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Posted on Sun Feb 14th, 2010 @ 6:41pm by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez

Mission: Removing The Blindfold. Season 1 Episode 5
Location: USS Macarthur

Douglas Swinton gingerly pressed the door chime to Kristina Mason’s quarters on the Macarthur. He knew he was potentially taking his life in his hands but he also knew he had to do this. No matter what her reputation – and Heaven alone knew Mason had a huge reputation – he had to make an effort.

He nodded to the crewman standing guard outside her door; one of Akina’s colleagues from the Explorer if he wasn’t much mistaken. He tried to recall a name but it wouldn’t come to him. He shrugged mentally – it wasn’t important.

“Commander Mason,” he said cordially.

The session in holodeck for work out her pent up anger had done little to lighten her mood. Having since been ushered from there Mason's regime continued inside her quarters, counting press ups.

"On hundred twenty twenty twenty five...."

Her head turned upward having inspected the none standard issue footware of the guest, the crucifix chain dangling freely from her neckline, disturbed from its living place under the stifling uniform. She paused, holding her position eyes cold, glaring. She hadn't expecting a visitor especially not such a fragile looking civilian. She wondered briefly if the whole station was partying without her.

"What can I do for you?" She asked holding the straining extending position.

“It’s more a matter of what I can do for you, Commander,” Swinton replied. “I see you have one activity to occupy yourself while you’re confined to your quarters. I thought you might like some others – conversation perhaps or some books; and I don’t mean ‘Anger Management for Dummies’ in case you’re thinking along those lines.

Although she doubted he meant it intentally or simply did not know the use of her prevous rank proceded to hit a nerve along with the under laying jest that she was uneduatined and uncivlised.
Bending she knelt sitting upon her heels, wiping the sweat from her face studying the eldar man futhter still.

"Has Crawfort set this up?" Her tone was still bitter regarding the new woman.

“Captain Crawford doesn’t even know I’m here, let alone ‘set this up’ ”.

"And, what could you possible have that I might be interested in?"

“Quite possibly, absolutely nothing,” Swinton answered. “But then again...I don’t propose to sing Klingon opera or to serenade you with delicate madrigals. I’m not going to declaim the great lines playwrights or rattle off obscene limericks. Not, that is, unless you want me too. I’m told I do a good line in limericks – if you’ll excuse the expression - but I fear they’re not for public consumption.”

"Then what to you propose?" Mason asked feeling her patience fraying.

“That, Commander, is up to you. May I?” he asked, pointing to a chair across the room from Mason. “All you need do is ask and I’ll leave straight away. As I said, no-one put me up to this. I am here to be sociable because I thought you might like some company. There’s no more to it than that: no hidden agendas, no ulterior motives. However, if I’m to stay, this old body would prefer no to be standing. Time was when I too could do hundreds of push-ups at a time but I’m afraid that was many decades ago.”

Biting upon her tongue to restrain from shouting Mason nodded slightly watching the tall, elegant man fold into the seat before continuing fishing wildly for some purchase.

“How about we start with: what interests do you have outside of your Starfleet duties? Any hobbies?”

"Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't have any save for keeping in shape." Krissy folded her arms still debating if she should haul this man by the collar out of her quarters.

Swinton smiled softly. “Yes, well.... I’m no fitness expert, but.... Push-ups are good but they don’t do a lot for your overall fitness; your core muscles, for example, don’t gain anything from them. Often, too, they’re used for other reasons. The repetition – the drive to do ever more and more of them – can become the end in itself, rather than what’s meant to be achieved from the exercise. I’m not saying that’s the case with you, Commander but...if it were, I’d have to ask why you’re doing the exercise?”

Her cold eyes narrowed. "How long have you been on the station mister...?" Mason asked avoiding his question.

“I arrived with the remnants of the Explorer crew – just before the Borg incursion.”

Nodding ever so slightly enthusing she had been listening. "And how well tuned are your ears to gossip and rumours? I would guess they are not yet patched in, otherwise you would know its not normal for a well behaved officer to be confined, yet alone to a separate vessel to her post?"

“My ears are not, as you put it, ‘patched in’. Nonetheless, I from what I’ve heard, ‘well behaved’ could be readily applied to yourself. I do not listen to idle gossip but even I can not help but hear that you are belligerent, intolerant and insensitive. Yet I’ve heard that you’re one of the most able security officers in this sector and that your bravery is without question. Your loyalty is hard won but, once given, it is total. Shall I continue? This is the stuff of rumour and innuendo. I put no store in it. That is one reason I have come here today – to find out what the real woman is like.”

"Well," Mason stood sharply hating the sensation of being stripped. "Seems you have the measure of me there is little else to say. Other then at this precise moment this women is furious, hence the repetetional exercise. It might be in your best interest to leave, aside from the cold demeanour my wrath is pretty fierce too."
It wasn't a warning just some advice. In her currently state fluxing between blind rage and complete vulnerability like extreme mood swings she was unable predict her own actions. The fact that Crawford was able to upset her so quickly and effectually stabbing right through her heat had deeply unsettled Kristina reopening old wounds.

“Might I then suggest an addition to your regime? My friend, Akina Jrez, has some running programs that might benefit you. I’m not a runner myself but Endjrijure 262 and...who’s the aide to the Klingon ambassador..... Anyway, he speaks well of you. Oh, by the way, I gather he’s not a bad hand at martial arts if that would be your preferred path to ….well, let us say to Kristina Mason."

En route to showing her unwelcome guest out Krissy paused thinking over what he had said. That was one of the downsides to solitude it gave a person too much time to think. She had never had a cause to speak to Jrez directly, strange that he would think so highly of her. It felt as if the station was divided; those whom respected and followed her and those whom firmly believed she was a ice queen detached save for the bitterness.

"Lieutenant Mason to you," she replied sternly crossing to stand by the door making to Sheppard the elder man out. He had yet to move from the seat he had lowered himself into previously, so with a customary glare she stared hard giving him a very clear signal that he had out stayed his welcome.
Swinton could take a hint when he saw it but he wasn’t about to jump on cue. He pointedly remained where he was for a few seconds before leisurely rising.

“Commander,” he said, “and I do mean Commander, you’re too good an officer for this base to waste your talents – let alone Starfleet. I try to avoid gossip about personalities but from what I hear, you make a damn fine Chief of Security. I took the liberty of speaking to both Petty Officer Endrijure 262 and Petty Officer zh’Simal before coming to visit you. Endrijure gave me a mouthful on you the woman. ‘Self-centred, stuck up, self-important, mean, intolerant bitch’ were the words s/he used, I think. That aside, s/he admitted that you’re the best Chief of Security s/he’s worked under. Thalal, thankfully, refrained from offering an opinion on you but said she was impressed by how you handled yourself during the crisis of the Borg incursion. She said she’s seen members of the Andorian Imperial Guard do worse. To be favourably compared to the Guard is high praise indeed from Thalal.

“I will go now but if you want some company, call me.” He walked across the room, making no attempt to slink past Mason’s looming presence in the doorway. “Oh and, by the way, I know you’re confined to quarters but if you do fancy a change of pace in your exercise regime, I’ll see what I can do about getting you some time with Jrez. He’s rather fond of his running holograms so he’s probably inclined to be biassed but he tells me they are rather good and certainly taxing.”

She gave him a strained completely lacking in emotion grin while extending her arm toward the open doorway. "I will look into it," she replied not sure at the moment if that was truthful or not.

Once the door had closed behind her guest Krissy lent back against the ball feeling a chill seep through her skin. Then despite the complexity of her situation she found humour in the topic along with a streak of pride for her security team. Did Thalal really compare her to the Imperial Guard? That was quite a compliment. What a fickle place 611 can be.


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