Not Just a Cigar
Not Just a Cigar
Summary: Shem interviews an Ensign who reveals more information about Lowes' death.
Date: 113
Related Logs: Loyalties and related

Aviva Stone NPC'd by Charon

Ward Room (#1257RXF) Genesis - Deck 11
113 ACH 23777 Souls

The Ward room is used for meetings. Carpeting covers the floor in a muted gray/blue color. Colonial flags line along one wall, representing all the colonies. A sideboard for refreshments is along one wall and a large conference table sits in the center with a dozen, comfortable chairs around it.

Shem is sitting in one of the chairs, twirling a pen between his forefinger and thumb. He's looking down at an open folder.

The hatch opens with a soft hiss and Ensign Aviva Stone steps into the ward room. She's a tall, elegant young woman with dark hair and thin, black-rimmed glasses. A salute is raised as she straightens her back. "Sir."

Shem puts the pen down obliquely over the open page. He stands and returns the salute. "Ensign, thanks for meeting with me." He gestures to the seat opposite his and settles back down.

Stone accepts the seat, folding her hands on her knees. Her fingers lace tightly, a little nervous. "Of course, sir. I…I'm not in trouble, am I, sir?"

"No," Shem dissuades. He picks up the pen and runs a forefinger along the eyebrow, looking down at the page. "I called you back in because you said something interesting in the last interview that I need to follow up on." He returns his eyes to Stone. "You said that Ensign Lowes went to a thank-you party on the Destiny?"

Stone raises her eyebrows, glancing away as she thinks. "Yes, sir. They'd invited the people that went over to help fix the Destiny when she got back from getting lost. Lowes went, few other people I knew went. I'd helped with some parts inventory so they invited me…I didn't stay long though. But I saw Lowes there."

Shem makes a rolling gesture with the hand holding the pen. "Do you remember the exact date?"

Stone pauses to think. "It must have been around…89 or 90, I think. They did repairs on 88, so it was right after that, sir."

Shem nods, neutrally. He glances back down at his notes. "Okay, and now, thinking back to that party, did anything, aside from the fact that Lowes went in the first place, strike you as unusual?"

Stone looks down, her brows drawing. "Well. Like I said, I didn't stay very long, sir. This is going to sound a little silly, but there was this…man there that I didn't like. Not someone I knew, he'd just showed up. I don't know what it was about him, he was just odd. He spoke to Lowes quite a bit."

"What, in particular, rubbed you the wrong way about him?" Shem asks, openly curious. His eyebrows knit together.

"It's hard to say, sir." Stone sounds apologetic as she speaks. She hesitates. "I know it'll sound so weird. But it was like he was…acting. That's the best way I can put it. Like he was being friendly to everyone but when he looked at me his eyes were…I had this feeling that if I went too near him, he would hurt me. I felt like I was being ridiculous."

Shem replies, "Okay, that's alright." He taps the pen against the desk a couple of times, then puts it to paper. "Could you tell me the names of all the repair crew who were invited?"

Stone shakes her head. "I'm sorry, sir. I only knew Lowes." She refolds her hands, frowning. "He stayed out so late that night. Came back reeking of smoke, it was disgusting. We were taking bets in berthings that he'd gone home with some girl."

Shem nods a few times. "Could you describe him?"

Stone raises her eyebrows. "Lowes?"

"The unusual man," Shem replies.

"Oh." Stone blushes and clears her throat. "Um. He was older, maybe sixty? He had dark hair but it was starting to go gray in the back. Dark eyes, I think. Bushy eyebrows. He had a very pleasant voice."

Shem flips a page, revealing a black and white Polaroid. He shows it to Stone, but keeps control of it. It's a picture of what looks like a ceramic bust of Cavil. "Did the man look like this?"

Stone blinks slowly. "Yes, sir. Yes…" She reaches forward and taps the white paper under the photo. "That's him."

Shem nods and withdraws the photograph. The lieutenant maintains his very practiced poker face. It's covered up by a backward page flip, returning the folder to its original state. "So you were awake when Lowes came back from the party?"

"Yes, sir." Stone looks a little agitated, fidgeting as he puts the picture away. She watches the polaroid rather than Shem until it's gone.

Shem glances back down at the page. "And you said that he came back with a box?"

Stone rolls her eyes upwards, thinking back. "He said they gave him some gifts at the party. Fancy little cigars and some stuff like that."

Shem leans forward a touch, perhaps betraying the importance of his questions. "Did you know what he did with the box?"

Stone's cheeks flush a little. "Um, no sir. I never actually saw it. He just gave me one of the cigars the next day, said I missed the fun part."

"Do you, uhh, still have that cigar?" Shem inquires.

Stone shakes her head, wrinkling her nose. "He wanted me to light up with him, so I did. Ugh. I hate those things."

Shem nods once. "Okay." He taps his pen against the desk. "Let's talk about Commander Regas attending."

Stone nods once. "I didn't see him myself, sir. Lowes just said Regas had showed up."

Shem asks, "Did he say anything else about that?"

Stone lifts her chin, glancing at the ceiling. "Um…not really. He just said how great it was. He'd never seen the Commander in person before."

"Alright," Shem says, as if agreeing to something. "So nothing about if that strange man spoke to the commander or gave the commander anything?"

Stone shakes her head. "He didn't mention anything like that. He did say Regas got there right when they were handing out the presents…but that's all he said."

"Are you sure that Lowes used the phrase 'they'?" Shem inquires, carefully.

Stone opens her mouth and then suddenly hesitates. "No. Wait." She wrinkles her brow, rubbing her forehead. "There was something else. He said Regas gave out a couple of his own cigars, sir, because the Commander didn't smoke but he didn't want to go throw them away. Yes, I remember that…because Lowes was making jokes about having the commander's holy cigars."

Shem rubs his chin and leans back. The chair creaks underneath. "Do you know if Lowes ever smoked that cigar?"

"I don't know, sir." Stone tucks a tendril of hair behind her ear. "That was the last I heard of it."

"Alright," Shem answers. He closes up the folder, tapping an edge against the table to blunt the pages. "And this thank-you party. It was hosted by the Destiny crew?"

Stone nods. "Yes, sir. It was pretty informal."

Shem sets the squared away folder back down on the desk. "Okay." The tone of his voice changes, away from the casual and more toward the serious. "Now, I gotta tell you two things. One, the photograph that you were shown, you must not admit the existance of to anybody who isn't an O-5 or above. It's a sensitive piece of information that I can't explain to you."

Stone frowns, but nods. "Yes, sir." She glances at the folder again, picking at a fold of her blue trousers.

Shem nods. "Thanks," he replies, earnestly. "Okay, and the second, you might've been poisoned by the cigar that you shared with Lowes. I'd like you to walk with me to sickbay so you can get looked at by a doc."

Stone's face pales. "Poisoned, sir? I feel fine." She looks quite nervous now, folding her hands again. "Oh course, sir. I'll do whatever you say."

"Okay. I don't know how likely it is, but we're gonna be safe." Shem stands purposefully. He picks up the folder and gestures to the hatch with it. "After you."

"Yes, sir." Stone stands up, saluting him before she turns to go.

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