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Lt. Shran & Commodore Ivanova |

Posted on 242003.04 @ 13:33 by Lieutenant Anaxar Shran & Commodore Rochelle Ivanova

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Justinfall
Timeline: SD 241903.04

Anaxar entered the inn in Justinfall where Vindicator's party had settled down, ducking his head to avoid hitting the heads of the door frame. The heat hit him like a slap in the face. But it was a familiar slap, one he had been prepared for, so he just waited for a moment to get used to it before continuing into the common room.

Fortunately, most of the people had already gone to bed by this time. He wondered if Si'a was back yet. She wasn't in here, but maybe she was already in the room they shared. It would be a bit optimistic to expect her back, but if she was as eager to see him as he was to be with her, and if she could find a way to make it work, then maybe…

He did notice another familiar form, though. Commodore Ivanova, sitting near the gradually dimming fire. He gave her a polite nod. "Good evening, Commodore," he said, even though it was closer to night.

Looking up at the sound of his voice, Rochelle couldn't help but smile at the sight of the 'sightless' Andorian, "Good evening indeed, Lieutenant." She offered and gestured to the chair waiting open beside her. Smith was a strange creature, but Anaxar was arguably stranger - though he seemed to understand the swings in her moods and the intentions behind her words. There were few that had blended and melded with her particular brand of doing things as well as he did - but then again, Anaxar Shran was simply one of a kind.

"I was actually going to call for you in the morning. There's something that the Empress has been wanting to share with us, and I don't think there's anyone more capable of handling this particular mini mission than you and your department." The redhead nodded, reaching for a PADD that had been abandoned on the coffee table. Once retrieved, it was held out for him to take.

Anaxar folded his long frame into the indicated chair and pushed it slightly back. Even though the fire was burning low, it was still uncomfortably hot for him. He could imagine, though, that the fiery Commodore quite enjoyed the heat.

"That… sounds interesting," he said neutrally. He took the PADD, activated it and quickly skimmed through its contents.

He had no eyebrows to rise – the area where they once had been was still a mess of scars – but the deepening creases indicated he frowned, and his antennae twitched. "Explore the wormhole?" he asked. Curiosity and caution warred within him. "Interesting…" he repeated, slowly.

"Yes." Rochelle nodded, folding her hands in her lap, "The Ascendancy has cleared us for the chance to witness and map their wormhole, though we have been cautioned that what lay within and on the other side may..." The woman's voice trailed off and she looked down to study her hands, "It may compromise how we feel about things once we see things." The last thing she wanted, or needed, was to have more things go wrong. This was supposed to be an easy trip and an easy ending where the Ascendancy and the Federation made nice and shook hands. Anything that threatened that wasn't something she wanted to deal with or report - but there it was.

"For what it's worth they're giving us a list of known links." She finally looked back over at him, studying the movements of his antennae and the creases of his forehead, "Means we just need to explore this side of it, map it, and be done. Let someone else go through." To her it was crystal clear that she meant that Si'a was off the hook when it came to putting herself in that situation, though it was highly likely she knew more about it than Starfleet knew. Such a thought brought her to her next point - and this time her own brows furrowed, "Might be worth talking to Si'a about it. She may be able to save you some time unless you want to see it for yourself and your own records."

Anaxar nodded. "Oh, I wasn't planning to send anyone in until we've done thorough scans on this side of the wormhole and sent a few probes through to see if them arrive on the other end, scan there and return safely. And as for talking with Si'a…" he smiled. Too bad they couldn't just get out there together, just the two of them, conducting their research. It would be impractical, and maybe improper. "Of course I'll want to ask her what she knows. That doesn't preclude seeing for myself, it just means another perspective."

His long fingers stroked the edge of the PADD, musing. "Now I've heard about… entities, living in the Bajoran wormhole. Have you heard any mentions of similar beings in this one?"

"Not that I've heard, but that's another something worth asking Si'a about." Shifting in her seat, Rochelle re-crossed her legs and took advantage of her new position. It gave her a better chance to look at him as they spoke - and looking at him gave her the chance to watch the proverbial gears turn in his head. It was a good thing, she noted mentally, showing that he hadn't lost perspective when it came down to things such as duty and pragmatism. Good things. "The Stenellians seem to believe in Gods, but I don't see any signs that those beliefs govern them nearly as much as the Bajorans. If anything, they seem more governed by science and the pursuit of it."

"Excellent. I'll make a note to ask Si'a about it." Anaxar smiled, as he so often did when he thought of her. He was always courteous and professional to every member of his department, unfailingly so, but even when they were both on duty, he often couldn't help smiling at her.

He still remained focused on the mission at hand, though. "Is there a time limit?" he asked. "No, rephrase that, of course there is. What is it?"

"Soon," Rochelle answered, but quickly shook her head realizing that the word was far too vague a reference, "I'd like it done before your wedding and the Emperor's funeral. I don't know what the emotional landscape here will be and I'd like to bow out as soon as we possibly can."

The tall Andorian gave a brisk nod. "I'll make it snappy, then." His mind was already working and calculating. Some time to prepare some probes… it would save time to do that on the Vindicator and put them in a runabout when they just needed to be activated and launched… A few unassigned probes just in case they ran into something unexpected and quickly needed to find out some extra things… Preparing them shouldn't take more than half a day. Two days to examine the wormhole proper… again, unless they ran into some unexpected stuff, it shouldn't have to take longer than that. Send probes towards the wormhole entrance, and in, and through, collect data, make a preliminary analysis, gather more data, return. The to-and-fro trips would take the most time, probably. The intricacies of space near the wormhole meant he wouldn't be able to just rush full speed ahead until that area had been thoroughly scanned to determine the effect of Starfleet engines. So even the trip to the wormhole required careful scans. "One week is the best I can do."

"Then you have one week." The gavel proverbial gavel dropped, selling the timeline to the highest bidder and sealing the deal for what it was worth. To Rochelle, it was worth everything. Wormholes were nothing new, but this one was a potential link to the absolute unknown, something that very likely had been missed by the Dominion but had allowed races like the Vorta to seek asylum and freedom. Of course it wasn't necessarily the Vorta that intrigued the tactical mind of the young Commodore, but rather people and beings like Evan Merlin. The general consensus was that even the all knowing Stenellis knew nothing of his nature, lending to the notion that the Nebula - in which's proverbial foothills the Stenellis dwelt while well hidden by the nature of the beast - held so many more secrets. Merlin was one. MacLeod another. They were mysteries that would eventually be solved and Vindicator, exploration and science based as she was, would be at the forefront. "Please share all information as you receive it, Si'a can very likely chart it by memory, but your scans and work will make life easier for her no doubt."

Anaxar nodded. "I'll get started tomorrow, and I'll keep you updated as we go." He found he looked forward to it. Much as he enjoyed spending time here on the planet, with Si'a, enjoying the weather and all, all the waiting made him restless. This would give him something to do, something to pass the time and occupy his mind, and curb his impatience. He extricated himself from the chair, which appeared reluctant to let him go. "Thank you, Commodore."

"Thank you Lieutenant." Rochelle nodded to him, "Enjoy the rest of your day."

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer


Lieutenant Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer,


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