- VI -
Nora pressed the annunicator and after waiting a few seconds, the doors to the private quarter opened to reveal a young woman of about twenty-three years who was mostly the exact opposite of what Yunta Fey had been. At least in height, posture and build. Smaller, shorter and much less muscular, she was clearly not the fighter the Bajoran Marine had been. But that didn’t make her any less attractive with her similar blonde hair, small eyes and a button nose. She wore a long white shirt with matching loose pants.
“Crewman Sierra Decaux?” Nora asked.
Her eyes widened when she realized her visitors were officers and she quickly jumped to attention. “Yes, ma’am.”
“As you were,” the Bajoran said.
The woman relaxed but only very hesitantly.
“I’m Alex Clancy and this is Lieutenant Nora Laas. May we come in?”
She looked confused at the request. “Come in?”
The counselor offered a smile meant to put her at ease. “We’d like to talk to you if you don’t mind. However if this is not a good time, we can come back later.”
The security chief aimed a rather incredulous look at her partner. Obviously he had improvised that line.
But it had the intended effect and the young woman seemed to relax somewhat. “No, of course, you may come in,” she said and stepped away to let them enter. “It’s just, I wasn’t expecting any visitors and uh … I didn’t really clean up or anything.”
“That’s understandable,” he said as he walked passed her. “And don’t worry, this is not an inspection of your quarters.”
The place was a bit of a mess. She shared a modest living room with four other crewmembers so it wasn’t easy to tell if all clothes, uneaten foodstuffs and knickknacks belonged to just her or her roommates.
By the embarrassed blush on her face and the way she desperately darted around the room, picking up various items only to then struggle to find a place for them to go, it was a good guess that most of it belonged to her. “If you give me a minute, sir, I’ll just get this right in order and—“
She stopped in her tracks and looked back at Clancy.
“It’s alright, really.”
She looked not convinced at all.
“Hang on,” he said as if he recognized something about her. “You were in the play weren’t you? You’re Miranda.”
That did the trick and she broke out in a beaming smile, the state of the room suddenly forgotten.
“Boy you were really good in that,” he said.
“Thanks but it wasn’t just me, you know, we all rehearsed really hard for that. We’re hoping to put on another show next week.”
At that Clancy cringed a little.
“Can we sit down, Crewman?” Nora asked.
“I’m sorry, I forgot my manners, please,” she said hurried over to the sofa to clear off a few pieces of pink, non-regulation underwear, quickly dumping them out of sight, her face bright red yet again.
The two lieutenants sat and Clancy gestured towards the lounge chair opposite him. Decaux needed a moment to understand what he meant before she gingerly sat on it.
“Crewman, how would you describe your relationship to Lieutenant Gedar?”
“Jin?” she said, once again caught off-guard. “I mean, I know the lieutenant, we were in the play together and we rehearsed quite a bit. He also helped us calibrate some of our lab equipment.”
“You’re a research assistant in astrophysics?” asked Nora, referring to her padd.
“And you have been on Eagle
for eight months, is that right?” she said.
Decaux nodded. “Came on board straight out of basic training. They told us they needed every able person to serve to fight the Dominion and I was happy to sign-up and do my part. However small that might be.”
“Sierra, you mentioned you knew Gedar from the play and when he came to the lab but did you ever meet him on other occasions?”
“I’m not sure … uh … what you mean,” she said, doing an awful job of trying to deflect the question.
Clancy offered another smile. “Sierra, there is no regulation that forbids fraternization between the crew and officers.”
She nodded slowly but didn’t say anything further, probably fully aware that even though he was right, Starfleet tended to discourage such practices.
Nora was not patient enough to let this drag on. “Crewman, please answer this question for me. Did you have a romantic relationship with Lieutenant Gedar?”
“Is that what he said?”
Clancy leaned forward. “Sierra, Lieutenant Gedar is dead. He was killed in engineering two nights ago.”
“What? No,” she said jumped onto her feet. “That’s not possible.”
“He can’t be dead he was just … I mean how is that possible?” she nearly cried, her eyes rapidly becoming wet. “There must be some sort of mistake.”
“I’m afraid not,” Clancy said.
She began to pace the room. “My god, my god, my god.”
“Sierra, I know this is hard but try to calm down, okay? Take a seat, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, trust me it helps.”
She nodded and then followed his instructions.
“This hurts right now, I know,” he continued while she had her eyes closed. “And it’ll hurt for some time before it gets better. But right now you have to understand that there is nothing we can do for Gedar anymore except trying to find who did this to him and bring him or her to justice.”
She opened her eyes again.
“I take it the answer to my questions is yes, then,” said Nora Laas.
Decaux shot her an empty look.
“You were involved with him?”
She nodded very slowly.
“How long have you been seeing him?” she said.
Decaux considered that for a moment. “About three months, I think.”
The security chief made notes in her padd.
“Wait, you don’t think I had something to do with his death, do you?” she asked suddenly, sounding almost panicked at the thought. “Because I would never be able to hurt anyone. You have to believe me.”
Nora looked up suspiciously. “You went through basic training, didn’t you?”
“And you learned combat skills there? Hand-to-hand fighting, weapons training and the like?”
“Yes but really just the absolute basics,” she said quickly. “I went through the accelerated program because of the war. Most of my training was focused on astrophysics.”
“We understand that, Sierra but we have to investigate every lead. Where were you two nights ago between 2330 and zero-hundred hours,” the counselor asked.
She considered that for a moment. A very long moment. Then she looked up. “I was here in my quarters.”
“Will your roommates be able to corroborate that?” Nora asked.
“Uh, I don’t know, we all have different shifts, it’s kind of rare we see each other at all.”
Nora made more notes.
“Can you think of anyone who might have held a grudge against Gedar?” Clancy said.
“Not really, no,” she said quickly.
“Maybe somebody he worked with in engineering?” he prodded. “Perhaps he mentioned something to you?”
She thought about that one. “He did say that there was this engineer he worked with, a Zakdorn I think, who didn’t like him and was jealous of him.”
“Did he say anything else? About him or anyone else?” he asked.
She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”
“Okay, thanks Sierra, I think we better leave you alone now unless you have any more questions, Lieutenant,” Clancy said and looked at Nora.
“Not right now but maybe later,” she said and stood.
Clancy followed suit and after a moment so did Decaux.
“I’m going to see what I can do to get you a couple of days off, Sierra, would you like that?”
She nodded delicately.
“Thank you for your time,” he said, “I know you’re hurting, Sierra and while it may not feel like it right now, it’s going to get better,” he added with a genuine smile.
The two investigators headed for the door but just before they reached them, Clancy turned back around. “There is just one more thing,” he said and referred back to his padd. “Do you know a Marine corporal by the name of Yunta Fey?”
“Corporal Yunta,” Clancy repeated. “She’s Bajoran. Do you know of her?”
“I’m not … sure.”
“Apparently she was seeing Gedar up until recently,” said Nora. “She pointed us in your direction.”
At that her eyes widened.
Clancy took a step towards her. “You must have known about the lieutenant’s reputation.”
She nodded after a moment.
“Crewman, is there any possibility that Lieutenant Gedar was involved with anyone else? Perhaps even while he was with you?”
“I … “ she couldn’t say it and looked away instead.
Clancy took a few more steps towards the young woman. “Sierra, this is very important,” he said. “Did you have any suspicions somebody else may have been involved?”
She made eye contact with the counselor but didn’t speak straight away. It took her moment to find her voice again. “Yes.”
“Who?” Nora wanted to know.
She shook her head. “I can’t be certain but we suspected that he was involved with a senior officer.”
“A senior officer?” Nora said, clearly having a hard time believing this.
But she nodded. “I don’t know who but I have my suspicions.”
“Whom did you suspect?”
She looked straight at Clancy, likely because she was off put by the noticeable frown on the security chief’s face. “Doctor Wenera. He spent a lot of time in sickbay and now she’s suddenly left the ship in a hurry. I’m thinking it must have been her.”