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JL | LtCmdr Baul & Lt MacLeod | "Alt + Ctrl + Yeet"

Posted on 242002.10 @ 15:45 by Rochelle Ivanova & Lieutenant Craig MacLeod

Mission: Lacuna

Overhead the gulls cried, arguing over their breakfasts, while in the distance the sound of bells summoned dutiful worshippers to their posts and churches akin. If Craig closed his eyes he could imagine that he was back in Poquott, walking along the pilings near the harbor - it was hardly a peaceful thought, but one that came with a degree of comfort. Apsha offered him no such accords. It was a means to an end and he was there out of duty and loyalty alone. It was beautiful, truly, but it kept the young doctor away from his studies of space and worlds far more fantastic than one that held such strife and pain for members of his adopted family.

Walking the beach, or rather the jetty, with someone as strange to him as the ship’s new counselor wasn’t exactly considered a treat for Craig. It became even worse when he’d been summoned to more or less gossip in a professional capacity concerning someone he felt quite loyal to. The question of whether or not she, Rochelle, had suffered some form of depression was perhaps the most redundant question he’d ever heard posed. Of course she had. She was human and wore her emotions on her sleeves. The word divorce was designed to cause heartache and misery, as such it was to be avoided not unlike conversation surrounding tr’Bak and Apsha were to be avoided. Ra’lin hadn’t said as much, but the stories were whispered throughout the ship and royal city. Both Federation and Ascendancy members alike watched one another with morbid fascination and a degree of worry he hadn’t seen outside of card games about to go bad. Luckily, neither side had been provoked. The missing element of Romulan incursion was just that… Missing. Either way, Craig realized that the smallish woman at his side wasn’t going to be denied an answer to the question of the hour. He cast a weary look in her direction, shaking his head as he spoke, "Commander, I appreciate the call and counsel, but I’m afeared tis not much I can offer you. Outside o’ orders o’ diplomacy from Starfleet, tis a bit o' a mystery as tae why come she cam 'ere, truly. I think yer graspin’ at straws ‘ere, truly." He offered the smallest of smiles for consolation. In a way, the question held merit, but he wasn’t the one to answer it beyond repetition of scuttlebutt.

“Diplomacy is grand, bit she's beyond diplomatic missions with her rank. Maybe she wanted to see something? Remember something?” Ethel nodded emphatically. Maybe Rochelle had wanted to remember something, but the answer as to just what that might be had continued to escape her - same way Rochelle herself had done a great deal of escaping and acts of disappearance. Appointments blown off, changed, and downright ignored for sake of the Commodore playing tea party hostess with the Empress - and there wasn’t a damned thing Ethel could do about it. “But what?” She asked, looking up at the burly Scot.

He, in turn, shrugged with another of those small smiles, “Tis a possibility. I dinnae rightly ken th' answer tae that, Commander, only she does.” Craig’s forward motion ceased and he clasped his hands in front of him as he stood at the end of that jetty, watching the cold waves rise to snatch at the rocks with empty fists. It made his brow furrow in thought, plucking him away from what should have been a day of enjoyment and sent him down the rabbit hole of ‘what plagues the Captain today’. It wasn’t his expertise, things of the mind were the Commander’s place. The fact she’d enlisted his help, at least for a wee bit, was more of a hindrance than an accolade. Meddling in the affairs of Rochelle Ivanova wasn’t something he wanted to do. She deserved her privacy. As well did they all. “Lest th’ Vindicator was ‘ere... She hud Captain Neyes’ pup in her belly, lee wis good oan a' accounts 'n' then it wasn't when tr'Bak shawed his arse.” Searching the waves, Craig couldn’t quite help his mouth as he drawled his words with a sigh. The picture painted, outside of tr’Bak, was indeed grand and beautiful and worthy of being remembered.

“Pup… Javaan?” Ethel’s eyebrows raised, trying her damnedest to understand the man’s interesting and strange way of speaking. Everything was like a riddle and a sing song. If you were lost in your own thoughts, not paying attention, you missed some pivotal bit of information that unlocked the rest of the sentence. It was maddening and fascinating all in the same go. “She was pregnant with Javaan when they last came through here?”

“Aye. S’what I said, lass.” The doctor chuckled humorlessly, “A' accounts say that na one knew 'til th' ship wis blown tae jobby 'n' fowk were lost. Commodore herself wis nearly killed in th' rammy 'n' hings went tae shite o’er time.”

Ethel’s fingers rose to cup her chin and her eyes narrowed briefly in thought, “So she hid her pregnancy from the crew?” She asked, trying to make ends meet. It stood to reason, in some measure at least, why the woman’s mood was so broken. So many good memories she’d likely shared with Landon, and so many bad ones of standing square against tr’Bak only to be bested in battle and nearly lose it all.

“"Doubtful. Mair than likely kept th' fact she wis pupped hidden fae th' delegation fur tis a sign o’weakness in some circles. She's nae exactly fond o' bein'... Vulnerable.” Craig snorted softly and shook his head, “Thir's nae a doubt in mah heid that she aye loves him, ye ken.”

“Who? Lan-- I mean.. Captain Neyes?” The tip of the doppelganger’s nose was cold as ice and she stood with her thumbnail caught between her teeth and her arms more or less folded over her chest and grasping at her coat and sweaters for warmth. Sunlight during winter was a prank, really. It didn’t offer heat, only brightness and she couldn’t help but wonder how such cold sensitive creatures seemed to delight in the winter weather as they happily bee bopped to and fro their daily congregations. She, on the other hand, was about to become a meat popsicle and then there was Craig who seemed well at ease with the weather entirely. Fucking aliens. “I mean yeah… I can see it, but the guy fucked up.”

The ‘fucking alien’s’ head shook with a somber smile, "That's nae how love wirks 'n' we baith ken it, Counselor. Ye wilnae bait me intae saying anythin' mair... Mostly fur a dinnae ken anythin' for certain. I juist ken whit I saw whin she looked at him 'n' ah ken whit I see whin she thinks aboot him." His smile broadened a bit, though tainted by sadness it remained, "If I wis a betting Jimmy, 'n' I'ament, I'd be placing dosh oan th' divorce bein' mair aboot th' bloody Romulan than aboot th' drug addiction. They've bin thro' worse."

“You think she’s here making up her mind on things, don’t you.” Ethel sniffled, trying to incite feeling in her frigid nose.

“I will nae say that. Nae mah steid, bit I will say that it wid be a sin if she wur tae let Tr'Bak control her life in ony form. Bastard awready took sae much fae her 'n' I ha'e nae doubt she's seeing ghosts fae time tae time. Likelie th' ghosts that lead her tae sending him aff, thinking she did him some guid or wid sa'e thair mortal souls or th' Gods ainlie ken whit is or is nae be running thro' her head. Best neither yin o' us speculate oan it, pure, nae unless it jeopardizes th' ship 'n' tis crew 'n' richt noo nae a yin o' us are in any danger. Nae by her hand, at least.”

With a sniff and a puffed sigh, Craig’s brawny body did an about face and he nodded to the counselor, “Beyond tha’, ye’d best ask th’ gulls. Good luck with it, Commander.” It would be the last advice he’d give her on the matter, the entire situation failing to sit well with him and jumbling within like three day old stew after a heavy night of drinking. It just wasn’t right.

Ethel herself was left without choice but to accept his departure and the blustery nature of it. The more she heard, the more the puzzle pieces refused to fit and the picture painted by tr’Bak failed to add up or hold true to scrutiny. More and more it appeared that everything the thought she knew was nothing more than counterfeit evidence designed to lead her around by the nose and draw her deeper into a scheme that saw the spoils of subterfuge be deposited into the lap of a true mad man. The cold, and her now numb nose, dictated that she leave the great outdoors for sake of somewhere warm just as soon as a comfortable distance had been put between her and the Doctor.


Lt Commander Ethel Baul
Rochelle Ivanova (MU)
Tal Shiar Agent


Lieutenant Craig MacLeod
Chief Medical Officer


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