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The Why and the How

Posted on 02 Dec 2019 @ 12:18am by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rajka Cindreth

Mission: Tyr's Hand
Location: Lounge
Timeline: Noon

"How could he do it?" Cindreth asked, using his fork to move food around the plate. He'd eaten maybe a third of the lunch he ordered and that was mostly for appearances. His appetite remained decreased; appetite for food and most anything else in his life. Suppressants were still blocking most of everything from him. He contemplated not using them this morning, after hearing the news regarding the CMO. It would be easier to get information that way - but he wasn't able to selectively stop the thoughts that were coming. Whatever he had that allowed him to filter still seemed 'broken'. He didn't know if it was something physical - a changing in brain chemistry or structure after the melding - or psychological. That he just needed to relearn how to filter.

Something that even a Betazoid child could do.

"Nobody really knows," Trap said, noticing the listlessness and lack of appetite. He'd noticed the young petty officer seemed off for some time - well, since they'd returned from the planet of the past. He knew the man was seeing the counselor, but that didn't stop him from being concerned. "He didn't leave a note or any other explanation. It wasn't well known that he was an alcoholic either, that may have contributed something to it."

"No," Cindreth said, sitting back and setting his fork across the plate. It was sad, because the meal was good. It reminded him of his father's cooking back home. "I mean how did he do it? Even for medical personnel, neurotoxins are restricted. It requires..." he shrugged. Trapper Kawolski was a warrant. A security warrant. He'd know what was required to access neurotoxins from the medical replicators. If he needed more information on that, he could always speak with his brother. Hunter would know the levels of security someone would have to go through to get access. was effective. Apparently very effective. And clean.

He realized there was a lull and looked across the table to the warrant. Kawolski was staring at him, his dark eyes almost Betazoid in the way the security warrant looked at him. Cindreth had a flash of something, the emotions and thoughts of the other man strong enough to break through the suppressors. He suspected something.

"I mean, knowing that might be a step to figuring out why he did it, right? Solving the case. Also, shouldn't we know if there's some malfunction or backdoor into the system to allow it happen?" He kept his gaze on Kawolski, not wanting to drop it, wanting to make the other man believe that's what he meant. All that he meant.

"Lieutenant thought of that too, he's asked Hunt to look into that. Using his experience and knowledge of the system. They've already pulled the replicator and logs to make sure and check." Kawolski's tone was light but not his thoughts. Though, Cindreth knew, the warrant's suspicion dumped back down to the normal levels from when they started their lunch.

"If they need help..." Cindreth said, trying to make it sound like he was desperate for something to do.

"Maybe, I'll ask, but Lieutenant is pretty adamant about you sticking to the 'no duty' orders. He says he's not going to fight with the counselor over that - he's already had too many problems with her," Kawolski said. It wasn't a lie but, if the other man didn't have his telepathic senses suppressed he'd know it wasn't the full truth. Sure, that's what Bran said and that was the 'official' reason he wasn't fighting more for Cindreth's return to duty. But Trapper suspected something a bit different. He suspected that the security chief wanted to make sure the man was fully healed - physically and psychologically - before he was allowed to return to duty.

"C'mon, Warrant!" Cindreth said, realizing that part of it was true. He did want to get back to duty. This having little to nothing to do was only making life worse, not better. The problem was convincing the counselor far he hadn't been able to do that. "He's not even on the ship at the moment. He'll never know."

"Yeah, and is Erickson still cooling his heels in the brig?" Kawolski asked. "You're not going to find people willing to risk his anger at the moment so, much as I'd like to help you out..." Kawolski shrugged, the motion rippling the already tight fight of his uniform. "Don't look so glum, I'm sure we can find something for you to do. In the meantime, you should enjoy the ship's amenities. I mean, how lucky are you? You've got doctor's orders that allow you to cut into holodeck time. You ever finish that level in Fallen Warriors?"

Cindreth shook his head, "Nope, can't ever get the swing right to get to the ledge. You'd think they'd make it accessible but..."

"It's a glitch," Kawolski said. "Did you obtain the latest patch? It fixes the length of the rope to allow your swing to get closer."

Cindreth stared at the other man. "All this time and it's been a bug? I couldn't finish the level because of a programming error?"

"All you have to do is install the patch and you should be good to go," Kawolski said leaning back as the servers removed their dishes. He hoped it wasn't obvious the way he looked at the still mostly uneaten lunch from the other man. But he seemed to come out of his lethargy for a moment.

"I'll do that today, if that's all it takes!" Cindreth said, his eyes losing some of the gloom Kawolski was getting used to seeing.

"Well, hopefully someone has a copy of it," Kawolski said. While the game was popular, it wasn't so much on this ship. "Because I doubt the Terran Union servers will have it."

"Oh, yeah," Cindreth said, temporarily forgetting the situation of the altered timeline. "But...they gave us access to the servers, right?"

"Some basic access, nothing to in-depth yet." It was shaky ground.

Cindreth shrugged. "I wonder how...if my parents are still the same people? It would be nice to talk to them about...stuff."

Kawolski nodded. He'd thought the same. The colony where he and his brother were born was post Vulcan contact, but not by much. Maybe the planning stages for it predated Vulcan contact and things still progressed as he knew. He thought about trying to find the information but he had too much else going on - what with Lieutenant Bran pulling his brother into security despite all Trapper did to keep the younger Kawolski away from danger. "Stop by the office later, I'll see what kind of access we can get for you." And make sure you can't access other, more dangerous, information he thought to himself.

He also made a mental note to relay this conversation to the counselor. She should know and maybe that would help her help him.

"Sounds good," Cindreth said, "In the meantime, I'll begin pestering others for the patch. I bet Johnson has it. He's always bragging about his speed runs."

"Bragging being more the operative word there," Kawolski said, standing. "I have to return to duty, see you for PT after shift?"

"No," Cindreth said, shrugging as he stood as well. "I've got an appointment." It was the easiest way to avoid the conversation entirely. Fact was, he wasn't up to PT. He wanted to return to his quarters and go back to bed but he shared the room with another and he was asking too many questions about Cindreth's lack of activity. He needed to find somewhere to go, to be by himself. To think.

To plan.

If he learned anything from this lunch and about what the CMO did, he learned that it was possible to bypass the safeguards. One way or another, he'd find an end to the pain, the suffering and the misery.


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