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Resistance is Optional

Posted on Sat Apr 13th, 2019 @ 9:45pm by Lieutenant Song of Justice & Captain Ronan Channe

Mission: The Only Easy Day...
Location: USS Crazy Horse
Timeline: 2389/01/26 - 1000

Like two sailboats passing in the night in the maritime days of yore, the USS Armstrong had managed to cross paths with the Crazy Horse before it reached the Fourth of July Nebula and the Gateway to the Delta Quadrant beyond.

The first thought that went through Justice's mind was that it looked almost exactly like the ship from which he had just beamed over. Starfleet certainly didn't change up the transporter rooms very often. He recognized this as the fourth of four varied models currently employed by Starfleet R&D.

"Good morning, Crazy Horse!"

With nobody present save Justice and the Transporter Chief, the enthusiastic greeting seemed out of place.

"I said, 'good morning,'" Justice said to the crewman.

"Oh, um. Good morning, sir." The Transporter Chief powered down his console and set it to standby. He had no orders to give the new arrival... a Liberated Borg, of all things... and there was nobody to greet him.

Justice stepped off the transport pad and toed his single luggage with his foot. Looks like he was expected to lug it himself. But that was just as well. He was starting from ground zero on a new ship, and as a last minute transfer.

"Computer," he said aloud, fishing for something in his pocket as he did so. "What's the captain's location?"

The computer warbled its search process before responding.
"Captain Ronan Channe is currently on the bridge."

Justice accessed a handheld vaporizer and held it to his mouth, inhaling deeply. "Thank you."

"I... didn't say anything, sir," said the Transporter Chief.

"Wasn't talking to you." Justice smiled and blew out a puff of vapor in the man's direction. "On second thought, though, you can have Ops send my luggage to my quarters."

"Yes, sir. What's the name?"

"Justice. Lieutenant Song of Justice."

He exited the transporter room and headed for the nearest turbolift.

The doors parted, revealing a quiet but efficient bridge crew. "Permission to enter." He stepped off the turbolift without waiting for the charge officer to respond. "I'm here to speak with Captain Channe. Don't get up--I can see myself to the ready room."

Ronan stood, turning in front of his chair, to stare at the individual who felt no need to announce himself. "I"m the Captain. Just who are you?"

"Oh boy." Justice took one last puff from his vaporize and stowed it in his pocket. "Well, I'm just getting off on the worst foot, aren't I? My name is Song of Justice, and I'm slated to be your new Chief Engineer. I've only just arrived..."

His words trailed off as he noticed every bridge officer looking at him.

"Tell me, Song of Justice," Ronan said quietly, the kind of quiet that spoke of stronger emotions suppressed, though nothing of what he felt showed on his face. "Did you attend Starfleet Academy?"

"Well, they didn't give me a commission for nothing," Justice said through a sunny smile. It quickly straightened into a solemn expression. "Which is to say I did, yes, sir."

"And did they, perhaps, teach you anything ... anything at all ... about decorum ... or the proper way to present yourself," Ronan said, his voice remained quiet, his expression cold and hard.

"Of course they did," Justice said stiffly. "Perhaps the Academy does not emphasize decorum enough, though, as I suspect this conversation ought to find its conclusion in private where it should have begun... sir?"

"My Ready Room now," Ronan said. He made no move to follow Song of Justice but instead remained on the Bridge, bringing his temper under control while he dealt with a few minor matters, then walked to his Ready Room and wondered, just before he stepped in the door, what his new Chief Engineer would be doing. The muscle in his jaw twitched once, twice, and then his expression smoothed out. No one understood control the way he did.

Finally. Justice nodded and went straight toward the door to one side of the view screen. The door opened for him without delay, and so Justice made himself at home. A chair sat in front of the captain's desk, positioned just so that Justice felt it may have had his name written on it. He took a seat and waited for Ronan, helping himself to another puff from his vaporizer as he did so.

Ronan entered and stopped, just inside the door, watching the ... no, he couldn't call him an officer ... man smoking in his Ready Room while sitting comfortably in one of the chairs that faced his desk. I will, he thought, contact every single one of his instructors personally. He walked slowly to his desk and stood, staring and waiting, to see if the man had a shred of self preservation.

Looking at Ronan's fixation on the vaporizer, Justice held it out to the man. "Want a hit? Cannabidiol oil with just a hint of blueberries. Keeps the mind sharp and the body fit, it does."

Ronan took the device from Justice's hand and said four words. "Stand at Attention. NOW."

"Very well..." Justice pushed himself up from the chair and stood upright, nearly eye to blinking eye with the captain.

Ronan took his time sitting down, holding the vaporizer in one hand, while he studied the man before him. The Wanderwell survivors had not had an easy time of it with Starfleet. It would seem that those days were far from over. Thrace's alcoholism had cost them all and now, Starfleet was sending him a ... stoner. The name popped into his conscious mind though he couldn't for the life of him remember where he'd heard it.

The vaporizer would go to Science where it would be evaluated and a determination made regarding its content and use. He would not tolerate another Thrace. Not again. Not ever again. 57 dead because he, like all the others, had missed the clues. Not seen what needed to be seen.

For now, he held the vaporizer up in one hand and said, "no more of this. Do it again, its going to be more than a verbal warning, I promise you. You have not made a good impression on me, Lieutenant."

"With all due respect, Captain, you do not have the authority to enforce that." Justice took a breath and sighed. Was it too much to ask that he go a single day without finding a hill to die on? Yet here he was... "Personal prejudices aside, I am fully sober in body and mind, and my essential oils aid me in that. They also keep the itching of my implants to a tolerable low. Unless you have an MD to wave around, I'm afraid my vaping is backed by centuries of research and documentation and falls under 'reasonable accommodations' for the physically challenged." He held up a finger, his left pointer finger, which flexed the articulated cyber-mesh of that hand. "But, let it not be said I'm overly challenging. I will agree to minimize use of my vaporizers whilst on duty. Even though it's harmless, I can abide by the captain's discipline as an example for others."

Justice crossed his arms and nodded with a grin as if that was just the greatest compromise in the history of diplomacy.

"And you have, with you, orders to that effect?"

The question caught Justice sideways. "I...have a general recommendation from Starfleet Medical that elucidates the benefits of essential oils," he said carefully. "Your CMO should be able to confirm that, though their personal opinion may vary as to the efficacy."

"Then your next stop is the Chief Medical Officer. Your further use of this ... substance ... while on duty would be dependent upon their recommendation," Ronan said.

"Cannibidiol, or CBD, oil is a non-psychoactive compound derived from nature that stimulates neurological development and regeneration through the body's endocannabinoid system." Justice did not like the direction of the conversation. It triggered his word vomit reflex. "My vape is as harmless as synthehol and ten times as healthy. Do you have a prejudice against natural remedies or just Liberated Borg who use them? Was a loved one assimilated, Captain? If so, we share that in common." He'd said too much, but it was already past that. "Please don't take my vape."

Ronan's eyes narrowed as the former Borg took his statement just that one step too far. "In your quarters, for however long you retain them, you will find a PADD containing information on the events that occurred on the Wanderwell. You will read them. In future, I expect you to behave in my presence as if you were a Starfleet officer. If the doctor permits the use of that ... then you may do so ... however, not in my presence unless you ask permission. Clear so far?"

"Oh, the Wanderwell! Everybody heard about that. Captain Thrace, the poor bastard, really took a nosedive..." Justice regarded Ronan for just a moment. "Is that what this is about? You aren't him, sir. That's the greatness of linear mortality--destiny is ours to make." He looked at the vaporizer in Ronan's hand. "I agree to your terms. You may keep that one there as a token of our new working relationship. I can always build more."

Ronan marveled that someone could be so utterly clueless and resisted the urge to answer with any one of the forty-five responses that ranged from sarcastic to downright hostile currently running through his mind. He added looking for a new Chief Engineer to his already daunting list of things to do though that was not likely given Starfleet's attitude at the moment. The implied insult only strengthened his resolve to prove them wrong. All of them.

If Justice had been anyone other than himself, he might have explained the error. Led him toward an understanding of what was going on. Clearly, that wasn't going to happen and so, he only said, "You are dismissed, Lieutenant."

"Catch on you on the flip side, sir." Justice jostled his hand with pinky and thumb extended before showing himself to the door.

Baz isn't going to like this, he thought as he watched his newest problem leave to, no doubt, inflict himself, on Medical. "Computer, where is Commander Jennings at the moment?"


Captain Ronan Channe
Commanding Officer, USS Crazy Horse

Lieutenant Song of Justice,
Chief Engineer, USS Crazy Horse


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