A Strong Reprimand
Location: U.S.S. Poseidon; Captain's Ready Room, Deck 1
Timeline: Day 000 - 2100 Hours
Tags: Post-Fighter Incident, Command, Ready Room
After her conversation with Lieutenant Freya, Kana had decided it was perhaps best to take some time to digest the incredible - and to a degree absurd - amount of information she had learned from the encounter. The Lieutenant seemed adamant that she was from this "mirror universe" that she spoke of, the very same that the Chief Counsellor had only until then entertained in stories that the freshmen at the Academy entertained themselves with. Yet Freya seemed nothing but genuine, and Kana detected no hint of dishonesty from her. "This is either a serious case of delusion, or..." The thought crossed her mind, but she quickly dismissed it.
No. Whatever was going on here, Kana was now certain that Paladin had an even greater knowledge of what was going on than he had let on. Then there was how the Commander had conducted himself this morning; on a number of counts, she had reason to worry that he was struggling to maintain his calm, which would not be beneficial to the already struggling morale of the ship in the face of the fighter incident. The investigation had been conducted as well as one could have hoped, but throughout the day - from the questions asked of Lieutenant Shannon to the detention of Lieutenant Freya - there were things which the Chief Counsellor couldn't ignore as being either poorly managed or worse.
She owed it to the Commander to be straight with him, and she owed it to the entire crew to get answers from the Commodore.
Kana had decided it best to wait till the later hours before approaching either of them, knowing that they would likely still be busy until then. In the meantime she had produced all the necessary logs for that day, and then spent a considerable part of the late afternoon meditating, remaining 'on call' in case she was needed. She used this meditation in an attempt to calm her inner anger, and for the most part it succeeded, though she could still feel it bubbling at the edge. She would have to navigate the topic as best she could.
As the evening drew on, the Chief Counsellor decided it was time. =^= "Shakura to Johnson: Would you have a moment to meet in your Ready Room to discuss matters? Is Paladin with you?" =^=
== Captain's Ready Room ==
"Listen to me!" seethed Gregory Paladin to his mentee, Franklin Johnson. "This is going to happen and there is very little you'll have say in with this. Do not, under any circumstanc--"
=^= "Shakura to Johnson: Would you have a moment to meet in your Ready Room to discuss matters? Is Paladin with you?" =^=
The chirp and activation of Commander Johnson's commbadge silenced the duo, followed by the still silence of the moment as Franklin's stern gaze met that of the overwhelmingly authoritative gaze of the Commodore, equally stern, perhaps more so disappointed in a fashion. Franklin's jaw had been locked in place, muscles visibly twitching as he held by words that were better left to the recycling tubes. It had been without a doubt the most challenging reprimand to date he had ever received from any superior officer. It almost seemed to hurt worse knowing that it came from Gregory, but in hindsight it would help remind Franklin of their professional obligations. It was necessary, completely necessary, but he had hated every second of it.
Finally, after another moment would pass, Franklin exhaled through his nostrils and while maintaining eye contact with the Commodore he would reach up and tapped his commbadge to respond.
= /\ = This is Commander Johnson. Lieutenant Commander, both the Commodore and myself are in my Ready Room....discussing recent events. I believe we have almost concluded our discussion. You are welcome at your convenience. = /\ =
There was another tense silence between the pair. You could finely cut the tension between the two, cleanly and without any precision. Gregory's jaw clenched and moved sideways briefly before returning home, slowly nodding to the Commander as they parted glances and turned their backs to one another. The Commodore retreated briefly to the Foyer, where he would grab refreshments for the impending arrival of the Second Officer. Franklin, meanwhile, sat behind his desk and looked directly sidelong at the picture of the Gorn in the corner on top of his display. The holographic image seemed to move with a life of its own, portraying a specific moment in time caught forever to view.
In Franklin's case, he cherished this view, this moment caught that they had shared. It seemed lately every instance reminded him of when he had her. Something tugged at him, the back of his mind seemingly demanding action. He pushed it away, as he always had done, but more recently as with this time with much hesitation. His eyes drifted downward as his palms embraced his face, hands rubbing across and up his hairline. A moment later, the gentle clack of glass on his desk brought his attention back to the present.
"Thank you," he said to Gregory. Franklin grabbed the glass of sweet tea and drank, the Commodore sitting in his usual position seated across the table. The Commodore began to drink his coffee, the two silent as they waited.
The Chief Counsellor's arrival came very swiftly after the Commander had invited her. Not waiting for a response as the door chimed to sound her arrival, she stepped in. Her appearance, while generally still well-kept, showed the long day she had been through; her uniform jacket was undone, revealing the blue undershirt beneath, and her hair was no longer held back behind her ears, falling naturally around her face. Close observation would also notice the slight crease in her trousers, a result of having sat on the floor in meditation for quite some time. Clearing her throat as she entered, she did the jacket up midway as she stepped into the room and stood at attention to both Franklin and Gregory, feet firmly planted and hands behind her back.
"Commander, Commodore." She said politely, though with a neutral expression and tone. "Thank you for allowing me to come and speak with you both at this late hour."
There was a few moments of silence as she observed them both as they were sat. While on the surface everything seemed calm, she could feel a residual amount of tension still clinging to the air. Looking closer she also took note of Franklin's posture; he was more rigid, alert. That wasn't something she had often observed when he had been around Paladin, whose eyes betrayed a sense of bitter disappointment as he did not even look at the Commander. Clearly, something had happened.
"Is everything alright, gentlemen?" The Chief Counsellor raised a slight eyebrow as she looked to the both of them, her initial entry having been greeted with silence. "What seems to be the matter?"
The seating process had been extremely formal, without a lack of personality or habit. Everything was quite professional, signalling that both individuals had indeed endured some sort of event that tugged at their minds. The Lieutenant Commanders entrance was met with equal professionalism, attempting to hide the prior disagreements and disappointments that had erupted into nearly a very serious argument. When Kanaka had asked her question regarding the state of situation in the room, a very interesting thing happened.
Just as Franklin was about to speak, Gregory had put up his hand, silencing the Commander. The Commodore glared at the subordinate officer, a glare that probably had never been shared before. Franklin seemed to tense more, but otherwise retreated away from his prior action. He seemed to exhale sharply from his nose, silently if that was possible, and lean back more rigidly in his chair as he looked down. His expression was of restrained anger, slightly disappearing as he focused on the here and now.
Satisfied with the reaction and submission, Gregory lowered his hand. He turned his head towards Kanaka and gave a formal, fake, and well-played smile.
"That is none of your concern, Lieutenant Commander," he stated in a polite if very direct manner. "Now, how can we help you today?"
The fact alone that the Commodore had taken over the authority of greeting the guests that entered the Captain's Ready Room was signal enough. Something had happened, probably on the bad sort of scale of things.
Kana was unsure whether Gregory had made a genuine attempt to cover up for something that had happened and did so poorly, or whether it was a very deliberate display of what he saw as his control and authority of the situation with the expectation that the Chief Counsellor would be deterred from pressing the matter further. Whichever was the case, the Commodore had seemingly failed to account for two things: First, as a Betazoid, she would be offended by his dishonesty. Second, she was already in a pretty foul mood, as much as she tried to keep a lid on it.
Time skipped a beat for a moment as Kana quickly considered how to respond. She looked at Franklin, his angry expression still evident as he tried to keep his face from view, the tension in his body emitting an aura of frustration that her Betazoid sensibilities couldn't ignore. Gregory's insincere tone cut through the air like a hot knife through butter, and in doing so it triggered a suppressed feeling deep within her heart and mind. She had been here before, been through this before, and witnessing it in the third person was something she wasn't prepared to let slide.
Nostrils flaring ever so slightly, the Chief Counsellor's answer came back, like a warning shot across the bow. Her voice still calm, but more direct. "On the contrary, sir, it is very much my concern. The well-being of this crew is paramount to my role here on this ship, and that especially includes the well-being of my Commanding Officer. If I believe something is wrong, I will ask, and it is his right to respond as he wishes."
Letting her words linger for a brief moment, her glare digging into the Commodore, she then turned her attention to Franklin. "Please, Commander, speak your mind."
There was a silence following the rebuttal from the Chief Counsellor. The Commodore went rigid, and his face lit up like a red light beacon trying to stop traffic. He had forgotten her secondary - arguably, primary - role as the ship's Chief Counsellor. How foolish of him to ignore that. He swallowed briefly, not wanting to put on a childish display, and simply nodded as he glanced towards the Commander.
Franklin and Gregory shared a glance. Lightning could be seen crossing the void between the two, metaphorically speaking, as the tense emotions riled up. It went on for a few seconds, before Franklin seemed to relax, then sigh gently as his posture relaxed from the overly defensive nature it displayed. All at once, the two seemed to change their demeanour. The Commodore's expression softening as he sat back in his chair, the Commander following an equal procedure.
"I was being reprimanded for my conduct," Franklin said, only glancing briefly at Gregory who gave a cautious glance back. "The nature of which will remain between us. I'm sure there will be a report later on, however that is up to the Commodore to decide."
Gregory, satisfied with that answer, nodded to the Commander. He turned his attention to the Second Officer. "As I said," he remarked, now with a bit of sincerity in his voice, "it is, with due respect, a matter that is best left alone."
"How can we help you?" pined in Franklin, Gregory now formally returning to his normalcy as a background. He sat back, content with the situation and how it played out, and kept to himself as he observed. Franklin gazed at Kanaka, seemingly - partially - over what had transpired. "You seemed somewhat rushed to get here, is it important?" he added.
Kana had to hide her annoyance as Franklin seemed to merely tow Gregory's line. He was very obviously under the Commodore's thumb, and that simply could not do. She would have to bring this up with him another time, separate from Gregory; they were due a counselling session, which would promptly be brought forward in light on recent events. When the older man remarked that it was a matter best left alone, Kana shot hit him a side-wards glance for a brief second before turning her attention back to her Commanding Officer. "We shall see about that."
"In truth, sir, it also concerns your conduct. More specifically, what occurred on the bridge between you and Lieutenant Freya this morning prior to the Fighter Incident." She took a step forward towards his desk, her tone taking a more personal one. "Firstly, I wanted to make sure that you were alright. Secondly, I wanted to know how you interpreted what happened, and we can go from there."
The glance wasn't lost to Gregory, who stood up before Kanaka would take a step forward. He nodded towards her, "I'll leave you two to it, then. I'm going to the foyer next door to have a nibble."
As Kanaka began to speak, he exited the room, leaving the Second Officer and the Commander alone. Franklin eyed the Commodore briefly, a new emotions rising; annoyance and subtle anger. It shot away once he viewed Kanaka again, eyes locked as she spoke her question. He sighed, nodding his head.
"To be honest, I'm not fine," Franklin answered. "It's a horrible feeling to see your new crew, most cadets, having to endure a death so early on. I almost called it quits afterwards, but, truth be told I got a pep talk from Gregory. That was what our prior conversation was about, before you arrived today."
He cleared his throat, nodding again. "And yes, I realise I may have went a tad overboard with Freya, but my own helmsman was refusing my orders. It was either reprimand and fix or tolerate and show weakness. I needed to lay down the fact I wouldn't tolerate that behaviour, no Commander should."
Before Gregory had left the room, Kana had turned her head so slightly and called after him. "Once you're done eating, I'd appreciate it if you could rejoin us." Her words were polite and formal, but very much spoken with an air of expectation. She wasn't going to let him get away too easily.
Now that he was gone and it was just her and Franklin, she listened to his feelings and his reasoning, sensing the tension in his body and mind as he talked things through. She knew she had to handle this delicately - after all, she didn't hold him solely responsible for things - but she wouldn't back down on honesty. As his Second Officer, she felt she owed him that at the very least.
"Must've been quite the pep talk." Kana shot him a glance and slim smirk which very much conveyed that she could tell what had gone down, choosing to let the dishonesty slide for now. Clearing her throat, she then went on to address the events that had happened.
"I agree that a reprimand was necessary in order to put a lid on the situation, and I certainly don't disagree that Lieutenant Freya acted completely out of line." She took another step closer. "What I disagree with, Commander, was the necessity of a security escort. It created unnecessary commotion and has generated rumours amongst the crew which - in light of the Fighter Incident - has only served to sow more uncertainty in the crew's morale."
Relaxing her posture slightly, she placed her hands on the desk, her tone considerate but direct. "I know you couldn't have predicted what was going to happen, nobody could have. But even separate from all of that, you as the Commanding Officer need to be able to demonstrate confidence in your own command. Using security to forcibly remove someone from the Bridge on our very first shakedown casts a very poor light on your ability to lead. You can and must do better, Franklin."
She gave him a concerned look, making clear that she knew that this was the real root of the problem: He didn't believe enough in himself, and that was what caused the reaction that he had. "Do you understand why I'm telling you this?"
===== In the Foyer ====
Gregory Paladin was seething. Typically, the normally inviting spaciousness of the foyer presented those on the bridge with a welcomed respite from the complexity of starship control and command. Any guests awaiting to see the Captain would furthermore have a welcomed space to relax and prepare for the meeting. Additionally, and more importantly, it was a space for the Captain themselves to relax in addition to their copious space in their own ready room. At present, the Foyer elicited none of these positive and reinforcing emotions for the Commodore.
He glanced sideways at the stairs leading down to deck two on the edge of the Foyer. He could escape this mess, completely ignore the Second Officer and continue on his way. That would produce more problems than it was worth, but he did like the prospect of it. Gregory was never one to enjoy being talked down to. He was always cautious to follow procedure, to have some sort of edge in such circumstances. In this case, he didn't feel he had one, particularly because Kanaka had walked in on them essentially in the midst of his berating the Commander. The Commodore had a gut feeling that the Second Officer didn't understand the underlying complexities of what had transpired, and thus had to escape here, to the Foyer, for this brief respite.
He had heard her call after him, scoffed as the doors closed. Gregory nibbled on his sandwich he had replicated. His eyes fixed on the staircase. He could simply escape.
==== Back in the Captain's Ready Room ====
"No," replied Franklin after a moment.
For all he was worth, he felt trapped. Chin low, eyes up and staring back at his Second Officer. It was a repeating theme that he was beginning to sense that maybe, perhaps, he really wasn't in command at all. There was a brief flare of anger at this. particularly directed at a flashing memory of Gregory only moments ago yelling at the Commander for his stupidity - perceived stupidity, anyway. Now he was getting assaulted, albeit more politely, with the same manner of words by his Chief Counsellor and Second Officer.
"Perhaps there are things I am dealing with, issues and a lack of confidence stemming from years of preparation that almost went down the drain not but a few hours ago," Franklin said. "Perhaps I am wholly inadequate for this position, perhaps I believe I have already failed after one of the best pilots in this section of the Federation died in some freak accidents. Circumstances notwithstanding, I feel like utter shit at the moment, Lieutenant Commander."
He leaned forward, expression stern now as he sat upright. "Not only you, but the Commodore has expressed the same sentiments you're stating, but with a more intense directive towards it. I just went through quite the hellish ordeal having the very role model who inspired me into this seat and uniform tell me I failed to meet his expectations, and failed the years of training I just endured. Do you realise how absolutely broken I feel at the moment, to literally feel the metaphorical support structure just fall from under me? Maybe I am a leech on his image, like he said, maybe I depended too much on his support, but I accept my actions. I will accept them, because I did them, and as a Commander and Commanding Officer I cannot detract what I've done."
A slight huff as he sat back, rubbing his temple, looking sideways and down briefly.
"I am at my wits end, Number Two. I'm literally feeling like Pavan's death was a signal that I shouldn't be here. It was hard dealing with that, but adding to it the one man you needed help from just tossing you down? Yeah, I feel like shit."
He lowered his hand, grunting softly at the complexity of the situation; the absurdity of the situation. He glanced at Kanaka, shrugging as if to her and the universe.
"Why the hell am I even here, Kanaka?" he asked, softly. "Am I just some scapegoat for some unseen plan? Am I being pulled by strings? What the hell is even going on anymore?"
The earnest Lieutenant Commander paid close attention to her Commanding Officer's anger as he vented. Her expression betrayed nothing of how she was processing the situation, but deep down she felt a great deal of empathy for Franklin in that moment. It took her back to how she felt as she started to transition into her teenage years, and her mother - a woman she used to adore in youth - started to become a more bitter and twisted woman, and would berate her often. She knew what it felt like, and how it could mess with the mind. This tirade helped her to get a better understanding of the Commander's genuine feelings, something his position preventing him from showing often. Even though it required pressing his buttons, this was good for both of them.
Once he came to the end of his speech, Kanaka flashed him a brief smile. "My father often used to tell me as a kid that real-life heroes are people who carry extraordinary burdens, sometimes more than could ever be expected of anyone, but carried on regardless. That, far from the faultless heroes of fairy-tale and legend, they're prone to mistakes and moments of doubt. That's how you know their intentions are pure: no man who doesn't question and scrutinise himself more than any other is a man worth trusting."
She let those words sink in for a moment, before turning her attention to the door, through which the Commodore had left not moments before. "To tell you the truth, Commander, I'm not sure why any of us are here. But I do know that there's one man who does know, and I've got reason to believe that whatever is going on, he's leading us straight into it."
Stepping towards the door, she opened it and peered outside to see the Commodore eating a sandwich, his eyes glancing over at the stairs leaving the Foyer. She took note of it, but decided not to make light of it. "Commodore, would you be so kind as to step back inside with the Commander and I for a moment?"
"You mean Gregory?" Franklin asked as Kanaka stepped away.
In the Foyer, the Commodore finished his last bite and drank half of his glass by the time Kanaka spoke to him. He turned to look at her awkwardly, mid-chew, then swallowed his food. He nodded to her somewhat graciously before disposing of his plate and cup in the proper area. A moment later and he had entered the Ready Room.
"Yes, Lieutenant Commander?" he asked, more formal than before.
Kana waited for the doors to the Ready Room to close, giving them all the most privacy that could be given before she took a sharp intake of breath. Turning her entire body to face the Commodore, she held her hands firmly behind her back as she took a strong posture. "Commodore, I believe it's time you owe the Commander more honesty than you've shown him up to this point. I imagine you'll say that's impossible because of Starfleet Clearance Protocols and the like, but even so: he deserves to know why you chose for him to be here. Why you chose for us to be here. It has been my suspicion for a while now, and was only confirmed to me today: you handpicked this crew, and not by chance or solely on merit alone."
A deadly few seconds of silence fell over the room as she paused, turning swiftly to face Franklin. "Commander, earlier today I spoke with Lieutenant Freya following the incident on the Bridge. On my way to seeing her I witnessed the Commodore leaving her quarters; when I spoke to her, the Lieutenant told me that her reaction to the Commodore on the Bridge had been a case of 'mistaken identity'. She also claims to not be the Freya Svanirsdottir of 'our universe'. While I myself am still trying to make sense of what this means, one thing is clear: Commodore Paladin knows who she is, and perhaps even what she claims to be. You have the right to ask him - not just as your confidant, but as his friend - what he knows."
Turning her head slightly so she could see the Commodore in the corner of her eye, she concluded. "At the very least, you deserve to know why he chose you to be a vessel for his own command." It was a scathing remark, deliberately so. She knew that Gregory would likely refuse to elaborate much on the accusations of knowing something more, but Franklin's outburst to her just now and the body language she had witnessed when she first arrived had confirmed to her another thing: Gregory was, even if unknowingly, emotionally manipulating Franklin through their bond. She wouldn't let that abuse go on unchallenged. By revealing what she knew, she hoped to start shattering the illusion the Commander had been placed under.
The Commodore was standing off to Kanaka's side, never having fully sat down from reentering the Ready Room. When the Lieutenant Commander began her tirade, the colour on his face reddened significantly over the course of her speech. He maintained his posture however, breathing slightly heavier as he eyed the Commander and Kanaka.
Franklin, for his part, listened intently. Occasionally he would glimpse to the Commodore to view his rising anger visible on his face, then back at Kanaka as her tone deepens further into accusatory. At the end of it, he politely stood from his seat, stepping around as he casually adjusted his uniform. Giving a deep sigh, he glared at Kanaka for a moment, before blinking slowly and turning his attention on Gregory.
The room was quiet as the two gazed at each other. For Gregory's part, his expression had slowly began to turn from angered to suspicious, but borderline curious. He raised slightly one eyebrow, maintaining the stare that grew intense between the two. After a moment, Franklin turned his attention to Kanaka.
"Am I correct in assuming that your job as Chief Counsellor leads you to hold things in confidence, Lieutenant Commander?"
Franklin's question to Kanaka was posed in a quiet, respectful and low tone. A Commanding Officer to their subordinate, in a rather even voice. His eyes lingered on hers as he awaited her reply.
"With one exception, Commander..." Kana responded promptly, her answer proper and responding to the same tone that Franklin gave her. "If I have reason to believe that the person or persons involved are at real risk of harm. In those cases, I must communicate what I know to my superiors, which I am doing now: Whatever is going on here, Commander, I have strong reason to believe it is putting us directly in the path of danger, far beyond that which is to be expected in our duty."
Her stare still fixed towards Gregory, her eyes despite their blackness flaring with intensity. A wry smile formed at the edge of her lips, as if to communicate to Gregory that while she was giving him a hard time, it may not have been entirely hostile. After all, she was speaking to both of them. If she had truly intended to cut the Commodore's legs from under him, why do it directly in his presence? No, she had pure intentions for them both, but these situations called for something that was called 'tough love'.
"But you already knew that, didn't you...Commodore?"
There was a tense silence in the room. All eyes were turned on the Commodore, who himself glared back at the two pairs of eyes upon himself. It was an unnerving situation, particularly for Franklin as he realised in that very moment he held some distrust of his mentor and superior. He wanted to reprimand his Second Officer, say something to defend the honour of his superior, but something held him back. Suspicion.
When Gregory saw the same glint in Franklin's eyes that he had seen in others, he held his jaw firm for a moment before moving it slightly in a show of agitation. A brief exhale later and he faced off with Kanaka, staring her down.
"Yes, I handpicked all of the superior officer's, including Commander Johnson."
The Commodore's words lingered as he let in a heavy breath, adjusting his own uniform and straightening his posture. A slight glare towards Franklin revealed the Commander to be in a state between confusion and shock. With eyes back on the Second Officer of the Poseidon, he continued.
"I handpicked these fine officers to instruct the next generation of Starfleet officers," Gregory admitted. There would linger a deeper meaning there, but his words would be truthful. "Most of these officers have held years of experience in various other fields, and knowing this, they will have the aptitude to instruct various cadets with on the job performance that will give results to this program."
Kana could not help but crack a humoured smile upon the Commodore's response. Indeed, his response was no lie; it was bullshit, but it was honest. The best kind of bullshit always has a hint of truth. This was exactly what the Chief Counsellor had expected, and it was all that she needed to confirm her own suspicions. Looking over at the Commander, she remarked plainly, "The Commodore is honest. Too honest, perhaps." A double-meaning: he wasn't lying, but he also wasn't denying what Kana had deduced. He couldn't.
"With that established, perhaps we now have a better understanding of where we stand with one another. That in mind, Commander, Commodore..." She shot them both a glance as she took a more relaxed and formal posture once again, content to leave what she had said be for now. "I think it best that you both have a more honest conversation with each other not as officers, but as men, and begin to reconcile with each other over how much your emotional stakes in each other have caused some friction which needs to be reconciled if this ship is to carry on in its mission."
The Commander and Commodore nodded briefly to one another. Franklin then let out a sigh he hadn't realised he held. He adjusted his posture, scratching his temple.
"In that case, perhaps we need some alone time to talk, as men," Franklin said. "If I am to say what I want to the Commodore, I'd prefer it without a third party. No offence, Counsellor."
"None taken, Commander. Though, before I go, I should also inform you further to Lieutenant Freya: when I visited her earlier, she presented herself in a new dress uniform - having also returned to the colour blue - and is in possession of some levels of contraband. Perhaps once you and the Commodore are done, I can return and we can discuss this further?"
"Of course, Kanaka. While I doubt it to be a problem right now, we'll address it later," replied the Commander, giving a nod and a smile.
Content with her Commanding Officer's response, the Chief Counsellor began to make her leave, but as she crossed by Gregory she stopped within his earshot. She spoke ever so softly, "I do not mean to antagonise you, Commodore. I'm aware that whatever must be going on has a great stake involved. But if my role here is to provide a clear voice and give counsel, then take this as mine to you now: withhold what you must, but understand that I have a duty of care to all this crew, as do you and Franklin. If I believe that the path before us will lead us into ever greater danger, I hope you have a plan, because I will not stand idly by otherwise."
She gave him a strong glare, not in any way meant to intimidate or antagonise, but to make clear that she was deadly serious.
Gregory returned the glare, from deep within, a part that witnessed the death of his family; the flames, the screams, the doppelganger rising from the flames toward him with weapon raised. That same terror, and anger, was given into his glare back to her.
"Noted," he said, equally as softly. "Starfleet Command and other parts are aware of my objective and mission. I assure you, what can and must transpire will be from the plan laid out. That's all I'm going to say."
Holding his gaze for a few moments longer, Kana then promptly departed, not stopping to look back as she left. Once out of the door she let out a long sigh: that had been tough, but she did not regret it. Even though there were still plenty of outstanding questions, at least now the three of them hopefully had a greater understanding of where they stood now rather than before.
Gregory watched her go, letting out the pent-up anger through a sigh as he turned back to the Commander. He'd deal with Kanaka later or perhaps it would come naturally. Eventually, he planned for her to be on his side. Now, however, was the matter of fixing this problem.
"So, shall we talk?" he asked, approaching his subordinate in a more open and friendly fashion.
Commander Franklin Johnson
Commodore Gregory Paladin
Lieutenant Commander Kanaka Shakura
Chief Counsellor and Second Officer (At time of events)