Updated: Mar 17
“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle...”
Today saw the first day of our tour on board the QanwI'. Though I was a little surprised to be the only cadet in our group, it was nonetheless comforting to have Ann, T'Quila and even Lieutenant Silvestrie there for company! It was nice to see Captain Vix again too. I don't care what people say about her ruthlessness, she is always so nice to me. Of course, I've no doubt that my favour with her is largely helped by the fact that I'm the one who found and returned that relic to her we stumbled upon from House Dronurr.
Our arrival was pretty much as anticpiated really; a grumpy old Klingon transport operator grunting us towards our actual host - K'Sarn of Captain Vix' Honour Guard. K'Sarn led us to the bridge where we briefly met with the Captain. She seemed to know almost everyone in our group, apart from Ann, but that makes sense I guess since she is fairly recent to the crew like me. Of course Tee would know her, she knows everyone! As for Lieutenant Silvestrie, Captain Vix said something about being at Captain Keelah's birthday party some years past where the Lieutenant got her and Commander Vrolmacht involved in a drinking competition... I know it's none of my business, but the look on Captain Vix' face when she spoke of it makes me want to find out what happened, but not from the Commander!
Still, after meeting with the Captain, K'Sarn took us to a mess hall. It was like a rowdy Klingon bar and at first I thought there was some trouble going on, but apparently that's normal here. We... 'enjoyed' a tankard of bloodwine while K'Sarn told us a little about our assigned tasks here - apparently I'll likely be working with the ship's gunner and maybe having a go myself! This drink was brief however, and we soon went on to retire in our bunks for the night as to be well rested before our first proper day of duty tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to sleeping on this metal slab, even if they do say it's good for your back. I saw T'Quila sneak a blanket in her travel bag, so will have to see if she has a spare... But for now, that's why I am sat up writing a log entry so soon - because I can't sleep.
Now as to the reason I can't sleep... that is only partially due to this 'bed'. See now, while K'Sarn was briefing us he made mention of a few noteworthy characters on board that we should be mindful of. This was mostly due to our encounter earlier in the day with the Gorn loremaster Sshakon, who is apparently on board as a mercenary but with the higher purpose of discerning the truth behind rumours that the Hegemony once had a presence out here. Oh! and I must remember to mention to him about the Gorn relics we saw on Underworld alongside the House Dronurr one. It may not come to anything, but he deserves to know. Besides, giving him a useful lead may well prove helpful should I accidentally upset him - which seems all to easily done! But I digress, another character K'Sarn felt worth mentioning was actually another of the hired mercenaries on board. He did not even have a name for us, but spoke simply of a 'shady character' who remained distant from the rest of the crew. He said he 'thought' it was a female, which in itself says a lot about the elusive nature of this strange hireling. Naturally though, after telling us about such a curious character I felt drawn to learn more.
Which brings me to the real reason I can't sleep. First, after the others bunked down for the night I went to walk about the ship some; the initial symptom of my unwillingness to try and sleep on the metal slab. But I also wanted to get my bearings more, I don't like not knowing my way around. I was not far out of our room before my attention was drawn to strange sounds in the shadows. I followed but at every turm drew a blank. Eventually this drew me into one of the torpedo bays. The room was naturally empty, but I felt like I wasn't alone in there. I won't lie; I was pretty scared for a moment there and felt my head pound with the adrenaline rush, but I focused on my teachings and proceeded with caution. First I noticed was a flickering from a distant light in the room. One thing about the bleak and dark Klingon interiors is that such things are much easier to spot! I busied myself studying a console when I saw a shadowy reflection behind me in it's screen. I jumped and my mind flashed back to that day on the Singapore when I saw Captain Tanaka like that.
As I turned however, I was face to face with the shadowy character K'Sarn had warned us about. She was definitely a female, though something was also not right about her profile. She looked to have four arms at first, as well as glowing eyes and something like a wing folded at her back. The initial dialogue was intense, and her presence alone was intimidating, but the more we talked the more I found myself able to relate to her. Avita had approached and challenged me because she recognized my face from a Scryer Network file that called me a 'Master-class Infiltrator', one of less than a dozen in Federation space apparently. It didn't take long for me to realize that she thought I was the other me, and so I explained the situation to her, seemingly appeasing her.
Avita did this because she saw me as threat as much to herself as to the ship and crew, so I can't fault her for defending her own there. After that initial confusion too, we got to talking more and she told me how she came from a forsaken House called V'Ku where she had been... drastically altered with advanced cybernetics to complement her - presumably - assassin training. Now able to more properly - and comfortably - inspect said cybernetics, at least those extended from her forearms so threateningly when she first appeared to me, I can honestly say I had no idea anyone in the galaxy would go to such lengths; this was extreme even compared to Orion augmentations I've seen pictures of. My first reaction was sympathy, and I think this caught her by surprise a little and is the reason she opened up to me about her history.
Anyway, so I learned that the scariest character on the ship actually isn't scary at all, but in fact a steadfast defender of Captain Vix and her crew - even if they don't realize it. So why can't I sleep after that? Well here's the thing; after Avita learned about my true nature and that the Scryer Network's information on me is outdated, she recommended I try getting the Carran Eye to amend these records. But I was apprehensive... Like I told her, I didn't trust sharing anything of myself with the Network. But it was more than that... I saw her point about how as long as they think I am this 'master infiltrator' then there are those who might see me as a threat and try to act against me, fair point indeed. But it still didn't feel right, I mean, looking back at our interaction with the Carran Eye... maybe this was why he was so amenable and helpful to us. Maybe it was because he thought I was the other me that things went as well as they do. So then, what if this unique position of mine is something that can be made an advantage for our mission, for my crew? Do I not owe it to them - to Captain Keelah - to do everything in my power to prove myself and help however I can?
So yes, I decided to continue letting the Scryer Network think I am this master infiltrator for now. After all, they are supposed to be the intelligence guru's, why should it be up to me to correct their information? Of course - as Avita pointed out - this means that I remain open to potential attack either direct or otherwise. A thought I do not much care for, but she was willing to assist with. Having noted her skills already and listened to her talk of her training I realized that I could learn a lot from Avita - maybe enough to protect myself against those like her; against those like they believe me to be. And... she agreed! She has given me a datachip with her contact information and told me to call upon her when I am ready to begin.
This is not what I had in mind for my extended learning when we began this tour today, but something tells me it may prove to be even more fruitful. For now though, I should rest... if that metal slab doesn't present a good night's sleep now, surely it will after some time training with Avita...