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Commodore Ivanova & Cmdr. Merlin | A Cup Of Tea, pt. 2

Posted on Mon Oct 28th, 2019 @ 10:21pm by Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: Dust Stirring
Location: Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 241910.28

"Doesn't help that she's with child and they know it doesn't belong to the late Emperor." Rochelle couldn't help but sneak a quick quip in, pausing only to lean back deeper in her chair, "The sire of which is absent. Not that it's a truly big deal, everything I gather says that even the Empress herself was the result of a union between her mother and a courtesan." Flippantly, she shrugged, "I doubt she'll give her people much reason to doubt her intentions, after all she single handedly wrangled the Cardassian Union into behaving and we're not nearly as imperious or nasty as they can be, now are we?"

He answered that last quip with all seriousness, though the smile still lingered in his eyes. "UCIP as a whole isn't intent on conquering or slavery, no. Maybe it's because we like to work with all the different races which make up this group, draw from the strengths of each to become more than just the sum of her parts, instead of trying to subjugate to benefit just one single race." He picked up the tea spoon and twirled it between his fingers like a mini baton. "And in taking a husband from another race, and now another lover, it shows that in both her personal life as well as in her politics the Empress is prepared to look outward. Creating ties with the Romulans, defusing the Cardassians… Her coming here to several months ago, and now your visit to her, seems to indicate the desire of closer ties between the Stenellian Ascendancy and us as well."

"It could be argued, without a doubt." The smile in the man's eyes said everything she needed to hear, but the words defending the Empress and her suitors most certainly sealed the case and left it closed... At least for her. The rest of the wanton universe would simply have to continue to speculate. Quite simply put; it was none of their business. "She intends to birth her child at your station, just thought I should let you know. Something about Starfleet being better equipped to handle the unknown in the event of an emergency. It's news picked up and now placed in your lap," She reached idly for her cup, drawing it to her with some small degree of smug satisfaction.

"Well, thank the stars I'm not a medical officer," he said with a flash of a grin. "But I'm fortunate that we have a very capable doctor on board of the station, and she does have experience with Stenellis. Still, speaking of a sign of trust, this is a huge one. Imagine what would happen if anything should go wrong…" He sighed as several disaster scenarios ran through his mind. The child could die, the Empress could die, and that was just thinking about the birthing process, not even taking the potential for terrorism into account. Now there were sobering thoughts… "Thank you for the heads up," he said, and now he was completely serious again. "Do you know when she will arrive?"

"I imagine sometime within the next week or two," Rochelle mused on the question, digging through her mind for the exact answer and coming up relatively empty handed, "The Stenellis can be secretive, I don't blame them for keeping the travel plans of the Empress on lock down given the nature of this particular weed patch in space." She continued, "Which actually brings up another thought. I may need to borrow your doctor. Lieutenant Dai'xun is overdue to give birth and we're sort of on pins and needles as we wait. Special little family that one is, her relation to the Empress not withstanding."

He remembered them, the tall, thin Andorian who could barely restrain himself when Lieutenant Dai'xun was kidnapped together with Valeese, and the Lieutenant herself. He had seen them together only once. Despite the obvious contrast between the white haired, battlescarred man who was nearly twice as long as the lovely young woman, they suited each other wondrously. "They are indeed," he said softly. "Well, as long as she's able to work, our doctor is at your disposal."

An single russet brow lifted, "Is your doctor doing alright? I know that Captain Ch'Valenvok is on the station as well. I'm sure he wouldn't mind pitching in."

Now the smile popped back again – it never left his face for long. "Oh yes, she's fine. But, ah…" His fingers twitched, as if he was about to wave more words or thoughts away and he restrained them just a moment too late. "She might need to take some personal leave herself soon. But I'm sure the Captain won't mind helping out, and the Commander's staff is quite well-trained."

"Oh." Rochelle nodded as certain knowledge dawned on her. The news washed across her without the Station's skipper needing to paint a greater picture at all. A great part of her wanted to tease him, ask if he was responsible for that personal leave as well, but she knew better and simply didn't know him well enough at all to unleash her brand of humor on him. Not yet, anyway. "I have no doubt that everything will work out in the end. We'll just be staying put until it does and we receive new orders. I'm sure you won't mind playing host for a little bit." Of course he wouldn't. While he was the station's CO, she was Cheydinahll's task fleet CO. The area, and the ships within it, were hers and above that, Admiral Red's. Together they created a triangle of unspoken trust and understanding and in the middle of it all, the station spun ever stalwart in wait of way lay beyond.

A knowing grin flashed by. "Oh, indeed," he said dryly. "Welcome to , where even our secrets have secrets." He sipped the last of his tea and carefully set the delicate cup down. "And of course I don't mind. I always love having you guys around." He really meant it, too. He didn't know too many of the Vindicator's crew, but the people he did know he liked. Some might grow to become friends, in time. And thinking about time… "However, it's about time that I make my way back to Ops. See if there's anything new. Thank you for having me, Commodore."

"Of course." She smiled, finding her feet and extended a hand in his direction. Strange as he was, he was a good officer and the respect she offered had been - at least her mind - well placed, "Do come back for another visit. I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about... Off the record."

He rose as well and gave a small bow. "It's a date," he said, and when he straightened from the bow he held one rose in his hand. The delicate petals shaded from red to yellow, miniature flames. He placed it on top of the empty cup, flower pointed at Rochelle. "Until next time, then." And with those words he vanished from her room.

Looking between the rose and the vacant spot he'd once held, Rochelle felt both of her brows creep several degrees higher, "I don't even want to know..." She muttered to herself, gathering up the flower for a quick study. It left her shaking her head, sighing, and getting up to fetch a bud vase from the replicator.

Until next time, indeed.

----

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Commander Evan 'Talks To Stations' Merlin
Commanding Officer
Cold Station Theta

 

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