It took some time to stop the flames from the explosion. Only one person had been in the lab at the time and they weren't injured, just suffered from smoke inhalation. After treating them, Freya returned to the lab and stood back to watch as the engineers and scientists swarmed over the scene. Andy took a moment to stand by her friend. "How's the scientist? She see anything?"
"She'll be fine, and no. She was just taking readings from one of the chambers when the explosion happened across the lab." Freya said, still surveying the damage. The walls were charred from the flames and there was a gaping hole near the front of the lab - probably the origin point. "Well I better get back to the medical ward." she smiled at Andy and then started to leave.
"Don't cancel your date with Julian because of this Freya." Andy called after her.
Freya turned back to face Andy. "Why would I do that? I'm looking forward to it."
"Mhmm, I just know you Freya - you two have been dating for going on three years now and you still aren't completely comfortable with it." Andy said as she pulled off her uniform jacket and tossing it aside to get busy examining the damage and beginning repairs.
Freya walked back toward Andy. "There are rules Andy....and I'm skirting the edge of them as it is."
Andy nodded to another engineer and together they started removing wall pieces of the damaged sections, exposing the internal circuitry. "Yeah, I know the rules as well as you Freya. And you know as well as I that the rules are stupid."
"Andy!" Freya hissed. She looked around and saw Katou rearranging some of the lab not far away. Andy just rolled her eyes. Freya stepped closer and lowered her voice. "Regardless of whether they are stupid - they are the rules...."
"And no one has busted you yet for dating him, so stop looking over your shoulder every time and just enjoy yourself Freya. That's all I'm saying." Andy gave her a mischievous grin and a wink. "Now shoo, I have work to do. Don't you have a medical ward to run or something?"
Freya gave her a weak smile and nodded. "I'll see you later Andy." she called as she left the lab. The medical ward was empty of patients so Freya took the chance to go through some of her notes and plug them into the computer as needed. Even as she entered the notes, her mind traveled back to Andy's comments. Andy had always been one to skirt and bend the rules but then Andy wasn't under the same rules Freya was. Andy couldn't understand, not really.
Freya's fingers flew quickly over the keys, only dedicating a fraction of her mind to the process of data entry. The rest thought about the rules and Julian. Julian had been so patient with her over the years. When he'd first started pursuing her, Freya had tried to avoid him - not easy to do on Unity as there are only so many hiding places. But he was a persistent suitor and HE'D never cared about her bloodlines. Eventually Freya had given in.
Freya's thoughts were interrupted by an immediate summons from the Captain for a senior staff meeting. "But I'm not on the senior staff..." Freya said to no one. Nevertheless, twenty minutes later she was standing awkwardly in the Captain's office with Andy, since Dex was still recovering, and Commanders Katou and Bonwick.
"This wasn't an accident." Andy said, starting the meeting off with startled looks from everyone except Captain Hunt - who'd already been told.
"Not an accident?" Bonwick asked. Freya could just imagine the thoughts running through the security officer's mind. "You mean sabotage?"
"Actually I think it was a bomb of sorts." Andy said as if it made a big difference.
"Someone planted a bomb in my lab?" Katou said failing to hide her surprise. She turned her attention to Bonwick. "Surely the security cameras would have seen something."
Freya saw the discomfort pass through Bonwick as she shuffled her feet before steeling her stature. Freya bit the inside of her lip so she didn't smile to see it, Bonwick; like Katou; was no fan of Freya's or any embryotic. "We'll begin reviewing them immediately of course." Bonwick finally said.
"Good." Captain Hunt said. The four ladies snapped their attention to him as a reflex. "Begin an investigation Commander." He turned his attention to Andy, "Have your engineering teams begin making repairs but work with the security team as I imagine they will need to examine your findings as well." Both Bonwick and Andy nodded. "And Commander Katou, I think it would be best if you and your scientists moved to the auxiliary labs until the investigation and repairs are done." Katou nodded but was disgruntled about being kicked out of her space; once again Freya had to stop herself from smiling. "Good, dismissed then."
Bonwick, Andy and Freya made their way to the door. Freya was almost free when the captain called for her. "Doctor Ryan, a moment please." he said. Freya turned to see that Katou was standing in front of the Captain's desk, ready to say something.
Katou gave Freya an icy look before returning her attention to Captain Hunt. "Permission to speak freely sir?" Captain Hunt remained seated but nodded in acknowledgment. "Ms. Ryan..." Katou turned her cold gaze toward Freya again. "Does not belong here."
"Doctor" Captain hunt put particular emphasis on the title, "Ryan is the acting chief medical officer. As such, she is a member of the senior staff."
"She's not a doctor Captain, and she'll never be one." Katou's pale cheeks began to flush with anger. "The Council will not allow it."
"Commander Katou, as Captain, I make the decisions regarding the operation of this vessel. I have appointed Doctor Ryan to her position. As you are not in the medical department, I don't see how this affects you." Captain Hunt said, standing up as he said it. "You've said your piece, you are dismissed Commander."
Freya had spent most of the exchange looking at her feet and hands but looked up in time to see Katou slink back slightly from the imposing form of Captain Hunt. Katou recovered herself quickly and turned on her heel. Freya dodged away from the door quickly as she stormed through.
Captain Hunt walked around to the other side of his desk and approached Freya. "Doctor..." he started. He paused a moment until Freya began to wonder if she should say something in response. "She's right." he said simply and Freya felt her stomach drop, thinking he was having second thoughts about his confidence in her.
"The Council will not allow you to become a doctor - on paper at least." he continued while Freya struggled to remain composed. "But as far as I'm concerned, you are one and as long as I'm Captain of this ship, I will fight for you. Don't let that piece of paper or their stamp of approval hold you back." he said.
Freya nodded but didn't trust herself to make words. On the one hand, he was confirming all her fears - the Council made the rules and as far as they were concerned she wasn't ever going to be good enough. To be a doctor. Or for Julian Ice. But to have Captain Hunt on her side made her feel a glimmer of hope. "Thank you Captain." she finally said nodding like a fool.
Captain Hunt nodded only once and then motioned toward the door. "Dismissed, Doctor." Freya nodded again and left his office quickly.
"We haven't found anything." Aribeth Bonwick said as Commander Katou entered the security office. She barely spared Katou a glance before returning to the security footage. She was annoyed and irritated that they hadn't found anything, having gone back almost a week in the logs. By default the computer only kept two weeks in active storage and she didn't want to have to go through inactive storage. Besides, who set a bomb on such a long timer?
"That's disappointing Commander. I thought you were better than that." Katou said.
Bonwick looked at her and glared. You have scientists in that lab almost around the clock, surely someone saw something."
"Not that they've told me." Katou said, annoyance crossing her face as well.
"I thought you were better than that." Bonwick said with a cold smile. For several moments, they simply glared at each other.
"Surely you know which direction to look Commander." Katou finally said, she turned on her heel and left the office. Bonwick said nothing as she left but she knew what Katou meant and nodded to herself in agreement.
"You look beautiful Freya" Julian said holding out her chair for her and pushing it in after she sat. "New dress?" he asked taking his own seat.
"Yes. Andy dressed me." Freya said with a laugh. Julian grinned and she laughed. "She picked it out." she amended. "And told me to wear it."
Julian smiled. "I figured." he said with a wink. "To be perfectly honest, she gave me very pointed instructions on my own attire as well. Seems she thinks we can't dress ourselves."
The both glanced over at Andy, who was just sitting at the bar and laughed together. Andy had been both their friend for some time but occasionally went a little over the top. Usually they let her because it was easier. She heard them laughing and turned, she raised a glass to them and then returned her attention to Ash.
"When did Ash start tending bar?" Julian ask, his gaze still on the teenager.
Freya shrugged. "I don't know, I've barely seen him in the galley because I've been so busy."
"Good, I'd be jealous if you'd seen him more than me lately." Julian teased. "I feel like we haven't had a date in months. Oh wait, that might be because we haven't."
"Not true! We had a breakfast date a couple weeks ago. Remember, your first day on the bridge." Freya said with a smile.
"Breakfast dates don't count." Julian said. "Not enough time." Freya merely shrugged off his argument and took a drink. They talked for awhile before leaving the bar, Andy spying on them as they left. Freya caught her looking as they left and Andy grinned at her and winked in encouragement.
They strolled casually as if they had no destination - just a couple on a night "out". But Julian had a destination in mind and Freya knew exactly where he was going. Unlike her, Julian didn't have to suffer with a roommate and actually had very nice quarters so they often ended up back at his place after a date. Tonight was no exception.
Man could she ever get lost in his kisses! "Freya..." Julian said softly, against her lips. Freya cupped her hand around his neck and pulled him into another kiss, effectively cutting off his words.
"I won't be distracted..." Julian said and kissed her again. "Freya, please tell me you'll stay." he whispered in her ear.
"You know I can't." Freya said feeling sad.
"Sure you can." Julian said pulling away from her. "It's easy really, you just don't leave."
"Easy for you." Freya said standing up and straightening her hair and dress. "Not so much for me."
Julian sighed and slumped against the back of the couch. He knew he'd lost. "You torture me you know."
"I don't mean to." Freya said sadly. "I want to stay, boy do I ever....but..."
Julian waved her off. He didn't want to hear it again. "Right."
"Julian..." Freya started, walking toward him. "I'm...."
"Don't say it Freya. It'll just make me feel like a jerk." Julian said standing up. He took her in his arms and held her tightly. "Come on, I'll take you home."
Freya swallowed back the urge to cry but knew she wouldn't hold it back all the way to her own quarters. "Um, I was going to stop by the ward to get something I forgot - you don't need to walk me."
Julian eyed her and she felt horrible lying to him. Finally he nodded and walked her to the door. As the door closed, the both leaned against the wall on either side. As tears stung her eyes, Freya hurried away from his door, in case he came out and saw her sobbing.
Several corridors away, Freya leaned against the wall and had a brief cry before she started walking again. She started for home but somewhere along the way, simply started wandering. Before she knew it, Andy had fallen in step beside her. "Why aren't you buried in Julian's arms being kissed all over?" she asked.
Freya rolled her eyes. "I was, he asked me to stay and I left - like always. I feel horrible."
"Why on Earth of Old did you leave?!" Andy asked loudly. "Three years Freya...a man can only take so much!"
"I can't. You know I can't and you know why! You might think the rules are stupid but I'm already pushing the limits. I shouldn't even be in the medical ward - not as staff at any rate! I'm not going to push my luck any further than I already have."
"You're an idiot." Andy said simply. "Who's to know? You and Julian - and I don't see him running to the Council to tell."
They had stopped walking near the temple and Freya stared at Andy for a few moments and then turned away. Maybe she was an idiot. It took her a few to get out of her own thoughts enough to see the flames. "Fire!"
"What?" Andy asked.
"Fire, the temple is on fire!" Freya said looking in the window. She would have waited for more people to show up except she saw someone laying on the floor, the flames moving toward them. She made a dash for the door only to be pushed back by flames.
"Freya!" Andy called even as she was passing on the news to the bridge. "Wait! Freya!!" Her shouts fell short as Freya disappeared into the temple, and the flames.