Canopus Station
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Rover

Posted on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 10:19pm by Bossa Dieu-Le-Veut & The Narrator & Lieutenant Murray Jacobs
Edited on on Tue Feb 4th, 2020 @ 3:59pm

Mission: S2:1: Into The Drowning Deeps
Location: Canopus Station, Rish Enclave of Cargo Reef.
Timeline: MD 2 : 12:30

Captain Bossa leaned against the railing skirting the upper deck of the converted cargo bay. Below the white uniforms of the Canopus Station medical team had set up a treatment facility. A few folding tables, a few crates containing supplies and medical gear. Not even a member of Station Security standing nearby, watching over the line of Rish waiting for a chance to be seen.

"Look at them," Bossa said as she set her shoulders, the mobility harness she wore under her baggy black clothing humming a little as she moved. "Insidious is what it is. They start off with gifts, teach them that the uniform is a friend to all who see it. Take the treat and train them up."

A weathered hand wrapped about a meagre ginger beard and Murray stood up to his full lack of height. Beside Bossa he came up short by a whole foot and an inch, but physical size had never really bothered the man. It was less about how much of you was physically present in the universe and far more about what you did with your time, in his opinion.

The Captain drew his respect and his loyalty, but she didn’t intimidate him. His presence here was a simple equation of family, security and opportunity and that bought Bossa more than most. It gifted her his time and effort for the time being. So he listened attentively, and Murray observed the others closely. To his eyes they looked so bland, so bright and clinical. He brushed dirty fingers down the sleeve of his faded grey jacket, a garment brightened by a myriad of colourful patches and then shoved both hands in the pockets of his dark olive combat trousers and slouched.

“They claim benevolence,” Murray noted, his gaze like hers, devoted to the activity below. “Treat us like refugees in need of their wisdom and protection, but what they truly offer is incarceration, categorised by solitary colour and rank and guided by the hands of one who believes their way is the one true path. They would tame us, treat us as wayward pets and put us in neat little boxes.”

Bossa smiled a slim sliver of teeth behind pale lips.

"First they mend us, then they feed us. Within a generation of this, our people would not even know what it meant to be Rish 'cept for the history they got told in a Federation school," Bossa said, almost spitting the sentiment. She turned from the walkway, slinking along it until she reached a hatch. "I warned the other adar’Rishsal back in the home stars. A genocide as silent as the void. But instead of listening I was forced to this exile, bringing within me none braver than the likes of you and the others."

He followed her, footsteps lazily confident, then paused before the hatch and waited, his stance effortlessly relaxed. Home was here not through their location, but their people’s presence.

“We will not vanish quietly into the records of their history,” Murray said, a sly smile accompanying a sentiment he knew they both shared as well as one he suspected they did. “But I suppose it might serve us better for them to believe that to be an option?” He cast his gaze back to the gathering of souls below them and grimaced. Starfleet. They made it look so easy, so simple to just sell an entire culture into a pretty slavery to gravity and uniform and call it cooperation.

“There’s perhaps a fine line,” he suggested. “Between exile and exploration…”

Murray let those words hang in the air a moment or two while he languished in a thoughtful frown. Bossa had spoken with the other crew several times now, she had to have formed opinions and contemplated a strategy, that theatre below them was not mere capitulation.

“Here in this place, they are disconnected from their home, true exiles. We are not. We remain together. They underestimate us, believe us swayed by mere trinkets and toys.” Murray allowed a grim smile to muddy his freckled face and his gaze to seek Bossa’s own as they stood together.

“What would you have me do?” He asked, bringing his unspoken question into the open.

"I would have you do as is the want of any Rish, to wander, to do that which livens the heart and broadens one's horizons," Bossa said. She waved a hand back to the cargo bay, the murmur of the crowd there, the beeping of machines as steady as a heartbeat. "Out here we would be hard-pressed to think of ourselves apart from them. Ingratiate yourself with them, make a merry sport of friendship. Be the eyes and ears that cannot be hacked or traced by digital demons set against us. A medic has a thousand uses and many myriad applications."

She worked her jaw in thought, smiling.

"Be that eye in places I cannot go, and listen with the care to those who think you harmless. You are a Rish, inheritor of every dark space left untouched by a star. The wilds of nebula are our familial domain, and every airless rock an estate owned by the free soul of the Rish. These Downwellers, with their laws of iron-bound conviction, and their desire to aid all who do not need it...they do not deserve the bounty of the universe. They would see it divide among themselves, like spoils at a chance table," she tapped him on the shoulder lightly. "We shall spoil their sport. In time. In time."

He quietly rolled his eyes and schmushed up his face in unhappy acceptance of what he had half-expected the Captain to ask of him.

Wander. Right into the Starfleet world. Ingratiate. Play at being a well-behaved, good little wildling. Watch. Listen. Learn. Medic.

Murray nodded, but he didn't smile. They both knew he would do this merely because Bossa was doing the asking. They both knew he would enjoy bits and pieces of this particular excursion into the conventional, just as they knew that he would also make the most of the opportunity before him. Yet there was still a piece of him that felt lesser for leaving to play his part within this necessary theatre.

A grimace. A secondary nod.

"A wolf amongst the sheep," Murray said, the merest of smiles picking in his eyes rather than hinted at by his mouth. He bowed his head and bounced back up slowly. "Of course, Bossa. I will wear their garments and act the 'good little soldier'. A pet for them to guide and teach, but one with his hands in their midst, caught up in the very heart of whatever may befall them all out here."

The medic touched two fingers to his heart and tapped his chest. "But in here, I am free." He tapped his right index finger to his temple. "And in here, I am watching, I am listening. For you. For us."

At the mention of spoiling their sport, finally, Murray grinned. A wayward devilish expression of his truer emotions at this promise of a different outcome to come. Different from the one those clean-cut, well-meaning uniforms expected.

"Not too much time, I hope," he asked without making it a question.

In a brief pause, Murray considered all that surrounded them, their world brought all the way out here into new stars.

"Do I present myself to them graciously, or do you have a bargain already half-spoken?" It didn't really matter either way, he could find his own way, but the weight of Bossa's word was likely to carry with it an authenticity at least partially established by her prior dealing.

"Huum...I have not yet met this Ingram character, but I have met the pet Andorian he keeps as his Bully Boy. They will not want to trust you, so you will need to earn it. Go to them in the cargo bay, aid them in dolling out their trinkets and medicines. Let them teach you their ways, become useful as only a Rish could. Find the secret ways to their trust," Bossa said. She then reached out and placed a delicate hand on his shoulder. Her bones were so brittle, so light from a childhood spent in zero-gee, that they were like a bird alighting on his shoulder. "Be the useful soul that you are to me and mine. Your mother's blood makes you a Rish, but your father's places you in their world. I know that has been a weight on you among us."

Murray listened and paid both a deep respect and close attention to Bossa's words. He'd heard talk from the others about the bolshy Andorian, but direct confrontation didn't concern the medic. No, it was the silent blade in the dead of night, slipped between unsuspecting ribs that worried him more than any overt posturing. Not likely to be found within the repertoire of a bully.

"Ingram seems not to wander far from his place of power," Murray agreed quietly. "Either he trusts his minions or he does not wish to get his shoes dirty." He wondered which, and smiled at the thought. Starfleet Captains didn't get all the way out here by avoiding difficult conversations. More likely by being part of some, perhaps.

He nodded, and raised an eyebrow as he met those dark, dark eyes. "As you wish," Murray said simply with the merest hint of a fraction of a wry smile.

Bossa's hand lit upon on his shoulder then, and Murray softly exhaled. Behind that release of breath followed the flow of tension stored up within his body, a tightness that had fostered while they spoke of this plan to integrate him with the Starfleeters.

A respectful dip of his head preceded his words. "Their world is confinement, rules, boundaries and closed places," Murray agreed, a frown colouring his tone. "But I will channel him rather than her, solely because you ask it. I will give them no reason to distrust me, and every reason to rescue me." His smile then was small, contemplative as he considered who he was leaving behind. "Keep my place warm," he asked, whilst not making it entirely a question as he turned to leave.

"But of course," Bossa said with a smile. "And never forget the steps you have taken from your home, for they will lead you back to those who know you better."

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