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JDL | Com Ivanova, Cmdr Merlin, Cmdr Dahe'el, LtCmdr Stacker | "Rewind and Return"

Posted on 241909.07 @ 12:40 by Lieutenant Commander James Stacker & Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Commander Almar Dahe'el

Mission: Lacuna
Location: USS Vindicator and Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 241909.07

It's often said that the wind blows wicked things in the night - but in the endless night of space there were no such zephyrs to blame for the return of the USS Vindicator to her home port. The ship itself wasn't inherently 'wicked'... That fell on the nature of her missions and the history of her battle scars - both seen and unseen. Some belonging solely to the psyche of those who served her relentlessly.

A little after 0100 Rochelle had been awakened by Almar's voice on the other end of a comlink informing her that they'd entered Cheydinhall Sector. It had been a courtesy, if anything, seeing that she had always been adamant about being on the bridge each time the ship sailed from port and each time she came to dock no matter where it was that they were going. Some traditions would never die - even when sailing 'home' meant sailing back to troubled waters. While the trip from bed to the bridge, pausing only briefly to pull herself together in a fresh uniform, had been uneventful - it was clear from the moment someone handed her a hot cup of coffee that something was amiss.

"We're being redirected into orbit around the station rather than docking." Almar offered in answer to her yet to be asked question while moving his sizeable form from her rightful throne. Just looking at her he could see she was painfully alert even if exhaustion had crept into the corners of her eyes. The greater good of him wished he'd never made the call to rouse her, another part of him reminded him that there would have been hell to pay had that transpired. Rochelle Ivanova had never been one to back down in the face of adversity, even when she hardly had a dog in the fight.

Blissfully unaware of the Cardassian's mental war, the redhead took her spot and immediately folded her legs. From their vantage point, the station seemed to be in excellent condition. Lights twinkled and blinked like stars even with the light of the expanse casting it's lovely gold and bronze hue across its hull skin. There was no sign of fire, no sign of injury - except for a lack of space traffic. No ships were entering or leaving, everything - aside from the Vindicator - was at a stand still and even the great ship had been pulled up to half impulse as they approached painfully slowly. "What's happened?" She finally asked, slowly peeling her eyes away to bring her attention to Almar.

"Something about a riot on the promenade and a dead Naussican." He answered with a hint of ire. Things like this happened entirely way too often at the station, it left a bad taste in his mouth. His duty was to protect the Vindicator and more off, protect Rochelle. 's inhabitants and general calamity seemed ripe to try and prevent him from doing his job. It didn't sit well with him, but home port was home port and there was always the added benefit of family, coated and enshrined in brass, waiting in the wings.

"So no one in or out?"

"Nope."

Rochelle sighed sharply and curled her fingers tighter around her mug, "Not going to work. We have an officer who was due to give birth as of yesterday and the added benefit of station medical is a necessity at this point." She all but hissed, her mood quickly souring and she was hardly worried about hiding the traces of her displeasure as they painted themselves across her facial features. "Hail them." Rochelle settled into her chair a bit deeper, but her posture still remained rigid and unrelenting, "Get one of their command team on the horn now."

To this, Almar smirked, nodded, and made a single gesture to the man sitting at Operations. A second or so later a computer chirped and warbled and the view screen shifted to that of the spinning Starfleet insignia that let them all know that the call was going through and the ball was waiting in the Station's court, "They've been hailed, Commodore."

"Outstanding." Rose her one word answer.

The screen blinked, shifted, then changed to show a man in a grey collar who had evidently seen better mornings. Deep lines scoured his face from the passage of the past hours, reinforced by dark circles under his eyes. His eyes blinked, then blinked again, squeezed shut, then opened as if fighting the natural inclination for sleep. The traces of stubble beyond his beard showed a serious case of five o'clock shadow.

Behind him could be seen the signs of a command center on an alert posture. Animated bodies were knotted around consoles and the stripes of yellow alert lights were pulsing in the walls. More security officers were in evidence and a turbolift shaft displayed a prominent "lockdown" notification over its doors. To all extents and purposes this was a command center not in its normal operating procedure. It looked like a place with a view to chaos.

Even his voice, when he spoke, carried a faint tinge of weariness about the edges. "Vindicator, this is Lieutenant Commander Stacker. Go ahead."

", this is Commodore Rochelle Ivanova of the USS Vindicator. We're requesting permission to come aboard and understand that the station is currently experiencing some... Trouble." The man's weariness wasn't enviable, perhaps evening matching the Commodore's own - but the reality of it was that she seemed to be handling it far better and that, just maybe, was an enviable thing. Either way, she held no sympathy for the spook turned command officer. His station was lawless, sleeplessness to be expected as it came with the territory whether he liked it or not. "Consider this an offer of assistance. We'll keep our ship in orbit and beam personnel across..." Rochelle paused, briefly closing her eyes and lifting a single finger from the warm ceramic of her mug, "Save one. Lieutenant S'ia Dai'xun-Shran will need to be sent across via shuttle. She's due to give birth and seeing that she's part of the Stenellian Ascendancy's ambassadorial retinue, I'd advise that she be given clearance."

The man on the screen seemed to liven up a bit before their eyes. Maybe it was the bite in her voice. Maybe it was his inner and instinctual Marine hackles rising up. Who knew. One of his hands smoothed the front of his uniform as the other worked the console before him. After a moment he gave a slight nod and glanced back up at the camera. "The unrest is currently confined to the Promenade. We can bring her aboard through one of the upper level auxiliary shuttlebays and send her down to medical." He paused for a moment, looking back to the console. Eyes flicked briefly as if reading multiple lines of text before he looked back up, mouth flat in what apparently passed for grim humor in these parts. "The riot is confined, Commodore: it's only run this long on account of being multi-species. We should have it resolved within the hour." It took guts to tell a Commodore, in not-so-many words, that assistance wasn't necessary, but the man on the screen seemed to have some instinctual awareness the professional reputation of the command - to say nothing about the current command team's positions - was at stake. Enough riots and either he or the current CO would be sacked and transfer due to inability to keep the peace.

Starfleet would only tolerate so many problems before the leviathan of bureaucracy stirred.

Rochelle bit back a sharp, undignified, snort and simply shook her head. Of course it would be the pragmatic Spook on the other end of the line - the elder of the two command officers that had replaced Admiral Red - and that made things more than a little interesting and far more inclined to dissolve into a pissing match. "Noted." She replied, "We'll avoid the promenade until your people clear it. I warn you, though, should the need arise the Vindicator's crew will step in as necessary to neutralize the threat." There wouldn't be a repeat of Starbase Whydah, she thought and cast a quick glance towards Almar. If anyone would understand her intrepid desire to see such things squashed, he would be chief among them.

A second communication channel opened on the Ops deck on the screen. It sounded a bit tinny, but it could still be clearly heard on Vindicator's bridge. "Merlin to Ops. Situation contained, it's all over for but the mopping up." When everyone involved had been hauled down to either a special corner of sickbay or a cell, was implied but not said. "The Promenade should be ready to open again in half an hour. How bad is traffic congestion?" Meaning, again fairly easy to infer: 'How badly are they screaming out there?' The usual upbeat tone was missing from the station commander's voice, he sounded just as weary as the man Rochelle had been talking to.

The lieutenant commander was quickly becoming the primary occupant of the Cheydinhall Grand Central Station of Communications. Such a state of being could only improve. Just as soon as he opened his mouth, it was immediately closed as a PADD was passed to him from just offscreen. He took a moment to glance at the display, look up and nod, then turn back to the camera and the waiting starship's bridge and the station CO. "I believe the flagship of the fleet is waiting for a docking berth," he deadpanned. An eyebrow raised as his head gave a slight tilt. "We also have six merchant ships waiting in the roadstead and a convoy due in two hours." He didn't need to expound on the varied threats, curses, and protests that had bombarded station communications throughout this disturbance. One could tell that he was done with it all just by the way his voice was flat-lined.

There were some unspecified sounds from the other side of the channel, and a faint distant voice (not the CO's) which said something along the lines of 'And *stay* down!'. Then Merlin's voice returned. "Once the mopping up is complete, we'll be open for business. Hopefully we'll have the backlog cleared by the time the convoy arrives. If not, we'll improvise. Please thank everyone waiting for their patience and understanding. As soon as I get the green light from Security, we can end the lockdown. I'll be on my way up in a bit."

It was all Rochelle could do to bite her inner lip and refrain from saying something harsh out of sheer discomfort and frustration, "Ready your transporter pads, Commander Stacker and a shuttle bay. That's an order."

The screen flickered back to the stars and the cold visage of the station's exterior. Would there be words later? Undoubtedly. With whom? That remained uncertain. Her eyes flicked to Almar, knowing he'd be watching and reading her mood. "Helm, you have the Con. Take her in to orbit, we'll moor out in case there's more drama and we need to push away. Commander Dahe'el, ready the senior staff for departure to the station." Finding her feet, Rochelle took a long sip of coffee before moving to discard it in the bridge's replicator and away she went.

Like a hurricane.

---

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

Commander Almar Dahe'el
Executive Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Lieutenant Commander Evan 'Weirdo' Merlin
Commanding Officer
Cold Station Theta, SB-1170

Lt. Commander James Stacker
Executive Officer/Chief Intelligence Officer
Cold Station Theta, SB-1170

 

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