Characters: Katia Santiago
Katia stood as still as a statue for a moment as the order from the Captain finally cascaded fully into her consciousness, and her mask once again set into place. These were her people. First Maenier, who was killed, now Kordieh, whom was now believed to be the saboteur. She has a right to fight this battle! And, she was losing on the one front she couldn’t fight: The Captain.
The Chief Engineer forced her gaze down, doing her best to keep her emotions from flashing across her face as she knew they must be. Santiago knew when she was on the verge of losing control, and now was one of those times. She had been pushed over the edge by the hint of betrayal in her ranks, and this was almost as deep a hurt as she had suffered at the hands of Shaver so many years ago.
“Is that understood, Anla’shok Santiago?” Hale asked sharply. That made Katia’s head snap up instantly. Among themselves, the titles weren’t often used , and to have the Captain use that cold address now, showed how serious she was.
“Yes, sir,” Katia replied, almost sullenly. The anger that had bloomed fresh at the learning the saboteur’s identity finally found root within her. How anyone on this ship, let alone someone she had placed such trust in at such a critical time could turn and betray that, just set her realing, without a foundation to hold on to. All the carefully placed control she had gained the past few weeks, seeming to slip away like the light when darkness comes each night.
At that answer, the Captain nodded in dismissal and Katia slowly turned, making her way toward the lift. She could sense the questions emanating from the bridge crew and ignored all as she marched toward the lift. Yoshino glanced her way as she passed, but Katia just continued moving, not allowing herself to be diverted with casual empathetic glances or the wondering looks that many of the others had. The Chief Engineer entered the lift and as it began its descent into the lower decks she leaned against the wall, trying once again to get herself under some semblance of control, as several expletives were released from her describing the Captain in a few less than desirable positions.
The Chief Engineer suddenly gasped as she realized she had opened up herself to the woman in Medlab, and that Catriona was receiving all of the tumultuous emotions in waves as she tried to come to terms with the situation. Katia quickly clamped down the wall of defenses she had created over the past few years, something she had not wanted to do, but she felt the way it was affecting the woman on the other end of the link, and she knew she had to control herself, if not for her own sake, then for the sake of Cat.
At that, she tapped her link, “Santiago to Medlab.”
“Trassano here,” she heard almost instantly.
“Doctor, I just wanted to check on the status of Ms. Morgan. Is she still stable?”
“Yes, she is. She seemed a little upset there for a while, but that seems to have subsided. We will be taking her off the sedatives and waking her up shortly,” the Centauri extrapolated.
Katia took a deep breath to steady herself before she answered, “Thank you, Doctor. When you bring her out of it, please contact me. I want to be there.”
“Understood. You will be the first we call!” Mira answered cheerily. Katia cut the link at that point, realizing she really hated cheerful people when she felt as if her world was crashing down around her.
Once the lift stopped, Katia exited in a rush and moved toward Engineering quickly. The anger she had was being partially directed at herself for letting herself lose control like that in front of the Captain, to the point the CO felt she couldn’t trust Katia to do her own job. It was getting to be an untenable situation, one that the Chief Engineer wished would go away, but was afraid the only way it would go away was in a ball of flame.
Copyright (c) 1998 Tamara Friese. All rights reserved.