO's and retired before the Dominion War started. When I was growing up, every day we'd go to the mat with six of his best students. I swear to god, I had a fat lip and a black eye ever day until I was twelve years old. I got my ass beat by these big ass cadets. My grandpa called it 'spartan training'. Whatever, more like giving me a predisposition for violence. Anyway, by the time I got to Special Warfare training with the MACO's, I was still undefeated in unarmed combat." he perked a brow "Got myself a boy-scout badge to prove it, too." he said with the first sign of overconfidence / cockiness he'd shown in a long time.

"Oh yeah? I don't know what a boy-scout is or why they have badges, but it won't help you on the mat," Nexi said with a grin, making a mental note to look up 'boy-scout' in the ship's computer. "And you get to fight with other big guys like yourself, it's a whole different field of play when you face off with someone smaller than you; I got a whole bag of tricks you don't even know about, not to mention I used to be a bounty hunter, I fight dirty!"

Cato laughed and then took a sip of his drink "You think I clawed my way out of a Tal Shiar torture camp after being held captive for seven months and dragged two of my brothers out because I'm not used to dirty?" his eyes narrowed, but he still had a smile on his face. "Honestly, if we're gonna grapple and play the ground game, I hope you don't mind me being on top." he grinned before taking another sip of scotch.

"Oh, you think you're going to be on top? Yeah, that ain't happening," Nexi said with a snicker, then finished off her drink. "You better hurry up and get better fast, otherwise I'm gonna start thinking you're a little wuss," she challenged as she rose, putting her chair back where she found it.

Polishing off that final glass, he passed the empty one back to Nexi. "Yeah, yeah. Give me a few weeks, I'll be back. No way in fuckin' hell am I missing you in a dress." he said with a hint of taunt in his voice.

"In your dreams, maybe," Nexi replied, grinning at his taunt. She took the bottle and the glasses and headed for the door. "See you around, Boy-scout."

Cato smiled, totally looking at her ass as she walked out of sickbay. At least now he would be able to pass the fuck out. Better medicine came out of those bottles than what come out of those hyposprays earlier.


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