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JL | Com Ivanova, Lt Karlin | "The magical powers of Tea"

Posted on 241709.10 @ 13:40 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Lieutenant Michael Hawk

Mission: Ballynamony

The parlor was unnecessarily quiet. Aside from the ticking of a mantle clock, and the occasional clink from a teacup meeting its saucer, it was unbearably silent. Each woman seemed wary of the other. Whether it was out of a difference of status or the fact that Rochelle was all too aware that the brunette was the one responsible for Landon's incarceration, or not, the redhead couldn't quite decide. Either way it was an awkward silence filled with pretty smiles and small talk surrounding tea and fine china, even the weather had come up at least twice, before Rochelle tried her hand. "Word on the street is that you're a very busy woman, Lieutenant," She said, offering the brunette a fresh scone, "Very busy indeed. I don't know how you do it."

Victoriana, for her part, had no idea what she was doing here. Sure, officially she had to welcome these officials. Handhold them until the Major could see them. Drink tea and be polite. Meanwhile though, far more interesting things were waiting in her brig. Things. People. Stuff to learn. She had the feeling she was finally getting somewhere with them, and now she was here, drinking tea with an awkward woman who seemed intent on making conversation. It could very well be the enemy in sheep's clothing, and yet she had no choice but to drink her tea. "We're at war, ma'am," she replied carefully when addressed. "We're all very busy. We all have no idea how we keep at it. And yet we do. It's war."

"Fascinating, really." Rochelle admonished her, agreeing honestly and wholeheartedly. The brunette was in a tough position to be in, one she knew entirely way too well. She had to keep things going, people safe, answer questions that should never have been asked and yet were. While she wanted to hate the woman for her role in holding the lost crew, she simply couldn't out of respect of the fact that she'd have done the same if the tables were turned. It was an odd feeling, that knowledge and acknowledgment of the similarities even though the technological differences were astounding. "People are whispering about demons or aliens, depending on who you speak with. Little green men." She chuckled lightly, waving the idea away with a napkin and furrowing her brow, "It's absurd how the imagination works, isn't it?"

Inwardly, Vic sighed. The whole situation be damned. She felt like she was poked and prodded by a curious stranger. Curiosity that had to be divulged in, spoken aloud, and most of all satisfied. It wasn't exactly a secret that they had aliens in their brig, but it's not the kind of information she wanted out there. People needed to focus on their true enemy, not on these.. people. In her mind's eye, she saw the girl, wounded and close to death. The tall one, just as wounded but holding on to something she would call love. The magical doctor, holding back her own hurt to take care of her friends. Suddenly, Vic felt wary. She sipped her tea carefully and yet too fast. She felt it scorch her throat, felt it burn down her chest. Blinking slowly, she did let out a sigh. The woman sitting in front of her needed a reply, she needed to keep the polite conversation going. "I'm afraid I can't tell you much about that, ma'am," a lame reply. A conversation killer. It was the best she could do though. Protocol be damned.

"No. Of course not." Rochelle laughed lightly, "The Major and I find it preposterous is all. Here we are in a war and meanwhile such precious energy and time is being spent on gossip about little green men." The idea was comedy of sorts, or at least it would have been if it weren't partly true. None of them were green, two of them were human, but the point remained that three of the five were, in fact, aliens. It was an absurd notion on most days, one Rochelle never had stopped to really consider in the time before the crash. She didn't see the antennae or the blue skin, or judge them for their spots and second life they carried within them. She'd stopped thinking about blue hair and glow in the dark freckles. They were people, living, sentient, wonderfully unique people whom she'd fight with her dying breath to rescue and bring home... Even if that rescue included corsets and scones and tittering laughter over strained conversation and hair that gave her a headache.

Why as this woman so curious about little green men? Something stirred inside Vic, something triggered her instincts, something put her on edge. There was more. But for the stars of it, she couldn't pinpoint what it was right now. It made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She eyed her tea and took another careful sip to give her time to think. Without it being a conscious decision, she shifted her approach. "Well, there are little green men in my brig right now. One is close to death, one isn't too much better and the others are trying to use their magic on them to little avail. They're not even green. They might be alien, but they're as human as you and I. If only we could do more to help them, I'm sure they would be willing to help us, too."

Setting her teacup down, Rochelle considered the information with a frown, "Magic?" She asked, as if earnestly intrigued by the idea, "Aliens are practicing witchcraft and sorcery in you brig, Lieutenant? That sounds an awful lot like heresy." The pretend amount of disgust she could muster was truly astounding given the fact she was honestly elated to hear that they were at least allowed to be together. Si'a and Anaxar being treated, even in a limited capacity, was better than not being treated at all. What this also meant was that the woman sitting in front of her was a creature of compassion. Even in the middle of a war she was bent on thinking about what more could be done to save lives of what easily could have been considered a threat. There was hope yet that the entire crew would be rescued, and when they were it would be the Vindicator's technological advances that would solve the rest of the crisis. But what would come of people like the Lieutenant? "Out of curiosity's sake... How do you think they'd mean to help us?"

Vic wondered for a moment if she'd made a mistake, spilling as much she had to this stranger. No, she hadn't. Not yet, at least. She had this woman's attention on a level that was.. unexpected. As the woman set down her teacup, she watched closely. The movements were fluid yet strained. The whole posture of this woman was correct, yet off. Vic finally realised that this conversation wasn't awkward by what she was deciding to tell, but by this woman. The Security Lieutenant inside her stirred, raised alerts, raised awareness. Slowly, she set down her own cup and narrowed her eyes slightly. If she was working for the enemy.. "I'm not sure. How do you think they could help us?"

There was a flourish of hands as if the question was absurd and a genuine shrug, there wasn't much that could be done for the planet or those doomed when the star finally sang its swan song, "I don't think they can." Rochelle answered honestly. They couldn't. There wasn't a single thing they could do that wouldn't violate the Prime Directive more than it had already been violated. "It's God's will that we win this war, not a group of heathens from wherever it is they came from." Her hands fell in her lap, smoothing over the heavy silk of her gown. "We are winning this war, Lieutenant, because of the hard work of God fearing men like my husband."

"We are winning this war," Vic agreed. Rochelle did little to set her mind at ease. She hated being at a disadvantage. She hated knowing it and not being able to do anything about it without showing her entire hand. That was something she wasn't willing to do just yet. This was an absurd conversation with a woman she hardly knew. Why was it again that she had been asked to observe the pleasantries? She didn't like people who drove on fear. Who could be proud that fear was getting them somewhere. God wasn't afraid of anything. Hell, she hadn't seen the enemy afraid of much. Those aliens in her brig came as close to being human as she had seen in a long time. She had to snort at her own thought. How could she think of these aliens as human? They were really growing on her. But she couldn't let that happen. She had to distance herself from them. Had to get information out of them. Had to use them to win this war. Momentarily forgetting the conversation, she simply stared ahead.

Sensing the death of the conversation at hand, or maybe that it was beginning to spiral out of control, Rochelle nodded and smiled her most winning smile before finding her feet, "I'm going to find what's keeping the Major. Help yourself to whatever you like in the meantime, Lieutenant." Leaving that room would be a relief, one that she so desperately needed. Tristan was better at mind games than she was, by far, and she knew that she was coming perilously close to doing or saying something that would give them away. They couldn't be given away.

Rochelle had almost made it to the door when Vic got to her feet as well. A fluid motion, quick and elegant at the same time. Grown from years of experience. Taking a leap of faith - in what? God? This woman? Those aliens? The enemy? All lines had blurred momentarily in her mind - she held out a hand towards the other woman. "Wait. Who are you?"

The redhead stopped short and nearly teetered over on her heels in the process. The save was graceful enough, turned into a concise turn to face the brunette while the layers of her gown sighed around her, "Rochelle Gates," She replied with another small smile, "I'm sorry if you hadn't been given that information." Her head tilted as she studied Vic in better detail, appreciating the sharpness of the woman's mind, "Is there something more I can do for you, Lieutenant?"

"I think the question is rather: is there something at all you want to do for us?" Vic spoke, then shook her head. It were very strange days indeed. She was usually very sure about herself. Not so much now. This limb probably hadn't been one she should've gotten out on. She was talking to the wife of a high dignitary. What the hell was she thinking? Instead of waiting for a reply, she shook her head. "I'm sorry, ma'am. I don't know what has gotten into me. Please forgive me, but please don't hesitate to report my questions to my superior."

The question set Rochelle's spine straight and her chin square as she considered it with both offense to the nature behind it. No one appreciated being called out, especially when it was so precious to them that their rouse succeed. "I beg your pardon, Lieutenant, but I believe long hours and stress are getting to you. It's an odd situation, the one you're in, and I don't envy you for it." Her tone was a bit more terse than it had been initially, "You're forgiven for your forwardness if nothing else," she nodded, "It was a pleasure meeting you. I'll be on my way to find where Major Gates has gotten off to." Of course she'd find him, get him to deal with it, while she found Ra'lin and fresh air.

---

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

&

Lieutenant Victoriana Karlin
Warden

 

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