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The Mind of the Maquis

Posted on Tue May 24th, 2022 @ 2:10am by Makeba Brown & Lieutenant Junior Grade Zhara Rynn
Edited on on Tue May 24th, 2022 @ 2:11am

3,162 words; about a 16 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Counselling Office - Deck 5 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD001 1300 hrs

The two security officers walked into Makeba's quarters with no real announcement. Thankfully for the woman she had been zipping up her uniform after a shower. She had just woken up after working Delta Shift the night before. "Hey what in the frak are you doing just barging in here?" She said with a whole lot of attitude in her voice.

"Security Override... You technically are still a prisoner." The male a Ensign Noah Wright said with crude smirk and a look of disdain.

The female that he was with named Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ptak. Turned to him with more than anger on her face. Her pale skin turned beet red with the anger. "I told him not to and he did it anyway. Don't think that won't go in your file mister..." Wright opened his mouth to say something and was interrupted by Amanda. "Not another word out of you, so shut your trap and that is an order." She turned to Makeba. "Sorry to barge in like this but we have orders to take you to Counseling. You have to go for sessions as deemed necessary by your Counselor. If you resist our orders are to take you to the Brig. And before you ask this comes from above the Captain's head. So I have to ask will you come or should we restrain you?"

Makeba did not like the orders, but loved this Lieutenant, she decided to make it easy for the Lieutenant and see what this would be about. "Well you caught me right after I finished putting on my uniform. Am I allowed to bring a cup of coffee, I mean I just woke up." Amanda nodded in agreement to a cup of coffee.

Minutes later the three were standing in the vestibule outside of the Counseling offices. Makeba with a steaming cup of coffee in her hand. Lieutenant Ptak spoke to the Chief Petty Officer that sat at the desk. "Chief I have Makeba Brown here by order from Admiral Rice."

"Ah, yes we have been expecting her. I will notify her Counselor that she is here."

Zhara opened the door and took one look at the group and smiled. A large black poodle stood by her side. "Neither I nor my dog bite, I assure you."

She smiled at the petty officer. "That will not be necessary, thank you. I am here." The counselor turned her smile to the security officers. "Will your presence be required in my office, or will you leave Ms Brown to me?"

"According to my orders doctor, patient privilege is to be upheld. However, if she does not cooperate you should summon security." Amanda said and then her and the Ensign that was with her turned to leave.

Makeba looked around and took a look at the Counselor and the dog and could not believe what she saw. It took a fair amount of her willpower to not laugh. "You may not bite Starfleet, but I may..."

"That will make for an interesting session," Zhara replied, her eyes twinkling. She led the way to her office near the back. Sophia sniffed Makeba and followed behind.

The counselor opened the door to a medium-sized room with textured walls and thick carpet, both the color of heavy cream with a touch of lemon. A planter box with ferns lined the far wall. Along another wall stood a half bookshelf with five candles lined up along the top and a table with a small rock waterfall and a tea set.

A mahogany desk was in the opposite corner. A computer monitor, several PADDs, and a bust of Handel sat on the surface. Next to it was a dog bed for Sophia. Violin music played in the background, just loud enough to be heard.

The rest of the room contained a couch and two overstuffed chairs in a soft midnight blue. A coffee table sat between them with a plate of cookies on it. "Please, make yourself comfortable," Zhara said. "I'd offer you a drink, but I see you brought your own."

"Yeah it is what happens when security barges into your quarters unannounced and demands you report for Counseling..." Makeba began as she plopped down in one of the chairs. "I am here because the alternative was the Brig. I have already spent too many days being the guest of your Brig Officer. All that said I don't need any counselling."

Zhara raised an eyebrow. "I would have been more than happy to come to you, if it became necessary. Counseling does little good if it's forced." She sat on the couch and appraised Makeba for a moment. "Since I haven't met you before, tell me why you think you need to see me."

Makeba huffed air sharply through her nose. "That's just it Doc... I don't think I need to see you, the fleet does. And before you ask I am not sure why. I thought I was a model crew member the past months and yet here I am. I bet this is O'Flannagain's doing." While she spoke Makeba sat straight up and seemed to be on the defense. When she finished speaking she slouched into the chair. "You're right we haven't met before, and its not your fault that I am here. You are just doing your job. So I will tell you what... I can save us both a lot of time and energy. You let me go, and we just say that I stayed. I can leave which I want, and you can move on to people who actually need you which I am sure you want."

Zhara shook her head. "I can't do that. I won't lie on a report. But what I will do is treat you like any other member of the crew. Because as far as I'm concerned, you are. I have no idea why security felt they should drag you in here--they don't do that for anyone else on this ship." She leaned forward a little, her eyes narrowed. "And if they do it again, I'll bring them in for a level-2 diagnostic evaluation to see if they're fit for duty." She sat back again. "Now, if you want to get out of here, we'll go through a routine first visit and send you on your way."

"You know... I don't think this is coming from Security either. I am pretty sure it comes from some Admiral who thinks that you will learn something about the Maquis from me and report." Makeba began to speak, then stopped short and dropped her head. In truth she was sick of it, sick of all of it. "You know you have the right of it. So if sitting here for an hour will get me out of this. I guess you should ask away."

Zhara smiled. "All right. And who knows, you might actually find I'm not so bad after all." She adjusted her PADD. "Let's start with why you joined Starfleet and why you left. Anything you want to mention is fine." Whoever was behind the security escort would have nothing to complain about if she asked routine questions and got routine answers.

Makeba leaned back in her chair and made herself a little more comfortable. "When I joined Starfleet I thought it meant something, stood for something. Something bigger than any of us, than all of us. I wanted to see the stars so my sister and I went off to the Academy. Once we graduated is when we began to see Starfleet for what it was. What was done to the colonists when the treaty with Cardassia was struck, that was the straw that broke the camel's back and Nakita and I decided to go stand up for the people and joined the Maquis. I am sure you know how that ends. So, after sometime in prison we were released and joined the New Maquis to continue the fight. Malbrooke and the Pioneer found us and brought us in, and here we are.... Well that of course is the short version."

"Yes, I am familiar with the history. I have yet to hear of a war that didn't have some problems. And while I support the Federation and what it stands for, humanity is still flawed." She took a sip of tea. "Have any of your experiences since coming back to Starfleet improved your opinion?"

"Sadly no... While Malbrooke seems to be a good man, and a good leader. He still holds tight to the belief that Starfleet and by extension the Federation is always right. I would say the same thing about the rest of this crew. Although I often wonder if my sister has discovered a better way or a better side of things. After we were debriefed she was shipped off to Poseidon Station in the Aquil sector. Perhaps the people over there see things for what they are." Makeba responded with little to no emotion in her voice. To her this conversation was a means to an end. That end being when she can return to her quarters with no disruptions.

"Nowhere is perfect as no ONE is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, even the New Maquis. I believe you saw that at the battle of Empok Nor. I get the feeling you're still looking for the perfect place, the perfect cause. Have you ever tried making the most of what you have now?"

"You know Couns... Doc... Lieutenant I am not entirely out of my mind. I know that no one and nowhere is perfect. However, the Maquis is the best of all evils. Empok taught me nothing save for watch out who you put your faith in. You all couldn't even bring Leyton in for justice. But don't worry we will take care of him." Makeba was not entirely sure what to call Rynn, she eventually settled on calling her Lieutenant. Keebs knew that Rynn was only doing her job, but she felt like she was being treated like she did not know anything.

"I don't think you're out of your mind at all," Zhara assured her. "But I do find some of your comments intriguing. Why do you say the New Maquis is the best of all evils?" She had been under the impression that Makeba wanted to be part of Starfleet, even if she still felt strongly about the New Maquis, but this was something else. She found Makeba's comment about Leyton interesting as well. She made a few notes and watched for the response.

"The New Maquis means freedom, it means no need for structure. It is the ability to love, and live for what you want and how you want. The Federation makes you believe that they think the same way, that freedom will reign. However, it can only happen at their will, or how they want. I mean to make people have to abandon their homes of decades merely for a treaty. It makes no sense, a government who truly cared for its people would never make that deal, not in a million years." There was a wistful passion in Makeba's voice as she spoke. The tone was that she truly loved the Maquis and what it stood for, and that she was a member of the Pioneer's crew because the other option was prison.

"Freedom does not necessarily mean no rules. that can lead to anarchy." The other woman's responses were helping paint a better picture of who Makeba was. "Sometimes abandoning a contested planet to prevent or stop a war is preferable to death and poverty because the planet is caught in the middle." She shrugged. "Something to consider. I'm not saying that's always the reason, or that the Federation is perfect. There are times when expediency is chosen over protecting civilians. That goes for smaller governments and empires alike. From what I've heard recently, the New Maquis has its own share of problems, does it not?"

"You would be right if the contested planet was uninhabited. However, if the planet is inhabited and has been part of your territory for years, than it is not abandoning a contested planet, it is abandoning your people. That more than anything else I cannot abide." Makeba began to speak as she leaned forward. A sign that she enjoyed and wanted to actively participate in the conversation. "If the New Maquis has any problems it is that we put our trust in the wrong leaders. Leyton had his own agenda, and that was something that we did not agree to, or sign on for. So we assisted in taking him out. However, that does not mean that we want to rejoin Starfleet or The Federation."

"Speaking in generalizations, I agree that if the planet has been occupied by your people for generations and is in your space, turning it over to someone else does seem like a betrayal. But I dislike taking things at face value. There's always more to the story. I would want to know why one side wanted it and why the other felt it worth giving up. There is historic precedent for both arguments, so I'm not disagreeing with you. There could be an argument for relocating people. But I personally would want it to be a very good reason before I could justify such an action. I would also expect that group to see if there was any way to avoid that choice first." Zhara, too, found this turn in the conversation interesting. She wanted to hear more of what Makeba thought and why. "As to Leyton, he definitely has his own agenda. He's unscrupulous and dangerous." She, too, leaned forward. "Has the New Maquis considered leveraging their assistance in capturing Leyton for a planet outside the Federation they could call their home as long as they agreed to peaceful relations?"

"At one time perhaps yes. But now... Now it has moved past that. It is beyond just fighting for homes. Now it is about teaching the Federation a lesson of sorts. Making sure that they cannot and will not do something like this to another group of people. If we just settle then that leaves the door open, it shows everyone that bullies get away with what they want...." Keebs' voice trailed off for a moment as her head dropped. She was tired, tired of fighting, of arguing, of everything. "Lieutenant I think we are going to have to agree to disagree here. I do not believe I will sway you in your thinking, nor will you sway me."

"No, neither of us are going to be persuaded. But that is not my intention. I want you to try and look at both sides and accept that neither is all good or all bad. That is not the same as wanting you to agree with me." Zhara paused for a moment. "I am also concerned that you may end up on a penal colony. I would like to help you prevent that, if possible."

"I know that in every organization there are evils. I just think the New Maquis are the lesser of the two evils as it were. You know I have half a mind to call for an attorney. They can't put me in a penal colony, as I have not done anything wrong. I have committed no crimes against the Federation. Your Captain simply decided to lock me in the Brig in an effort to get me to repent and reactivate my commission. Hell he even gave me access to your SCIF. If I was a criminal would he do that. But yet I am treated and threatened like a criminal." It sounded like a threat and Makeba knew it. However, she did not mean it as a threat, it was a legitimate pondering.

"I'm not privy to why the captain did what he did. Nor do I know why you had to be escorted by security. As far as I know, there've been no complaints against you since you've been working here," Zhara replied calmly. "As a counselor, my job is to evaluate your mental faculties and determine if you're fit for duty or if you need help," She focused her gaze on Makeba. "My comment about not wanting you to end up in a penal colony is because someone thinks you may be a threat, and they are probably not on this ship, and may not even be in Starfleet. Perhaps you should talk to the captain or Commander McGowan and see if they can look into it."

Makeba cocked an eyebrow in response to the idea of talking to the Captain or McGowen. She sat up straight and looked Rynn in the eyes. "Well Counselor, am I fit for duty?"

"Yes, although you should work on your anger. It won't affect your assessment, but it could get you in minor trouble, if you're not careful," Zhara said. "But there is one other thing I need for a baseline assessment." She pulled out a PADD and handed it to Makeba. "This is a simple multiple choice series of questions. Answer them to the best of your ability and you can go."

Keebs took the PADD and it seemed to be a series of standard questions. She answered the questions without thinking too much, fact was she didn't care what the Counselor thought. She just wanted out of there. In a matter of ten minutes she had the questionnaire completed and handed the PADD back.

"Thank you. I'll see you again in six months for a followup." Zhara tried not to smile. "I'll inform security their escort will not be necessary." She'd go over the answers and enter them into Ms. Brown's file and see if there was any progress in six months. If there wasn't, she'd have a talk with the captain. She had concerns, but didn't feel Makeba was a threat. Not at the moment, anyway.

Makeba stood up, there was a slight elation to her demeanor at the moment. She was happy that Rynn decided not to lock her up. "I would appreciate it. I do hate being interrupted during a shower." Keebs smiled for the first time since arriving at the office.

"If they try, let me know." Zhara grinned. "That would definitely call for a psychological evaluation." She stood. "But they should leave you alone for a while." The counselor would definitely check to make sure they did. There was no reason for such heavy-handed treatment.

Sophia chuffed her agreement and went to her dog bed to lay down.

A post by

Makeba Brown
HUMINT Agent, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Zhara Rynn
Counselor, USS Pioneer

Therapy Dog, USS Pioneer


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