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A Star to Steer Her By

Posted on Saturday July 31st, 2021 @ 3:02pm by Wraet tr'Melanth & Niyahra Riohn
Edited on on Saturday July 31st, 2021 @ 3:18pm

Mission: Out on Bad Behaviour
Location: Bridge
Timeline: MD01
1443 words - 2.9 OF Standard Post Measure

"So I'm guessing the payment's due any day now," Niyahra sat in the centre chair of the bridge, looking out of the stars streaking by. The RSE never did something that wouldn't benefit them in the long term. And the long term wasn't usually as long as one would hope, "who are we assassinating?" She could only hope that she was kidding as she looked over at Wraet for any hint of what they were supposed to do next.

Wraet lifted an eyebrow in a very Vulcan fashion. Nearly everyone aboard had almost certainly ascertained that he was in fact Romulan but some covers had been worn so long that he fell into them almost without thinking. "My understanding was that you wanted to take down the Dominion. It strikes me that assassinating some of them would be viewed less as payment to others than an opportunity, would it not?"

"I'm not saying I'm opposed to the idea," Niyahra swung a leg over the side of the captain's chair, trying to appear more like the rogue captains in the holo-novels she liked to run, "I'm just acutely aware of the position that we've put ourselves into liberating the Loki," she rolled the name around in her head a bit and appreciated the way it sounded, "and I know the RSE wouldn't want to waste their investments. After all, the longer they wait the bigger the chance something happens to her."

"Investments of any worth always carry risk." His brows moved in the short up and down that was the Romulan equivalent of a shrug. "But as one of the chips placed in this particular bet, I am pleased with the prospect of proving our value - particularly by extracting it from the Dominion." Looked out at the field of stars moving on the viewscreen. "However, assassination is normally an assignment for a smaller and less noticeable team."

Niyahra leaned back a bit, the style she was trying to adopt didn't really suit her but she was committed to the attitude, "Well, if we got a cloak we could drop such a team off somewhere," she gave a bit of a mischievous grin. She was definitely fishing for something, and she was sure Wraet knew exactly what it was.

Wraet very nearly smiled. Nearly. He was still committed to his character style too. "A cloak would require a few technological upgrades to the engineering section, but it is certainly achievable. I have the basic knowledge to construct one," his lips twitched very slightly upward, "once we acquire the necessary components."

"So, would that be our fi-" Niyahra got cut off by an alert suddenly appearing. She nearly jumped from the seat to try and make her way to the Conn in the front of the bridge, "someone's hailing us." She looked over to Wraet, knowing that in this neck of the woods it could only be one faction, and he was responsible for communicating with them.

Finally! Even in the privacy of his own office Wraet was loathe to show his feelings, and much less on the bridge with a someone he was only beginning to get to know, but he sat up not bothering to suppress with an uncharacteristic smile. The crew he had managed to assemble had done well in bringing the ship up to operational capability. Quite an achievement really for a motley mix of outcasts and survivors, but he very much looked forward to a more proper refit once they were escorted to the cloaked depot that was their next goal.

Of course, there were protocols to follow. Even here and with all the layers of protection he'd installed at his station one never knew who might have hacked in or found a way to spoof an ID, so he was not at all surprised at the message that came through.

=A= Unidentified ship, this is the IRW N'Ventar. You have entered Romulan space. Identify yourself and provide authorization or face destruction. =A=

Hearing that curt transmission in his native tongue brought as warm a feeling as if had been 'Welcome home!', though it was probably best that only he could hear it to prevent any misunderstandings, especially since answering in anything but the proper form would in fact result in destruction (a fact that Wraet also found strangely reassuring). However, knowing Riohn might find it less so, he moved quickly to open a channel and reply.

"IRW N'Ventar, this is the USS Loki. We are transporting Latinum Guard seeking resupply," he replied, and tapped a short sequence into his terminal. "Transmitting transponder ID and authorization credentials now."

There was no immediate response, which was of no surprise to Wraet. If they'd replied quickly without thoroughly checking, then double and triple checking, everything he'd sent then he'd have been worried. (Still, he had a finger resting near weapons controls, just in case). Casting a glance at Riohn, he tipped his head slightly. "Forgive me for answering for us, Captain, but there are protocols it is best I handle the first time in."

Captain, that word made a sense of dread came over her, "I'm... not." She tried to protest, looked around the bridge for support but there was nobody but the two of them, "by all means." still sitting at the Conn she was ready to turn tail and run, there was no way they could win against a Romulan Warbird, and she definitely hadn't come all this way to be dusted.

Despite the way she had been sprawling across the conn, Riohn's discomfort with the title 'captain' was palpable. Wraet reminded himself that he shouldn't be surprised - the symbiote was old, but she herself was still very young. He believed she would grow into the role, though better that happen sooner than later. He inclined his head a precise formal degree. "Merely a matter of familiarity this first time. I have every confidence you will be able to handle this in future."

"I, euh.." Niyahra shifted uncomfortably in her chair. It was clear where Wraet envisioned her on this bridge. She just wanted to be in the pilot's seat, he had other plans for her. She meticulously checked the sensors and the readings from shipboard systems, she had to be prepared to take action in case the exchange she had witnessed a few moments ago didn't end well for them.

Before either could say anything further a Romulan cruiser decloaked on the main screen. =A= USS Loki, your authorization has been accepted. We carry your materials for resupply. Have your cargo bay ready to receive them =A=

Resupply in transit? Wraet's brows lifted. "IRW N'Ventar, we had expected scheduled maintenance as well as resupply. The Latinum Guard will be disappointed to be deprived of earned leave."

=A= That will not be possible at this time. A new contract has been presented which is time sensitive. A bonus will be provided as compensation. Preliminary details are being transmitted now and full packet will be delivered with the supplies. =A=

So much for refit and a chance for some training, but such was war... Wraet glanced at the data transmitted. It was of course as couched in coded language as their exchange thus far, but he read it easily enough. "Acknowledged, IRW N'Ventar, we are lowering shields for delivery and will meet your representative in the cargo bay."

Wraet closed the comm and looked at Riohn. "The contract is to 'recover commodities seized by rival entities'." A thin smile creased his face. "As you may have surmised we do not speak plainly on transmissions. 'Rival entities' typically means the Dominion."

"And commodities are usually people," Niyahra finished his thought. She'd had prior dealings with the Tal'Shiar, at one point she had been a commodity herself. A joined Trill researcher. How they must've enjoyed that particular bit of intel coming across their desk, "we could use some extra crew around here if we're going to be retrieving assets for the Empire."

"Indeed." Wraet nodded approvingly at the way she had caught on. "Depending on the nature of the commodities, we may be able to add them to our manifest." He rose from his seat. "Shall we go meet the shuttle and find out?"

"By all means, lead the way," Niyahra set the computer to keep the ship in its relative position in space and go up from the CONN motioning for Wraet to take the lead. She was very interested, and slightly anxious, to find out what they were going to be up against.


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