Chapter 3 - The Clock is Ticking

Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:03 PM
:::exits the ready room, looking irritated which has been his status quo for days::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:04 PM
:: sitting quietly at her bridge position::
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:04 PM
::sitting in her chair, but antsy::
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:04 PM
::Is playing a bit of a game to see how evenly she can keep the ship with the shuttle.::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:05 PM
Our latest appeal to the custody order has been denied, so I kicked it up to the next level.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:05 PM
::picks at a few bits of fur on her uniform, examining them for a moment::
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:05 PM
::Sighs and looks down for a moment.::
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:06 PM
What do you think the chances are?
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 9:07 PM
::half monitoring the systems, half listening to the conversation::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:07 PM
Probably not great. But we do have one thing in our favor. That shuttle can’t go warp 9.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:07 PM
::short nod::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:08 PM
::smirk and perk at the comment::
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:08 PM
I’m keeping an eye on the shuttle too. Ready to follow, if needed.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:08 PM
But I also don’t feel like getting the entire crew indicted for a court martial.
:::sits in the center chair:::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:09 PM
Hey I am in!
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:09 PM
I’m sure the crew appreciates it.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:09 PM
OPS> Captain, the shuttle has hailed, as they do every hour, asking for the return of the child in question.
No answer to it.
OPS> I figured.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:10 PM
::enters the bridge: to relieve OPS::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:10 PM
How long can we keep ignoring their hails?
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:10 PM
Captain I might have a solution
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:10 PM
I’m all ears.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:11 PM
I still am connected to the Federation Immigrantion Board
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:11 PM
::looks to Ghas::
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:12 PM
Immigration and Refugee Board to be precise.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:12 PM
::Adjusts the position of the ship slightly::
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:12 PM
Connected? How?
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:14 PM
There are other Lakul survivors who remain on the board after all these years. If we can prove the child is essentially an immigrant or a refugee. We can claim that the child is a ward of the state and, as such be given a guardian. By writing our own…
By writing our own appeal to be the child’s guardians they could remain here until they come of age.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:15 PM
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:16 PM
::looks to Henry:: this could be the answer
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:16 PM
Several El-Aurian children were given such guardians after their parents died on the other vessel.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:17 PM
Could we review for a medical condition that prevents any exchange?
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:18 PM
::Adjusts the ship again.::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:18 PM
::tapping away at her screen:: Do we know any information about the child’s origin? She was found in a shuttle, or some other ship, right?
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:18 PM
That would help ::turns to Caressa:: with our appeal as well. Mental state of the child could be taken into account.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:18 PM
Or at least buy time
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:19 PM
Way above my skill level, but doesn’t the Child get a say too with the board?
Lt Millie Stepanova, Couns. — 12/12/2023 9:19 PM
If she were…old enough to talk.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:19 PM
At this point I’m all for buying time.
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 9:19 PM
::poking at controls, nodding at each comment::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:20 PM
::brushes more fur off her sleeve::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:20 PM
The child was…born on this ship. Her mother died in childbirth and the family is unaware she exists.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:21 PM
::tilts her head at the Captain’s response:: But the report… ::her fingers tap at her screen::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:21 PM
The separation anxiety from what she knows , in my professional opinion is enough to warrant extensive review.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:21 PM
Even the youngest little knows who they prefer Captain. They just don’t always use words.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:21 PM
The Counselor…:::he took a moment not to lose voice inflection:: was charged with taking care of the child and we worked out an ongoing temporary situation. If she were here this would not be even an issue.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:24 PM
::Alarm still rings on his console:: That damned bureaucrat is hailing again.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:24 PM
The crew is all she knows
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:25 PM
A Little does not do well in strange environments. Is that not good enough?
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:25 PM
It’s true. I just hope the brass will see it that way
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:25 PM
Unfortunately, Ker it isn’t with the law.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:26 PM
::punched buttons on the console:: let’s just make sure all the “t”s are crossed
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:26 PM
Red tape often goes against logic
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:26 PM
Keep giving him silence. Until I hear that our final appeal is denied we hold to status quo.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:26 PM
::taps her finger on the edge of the console:: Did Miss Moro not get assigned some kind of custodial say in this arrangement?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:27 PM
I have a few springs to pull.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:27 PM
::Sighs again and nods at Ghas’s words:: A fair point.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:27 PM
No, only Millie.
They just happened to end up moving in together.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:28 PM
I don’t know the law. Or the fancy words. I just know that at home on Trill, Littles are not separated from that which they know.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:28 PM
::sighs:: I wish we’d had some forethought of that now…::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:29 PM
But they weren’t just roommates. The Counselor and Miss Moro were engaged, were they not?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:29 PM
::Caressa’s console beeped::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:30 PM
Only Millie’s name was on the agreement. That’s why he was looking specifically for her when he interrupted her service.
But I do like the idea of us working the idea of the mental wellbeing of the child.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:30 PM
It was the same on El Auria. When parents died, a child was taken in by the closest family member. If there were no other family, they were taken in by neighbors.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:31 PM
I’m going to reach out to Admiral Hannigan, see if he can grease any wheels in our favor.
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 9:31 PM
::begins quietly setting up a force field around the counselor’s quarters to prevent beam-out::
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:32 PM
Permission to contact my former colleagues?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:32 PM
I have reached out to the head of child well being at Star Fleet. They are filing for immediate appeal on the crews behalf and Ms Moro.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:32 PM
I’m alright with that. Anything that gives us options is good.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:32 PM
::Nods and turns to the console behind him::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:33 PM
::sighs quietly:: Had they filed for a marriage license? Any kind of document that might prove the intent to make their family of three permanent?
Patricia Crow
— 12/12/2023 9:33 PM
::enters the bridge, looking pale compared to her usual color, taking her seat at the back of the Bridge::
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:33 PM
I can look into it, but at the moment, I’m not sure.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:34 PM
We have all these people trying to help us and I still feel like that little worm and his law book has us at a disadvantage.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:34 PM
Anything that we can dig up , find , or make official would help.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:34 PM
::turns to Henry:: I can go see Moro to get those questions answered.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:35 PM
Please do. ::to Edra:::
Patricia Crow
— 12/12/2023 9:35 PM
I could just go dark for about twenty minutes and pay someone a visit.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:35 PM
::turns back toward the commander:: He reminds me of a certain Ferengi who always seemed to turn up unannounced. ::pauses:: He sounded a lot like Weyoun.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:35 PM
::looks at Patricia:: Don’t think I haven’t considered it.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:35 PM
::nods and stands, moving to the nearest TL::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:36 PM
::coughs to hide her laugh:: You’d have to beat me to it…
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:36 PM
::Moves the ship a little further away from the shuttle::
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 9:37 PM
::noticing Statzia’s distraction with the fur and arches an eyebrow at her::
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:37 PM
::points around before stepping onto the TL:: any more of that talk, and I’ll put a transporter lock on all of you. ::gives The Look::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:37 PM
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:38 PM
Persistant little bug isn’t he? ::Tapping text messages::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:38 PM
::under her breath:: She’d have to convince the Chief to do it… ::gives a side glance and a smirk to K’Naut::
::coughs and clears her throat, tapping on her console again::
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:39 PM
::Mutters:: Fine.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:39 PM
::steps offthe lift on the crew quarters level, and approaches a door, a slight hesitation before pressing the chime::
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:40 PM
She gave us The Look ™.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:40 PM
Don’t worry. She’s been giving me that look for twenty years.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:40 PM
::catches K’Naut’s silent query, and tilts her head slightly in an unspoken return question::
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:40 PM
::answers::: Commander, please come in.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:40 PM
:side eye to Henry::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:41 PM
:::stands::: Doctor, if needed….perhaps the little one needs to be treated for that nasty bug that’s going around the ship and she might be contagious?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:41 PM
My thoughts exactly.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:42 PM
Horrible bug. ::Nods:: How loud is the cough?
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:42 PM
::steps in:: I’m sorry to barge in, but I wondered if I could ask you a few questions that could help us keep custody of the kitten::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:42 PM
Pretty bad
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:43 PM
Come to think of it… ::clears her throat again:: Ever since I babysat a couple of days ago, I’ve just been feeling…under the weather.
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:43 PM
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:44 PM
Any other crew members? I may have to quarantine the whole ship?
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 9:44 PM
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:44 PM
::Immediately covers her mouth and coughs::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:45 PM
::gestures at K’Naut:: And if I have it, we’ve spent enough time together that the Chief may also be contagious.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:45 PM
Better safe than sorry, ya know.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:45 PM
Now, you may have to make sure that we scan as sick just in case the persistant one scans us.
Patricia Crow
— 12/12/2023 9:45 PM
Oh yea? ::to Statzia:::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:45 PM
::Smiling :: not a problem
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:47 PM
Do you have anything documenting your engagement? Had any licenses been applied for yet? We hope if we can prove your intention to form a family, and your…::points to Evelyn::…history with her, we can make an areument that custody should transfer to you.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:47 PM
::nods:: You and I both have taken shifts watching the kitten. You’re likely to have it, too.
Patricia Crow
— 12/12/2023 9:48 PM
I can’t feel any worse than I do now anyways.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:48 PM
::shrugs:: And if you’ve given it to your husband, he may have infected half of sickbay in the last week.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:48 PM
Since she is a race we are unsure of and know little about . I think a 90 day quarantine is in order. No one can board,
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:48 PM
::holds up her hand showing the ring:: This is about it. We didn’t file for a marriage licence just yet. Figured we had, uh, time, you know?
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:49 PM
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:49 PM
::An image of older man appears on his screen:: Hey Bill, have you read my message?
I have unfortunately…
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:49 PM
::Tapping the console in a hurried fashion:: and done!
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:50 PM
Captain, in coming message.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:50 PM
On screen.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:50 PM
::sighs:: Chief, can’t our com system go offline mysteriously?
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:50 PM
::Taps a command::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:50 PM
Hannigan> Henry.
Bill, I was going to call you in a bit. We have a situation.
Lt Millie Stepanova, Couns. — 12/12/2023 9:51 PM
((So many Bills!))
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:51 PM
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:51 PM
::nods:: I know… I’m sorry. The bridge crew is just trying to find anything. I don’t know that a ring will be enough for the law…rings being eaing eaay to acquire. ::pauses a moment:: is there anything else you can think of that may help your case?
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:51 PM
Hannigan> The child, yes I know. It’s been a topic of discussion lately.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 9:51 PM
(my billy’s much, much, older)
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 9:52 PM
If need be, we can have all sorts of systems issues.
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:52 PM
I just know that La’lana was something she felt duty bound to protect. She gave her word to the mother.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:52 PM
That doesn’t sound good.
Hannigan> It’s not. Henry the appeals are over. This has become a diplomatic issue now and you know how that complicates things.
We may have a medical issue onboard.
Hannigan> Nali fever or the other one?
Other one.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:54 PM
::as if on cue, coughs loudly::
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:54 PM
::nods:: I know how much the promise meant to her. Can I ask you about La’lana?
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:54 PM
::sniffles for good measure::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:54 PM
Hannigan> I know this isn’t what you want to hear but I’m asking you to turn over the child within twenty four hours so we can calm the waters.
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:54 PM
She’s so precious.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:55 PM
Hypothetically…I don’t turn her over?
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:55 PM
::smiles sympathetically:: she is. Has she been acting any different since…Millie didn’t come back?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:55 PM
Sir I can’t release the child until I get the answers for the illness that is traveling through the crew. My sickbay crew is all out with the exception of two others and myself that had no contact with the child.
The bridge crew is also dropping like flies. ::Hoping they got the message::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 9:57 PM
Hannigan> Hypothetically, I will be ordered to personally come to the Mercutio and carry it out. Neither of us wants that. And if there is a real medical issue I’ll bring an outside infectious pathogen team with me.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:57 PM
::Wipes face and looks pathetic::
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:57 PM
She misses her. I don’t know if she knows she’s….gone, but she is always looking at the door.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:58 PM
What is Star Fleet medical restricts the ship? 72 hours??
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 9:58 PM
How is she sleeping?
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 9:59 PM
Pretty normal, same with her appitite.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 9:59 PM
::Sniffs and looks more pathetic::
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 9:59 PM
::coughs again::
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 9:59 PM
Admiral what if it was your child?
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:00 PM
Hannigan> If this was my child she wouldn’t be a ward of the state.
Hannigan> I applaud you and your crew’s dedication but this is our of both of our hands. 24 hours, Captain.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:00 PM
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:00 PM
Bill’s a good guy, he doesn’t like this any more than we do.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 10:01 PM
Wouldn’t be a ward of the state?
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 10:01 PM
My contact said the same thing. It’s too complicated.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:01 PM
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 10:01 PM
That was uncalled for.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 10:01 PM
How…. fast can that chid be adopted?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:01 PM
What calling him a asshat?
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:02 PM
The process usually can take months. She wasn’t even adopted by the Counselor, it was a foster situation.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 10:02 PM
::nods:: one of the doctors may have more questions about her recent behavior to determine if there are signs of her being emotionally attached to her surroundings.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 10:02 PM
No. His comment about his child not being a ward of the state. I lost my mother at about the same age. No kid is at fault for that.
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 10:02 PM
This is her home, she’s very attached.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:03 PM
Very true
But maybe he said it for a reason
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 10:03 PM
That’s what I’m thinking.
It was too pointed? Too blunt?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:03 PM
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:03 PM
Might have been a hint.
Lt. Ghas – COpsO — 12/12/2023 10:03 PM
As single father, I can concur, Statzia. A child isn’t at fault.
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 10:04 PM
Do we have any races onboard who are able to adopt or claim the child per their cultures?
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 10:04 PM
I don’t doubt it. ::smiles:: I’ve taken enough of your time. I’ll let you know if we have any more questions.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:04 PM
I don’t want to sound too ignorant. Chief, how close is this child to your people in terms of relation?
Evelyn Moro
— 12/12/2023 10:05 PM
Whatever I can do to help Commander.
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 10:05 PM
The kid is Wohan. They don’t usually serve in Starfleet.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:05 PM
Leave it to the farmboy to use species stereotypes.
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 10:06 PM
::another smile before backing out the door and returning to the lift::
Lt. K’Naut, Chief Engineer — 12/12/2023 10:06 PM
I’m not sure. I haven’t spent much time with the child.
Patricia Crow
— 12/12/2023 10:06 PM
Maybe he meant if she was his kid as in, he’s got clout…they wouldn;’t be able to make a move on her?
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:07 PM
Would any of our respective governments step in, Bajor, or Betazed in my case
Lt Kerwen Nuhl-Helm — 12/12/2023 10:08 PM
I’m pretty sure I can come up with an ancient Trill something or another if needed.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:08 PM
For an orphan who’s not even offically on the books? Probably not.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:08 PM
Well if she isn’t official how can they touch her
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:09 PM
I meant her real story being on the books.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:09 PM
Lt. Cmdr. Statzia Liski
— 12/12/2023 10:09 PM
Because she’s not official, they can.
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:09 PM
And if that cover gets blown, the Federation will have a lot to answer to.
CMDR Caressa Melanick — 12/12/2023 10:09 PM
Just asking the questions
Cdr Edra Crow — 12/12/2023 10:09 PM
::returns to theBridge::
Cpt H Crow — 12/12/2023 10:10 PM
In any case, we have twenty four hours to figure something out….or else.