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JL | Com Ivanova, Lt. Townsend | "Touch Me Not"

Posted on 241803.13 @ 11:26 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Vlimar PontBrillant

Mission: Lacuna

Elli was joyfully looking through the various vendors that were trying to pass all their products as “Exclusive”, “Luxury” and “One of a kind”. Things like blankets, pillows, foods, historic weapons and antiques, all those who, for someone who had visited quite a few bases over their career would recommend as facsimiles or copies made by some shady Ferengies.

As she passed in front of a kabab-type vendor, she recognized Rochelle, and approached her.

“Howdy, Captain”, she said, peppy. “Whacha doing ‘round here?” (Is that how Australian talk?), she asked.

An eyebrow rose as the sound of the greeting, and Rochelle swept an errant lock of hair back behind her ear. For the moment, the plant she was admiring would have to wait - picking a new bonsai specimen was something she'd need to do when she could actually concentrate on the task at hand and not be distracted by Vlimar's... Whatever she was.

"Lieutenant." She greeted, blinking slow, "I'm doing a bit of shopping before the Vindicator departs on whatever mission they decide to assign us." The answer was blank, void of any real warmth, but kind enough that it couldn't be construed that she held any ill will or malice towards the young woman. "And you?"

“Well, I am just not sure what I will need for that short voyage. What kind of facilities does the Vindi has while fully functional?”, she asked, overly joyful, again, clearly missing one or two social cues.

"Pretty much everything you can imagine." Rochelle replied flatly, "I tend to grab odds and ends for amusement and therapeutic purposes." She added, gesturing to the small plants she'd previously been examining. Bonsai had long been an art she'd chosen to enjoy, using it as an outlet for otherwise unhandled energy when the need to find her zen. Without it, the overall picture presented by the Vindicator's illustrious command team would be nearly as pretty.

“Oh, a small tree.”, she expressed as she saw the shop’s accessories to maintain such a specie. “Vlimar really enjoy ancient Earth artwork, maybe I should find something like that?”, she asked, both to Rochelle and to herself.

Chewing the inside of her cheek, Rochelle forced a nod and friendly smile, "Perfect. There's a shop down the row that specializes in paint by number kits." Just what had the Lieutenant done to earn the scathing redhead's ire and mistrust? Nothing... At least not yet. Rochelle had never been one to early welcome strangers, especially not those attached to former members of the crew or those who's sole purpose was to spy on the rest of her delegation, for lack of better explanation or terms.

“Paint by numbers”, she asked, puzzled. It took a few seconds. “Oh!”, she then clamored, laughing. “That’s funny! You’re funny!”, she added, putting a hand on the Captain’s shoulder.

Though her skin crawled at the sudden intrusion into her personal space, Rochelle managed to remain perfectly poised. Her hands came together in front of her, clasping delicately as her eyes slowly ventured from the other woman's face to where the offending hand rested on her shoulder. "Lieutenant Townsend, I'm glad you find me to be so entertaining, but contrary to what mister PontBrillant has told you, I have several rules of engagement that I insist be followed by people I have no intimate association with." Her eyes had long since gone cold, losing any sense of play or mirth they may have harbored prior to that unappreciated and unwanted hand to the shoulder. Had the woman gone mad or was she simply shamelessly inept and unable to hold herself with a sense of propriety when in the face of a flag officer? Had she forgotten that she was a very much unwanted presence and only there because Vlimar spoke for her? And just what the blazes had Vlimar told the woman that would have bred the notion that she could simply touch Rochelle whenever and however she pleased? It would end. Immediately.

"One... You will address me as Commodore or Commodore Ivanova." She lyrically hissed, still eyeballing the hand as it lay there against her skin and the scalloped cap sleeve of her blouse. If only her eyes were laser beams, the hand would have been gone instantly and the lesson permanently imparted, "Two... You will not touch me without my permission unless its in an emergency situation. This..." She gestured gently around their general location, "is not an emergency situation."

Elli’s eyes opened wide. She muttered an half-audible apology as her hand steadily retracted, as if she had been bitten. Her face became flushed and a slight look of panic settled in her eyes. She just realized the unacceptableness of her action.

“I… I…”, she tried to mutter, the shame and the surprise clearly impeding her ability to utter words.

She immediately stood to attention, the only thing she could think of in this situation. Her eyes remained on Rochelle’s face, lost and watery.

“I am sorry, Commodore”, she finally said. “I can assure you that Mr. PontBrillant had only told me respectful things relating to you.”, she added, rapidly. Her tone was sheepishly low and hesitant. The speed of her speech was accelerated. She was panicking. “Mr. PontBrillant told me that I had to listen to your advice as you were one of the most valorous officer of Starfleet.”, she added, continuously.

"I'm sure he did." Rochelle replied tersely, her shoulders square and hands unclasping to rest evenly at her sides once the offending hand was no longer on or near her body. The girl was young, naive, hardly the stone cold operative she imagined would hang on Vlimar's coat tails. Then again, she warned herself, that appearances could sometimes be more than just a little deceiving. This, all of it, could be an act to gauge Rochelle and her general sensibilities. Either way, she remained unwavering both in posture and conviction. "We'll be headed out into the black Lieutenant, and out there the lines are drawn quite quickly between those who sink and those who swim. I'm sure you can understand that much."

“Yes, ma’am.”, she replied, still slightly shaken up by the recent events. She nodded as the Commodore finished her sentence, obviously wanting to end the conversation on these more mellow terms. “I can assure, Commodore, I am a swimmer, not a sinker.” she added, hinting on a slight sense of remaining pride with a raise of her chin. “We will ensure to complete our mission and allow you to complete yours.” she concluded.

"See to it." Rochelle's response was clipped and cool, her attention diverting from the shaken woman and back to the tasteful little plants she'd been studying before the intrusion. "Enjoy the rest of your time on the station, Lieutenant." She added, not bothering to look away from one particularly promising young Bougainvillea.


Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Elli Townsend
Operations Specialist


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