Meeting old friends?
Unto Darkness, Light
Location: Security Chief's Office
Sachzny sat in her office and looked around, it felt strange to know THIS was her office. The new Ojnas Diplomatic Officer stood opposite her, he looked down at her with undisguised distaste. "Sachzny, I have been informed by the Council that YOU are to be my teacher here aboard this Human vessel". Looking up at this clearly male Ojnas, she could tell he wasn't pleased at being subordinate to a female. Sachzny extended her hand, "It is customary to use rank on Federation vessels, and to introduce yourself in a humble manner". Zolmepro looked insulted, "Humble? I fail to understand the reason or logic, and the use of rank? Why do Humans do this?"
Sachzny shook her head remembering when she to found the Federation as confusing as this, "It is their way, and this is their vessel. We are guests here, we must abide by their ways and you will do so Lieutenant Zolmepro". Her tone of voice told Zolmepro that she was serious, but the Ojnas link between them enforced it. "I apologise Lieutenant Commander, I was unaware of this protocol". Sachzny looked at her Ojnas colleague, "The correct address is simply Commander, but this will come in time. As for the Humans, do not dismiss them lightly. They are resilient and intelligent, like ourselves they value friends and family. Be aware of this when talking to them, do not insult or become overbearing as this will alienate you greatly in their eye's".
Zolmepro bowed, though it made him feel insulted and less of a male, Sachzny picked up his thoughts. "Are you so shallow as to not care to hide your thought and disgust at my gender?" Quickly looking up Zolmepro took a deep breath, "I am a soldier, my thought are those of a soldier. You did not fight the Tholians, now you deem to tell me how to behave and think". Sachzny now stood up and came from behind her desk, "I do not deem anything Lieutenant, I have my orders as do you. The Grand Council placed you here under my control, I am to teach you how to interact with the Humans. Lesson one Lieutenant, loose your superior attitude, male and female are equal here". Her response shocked Zolmepro as he wasn't used to females being so forwards or aggressive, "My apologise Commander, I will attempt to amend my ways". Sachzny shook her head, "You will not attempt anything Lieutenant, you WILL change your ways or be dismissed in shame and returned to Ekotsy in disgrace. Do you understand?" Zolmepro simply nodded in agreement. "You are dismissed Lieutenant, report to the Captain. Let us see if you can follow orders, and be aware the Captain is Andorian. They do not suffer fools gladly, like ourselves they are male orientated".
Once Zolmepro had left Sachny thought about Jon, she now decided to hold out an olive branch. Though what a piece of a plant had to do with reconciliation escaped her, "Sachzny to Grayson, please report to the Security Office". Now she would wait, would he respond or even arrive?
Jon was in his office when Sachzny's call came through. He sighed, he hadn't expected them to meet this soon but perhaps it was best they did and got it over with. He had missed her, their connection and how they could sit and talk about anything for hours. Then the universe had been turned upside down. Feelings had been hurt, misconceptions abounded. It had taken talking to Essie to let him see the problem from all sides. "Where did we go wrong?" He wondered aloud then shook his head, best to get this over with. "Grayson to Sachzny, I'm on my way."
Moments later Jon stood outside the Security Office, waiting to see what happened next.
Sitting in her office, Sachzny could feel doubt. Not her doubt, but that of another very close. Standing up she crossed to the door and opened it, finding Jon standing there. "Hello Jon, have we grown so far apart that you do not wish to see me?" She stepped back and motioned him in, "Please enter, and blessings on your house. How is my sister Estella? Is she well?" Sachzny turned and went back behind her desk, "And you Jon, how are you? Do I find you well and ready to journey with me once again?" She sat down and waited for Jon to compose himself, his mind seemed conflicted she would have to address that.
Jon looked up at as Sachzny opened the door, a smile appearing on his face despite the trepidation he felt. "Hello Sachzny, of course we haven't. It good to see you." He said honestly as he followed her inside. Once inside, he took a seat. "Essie is well and no doubt you will see her soon." He answered honestly and continued, "I'm fine Sachzny and yes once again I am ready to once travel among the stars with you." He again answered honestly, surprised at how easy the words came out and also by the truth in them. He had missed Sachzny a great deal. Their parting still hurt and haunted him. It could have should have been handled better all the way around. Still that was in the past and this was now and they were once again reunited. Would their friendship be as close and intimate as it once was? This was the first step in finding out.
She smiled at his boyish charm, "We have much to talk about, you and I". She stood up and went to the replicator in the corner, "Two vanilla milkshakes". Picking them up she placed one in front of Jon, "To old friends, and old relationships". Sachzny then sat down, "As you can see, I have learned much since being away". She looked at Jon and wondered how she would tell him of their parting, and if he would understand. "I have some bad news for you, we must separate our minds".
Sachzny looked at the floor, "Our link must be severed, and not supressed as it has been. This will happen, as no doubt you will have seen another Ojnas name on our manifest. He is my underling, but he is a male and will use anything against a female if he thinks it to his advantage". She looked at Jon in the eye's, "The Federation made this a ruling when they made the peace between us and the Tholians, as such I am duty bound to obey".
Jon accepted the milkshake and the following news in stony silence. After a few seconds he took a sip of the milkshake but still didn't speak. Finally after several more seconds he did. "Yum, Good. Yes, I see you have, good for you." His eyes locked on hers. "I never thought you would bow to political pressure Sachzny. Never. Your council knew of our link and saw no threat in it. As for another Onjas onboard, so what? I know you Sachzny and I know your up to any task anyone puts before you especially a mere male." He teased lightly before getting serious again. "I don't want this not one bit do I want this. Don't I get a say as this affects me as well."
Sachzny took a deep breath, "It is your Federation who has said this must be, not my Grand Council. As for having a choice, only the Captain could possibly intervene if he wished to". She reached over to him, "Do you honestly think I wish this? Have we become so distrustful of the other, that we can not see when our friend is hurting?" A tear fell from her eye, "I have missed you, I have missed the sound of your voice. The very touch of your mind, is heavenly to me. But the Federation rules your life, and now mine. I am sorry it has to be so, but for the next twenty four hours you can attempt to change this ruling. it is all I can do for you now, I to am a Federation citizen".
"Have you talked to the Captain? Have you told him you don't want this? That I don't want this?" Jon challenged her. He shook his head, "I'm not distrustful of you Sachzny, I have never been distrustful of you. I admit I was hurt by your actions before but I've always trusted you." He reached a hand out and gently wiped the tear away. He smiled softly, "I've missed you as well. The peace you bring to my mind. Our sharing milkshakes. Taking you to my home town even if on the holodeck." He stopped, "I missed YOU Sachzny and you being part of my life. Why can't we go to the Captain together? Be a united front in this? Show him we both feel the same way and the advantages it has for us to retain the link."
She shook her head, "No, I have yet to speak to the Captain. But as it was he who negotiated the treaty, his agreement about you retaining the link may not be forth coming". Sachzny smiled as he touched her, but then she remembered he was taken. Her sister Estella was Jon's intended, she could not permit herself to revert to the old relationship. "I will stand with you and speak with the Captain, but you must inform Estella. This ruling was made because of Human mental health, and their lack of control over the link". She now stood up, "Our old relationship can never come again, you have an intended and I must learn to give you up to her. This was part of our situation on my home world, this is why I agreed to sever our link".
Looking down at Jon, she wished to able to go back and change many things. "I will tell you this now, because I was unable to speak of it on Ekotsy. I became romantically involved with you, even thought you had Estella I wanted you for myself. I have had to break that attachment slowly, but for me now I have succeeded. Our link is all that now connects us from our old relationship, it makes me happy you wish to retain it". She bent down and kissed his forehead, "Now you have all the facts, are you sure you wish to keep the link?"
Jon listened in silence as Sachzny spoke to him. Much he already knew as Essie had told him of Sachzny's romantic feelings for him. When she finished he spoke, his voice calm and level but filled with an undeniable fever. "I do want to keep it and my mental health is fine and I think no I know I have control over the link." He scowled as Sachzny mentioned the Captain, no he hadn't mentioned the link but Jon refused to read anything into that. He had made a bad mistake the last time he did that and did not want a repeat of that incident.
He smiled at her kiss and gave her a soft but genuine smile, "More than ever, I want to keep it. It is a constant and personal reminder of a good friend I thought I had lost but have recently rediscovered. I'll tell Essie of my decision. She knows I love her and she knows how close we are and has no problem with it." He reached for his milkshake and took a sip. "To old friendships rediscovered and strengthen."
This was why she had loved him, this charm this excitement. She raised her glass, "To old friendships, and their longevity". Sachzny took another deep breath, "So my friend, we have a plan. Who between us will present this plan to our Captain?" She now looked to her door, "My fellow Ojnas has returned, I am sorry Jon but I must talk to him". She looked at Jon and smiled, "Zolmepro is a typical male, please do not judge him harshly".
The door opened and the male Ojnas entered, "Sachzny I want information on this vessels Sha-Rathshu, you will supply it now!" Sachzny turned to face Zolmepro, "Are you blind or stupid? Perhaps ignorance was bred into you at birth, can you not see that very Officer sits before you?" Zolmepro glanced at Jon, "This is the Sha-Rathshu?" He turned and awkwardly held out his hand, "Lieutenant Zolmepro reporting, I am pleased to have met you". He stood waiting for Jon to react, but somehow the link now alerted him that this Human was part of it.
Jon was about to reply when Sachzny alerted him about her fellow Onjas. As Zolmepro blustered and then awkwardly held his hand out, Jon stood, winked at Sachzny and addressed Zolmepro, "Lieutenant, it is a pleasure to meet you." He replied as he gave the male Onjas a firm handshake. "Welcome to the Washington, I hope you enjoy your stay here. You can learn much from Sachzny as well as interacting with the crew." He said pleasantly and continued, "Now, just what information do you want concerning me?" He inquired.
Zolmepro looked first at Jon then to Sachzny, then back to Jon. "You are joined in the link, this is forbidden why are you linked?" He now began to regain his bluster, "I was informed I must speak with you before I speak with the Sinkahue, excuse me I refer to the Captain". He now moved his gaze to Sachzny, "You are linked to a Human, you know this is to be forbidden. Yet here you sit and do nothing, I must report this to the Captain".
Slowly shaking her head, Sachzny looked at both Jon and then Zolmepro. "Our link has been over many years, before the ruling. We have talked about the removal of our link, but the Commander wishes to retain it. I would caution you about reporting this to our Captain, he is very much aware of this situation". She sat down with a slight bump, things had already taken a turn for the worse. "I suggest you and the Commander have your talk here in my Office, I shall await the outcome in the corridor outside". She stood back up and then bowed to both Jon and Zolmepro, turned and left.
Jon didn't get mad often with junior officers but he was mad now at Zolmepro. "Lieutenant, If you ever show that kind of disrespect to Commander Sachzny again, I shall personally throw you out an airlock. She is a superior officer but more importantly she is my friend and you WILL show her the respect she has earned and deserved." He replied, his voice even but the tone as hard as ice. "Next, the link we share is none of your damn business. The Captain is aware of it as is your council. The story behind it is also none of your business. If Sachzny wishes to tell you she can." He looked at Zolmepro, "Now that we have that out of the way, what can I do for you?"
The Human Commander's attitude now offended Zolmepro, "First I find a Human linked to an Ojnas female, now I learn this Human has feeling for that Ojnas female". He raised himself up to his full height, "How I treat an Ojnas female is no concern of a Human, Sachzny may hold a place here. But she did not fight in the war, that gives me the right to speak my mind of her". He stopped and looked at Jon, "Your threat to my person is ill becoming of a Federation Officer, the Grand Council stated this Federation welcomed Ojnas warriors. Perhaps they were mistaken, perhaps this Federation fears Ojnas warriors and see's them as an enemy".
He turned for the door, " I will call your concubine for you, and report this to the Federation Captain. Maybe the Andorian will understand warriors better than a Human, I hear they are much like us".
Jon moved to block his way, "Hold it friend." He stated but there was no warmth in his tone only ice. "How you treat a superior officer is MY business and if you can't show Sachzny the respect she has earned, I'll be glad to see to your transfer off the ship." He looked Zolmepro up and down. "You call yourself a warrior. I see no warrior. I see a loud mouth who wants to bluster and tries to bully a superior officer. If that is what the Onjas call being a warrior. I'll stick with the Human kind which is built on honor and loyalty. Next this ship welcomes everyone, everyone that is open minded and wants to learn new ideas that is." He gestured towards the door, "You want to see the Captain? Go ahead because I'll be making a full report to him on your attitude with me Lieutenant."
Sachzny had heard the raised voices and so re-entered the office, "Commander, perhaps you should be aware of certain information". She looked at Zolmepro and then Jon, "Zolmepro is of the same house as Enomblo, now do you understand his attitude towards me". She stood between the two males and wondered how to settle the problem, "This was the reason he was sent here, to learn about the Federation and also to learn about his kinsman's death. The first will be difficult, the second he has no interest in learning".
Zolmepro stared at Sachzny, "Why do you inform this Human about Enomblo's death? He has no part of that history, only we Ojnas have a part to play in it".
She shook her head, "He was there, in fact he attempted to prevent what happened. He also intervened in the case on my behalf, so this Human knows exactly what happened to Enomblo".
Looking at Jon, Zolmepro now spoke quietly but forcefully. "You witnessed this event? And you defended this female against the lawful sentence?"
Jon's eyes shifted between Sachzny and Zolmepro. Until they settled on the Onjas male. "I witnessed the event." He replied softly "And yes I intervened in the case and would do so again. Sachzny is my friend. Maybe that concept is foreign to you. However as my friend I would do whatever it takes to keep her from harm. It's what friends do, what Federation officers do. It's what makes us strong and united."
He looked again to Sachzny then back to Zolmepro, "Enomblo had no interest in justice. He wanted to destroy this ship, this crew." Jon replied simply not going into details which he was sure Zolmepro already knew.
The large Ojnas male rocked on his feet, as if hit by something. "Why do you think friendship alien to us? You claim friendship to this female, yet does not friendship flow in both directions?" Zolmepro seemed to shrink as he spoke, " Enomblo was my mentor, it was he who taught me how to be a warrior. Then I learn that he was killed while under the protection of the P'som Tee, and by a P'som Tee senior Officer. Now I learn that Officer is under the protection of a Human Federation Officer, who not only defends her but admits he will do so again".
Sachzny simply stood and watched and listened, "Enomblo sullied the honour of the warrior, he attempted to kill first the crew and when he failed at that he attempted to kill the Command staff of this vessel. As a P'som Tee Officer, I could not permit that shame to be executed upon our people". She glanced at Jon, "This Human found the strength and honour to defend an Ojnas, against what he perceived a travesty of justice. His words won the argument, but I was banished from my people as punishment".
Jon listened in silence as Sachzny gave Zolmepro a quick yet detailed explanation of the events surrounding Enomblo's death. He glanced at Zolmepro to see how he was reacting to the details of his kinsman's death. As Sachzny finished he spoke, "You see? Sachzny has honor you never dreamed of. Because of her honor to your people she was banished and placed with us and we have become better for it. I have become better for it. I tell you now, I have never had a better or more loyal friend."
Zolmepro simply stood with a blank look on his face, "So to live here with Humans is your punishment? We were not told of this, we were informed the Federation simply removed you from justice". He looked at Jon, "You think me without Honour, without understanding or respect for those given authority over me?" He nodded his head, "In some respect you are correct, but only towards a criminal who escaped her sentence. But in truth she did not escape her sentence, she still lives that sentence daily and with no hope of return". He now looked at Sachzny, "I will obey and listen to you, and to the Human Officers here on this vessel. But I will also learn of my kinsman's dishonour, from both of you and if I think it worthy of my honour I will appeal your banishment".
Sachnzy simply nodded, "On the crime of your kinsman, I will leave the telling of the events to the Commander if he would be so kind to do so? I will do my best to teach you everything else you need to survive in this Federation and on this vessel".
Jon was pleased with Zolmepro's statement. "That pleases me Lieutenant. I think you can learn much from us and we can learn from you. It will be mutually beneficial to both sides.Now in regards to Enomblo's death....." Jon moved closer to tell Zolmepro the details.
As the two males now talked as equals, Sachzny knew her presence was no longer required. She watched as her friend and her pupil talked and joked, "Three vanilla milkshakes". Placing two of the shakes in front of the males, she went and sat in the corner and continued to watch and wonder if all males were like this.