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[BACK / PLOT LOG] Com Ivanova, Praetor Vrith Tr'Bak | "Where Stars Were For Shining" pt 3

Posted on 242001.15 @ 21:13 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Vrith Tr'Bak
Edited on on 242001.27 @ 20:41

Mission: Genesis
Timeline: just after the shuttle crash

December 24th
12:01 PM
Arizona, USA, Earth
33.40'34 N 111.16'44 W

[OOC: This log happens during/right after the crash and pre-Landon's arrival to the crash site.]

When it came to the USS Vindicator, and namely her brazen and resilient Captain, Vrith Tr'Bak took great interest and care in seeing to it that there was a steady source of constant intelligence pouring in. Most of it was idle stories and news of communications between the crews and their families. Some were logistics reports, ports of call, different missions and experiences the vessel ran into along the way. Some were mentions of the Skipper's love life, and how the bizarre 'V' that it was often came across like some sort of soap opera. He wouldn't judge, it wasn't his place. He simply listened and by listening he learned and lurked and kept himself always within reach of another attempt to count coup as was customary between the two rather savage Captains. However, it was news of a coup of an entirely different sort that had caught the grandeur of his full attention. One that would seek to end her life - and that was something he simply couldn't have.

Long ago had it been made clear that no other soul was welcome to play in his proverbial sandbox. The USS Vindicator - especially Rochelle Ivanova and Landon Neyes - was off limits to all but he.

It had been sheer luck that his many ears had overheard a plot filled with sedition and hate coming from the dark bowels of Starfleet's most insidious. At first he hadn't quite believed the news. It read more like a bad action novel than reality, but it soon became readily apparent that the information was anything but a joke. The players were right. The timeline correct. Sedition at its finest seemed readily to play out with nary a whisper of suspicion coming from the Vindicator's camp itself.

"Lord... It isn't wise for you to be in this system much less on Earth." A young Arrain tried his best to keep up with the lanky Praetor's effortlessly long strides. Tr'Bak was tall for a Romulan, and that lofty height afforded him maximum coverage of ground with minimal effort, "You must remember that you are no longer a..."

"Senator. I am aware of who and what I am, Hdaen. You'd do well not to forget who and what you are." There was a mix of boredom and ire alight within the Praetor's voice, "You will ready the shuttle we captured and you will stand fast and inform our allies at Port Phoenix that I will likely require their assistance. If she dies, we will attack at once."

"And if she lives?" Hdaen asked, instantly feeling stupid for doing so.

Tr'Bak, for his mettle, failed to even look at the greenhorn. So young. So naive. He'd learn or he'd die - that was the nature of things, "If she lives then there will still be war, but we will not have part in it. It will be a war she will need to wage from within the Federation itself."

Hdaen couldn't suppress the surprised laughter that burst from his mouth, "What makes you think she'll ever do your bidding, Lord?!" It sounded absurd, like madness and Hdaen couldn't believe what his ears were listening to. Maybe it was all some misbegotten joke? Certainly the Praetor hadn't lost his mind completely.

This time, the Praetor's bright emerald eyes flashed with warning. In a blink they were upon the young Arrain and his mouth had turned upwards into a most predatory smirk, "You're a fool," He said, "Do not trouble yourself with such questions. Just do as you are asked and be thankful your father has been of good service to the Empire."

"Then who is the enemy if not Ivanova?!" Hdaen blustered, "I apologize, Lord, but I am trying to understand the pieces here."

Tr'Bak paused his forward motion and turned to face the boy. As he prepared to answer the insolent little cur, he pulled from his pockets a pair of black leather gloves and began to slide his elegant fingers into them one hand at a time. It would be cold and winter on the surface, and frostbite wasn't his forte. "Commodore Ivanova is not the enemy, my dear boy. She is a most reluctant friend who will soon come to realize that the enemy of the Federation is also the enemy of our people."

"The Klingons? Cardassians?"

The Praetor scoffed, "So narrow minded are you that you have now blinded yourself to the obvious." He tutted, "Do as I ask and maybe you will live to learn a thing or two."


His shuttle had sat cloaked and flanking the Liberty merely a mile or so off as it came through Earth's atmosphere and began it's descent towards Port Phoenix. It didn't take long at all for his instruments to pick up each and every one of the Liberty's system failures. If he had to hazard a guess, they'd likely been set to fail due to the pressure and temperature differences associated with atmospheric flight. It was a clever old trick, but not quite clever enough if one knew what to look for.

What irked him was the fact that there was very little he could do to interfere without showing his hand. Interference would have given them a new scapegoat, someone to try and pin their failures - and the assassination attempt - on when it came time to try and save face. It simply couldn't happen. He wouldn't accept responsibility for their cowardice or their failures, but what he would do was capitalize on both just so long as she held out.

He even winced at the first impact, expertly piloting his craft low and steady to follow the Liberty as it pinwheeled and slid and crashed and came apart through the rugged mountainside before slamming into the yawning gape of what appeared to be an old mine.

If she survived... It would be a miracle.


Pain was not a foreign concept to Tr'Bak.

He'd inflicted it, felt it, controlled it - now, however, things were quite different. His whole body felt as if it were aflame, except he distinctly knew it wasn't his pain he felt.

It was hers.

He found her hanging in her seat’s harness from the wreckage of what had once been a rather lavish shuttle craft. The metal of its hull lay twisted and gnarled, curling its ruined and wretched fingers around her body as if it chose to cradle her like some sort of macabre carnival prize. In the shadows the wreckage and precariously perched rocks cast over her, he could only make out her blood spattered features in the flashes arcing electrical circuitry produced as it went through its death throes in fantastic arrays and sprays of coruscating sparks. The smell of burning flesh and smoke churned his gut, but he refused to look away from the spectacle before him.

The Liberty, or what was left of it, lay on its side, mangled and twisted on the rocky lip of the mountainside where it had come to rest. He'd been right with his first thought and assessment. It was largely lodged in the mouth of a centuries old mine adit and the rest balanced precariously on a thin shelf of crumbling tailings and earth that seemed to defy gravity by stretching too far over the cavernous valley below. A gaping hole in what had been the right side of the craft’s cabin now opened toward the sky, allowing the early afternoon winter light to try and illuminate the exposed interior.

Perched as it was, the wreckage gave the appearance of a sacrificial offering, held out from the arms of the mountain. It was quiet now. The creaking and groaning of the framework had settled, replaced by the eerie stillness of tension, as if the remnants of the Liberty, aware of its position, was somehow holding its breath.

It was Rochelle’s pain he felt and her pain alone that numbed the bitter wind as it played with the oil dark tips of his hair and the end of his cloak.

The only thing that broke his concentration was the sudden appearance of a cold, wet, white splatter atop the bridge of his olive nose.


His mouth pulled into a scowl knowing full well how fickle Earth could be with its weather.

One flake could soon become feet of wet and powdery snowfall, burying them both in its hypothermic ignorance. Either way, the appearance of the frigid precipitation spurred Tr’Bak into action and he pocketed his black leather gloves in refusal to further waste valuable time.

A quick look around allowed him to take an assessment of the situation, and he realized that she was hanging face down and over the emergency exit door.

Rather, what used to be the door.

In the tilted cabin, it now appeared to serve as the floor, and Rochelle’s legs were wedged against it, held nearly immobile by the loose debris that surrounded her. Her seat had broken free upon impact, its warped frame now clung to her body with the desperation of a small child. As luck would have it, the seat back itself had been impaled on a rather thick and jagged piece of metal that had arced upward during the impact with the adit’s stone ceiling. That alone had kept her body free from mid-thigh to head - with exception of her left arm - and likely kept her from being crushed or immediately suffocated.

His lucidity continued to allow him to make calculated assumptions and plans as he maneuvered himself carefully around the jagged pieces of structuralized metal, inching his way closer in a bid to bring her lifeless body to freedom. It was a tedious process, but he didn't have the luxury of waiting for rescue - he was her rescue. Those that would be on their way to assess the wreck wouldn’t be so kind once they found her.

"We should stop meeting around destruction, Commodore." He half-heartedly crooned as he squeezed into the shallow pocket beside her. It took some finagling, but he was able to liberate her trapped arm. A combination of rock and wood, metal and wiring clattered away - pinging off the wreckage as it slid free and exposed more of her legs. Tr’Bak watched and listened to it go, making absolutely certain that the entire shuttle wasn’t about to shift and follow it down the hillside. Only when he was mostly sure that any such thought was mere folly did he carefully gather up one of her blood encrusted hands in his and deftly stroke her delicate wrist with his fingers until he found her pulse.

Weak. Thready. It was there and it would suffice for now. He gently released her from his grasp and moved to run his hands along her neck, feeling and searching along her unnaturally chilly flesh until he was satisfied she hadn't broken the elegant column of vertebrae. “You do lead a charmed life,” He strained, moving closer to support the bulk of her meager weight as his hands moved from her neck to toy with the buckle of her harness.

One strap of it gave way.


Out of five.

He hissed, curling his digits around the offending piece of plastic and metal, feeling the way chunks had been gouged out and pieces jammed. The entire back side of it, the bit that had been pressed against the Commodore’s torso, was hot, wet, and sticky with the promise of her blood. When he experimentally pressed his knuckle to her flesh, he was rewarded with the sickening feel of copious amounts of fresh blood sliding along his skin and the barely there sound of a pained whimper hot against his neck where her face lay against him.

“Faelirh ch'susse-thrai.” Tr’Bak swore in his native tongue, reaching with his free hand to slide free the jeweled dagger sheathed at his side. Even with the awkward angle, the blade severed the thick straps just as easily as if they were half-melted butter. The caveat was doing so in such a way that he didn’t accidentally impale the little human woman on his blade, though part of him greatly wondered if doing so, putting her out of her misery, would have been the kindest gift he could have given her.

Cradling her now freed body against his, the choice had never been one he’d truly entertain. Rochelle Ivanova wasn’t meant to die that day. She was meant to be rescued from the wreckage, brought back to health, and released back upon the known universe no worse for wear aside from a fair bit wiser about the predicament of the politics she had unknowingly wound herself within.

With her tightly secured in his grasp, the Romulan forced himself to stand, ignoring the throbbing ache in his leg as it raked against something unforgivably sharp, and began to make his way toward the hole in the hull he’d entered through. It was awkward with the damn thing lying sideways and he stepped as carefully as he could over broken seats, strips of jagged metal, and shattered windows, pulling them forward with agonizing deliberation.

The redhead groaned as Tr’Bak carefully extracted them both from the carnage. Occasionally she’d twitch from being brushed up against something sharp and he’d pause momentarily to whisper his apologies and clear the path a bit better. All together, it took the better part of ten minutes to wrangle her free from the wreckage and those ten minutes had felt like ten lifetimes when at last he stood back, cradling her in his arms, and surveyed the entirety of the spectacle before him. Looking between her ashen, blood and dirt smeared face resting against his collarbone and back to the wreckage, he couldn’t help but shake his head in wonder that she’d managed to survive the impact at all.

Jostling her to retrieve his disruptor wasn’t something he necessarily wanted to do, but he was committed to the task he’d set out to accomplish. A well placed shot to the rock above the fallen Liberty was all it took to send several tons of stone careening down upon the mangled carnage and the hole he’d just aided her in escaping. More importantly, it erased any chance of discovery that she’d been rescued and would stop any would be hunters in their tracks.

And there would be hunters.

Grey suited hunters called out in a pack to swarm the crash site in pursuit of Ravnsson's macabre prize. Hunters, armed with weapons just as powerful as his, that would report back to the slimy bastard who would then sound solemn bells that would undoubtedly set the entire Federation into a state of critical mourning. His mouth soured at the very thought as he made haste over the ridge to where his own shuttle sat waiting.

The ballet had just begun its first act. While it had been admittedly technical and anything but easy footwork to accomplish, it soon waned and gave way to an even more complicated second act in which he’d have to perform a miracle; life. He’d need to do much more than free her from the crash if he was to save her life, and that was the part that daunted the Praetor the most.

To Be Continued...

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer

Vrith Tr'Bak
Commanding Officer, Anima Venator
Romulan Star Empire


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