A Commander's Trial

Posted on Sun Aug 13th, 2023 @ 11:29pm by Lieutenant Lyra Cassiel & Captain Ivan Petrov

Mission: In-Between (S1:E5-S1:E6)
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: Date 2371-08-28 at 1500
1691 words - 3.4 OF Standard Post Measure


The past several days had not been as bad as Lyra had dreaded they would be; in fact, they had been quite healing for her both mentally and physically. Andrei had been very attentive, showing a depth and ability to care for her past anything she had really expected him to be capable of performing; it endeared him to her and only served to strengthen their bond. They hadn’t spent every waking moment together of course; he had work and she was focusing on her recovery on her own as well. Meditation, reading, and training were her regular, and when those wouldn’t settle her mind, she would go to the Lovarr to play her twisted games with her toys, an activity she had shared with Andrei several times more after the first, but not every time given he had other responsibilities.

She stepped off the turbolift and onto the bridge. Her eyes immediately went over to Corvin at her station and she gave her doggie a nod of acknowledgement while she moved past him toward the captain’s ready room. She was wearing a simple dark burgundy blouse with ¾ length sleeves that had a bit of flutter on the cuffs for movement and femininity with a v-neck that was quite modest and showed nothing paired with black pants and standard issue boots. She still wasn’t on duty, so the uniform wasn’t appropriate to wear. She reached for the chime and tapped it; he knew she was coming for a meeting, she had run it through Jackie the previous day. As she had tapped it, she took just a brief second to look back at Andrei in the command area and allowed a small smile at the sight. He really did look good sitting there.

“Come in, Iván said, pushing aside a PADD to clear his working space.

On his summon, Lyra walked in. Her smile was gone, but her expression was relaxed and pleasant enough. “Sir,” she greeted and nodded.

“Good morning, Lieutenant. It’s good to see you out and about.” He said with a half smile. “Please come have a seat and tell me what’s on your mind.”

Taking a seat, she crossed her legs at the knees instead of the ankles. Appearing less regal and automatically more submissive to his authority. Her intelligent eyes leveled on his face, studying him for a moment and then she finally smiled, though it didn’t quite reach her eyes.They were simply calm. “Thank you, sir.”

After letting that sit for a fraction of a beat, she continued, leaning forward slightly as if in earnest. “For the past several weeks I had taken on the task of studying the required material for the command officer’s training course. With the continued acquisition of ships for the fleet and movement of our officers, I thought it a prudent step to take in case of continued promotions or reassignments. I was hoping that you might be willing to administer the test In the next few days if your time allows.”

Ivan considered the idea for a few seconds. He had been making new fleet COs take the training retroactively following them getting there command, but he supposed there was no harm in having her do so beforehand, just in case.

“I’ll get Jackie to schedule a time when you can meet. In the meantime, I can have her administer the written portion at your convenience.” He said, leaning back, his large frame filling the chair. “I’m glad to see you showing initiative, especially considering all you’ve been through recently.”

Sitting back, she laced her fingers together and placed them on top of her knee elegantly. “I wouldn’t be a good officer if I couldn’t spring back from such adversity - or really a good Terran at all. Though I am certainly not arrogant enough to say that I didn’t suffer at all or try to minimize what was done to me, I have the tools I need to recover and people around me who will support me as I do.”

“Like Andrei.” He commented, more an observation than a question. “How are things between the two of you? Has he been taking care of you the way he should?”

“I find people have very different ideas of what ‘taking care’ of another should look like, so I couldn’t say what that would be in your eye, but he has been taking care of me in the way that I need.” Her eyes searched his face slowly. They really hadn’t had much interaction alone, so he had been someone she still needed to learn about.

“Good.” He said simply, not seeming to consider it too much. “I always like to hear he’s doing something for someone else. You seem to bring out the best in him, in my view. He’s a changed man recently. I supposed I should thank you.”

For a beat she didn’t respond, but then she looked into his eyes and spoke plainly. “My papai always told me a good woman will bring out the best in a man, my mamãe said the same of a good man to a woman.”

“And do you find it’s true in this case, with you and Andrei?” He asked simply, seeming quite relaxed and interested.

It was strange how he could seem so disinterested but interested at the same time. “I have, yes. Though I’m under no illusions that I know everything to him; our relationship is still young after all.”

“You’re very prudent.” Ivan said, but it sounded barely like a compliment. He smiled in a still somewhat disinterested way as he had before. “Young love should burn like fire. I thought I would be the one telling you to slow down.”

Lyra chuckled softly at that, but it wasn’t patronizing. She gave him a smile then and this time it did show in her eyes. “Please don’t mistake what I said for any indication that we don’t burn for each other. Our relationship was born of fire and passion, but something that burns without control can become dangerous or worse.”

“What’s worse than dangerous?” He asked, actually leaning in this time and waiting for the answer to the philosophical question.

“You’ve made fires in your life I’m sure. What happens if you don’t build a proper foundation for that fire and simply burn kindling and tinder? Sure it is hot and bright and beautiful for a time, someone could look at it and think it is an impressive blaze but in the end it will always burn out.” She gestured with one hand gracefully as she spoke, her eyes remaining on him. She had deeper, more pointed feelings on this topic and where flash in the pan relationships could lead, but she didn’t want to make those comments that might be misconstrued as a personal attack on his life decisions - and the results of them. That was Yana’s burden to bear.

He watched her, listening to her words as an intelligent man listened. Understanding flashed on his face immediately as he heard the words behind her words, not sure if she meant them or if he was connecting them to a deeper meaning than they really contained. He nodded slowly, just a hint of what might be shame escaping from his face, and then he sighed.

“I see what you mean.”

Lyra’s keen eyes caught the expression as it appeared. Good, he should be ashamed of his weakness and betrayal of his wife and marriage… but he wasn’t nearly ashamed enough and that showed every time Kassandra’s name left his mouth and with every bite of food she took at his table. Her face betrayed none of these feelings and instead she put on a pleasant smile as if her words hadn’t had anything deeper behind them than her own relationship with Andrei.

“I care for your son very deeply and he gives every indication he feels the same for me, but with the rank and position we both hold socially, it would be irresponsible of us to let the fire of passion lead us to making any decision too quickly. Marriage should last a lifetime after all and I would disappoint all of my parents were I to rush into one.”

Ivan nodded, more somber now than before. By every indication, he seemed to have lost his appetite for polite conversation.

“When you’re back on duty, we’ll get you in the holodeck for your test. In the meantime, take the written portion and get that done. I don’t imagine you will have much trouble.”

“Likely not.” She simply confirmed what Ivan knew already and gave a slight shrug, then paused before speaking again.

“Sir, I do also want to thank you for… coming to get me from the Numiri and Baneans. I know you would have done the same for anyone, but thank you all the same and thank you for making them pay appropriately.”

“You’re welcome.” He said, giving her a resolute nod. She was right that he would have done the same for any member of his crew, but he certainly had more incentive with her. She was a competent officer and, on the other hand, he was concerned Andrei might do something unwise if he had tried anything but going back for her.

“No Terran left behind, Lieutenant.” He said in his low voice, and then he gave her the Terran salute. “Glory to the Empire.”

“Glory to the Empire.” Lyra repeated as expected and mirrored his salute. For just a moment, her dark eyes scanned his - keen and intelligent; she was searching for something. Whether she found it or not was unclear and she stood with a half smile on her face, knowing that was his way of dismissing her. “I’ll be in touch with Jackie.”

With that, she turned and left.