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Hermits Gonna Hermit

Posted on Tue Jun 7th, 2022 @ 10:46am by Lieutenant Commander Angus Murphy & Captain Elijah Rutherford & Lieutenant Lily Marlow

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Impulse Engine Maintenance Space, Deck 5
1845 words - 3.7 OF Standard Post Measure

There was something soothing about working alone, being able to focus on a task without constant interruption of the comms or someone coming to give an update or ask a question or attempt to be social. Angus Murphy had turned off his commbadge, putting it into a mode where he wouldn't be disturbed except for important messages from the bridge. Everything else, he had decided, could wait. He'd been doing that often lately and it was hardly a secret, at least to those who worked under him on the engineering team. They'd taken notice of the Commander's new habit, along with him assigning himself menial tasks that any first year engineer could have done instead.

Murph sat cross-legged on the floor of the impulse engine room, a splay of modules and optical cables strewn out before him. It appeared to be freshly pulled out of one of the engine control units and the engineer was hunched forward over them with a diagnostic sensor, tracing each line with painstaking detail and monotony.

Lily rubbed the back of her neck giving a bit of a sigh. She'd gotten done with working on a crewmember who had a kink in their back from rough play in the holo-suite. She helped work it out but now... she was feeling stressed. Lily had to step away and not even look at the notes where the holo sentients were concerned as well. That was an ongoing process in and of itself, and she thought over to where things had been maybe more simpler? Her mind floated to when she first came onboard the ship, walking into Engineering. Lily smiled at the memory, Murphy, he could have tossed her into the airlock or torpedo tube and gotten rid of her. However he didn't and it seemed that they had a connection develop between them. A pang of guilt hit her, as she realized, she hadn't spoken to Murphy in a long while.

Down to main engineering Lily went, thinking that she'd find Murphy there. She stepped in and several engineering staff looked over to where she was at. A couple just passed by her as she stood there looking about, then one walked up to her. "Excuse me, is there something I can do for you?" the man giving Lily the once over.

"Er no, I'm looking for Commander Murphy do you know where he is?" Lily queried, looking hopeful.

"No ma'am we do not." the engineer outright not giving out information to the woman there.

Lily sighed slightly and left.

Later on she sent a message to Captain Rutherford. =^= Captain Rutherford, have you seen Commander Murphy? I can't raise him on the commbadge. =^=

Elijah knew where Murphy was, and he silently chuckled, Lily wasn't going to find Murphy unless the man wanted that to happen. Or if she were to run a bio scan through the computer to find him.

"Lieutenant Marlow, I know where he is but, he is currently busy working on something delicate, so he can't be disturbed." now Elijah wasn't certain exactly what Murphy was doing but, he felt that Lily needn't disturb the man.

Elijah rose from his chair in the ready room and made his way to where Murph was at, pausing at the opening to see what the man was doing. His eyebrows raised for a moment at the task Murphy had set out to do, then he quietly cleared his throat. "Hey Murphy, how are things going here?"

Murphy looked up from the task, blinking to refocus on Rutherford, and then nodding in acknowledgement. "Things are well, Captain. We were reading a .06% degradation in output from the fourth impulse thruster and I'm trying to find the source," he answered carefully. he hesitated for a moment before adding, "I'm sure that was in my daily report. The engine downtime was cleared with the officer on duty this morning."

The engineer clicked off the engineering probe and slid it back into its holster, waiting to hear why Rutherford visited in person -- it wasn't very typical of the man to track him down, and so something must have been wrong.

"It was in the report, I had read it. I just wanted to check in on you and also just to let you know, Lily had messaged me earlier trying to find where you are at. I hadn't told her as I didn't know if you wished to be found." Elijah taking a good look at Murphy. "You look a bit tired, and how are things with you and Patrick?"

"Funny, she hadn't left me any messages," the engineer said, somewhat ignoring the comment about looking tired as he stood up from the seated position on the floor and wiped his hands on the sides of his uniform. "Things with Patrick are fine. Couldn't be better," he said dismissively before asking directly, "Why are you really here, sir?"

"Is there anything wrong with the captain checking on his crew? Or are we going into the I am putting up a barrier between crew and captain? We've not talked since you've gotten married and you are my second officer. " Elijah leaning up against the the doorway. "Care to have a break for the moment and talk?"

"There's nothing wrong with that persay..." Murphy said, trying not to actually squirm from the discomfort of talking about personal matters with his captain. He looked down at the mess of wires and control boards, then back up at the captain and nodded, "I could use a break. But why does this feel more like a fishing expedition?"

"I guess I am not as subtle as my wife." Elijah responded with a chuckle. "Yes this is a fishing expedition, and I do want to catch up. I need to know your personal status as to how you are doing, life in general." Lets go to my ready room so we can talk." turning to head back in that direction.

Murphy took a moment to call a junior engineering team to run further diagnostics and put the impulse engine control systems back together before agreeing to go up to the Ready Room. They left together.

[Ready Room]

Lieutenant Commander Murphy followed the captain into his Ready Room but did not immediately take a seat. "Captain," he'd had time to think about Elijah's words on their way up to this deck. "With all due respect, there's nothing in engineering that isn't being handled right now. I'm doing my job, as I always have and I always will. I'm not sure what is driving this inquiry, but I can assure you that everything is fine."

"I see no fault in your work, it is above and beyond reproach. I have noticed though that you have been..." he thought for a moment or two, "Well you seem to distance yourself in interaction with others. And I am wondering if it is due to what happened on Adna Station? Or is that something you tend to do as your own personality? I have seen another side of you, when you and Patrick got married." Inwardly Elijah cringed as if his wife were near and hearing how he was handling this she might have an objection to it. However Murph didn't seem the sort for any pussyfooting around.

Though subtle, Murphy gave a visible flinch when Elijah said the name of the station. It still evoked very strong emotions and memories that he had been haunted with in the time since dealing the rogue holograms. Murphy took a moment to reflect, his arms crossed tightly across his chest as he dropped into a chair. When he finally did answer, he nodded just fractionally for a moment, then said quietly, "I remember so much of that day, but I know I don't even remember all of it right now. I think about it. All the time, I think about it. I trace our steps and what happened.. and I don't even remember the order of how it all happened. My brain has literally redacted out the worst of it."

Elijah gave a nod at what Murphy had said. "I can't even imagine the horror that you and the rest of the crew had experienced. Lily hasn't even spoken about what happened, except for, Oh it was difficult, and horrible. And I don't want to talk about it." shaking his head. "I tried to pry it out of her and she just got that firm stubborn tilt of her chin and said, sorry Captain but I don't want to talk about it at all."

It made Murphy think introspectively, his eyebrows furrowed a bit. If Lily didn't want to talk about it, maybe his own nightmares weren't actually irrational. That alone was something of a minor reassurance. He nodded a bit and was quiet for a long moment. They'd all undergone some kind of mandatory counseling after the events, some were probably even still working with the ship's counselor about it. It gave him a bit of an idea.

"Perhaps," he started to suggest with great hesitation. "What if a group of us met and shared a bit of what happened and what we're..." the next word actually made his stomach churn, "... feeling." It didn't feel any better to have that idea out in the open, but he continued. "A support group, sort of. Voluntary. Completely voluntary."

Rutherford gave a nod. "That could work out rather nicely, also sometimes even just a small one on one discussion, could be a simpler start depending on who you decide to do this with. How many do you think you'd be comfortable to have this discussion with for starters?"

"I... I don't know. Maybe I should talk to Lily first and see if it's something she even might want to listen to or share," Murphy offered after a moment. "A small setting, though, if it even pans out."

"Well all you can do is ask her, the worse she can say is no. I have a feeling though she might be more open in talking with you than me. Probably due to I am her Commanding officer again. " he gave a smirk. "This rank always seems to get in the way." he quipped. "She and I are friends but.. its probably easier to speak to someone who had experienced the same situation."

Murphy supposed that was a true, if also a slightly weird quirk. Opening up to strangers was often easier than people you knew well. And trauma was a fickle beast. "So, that's that. Was there anything else then, Captain?"

"That will be all, I'll set you free now, and hopefully the rest of the day will be a good one for you." Elijah replied, giving Murph a smile. He hoped that Murph would be the one to break through that stubborn streak or wall that Lily had built up.

"Very well," Murph took a slow, deep breath and nodded before turning away and stepping out. He was not looking forward to the conversations to come.


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