Uss Vindicator

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Posted on Mon Mar 6th, 2023 @ 9:18pm by Admiral Rochelle Ivanova & Lieutenant Commander London Norris

2,201 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: Genesis

The new Chief of Security had arrived on board the ship only a short time before. The trip to the ship had been quite the adventure, but that was a story for another time.

It had been a while since Lieutenant Commander London Norris had been on a starship. At least, it had been a while in the capacity of actually serving onto one. For the past two decades, she'd held several planet side positions, a long line of posts that was concluded with the one of senior Security instructor at the Academy. But, the longing to serve in space, had been growing over the years, and she'd finally decided to give into it. So here she was, ready for a new adventure.

The way to the Bridge and the adjacent CO's ready room wasn't hard to find, and so she found herself pressing the chime to the office only shortly after she'd come aboard and been shown her quarters.

"Enter!" Rose the newly minted Skipper's voice from where she stood, precariously perched on her desk's chair, trying to reach for the highest of the floating glass shelves behind said chair and desk. It had been fabled that her mother had often displayed any number of artifacts and pieces of archaeological interest on those same shelves - a carefully engraved Mexican silver Colt .45 included - and now they held... Well... Very little. Eirlys had no such memories or prizes to display. Dust had begun to gather and she had taken it upon herself to be rid of that annoyance the moment she'd laid eyes on the tell tale dinge just moments before.

London knew whom's office she was walking into, but wondered if the sentiment was mutual. She'd know soon enough. But, she was familiar enough with the woman on the other side of the door, to not really be surprised at the precarious situation that unfolded in front of her eyes. Or maybe she was, because it wasn't really something you expected from a Commanding Officer. In any case, a light smile played across her face as she spoke. "Lieutenant Commander Norris, reporting in."

"Norris?" Eirlys asked, daring to push herself to tip toe as she reached for the far back corner of the shelf. If she looked over her shoulder, the shift of balance would have landed her in sickbay looking for stitches or maybe a replacement for a broken neck - completely dependent upon how she landed, of course. One thing was certain, her ego would have been badly bruised. No CO, however fresh or seasoned, wanted to fall in front of their crew. Especially not while doing something that could so easily be branded as 'stupid'. "Like..." She strained, reaching further until her cloth covered fingers hit the bulkhead and left her able to wipe the dust away with no small thrill of victory, "London Norris?"

Of course, had it been London Norris, it meant that she was doing the stupid thing in front of her former professor. Victory began to peter out and be replaced by embarrassment and concern while the spirited young woman's fingers came away from the shelf and she lowered herself from tip toe.

"That would be me, yes, Captain," London replied with a slight grin. She couldn't hide the amusement she was feeling, even if only to hide the anxiety she was feeling because she would be serving on a starship again. Of course, this individual wouldn't be the only one she'd taught at the academy and whom she would run into now, but it was definitely the highest ranking one. Overall, most officers hadn't reached a rank higher than her own yet. Which always made the introductory situation less awkward. "Do you want me to give you a hand with that?"

Ah yes... Professor London Norris, Lieutenant Commander. A genius when it came to most all things Security and even Tactical related. Eirlys had been stuffed into the Commander's class because there was no other advanced course waiting to oblige her presence. Her stint through the Academy had been extraordinarily less than orthodox - then again, everything about Eirlys was downright unnatural. She shouldn't exist in their universe, had lived a life filled with subterfuge and strife while serving a far different version of Starfleet and a far more manic version of the Federation.

Back under the Commander's gaze, the Captain felt both the unwelcomed heat of embarrassment in her ears and the tingle of happiness that came alongside positive recognition. Norris had been a good friend above and beyond being a good Professor, "I believe I've conquered the shelves, Commander, but thank you." She nodded, carefully getting off her chair and turned to face the other woman once she was back on solid ground. "I mean, make yourself at home, stars alive where are my manners." She muttered, gesturing to one of the seats in front of her desk, "Can I get you a coffee? tea?"

"Some ginger tea would be good, yes," London smiled as she sat down. It was her standing order, so it would be no surprise for Eirlys to hear. Even though she could go through periods where she lived on coffee, there would be an equal number of times she didn't touch the black gold. She was weird that way. When she'd learned she would serve on Eirlys' ship, apprehension had settled in, but these first moments of their reunion felt alright. The Captain was feeling at least as awkward as she was, which meant things would probably work out just fine. "How long have you been aboard?" she asked, gazing back up at the shelves that were still being organized.

"Three days," Eirlys replied as she set about fetching what she liked to call 'the good stuff'. Dani kept her in solid supply of the finest teas one could procure. Apparently the fact that she had inherited her mother's love of tea had come as a great source of amusement and endearment to the plucky mercenary and that meant that it was never in short supply. The kettle of boiling water, however, came straight from the replicator. "I've been told that this is the real deal, white leaf tea with Peruvian ginger. Haven't tried it, but I've been warned of its potency." She beamed on the return trip, carefully setting the tray down on her desk, "Seems we're off to a pre-adventure before jumping feet first into the real deal." A cup was presented and the hot, amber beverage poured before it was offered to the Commander and its twin found itself kept in the Captain's hand as she finally took her seat... The right way.

"I have to ask... Did you intend to return to the stars or was the decision made for you by the brass?" Eirlys asked, her mouth mostly hidden behind the blue and white rim of her mug.

Taking in the smell of the liquid, London was immediately sold on her own choice. Talking about choices... "I requested a shipboard transfer. Over the years, I've grown more and more envious of the eager cadets, heading out into space. After two decades, I thought it was time I found out if I have any space legs at all," she spoke easily. It was definitely easier to introduce yourself or explain your thoughts to a CO you already knew from before. All in all, she thought her assignment could have ended up a lot worse. She had no doubt Eirlys would make a fine Captain. Might need some grooming and had to gain experience, but she definitely had the potential. London had seen that the moment the odd duck had entered her classroom all that time ago.

The odd duck nodded appreciatively, both of the tea and of the choice Norris had made to jump into space, "And it would seem that providence smiled upon all of us and stuck you on the Vindicator with your dear old student." She chuckled, shaking her head slightly at the irony with a quick rise of her brows, "What a turn of events. Regardless, I'm happy you wound up here. I know names because of stories, but you're really the only one on here that I know because I've spent time with you."

"I think it's a good thing to be able to head out into space with at least some people you know," London agreed, carefully sipping her tea and appreciating the savor that greeted her. She hadn't quite expected her reporting in to turn out this way, but she wouldn't complain, oh no, not at all. "I have to admit it's going to be an adjustment, but I'm confident I'll find my way. Then again, there's a big rift between the theory and the practice. I've been stuck in the theory for so long, that the practice might prove a problem," she carefully voiced some of what was preoccupying her mind.

The Captain's shoulders rose and fell in an easy shrug, "I imagine it'll come down to instinct if and when the times comes for you to turn theory into practice." The lack of concern was more than evident as she relaxed against her seat, simply enjoying the company in an environment that felt so... Alien. Ravnsson had always coveted the USS Vindicator, and with good reason. He needed to control the narrative in the wake of Commodore Rochelle Ivanova's untimely death. Eirlys' mind mentally struck out the word death and instantly replaced it with murder, leaving a bitter taste of anxiety and ire across the back of her tongue. Another sip of tea washed it away. Such things weren't true in this iteration. The Commodore, now Admiral, was perfectly fine and Ravnsson was long gone. Vindicator was quietly docked at Cold Station Theta, unaware of the strife its other self had been put through for sake of glimmer and subterfuge - the agenda of a madman. These were things that Eirlys still needed to reassign and categorize, maybe even leave behind as nothing more than a fever dream.

'Anyway," She smiled, perching forward, "I think it was you yourself that said that you drill all of that material into our heads so that it's like riding a bicycle when the time comes. So yeah... Instinct."

It didn't take a genius to notice that Eirlys still had things to work through. London had seen it oftentimes during lectures, and saw it again now. She was in no rush to get this conversation over with, so she gave the other woman plenty of time to let her thoughts go where they went before reining them back in. As they did, and the conversation continued on her anxiety, she gave a rueful smile. It wasn't always easy to hear your own teachings echoed back at you, which didn't mean they weren't true. "That much is certain, Captain. Do you know if there's anything in particular I should be aware of in my department, or the ship overall?"

"It's the Vindicator," Eirlys chuckled, gesturing to the ship, "Romulans follow her, planets like to try and swallow her, and there's no small amount of espionage and weirdness abound." Granted, those had been the stories she'd heard and logs she'd listened to dating back to Captains even before her own father's time in the big chair. "There's always something to keep you on your toes, but that comes with a flag ship and with the missions we take."

That sounded.. promising. Or terrifying? London let out a chuckle she didn't really feel. "The flag ship is bound to tumble from adventure to adventure," she carefully replied, finishing her cup of tea. The tea was definitely what she'd take away from this encounter thus far. Probably because thinking about anything else, caused the anxiety to rear its awful head.

At that the redhead both nodded and shrugged, "Who knows," She whispered in between sips of tea almost conspiratorially, "Maybe the excitement will choose a new target and leave the Vindicator be... For now." Hopefully. Eirlys could use a few solid missions tucked firmly in the category of the mundane. She'd had enough excitement for a lifetime. A hand slid into a desk drawer as she mused the chances of quietude's longevity. A quick press of her thumb to the surface woke the little device and a few taps of her other fingers pulled up the information she needed and programmed the device to house it and only it. "While we wait for excitement to find us, you can take some time to kick back and set up your quarters and all that wonderfulness." The PADD slid across the desk on its way to Norris's hands, "I think it goes without saying, but welcome aboard... Officially."

"Thank you," London smiled. As she climbed to her feet, she put down her cup and accepted the PADD. "You're going to be good at this, I'm sure," she returned the kind words. After all, if you couldn't rely on your fellow shipmates and friends, then who could you count on?


Captain Eirlys A. Irelle
Commanding Officer

Lt. Commander London Norris
Chief Security Officer


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