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[JDL] Capt Irelle, Cmdr Drei | "If You Like Pina Coladas..."

Posted on Tue Apr 11th, 2023 @ 1:50am by Captain Eirlys Irelle & Commander Saagran Drei

1,733 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: Genesis

How long had it been since she’d seen rain?

It was a startling question that pervaded the young Captain’s otherwise mundane thoughts, prompting her to deep dive down memory lane. Eirlys’ nose crinkled some as she sunk the majority of her effort into coming up with even a single recent memory of the atmospheric event - and came up relatively empty, turning the crinkle into a full blown scowl.

Too long.

Not even during her time on Earth did she really see the rain. She’d always been too preoccupied with one thing or another to pay true attention to the environment around her. For a tactician of any rate, it was a failure. Such things were important. Missing little clues and nuances such as rain drops or particular details about one’s adversaries could make or break an entire mission. It was the express lane on the highway to disaster.

Her weight shifted in her seat and the PADD she’d been reading through found itself more or less forgotten in lieu of another bite of lunch and retrospective thought. A new focus on… Focus. To be a good Captain - at the very least - would require that she do exactly that; focus on focusing. Focus on the details while still not forgetting to see the bigger picture. It would require pumping the brakes just a teensy little bit and actually allowing herself to be immersed in the culture of the ship and its unique environment.

She could do that, she resolved as she went back in to capture yet another mouthful of noodles from her bowl. However, the chopsticks in her hand would find themselves discarded, along with the noodles and her current thought process in favor of her attention shifting to the door of her Ready Room. She was sincerely beginning to detest that chime and the constant flow of foot traffic. Like focus, healthy boundaries were going to need to be achieved - a limit on the ‘Oh hey! Just making sure you’re still good!’ visits, needed to be set and stat. “Enter!”

The visitor was tall. Presentable. His black hair was neatly combed into place, the pips on his collar gleamed in accordance with the regulations, and the uniform was clean. Even the boots had that reflective quality The Book demanded. All in all it painted the requisite picture, which when one got down to brass tacks was probably a good thing. After all, one only gets the chance to make a first impression one time only. In most civilized worlds at least. And we wouldn't want to, as the humans say, 'make a hash' of things right from the start now, would we?

"Good morning, Captain," the newcome said, stepping over the threshold and into the room. Adding to the picture was a level, albeit slightly animated, voice. Eagerness? Or just naturally energetic? "Commander Drei, reporting aboard as ordered." If he'd seen or taken note of her meal, there wasn't a trace of it in his voice.

"Commander Drei," Eirlys greeted with a polite smile, her bowl of udon slid off to one side and immediately forgotten as she got to her feet and offered the man her hand for a shake, "Welcome aboard. I apologize for not meeting you before you came aboard, I'd asked to be made aware of your arrival." The awkwardness was real, at least for those first few seconds as she sought firmer social footing in the wake of being caught completely off guard by the second half of the command team, "Anyway, please... Have a seat. Make yourself comfortable."

The smile on his face appeared genuine, as did the amusement in his voice, as he took a seat in one of the proffered chairs. "Rest assured I will institute suitable punishment for the duty watch. A pity keelhauling went out of fashion a millennium ago, but I'm sure some alternative can be found." He brought his fingers together, thumbs apart, as he made a face in her direction. "A turn assisting in maintenance on the laundry machines, maybe? Something that reinforces the point."

"Given the choice, I'd probably choose the keelhauling." The smart-assed quip slid entirely way too easily off the Captain's tongue as she re-took her seat. A small twinge of regret instantly flooded in, reminding her to at least try and be professional - but the Devil sat astride her other shoulder reminder her that the man sat across from her at certainly started it with his non-chalant and rather perky, carefree demeanor. He, in many ways, was a relief. Not a blowhard, not a stick in the mud... A relief. She could relax, maybe just a bit, and allow herself to communicate without the stuffiness she'd so often seen between command team members in the past. If humor couldn't be enjoyed, how the hell were they supposed to really gel? Could a team really be successful without at least a little pinch of impropriety? It was certainly food for thought. "I look forward to seeing you make your point. Vindicator isn't known for anything less than functioning on an elite level..."

Eirlys paused, canting her head slightly to one side as she gave thought to her next words, "I wouldn't say they've gone soft, but the last few years have seen the ship in limbo thanks to Ravnsson's bullshit. They may need a gentle reminder that it's back to business as usual." She nodded at her own thoughts, knowing that the message of 'square yourself away, shipmate' needed to be broadcast and that it would be listened to carefully. The crew was a good crew. Times had been difficult and now they faced yet another change as Dahe'el's attention was needed elsewhere and now... Drei. Finally, she allowed herself to actually see the man. The intelligent spark in his... eyes.

It was hard to look away from his eyes. They were marbled in color, a unique blend of rich green and unfathomable blue - nearly galactic in the way they positively seemed to glow. "Anyway..." She shook her head slightly as she tore herself back to business, "I trust that you'll do just fine in getting them back on track."

Her visitor gave a nod as he leaned back slightly in the chair. "I think anyone's world would have been rocked by that man. Such a foul odor he brought on Starfleet. And the Federation. But I will assist the crew however I can." His head cocked gave a momentary twinge to one side. "After all, we can't have Starfleet thinking standards are slipping on the flagship of the fleet. The scandal!"

"Especially with Captain Aegnor positively itching to put Enterprise back in the top seat," Eirlys mused out loud, "Between you and I," She grinned, leaning forward over her desk conspiratorially, "I have no intention of letting him do any such thing. Call it pride or avarice or whatever. And you," She dared to manage to poke him in the wrist, "Are going to help me make sure we stay on top." Leaning back into the comforting confines of her chair, the little Skipper couldn't help but look maybe more than a touch smug at the thought, "Besides," A hand rolled rather flippantly on its wrist, "A little healthy competition never hurt anything. It keeps us on our toes and productive." She paused, once again considering him, "Unless you care to disagree?"

Oh, my dear captain. Healthy competition? You have no idea what a deep pool you're stepping into. "I wouldn't dare," he said, recoiling an inch. "My first day on the job and disagreeing with the captain? I think the manual says that's usually reserved for the sixth day. To be submitted in triplicate. After all, Starfleet does love its policies and procedures."

A single russet brow rose as her initial response to his humor, and then the smile refused to stay hidden and the chuckle quickly followed by the shake of her head. Drei was anything but what she'd expected when she'd read the word 'Betazoid' on his record. He was light where so many were stiff. Airy and charismatic where so many were by the book and aloof. "It was a test. You passed." Eirlys quipped in return, "All joking aside, I want you to know that you can always speak your mind with me. If I screw up, I want to know about it. And believe me... It'll be equal treatment across the board."

"Tempting as it is, I will refrain from abusing the privilege. But you can count on me to speak up when necessary." He stopped for a moment, apparently considering something, before an eyebrow flicked. The look on his face was downright humorous. "Do you have any recommendations on which department I should bless with my presence, first?"

"That's all I ask." Pleased with the agreement they'd reached, Eirlys had no reason to pry for more or prod any further. Dude time and due course would satisfy any curiosities that may arise during their stint together aboard the Vindicator. "Now as far as which department to turn you loose on first..." She blew a sigh, drumming her fingers on her desk as she gave that question a bit of thought, "Security, Tactical, or Medical. Pick your poison."

"I have an aversion to those who routinely stand adjacent to antimatter warheads, so tactical will be last on my list. Perhaps Medical. But I'm sure you'll see it in whatever I document later on. With your permission, captain?" he said, making as if to stand.

"By all means." The redhead nodded, gesturing towards the door, "I look forward to working with you." It was met with a nod and a returned bit of pleasantry.

With Drei no longer present, the Ready Room once again resumed its silence. It was almost deafening in the way it allowed the rush of blood in her ears to take over - drowning out the resilient hum of the Vindicator's systems at least for several heartbeats until she blew a slow, steady sigh and shook her head. Lunch no longer seemed like an interesting prerogative either.

And that was just how the cookie crumbled.


Captain Eirlys A. Irelle
Commanding Officer

Commander Saagran Drei
Executive Officer, Acting


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