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[BACK LOG] Cmdr Baul, Lt Sha'mer | "Rumors and Conjecture"

Posted on 242001.17 @ 12:39 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Lieutenant Ra'lin Sha'mer

Mission: Genesis

Rumours flew faster through space than any particle, so the news of the shuttle crash and the Commodore's presumed death travelled through the Vindicator in no time at all. In the CO's ready room a small figure sat huddled behind a desk on which a few PADDs were strewn around like lost puppies. Without Rochelle's vivacious presence, the room felt too large, empty and forlorn. All of the sudden the atmosphere here became too oppressive for Ra'lin, too cloyed with memories, and she jumped up and bolted for the door.

By and large, 'Ethel' had mainly kept to herself. There was little to no real news. Just simple speculation made by the crew and word of a suspicious set of circumstances surrounding the XO and some rather animalistic noises. Even her handler had yet to reach out to her, to inform her as to the nature of things - and that left the young female rather unenlightened... And cross. With a glimmering notion of luck, however, she had still retained her sense of spatial awareness and managed to avoid collision with the shiny Commodore's yeoman by a hair's breadth.

"You know something?" She asked the nymph like little woman, reaching out to capture her forearm, "Sharing is caring, so if you know something... Share."

Ra'lin pulled her arm back before the other woman could grab her, aware that the last thing she needed right now was to touch someone else and get an unwanted dose of raw emotions. She shook her head. "I… I don't know anything. I was just trying to concentrate on the reports and then it just… It's all so pointless… I just had to get out of there, you know?" She leaned against the wall of the corridor and ran both hands through her short, spiky hair. Get a grip, Ra'lin… I'm sorry," she said, more slowly. "I didn't mean to startle you like that."

At this, 'Ethel' nodded in understanding. She had long since learned that the Commodore's people loved and admired her. Maybe even had placed her up on some sort of ivory pedestal along with other immortal things like their Gods. Ra'lin was one of those closest to the woman, likely privy to some of her most intimate thoughts and sentiments. As such, it would have puzzled 'Ethel' to see the little nymph act and react differently, "It's been a day," She shrugged, "All is well that ends well." Had she really just said that to someone who was in shock and mourning the loss of their friend? How callous.

"I'm sure more information will be made available soon. I'm truly sorry for the loss of your friend." The Blonde offered with a sympathetic smile. Tr'Bak would need to make contact soon, plans would likely be in motion and his brain would be working on overdrive - she could nearly smell the hot hydraulic fluid of his inner gears from there. It seemed, to steal a phrase from the Yeoman, pointless for the Commodore to have lost her life in such a way. Pointless indeed... And full of waste.

"I don't believe she's dead," Ra'lin said flatly. For one moment, her dark, intense eyes locked with those of the other woman, then she quickly looked away. People tended to find her gaze unsettling, that was one reason for that quick move, the other was the same reason why she avoided touching people.

Why that curt statement? It surprised even herself. There was no logical reason for that belief – though it seemed more than a belief. That inner certainty, then. Nothing that Ra'lin could point at and say 'See! That's why I know she's still alive'. She wasn't mind-linked with Rochelle, they were too far away from the crash site for her to have possibly picked up a mental death cry. Too far away from the planet in general for those things, thank the stars. But still, but still, something inside her insisted that the Commodore wasn't dead. It was a voice she had learned to listen to, over the years.

The sharp instance within those five words took 'Ethel' by surprise. They were finite. Strong. Refusing to waiver from what sounded and felt like a core belief system. It was obvious that the Yeoman had been rattled, maybe even felt helpless and lost, but she hadn't quite allowed herself to be sucked into the vortex of mourning that so many others had. Denial, though, was just another ladder wrung towards the goal of acceptance and understanding when it came to grief. "I don't think anyone wants to believe she's dead." Her response was far softer than anything else she'd ever said - and with surprise, it would seem that even 'Ethel' fall into the broad spectrum bundle of 'everyone'.

Ra'lin shook her head, just one curt movement. "It's not-"

And then that same inner voice warned her to stop right there. -a belief, she wanted to say, but somehow the words never made it past her lips. She sighed. "Perhaps you're right," she said softly and looked down. But a sense of urgency began to grow inside her. She wanted to go down to the crash side. She needed to go down there. Somehow. Somehow.

There was a nod, followed by a small shrug, and 'Ethel' looked away for a moment as if distracted by two more people walking slowly down the corridor. She didn't need super powers to know what they were talking about, how they were feeling, or to feel the tinges of depression and even desperation that were circulating through them. "I uh... Heard the XO took it pretty hard," Great topic choice, "I can't imagine that feeling, you know? Inheriting the ship like that... Seems to be how this torch gets passed, though."

Worst. Topic. Ever.

Even if it was historically accurate between Olan Dar passing it to Landon Neyes and then the 'death' of Landon Neyes resulting in the reins being gathered back up by Rochelle Ivanova. It felt, and read, as if Vindicator was some sort of old mythical sword passing between the hands of great Kings, though 'Ethel' significantly doubted that Almar Dahe'el would continue the legacy. Tr'Bak had long since discounted him as dim and uninspiring. "There's too many variables and what ifs now." The words just fell unbidden, thoughts brought to life without conscious thought. They should have stayed just as thoughts, "The Federation is vulnerable. There's decent Captains with decent crews, but news like this will suck wind from sails in a heart beat," Her attention focused back on Ra'lin, "It almost feels targeted, but that could just be my paranoid mind trying to add some sort of value to the Commodore's death because people like her don't deserve to go out due to something as meaningless as a shuttle crash, you know?"

Ra'lin shrugged. Her own inner turmoil made it harder to focus on what the Counselor was saying. Fortunately, she had enough training by now to let her mind run on two tracts at once. "I suppose. I felt the same way when mom went missing, years ago. Then again, high profile persons within Starfleet are targets, that's a fact. So is it truly paranoia when you know this?"

"No." It was hard to deal in absolutes. There were never supposed to be absolutions in life - but as with everything there were always exceptions, or so it would seem. This was one of them. 'Ethel' knew for a solid, bonafide fact that Starfleet's so called elite were always targets of some scheme or another. She herself was proof enough of that. "I suppose that's why the incident is being investigated as thoroughly as it is." A finger tapped against her chin in thought. Word along the grapevine more than suggested that Starfleet Intelligence had swarmed the crash site and was more or less holding the entire thing hostage as they combed over and through and around it with a fine tooth comb. It was to be expected, to say the least. "If there's something nefarious afoot, we'll know about it soon I guess. Still... Crashing in her own private yacht... On Earth..." The Counselor shook her head.

"Either a tragic accident or a very bold move," Ra'lin said distantly. She, too, had heard the rumours regarding Starfleet Intelligence's involvement with the crash investigation. Personally, her own experience with the Intel division was limited to the encounter where an overly enthusiastic department member had been snooping in the Commodore's readyroom and had been caught by Ra'lin. Now it was possible that this person had been overzealous and too eager to please her superior, but it didn't make for a good impression. As for the rest, she had sometimes overheard her mother talking about Starfleet Intel and she regarded the whole department with wary caution.

"Indeed." 'Ethel' found herself nodding in complete agreement. Any second she'd receive that call. Certainly Tr'Bak had to know something of value. Certainly he wasn't behind something as insidious as this. It would mean that he'd abandoned her with the 'enemy' and that simply wouldn't do. Their mission would be over long before it could even fully begin. "I guess we can all take comfort knowing that her son was with his father? It's tragic enough just losing her."

"That it is," Ra'lin said with a sigh. "I think I'd better get back to my work. There's stuff that needs to be done… for when then Commander resumes his duties, or…" she gave an awkward shrug. "You know."

"Yeah... Probably for the best." A small smile was offered, sympathetic at best even if it felt forced, "I'm around if you want to talk about this... I'm sure you and the Commodore must have been close." Of course they were. Ivanova didn't keep people around in a position as privy to her closest dealings unless they were 'close'. Time would come to pass and things would eventually settle. It just remained to be seen what role 'Ethel' would fill. That call needed to happen... Soon. "Be well, Lieutenant."


Commander Ethel Baul
aka R2

Lieutenant Ra'lin Sha'mer


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