Uss Vindicator

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[JDL] Capt Irelle, Cmdr McCormick | "The Unexpected"

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2023 @ 11:57pm by Captain Eirlys Irelle & Commander William McCormick V

1,679 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Genesis
Location: USS Vindicator

Will inspected his uniform in the mirror’s reflection, smoothing out the folded creases. Raised as a Starfleet brat, it had been ingrained him to look his best, but hated what traveling via a starfighter did to his uniform. He knew he was stalling. Reporting for duty aboard a starship is a regular occurrence in the life of a Starfleet officer. Yet, here he was, picking lint. Will and Yivrin made sure they stowed away his birds and took care of the pilots. Now there was only one more official duty to do before he could get on with things—seeing the Captain.

He didn’t know much about who Captain Irelle was, beyond the fact that she was now his commanding officer. Will made a point not to get the scuttlebutt about a senior officer to ensure an unbiased opinion about the person. He could only hope that the captain would do the same. And damn all shrinks. Stowing away his orders in a pocket of his tunic, Will went on with the business. Finding his way to the bridge and to the captain’s ready room. Will performed a tunic tug and then pressed the chime.

As providence would have it, just such a Captain sat draped half across her chair and half across her desk, languidly stirring a cup of cooling tea. In front of her, a PADD flickered as she idly scrolled through it, taking mental notes of the ship's various functions contained within the mid-day report. The sound of her Ready Room's chime nearly didn't register at first. She blinked, her brow furrowed, and she found herself sitting up straight in her seat. "Enter." She called, finding it to be the first thing that slipped past her tongue as if on instinct. Not bad for a newly minted Captain who had only had control of a ship for just a few scant days.

With a little luck, she hoped the individual on the other side of that door would bring her something more than a lazy afternoon PADD filled with information that hardly meant much of anything while they sat moored to Cold Station Theta.

Will inhaled deeply and proceeded as ordered. He paused in front of Eirlys's desk, positioned the chit containing his orders accessible to her, and put his hands in the small of his back.

“Commander William A. McCormick, reporting for duty, along with the reorganized 204th Tactical Fighter Group, Captain.”

Having completed the chore, Will then observed her appearance. He suppressed a smirk and raised his head to gaze past her. His history of dealings with superior officers was not as extensive as his peers, but he'd encountered enough to recognize that each one had their own peculiarities and outlooks, and not to make snap decisions based on initial impressions. Nevertheless, he did form one hypothesis. He wasn't the exclusive recipient of the designation "hotshot"--and not as a sign of admiration.

“I bring you the latest and greatest of starfighter engineering and technology,” Will finished, “With all the bells and whistles applied.”

And providence again delivered, shining fortune down upon the young Captain who'd wished for something far better than mundane PADDs to scour. There in front of her stood the future of Vindicator's fighter wing - something her father had once advocated for and her mother had greatly undervalued. Her eyes brightened as she slid the PADD over closer to herself, "It would most definitely seem that you do," Eirlys couldn't help but offer him a smile and gestured to the seats he stood behind, "Please, make yourself comfortable."

If only the Commander had any clue how she truly adored all things related to aviation - especially when it came to tactical aviation and the technology that both had been and would be contributing to the greatness of its evolution. To her, he was the lucky one. Gifted the ability to push the limits of physics and astrometrics alike for the sake of navigating among celestial bodies and countless starships in ways a large ship, such as the Vindicator, could only ever dream of.

"My father was a fighter jock." She mused aloud, "Attached to the Intrepid many many many moons ago. Sort of feels like ancient history, and I won't bore you with third hand tales." Looking back up from the PADD, she found it hard to contain herself under the bounds of professional decorum that her station dictated. A Captain couldn't put her chin in her hands and gaze all starry eyed upon someone while begging for them to share their own stories. She needed to stay on the side of grace and ease - perhaps even seeming aloof while coming across as encouraging. Or at least that had been what the Academy did its damnedest to drill into her head.

"It's been a long time since Vindicator had an active fighter squadron. Fifteen years, almost sixteen years, to be exact." Eirlys carefully shifted gears back into safe territory, "To say that you came highly recommended for the job goes without saying." Even with the number of concerns that came along with the recommendation, went without saying. She didn't need to utter those words and gauge a reaction to know that they'd be a failed parse, "I picked you because of what you yourself lead with, because you bring Vindicator the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles applied... And I expect and will accept nothing less." Eirlys paused, considering the position, "And I know, neither will you."

Will nodded as he followed along and nodded when she mentioned the USS Intrepid and her father.

“My first posting out the Academy was on the Intrepid. Well, after your father’s tour of duty, of course.”
He finally smiled and lean back in his chair. He had a thoughtful look.

“We have much in common. My father was a fighter jock too before he gave up the seat for the big chair...” He was about go on about his father but skipped it and focus more on lighter subjects.

“I’ll tell you one thing, Captain, I will push the envelope has hard as possible to get the job done.”

The knowledge that he had an ally in Eirlys enabled him to further ease his tension. It didn’t hurt that she was easy on the eyes, too. Despite maintaining a chip on his shoulder, he eventually understood that he didn’t need to prove it to everyone he encountered.

“And if I may speak freely, Captain, the only thing I require is for you to have my back when it matters.”

"Seems we do have much more in common. Our fathers followed similar paths." That token of knowledge was carefully tucked away for later reference. The two of them were odd peas in an odd pod and that was only further galvanized by his 'requirement'. Eirlys considered it as much as she considered him, weighing his merit as she decided whether or not to reserve judgment or take him at face value for what he was; young, exuberant, talented, arrogant, determined to make his mark and reignite his own legacy after a tremendous incident had nearly killed him.

In him, she saw her father and his struggles to return to grace after Tr'Bak had left him bare.

The choice was made. Fate sealed.

"I give you my word." She nodded quite solemnly, "and that is not something I give easily. It comes along with my trust and my belief in your abilities as a person and an officer."

Regardless of the chip on his shoulder or his quick wit, or the way he seemingly drank her in with those intelligent, soulful eyes, Eirlys instinctively knew that behind the facade was someone damn near begging for the chance to prove themselves. And she refused to be the one that dashed their hopes completely.

Will slowly nodded and grunted in approval. "That's all I can ask."

He paused for a moment to consider a thought before speaking with a grin.

"And if the Captain would want to use her prerogative to take one of the new Valkyries for a test flight, simply let me know."

At first she was simply nodding along in agreement, pleased that they were able to reach a professional accord - and then the record scratched and Eirlys blinked and tilted her head ever so slightly off to the right as she considered whether or nor she'd heard him right. She had, she decided, based on the evidence provided by the grin on his face. Answering the offer was something paramount, but her mind spun out trying to figure out a way to politely decline the offer because of bullshit principles and unspoken rules and all that crap that had been force fed to her.

Sleek, beautiful, unparalleled, the Valkyries at her disposal were truly magnificent feats of engineering marvel. Just to touch one was to become shamelessly addicted - and here the Commander offered her the whole enchilada. An actual flight, not stuck in a holodeck. The real deal. She found herself nodding again, "I will. Thank you." propriety be damned. One only lived once, and living that life to the fullest was more important than bureaucracy and red tape.

Will chuckled and grinned wider, amused that she taken him up on his offer.

"And when you do, I'll be your wingman," He said, "I don't want to be the one explaining to the Admiral what happened if the unexpected happens."

The Admiral.

The question of 'which one' briefly flickered across her mind, prompting her to remember that they shared yet another thing in common: Mothers who were Admirals... And hers, ultimately, was the one they'd be answering to if things went positively pear shaped.

"The unexpected will stay far away if it knows what's good for it." Eirlys finally piped up.

End Log

Captain Eirlys A. Irelle
Commanding Officer

Cmdr. William A. McCormick, V
Group Commander
204th Tactical Fighter Group
USS Vindicator


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