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JL | Com Ivanova, Vlimar Pont'Brillant | "The Ghost of Christmas Future"

Posted on 241801.22 @ 16:31 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Vlimar PontBrillant

Mission: Ballynamony

“Here we go”.

The words of the enthusiastic young Lieutenant Ellie Townsend resounded in hatch of a transport shuttle. She joyfully stepped out, as she had been every time since she began her position as training facilitator for Starfleet Academy, Continuous Training Section. She enjoyed her work as field trainer of new and experimental training, but above all, she enjoyed her mentorship that she was provided by an experienced retired-Colonel of the name of Vlimar PontBrillant.

Vlimar had moved back and forth from active service and support operations. He also had a long stint in SF Intelligence and Secret Operations leadership structures, where he became known as “The most known classified person in the quadrant”, enhancing that people heard rumors of his exploits, but very little people knew his identity. When moving to unclassified position, such as a previous stint in the Vindicator, he was known as an ex operative of the Intelligence services, nothing more.

As he ended his last official assignment as part of a 2 years, 4 man diplomatic infiltration team, he decided that retirement was in order. Starfleet, as they became well known for, offered him a civilian contract to remain attached to the organization and mentor younger officers towards command. As such, Vlimar was put in charge of the Starfleet Academy Continuous Training Unit for all matters of Intelligence, Security and Tactics. Therefore, over the course of the last 8 months, the newly retired man had the opportunity of working with different ships and crews, while mentoring a up-and-coming Lieutenant who was destined for Command.

All this leading to here and now, where Vlimar stepped out of the shuttle, only preceded by his jolly mentoree. As they stepped in, regular arrival protocols were respected and Vlimar was provided with a PADD containing all the information that he required for his new assignment. The ship was the NX-78213-F, Experimental Vindicator class. The ship, which was officially unnamed due to trial protocols, was the newer outfit of the Vindicator, which was involved in a not-so-desirable maiden voyage. Vlimar was therefore tasked to review the training curriculum of the Security and Tactical team, while providing on-the-job training for its officers.

As was routine, Ellie headed directly to her quarters and Vlimar began looking for a calm place to relax and study the specs of the next ship. Naturally, he headed to the arboretum, a common quiet places within all installment of the Federation. He slowly walked in and noticed masks, disguise and youth. He couldn’t help but to smile at the bunch of officers enjoying their event while reaching the bar. “Whiskey, neat”, he asked, as he took a last glance at his lively surroundings, before burying himself in his padd.

-----

Synthale only. That had always been Rochelle's rule when she was out and about within the fleet and mingling with her crew. It left her no chance of mistake, no chance of falling by the wayside or dimming her senses - an extra insurance policy when it came right on down to it. In her world there were constant threats to her security, to Starfleet, and being posted that far out on the Frontier in an area where the lawless were constantly working on ways to push back against the Federation's steady encroach left her constantly needing to have her head on a swivel.

If it was, however, it never came off as panic or paranoia. Rochelle, as she always did, moved with an air of power and grace that spoke of her abilities not only as a Skipper, but a member of Starfleet's illustrious Admiralty. Sean Archer may have done her a favor by busting her down from Rear Admiral, but the way he included the little firebrand had promised him that he'd done it for her benefit - not his. To harness her, to cage her, to keep her from her blessed stars would have been a crying shame. It would have extinguished the flame that burnt so bright and made her the resplendent Phoenix she truly was.

Tonight, however, she was none of it. She was ice. She was frost, hidden beneath veils of bitter crystals and silvery arctic ornamentation that swept her far away from the heat and copper and brass that had always been associated with her. People whispered about the snow queen, never once connecting the ethereal personification of winter with the woman clothed beneath - and it was just as well they didn't... That they allowed her the mystery and the peace that came with it if only for just a little while. That peace, though, was quickly shattered as her frosted eyes caught sight of a piece of the past she'd thought long gone. A piece that forced her chin high in a measure of recognition and defiance. A piece that set the cadence of her heart to a pitch a few beats faster than it had been before she was him. Clear as day, though bathed in candle light, sat Vlimar Pont'Brillant.

Vlimar looked at the embodiment of winter approaching. The voice was unforgettable. Memories raced to his mind, as he managed to smile gently, realizing that the Vindicator was still helmed by the valiant Rochelle Ivanova. “Or perhaps the ghost of Christmas future,” he retorted. “Hello Rochelle.” he said.

The thick roll of his French accent did little to quell the curiosity that had instilled itself within the woman, nor did it help to shake the past away. "Hello, Vlimar." She nodded, knowing that her gig was up - at least with him. He'd always been intelligent, smarter and wiser than his years. Many times she'd wondered how he'd managed to collect such Vulcan-like attributes while remaining as deeply passionate about life as he was. "Past, future... What we're living in is the present which is defined by what was and sets into motion what will be." Rochelle's own mouth felt the allure of a bemused smile begin to creep its way across it, "What are you doing here?"

Vlimar could help but smile as he looked at the snow queen standing in front of him. Rochelle always had a sense of the spectacle, des idées de grandeur. Her costume was stunning, but her eyes were as naked as they always been. Unfiltered, expressive, sincere. Vlimar always found her eyes warm and caring, a trait that very few likely noticed. He slowly rotated the glass on the bar counter as he slowly opened his mouth. “Assuming you are still the Vindicator’s queen, milady, I am here to help your minions properly operate her.”, he stated, softly which would showcase his baritone voice. “One that does not consider the past is bound to make it its future.”, added the man, wisely.

"It would take a rather cold day in Hell to pry me from the Vindicator. You know that as well as I." Her hands closed delicately before her, resting with dignity and ease as she simply allowed him to study her about the same way those eyes, so full of life, blinked to focus on the delicate movement of his glass. "I remember the past well," Rochelle retorted softly, watching his amber whiskey as it barely moved within its hold, "It's circumstance is not one I wish to revisit in the future." The eyes moved again, her jaw coming with it in an almost imperceptible tilt of defiance as she met him for what he was, catching his soul as she did. There'd be no ignorance between them. Memories would hardly be ignored for what they were - but one stuck out cold and cruel... Mikkal. A failure on both of their parts.

Vlimar nodded slightly, as he looked away at his glass. He remained there, a second perhaps, watching the grooves of the glass turn as the light caught on its edges. He sharply looked back at the woman. “Likewise, Rochelle, likewise.”, he stated, as his voice deepened at the last word. The memory of the events that occurred in the past were still fresh in his memory. His hatred for Mikkal was still alive and thriving, fueling each decision, each relationship. At the age of 45 years old, Vlimar had accepted the fact that celibacy was just a fact of life, any attempt at changing that status was met with resistance, either from a person, an event, a circumstance. He accepted that fact and concentrated his efforts on his duty, previously in SF Intelligence, now in mentoring and teaching. “Which leads us here, today”, he stated, directly, unfiltered. “What now?”

"Tomorrow we move on towards the future, forsaking the past for all of its charms," She nodded gently, extending one of those tiny, delicate, crystal and frost encrusted hands for him to take, should he choose. "but tonight? We dance for old time's sake." Was it the wisest decision she'd ever made? Likely not. The time spent on Qo'noS, talking, deliberating over life and the meaning of it hadn't been entirely lost upon her... And likely never would. Years had passed and with it had come further grievance and experience alike, but there were certain things that became heavily ingrained in the moral fibers of time and genetic material of those prone to it that simply could not be forgotten... And wouldn't.

Vlimar looked at the hand, which he gently took, though as Vlimar stood to accompany Rochelle, the bartender slipped a plain, Zorro style black eye mask into his hands. "To keep with the theme of the evening." he assured them, and Vlimar laughed as he put the mask, showing it Rochelle with a flourish. “How do I look?”, he asked, laughing.

In return she couldn't help but smile, her eyebrows raising as she sought the correct phrase to use in that particular situation, "Très fringant," she nodded, staying as deadpan as possible in delivery. Very dashing indeed.

Vlimar nodded at the comment, satisfied. He grabbed Rochelle’s hand again and slowly led her towards the center of the dance floor.

"Ce n'est que lors d'une mascarade qu'un Français devient Espagnol."

“Et jamais autrement…”, he replied, smiling widely.

Rochelle chuckled lightly, taking up her position within his lead as the music struck and sent them off on the newest of their adventures. It wasn't at all dissimilar to the first time they'd met - there'd been no masks, but it had been a party none-the-less and he'd been perched at the bar all the same. It was strange, truly, how the past liked to repeat itself - but only as far as one would choose to allow. That first meeting, she'd never tugged nor toyed with his heritage or had cause to tease him at all. There hadn't been that familiarity yet bred between them. Where at first it had been a power struggle, she so young and he so set in his ways, there was now fluidity and ease. It was almost disorienting, but oddly welcomed by the frigid one.

---

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

Vlimar Pont'Brillant
Civilian Contractor
Starfleet Intelligence

 

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