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JDL | Com Ivanova, Cmdr Dahe'el, Com Jorgun, Lt Ch'Valenvok | "Chopin's Piano Sonata no.2"

Posted on 241712.19 @ 11:49 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Commodore Jorgun & Commander Almar Dahe'el & Lieutenant Kaleb Ch'Valenvok M.D.

Mission: Ballynamony

Calling Kaleb back to her office so soon seemed... Wrong. Hollow even. But it was one of those things that needed to be done before she called Jorgun in and the rodeo truly began. Somewhere on her ship, likely tucked away in Ra'lin's quarters like a pet hidden by a child, rested a man from fifteen centuries in the past. A man that, by all rights, was long dead in the here and now, with no ancestors, no ties, no... Nothing. Craig MacLeod simply didn't exist and wouldn't be found in any history books simply because everything the man had ever known, the entire system he'd been raised in, had blown to smithereens in a cataclysmic explosion that had helped create the grand expanse of a Nebula they were slowly, but certainly, clawing their way out of.

"I'm sorry to intrude on your quiet time," She began only when she was certain that the Andorian was relatively comfortable in his seat. She herself sipped quietly on a cup of tea sat before her. The steam rising from the golden liquid curled and coiled towards the ceiling as if the firebrand were weaving magic in a cauldron. In many ways she was... She was trying to perform the impossible yet again. This time without Pond's hairbrained ideas to kind of sort of make sense. Rochelle had always been the more pragmatic one. Somewhere off to the side, the subtle motion of a large Cardassian caught her eye. His pensive body language told her he was expecting trouble - perhaps feeding off her energy as she wound up for the pitch, "I just have a feeling that you know a bit about Craig MacLeod... More, perhaps, than I do... Sooner than I do." She hummed with a quick flourish of a hand, "Like the fact that Sha'mer smuggled him aboard the shuttle." There was no accusation. No anger. If anything there was resignation because she was well aware of her own part in that degree of shenanigans - and someday she'd own up to it to Almar, but now was not that time. "I suppose you also know that I have to turn him over to Jorgun and Admiral Red... Which..." The redhead sighed, "I suppose none of you want given how hard he worked to assist the captured crew's survival and escape." Whether she liked him, or not, Craig had more than earned his keep and wings within the crew. Convincing Starfleet of that, however, was going to prove to be a bit interesting... And that was if his presence didn't end her career right then and there.

A burden at once lifted and shackled Kaleb as the Commodore spoke. He had tried very hard to conceal what he had known the moment he had arrived at the shuttle and could sense the man. One look at Ra'lin once he had told Kaleb all he needed to know. He was complicit in her scheme to the extent that he had discovered her plan long before the other members of the away team had boarded and chose to allow it to happen. Over the course of the week on the planet, Kaleb had befriended the doctor from antiquity. He had then saved his life with the help of the Commodore and after all the man had done to help those first away team members, the Andorian had reasoned a pardon from premature death at the hands of a dying sun seemed only fitting. "I knew shortly after I arrived at the shuttle. I could sense him on board. Ra'lin tried to hide her thoughts, but I knew." Kaleb glanced toward the Cardassian who was next to unreadable in Kaleb's assessment. "I know he is with Ra'lin but I've had no time to speak with either of them since we returned."

"She came clean to me shortly after we returned from the anomaly," Rochelle nodded, "I'll admit that I was suspicious, but had nothing concrete until she came to me. She's been reprimanded." The tea rose at her fingertips, allowing its warmth to spread through her through that delicate touch. In the past few days since their return to safety and modern life, cold seemed to be the proper term for what gripped the young Commodore. She'd become ice and sworn herself away to one fortress of solitude or another - be it her ready room or quarters. "Regardless... We will need to be a unified front when it comes to Jorgun if we want to see him pardoned." No mention was made of her own career. Were it to be ended? So be it. The time had come where she'd grown numb and impervious to the threats that could be made against her. Even still, as she drew a sip from the cup, she refused to make eye contact with Almar.

"Does that mean I am to be reprimanded as well? I am as much at fault for his arrival here as she was. I could have turned him out at any time. I chose not to because he deserved better after what he did for all of us." Kaleb's antenna, now freed from their long captivity, strained forward almost confrontational in their demeanor. "If that is the front on which you mean to meet Commodore Jorgun you will find me a bulk work of support. While it is unconventional, the way he was smuggled aboard, and non becoming for two officers to conspire to stowaway a civilian in such a manner, I do not believe the intent was malicious nor truly detrimental to the crew, ship, or Starfleet. If Commodore Jorgun feels differently and we are unable to convince him of the merit of this decision, I will resign my commission." Kaleb finished, somewhat flushed.

There was silence as Rochelle listened to the impassioned plea and slowly set her cup back on its saucer. The only thing that could be heard over the therapeutic thrum of the ship's engines was the gentle clink of porcelain meeting porcelain. "While we're being honest... I had no desire to reprimand anyone for anything." Again, her eyes avoided Almar, though she could feel his restlessness, "I had to do something, albeit temporary, to show that I have some iota of control over this ship and her crew and that I don't condone this sort of behavior..." She sighed, folding her hands together, "I honestly don't. At the same time, I can't condemn a man to die after he went out of his way to save integral members of the Vindicator family, because that's what we are. It just means that we need to have an air tight case before Jorgun comes sweeping into this room and, at worst, pray that Admiral Red is willing to knock him down a peg if he decides to wander down the lane of the worst case scenario." She opened her hands as if to say 'see? simple as pie', but it wasn't that simple, it would never be that simple. Everyone knew that.

The Andorian relaxed a little. "We need to make sure we have an iron clad case that he can't shoot holes in then. Conduct unbecoming is the only real infraction. I have given the whole situation a lot of thought before and after Ra'lin smuggled him on board. You are a flag officer probably better versed in regulations than I am, Ma'am. What would your concerns be? Let's play at law and order." Kaleb had seen holovids of the twentieth century entertainment program while in the Academy and always enjoyed the showings. His roommate had been a law student and took pride in shooting down the cases as unrealistic and then explaining how things would really have happened.

Clearing her throat, Rochelle shook her head and shrugged, "The Prime Directive ranks high on the list of things we, and by we we know it becomes me and I, screwed with. Ultimately there's a high likelihood that I'll lose my command of this vessel and quite possibly my commission." If looks could kill, Almar's would have bore holes right through her at that point, and at long last she allowed the bright blue of her eyes to flick briefly in his direction. It was more in acknowledgement, more to say she knew he was there and was almost certain she knew what he was thinking - but she also knew he'd take it as an invitation to join the party. His demeanor, when it came to Jorgun, was no great mystery. The two got along about as well as oil and water.

"The Prime Directive is intended to apply to full civilizations and may not be strictly applicable to the sole survivor of a lost civilization. Nothing we did has any effect on this or any other timeline that can be quantified or qualified. Everything we did on that planet has been obliterated and nothing we could have done short of saving that star could have had any effect on that civilization or it's people. A prosecution built on the violation of the Prime Directive in this case would be extremely weak. I can think of several instances where more blatant violations occurred and no action was taken by Starfleet Command against those officers involved." Kaleb did his best to allay that fear in his Commanding Officer.

"The doctor is right in this," Almar replied from his perch off to the side, a slight smile across his face as he played with his braid as it lay across his lap, it shone in the light after he'd spent a full night in the shower cleaning it out following their mission, he'd learned of the stowaway as soon as the engineering crew had downloaded the shuttle's logs and it's sensor recordings, "There is a precedent in this case, multiple in fact."

A sanguine eyebrow rose and she blinked at both the Cardassian and the Andorian, "You have my attention." Rochelle gestured vaguely between the two of them, "You tell me how you see this particular feat going down. I'm all ears, because the more ammo I have going before Jorgun, the better."

"In the year 2368 the crew of the Enterprise captured and wanted to alter a single Borg which they planned to use as a weapon. Once he was disconnected from the collective mind and the crew got to know him, they found they could not go through with the plan. Had they, the entire Borg race would likely have been wiped out. Genocide at the hands of the Federation would have been crossing a line far greater then that of the Prime Directive. Yet, I believe at the time, had this happened Captain Picard would have been hailed as a hero by Starfleet and promoted to Admiral on the spot." Kaleb gathered his thoughts for his before continuing his argument.

"For my own part in this, As a doctor I am ethically bound to do all I can to keep a patient alive short of interfering with their wishes and legal rights to the contrary. Had we left Doctor MacLeod on the planet I would have been in ethical violation of my duty, since he was still technically my patent."

"The facts of our case are much less cloudy. We may have saved a race from total annihilation. Yes, that race was primitive by our standards. However, no one on that planet was affected by our actions in a way that could have altered their society through the knowledge of advanced technology. The foundational meaning behind the Prime Directive. Our actions did not cause the star to explode and wipe out that planet. The one person we did affect by revealing our true selves and technology in now here with us, and grateful to be so. In short to alter a society with knowledge there must be a society to alter. One being does not a society make." Kaleb finished his oral dissertation on his rudimentary understanding of interstellar law.

"Breaches of the Prime Directive in full have also not been punished to the full extent that they could have been if steps were taken to limit the exposure or the damage caused by the exposure, for example on Mintaka III, the population were exposed in full, to the point where some believed Captain Jean-Luc Picard to be a god, it took him getting shot by an arrow to prove he was a mortal man, they believed him to be a god because they had been exposed to elements of our technology beyond their current growth." the Cardassian replied with a slight nod, "While Captain Picard may have been reprimanded, I'm not sure to what extent but he faced neither serious court martial, demotion or reassignment, the damage was still done to the culture by the definitions of the Prime Directive, we revealed to them, before their time, that it was possible to stride between the stars, that it is possible to achieve near magical powers through superior technology."

"Borg... Mintaka III..." Rochelle repeated with a long, slow sigh accompanied by a shake of her head. Leave it to Almar and Kaleb to randomly remember and bring up a situations as screwed up as those two they'd pulled from thin air. Or had it truly been deep research that they'd done on their own time in preparation for this very moment. An eyebrow quirked, and she looked between them as if in silent question of motives and search for confirmation to her assumption. Both faces were alight with knowledge. Almar may have been relaxed, toying with the shine of his raven braid, and Kaleb more on the edge of his seat - but both were more or less in their element. None of this was coincidence. "And we use this as case law to argue as a defense if Jorgun pushes the point." It was a statement, not a question, and she nodded in understanding. "And what of Craig? We saved him from death, but there's little to no likelihood that he'll be allowed to remain aboard the Vindicator. Chances are they're going to try to fix the bend in time." Her fingers were drumming, slowly at first, but the tempo was gradually increased along with the levels of her stress and frustration, "Unless we can somehow argue his merit as an officer. Starfleet is short staffed now after the war and he has medical knowledge... Primitive knowledge, but knowledge." It sounded stupid leaving her mouth, but it was the best she, and they, would offer at this point.

"I don't think the risk to Craig will come from anyone traditionally in Starfleet, the damage is done and there's no way we can humanely fix things." Almar replied as the smile faded from his face slightly, "The real threat will be from Temporal Operations, if they decide that he should have died with his planet, there's not much stopping them from plucking him up and placing him back down," the Cardassian added before pausing for a moment and throwing his braid over his shoulder, "Arguing his merit as a man would be our best bet, he's particularly enlightened despite being thrust into a world beyond his initial comprehension."

"And we have no real fingers in Temporal Operations." She nodded with another pensive sigh, "Unless James Archer wears another pair of pants we're not privy to, we have no dog in that fight beyond pleading his case as it stands." Her fingers, cold with anxiety, rose to cling to and rub at her temples as she spoke. "I don't want to implicate him in any of this... He doesn't need his record fucked up by my mistakes and failings as a CO." Not that he answered to her, anyway, but the point remained stoic and sharp. Waving the statement away, Rochelle sat up as square as she possibly could. "I suppose we're ready then..." A tap to her combadge and few brief words were all it took to call the green giant through the door - and when he came he was faced with the firebrand and her compatriots. Waiting. Hoping. Unwilling to falter though the knew the odds.

"Commodore Jorgun, I believe there is something you should know." She began, gesturing for him to pull up a chair. This was her ship. Her command. She feared no one.

The Orion could feel the tension in the room surrounding him like a miasma as he walked toward her desk. The look on her face was grave and stern, the look of someone about to break bad news. "Is everyone alright, Commodore Ivanova?" Jorgun said with more than a touch of concern. The last time he had seen a look like this on her face was at the start of this mission when they had learned of Fleet Admiral Red's attack. The presence of the ship's Doctor and her Executive Officer made his mind reach for possibilities beyond his immediate grasp.

"For the most part, yes." She replied with a gentle nod. The report concerning Landon would likely hit his desk later, if it already hadn't, and this wasn't the time to rehash that wound. Not now. Not when so much more was on the line. "I became informed of a stow away from the planet a short time after we arrived back aboard the Vindicator and made it back into our rightful time." The explanation started slowly, but surefooted and carefully precise. Her diction was near flawless, in spite of the lilt of her accent, but that was all beside the point, "The man has been identified as Doctor Craig MacLeod. The very same Doctor Craig MacLeod that we reported as having been quintessential in the survival of our captured crew and our safe escape. It would seem that Lieutenant Junior Grade Ralin Sha'mer took it upon herself to smuggle him aboard, hiding him beneath the deck of the shuttle in an engineering compartment." Her voice stilled, but her eyes never left his as she let him absorb that tasty tidbit of information, "She confessed before we even received reports from engineering and flight control concerning the shuttle's sensor records and offered me her commission. I busted her down to Ensign instead." And now... The fireworks. In mere minutes they would dock, Admiral Red would be informed, and the rodeo would truly begin.

Jorgun took this little bit of startling but not Earth shattering news and mulled it over for a few seconds slowly nodding his head. Finally he looked up and directly at her. "Commodore before I weigh in on what I have been told, I have two questions for you. What charge was levied against Lieutenant Sha'mer which precipitated this demotion?" Jorgun asked counting off on his meaty fingers. "What are your concerns with your stowaway?" Jorgun folded his hands into his lap. He was there to observe, to see how the Commodore and her crew interacted and after the week he had just had, he had seen noting short of miracle after miracle. It almost excited him to see how this incident would pan out.

"Conduct unbecoming of an officer, violation of the Prime Directive, failure to obey a lawful order... Shall I continue?" The question hung for a second, "Anyway... She was subject to Admiral's Mast where I opted to take rank rather than the offered commission or confine her to her quarters, suspend her from duty, so on and so forth. I felt the punishment severe enough to handle the situation and potentially avoid submitting her to general court martial, to answer your first question a bit more thoroughly. I could quote you the articles of the UCMJ if you'd prefer, Commodore, but for sake of time we'll say eighty and ninety-two should suffice. I'm not out to end her career." There was a brief pause as Rochelle reached to soothe her raspy throat with a sip of hot honey sweetened tea, "You ask my concerns with the stowaway..." She shook her head, "I don't have many, if any. He's a good man, capable and intelligent... Adaptable. His word is his honor and his honor seems to be all he has, really." The redhead shrugged as if incapable of finding flaw in the man's character, "I haven't seen him since this came to light, he's being housed in Ensign Sha'mer's quarters for the time being, but I'm told that he's acclimating well to life among the stars. If we're being frank here, Commodore, I'd go so far as to say that he may not be native to that world at all. Regardless, we owe him a debt of gratitude. Unwittingly sparing his life is the least we could have done given the loss we would have taken should he not have been there or willing to risk himself for the crew."

Again, the big Orion looked down as he mulled over her statement for a few moments. Then, he looked up and said, "Conduct unbecoming because she developed the plan to save this MacLeod without including you or any other officer? The violation of the Prime Directive which the entire away team was complicit in according to the reports I have read? The violation that is of absolutely no consequence due to some rather unfortunate and natural disaster which took place fifteen hundred years ago before there was a Prime Directive? As far as the lawful order she disobeyed, what was it exactly? Did you forbid her to save this man? The same man who's praises you have sung and declared just now that he deserved to be saved? I'm confused, Commodore. Jorgun maintained eye contact with his peer. His eyebrow raised as he tried to make sense of what he was hearing. He could see her need to act, and understand why she would think busting an officer might make her look proactive but Jorgun knew that rank in Starfleet was hard won and the last thing he wanted to see was a good officer busted to please the brass. He wasn't sure how the Commodore would take his questioning but he would have to account for every action taken from here on out.

"She was well aware that he would need to stay behind. There was a discussion about as much where it was made clear that, although unfortunate, bringing him back would be a violation not only of the Prime Directive but of the Temporal Directive as well. Both of which are standing orders and we all know that, Commodore." She was quite easily digging her own grave, but defending her actions was something that she'd need to be well versed in. Their particular song and dance would likely end in horns being locked and the pissing match carrying over to stand in front of Fleet Admiral Red's desk... Perhaps even Admiral Archer's. "Whether we appreciate him or admire his... Merits... We are officers of Starfleet and bound to code and regulation. I accept full responsibility for this infraction. The crew is my direct responsibility and their actions reflect my ability as an Commanding Officer. Shirking off the responsibilities of the rules that govern our presence in space simply because of a natural disaster isn't an option. The rules stand for a reason. That said, if you decide that this isn't as earth shattering as all that, then fine. We'll leave it as it stands and I'll see to it that Sha'mer is in receipt of her rightful rank after a thirty day probation period."

"This is your ship, Commodore. Your crew. If you feel she should be busted down, ultimately it is your call. I believe you and your crew have acted in the best interest of Starfleet. The reports I have read by all officers involved show the character of this crew and her commander. I will not pursue further action against any of you for any violation of the Prime Directive or the Temporal Prime Directive. That being said, my judgment here is not the final one you will face. I must report all of this to my superior and I have no doubt she will report them to hers." Jorgun drew a long breath, paused for a moment and then continued.

"I believe your bigger concern here will be how to handle your stow away. Standard protocol would be to confine him in the brig until such time as Starfleet sees fit to make a ruling on what to do with him on a more permanent basis. That would be my recommended course of action to cover your bases there. But, again it is your ship. I would also have your doctor here," Jorgun pointed to the Andorian seated next to him, "run every test he has to determine the origin of your stow away. If he is not native to the planet we just left, perhaps he may be more or less of an issue depending on the results of those tests. From what I have read about the man in everyone's reports, I would say he has the makings of a great Starfleet officer. Perhaps in medical with the proper training? All of this is just conjecture at the moment. His fate, your fate, and mine will rest in the hands of Admiral Red and perhaps Admiral Archer. I don't want to give anyone here the impression that what has occurred here is not serious. There will be inquiries and could perhaps be investigations conducted. What I will say is that if the high and mighty see things as I do, you will all likely be heroes, not scapegoats for directives that only marginally apply to this situation. My only regret coming out of this mission is the one we have lost," Jorgun raised his eyes to meet the Commanding Officer's again, "and events to come." The Orion knew she would not want to discuss Captain Neyes in front of the present company and left it at that.

Kaleb shifted in his seat to face the Commodore and then turned to look at his Commanding Officer, clearing his throat to get her attention. "I have a plan to address those concerns about Doctor MacLeod. If you will permit me Ma'am?"

There was silence as she took in everything the Orion had to say. Silence that wasn't punctuated by confusion or stultification, but rather a poignant swing to the opposite. Rochelle felt the barb dig itself in, the unspoken knowledge that there would rise time where she'd need to speak about Landon and her course of action associated with him. The untethering of the binds that held him to the Vindicator... To her. Not here, not now... At least the other Commodore seemed to understand the delicate and sensitive nature - though she was certain that one party was more than privy and the other wasn't ignorant to the shift in tide that had transpired. Almar may not have been informed directly, but he could read her like a well worn book whether she liked it or not. Regardless, that discussion was not one for them... Not in an official capacity.

The sudden sound of Kaleb's cough and the rise of his smooth voice brought her eyes, and attention, to swing their focus on him rather that the 'quarry' of the opposing force that hadn't been all that opposing at all. "Please," She nodded, lifting an open hand, "By all means."

Kaleb cleared his throat and turned to bridge the space between the two Commodores. "I have been quartered in an enlisted cabin since I arrived. Only because it is closer to sickbay and at the time I didn't need anything more." He quickly added. "The quarters allocated for the Chief Medical Officer are much to spacious for one man. They are, however, still empty as I understand it. Rather than restricting Doctor MacLeod to the brig, I suggest placing him on a house arrest system where by he shares the Chief Medical Officer's quarters with me and is remanded to my custody for training as an intern until such time as Starfleet chooses its next course of action for him. During my time planet side, I had ample opportunity to evaluate him as a medical professional. He is more than qualified but would need instruction in new techniques, pharmaceuticals, and instrumentation. The Fleet and the Vindicator are both short of qualified medical personnel, and to waste the talent this man possesses by confining him to a brig, would be noting short of criminal neglect on the part of Starfleet. His security clearance would be minimal, of course, but he would still be contributing in a way I think he would find productive and Starfleet would find beneficial." Kaleb paused to see how the two Commodores would take his suggestion.

Chewing on his bottom lip as he listened, Jorgun could see merit in the suggestion. His only worry was for the safety and security of the men and women he was ultimately responsible for. They new next to noting about the man that had stowed away aboard the shuttle. To give him a position in medical where he could potentially harm many members of the crew seemed a bit premature. But, the doctor seemed to genuinely care what happened to the man and Jorgun knew Andorian's were not quick to trust. "I think your plan has merit, Doctor Ch'Valenvok. If your Command Team agrees, I won't balk at it. I would caution you that your career may suffer should anything unseemly happen while he is your charge. Are you sure you are willing to take that risk?"

The Andorian looked to his Commanding Officer and nodded, "I am."

Looking between Kaleb and Jorgun and then over to Almar, Rochelle felt herself shrugging. The idea of throwing MacLeod in the brig hadn't exactly brought her warm fuzzies, and the compromise of leaving him under Kaleb's tutelage seemed to be the most comfortable of alternatives, "If Lieutenant Ch'Valenvok is willing to undertake this task, then I'm willing to allow it... So long as Commander Dahe'el doesn't have any objections?" An eyebrow rose as she allowed her eyes to linger on the Cardassian.

"No objections from me," Almar replied with a slight nod of the head and a smile that made it's way across his face again, "Craig proved himself to have the nature we most associate with medical professionals, his only thoughts were a duty of care to our crew once they had been captured, he did right by them and I think he deserves a chance."

The redhead nodded in agreement with his words and finally brought her attention back to Jorgun, "With your blessing, I'd like to consider the matter of where Mr. MacLeod will spend time until Starfleet Command has time to sort out what they want to do with him, sorted, Commodore."

Nodding, the green skinned Orion said, "Well then, we have our decision on MacLeod. If you feel that Lieutenant Sha'mer's punishment should stand that is, as I said, up to you. I would prefer to see her demotion expunged from her record but it is your call." Jorgun raised his eye brows, "We should prepare our reports and I will be ready to present this to Admiral Red once we return to Cold Station Theta. I will make no promise here, it will be up to the Admiral, and most probably, Starfleet Command what happens with MacLeod and the rest of us once we share our experience with them. I do not expect any further action will be taken on this matter but if there is, it wouldn't be the first time Starfleet has surprised me. Is there anything else, Commodore?" Jorgun pulled his uniform shirt down strait in preparation for standing

"No, I don't suppose there is." Rochelle replied with the briefest of polite smiles. The next twenty four to forty eight hours were going to prove to be quite telling. In the meantime... They'd be preparing for the worst while hoping for the best and taking the time to unwind and and thanking the Gods - and all things holy - for sparing them from becoming just another statistic.

---

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

Commodore Jorgun
Commander, Cheydinhall Operational Area
TAD USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Lieutenant Kaleb Ch'Valenvok M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

 

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