Chapel in the Stars
S01E01 - At the Brink of Night
Location: USS Musashi | Chapel
Captain Figueroa has been laid out face up on a pew in the Musashi's chapel. She knew someone else had entered the chapel and had been hoping that whoever it was would simply go away and leave her be. However, that was highly unlikely given the most recent revelations that came to fruition on the Bridge of the Musashi not too long ago. At least I have had a few moments of silent to myself thought Fig as she let out a heavy sight. "I warn you" she said in a bit of a grumble "I am not in the mood for a hand holding kumbaya pow-wow" Fig said aloud before the 'intruder' identified themselves and quickly gave away their location as Fig heard their footfalls coming closer and closer.
"Don't worry, I don't take you for the touchy feely type," Christopher said, his tone low, almost a whisper. He approached the pew and looked down to see the captain laying there. The chapel was dim, so he couldn't fully make out her features, but there was scuttlebutt floating around, and wasn't totally surprised to see her in his domain... or well, his other domain. "Before you ask, I wasn't looking for you deliberately." He was still dressed in his uniform, the only difference was the jacket was opened revealing a black undershirt that stretched across his broad chest. "Mind if I sit?"
Fig sat up from her back flat position in order to actually carry on a conversation with her First Officer. "Hooray for small blessings and clouds with silver linings" she replied rather sarcastically. "You are my First Officer, Christopher, and you have just returned from a rather important mission on the surface of an alien planet with pending Federation membership. You damn well better have been looking for me" she said with a bit of a smirk worn across her face. "Be my guest. Sit. I am in your little piece of paradise anyways" she added.
Christopher sat, leaving only a few inches between the two. He clasped his hands together and dipped his head and closed his eyes. He began to pray, his lips moving as he did so, no words could be heard. After another few moments, he softly said 'Amen' and looked back up at the cross that hung on the bulkhead, it was back lit with a soft white light. He leaned back against the back of the pew his hands still folded in his lap. "I have to admit, I am a bit surprised to find you here, Donatella," Christopher said, using the captain's first name, something he didn't typically did. However, the moment the two entered the chapel, rank was left at the door.
"Oh well you know me well enough. On a starship with ten decks, you cannot really hide very easily. I chose the place the crew would least likely find me" she explained. "I knew it was only a matter of time though until you found me. I am sure you've been made aware of the present situation" she added. "Anything to report from Zaran II?" asked the Captain seeking to avoid the elephant in the room.
"There are a few things that will need to be discussed about Zaran Two, yes," Christopher said, nodding. "I will have a full report for you by tomorrow morning." He knew Donatello was avoiding talking about the situation, Zaran II was an easy distraction. However, he wouldn't let that be a distraction. He looked to the CO briefly before turning his attention forward, his gaze falling back onto the backlit cross. He took in a breath and blew it out, allowing his shoulders to relax a bit. "When I lost my sight, I didn't take the news very well... I lashed out at everyone, the doctors, the nurses, the staff, and Dylan. Dylan took everything I threw at him, the man should have punched me, he should have put me in my place, but he didn't. He allowed me to be angry, frustrated, but more importantly he allowed me to be scared. I was scared, my God was I scared, but I wasn't just scared because I could have lost my career, but I was scared because I felt my faith waver. It had never done that before, my faith had never wavered. During the war I was helping all these men and women with their faith, I held their hands, I cried with them, but the moment I was the one who was injured, I wondered why. Why me? Basically it was nothing but my ego giving a pity party." He shrugged his shoulders at that. "Which is a normal response really, it's really just a knee-jerk response to a bad thing."
He took pause, a moment to genuflect on his past. The war had damaged him in ways that he would live with for the rest of his days, it did that to all those who had gone through it. "I got to a dark place, I wanted to end everything, it was unacceptable for me to live in darkness. I just couldn't do it, I didn't have the strength or fortitude to do it. I couldn't even cling to my faith, so I saw no point. But... I had Dylan, I had support and many painful surgeries later I gained some of my sight back. Every passing day I felt things looking up, and I felt my faith become strong again. Sure, it took a lot of time, it took a lot of yelling and screaming, and crying, and lashing out in anger, but eventually it got better."
Christopher swung his attention back to the captain. "Why am I telling you all this? Well, it's because you are allowed to be angry, you are allowed to be frustrated, and you are allowed to be scared. Your choices were taken away, you did not consent to any of this, and now a lot will be on the line. But now, now you do have a choice, and many choices ahead of you, they will be tough ones for sure but..." He reached for Donatella's hand and took a hold of it, squeezing it gently. "I will help in anyway I can. I will support you, and back you up, and I will be your sounding board. No matter what you do or decide, there will be no judgement from me. I know we have had our differences, and I don't forsee some of that changing, but that has nothing to do with what happened. We are first and foremost human beings, which means we have to care for one another first and foremost."
The Captain let his words absorb through her 'thick skin' as she was not overly fond of the complexity of their personal and professional relationship. It was difficult for Fig to instantly let herself be seen as vulnerable to anyone, especially her Executive Officer. However, if there was one thing that Christopher was, that would undoubtedly be sincere and noble. "I need time, Chris. I need time to let this all sink in and time to eventually deal with it" she replied initially. "I think you tell by my reaction and where I am right now that this was not a 'planned pregnancy' let alone the circumstances that lead to this 'misconception' and I do not know what to do right now except fume and be pissed at everything and everyone" She stated.
She looked at him and forced a smile. "Well, you have been barking at me left and right for not getting a command of your own. I am in not a state of mind where I trust my decision making" she explained. "So, until otherwise stated... you have command, Commander" added Fig. "Starfleet Command will be wanting that Zaran II report. I'll submit to them as soon as you have it done, but after that... Musashi is under your command. At least for a few days. I'll need to have a physical done and I'm sure medical will tell me I need to take some 'personal time' the Captain said as she rolled her eyes.
Christopher opened his mouth to speak, but promptly closed it. His first instinct was to protest, he wanted a command but not like this--even if it was for a few days. But, what about after? What if Doctor Hill found Fig unfit for duty? There had been no records of half-human, half-Klingon babies. Was the fetus even viable? Would it fully form? What about Fig's overall health? Was termination the way to go or not? All these questions filled his head as if he was the father of the growing fetus. What happens after the baby was born? Fig would no doubt lose her command, Starfleet still had rather archaic views on women and motherhood. You certainly could be a mother and be in Starfleet, but the captain's chair always seemed to be off limits. It always angered him that families were not allowed on board starships, he could see during wartime that being a rule, but in an age of exploration there seemed to be no reason to keep families separated. It seemed absurd. He wondered if Dylan's and his marriage would have been saved if they could have served together more.
He exhaled, his breath a bit shaky as he did so. "Well, you know I will take good care of your ship and crew," Christopher finally answered. "You take the time you need, and process all this as you see fit. Don't let Doctor Hill bully you into anything you aren't comfortable with either..." He again exhaled. "I lived with a CMO for a long time, I know how they can get." Christopher recalled all the times that Dylan had ruled the roost when it came to medical matters. Even when they served on different vessels, Dylan would be constantly on him the first detection of a sniffle, cough, or sneeze. It was one of the more annoying habits that Dylan possessed, but all of a sudden he felt himself even missing the annoying habits of his future ex-husband. "I know there will be a lot to think about, there will be a lot of questions that you will need to ask yourself, but you just have to take it one step at a time. If you need a sounding board, I'll be that sounding board, if not, well... I'm smart enough to give you space."
Fig looked over at her First Officer. "Our ship" she said correcting him. "Our crew" she added with a small flash of a smile that broke through all the pain and negativity that had been ruling over her. "This starship and crew will not survive with any sort of division in the command. You know it. I know it. We've talked about it so we need to keep our thinking that way. This starships is ours together and this crew is our crew, Chris" she added.
"Doctors" she scoffed and sighed. "I do need my space right now and some time to think. Thank you, Chris. Thank you for coming down here and listening. Now, go out there and go rally the crew behind you. Make sure they know I am not going anywhere and that this crew needs to stick together...and see to it that Starfleet Command gets us a new Chief Engineer immediately" she added. "That's all" she finished 'dismissing him' with another smile.
Hearing the words our ship and our crew caused a bit of a flutter in his chest. Yes, he was apart of this crew, and yes he was the XO but that didn't mean much if a CO was possessive in someway. Not ever CO felt the same way as Fig did. He gave a firm nod, taking the hint. He patted Fig's forearm and stood. Since the chapel was his domain, he didn't feel like he was intruding, however, he also knew when someone wanted privacy. He felt their talk went rather well, but he also knew Fig had a long, tough road ahead of her. That's assuming she will even keep the baby, he thought to himself. Termination was also a real possibility, and though he believed every being had a chance at life, he also believed that it wasn't his duty to infringe on others. A woman had the right to choose, so all he could do was offer guidance, but no matter what he would stand by and support the decision. "I'll be sure to get us a chief engineer," he said, his tone light. He would be sure to rally the crew, to get them in line concerning this, and then go from there, that was all he could do.
He gave Fig a final nod, smiled, and then turned to exit the chapel, leaving Fig sitting there with her own thoughts.