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JL | Com Ivanova, Vlimar PontBrillant | "Reporting for Duty, Rochelle"

Posted on 241803.12 @ 15:55 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Vlimar PontBrillant

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Com Ivanova's Ready Room

Vlimar kept pacing in his quarters. He had review the mission logs, the crew manifest and its previous training, he knew what he needed to strive for in order for his mission to be successful. But somehow, he was still feeling nervousness down to his bones. Although it had been years, the sight of Rochelle had shaken him. "Le passé est le passé, je ne peux rien y faire.", he kept muttering.

The door chime.

Vlimar felt that he almost woken up. He looked at the door, took a deep breathe and stated "Come.".

A young uniformed Lieutenant stepped in. She was around 24 years old, half asian / half betazoid descent without the telepathic capacities. However, she inherited the ability to predict what others actually expected, a mix between intuition and predictability. A quality that served her well over her career. She was sporting her long, black hair in a french braid, likely inspired by her mentor's heritage.

"Morning boss. Ready to get going?", she asked, bubbly.

Vlimar nodded as he picked up a PADD from the office desk and walked towards the young woman.

"Yes. Did you end up confirming the training benchmark compliance for the Security personnel?", he asked.

"Of course, we have 3 deficiencies to address, nothing major. Two relating to the new Type IV and one that needs to complete the evacuation incident command training.", she answer as she stepped back in the hall.

Vlimar nodded. "Good.", he stated, as he began his walk towards the turbolift. The man had studied the specs of the ship and had a pretty understanding of its layout. He immediately entered the turbolift and uttered: "Commodore's Ready Room". The lift immediately moved.

Silence.

As routine called for it, there was a deafening silence in the lift. Ellie looked at her mentor for a signal.

Vlimar was looking right ahead. Waiting. Waiting for the door to open. Ellie accepted that silence, waiting while looking at the Frenchman for any sign of change.

The door opened, leading out onto the unnaturally quiet bridge and Vlimar turned left, crossing the space with swift strides until he encountered the ready room and immediately pressed the chime.

"Enter!" Rochelle's voice rose from behind the high shined beauty of her Pietersite desk. The bright almost cosmic swirls of metallic copper and blue and black stone shone brightly under the museum quality lighting that show cased not only the desk top, but the elaborate shelves filled with various prized artifacts behind it. One of which, a miracle in all reality, was her ever present Colt .45 Peacemaker with its fine etched Mexican silver. Marked as having been produced in 1873, it had survived wars, the hands of gunslingers and lawmakers alike, and the Gods only knew what else before being rested in the hands of a rather spirited young woman in 2412. Through thick and thin, ship wrecks and heartaches, it remained with her - shining bright as ever - in 2418. Its accuracy, not unlike its keeper, still spot on.

It was in that nature that she homed in on the activity coming through her door. Her eyes, bright with life, followed the strides of both the woman and the man as they crossed the posh space of her private office and came nearer to where she sat. "Lieutenant. Mr. Pontbrillant." She greeted in kind with nothing more than the nod of her head granted to each, "Have a seat."

Vlimar nodded and took a seat, Ellie followed through. Vlimar cut to the chase. "Ma'am, as you know, Starfleet Academy recommended that functional training be offered for senior officers in key areas, Security, Tactical and Ship Operations." he began, formally. "As such, I have been contracted to supervise the training curriculum delivery and Lieutenant Townsend to provide hands on assistance to the officers." he added.

"And have you discovered areas where you, personally, feel that this crew has holes?" The redhead asked, cutting to the chase. Her eyes lingered briefly on the Lieutenant as if trying to place where she belonged in the entire routine Vlimar seemed to have rehearsed. It was short lived, her attention more focused on the task at hand.

Vlimar nodded, as if he understood Rochelle's telepathic message. "Of course, we would like to do a listening tour, to start off. Speak to the staff, see how they interact with the equipment, between themselves.", he stated, briefly. "Lieutenant Townsend has developed a very efficient method of disappearing in plain sight and could get on this right away, with your permission, of course.", he concluded.

The young woman stood up in her chair as her mentor mentioned her. She was visibly proud and honoured to be mentioned with such high esteem. As Vlimar mentioned her abilities, her eyes shifted from the lips of her mentor, to Rochelle.

A single sanguine brow rose as the Lieutenant's posture shifted. Their eyes locked from across the magnificent expanse of the desk, Rochelle's arctic blues lacking any hint that she was impressed or eager to begin allowing a stranger so deep into her keep. Their stormy depths were cold, stern, holding both promise and warning that the slightest of mistakes would result in the woman, and her project, sinking beneath those tumultuous waves and being lost, without mention, forever. "You ask a lot of me Vlimar," a single blink and the tip of her jaw later, and Rochelle's eyes were back on the Frenchman. Her own posture remained relatively unchained; comfortable, at ease within her environment - nothing troubled her, or so it seemed. "You ask me to almost violate my trust in my crew, sending down a stranger and leech information that could otherwise be obtained by computer algorithms and programs designed by Starfleet years ago."

Now she shifted, her last word more of a sigh as she walked her fingers across the desk and eventually leaned back to rise from her chair. At only a few inches over five feet tall, Rochelle was still a commanding presence to take in. She held herself square, the promise of control and power never faltering even as she broke into motion, slowly moving off to the wall of glass that made up the one long side of her read room. Part of the view was obstructed by pylons belonging to the station as it held the massive ship firm and worker bees continued fixing what had been harmed by their last mission - but the stars still shone beyond. "Convince me that your experiment is the wisest choice."

Vlimar remained calm, posed. His eyes followed the petite silhouette from her desk to her glass wall. His right hand had moved to his chin, as if he wanted to scratch the stubble that he had been growing over the last few days, which added gravitas to his aged face. He slowly moved the fingers through the salt and pepper stubble, as nodded slightly.

"Our mission is to ensure the personalization of functional remedial training, adjusted to the personality, capacities and competencies of YOUR crew." he stated, putting emphasis on the possessive objective, appealing to Rochelle's protective instinct. Vlimar leaned forward slightly, putting his elbows on his tight, joining both hands together. "The presence of the Lieutenant would offer proximity and credibility to our effort to ensure proper delivery of our curriculum." he said.

Ellie followed this interaction quite uncomfortably. She shifted in her chair as her eyes met Rochelle's and her posture became almost self-reclusive, a professional, sitting version of the foetal position in a way. She listened to the words of her mentor in hope of assistance, as debates were definitely not her forte. She opened her mouth to say: "If I may be so bold..."

Vlimar immediately snapped back. "Not now, Lieutenant," without leaving Rochelle's gaze.

Silence.

"I don't want the buzz words, Vlimar." The temperature dropped in that gaze, chilling any hope of warmth there may have been as she sought what was best for her ship and the lives held within its hull. Her voice, however, was soft. It was as if the Lieutenant didn't exist, that she was nothing more than speck of floating dust drifting between two titans. What Rochelle did know was that she didn't have much choice - the implementation of this program was something she could either welcome with open arms, or have forced down her throat later. Vindicator was the newest and the best Starfleet had to offer. It stood to reason that she'd be the first to receive such treatments.

Another dog and pony show.

Shaking her head, the Commodore returned to her window, studying the way the light shifted across the ship's dark graphite colored hull. "Don't be a salesman. We owe one another better treatment than that, do we not?" She could see his face in the reflection offered by the glass. He had a few more lines about his eyes and his rich olive skin obviously hadn't seen the sun in recent times - but he hardly looked old. He looked... Mature. That maybe the years that had passed since she saw him last had given him deeper perspective much like it had her. She'd still been very much a young girl when they'd last encountered one another, recently given command of the Vindicator after the 'death' of Captain Landon Neyes. How naive she'd been. And now? Perhaps a bit jaded and not nearly as starry eyed.

Vlimar observed the Commodore walk to the window, observing her as she looked through the reflection. Years had pass, many events occurred, but somehow, they were back in the same room. So much needed to be said, it was deafening. So little could be said. Vlimar slowly stood up. He looked at Ellie on his right and whispered: "Get out.".

The relief on the young woman face was almost joyful. She immediately jumped on her feet and exited the ready room and Vlimar, from the corner of his eye, watched her departure until the door slid shut behind her. It was only then that he took a step towards Rochelle. "Le temps fait si bien les choses. Je ne croyais pas que tu pouvais devenir plus belle avec le temps." Time does things so well. I did not think you could become more beautiful with time. he said, calmly, tilting his head slightly.

Blinking from where she stood, Rochelle simply allowed the Lieutenant to leave and the Frenchman to rise. When he approached, she watched. When he spoke, she listened. "La beauté et le temps sont relatifs." Beauty and time are relative. She finally answered with the most delicate of shrugs, processing and digesting what had come to transpire between them in the mere minutes that had passed since the Lieutenant had practically run from the ready room. "Je ne pense pas moins de toi en tant que personne, Vlimar," I don't think less of you as a person, Vlimar, She continued with a sigh, still watching him in the glass, "Ce qui est arrivé est arrivé." What happened, happened. The sentence was punctuated with a shrug.

The Frenchman nodded. "What happened, happened.", he repeated. It was both a death sentence of the past and an acknowledgement of time. Vlimar agreed fully, one cannot look back and expect to live in the moment.

"And what happens now?" he said in the deeper tones that his voice sometimes took.

"On fait avec." We deal with it. Turning from her window Rochelle drew a steady breath, "We decide if this program, your Lieutenant, is what the Vindicator really needs." She replied, switching easily from his native French back to Standard, "If so... You will remain aboard this ship until your mission is complete and I will extend to you the trust necessary to complete what needs to be done."

"Happy to oblige", responded the retired Colonel, while nodding as a thanks to the Commodore. He understood that steady does it and there was no point in pushing the matter beyond the point they'd reached as an initial meeting.

He looked back at Rochelle, motionless, a genuine, smile coloring his lips and the lines of his face. "It is nice to see you again, Rochelle." he concluded.

For the briefest of seconds the Commodore's facade faltered and the briefest hints of a smile of her own won out, glittering across her facial features and stopping only to reside in her eyes as she nodded to him, "Likewise. It's always a pleasure."

The Frenchman looked at her eyes for a brief second, then nodded. "Thank you for your time." he responded as he picked up his padd and headed towards the door. "It will be a pleasure seeing you again, perhaps in a turbolift." he chuffed with an evocative smile and fondness for a memory, as the door slid shut behind him.

For a long while after he left, silence hung in the ready room and Rochelle remained rooted in front of her window simply watching the empty space she'd last seen him as he departed. "Cheeky son of a bitch," She hissed on a sigh, releasing a breath with a shake of her head and a heavy chuckle. A hand rose to smooth her hair back as she took leave in the direction of her desk, "turbolift." She repeated under her breath, willing the memory away. Yes... She remembered. The memory had come back to haunt her shortly after she'd seen him - and it seemed unfit to die even then when she slid back into her chair and reached for a PADD.

---

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

Vlimar PontBrilliant
Civilian Contractor
Starfleet

 

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