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[Cue The Q] Capt Landon Neyes (ret.) | "This Dismantled Altar" pt 2

Posted on 241903.20 @ 20:43 by Lieutenant Craig MacLeod & Captain Landon Neyes

Mission: Lacuna

“It’s water, old man. Drink it.” The half-Trill uttered in what sounded like a half-hearted order.

“Vaan?” Landon’s brows knit in query, his hand falling over the open mouth of the glass. The name sounded in what genuinely felt like a stupid question. Javaan was just a little boy. A small child with eyes full of wonder, but this man… This man seemed so damned familiar and so damned near what he’d often imagined his son would turn out to be. His mouth, the stern pout of it, was undoubtedly Rochelle’s. He’d know it anywhere, but this? This was insanity. Javaan Irelle was just days away from turning 3, not nearing thirty-three and certainly not a stone-faced Captain.

“You don’t get to call me that. Captain Irelle works dandy enough.” The boy’s words were sharp and clipped, filled with biased rancor but not quite bubbling with hatred. Not yet. His eyes, however, hardened as he lay a hand against the tense expanse of his father’s shoulders, “Take a drink and put your hands behind your back. You’re under arrest.”

“What?” Landon’s incredulous laugh was more out of surprise than humor and the glass of water was quickly forgotten for sake of a quick pivot to face his accuser. His eyes raked the Captain’s face, looking for a hint that what had come out of his mouth was a prank, someone sent by Rochelle or Tristan or Aella. Aella. It was definitely more Aella’s style. “You’re good.” He chuckled, willing his heart to slow down from it’s breakneck pace, “Seriously. Very very good. You look the part, that’s for sure.” Even now, face to face, the resemblance was uncanny. He could see so much of both himself and Rochelle, and that slow, stubborn style that refused to ebb when it came to all things between the Trill and his estranged wife, no matter where he looked.

Even the way the man arched his brow at Landon’s words, and the slow sigh coupled with the shaking of his head still begged and tugged at his sleeve to re-think his dismissal no matter how insane it seemed. They’d encountered the downright impossible before.

“Right,” Javaan pursed his lips, “So you’re using again. Perfect.” The level of disgust was rising, bitter as bile, in the young Captain’s throat and coated his tongue with a particularly nasty brand of vitriol that was just begging to be released. Somehow, perhaps by the love of providence and providence alone, he managed to bite that tongue and still it from going further than it should have while faced with the man that helped bring him into the universe,

“The hell I am!” The entertainment value had begun to fade and Landon’s temper began to flare, “I’m done playing games. Where’s Aella?”

“Just turn around and put your hands behind your back.”

The moment Javaan went to lay his hands on Landon, an attempt to guide him in presenting his wrists for arrest, there was a slap of hands meeting uniform fabric and the younger of the two men took a half-step backwards. So close in height, Javaan may have been an inch taller, but they stood relatively eye to eye. Sharp, unamused, the boy’s eyes flashed briefly with surprise, maybe even a bit of hurt, before they steeled over and his jaw set.

“You really want to know about your pet? She’s been dead for five years, same as mo--” He caught himself, his lip curling ever so slightly before speaking again, “Admiral Ivanova.”

Admiral Ivanova. Rochelle… She was the only one of that name that he knew of, the only one that Landon had heard of outside of bits and bobs about her mother who had passed long before Rochelle was but a whisper on the name of Starfleet’s wind. The idea of her being dead chilled him to the core, tugging on the same threads that Tr’Bak had preyed upon. The same threads that ultimately made him vomit each and every time he woke up from a nightmare and she wasn’t resting safe and sound at his side.

“I think you need to leave.” He nodded, affirming the sentence and setting it in stone, “Tell Aella that I don’t appreciate the joke.”

“You’re serious? You think I’m just going to walk out that door without you in custody?” Javaan gestured vaguely in the direction of said door, posturing as if the very thought was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. And it was. “After everything you’ve done, after five fucking years hunting your ass down, you think I’m going to leave without you?” There it was, the bitter cold caustic hatred that lashed out with cruel vehemence. What may have lacked in the boy’s voice remained painted across his face. Anger seemed so inappropriate an emotion to ever cross such a face. It highlighted his youth and stole away the little details that spoke of any remainders of innocence he may have had, erasing them as his skin reddened and his eyes darkened dangerously.

Landon recognized it, saw it for what it was and what it would become. The honesty projected by the rawness of the Captain’s reaction shook him, left him thunderstruck and staring at the him while grasping at straws. In front of him stood someone who honestly believed they were Javaan Irelle, Captain Javaan Irelle no less, and worse believed that Rochelle was dead and he was some sort of criminal. Had he known it, the Twilight Zone may very well have decided to lilt it’s strange tune throughout his mind.

His head tilted and his mouth opened to speak but nothing wanted to leave his larynx outside of a heavy puff of exasperated air that seemed to help trigger more, “And what is it that I’m meant to have done?” He finally asked.

The young half-Trill’s response was immediate. A hot flood of additional anger combined with absolute befuddlement. It was Javaan’s turn to search his father’s face, trying to ascertain whether or not the man was plumb crazy, stoned stupid, or seriously didn’t know.

The blue-grey eyes staring back at him weren’t dilated or constricted. He wasn’t sweating, wasn’t jittery.

Landon Neyes stood stalwart and steadfast, completely in control, if not a bit confused and a touch annoyed… And afraid. He could see that hint of fear clawing its way up into his father’s eyes, changing the color and dilating the pupils ever so slightly. It forced him to swallow the growing knot of his own rage, “You really don’t remember?” He asked, far softer than anything he’d said to the man in present time.

“No,” Landon’s head shook slightly, “I honestly don’t, Captain.”

Javaan’s temple began to throb, the great vein beneath the surface pumping heavily in time with his heart and sending the sound of blood rushing heavily in his ears. The breath he drew was sharp, and his weight stabilized itself squarely while he chose his words and regarded his father carefully, “You killed her.” He breathed, “You killed my mother.”

Landon’s hands went cold. Far colder than the normal chilly touch of the common Trill. They’d gone cold with a brand of hurt and panic he’d only ever felt once before. Rochelle had been taken from him then, and he’d been left with the residuals, summoning the troops, demanding she be found. He remembered it as if it had occurred mere moments before, but even in his foggy mind he knew it hadn’t. He may not have known for absolute certain where, or when, he was, but he knew something was horribly wrong and horribly tainted by the Gods only knew what. “No, sorry, you’ve got the wrong man.” His head shook and he jammed his hands into his pockets, peering up at Javaan from a lowered face and from beneath the dark coal of his lashes. His forehead was wrinkled, partly from shock and partly from confusion, a touch from the anguish that rose unbidden by such a thought.

“Bullshit. She got in your way and you fucking killed her. I’m just glad she took your pet out first.” Javaan seethed. For him, the notice of his mother’s death, by his father’s hand no less, was fresh as anything. Burying her while his father ran like a cowards through space burned hotter than any star ever yet discovered. He’d vowed, promised her during that horribly sunny late winter day that he’d find him. Catch him. Make him pay for everything he’d ever done to her. To them. This wasn’t how he’d expected it to come to pass, though. Landon Neyes had arrived by chartered shuttle, stepped off onto a Starfleet maintained station in deep space, checked into a relatively decent suite, and acted as if he hadn’t a care in the world right up until the point where he choked on and screamed the name of the dead as if it were he last thing he’d ever do. That part, along with the strangest of behaviors and convincing act of ignorance, confused Javaan the most. It wasn’t the modus operandi of a cold hearted murderer.

“Listen,” Landon’s voice was rough, husky, and raw. His head shook and his shoulders slumped as he spoke as if he had nothing left to give. “I would never--” Thunder. He could hear distant peels of thunder. It stole from him his train of thought. His words. Everything he comprehended. “I would never hurt--” another savage crack stole away his voice, forced him to wince at the nearness of the boom and jump out of his skin at the icy touch of nearly frozen rain water pelting him from unknown heavens. “What--” No. No words. The wind teased them from him yet again as he stood here transfixed.

No walls. No hum of electric life from the archaic station. Instead, trees limbs caught in heavy breeze creaked and groaned, threatening to give up the fight against the savagery of the storm raging around them. Beneath his feet were rocks, brutal as they clawed at his bare flesh and threatened to rend his toes from his body, and he was painfully cold.


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To Be Continued...
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Captain Landon Neyes
Retired
(Borrowed momentarily by Spaceman)

 

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