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RAdm Waterhouse & Ens Lexil | "The Truth Is In The Eye" pt II of II

Posted on 2016-08-11 00:44 by Rear Admiral Corey Waterhouse & Lieutenant JG Lexil

Mission: Black, White & Red All Over
Location: Waterhouse-Caine Penthouse

Lexil emerged from the bedroom a good few minutes later, clad in her fresh attire and looking like a new person. All of her make-up was gone, washed off in the shower and she now wore a fairly unremarkable Denobulan-style top, a long sleeve, deep V-neck fitted tunic in a thick off-white linen-like material, grey leggings, matching calf-length grey boots and a thick black belt around her waist. Her hair was washed, dried and put up, with a myriad of wide woven strands from her high hair-line flowing back into a loose bun held in place with a traditional Denobulan hair pin, long and sharp with a circular disc atop within which was embossed a Denobulan crest or symbol of some kind. Trailed again by Mikey she placed her old clothes, shoes and handbag in a neat pile on the nearest convenient surface and made a beeline for the balcony where Corey was sat waiting with a pot of tea. Re-energised by her ablutions she had had time to think things through and now knew what direction she wanted to take proceedings. She slipped through the door onto the balcony and blinked in the morning sun for a moment before looking at Corey and smiling.

"Feel a bit better?" he asked, offering her a clear glass with green handle and base, filled with a lightly rose colored liquid. The green and clear tea pot that sat in the middle of the bamboo table contained a delicate orb of flowers and leaves floating inside a matching rose colored liquid. "The fog retreated to the coast as you freshened up. This view would make me jealous of my daughter if I didn't enjoy the one at Utopia Planitia more."

Lexil leaned forward and took the cup of tea gratefully, taking a good sniff of the pleasant aroma before leaning on the rail that surrounded the balcony. She blew on the hot tea absentmindedly as she surveyed the view of the city around, picking out various San Francisco landmarks in the fresh morning sun. Her newly found calm shattered as she recognised a tall dark glass tower a couple of miles to the south-west and she sighed, turning back to Corey. This just wouldn’t go away, not for a moment. From what Corey had said he was a command level officer, probably an Admiral at Utopia Planitia. That and his relationship with 'Pond' should be fairly easy to prove. Once she felt she could trust him, she could tell him everything and her role in this would be over.

"You're an Admiral?" she shot at him, taking a spare chair. She crossed her legs and held the tea close to her with both hands, just under her nose, watching Corey with her deep brown eyes that were almost closed in the bright morning light. Denobulan eyes tended towards a lot more width than height due to their prominent brows and high cheekbones, often closing completely when they smiled.

"Just a rear admiral. I head the fighter design team at Utopia Planitia, currently working on a project involving holographic pilots. My underlings seem convinced I can't carry a hyperspanner these days, though..." He shook his head as he filled the other cup for himself. "The design facilities are great, even if I occasionally have to order my underlings to give me the tools."

"The pitfalls of success!" Lexil mused jokingly, grinning at Corey before her face suddenly fell. She caught sight of Mikey who was sat just inside the apartment by the pile of clothes, shoes and... the handbag. "The Fox..." she murmured, turning back to Corey again.

"The Fox... he said the Fox escaped. I didn’t think of it until just now." Lexil's mind went into overdrive. How could she have missed such an obvious detail? She pushed on, shelving the wave of shame and frustration she felt towards herself for another time.

"Then... he was here!" she continued, "Today. Or yesterday, he was here!" She looked at Corey with a sudden intensity.

"Do you know a man, human, dark skin, black curly hair and goatee, going grey. Shabby looking, scuffed shoes, wore a large dirty beige overcoat. And glasses. Do you know him?" she demanded, sitting forward in the chair and placing the tea down in front of her.

"Sounds like a friend of my son's, a Federation News Network reporter by the name of Aldridge? I think Pond made passing mention of him recently, but I didn't catch the context," Corey answered, his gaze darting towards Mikey for a moment before meeting Lexil's again. He stood up and crossed to the door inside, tapping the button to close it. Mikey darted outside as the door slid shut. "I haven't finished sweeping for bugs in there, but I'm confident we're safe to talk out here. There had been something going on involving him recently, but neither Pond nor Noah would tell me what. A father knows when his children are conspiring, but getting the actual story out of these two at times..." He shook his head as he sat again. "I could smell a fish story a light year away when she tried to insist that Rik had gone off chasing the ghost of his sister, Verity, but I could tell she thought she was doing me a favor by leaving me mostly out of it, so I didn't press."

Lexil watched Corey intently as he spoke, resting her chin between two fingers, her elbow propped on the armrest of the chair.

"Do you have a PADD I could borrow?" she asked thoughtfully, after taking a sip of tea.

Corey's eyes rolled up a moment as he thought, he had to remember which pocket he'd stuffed his PADD into this morning. Soon he pulled it from a cargo pocket on his left leg and held it out for Lexil. She took it eagerly and started running a few searches, occasionally taking larger and larger sips of tea. The warm liquid hitting her stomach only served to remind her that she hadn't eaten in many hours but the keenness of her mind to acquire the answers she wanted pushed any other concern far down the list of priorities. She started with Admiral Corey Waterhouse. He wasn't hard to find, at least he was who he said he was. Utopia Planitia, engineering, he was married as well, to a Klingon no less. Second, his son Noah. Everything checked out so far, the ship, the friendship with... Xavier Aldridge, Federation News Network reporter. She read about his career, the exposé's, the investigations, the awards going back years. She tapped an image of Aldridge she had found and it popped up full screen on the PADD. The face that was imprinted on her thoughts smiled at her from the screen and then brutally flashed into her mind's eye, gasping for breath, his expression contorted in pain. She looked away from the PADD and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath, steadying her nerve. Suddenly she wasn't hungry any more. The PADD was on the table now, she didn't remember having put it down.

With a sigh Lexil rotated the PADD one hundred and eighty degrees and pushed it past the teapot to Corey, looking away instantly over the city, willing herself not to look south-west towards that dark glass tower. But she couldn't, it was all she could look at.

"He's dead," she murmured, simply, quietly. "He bled out... there... there was nothing I could do."

Her com badge was produced from its hiding place without ceremony and she placed it on the table in front of her. She'd tried to clean it but it still had hints of red in the grooves and corners.

"Ensign Lexil... Starfleet Intelligence, I suppose..." she offered, finally, by way of introduction, something she knew was long overdue.

"Ensign Lexil," Corey repeated her introduction with a friendly smile. Now he had reason to know her name other than his tendency to browse data in the starfleet database related to friends and family. Mikey moved under Lexil's chair, rubbing against her leg as if he could tell she needed the reassurance and comfort. Corey glanced at the PADD she'd turned towards him, that was certainly Noah's friend. "From what little I've been able to piece together based upon what my children won't tell me, I have no doubt you couldn't have changed the outcome short of putting yourself in danger by putting yourself in the way." Corey pointed towards her combadge. "May I?" he asked, reaching into a pocket to pull out a small device. "A sonic brush should get that blood off. Done it a few times after bar hopping with the wife."

Lexil couldn't help but smile. She picked up the badge and passed it to Corey.

"Thank you, sir and you are quite correct, I'm afraid, the wound had already been made before I was involved." She reached down with her left hand and scratched Mikey behind the ear, continuing to speak once Corey had started working on the badge. "Now, let me be sure I have this correctly," she started, sitting up. "Aldridge said... you must tell Amelia, Rik, Verity is alive." She stared at the table, largely to save from distractions while she was recalling the words and made a pointing motion with her extended left index finger, one point for each word intoned correctly. "I do hope that means something to you. Or the Commander."

"If I recall from what little Rik spoke on the subject, he's been unsure what happened to his younger sister, Verity, since he last saw her... nearly two decades ago now?" Corey frowned and shook his head. "I'm sure he'd appreciate the confirmation that she's alive, if he were around to receive it. Pond told me he's gone off chasing her, but I can tell that's just a story and she's trying to hide something. I would guess whatever it is has to deal with the rest of mess they're hiding from me. I know she doesn't anticipate his return any time soon, those are this things spread across the bed, which means she expects to have to select a new XO and she's removing his belongings from the ship in anticipation."

Lexil turned and looked back towards the bedroom with a concerned frown. This certainly wasn't what she had expected from Starfleet intelligence. A slightly more official induction perhaps would have helped her ease into the role... an induction that was -in some form- supposed to start in around two hours. The remembrance of that created a dilemma in her head which she voiced to the Admiral, after a brief interval of inspecting the toes of her boots. She liked these boots. Somehow it helped.

"I feel I should pass this message on to the Commander and tell her what happened. Perhaps it will help with Rik somehow? It seems my other options are limited. I was supposed to check in at Starfleet headquarters for my new assignment in two hours time but if Aldridge's warning holds any weight I'd be risking my life by going. Perhaps she can help me in that regard. The feeling that I am not safe within Starfleet is certainly most uncomfortable."

Lexil paused for a moment, tipping the mug back quickly and finishing the last of the tea therein.

"I believe," she exclaimed with an amused smile and gesturing with the empty mug towards Corey, "that this is what you use humans call a baptism of fire?"

"It certainly is," Corey agreed as he considered the options. He knew where Amelia had been planning to meet her crew, she'd at least told him that in case he needed to find her in an emergency, and if Lexil didn't check in with someone when she was due to, it would draw attention. Probably from the people behind all this. "She is currently meeting a select few of her crew in the Japanese Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Tell her my intuition told me she needed you there, but don't tell her how much I know. It'll only worry her."

Lexil nodded and stood up.

"I won't, thank you, Sir. And thank you for the tea. I trust you won't be offended if I leave immediately?"

"I'd be surprised if you didn't," he returned with a chuckle. "Amelia certainly knows how to pick her crew. Be careful out there."

Lexil flashed the Admiral a winning cat-like grin.

"And you."

Her now clean com badge was retrieved from the table and, stowed securely in place, she made for the front door, only pausing briefly to disintegrate the pile of old clothes in the replicator and to give Mikey a parting scratch behind the ear.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Rear Admiral Corey Waterhouse
Fighter Design Team Lead
Co-Creator Project Torchwood
Utopia Planitia

Ensign Lexil
Stellar Cartographer
USS Joshua Norton

 

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