Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

Bad Day

Starbase Bravo, Sector India-Navy, Promenade
January 2400
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Aiden Connolly knew today was going to be a bad day the moment he woke up. Sleeping through his alarm, he woke up with only ten minutes to get ready and report for duty. Despite missing breakfast and skipping a shower, he was late. As a result, he was given the task of inventorying the stations torpedoes. He thought, hoped, that with his duty shift over, his day would get better. It did not. While enjoying a coffee with a friend on the Promenade, he managed to knock his drink over his lap. Surely that was the low point of his day, he believed. It couldn’t get any worse. But it did. As he made his way across the Promenade, he bumped into a civilian. He apologised and moved on but within seconds he felt a firm hand on his shoulder and the man he’d bumped into accusing him of picking his pocket.

That’s how he found himself sitting on a bench with two men standing over him, ‘detaining’ him while they waited for security to arrive. “I’m telling you I didn’t steal anything.” Aiden insisted for the third time in as many minutes.

“That’s for security to decide when they arrive.” The man Aiden bumped into snarled.

Sonja had been doing reports, which were the bane of her existence. She loved Security, but she could do without the piles of paperwork that came along with it. She had been filling out reports ever since she got on duty. The responsibilities of her new position as well as rank were a small adjustment, but she was getting there. She had just signed off on the last report she had to send to her supervisor, when the call came through needing Security on the Promenade. 

She got up and stretched her legs before pointing to the two nearest officers by her indicating for them to follow her. After a small walk through the corridors of the station they opened up into the Promenade, just as busy as it always was. She walked toward the area that the report came from seeing two men standing over a man in a Starfleet uniform. She stopped in front of them “I am Lt. Thompson, Starfleet Security, what seems to be the problem?”

“Yes, there is.” The larger of the two men pointed at Aiden. “This thief stole my watch.”

With a heavy sigh Aiden jumped up from the bench. “I’m not a thief.” The heat in his voice quickly cooled and  in a gentler tone he added, “And I didn’t steal anything.” 

Sonja eyed the two men looking disapprovingly at the Ensign and could hear the anger, but as a Security Officer she didn’t jump to conclusions. She put up a hand “Slow down and tell me the full story. You first Ensign.”

“Ensign?” Connolly’s accuser asked confused.

Aiden nodded. “Yeah, I’m a Starfleet Officer.” He turned his focus to Lieutenant Thompson. “I was on my way back to my quarters after spilling coffee on myself,” the large coffee coloured stain on his white t-shirt and jeans was testament to that, “when I bumped into this man. A minute or two later he’s chasing me down shouting that I’m a thief and that I stole his watch, which I did not.”

She listened closely to the story and realized that something didn’t add up. A Starfleet officer in most cases would not steal anything. She looked over at the two men “What’s your story?” She said as she waited to hear the explanation the two men had.

“My brother and I were on our way to meet a few friends for lunch when this thief,” he shot a pointed look at Aiden, “bumped into me. When I realised that my watch was missing I tracked him down and detained him while I waited for you to arrive.”

Sonja listened closely, but the inflection of the accuser seemed to be in a nervous tone. She looked back at the Ensign “Alright Ensign, it seems like you don’t have many places to hide anything. So please empty your pockets and let me see what you have?” She turned and looked at the accuser “Starfleet uniforms give no ability to hide anything even for the most clever person we’re still able to see anything hidden. If this search doesn’t show your watch I would like to see where the Ensign bumped into you.”

“I’m not emptying my pockets,” Connolly told her firmly. “if you want to search me you’ll have to get some sort of warrant or something.” Aiden wasn’t perfect, no-one was, but he was no thief and being accused of such a thing was deeply insulting.

Sonja looked at the Ensign and motioned for him to follow her away from the other two “I trust you Ensign. I have no doubt that you didn’t steal it, but sometimes to help in catching someone who is guilty it is good to show yourself as the better person. I believe the accuser still has the watch, but this is part of finding that out. If you don’t want to do so that’s fine as well I can’t force you.” She finished trying to explain why she had asked, as she could tell the Ensign was deeply offended. “Also I meant no insult or offense when I asked you if it seemed that way my apologies.”

“Conspiring to cover the crime of your fellow officer?” Adien’s accuser called after them, drawing glances from people nearby. It seemed that more attention was beginning to be focused on them. “Typical of Starfleet. Close ranks when one of your own is accused of a crime so you can help him escape justice.”

Sonja looked back at the accuser “Let me ask you this you say he stole your watch, but there is no indication that he stole it. You have to have some pretty smooth movements to take a watch from a quick bump. If you have nothing to hide than you won’t have a problem emptying your pockets will you?”

The accuser stared incredulously at the security officer for a few silent seconds. It was obvious that he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You can’t be serious.” He said, shocked at what he was hearing. “I’m the victim of a crime, I’ve had a treasured possession of mine stolen and you’re trying to turn this on me?”

Sonja shook her head “Well if you don’t want to cooperate with Security proceedings and help than your obstructing justice.” She held up a hand “I can’t do my job if you don’t cooperate, plus you say we protect ourselves. Look around you do you see these officers watching over me? No they are here to protect you, but we can’t do out job if you don’t want to cooperate with the rules and regulations of the Starbase.” She took a step back and looked at the crowd as it grew.

This was going way too far and the accuser wasn’t going to back down it seemed. Sonja by law would have to detain him for not cooperating and the Ensign until the truth was found, but with this crowd amassing she wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

“Unlike your Ensign, I have nothing to hide.” He angrily reached into his pockets and empty the contents onto the bench where Aiden had been sitting. When he was done, his pockets were out turned and a few strips of latinum and a small PADD were on the bench. “Are you satisfied now?” He rolled up his sleeves and held his arms up. “No watch anywhere to be seen. Because he,” the accuser pointed at Aiden, “stole it.”

Sonja looked at the content’s and back at the Ensign from the way things were looking she would have to detain the Ensign even if he was innocent. She was just about to speak when she heard a voice behind her.

“Excuse me officer, but I couldn’t find anyone else to give this to.” They handed her an ordinary wristwatch with a metal link bracelet, which seemed to have a link missing that broke the watches bracelet. Sonja took the watch and smiled at the stranger “Thank you for bringing this to me. We will make sure it gets where it needs to be.” She smiled and looked back at the accuser “Is this yours?”

Aiden’s accuser studied it closely for a moment before taking the watch from the security officer with a nod.

Sonja looked at the Ensign and back at the accuser “Well, it seems like you were wrong the Ensign did not touch your watch, but instead the bracelet broke and the watch fell off without you noticing. I think we can conclude this without further incident. It seems as though no one stole your watch and I am willing to forget this ever happened and give you the watch if you apologize to the Ensign here and we go on with our day.” She said making sure to be firm, but not overstep in her words.

He mumbled a half hearted apology before brushing forcefully past Aiden.

The young tactical officer let out an annoyed sigh but he didn’t react any further. He was just grateful this had been sorted out without him having to see the inside of a brig cell. “Talk about good timing. A few minutes more and you would’ve had to lock me up.”

Sonja nodded “I was getting ready to head that way, but I am glad I didn’t need too. Is there anything I can help you with Ensign?

“Not unless you can help me get coffee out of this t-shirt.” He mumbled, the statement a rhetorical one. “I appreciate your help in clearing that matter up. I’d better go get change into some clean clothes.”

Sonja chuckled “Unfortunately I don’t have those magic powers. on the other hand I am glad I could help and I hope to see you in the future Ensign.” She said with a smile as she walked away heading back towards her office. 

Comments

  • Well, that was a satisfying story. I thought it was going to be a funny romp; I was so amused by the comedy of errors, escalating from spilled coffee to accusations of theft. But it pivoted sharply to a stark exploration of who Aiden is and what he stands for. I loved the way the tension ramped up. I was really struck by Aiden refusing to empty his pockets and how quickly the accuser suspected Starfleet would brush this all under the rug. Thankfully, there was a happy ending and the watch was found!

    April 11, 2022