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Re: A Most Cordial Correspondence

Reply #25
CPO Victor vanVinter | USS Thunderchild | Rigel | Attn: @Ellen Fitz

May 1st, 2376

Victor's time on the Thunderchild had been a bit of a nightmare over the last few weeks. The effort to fit the Gryphons, or Valkyrie 2's into the Air Group on the Thunderchild, caused the maintenance department havoc. All of the stockpiles of parts for the Peregrines and most of the Mark 1's had been rendered useless. The Mark 2's looked good, sleek, and smooth, but that just created nightmares for the maintenance personnel who had to do the work, making them flight-ready. He had the words of her most recent letter to comfort him, though. So rereading it made him smile. That part of it did anyway. Victor was certainly conflicted about her talking about Javec and flirting with the Cardassian. That part of the letter had troubled him endlessly over the last few weeks. The Cardassians were nearly as adept at espionage and manipulation as the Romulans were. So while Victor wanted to tell her to be careful, he'd needed to make sure that his letter wasn't reactionary.

With a heavy sigh, Victor gets up and begins writing the letter. Once he had the right combination of words, he finally placed the subspace call where he said everything. The play of emotion matches the progress of the letter.

My dearest Miss Madsen

My favorite color happens to be blue, like my eyes. The organic one anyway, the hue of the cybernetic is a bit too bright for my preference. But it was this or purple, so I went with the less perfect blue. A joke you'll understand, but not too far from the truth. Eye hope you'll see what I did there.

I offer no apologies for those puns. You'll have to live with me and those words after we're wed. Perhaps your grandmother can knit me a kilt for the day, which I think should be at the Peldor festival next year. After all, I am grateful for having you in my life. My mother is insistent that we have a ceremony on Bajor. Of course, I will accede to that request, but I must see my mother scandalized with a knitted kilt. It is only fair.

I would tell you more about the problems we're having with the Gryphons, but suffice to say that they boil down to logistical issues now. In short, it boils down to new birds, new bugs, new gremlins. We don't know what wears out fastest, so we don't know the volume of parts that we need for them just yet. Endlessly boring and hair-pulling, I assure you. Not the sort of thing that I want to go into any detail, considering I'm sure that these messages are being listened to by Starfleet and the Cardassians.

I can understand how you feel about the Castellan's aide, and it was much the same with the professor you had back at the academy. You are smitten with an intellectual gentleman and are having an affair of the mind and the soul. You'll understand that I just about having an affair over such a matter, my love. We are not together, and I would never put you on a pedestal, insisting that you not see to your needs and desires. Once again, I am not Odysseus, and you are not Penelope.  I love you and always will. Part of my love for you is trusting that you will always do what is necessary for you, for your happiness, and knowing that you'll discuss such things with me in an open and caring manner.

A skill that I wish to challenge you to learn? My love, I do not know that I could 'challenge' you to learn anything. You are as adaptable and intelligent as you are kind and beautiful.  However, if I were to ask you to learn something? It would be asking you to learn how to fly. I do not a shuttlecraft or a spaceship. But an aircraft, maybe soon we can go up together, and I can show you the world from a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no, or where to go. or say we're only dreaming.

Yours in delight and wonder.
Victor vanVinter
Chief Petty Officer
Deck Chief, USS Thunderchild

Re: A Most Cordial Correspondence

Reply #26
[ Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Ithian Fields | Cardassia] ATTN: @Tae

“Is there anything else I can get for you, Ensign Madsen?” A soft, lilting voice questioned from off to the side of where Enyd sat semi-reclined on the sofa-like piece of furniture that passed as a bed.

Holding back the wince the pain even moving her head caused her, Enyd smiled at the young Cardassian woman hovering in her doorway. Much like Enyd she was still dressed in khaki-colored gaucho pants tucked into the almost knee-high leather riding boots. Where Enyd had earlier discarded the simple leather riding skirt, this woman still wore a brightly woven one hiked up, and its corner tucked into the leather belt slung low around her waist, with the large golden belt-buckle engraved with familial markings still shining bright in the low-lighting of the room’s overhead lights. Although like Enyd she’d taken off the brightly colored bolero-style riding jacket, she still had the red kerchief tied around her neck hanging down over her simple white camisa, which remained firmly tucked into her pants and which amazingly still maintained the pressed pleats Enyd had earlier marveled at when first spying the traditional clothing sported by this woman and her peers. Her own blue kerchief was hanging misshapen around her neck, and the pleats had long ago fallen out of her own shirt, with her shirttails now mostly hanging over the belt.

“No, thank you,” Enyd squinted then as she studied the woman. There was something vaguely familiar about her. The curling waves of her thick hair, high cheekbones, and almond-shaped eyes all spoke a similar tale of pixie-esque charm as someone else she knew, and yet she couldn’t be certain. Though Enyd felt more confident in determining names with faces among her Cardassian counterparts, she still didn’t feel so confident about making a bold claim with a near stranger. “I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.”

A playful smile touched the woman’s plump lips as she tipped her head to the side before answering, “You have a good memory then, because I never gave it nor was I properly introduced.” She let out a slight huff as if the lack of introductions was a long-standing frustration for her. “I am Daja Praar." The surname had Enyd raising an eyebrow, and she watched as Daja’s amusement increased. “Yes, the one and the same. Ithian Fields is owned by Rodur Praar, former Legate of Central Command.”

“Oh?” Enyd’s eyes opened wider. It surprised her this Daja was revealing so much to her. They’d only known each other for one afternoon, and in that time, Daja had witnessed Enyd’s nearly dozen throws from the riding hound Javec had given her for their “tame” excursion with the Castellan. to see the beauty that Ithian Fields boasted of during their brief tenure here. “I’ll venture a guess that Rodur is your father and Javec your brother?”

Daja nodded, coming further into the room and making herself busy with gathering more pillows from an adjacent closet Enyd had not yet explored. She'd only been in the room alone for about fifteen minutes in truth and during that time had barely done more than take off her shoes, some of her riding gear, collapse on the "bed." Without asking or suggesting, Daja tucked the pillows around Enyd, making a nest of sorts. Enyd kept her mouth shut as the woman worked, allowing Daja more space to talk.

“Correct guesses all around. While Javec followed father’s footsteps into the military and now politics and our sister the sciences like our mother, I have remained on the outskirts of ‘civilized’ society and maintain Ithian Fields. It seems my diabolical decision to ruin the family name is part of what kept me alive when the Dominion attacked. Where my sister, her husband, and their children were all in Lakarian City, and I'm sure you can imagine what fate befell them. And with the Dominion's attack, there fell my father's prestige and my brother was thrust into the limelight of trying to save us from complete ruin."  Daja tucked a few wayward curls behind her ear and smiled, standing back to admire her work.

Enyd's surprise must've shown on her face despite her best efforts to keep her features neutral. Daja laughed then and waved at Enyd's mixture of surprise and empathy for the woman's losses.

“I know it is rather forward of me to speak so candidly with you, not only for your position as an off-worlder but also as a member of the Federation, not forgetting the reputation we Cardassians must maintain of strategic revelations for a self-serving purpose only,” Daja huffed again, the few curls too short to tuck behind an ear traveling heavenward on momentary draft, “However, I also know my brother and after all the pain we've lived through, I find that family and their happiness is far more important to me than keeping secrets that may not actually need to be kept." She shrugged. "I've been out of the machinations of polite Cardassian society for years and have lost the 'edge' our father raised us to have whenever we left the boundary of our home. Hence, why likely Javec never told you about me, or our father and the ranch. While I'm not exactly an embarrassment, I am assuredly a liability."

Enyd glanced at the door and again Daja laughed. "Don't worry, Javec sent me to check on you and he knows of my tendency to speak too much. If anyone was stereotypically Cardassian this evening, it was he. Oh, you rode Melkar earlier, named for the wildlands where we found him." Her smile turned conspiratory. "Javec would never have given you Melkar to ride if he felt you unworthy or untrustworthy.”

Enyd again raised a single eyebrow. “You obviously know things about your brother I do not.”

“Well, based on this afternoon’s excitement,” Daja smirked, “I don’t believe you will remain in the dark for much longer.” After another quick glance around the room, Daja added, “Are you certain there’s nothing else I can get you, Ensign Madsen? I feel I owe you a drink for the way you handled yourself with Malkar, and for continuing to put up with my brother. Very few among our own people could handle getting thrown from a riding hound that many times, or resisted the urge to smack Javec after such an afternoon.”

Laughing, Enyd shook her head, “While I don't disagree completely, I really need nothing except please call me Enyd.”

Daja nodded, the playful smirk from earlier returning to her lips. She hovered only a few moments more before leaving Enyd alone. It had not been planned, their staying over this evening, but after the ordeal of the afternoon, Enyd was glad the Castellan had not insisted upon returning to Central City. They’d been doing a publicity tour of the various corners of Eheen, and after visiting the port city of Delrat, Javec had suggested they pass through the Helta Highlands, stopping off at a charming ranch called Ithian Fields. Although the Castellan had likely known the connection between Javec and the owner of Ithian Fields, none of Enyd’s colleagues nor herself had known before this present conversation. The old man, Rodur, had not revealed himself all day and based on what Daja told her, she found it unlikely Rodur would make an appearance in the morning either.

Finally allowing herself the stilted moan of pain as she rolled off the sofa and staggered her way to the washroom, Enyd inwardly laughed. She hadn’t been thrown from a four-legged beast of burden in years, and it seemed the years had aged her body’s ability to bounce back. After a relaxing bath that worked well to ease her muscle soreness, Enyd plopped herself back in the nest Daja had made and pulled out her PADD. She would post the letter to Victor once they returned to the Embassy, but she wanted to get the bulk of the letter written now before she forgot some of the details of her recent adventures.

June 12, 2376

Darling Victor,

I am sitting in a nest of blue and gold pillows, my muscles screaming at me I am no longer a teenager and that it has been far too long since I spent a significant enough amount of time on a four-legged animal.

To answer your questions as they undoubtedly unfold: I have been traveling with the Castellan’s entourage on a publicity tour the past few days. We were due to return this evening, only this afternoon saw far more wear and tear on my body than any of us expected and the Castellan was kind enough to extend our stay for overnight at the ranch where I had my first experience with a Cardassian riding hound. Because of their scaly nature and size, they resemble more of a traditional Earth dragon mixed with a horse, but I will not insist upon renaming them. The one Javec picked out for me was especially…spirited, shall I say? I ate highland dirt far more often than preferred, but I ended the day having gained more respect from the Castellan, Javec, and his family, as it turns out they own this ranch. It is most fascinating to realize that on a world so vastly different from my own, Javec and his siblings had a fairly similar early childhood.

The shared history of sorts endears him even more, and I find myself again at odds in my mind and heart. I love you with all my heart, and it is both fascinating and frightening to realize that a part of that very heart is softening with more than a mere affection for Javec. We have spoken no words of this, though I knew he feels the same—his sister confirmed that much this evening when she came to check on me—and nothing physical has occurred either. I will remain silent and keep my hands to myself until I hear more from you as to your thoughts on the matter.

Back to the other items you mentioned in your letter, a ceremony near the Peldor festival sounds divine! I agree with your mother; I think the ceremony would be lovely on Bajor and I believe now that she will have enough time to prepare for it, even grandmother will be amiable to the ceremony taking place off-world. I believe it will be the first time she’s ever left Earth, and I believe it will be the only reason she’ll find reasonable enough to do so.

Once I am back at the Embassy I’ll see what I can do to take you up on the challenge to learn to pilot. I learned hound riding today, so my brain is ripe for learning new skills that may offer a bit less jolting to my joints. I challenge you to take up oil painting. No real reason behind it, aside from the fact that a beautiful oil painting of the Helta Highlands is hanging across the room from my position in the pillow nest and I have always adored oil paintings.

I know you’ll continue to serve admirably and always bring your best to the table. Your C.O’s are benefitting from your professionalism and your colleagues from your mirth. Until next time, I love you, and I hope this reaches you in good health and spirits.

Always yours,

P.S. I got the pun from your earlier letter, and it made me giggle.

Note: Daja looks a bit like Rae Rodriquez in face shape and hair type.

Re: A Most Cordial Correspondence

Reply #27
CPO Victor vanVinter | Luna | Lake Armstrong | Aldrin memorial Gardens | Attn: @Ellen Fitz

A mild temperature-controlled day at the Lake Armstrong dome on Luna, Victor had needed the time off to relax from the constant interviews with Starfleet Security and Corps of Engineers. Victor took a shuttle from Mars to Luna to get away from his work and relax a bit. He'd brought his stationery with him and sat in the shade at the Lake Armstrong recreational dome in the Aldrin Memorial gardens that overlooked Tranquility base. While the dome's interior was rife with the sounds of the artificially created nature and the sounds of recreation, outside the dome, on the airless surface of Luna, was deathly still. The sunlight glinting off the golden skin of The Eagle, bright as it had been on that day in 1969. Here he was, looking upon the place where humanity had first left their mark upon a stellar body other than the Earth, and there was a deep welling up of emotions in the man, ones that He found difficult to put into words.

Victor usually knew what to say, how to act, even if Victor made that decision only a split second before, but now, looking out into the airless void on the other side of the dome, words failed him. Victor needed the time to reflect on all of what had happened in the last few months. The Interview with SI and the SCE aboard the Thunderchild led to his temporary duty at Utopia Planitia. The time spent consulting and proving knowledge and opinions on Starfighter construction and capabilities had been enjoyable, if mysterious.

But what had been the more interesting was returning to Mars. That had felt very much like a homecoming in a way. He'd been there many years ago at the very beginning of his career. He'd been so young then and had no idea the turbulent career that had awaited him. He'd been a Freshfaced crewman the day that Locutus had smashed through the Mars defense perimeter and the resulting defeat at Earth that followed shortly. So observing the lander was a reminder Humanity and the Federation it had grown into had survived dark times, under great adversity, even in the not too distant past. And yet, it was still here. Somehow this put his life and existence into perspective, so he began to write...

June 1st, 2376

My dearest Miss Madsen

Enyd, my dearest, please allow me to apologize for the extended period of silence. I had meant to respond to you before June, you must understand this, but I've been getting interviewed for a new position and consulting on some experimental spaceframes. At least, I believe that is what is going on. I am not supposed to officially know anything unless I am selected for this new project, on which I have the barest of details. What little I can say is pure conjecture that they want my input on replacing the Gryphon-Class fighters. There's no reason for them to have had me on temporary duty for 90 days at Utopia Planitia if I wasn't consulting.


You may have received some overt or covert questioning from Starfleet Security by this point. Since it is through letters they 'must,' our entire relationship contains a code because it struck them as highly unusual. You can't see me rolling my eyes for flipping off the general direction of Earth, but I assure you, I am doing both. We wanted to be elegant with our correspondence and relationship; these people do not understand artistry in a relationship. I would feel pity, but the way we are doing is unique to us., while our relationship has certainly raised a few eyebrows, I have no complaints about the relationship that we have had, and I am sure we will continue to have.

My favorite color would be blue, my favorite flowers are Fuschia blossoms or tiger lilies, and I will never complain about receiving socks as a gift. They are most helpful and quite essential. I do, however, question her taste in knitting patterns. She made me a sweater in burgundy, with the face of The Emissary on it. So Somewhere deep in my closet is a Sweater with Captain Sisko's face on it.

I don't know whether to be impressed or mortified. Perhaps both? I'm going with both. Maybe I'll wear it someday to irk you.

Anyway, I'm sitting here on Luna, having taken a few days of leave, and I am writing this letter within sight of Tranquility base. From what I understand, the American flag buried under a thin layer of regolith from the Lunar module's ascent has preserved this one flag. Of course, that is just a theory, and this historic site has been perfectly preserved. The closest facilities to it are a full kilometer away.

I write this while not touching on the topic of Javec and the chaos you are surrounded by on Cardassia. You are a woman that has always been attracted to intelligence and a certain sense of self-reliance. I can fully understand why you would find him a stimulating man. However, just like we had discussed so long ago, all you need do is let me know. And you needn't require my permission. Thank you kindly for being an honorable woman and sharing with me. On my end, however, there is no one. I can safely say that I have not noticed if I have been hit on in our time apart. I have always been a most oblivious fellow in that regard, and I do wish that interest, even if one-sided, would be half as overt as you were. If such were the case, I would have stories to tell. However, during the war, a Klingon Weapons officer was most intrigued by my scars and wished to see their extent. I am still unsure if He was flirting or was curious. Perhaps you may have some insight on the matter?

Yours in delight and wonder.
Victor vanVinter
Chief Petty Officer
Deck Chief, USS Thunderchild


Re: A Most Cordial Correspondence

Reply #28
[ Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Personal Quarters | Federation Embassy | Cardassia] ATTN: @Tae

July 31, 2376

My Darling Victor,

That is wonderful news about the new position. I do so hope you get whatever position on whatever ship you desire for you deserve all that is good in this universe. I was contacted by Starfleet Security and Starfleet Intelligence, and I am in wholehearted agreement regarding their lack of poise and grace with the finer nuances of communication and the artistry of correspondence. The brassy buffoons don’t even realize what they are missing, the joy of receiving a letter, or the delight of writing one. I know that they will have read this letter by the time it reaches you, and I am curious if that particular line will be redacted by the time it reaches you or if they are strong enough in their self-confidence to take a “hit” to the ego. As for your Captain Sisko sweater, I must confess that grandmother asked me who your greatest hero was, and while you never stated that the good captain was such a hero, I do remember you talking about your respect for him, so that was the name I relayed to her. I had no idea she would knit the man’s face on your sweater, but I can’t say that I’m surprised.  I look forward to seeing both smiling faces, yours and Siskos, in the future.

Thank you, my darling, for your reassurances and understanding, regarding Javec, I didn’t know until this past year that it was possible to love two men so completely at the same time and yet have that love be expressed and felt so very differently. And it is love, I know that now. There is no comparison aside from the usage of the term “love,” for what I feel for you and what I feel for Javec. You two are as different as night is as from the day, and the only connection between you would be the eclipse of my own soul passing between you. Just as I have spoken to you of Javec, I made it very clear to Javec our history and our intention to marry. This has given him pause only in that there has never been any sort of precedent set for this type of situation in his background or my own, and we are both rather at a loss presently over how to move forward. Is it possible to marry two men? Would you be okay with that? Would he? Would grandmother? What of his own family?

My mind is reeling with all the ramifications and potential consequences of these weighty decisions, and I am no closer to a conclusion than when I first set pen to paper for this letter. I know you love me, and I hope you know my love for you will never abate or fade away. The seed that was planted all those years ago on Vulcan has firmly rooted, and over our years spent together in spirit, that seed has sprouted into a white jasmine tree, strong and fragrant with the beautiful hope of a delightful tomorrow spent ever with you by my side.

May you be in good health and spirits when this reaches you, my dearest.

With all my love,

She gasped out Victor’s name, her hand coming up to rub over her chest, as Enyd read over the letter she’d sent to Victor just a few days before. Her entire world had tilted since then; the bright future she’d been planning for now darkened with the nefarious reality of political instability on Cardassia. Though Enyd had wanted to fight against it, deny it, and had tried to do so for the past few days, she knew Admiral Anderson was correct in both his assumptions and in his proposed methods. Enyd hated herself for realizing she was capable of not just one act of treachery, but two, and all for the sake of the mission.

The mission, preserving Cardassian peace and ensuring the continued success of Federation efforts on post-war Cardassia. The first treachery, using her relationship with Javec to keep tabs on his former associates to see just how much they were involved with the Directorate and the destabilization efforts that group was enacting on the planet in opposition to the Castellan. The second treachery, and one that Anderson had not requested of her but Enyd knew to be the right thing to do, all things considered, breaking things off with Victor. Quick and clean, if that was possible. End things so entirely that he would never attempt to come after her, never try to contact her, and risk him getting embroiled in the deepening intrigue her instincts warned her would only get worse.

Yes, Enyd knew well enough that even if Javec was not personally involved with the Directorate, and she hoped with every fiber in her being that he wasn’t, she would soon find herself in hot water now that Anderson had given her incentive and clearance to poke her nose into places most would avoid. And he knew she would do it. While some might shy away from Intelligence work after losing both parents on Intelligence missions, Enyd instead found a sense of necessity in continuing their work. As if with every successful mission she accomplished in association with Intelligence, she could somehow bring them honor or placate their spirits. Without bodies to bury, the gravestones they’d erected in the family plot were for show only, a place to go to lay flowers. In a way, not knowing where they’d died or how they’d died only further invigorated Enyd. Gave her the added push she needed to commit to the mission Anderson lay before her and helped her suck in a much-needed breath and even out her heartbeat enough to write THE LETTER she knew would tear Victor’s heart in two.

August 3, 2376

Dear Mister van Vinter,

I have been looking back upon our relationship, and it has become clear what I need and desire out of a relationship. With the addition of Javec in my heart, the conclusion I have come to is that you and I are too different in both our personalities and our expressions of love to successfully live together with joy, bliss, good communication, and interaction. In knowing Javec I realize that there are parts of my soul that you could never fill, and with that reality comes the equal notion that there must be faucets of your own soul that I, too could not fill.

Please forgive me for not having realized this sooner, for not expressing this more openly, though it is a notion that I have been struggling with for some time now. We have known each other for so long and we have both grown immensely through being together, and for every hour of those moments together, for every letter written and shared, I am thankful. But the time has come to move on. I am with this ending our engagement and releasing you from the bonds of a broken future shared with a selfish woman such as myself. It has been through this situation that I realized just how deep my selfishness goes, just how much my sense of acceptance and love is connected to physical intimacy, and rather than make demands on you that are contrary to how you were created to be, I believe it would kinder for both of us to end things. Please open yourself up to the blessings of a new relationship; do not dwell on the one that is over.

I will always love you as my dearest friend, Victor, but nothing more. I will be seeking marital relations with Javec and plan to raise my family here on Cardassia. As I know this planet and these people only bring you pain as you reflect on those you lost in the war, I respect and expect you to never visit. In fact, I believe it would be healthiest for us both to remain friends from afar. There is no need for continued correspondence as I believe it would only bring us both too much pain. I hope my transparency and sincerity, though they may be painful at the first, bring resolution to your mind.

We can each be grateful for the time we had, the life we had, learning from our shared experiences, and yet, moving on from them stronger. This door closing is allowing for another to open, and I hope with all my heart and soul that the woman, or man, who opens the door for you may fill every cup found in your soul, may support you, and love you so much better than I ever could. You were always a bright light in my life, treating me far better than I ever deserved, instilling me with confidence far greater than I had a right to feel. So while I may have lost hope in our future, I have not lost hope in you, or in the future you deserve.

I know in the future I will relive our time together, I will reread our letters, I will hear your laughter and see your smiling face popping out of the water back in Vulcan, and I will miss you and I will hope that you are well wherever you may be. You are such a beautiful soul, darling Victor, and I wish you all the joy, all the happiness, and even heaven on earth to you in the coming days. Please trust in yourself, breathe deeply, and live not in the past or press too far into the future. Relish the now, for it is all we have.

My decision to end things is final, and I hope you understand my reasons and respect them. May you and yours be ever in good health, pleasant spirits, and prosper. Live long, my dear, and be at peace.

With warm regards,

Hearing her front door opening, Enyd glanced at the time and startled. Time had slipped past far too rapidly as she’d done her best to write out a letter so fakely sincere that Victor would fail to see through the ruse. She hoped he would ingest these words and stay far away from Cardassia and the danger that was already brewing. Quickly finishing the correspondence, Enyd set it aside for postage once she was free to do so. Enyd glanced in the mirror, swiping once more at her cheeks and ruffling her hair, before moving out to the common area to greet Javec. She had a mission to accomplish, and there was no more time for tears.

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