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My Burden to Bear....

Posted on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 @ 5:22pm by Lieutenant JG William O'Donnell & Vice Admiral Iluvar
Edited on on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

Mission: Episode 2.3 - "Hippocratic Oath"
Location: USS Pandora, Ready Room
Timeline: Mission Day 2, 1159 Hrs

::BACKPOST::

ON: [[Ready Room, USS Pandora, Mission Day 02, 1159]]

William stepped onto the bridge of the Pandora for the first time but wasted none of it surveying the area or standing in awe as most officers did when they first arrived on the bridge. To William, it was another room laden in bulkheads and consoles. His head was on what was to come, how would Iluvar react. Although William was not easily intimidated by rank his first instinct was to respect Iluvar. The man didn't carry himself like a typical desk jockey. Iluvar looked as though he fought every moment for what he had.

William cared not for his reputation or rank, what he feared most was losing the respect of his CO and new family before he even had a chance to form a bond. What he did was unforgiveable. Storm was more a man than anyone he met for even letting O'Donnell live outside the cargo bay for what he did. Every member of Atlas who died that day...their blood was on his hands.

His thoughts brought him to Iluvar's door. The consequences of his decisions now lay beyond this door. William took a deep breath and tapped the console, this time, he would tell the truth and nothing but.

"Enter," a voice called from within.

William entered the room doing his best to stand tall even though his heart felt like it was at his feet. He stood in front of the Admiral's desk and did not sit. He didn't deserve it.

The sound of the ready room door caused Iluvar to turn ever so slightly from where he had been standing near the viewport. He certainly could have been occupying his time with the various requisitions, transfers, and reports waiting for his review, but there was no doubt in his mind that meeting with his Chief Engineer was a more important use of his time at the moment. Setting things straight now was the only way to avoid headaches for either of them down the road.

"There are a great many strange and wonderful things in this life," Iluvar remarked as he glanced out the viewport again, "and for every individual, there is something which brings them a measure of comfort or solace. I happen to find mine in what lies out there beyond the horizon..." He paused for a moment before turning completely around to face the engineer, adding, "...and you find yours amidst the complexities of the engineering bay. Am I right, Mister O'Donnell?"

"Aye Sir..." William replied softly. "It helps ta drown out tha white noise sir. When I am in Engineerin' all I see are the engines, they be my child and it is my duty to care fer her. If anything I can trust in this world, it be the engines sir..." he finished. His tone solemn.

Iluvar nodded slowly to show he understood what the man was saying. People did tend to take comfort in the things they trusted most and it was far easier to trust something mechanical like a ship's engine than it was to place one's trust in something more irregular like a living being. It was for that reason the very things someone felt they could place their trust in could tell a great deal about the person themselves. "You said that you place the well-being of this ship and her crew above your own," he said slowly, "and that is something to be admired. It is one thing for us to tell people how important it is to put others first, but an entirely different thing to actually do so when the need arises."

O'Donnell had become accustomed to keeping his life a secret, but he had no doubt that his entire career now lay on the Admiral's desk. William wanted to trust Iluvar with every part of his being, for the first time in his life he was going to take a leap of faith, just as Storm had taken with him. It was the least he could do to honor the man.

"Sir..it be ironic you say that. I will have ye know I will go to tha darkest side of this universe and back for this crew...I swear that oath and I will never break it. One day...I hope my words will become actions, but fer now all I can give ye is anecdotes of the past."

William pointed to the PADD's in front of him. "What those bloodly things won't tell ye, I lied to my own Commanding Officer because I thought it would save my ship....." He removed his commbadge from his shirt and tossed it on Iluvar's desk. The underside of the badge was stained in dried blood. "Unfortunately I be not the only one who suffered fer that mistake. This belonged to a young ensign tha served under me, he died in me arms, he was only nineteen!" O'Donnell's voice trembled. "but I still jammed a stake right in the rear of the man responsible....no evil be left unpunished, especially not the lad who decides to mess with this vessel....ye be markin' my words...."

"After that day, I will hunt him down like the dog he be..."

It should have come as no surprise O'Donnell felt the need to make such an honest and blatant confession in the privacy of the admiral's ready room, even if the man's sudden decision to do so seemed somewhat unplanned. Iluvar had the utmost confidence in the recommendations of Captain Storm of the Atlas and, despite what he had seen in the man's official record, the incident in question had not precluded his selection as the Pandora's new Chief Engineer.

"We all have our ghosts, Mister O'Donnell," Iluvar told the man, "and we are all haunted by questions of what might have been. It is how we learn from our past that makes us who we are today."

William smiled. Here he had just admited to blatantly lying to his commanding officer yet Iluvar seemed unphased. Although the Admiral seemed to have his temper more in check than Storm, he did not want to see the day he angered the man. Irregardless at this moment, William felt a great deal of weight lifted from an otherwise guilty conscience.

"Aye sir, but I be tendin' to think of mine as a way ta keep me workin'. Wouldn't want this ol' lad to become a glutten from all the food from tha mess." he joked.

"Indeed, it is wise not to take such things for granted," Iluvar agreed. He moved so that he was standing directly behind his desk chair, one hand resting gently next to the headrest. The man standing before him certainly had a much humbler perspective of himself than the barking of orders in engineering may have indicated. "There is one other matter I would like to discuss before I let you get back to the engineering bay," he continued slowly, "As I'm sure you are aware, the Pandora is equipped with holo-emitters in all areas to allow our Emergency Medical Hologram access to the entirety of the vessel..."

William's face flushed at the mention of the holo emitters. Although he was certain the coming request would be harmless. He could not help but be wary as the last Admiral whom asked him about holo emitters made him create an instrument of death. "Aye....sir I be extremely familiar with tha technology. I took note of them as I be makin' my way to yer ready room. Have ye be experiencin' some issues with the good doctor?"

"Not at all," Iluvar replied with a small smile, "In my experience, however, there are some who have not been as familiar or comfortable with the presence of holographic beings having greater mobility aboard a Federation starship. You should know that there are only two programs with access to the ship-wide network...Doctor Haelen (PNPC) and Peter (PNPC). They usually have no trouble making their needs known at the appropriate time, but I thought it was best you were made aware of the situation nonetheless."

William froze in place, each muscle of his body seizing in anxiety, his face however remained composed and empty. Had he just divulged information to the Admiral that he was not privy to simply upon the assumption of rank? or was it something else? "Admiral? Do the words Defender Program mean anything to you?" he asked in a concerned yet hopeful tone that Iluvar was aware, otherwise William had just endangered another innocent soul. Trouble followed this knowledge no matter how far one became distanced from the now decommissioned Omega Prime shipyards. Most of the team was now imprisoned or dead, William wondered when his Irish luck would wear out.

There was a moment of silence as Iluvar studied the engineer standing before his desk. A strange look appeared in his eyes as if he could understand the position the man now found himself in...or had at least encountered it before. "I think the more important question here is what they mean to you, Mister O'Donnell," he suggested.

William sniffled fighting back tears and moved his gaze to the ceiling to mask his pain from Iluvar. He returned his gaze once he was sure he could maintain himself. "The only thing those words every meant was misery. Nothing good ever came of that program. It was designed to destroy tha Dominion, instead it almost destroyed us.....fer some it did sir."

"I can assure you, Mister O'Donnell, that so long as you serve aboard this vessel, I will never ask you to perform beyond what I believe you to be capable of doing," Iluvar said slowly, "but that does not mean your time here will not be without it's own challenges. All I ask is that you continue to make the welfare of this ship and her crew your top priority. If we can all do that...well, let's just say it makes getting home in one piece a whole lot easier."

William perked up. "One piece sir? That be one of my specialties. As for capabilities sir, well yer imagination be the only thing holdin' me back."

"Oh, I don't know," Iluvar mused with a smile, "my imagination can be pretty liberating..."

A grin crossed William's face from ear to ear. "Well then Sir, why don't we be seein' about bringin some of that to life? After all, isn't it the challenge and wonder that brought us here?"

"Indeed," Iluvar agreed, "I do believe I've kept you away from engineering quite long enough for now, Mister O'Donnell. If you ever need to confide anything in me, know that my door is always open."

"I be appreciatin' that sir....perhaps next time we meet it be somewhere less formal and possibly over a glass of scotch whiskay." he replied.

"Perhaps," Iluvar said, "Thank you for your time, lieutenant. You are dismissed." He watched as the engineer turned and departed from the room, pleased that the man had felt at least somewhat comfortable confiding such concerns in him. There was no doubt in Iluvar's mind the Pandora was exactly where Mister O'Donnell needed to be.

OFF

A Joint Mission Post by:

Vice Admiral Iluvar
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora

&

Lieutenant JG William O'Donnell
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Pandora

 

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