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Harsh Reality

Posted on Mon Jan 30th, 2017 @ 1:42am by Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Commander Akiva ben-Avram

Mission: S1E3.5 - Interlude
Location: Deck 6
Timeline: Mission Day 26; 15:30

Akiva was making his rounds when he across a turbolift under repair. He placed his PADD behind his back in order to peek inside without causing undue interruption. From years of experience in Operations and Engineering, he quickly determined it was little more than a minor diagnostic check. He immediately approved of the pro-active maintenance measure. He also found himself approving of the shapely backside of the officer who was bent over in performance of the diagnostic.

Shame on you, he scolded himself. At first an affirmation had seemed in order, but now he just wanted to move along so he could forget his oversight.

Then, to his utter surprise and horror, the officer turned back to face him, and he realized the posterior he had been admiring belonged to none other than Lieutenant Nealey Snowdon.

HaShem, I hope she didn't notice...

Nealey sensed she was being looked at from behind and she slowly turned around to face the Vindex's first officer. She glared at him and folded her arms almost immediately. This was just something else that added to the growing list of things that drove a wedge between Nealey and Akiva.

"Excuse me...but do you mind explaining why you're admiring my backside?" Nealey snapped.

"I... I... I beg your pardon, Lieutenant, but I was just inspecting your work. Your diagnostic. The working diagnostic you were, ah, working...on." Akiva clenched his teeth and grimaced, eyes shut in a prolonged blink. When he opened them, he saw Nealey not only kept her arms crossed, but had shifted her weight to one side in a silent declaration of indignation. The scowl she sported further told him she was not buying his weak explanation.

"I like what I saw, though. Very good. I approve," he said, hoping to end the mishap there, but the way Nealey's eyes shot wider told him he had only dug himself deeper. "I meant your work. I approve of your good work, not your... oh, Ha'Shem help me." He rolled his eyes and looked the turbolift for help and support which did not come.
"Can we just start over? Let's do that. How are things, Lieutenant?"

Nealey wasn't very impressed and the look on her face said just that. She wasn't planning on resuming work on the turbolift until Akiva had disappeared - just as well there was another one further down the corridor if he actually needed the use of one.

"I've heard it all before and I still don't buy that excuse. Haven't you got anyone else you can admire in that way? I'm way out of your league - and let's just say there's some...irreconcilable differences. There's a turbolift down the corridor if you need one - this one is out of service" Nealey replied.

"Mind your tone, Lieutenant," Akiva growled. "I apologize for having offended you, but I really only meant to inspect the routine maintenance on my ship. I was even going to compliment your work until matters turned how they did. As for 'leagues'," he leaned down to glare at her nose to nose, "I'd say you're nearly half a meter shy of mine." He backed up and straightened his posture. "If you're going to be awhile here, then perhaps I will use the other turbolift."

Nealey drew herself up to full height and she instantly raised her right hand and smacked it extremely hard against the left side of Akiva's face with all the strength she could muster. Shaking her now stinging right hand she then gave her response to the floored Executive Officer.

"You were inspecting my backside you moron! I should report you to Captain Ainscow for harassing me - you might fancy me but you're really not my type...especially after that. Now why don't you run along and find someone who'll put up with your childish behaviour Akiva?" Nealey shouted.

Akiva slowly turned his head from the side back to face the unruly lieutenant. "Listen now," he said, pointing a rigid finger in her face, "Whatever it is you think I did is no grounds for striking a superior officer. I understand the pressures of rank, so I will consider perhaps you are not right for your position and recommend a change in duties in addition to anger management counseling in lieu of a court-martial." Akiva seethed behind his scowl, trying to keep his own temper under control. "Do you have anything to add to that, Lieutenant, or do you have a final nail to drive into your coffin?"

"You are joking? Who the hell do you think you are telling my department head that I'm 'insubordinate and non communicative' behind my back? You don't even know me so before you pass any judgement I suggest you take a look at yourself. I'll be telling Captain Ainscow of this don't you worry - there's a reason I don't like you and I think you know what that is - so do me a favour and leave me alone" Nealey replied.

"Take a look at myself?" Akiva said incredulous. "You are an unmannered little kus who can't take correction from anybody." He caught his breath and continued, his tone low and visceral. "Furthermore, it is my duty to render my assessment of your performance. If you can't get with that program, Lieutenant, then get the hell off my ship!"

Nealey grinned. "Oh you are funny. First you stare at my backside and then when I object you start mouthing off at me. And for the record - it's Captain Ainscow's ship - not yours. You can complain about me all you want but I seriously don't care what you think of me or what you want from me. My performance is more than satisfactory if you check my service record - and what gets me even more is that you haven't even denied you have a thing for me. The only one making a fool of themselves here is you - I have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone"

"The only 'thing' I have for you is a welt on my face!" Akiva pointed at his reddened cheek. "If you think Captain Ainscow will overlook that, then maybe you don't know her as well as you think you do."

"Oh I know her better than you do. She's been there for me since I joined the Endurance and she's the only one who gets me. And as for that thing on your did deserve it. I don't appreciate being looked at like that and then acting all innocent when you damn well know what you were doing - so I suggest you keep your eyes in your head in future when you're around me. Seeing as you're in denial about your silly little crush on me then I think it's probably for the best - don't you agree?" Nealey replied.

"I don't know how things worked on the Endurance, but we don't assault people on the Vindex because we suspect them of harboring infatuations," Akiva retorted. "Even if I did carry a torch for you, which I don't because you're nearly 10 years my junior, you are nonetheless out of line right now. Just where do you get off justifying yourself like that?"

Nealey was now on the verge of tears. She couldn't take much more and the only person that was there for her was Claudia Ainscow. If Nealey lost the mother figure she adored then she knew her life was over and she would likely start to descend down a very slippery slope without anyone to guide her and keep her on track.

"Why would you look at my backside and then pretend you weren't if you didn't 'hold a torch' to me. I slapped you because you insulted me and you deserved it. Don't you dare have the audacity to make me out like I'm a bad person - you know nothing about me and I will never respect you. You haven't even given me a chance - you just flew straight off the bat at me for something that wasn't even my fault. If you knew anything about me then maybe you'd actually give me a break" Nealey snapped.

"If you had any maturity to your name whatsoever you would not spite someone for simply noticing your backside!" Akiva blurted out. "You were bent over for the whole world to see and I couldn't help but notice myself. So what? Had I known it was you, HaShem smite me if I would not have run the other way." Akiva folded his arms and swayed side to side. "Look, Nealey, I don't have anything against you. Did our last conversation mean nothing?"

Nealey finally lost control of her emotions and she burst into tears.

"Go away. Leave me alone!" Nealey bawled.

Abandoning her task to repair the faulty turbolift the troubled young Operations officer took off as fast she could down the corridor to find some solitude in the deepest and darkest part of the ship.

"Kusemek." The word melted into the floor along with Akiva as a big puddle of regret. Should he go after her? Probably not. They had already caused a scene, and him chasing her down the corridor would only inflame it.

The control module was still hanging out of the wall. Akiva also saw Nealey had left her diagnostic tool. "What the hell," he said with a shrug as he picked up the tool and completed the diagnostic.
It was nearly complete anyway. There wasn't much more left for him to do other than reactivate the local system.
Before he did so, he checked the data from previous readouts on the tool, which showed him just how busy Nealey had been that day.


Nealey hid her commbadge in her office before finding herself down in one of the unused rooms right down on Deck 29. Anywhere away from the man she had grown to fear was fine - but the further it was the better. She was beginning to wonder whether she still had a future in Starfleet - fully knowing the consequences of what would happen to her if she did leave.


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