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SD242108.28 | Cmdr Ivanova, Capt Neyes | "Of Time and Tempests"

Posted on Mon Feb 20th, 2023 @ 12:03am by Admiral Rochelle Ivanova & Captain Landon Neyes

1,558 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Genesis
Location: Japori II
Timeline: BACKLOG

Waves of gold swung and swayed beneath the impatient hands of the Gods. They undulated, roiling, cresting as seed heads of wheat crashed and sighed against one another in some timeless and tempestuous tango with the darkening skies above. The air had been unseasonably hot and humid all day, coming to weigh heavy against Rochelle’s delicate skin. She watched, unfettered, as the clouds continued to curtsy to one another, accepting yet another dance as they grew darker with the promise of violence and life giving rain.

For five months, nearly six, she’d been allowed to fall back in love with the wonders of a terrestrial world. Weather, wheat, the circle of life… It had all fallen into sync with a woman who had been born of the stars and raised far far away in places where such things were trivial and insignificant. Now they were everything and destiny was all.

The first rumble of thunder hardly registered. It was soft and nearly swallowed by the wind as it rushed against her ears. Or maybe that was the sound of her own blood, her pulse quickening and eyes closing under the sensation of a familiar stubbled cheek grazing against the satin of her neck and a strong hand reaching to remove the hat from her head - freeing the bright copper locks to lick the air like flame once more. She could hear him murmur appreciatively in the same instance that his lips claimed territory just north of where her shirt’s collar gave way to barren, albeit sweat slicked, skin. It would have been too easy to melt into him right then and there, making love on the porch swing overlooking the wildly whipping sea of wheat and just letting the storm wash over them.

“Weatherman is shouting about tornadoes again,” Landon’s voice rolled with the next round of thunder. She could feel them both reverberating against her - the storm in front of her, Landon against her back as he wrapped his arms protectively around her swollen belly, guarding her and the new life they had been blessed with. He’d never admit it, but the idea of spinning, sucking clouds of death and destruction failed to register well with him. They left him feeling helpless, unable to do more than wait it out and pray to whatever God that was listening that they’d be spared.

So far, none had come even remotely close.

He’d have loved for it to stay that way, but one glance towards the dark green skies gave that hope reason for pause.

By contrast, the pregnant redhead in his arms hardly seemed bothered by the impending disaster. As always, she remained perfectly poised in the face of adversity, unaffected by even the most perverse dangers. “It’s Japori. Weatherman is always shouting about something.”

It made him smirk, perhaps even smile, in sheer admiration for her bravery and tenacity - but it also left him well aware that it would be his pragmatism alone that would get them off that porch before it became an emergency.

A heavy gust of wind sent her hair flying anew, smelling heavily of rain, ozone, and dirt - streaming hard in one long, violent shudder as it heralded forth the main line of precipitation. It didn’t take long at all for the tranquility to give way to chaos, the trees bent, the windchimes screamed, rain and small bits of hail flew sideways to batter against them. Rochelle felt alive - or at least she did until a pea-sized bit of ice smacked her square in the forehead. That’s when Landon’s insistence won over, sending the two of them rushing hand in hand across the lawn and up the porch stairs into the sanctuary of the old farm house they’d come to call home.

Both of them were laughing, exhilarated as the storm claimed their electricity and the wind howled ruthlessly through the shudders and eaves. They could hear it clear as a bell even as they found relative safety in the house’s old root cellar and Landon struck a match to light an old hanging lantern.

“Weatherman might be right this time.” He quipped, flashing an oddly good humored glance towards his wife.

She met his gaze in the lamp-light, shrugging and leaning back into her chair, “So what if he is?”

The Trill’s smile was nervous at first, but broke through as he shook his head and set his hands on his hips. “You’re not afraid of anything, are you?” He chuckled, “Doesn’t matter what rears its ugly head, you meet it with indifference.”

“The only thing I’m afraid of is losing you, this baby, or Javaan.” Rochelle replied, “Javaan is safe with Tristan and Zed in town. You’re right here with me and wherever I go, this baby goes.”

“And everything else?” He asked, slowly crossing the distance between them, pausing to light additional candles as he went.

“Can be replaced.”

Except it couldn’t.

There was still the nagging tug of the stars, of the Vindicator, of the Federation calling to them and demanding that they return to take their places among them and not allow the beauty of the ‘simple life’ to consume them. They both felt it, perhaps Rochelle more than him, but chose to ignore it for the sake of the happiness they both had found.

Thunder positively roared above them, and she could have sworn she felt it shake the ground beneath her feet. Her eyes had long since met Landon’s, drinking in the hint of fear that darkened his otherwise jovial blue irises.

He reached for her, cupping her cheek in one of his strong, chilled hands. Was it to steady his nerves? To answer some unvoiced call? To satiate some intense desire to simply touch her? Didn’t matter. Nothing mattered at that moment aside from the fact that she was there, alive, and with him. Every day was a blessing, one that he was well aware had nearly been completely stolen from him more times than he could count. It left him feeling open, vulnerable, and barren all at the same time - realizing that he was once again completely dependent on her to leave him feeling whole again… And he could live with that.

What Landon didn’t want to do was voice his correction. He could taste the bitter words as they slammed to halt against the back of his tongue, begging him to return her to the stars where she belonged at least for a little while longer. All of it was easy to forget as they lived in a rural part of a border world, free from all but the smallest hints of the Federation and Starfleet. He knew he was being selfish, but at the same time it had been a strategic plan to live that close to the Vindicator’s home port - dwelling just within striking range but staying strategically hidden in a place that had no care nor worry for who or what they were so long as they played by the written and unwritten rules.

Soon… Just not now… He swallowed the knot in his throat as the next roar of thunder threatened to bring the house down and somewhere a loose window shutter slapped violently against the side of the building. Rochelle chuckled, glancing upwards at the floorboards above, her face framed by the dim lantern light and eyes and hair aglow from the flame.

If there was worry to be found somewhere within the lines of her, he couldn’t make it out. “Breathe…” She whispered, returning her gaze to him, “What’s to be will be, we can’t alter fate.”

“Bullshit.” He replied with a soft snort of air, shuffling ever nearer to her and further away from the now rattling door. Air pressure was a damnable and unnerving thing.

She smiled at him. It was one of those rare, amused sort of smiles that told him he’d caught her off guard. So few ever called her out on her philosophical measures. So few. “We’ve changed the stars, Roc. Fate can’t catch up.”

“Don’t tempt her.” Rochelle’s head shook and a finger rested lightly upon his lips, silencing him.

At least it did until he dropped a feather soft kiss against it and ducked aside to find a far sweeter prize than a simple digit. “I’ll tempt her as often as I damn well please.” His reply flew without care or thought, vibrating against her lips as not much more than a stern whisper. Her mouth was damn near perfect. Warm, velvety, soft. And when she responded in kind, reciprocating his advances with her own, Landon knew he was lost to a storm far more wild and untamed than that bearing down on their little homestead.

Soon... So soon fate would take the lead and the stars once more would do their damnedest to take her from him - but for now he could pretend as if they had all the time in the universe and not a single shred of darkness lurked upon the horizon.


Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer

Capt. Landon Neyes


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