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Posted on 27 Jan 2020 @ 2:20am by Lieutenant Commander Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Commander Tivan
Edited on on 30 Jan 2020 @ 11:58pm

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Holodeck 1 | Deck 6
Timeline: January 2nd, 2390

Alexander leaned back. Her own back to the wall of the saloon her eyes staring deadpan at the three men at the table. One tightened his mouth around a cigar as another took a drink from his glass nervously. Gemma, dressed like an 1800's cowboy like the rest of them, pushed her hat up a little and leaned forward then put her cards on the table, "Read 'em and weep boys, Royal Flush..." She grinned as the third man, who'd be trying to have a poker face tossed his cards on the table with a curse. The nervous man seemed to deflate further but cigar man glared, "You cheated." He accused and the other two made themselves scarce, "The hell I did..." She replied, happy to help if he wanted a fight.

Other customers around them gave space but fights were too common to worry overmuch unless someone drew a gun. Sunlight streamed in through the windows and the swinging doors.

"Now, boys, let's take a step back a spell and talk about this," said the serving girl with far too much cleavage spilling out of her bodice. "Lemme bring y'all another round of drinks while you get back to your cards."

The angry man with the cigar flinched as only a glitching hologram could. His cigar dematerialized out of his hand and back into his mouth where it hung haphazardly through a cocksure grin. "You gonna cut that deck or buy it a dress?" he asked Gemma as if he'd been waiting all day for her to deal.

Alexander's face tightened slightly, half of her had been looking forward to the fight. The other half wondered if she just wanted a fight why not just create another program. Now she to call her time short because the holodeck was glitching and only an idiot ignored that, it could be harmless or it could be something that could kill you there was no in between. Problem was one often looked like another. She had noticed she'd gotten a bit more cautious than she otherwise would have been.

Annoyed she tossed the cards on the table and stood, "Computer, end program."

As the saloon faded away into the checkered squares of an inactive holodeck, everybody vanished except for one conspicuous woman in the far corner. She would have stood out like a sore thumb in the saloon, which meant she had been wearing holographic clothing. At first she seemed unaware of Alexander's presence, busy she was with her oversized PADD, but at length she looked upward.

"Fascinating. Very fascinating. You may go now."

Gemma crossed her arms, which incidentally put her hand near her combadge, "Come again? What are you doing in here?" She demanded to know. She knew of the new headshrinker but had thus far managed to avoid her. Perhaps the good doctor got tired of waiting.

"Just observing and making notes. Don't mind me." Tivan waved Gemma along with her fingers like a tiny push broom. Her eyes never left her PADD. "I have enough here to occupy me until next time."

"I don't believe this." She said a bit nonplussed. "This can't be legal and what do you mean next time?" She said rapid fire, she had never had this happen before and was non too pleased about it now.

"Don't believe what?" Tivan asked, looking up from her PADD. "What can't be legal? When we play the Pronoun Game, we often obscure our meaning, which leads to mistaken meanings, which leads to misunderstandings and repercussions that can just end terribly." Her mouth ticked up in a confident smile. "For example, I intend to observe you in every capacity, both professionally and privately, until such time as I have completed your psychological profile. Thanks to my clarity, there can be no mistaking my meaning or my presence here."

With that said, Tivan lowered her head and put the finishing touches on her notations.

It took Gemma a moment to process what she'd just heard and when she did her eyes narrowed. Grabbing her temper with both hands she replied, "I went through all that already, cleared for duty and what you're proposing to do cannot be allowed. Does the Captain know you are here?" She demanded to know. She didn't really know the new counselor but just jumping in her private time like this? She was not impressed.

"Yes, of course he does," Tivan said, not looking up again. "But my orders come straight from the Admiralty. Worry not, dear Alexander, Gemma Diana, also known as Archer -- my interest is purely clinical and not in you personally."

Finished with her notes, she let her PADD rest at her side and offered Gemma a practiced lopsided smile of friendship. Her body language suggested everything was perfectly fine and there was no reason for Gemma to be upset. "If you wish to continue sharing my company, then I'm afraid we can no longer do so here as I have another appointment. You are welcome to walk and talk with me, though."

"From the Admiralty." Gemma repeated in a measured tone her mind awhirl at what this could mean. She intended to talk to Walsh about this but it sounded like they were choiceless. She left with the counselor mostly because they were both heading to the turbolift, "How long will this take and will we have right to see our record?" she tried not to snap it out but had to admit she didn't try very hard. She'd handled her issues, mostly, in her own ways and those ways did not involve any more heart to hearts with counselors than she could help.

She did not need someone just poking around in her life, somethings were meant to be private. That was the point of alone time. That thought reminded her of her helplessness with the dolmoquer and she found herself angry all over again, her body language tense but controlled.

Tivan paused in front of the open turbolift door. "The duration of my study is unknown, but I am not pursuing interviews with unaffected victims of the Dolmoqor at this time. It's my professional opinion that you've coped well with the aftermath of your ordeal, which means that I need only observe you from afar." Her smile promised peaceful persistence. "Of course, if you wish for me to be more discreet in my observations, then that can be arranged. The next time I observe your holodeck time, I'll be sure to remain unnoticed."

"Next time?!" She said incredulously. "There won't be a next time. I don't relax for an audience." She thought briefly of shooting her with the harmless colt 6 shooter at Gemma's hip just to feel better but restrained the urge. "I'm going to my quarters." She paused, "I can still do that alone right?" She asked a little bitingly but restrained as she stepped into the turbolift.

"Do you truly want to be alone?" Tivan asked candidly. "Your rhetorical question could be inferred as a misdirected and repressed cry for connection."

"Oh for bloody..." She replied in frustration, "That's always the way with you lot, you know sometimes a duck is just a duck." She really wanted to close the turbolift door in the woman's face but centuries of cultural politeness held her hand, "You need this tube or not?" She said, nodding toward the open door between Gemma, inside, and the counselor who still stood in the hall.

"That is up to you," Tivan said with a coy smirk. "You did not answer my question."

Gemma closed her eyes briefly to not call the Counselor dense and took one slow breath, "I'll be clearer, alone is what I wish to be. If you're not needing to travel the tube, I'll be getting along now." A bit more of accent slipping out in her effort at control, "Good day Counselor." She said almost formally then closed the door, ordered it to the deck that held her quarters and muttering in Old English.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks," Tivan said to no one in particular. "Quite fascinating."


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