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Capt Waterhouse & Rik Caine - "And Slowly Sink, and Slowly Think"

Posted on 2018-03-01 23:43 by Captain Diziara & Captain Amelia Waterhouse & Rik Caine

Mission: Planet of the Sequined Love Nun

Amelia slumped on the couch in her quarters, scratching absentmindedly at Mikey's neck as she stared at her bat'leth where it hung on the wall. She'd read Dragomirov's report on Cillian's injuries and it appeared he was going to be fine, but she was angry at herself for not being able to avoid what could have been a very serious injury for her pilot. She knew she had better control than that, she'd sparred with her brother with live blades and Noah was nearly useless with a weapon of any sort—he typically depended upon his smooth talking, quick wit, and charm to get out of nearly any scrape he found himself in. Noah had never been as aggressive or determined as Cillian had been during yesterday evening's visit to the holodeck, but that was no excuse; Amelia had been the one with more skill and experience with the bat'leth, therefore she should have been the one in charge of what was happening. Instead of putting a stop to it when he was getting almost careless in how he was lashing out, Amelia had met him in kind, and that was what she believed her mistake had been. She'd already had a decent idea of his instinct at that point, she should have stopped him and started running him through the drills her mother had started her on.

Amelia's computer terminal chirped for a subspace call, and she grabbed a PADD from the shelf behind her. A glance at the chronometer told her they were in their communication window for the day—had just entered it in fact—so she transferred the call to the PADD. Her mother's face filled the screen and the two looked at each other quietly for a long moment.

"You'll be happy to know your gumshoe is doing better than your father and I expected," Diziara finally said. Amelia scrunched her face as she shifted so that she could brace the PADD against her legs at a useful angle. Mikey stood up, stretched, and walked over to sniff at the PADD. "What? You didn't say we didn't need to check in on the penthouse during your current deployment, and since I was there already, I knocked Rik up out of his funk. I don't understand why you're out there when he's here after what he's been through."

"Starfleet medical is supposed to be taking care of him, even if he was turning in his resignation. Besides, I couldn't—"

"Your father tried to explain it to me, as much as his security clearance allowed him to understand, and how much of that limited information he was allowed to filter down to me. I still don't get it, but it's your relationship, your choice where to put your priorities. I'm not going to judge, but I am your mother and I want you happy, so I'm here giving him the nudge he needs to get back onto his horse, whatever that's going to be."

"I appreciate it. Isn't Starfleet medical doing their job?"

"They're great at physical stuff, he seems to be the picture of health in that regard, but mental they're a bit more hit or miss. More miss when the person in need doesn't trust them, which Rik doesn't. When the problem is physical, they're more likely to see it and be more proactive on treatment, but mental issues can be hidden much easier, especially something like PTSD since it can hide away until there's a trigger." Diziara paused, and looked away from the screen for a moment. She ducked out of view and Amelia recognized the wall of her office in the penthouse. "His mistrust goes a little deeper than just paranoia about shrinks though, whatever happened... Well, he hasn't talked much about it, but he clearly needs to. When I showed up, he was hiding in the bottle and looked like he hadn't bothered to step into the sonic shower for a few days." As she spoke, a pair of black feline ears poked up at the bottom of the screen.

"I know you said you were thinking of getting a new kitten, but I wouldn't have expected you to bring them with you to Earth," Amelia said. She chewed her lip as she considered her mother's report of how Rik was when she'd found him.

"This one's not mine, Rik's named her Selina," Diziara returned, scooping the kitten up into the crook of her arm.

"I didn't think Rik was shopping for a cat. I'm not surprised he selected the name Selina though, looks like she's all black."

"I take it there's a significance to the name?"

"One of the, well, she's kinda a villain, but a bit in the grey area, sometimes more of an anti-heroine... Selina Kyle, Catwoman. She's from the Batman comics."

"You nerds."

"Says the woman who named her daughter after a Doctor Who companion. You have no room to talk."

"I suppose not, especially considering that the kitten I got myself, when I found Selina for Rik, is named Missy." Diziara looked away from the screen and Amelia chuckled.

"I look forward to hearing of the chaos she causes as she grows into her namesake." Amelia smirked. "What's the story with Rik? Should I try to push for some leave now that I've been playing at being a rule following Captain again for a few months of mind numbing patrol?"

"Well, once I knocked him out of the bottle, and your father's bait got his nose on a case, he's been obsessed with that. So at least he's doing something. But if I hadn't made excuses to be on Earth, and your father continued to schedule me for chats with Admirals that are conveniently going off world or otherwise busy to justify keeping me here without having to burn through all my leave, I'm not sure he'd eat. I'm half tempted to bribe Evelyn to make a few home cooked care packages to see if something not replicated could snap him out of it long enough to at least enjoy what he's eating, but I'm not confident enough it would work to justify asking your grandmother for the labor. At least his choice to wallow in Jazz isn't bad, and he's managed to get in touch with the family of the missing girl, and they've agreed to let him come talk to them. So he's getting cleaned up so we can go do that."

"Would you ask him to give me a call during our next communication window, since it sounds like you'll be busy during the rest of this one? Then I'll start putting out feelers to see if I can get leave back to Earth." Diziara inclined her head at Amelia's question. "So, I need some advice about something on the ship. So, my pilot, the one you ran into before we launched again."

"Cillian Jarkil, right?"

"Yeah. He bumped into me on my way to the holodeck with my bat'leth, and on impulse I suggested that maybe I could teach him how to use one. We spent too long letting me see what his natural instincts were, and your program's safeties allowed me to break his nose and cheek, as well as give him a concussion. He's fine now, I have a good medical staff, but one of my combat medics will probably be giving me the stink eye for a while yet even though I think Cillian will be open to trying again with more structured lesson."

"If I'd known you'd planned on taking on pupils, I would have warned you that you can adjust the safeties to be closer to fleet standard. The program started with safeties much closer to fleet standard, and I've been gradually adjusting them downward as you've progressed."

"I should have known. Is there anything else in the program that I should be aware of, that'll help?"

"You didn't find the README?"

"There's a README?" Amelia sighed and rolled her eyes. "Of course there is. I'll look for it."

"I'm going to shoot you the specs for one of the Torchwood fighters, formatted for my flight simulator program. Pass it on to Cillian, and tell him I expect him prepared for a race next time I see him. That should take the sting out of a bat'leth to the face." Selina perked up, then quickly jumped from Diziara's arm, and Diziara looked towards the door out of the office. "Sounds like Rik's ready to go. I'll ask him to call you when he has time."

Rik walked into the room as if on cue. He crouched down and gave Selina a neck rub before standing up straight again. Peaks of the midnight blue shirt flashed from under the mac, collar raised and tied at the waist. "Just need the hat and I'm ready, apparently raining in Chelmsford currently," he explained not noticing Diz was on a call.

"That's what I saw when I checked the weather. I just need to grab my coat and hat." Diziara stood from her chair.

"Hey stranger," Amelia said. She tilted her PADD a little, instinctively, as if that would change the computer terminal angle to bring Rik into view for her. Diziara noticed her daughter's twitch and nudged the computer on the desk around to face Rik before she stepped away.

"I'll be right back," Diziara said, and laid a hand on Rik's shoulder a moment as she passed him.

Rik smiled, for what felt like the first time in a long time. "Hey doll, how's life on the edge of space?" He said, wanting for it to be normal so as not to worry her. "Hey, where'd the fedora end up?" He asked, having been unable to find it in the office or bedroom.

"Mikey kept showing too much interest in it while you were... gone. So I replicated a hat box for it. It's in the top of the wardrobe, the one that's solid black with the batman logo on the lid. The Tardis hat box is my Stetson." Amelia smiled softly, picking up the PADD as she spoke. Mikey nosed his way into her lap, and licked at the PADD screen. "The ship's different without you. I miss you."

Rik smiled again, this time with a little sorrow in his eyes. "I miss you too. Does seem strange to be grounded... But... I guess I may need a croaker after all, head not quite right ya know? I'll be good though. And the hat box is sweet. I hope you're staying safe out there and not giving the hoods of the galaxy too much grief."

"Hades has me on a short leash. Apparently saving that many lives isn't enough to justify leaving him out of the loop on what was happening." Amelia sighed. "I need to see what my options are to take some leave soon. How's Mama treating you, not too abusive, I hope?"

"Never fun, but you did the right thing. He'll loosen it eventually I'm sure. Need a break?" He asked. He paused a second, "she's good. I know she's here looking out for me and I'm grateful," Rik admitted.

"She tries to be subtle, but she's about as subtle as a lemon wrapped around a gold brick, hitting you in the head." As Amelia spoke, Diziara appeared in the office door—navy Trench coat draped over her shoulder and bright blue fedora in hand—and she laughed.

"Full stick of dynamite in a rain barrel to go fishing is more my style," Diziara said as she walked behind Rik to collect a PADD from the desk. "Let me just send the file I promised, and then I'm ready whenever you are. I'll do it from the living room, so you can finish." And with that, Diziara breezed out of the office again.

Rik chuckled. "Excellent timing. I'll be out in a bit," he said to Diz before turning back to the screen. "So I landed a case... A missing girl. I gotta find her Amelia." He spoke with a sadness in his voice, the case a painful reminder of what he'd lost. "But I did get a new toy," he added waving the EM Pistol MK2 in front of the screen before putting it back in its holster. "I guess you can't really tell me what you're getting up to... Just hope you're staying out of dutch," Rik said with a smile, missing the feeling of them having each others back on a mission.

"I'm so far away from trouble, I'm not sure I'd even know it if it stared me in the face." As she spoke, Mikey nudged at the PADD and Amelia pushed him away gently, scratching at his neck to settle him down next to her again. "Are you sure you're up for running around and solving a case right now? Mama says you're physically fine, but..."

"I can't sit by and do nothing... Not again," Rik said. "I need this." He added hoping Amelia would understand that the case was driving him away from sinking into darkness like lead in water.

"This missing girl isn't your sister. You should be talking to a psychiatrist at Starfleet Medical."

Rik shook his head. "Honestly, I'm fine. I just need to do something to keep active... Otherwise I'll become part of the furniture here." The comment about his sister cut deep like a hot knife through butter. "Look, I know it's not Verity... But I can't let them suffer like I did and the guy they got investigating? He's a joke. I need to do this, and hey, I've got Diz looking out for me. I'll be ok. Promise."

A million different arguments came to Amelia's lips, but none of them came out. She could argue with him, they could have a fight about it, but in the end, he'd probably just do what he wanted anyways. She had to hope her mother was working the long game, and try to be patient until she could get home on leave.

"Be careful. I only just got you back, I don't think I could take losing you again."

"I will. No one is taking me away from you again doll, and... I need this case to bring me back. Plus, who's gunna mess when your mother is nearby and I suspect carrying some form of Klingon blade at any given moment." He smiled, hoping the levity would provide some comfort. "I'll be right here when you get back to Earth next," he added.

Please don't make promises that you may not be able to keep, Amelia thought, but she forced herself to smile. "She always has her d'k tahg, though fuck knows where she hides it in some of her outfits."

Rik couldn't help but laugh. "Well I certainly know better than to ask. Plus this is Earth... How much trouble can I really get into? I'm expecting it to be a fairly straightforward affair.. and if it gets too much, I'll pull back or Diz will pull me out. I'm more worried about you on the edge of the frontier. I miss having your back... Not that you need it."

"I know I told you about the time a couple of idiots tried to mug me in central Park, you've seen my souvenir. Assuming nothing can go wrong, and that you don't need someone watching your back, is how people get hurt." Amelia decided not to remind him that his parents' murder was on Earth, as was Verity's disappearance. It wouldn't win the fight, just hurt him.

"I have a new phaser and Diz has decided to be my partner on the case, I'm probably more vigilant now then I've ever been, but I need to save this girl. No one else will. I worked with the guy running the Starfleet op, he's a hack who doesn't care and will take the easy route. Daddy is an Admiral so no one will say anything... this family deserves better," Rik explained.

"Speaking of the family," Diziara said, leaning in the doorway, "we're going to be late if we don't head out. Be a dear, and let my spawn know that the bribery for her pilot is in the sync queue with the other updates to the family database. This update is annoyingly large, so hopefully it'll finish before her communication window wraps today." She walked into the room.

"I can hear you just fine, Mama. Zola and Daddy have been working on the compression, so it should transfer faster." Amelia shook her head. "You won't let Rik do anything stupid, right?"

"Let him? Do you forget who you're talking to?"

"Just watch his back then."

"Of course."

"Love you both." Amelia looked at Rik specifically, and blew him a kiss.

"Love you too, can't wait til you're next home." He winked and made a kissing expression towards the screen as he stood up ready to leave.

"Don't break any more of your crew's noses," Diziara quipped with a wink at her daughter, then reached over to cut the channel.

On the USS Joshua Norton, Amelia had opened her mouth to respond when the channel cut, and she muttered a curse at her mother in the harsh poetics of Klingon. Mikey whined a little, and Amelia reached over to scratch his neck again to calm him. Her PADD chirped.

"That was quick, I didn't think Zola and Daddy had gotten the compression improved that much," she murmured and tapped the PADD. Instead of the fighter specs, she found a report in Cecil's trademark style, signed off by Hades, outlining a mission. "Ooo, Orion space. Practically Christmas in July." Amelia settled in to read the mission brief, so she could in turn brief the crew.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Captain Amelia Waterhouse
Commanding Officer
USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-A

Rik Caine
Private Investigator

NPC by Amy: Captain Diziara, Project Co-lead Torchwood & Lead Test Pilot


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