Previous Next

Treading Deep Water

Posted on Wed Dec 23rd, 2020 @ 1:17pm by Lieutenant Commander Estella Stratton & Commander Jonathan Grayson

Mission: Sabotage

The governor shifted on his feet, avoided maintaining eye contact, and large beads of sweat lined the deep creases in his brow. Visible signs of stress and possible tell-tale signs of dishonesty. That had been why she'd tried to take a slow approach and maybe pull him off to the side, away from others, hoping that perhaps if she was patient and showed her intentions to be nothing short of than to be the role of an assistant or a lending hand, that perhaps the governor might relax a little. Welcome the help even. Yet, she couldn't be too sure that the reasons behind his discomfort wasn't something else. Something just didn't feel right.

Jon watched the Governor shuffle, twitch avoid looking at Essie. All which in his book added up to the Governor being less than truthful even now with them. He admired Essie's skill and tact in trying to get him to open up and come clean perhaps it might be time for some hardball if he and Essie didn't start to get some answers. Threats didn't hurt either. He reflected as he waited for the Governor to come clean.

Estella's expression betrayed none of her frustrations at the governor's clamming up. Rather, she seemed to show an almost cool indifference that could very well have rivaled the man's determination to keep quiet. "What can you tell me of these previous attacks?" Her frosty blue eyes met and held the governor's briefly before he looked down at the floor. She'd kept the question open, hoping to get him to crack, but if he didn't here soon. She might have to try a less than kind approach. As she was not one who resorted to violence or threats, she chose instead to use a form of reverse psychology. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she put a firm hand on the governor's arm. "No one is blaming you for anything, here. Unless you have something to hide."

From his position, Jon watched Essie handle the Governor with skill and tact. Something he had to admit he was short of at times. His eyes shifted from Essie's slender form to the Governor. he was clearly uneasy about something and judging from the level of his reluctance to talk it had to be something major. He moved from his position by the wall and walked over to Essie and the Governor, taking a position on the other side of the politician and thereby flanking him. "Okay Governor, enough dancing around, what aren't you telling us? We'll find out sooner or later you know."

The Counselor watched the Governor rock on his feet. Heel to toe. His hands, he laced behind his back as he maintained an expression of indifference, though the sweat on his brow began to collect like early morning dew. It would not be long now before the dam gave way. Why though such insistence on hiding? What was he afraid of?

Jon was growing quickly tired of the Governor's stalling tactics. Just what was he hiding or so ashamed/terrified of telling them? Time to see if he could force the issue. By bluffing his way. He looked to Essie, "Forget it, Essie. He's not going to talk. We'll call a Vulcan to come down from the ship. They can mind-meld with him and get the answers. of course they will shred his mind because he's resisting but that's the breaks." Jon finished, shrugging his shoulders in the process.

Estella's patience too was being put to the test with the man's persistence in keeping things to himself. The Governor was all clammed up, but the Counselor wanted that pearl of insight. Much as she hated the threat of violence, she played off of Jon's words. "I do not think there will be a need for that, will, there, Governor?" The Counselor chose to continue with her use of open-ended questions, however, the nature of the inquiries began to change so as to show the man, that they did, indeed, mean business. Too many lives were at risk.

The Governor stopped rocking from heel to toe and anything resembling a semi-cool countenance was lost as the man suddenly grabbed Estella's arm. His fingers biting into her as he whispered. "I had to let them destroy the grid, they have taken my family!"

Jon's attention spiked at the Governor's words. "What? What did you say and why didn't you mention all of this earlier Governor? You do know we're on the same side or suppose to be but withholding information isn't a good start no matter what the situation."

Estella managed not to wince at the sharpness of the Governor's hold, and jerked her arm away, out of the man's hold. Well, that explained quite a bit "How long?" A cruel question, perhaps, given the circumstances, but the Counselor asked anyway. People had already paid for the Governor's silence and indecision. Should things continue on like this, many more would. That did not sit well with her. They needed to act now. So the more insight the politician could give the better.

The Governor gestured toward a door leading off into another room and stepped to the side as he held it open. His face red. "Please... let us talk elsewhere." He stammered, mumbling under his breath so that only the two of them could hear.

Jon's patience was much shorter than Essie's and he was rapidly reaching the end of it with the Governor's constant hedging and dodging of the question. Even admitting his family had been taken had been akin to pulling teeth. "Governor." He warned. "This is the end, we want and need answers if we're to help your family and you."

Estella fell into step behind the two men. Her jaw visibly clenched and one of her hands fisted at her side even as they entered what looked to be an empty conference room. "How long ago were they taken?" The Counselor asked her words an almost venomous hiss.

He slumped into a chair. His hand raked his face. "Weeks. They were taken during the first attack." His lip quivered and his eyes were wide. "They said they'd kill my wife and daughter if I didn't let them destroy the grid!"

"Weeks?" Jon repeated. "You let your family be hostages for weeks? Why didn't you call Starfleet? Don't you realize the longer they are held the less likely you are of ever seeing them again? The Cardassians will keep them as leverage against you Governor."

Estella's hand fisted at her side. Weeks? He'd let this drag on for weeks! Was he out of his mind? The Counselor took a deep breath. "You put your family at greater risk by allowing them to remain leverage. Let us help you," she urged, her fingers biting into her palm. The politician was lucky she didn't break protocol and reach across the table to throttle him.

The Governor's shoulders shook and his head lowered. "You don't understand! They sent me her finger..." He choked back a sob. "I had to comply, or they'd send her and my little girl back to me piece by piece."

Jon shook his head in dismay, "You played right into their hands Governor. Once you complied with their demands you lost any chance of getting your family back. So now it's up to us to clean up this mess you made and get your family back."

Estella turned her head away and closed her eyes. The color drained from her face. Her hands steepled in front of her as she propped her arms upon the table. "We sympathize with you, Governor, but the longer we wait to take action, the smaller the chance you have of seeing your family again. I strongly suggest you listen to Commander Grayson if you want to hold on to the hope of getting them back.." She paused and took a moment before finishing with a single word that came in the form of a hoarsely spoken whisper. "Alive."

Jon watched Essie and how she spoke to the Governor. There was iron in her voice. no more playing, hoping for an answer. She meant business. He nodded at her in a subtle sign of his approval (not that she needed it) "Alright Governor, where is your family being held?" He pressed.

The Governor's hands left his face to tug at his hair. "That's just it... I don't know."

"Well that complicates matters." Jon commented sourly, looking at Essie, "But it's not insurmountable." He added. "Your family has to be close, for the Cardassians to monitor you and give you instructions." He observed. "We just need to set up a search pattern."

Complicated matters. That was an understatement. Estella's gaze lowered, her lips drawn taut in a thin line. There was a flicker of anger in her eyes that she didn't allow to surface. "Agreed, Commander." She leaned in toward the Governor. "I suggest your cooperation in the future, otherwise, any hope you might still have is better abandoned." With that said, she pushed away from the table and stormed toward the door.


Previous Next