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JL | Com Ivanova, LtJG Sha'mer - CO, Yeoman | "In Plain Sight"

Posted on 241709.10 @ 11:11 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Lieutenant JG Ra'lin Sha'mer

Mission: Ballynamony

This couldn't wait, that much was clear. Ra'lin couldn't possibly just close her eyes and go to sleep, knowing that Rochelle was at least as worried about Landon as Anaxar was regarding Si'a. No, more, for Anaxar could at least hold her, touch her, make sure she was still alive. Rochelle didn't even have that luxury.

Ra'lin sighed and sat up, fumbled to keep the blanket wrapped around her. She tucked the ends into the hand in the sling and held on tight, then grabbed the cane with the free one. Forget the damned boots, the socks would have to do.

Damn, those stable doors were heavy, but at least she was standing on the right side to open them now, she wouldn't slip on the ice or stumble on uneven patches of ground in order to push them open. They didn't have to be opened wide, just enough to let her slip out. Again, the cold was like a slap in the face.

She hurried across the courtyard which separated the stables from the house as fast as she could, coldcoldcoldcold, opened the back door and entered the house. Though she hadn't visited her CO's rooms before, it was easy enough to sense her presence and to home in on that. She was still awake. No surprise there.

Ra'lin knocked softly.

It wasn't difficult to slip away, nothing in the room tethered her to it, not a single thing. Tristan was fine, well on his own, and didn't need her hand holding. Still, Rochelle was careful in opening the door until she recognized Ra'lin's face. From there the motions were quicker as she squeezed past and out into the otherwise empty hallway. A clock at the end of the hall ticked away the seconds and minutes, loudly echoing against the plaster and wood. "You look like you've been running. What's wrong?" She asked, her brow creased with concern and worry as she folded her arms around herself, all too aware of the fact she was only in a shift.

"Nothing. Really. Well, not much." Despite the blanket, Ra'lin was shivering from the cold. "I've found them. Well, we knew they're in there, of course," she gestured faintly with her head into the direction of the garrison compound. "I managed to check up on them. All of them," she added, getting the most important point out right away.

"All of them?" Rochelle blinked, her expression softening slightly as she searched Ra'lin's face for more information, something that promised her that they were well. "So they're all still alive?" She asked, making sure to get that bit of information, that fact, straight and narrow as possible. Everything else could likely be fixed and dealt with in due course and time, but they'd need to be alive first and foremost.

"Yes." Ra'lin nodded, remembering once again just a little too late that it wasn't a good idea. She leaned against the door post and pulled the blanket tighter around herself. It was considerably warmer inside than out, but the hallway was drafty. "All of them banged up, but-" she broke off, forced herself to take a slow, deep breath. "Foremost for you, sir, Captain Landon is mostly alright."

Tristan was sleeping, Ra'lin was freezing, and in her shift she was just as likely to catch her death standing in the wide open hallway. Rochelle knew she had a choice to make if she wanted more information about Landon's condition, about the crew's overall health and condition. "We have to be quiet," She said, reaching a hand behind her to turn the knob and backing into the large bedroom, "Commander Neyes is asleep. I gave him the bed... I'm not using it anyway." it went without saying. The man was snoring in the cold, dry air. She didn't waste time on formalities as the door closed behind them, the chairs were lost and may as well have not even been there as she padded across the wide plank oak floors and to the rug just in front of the fireplace before folding her legs and sitting down, gesturing for Ra'lin to do the same, "Can you define mostly alright? Please?"

Ra'lin gratefully sank down on the rug. With the blanket around her, sitting hunched over, she only needed a feather in her hair to look like a child playing Indians. "I'm not a doctor, so I can't make any long term calls," she began. "But… He's very recognisable, you know, joined Trill, two minds. The symbiont doesn't feel any different, the bond between them appears to be essentially fine. It's clear something must've happened to him, but his mind- I mean, their minds are not really dimming. They, no, he-" this was getting confusing, "I think he'll be fine with some care."

The sigh Rochelle heaved was one of relief, and it came along side a nod of complete understanding. Landon was alive, the symbiont, Neyes, was fine - everything else in that regard was secondary. "With Trill they're alright so long as the symbiont isn't injured or sick... Though you probably knew that and I'm just babbling because good news" The little redhead gushed and bent to place her elbows on her knees and chin in his hands. Elation was a good word. Elation rose on the fact that Landon, aside from being in a crap situation with some bumps and bruises, would come out of this just fine so long as they could free the crew soon. "And the rest?" she asked, her brows raising and wrinkling in earnest concern.

"One critical." Just as she had gotten the good news out right away, Ra'lin wasn't sugarcoating the bad. "Si'a. I don't know what happened, but her, her signal," oh, it was so hard to put into words what she sensed or felt… Focus, Ra'lin! "It's very weak. It's… I'm not sure if she'll make it or not. Anaxar's with her. He's hurt pretty bad but not in immediate danger." Should she tell about the other thing she felt about them? No, not yet. First things first. "Claire, about the same as Landon. Hurting but should be fine. The attendant…" Ra'lin frowned. "I'm not sure. Maybe she's sick or something. There's some dimming, but I don't think it was caused by the crash."

"Jesus..." She swore under her breath, shaking her head and closing her eyes as she continued to listen to what Ra'lin had to say, "Do you think any of this is caused by treatment? I know you said you don't think the attendant's issues were caused by the crash..." Rochelle's heart began to ache, the stress and the worry gripping in its iron grasp once again. It was a steady, heavy, throb that threatened to consume her as her mind raced with possibilities and tried to rouse plans on rescue. Though exhausted, both mentally and physically, the need to do something to bring them home was strong... Compelling her to move even when the best she could do was dip her head to bury her face in her hands and groan in earnest frustration.

Ra'lin shook her head, slowly. "I don't think so. That would feel differently. My guess – very offhand, I'd say – is that she's sick. Maybe she came down with something. I don't know, and from here, I can't tell." She reached out for Rochelle's hands with her free one, hesitated, then placed her hand on the other woman's sleeve. "Right now, there's nothing you can do for them. You, or anyone. I know that, and I know you know. Tomorrow is another day. The best thing you can do, we all can do, is rest…"

"I... I can't sleep. Not knowing that they're in there, not knowing how they're being treated and knowing that they're sick and possibly dying." Rochelle could have gone on to lament how unfair the situation was, but she knew in her heart that life itself wasn't fair. The touch to her sleeve was almost welcomed, a reminder that Ra'lin wasn't about to take her for granted or invade further to take more than what she was offered at face value. It was a small comfort.

Ra'lin gently pulled the other woman closer, ready to release the pressure at the slightest sign of resistance or withdrawal. "There is one other thing… I can't exactly say how or when, but someone bonded Si'a and Anaxar… a kind of marriage ritual." She smiled softly at the memory. "It's actually strengthening them both. I wish I could show you… but then again, you know how it feels." Those last words just slipped out, unplanned, but they rang true.

The redhead slowly removed her face from her hands, peering at Ra'lin through her fingers, "Someone... Married them?" She asked, trying to jog her memory concerning rumors surrounding the pair. Nothing came to mind. They were both fresh aboard, both coming from entirely different walks of life and Anaxar was awkward and skittish at best as he worked through the demons surrounding the loss of his eyes. It seemed so strange, but Ra'lin seemed wistful and happy. "I know how it feels," she agreed with a nod, "Far be it from me to be the one to criticize that relationship, I fell in love with Landon when I was his XO. I just can't even imagine going through it in that situation or what would compel me to..." Rochelle froze, her mouth agape and brows coming together as she winced, "He married her because she's dying, didn't he? He doesn't want her to be alone."

"He wants her to live," Ra'lin said simply. "He doesn't want her to be alone, period." It wasn't a bonding ritual out of pity, that much she knew. There was genuine care between them, general love. Their colours would not have blended over into each other that way if it had been anything less than that.

There was so much at stake with this entire situation. Hearts to be broken, crew to be lost, an entire civilization to keep from finding out that something more existed before it was their time to evolve into something greater. Ask her later and she'd have admitted that she appreciated the slower and more quiet pace of life, even with the war painting an air of suspicion over the town. Everyone was looking for a spy, pointing fingers every which way, and that alone was nerve wracking for Rochelle and the rest of the rescue party as they did what they could to assimilate with society. "We need to save them," She exhaled, forcing herself to try and relax. Being tense wasn't going to solve anything, in fact it would likely cause more problems as it messed with the demeanor she was forced to portray, "We can't let them die, none of them. If Si'a passes then we'll lose Anaxar either physically or emotionally or both. Either way, we're down a fantastic scientist and good man. If we lose Landon..." No. She couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence.

"The whole point of us coming down is to make sure we're not going to lose anyone." Ra'lin spoke with more confidence than she felt. "They're safe for now, and nothing will happen during the night. Tomorrow… We'll just have to see." Not much Ra'lin could do then. "Please… sir," she had been close, too close, to use her first name, to blur the line between professionalism and something else even further. "Try to get some sleep. Rest, at least. You really need it. He's safe, for now, and he'll be fine."

Rochelle wanted to say that things happened, that nothing was ever for certain - but that wouldn't have made a difference one way or another. Ra'lin was there to ground her, to help her, to provide insight into a world she had no business dabbling in. "I'll try. You do the same, tomorrow will be a whole different ball of wax."

"Yeah." Ra'lin felt that if she just closed her eyes now, she could fall asleep here, on the rug. But no, that wouldn't do. She dragged herself up. After this, I want to sleep for a week. A month. Whatever. "G'night," she said in what was almost a whisper, and, ghostlike, slipped out of Rochelle's rooms again.

Stuck in a storm of depression and frustration, Rochelle didn't move from her spot as Ra'lin took her leave. She barely even blinked or did much of anything aside from drawing breaths that steadily began to disintegrate into the shaking, heaviness of silent sobs.

---

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

&

Lieutenant Junior Grade Ra'lin Sha'mer
Captain's Yeoman
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

 

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