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JDL | Capt Irelle, Capt Aegnor | "Merry Meet"

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2023 @ 5:20am by Captain Eirlys Irelle

1,873 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: Genesis

Captain Luthias Ivar’n Aegnor, USS ENTERPRISE… The name played over and over the screen as the communication’s request continuously blinked on the screen in front of her. Eirlys watched the delta spin, each animated flash of the device lighting up her yes as she sat back and finally gave way to its prodding.

Aegnor… Had a reputation.

“Good afternoon, Captain Aegnor.” She greeted him with a pleasant smile, wrapping her hands around a hot mug of tea. It was a good place for them, warm, comfortable… It kept them busy and grounded as she began navigating the social circles of the other Captains - especially Aegnor. One quick glance at the man told the tale of someone who had been battle hardened, forged in a different sort of fire. She briefly wondered if things like mirth and humor ever lit his icy turquoise eyes and just as quickly dismissed such thoughts. It wasn’t her business or her place to be concerned about his mental and emotional health until it became her problem, and it likely never would.

“Indeed, Captain Irelle.” Aegnor returned the pleasantries with his own. Eirlys hadn’t been what he’d expected to see as the commanding officer of a ship like Vindicator. Vindicator, after all, had replaced Enterprise as flagship - and rightfully so given its performance record over the last twenty or so years. Names like Darr, Neyes, Ivanova plastered over its records as outstanding Captains that each had sacrificed so much for the call. Eirlys didn’t quite physically fit the image his mind’s eye conjured when he thought of a Skipper capable of continuing on that legacy - and yet she was legacy. She was the daughter of two of those aforementioned names, born of greatness and quite literally bred to be in the seat she sat in.

Still. His scarred right brow rose an imperceptible percentage higher as he took in the fresh face of the young woman on the other end of the screen. Hair like fire smelted copper, eyes like ice. The soft tan color of her spots and freckles stood out brightly against a backdrop of snow drop skin so fair and pristine it could almost have doubled as porcelain. No, she wasn’t his physical description of a Captain - but he’d long ago learned never to judge a book by its cover. Like the way something unique often lurked within the layers of pages, something unique most certainly did lurk under that delicate shell.

“I have been told that we will be working closely together. Admiral Ivanova has made it very clear that Enterprise falls under her task force and that Vindicator is to take point.” No further bits of small talk would be needed. It wasn’t his style to get into long, pointless conversations about the weather on Risa before getting down to brass tacks. Business was better left without being spoiled by sugar coating.

“That she has.” The younger of the Captains nodded, the final word semi-drawled and drawn out as she fell off the pleasantries train and into the nitty gritty of duty and details, “I can assure you that the intent isn’t for Enterprise to babysit the Vindicator, if that’s a concern,” She continued, breaking only to take a sip of her tea and reach for a PADD on her desk, “The goal is to have us within a day’s reach of one another in the event of some sort of–”

“Cataclysm. War, namely.” Aegnor interrupted her, “The Federation has earned itself several enemies during Ravnsson’s short stint as President.”

It was Eirlys’ turn to quirk a brow, though admittedly with far less panache than the half-Vulcan on the other end of the call, “I have no doubt that Admiral Archer will have that sorted out in good time. Things were peaceful under his previous term as President.”

The man made a noise. It wasn’t quite a hum, but not aggressive enough to be considered a growl. If anything, it appeared to be a sound congruent with acknowledgement and maybe even a small bit of appreciation, “You aren’t wrong.” He finally agreed, settling back deeper into his chair, “But is that really the basket you want to put all of your eggs in?”

“My eggs, Captain Aegnor, are never kept in only one basket.” The redhead countered, taking another languid sip from her mug. If he’d gotten under her skin, there wasn’t a hint of a tell even when, if she was being honest, she did feel a bit challenged - judged even - by the man. Was it her age? Sex? Questionable history? Certainly he had to know the story. It left her wondering as she set the mug down and thumbed through the PADD on her desk, “Nor are my eggs to be your concern. Enterprise and Vindicator are simply sisters that will support one another in battle and render aid to one another if and when available.” Eirlys asserted gently, “You are not meant to be my babysitter, Captain Aegnor, nor I yours.”

It was Aegnor’s turn to be a bit put off and perhaps ‘challenged’. His eyebrows lifted as he regarded the youthful face on the other side of the screen, attempting to place the authoritative voice with the face and sincerely having trouble. As always, it would seem that appearances were deceiving. Where he saw a kitten, a lioness lurked. “I wouldn’t dream of acting as your au pair, Captain.” He cleared his throat before responding, effectively dusting off the element of surprise that had befallen him in response to her thinly veiled flex of power and prowess, “Nor would I dream of you being mine. However, I would hope that we can establish a functional working relationship between our two crews.”

“Of course,” Eirlys afforded him a smile, “I wouldn’t dream of anything more or less.” Part of her wanted to bring up past failures between the two ships - the very disintegration of which had resulted in many dead officers and civilians alike when the Enterprise had defied Commodore Ivanova’s orders and fired upon Romulan vessels within Stenellian Ascendancy controlled space. Instead, she let it go unsaid. Aegnor was anything but ignorant, and the transgressions of the past iterations of his vessel, and its crew, were likely burning fresh and hot within his memory. “New beginnings are just that,” she offered instead, “and I look forward to a future that is mutually beneficial.” Christ it sounded so… Stuffy. Stagnant. Her eyes threatened to roll in their sockets as the words fell from her lips so sweet and charismatic that it would be hard for any to think anything less of her intentions or belief in them.

Conversely, the pointed ears of the Enterprise’s Captain twitched at the subtle sardonic hints within the young redhead’s voice. The smile that blossomed across his face was by far the most genuine that he had given in many moon cycles worth of time - and he couldn’t help the brusque, quick chuckle that rumbled in his chest. “Ah yes.” He nodded, shifting his weight in his seat, “Bygones be bygones, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, fuck the past and all that.” He rumbled goodnaturedly as he regathered his unique level of chilled composure. A woman that could unseat him in such a manner by simply… Being… Was one worthy of note. She was real beyond anything he had seen, far from tainted by the power that bureaucracy or the blue blood pulsing in her veins had placed in her head. “If it means anything to you, Captain Irelle, I can assure you the Enterprise will not fire upon the Romulans without just cause.”

“And I can assure you that the Vindicator has no desire to consort with or near the Romulans without the same just cause.” She countered quickly, “We should get along perfectly.”

“We should,” Aegnor agreed, “Though someday we should have a conversation about your knowledge of Vrith Tr’Bak.”

Thunder. She heard it, rolling in the distance as the name began to trigger memories that were hers and those of what she had read and been told. Stories that had been passed down. Whispers on the lips of her crew. A name so hallowed and dark that it was hard to speak it at all - and yet Aegnor spoke it so easily. “I know very little about Tr’Bak.” She admitted freely.

“Did he not rescue your mother and aid in her disposal of Ravnnson?” He returned cooly, allowing a single brow to lift as he studied her in earnest, waiting to see how she navigated these troubling waters.

“So I have heard.” Eirlys nodded, “But I am not my mother and such stories are not my own to dissect or entertain. From what I understand, he also kidnapped my father and haunted my family for over a decade before that redemption arc took place.” How did she feel about Vrith Tr’Bak? The question did require an answer - but was the answer hers to give? This version of the man was not hers to judge - at least not yet.

Aegnor could see the light flashing in her eyes as each thought passed by, each emotion took hold and let itself slip away. He could see the intelligence of the woman flickering like brightly burning candle flame, promising that he was mere seconds away from being burnt if he continued to trifle and play in the sandbox he’d chosen to step foot in. “Fair enough. I do appreciate your honesty.” After all… That honesty was going to be integral to how he maintained his balance with her in the future.

“I have nothing to hide.” She shrugged in response.

“I know.” He nodded, allowing his fingers to knit together and his hands to rest on the coolness of his desktop, “Let us hope that chapter is fully closed for all.”

It was Eirlys’ turn to nod, “Indeed. If there’s nothing else, Captain, I should like to get back to business here on the Vindicator. We’re scheduled to depart in just a few short days and I want to be certain–”

“You don’t need to make excuses to end the call, Captain Irelle. I thank you for entertaining me for as long as you have.” A hand passed in front of the screen as if to absolve her of any guilt that may have lingered, washing away whatever sins she may have committed. “Thank you for taking my call.”

“Ah… Yes… Anytime.” She practically stuttered, once again placed in the odd predicament of being silenced by him for the second time. A polite smile plastered itself across her facial features nevertheless, “Do enjoy the rest of your evening.”

“And you as well, Captain.” Aegnor smirked, “Godspeed.”

And with that, the screen went dead aside from the flashing, rotation of the Starfleet’s delta as a screen-saver.

Captain Eirlys A. Irelle
Commanding Officer

Captain Luthias I. Aegnor
Commanding Officer


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