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Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Stegro88 @Swift @stardust @Lathaniel @Griff
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The Yeoman had sent the missive to the Romulan and Reman members of crew, as well as the executive command staff and Samantha Rutherford and Andrew Fisher, given the details of the meeting would likely directly impact each of their respective departments. She’d set up the conference room with enough chairs, and set out a small tray of some bread, water, and Romulan tea. She knew they weren’t all Romulan but...she also didn’t know exactly what Remans actually enjoyed eating or drinking. She walked over to her console, her hair pulled tight and uniform pressed to utter perfection, and went over the list of attendees one last time. She knew that Fisher wouldn’t be in attendance, but another would be.

Drauc T’Laus
Lillee t’Jellaieu
Valyn Amarik
Sorek Morgan
Samala
Lorad
Major Situka
Natalie Stark
Samantha Rutherford
Unknown


Each of them had important bearing, and each of them likely had something to offer the current situation. She glanced around the room one final time, brown eyes studying each of the chairs to ensure they were immaculate. Romulans were prickly at the very best of times. She knew full well the absolute powder keg that she had likely created by shoving a handful of them in a small room, and throwing two Remans in for good measure. She was nervous, to say the very least.

“Thea? Dim lights ten percent please.” She asked, to nobody in particular, but immediately the room darkened slightly. She hoped it was enough to account for the sensitive vision of the Remans, but not so far as to offend any of the Romulan attendees. She had set a PADD down on each of the seats, allowing each attendant to take notes if they should wish to. The PADD sitting on the chair for Commander Stark, had also been equipped with all relevant files on each of the others in the room, for simpler access. After a long moment, she finally found her own seat and waited for the procession to trickle into the lounge.

[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] [Show/Hide]

The missive had found Lieutenant Amarik in the midst of a heap of paperwork, some days prior to the actual meeting. In truth, she’d been dreading it. She knew with all her heart that she'd likely have to share more about herself than she wished to, and to do so in a room full of Romulans and, even worse, Remans, made her remarkably uncomfortable. She didn’t particularly enjoy sharing about her past, but she knew that it was critical to the mission that she did so. Since coming aboard the Theurgy, she’d told two of her fellows about her history. Enyd and Andrew Fisher. Enyd had been personal, and in a sense so had Fisher been. However, her sharing with him had begun on a professional level.

Trust was imperative to a mission of their scale, and while she trusted her crewmates the best she could, it still wasn’t ideal for her to bare her soul in such an open manner.

When the time came, she made her way to the meeting a few minutes early, intending to get a lay of the land before the others began to arrive. It had been her first visit to Deck One, and she couldn’t help but at least stop for a quick peek at the bridge. She certainly didn’t hang around, but...it really was a sight to behold. After only a brief look, she left and made her way into the conference lounge. It was much larger than she’d expected. She’d expected to find a small, cramped table like the one in the security office on the station she’d spent the past several years onboard. It was certainly anything but small and cramped.

The table had been set to display a holographic image of the border between Klingon and Romulan space, devoid of any ship markers or critical information of course. As she pressed her way into the room, she noticed the young woman standing at the console behind the table.

“You must be Ensign Henshaw.” She gave the woman a quick, appraising look and found a seat near the front of the table. Her eyes fell to the small tray of food and drink that had been set out and she quirked her lip slightly, “Despite the tea, I think it still may get a bit loud in here, Ensign.” She shot the woman a wink and chuckled before she slowly lowered into her seat, snatching the blank PADD out from under herself.

Cam looked uncomfortable and apprehensive. Valyn however, did not. She’d donned the mask of utter confidence the instant she’d walked into the room.

“Yea, that uh- that’s me.” She gave Valyn an awkward smile and nodded before she tapped a button on her console, noting that the Lieutenant had arrived. Valyn couldn’t make out the whole listing, but she saw that it wasn’t a short list by any means.

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn:  @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Stegro88 @Swift @BipSpoon @Lathaniel @Griff
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The theme of dealing with your ancestorial sensibilities was a struggle, so much harder to overcome, when genetics played into the equation. Having to unify two opposing forces in one’s own mind, let alone the trouble of adding one or two outside ones. Maybe that was even where Samantha’s original interest, or talent, in diplomacy came from. Knowing all too well the struggle of amalgamating differing intents and views, just as much as understanding both sides almost equally, although the statistically weren’t. Her Vulcan quarter had always been a more dominant force, if not only because she was brought up mostly under their teachings and mental discipline. But also, because, and she hoped her other compatriots would not take this personally, the Vulcan strength of mind just being that much more developed. And herein also lay the crux of the matter of the meeting of this day. A rivalry that ran so deep, so ancient, it could almost be considered hereditary. And as many of her other afflictions, dictated by logic, this one was just as hard to push down. The morality you clung to as a beacon of objective logic sometimes could betray you, and the blonde was never a fan of when that happened.

In truth, it felt as if she was stumbling through a barren void, with no walls, no rails, not even a path to take guidance by. Loosing orientation almost instantly, to the point where walking in circles was the closest thing to actual intent. Luckily for her, in the physical realm of things, finding her way into the conference lounge was a more straightforward feat. Slipping out of the turbolift on Deck 01 it was just the proverbial skip and a hop across the corridor. Which she didn’t perform in its flamboyant idiocy, but rather sauntered outwardly confident into the kidney shaped appendix to the bridge. One thing that at least hardly ever failed her, though empirically more often than her logic, was the outward expression of suave control. Maybe over time she had become the better actor, than she had the Human/Vulcan hybrid. Which was in turn a notion groomed through duty, rather than personal measures of self-improvement. But at this point, who was to tell where one started and the other ended, in a series of events that marked a life filled by duty, responsibility and control. Where those feeble specks of gemstones, like minute tears in the dark fabric, letting through rays of light into that gloomy existence, slowly grew to become more important than their number would suggest. It wasn’t always about proportions.

Icy moons of Grandidierite shining upon the delicate flower of Yeoman Henshaw, assuming her duties at the major console of the room, the commander’s features morphed into a pleasant smile, cast upon luscious petals of rosé. “What a nice setup, Ensign.” she espoused the slender woman. A gentle nod at the spread adding to the appraisal, before azure ponds moved on to the Lieutenant, whom she shared in the glorious serenades over Andrew’s prosperous rescue with. “Lieutenant.” she started out calmly, but generously, finishing off the few remaining steps to her seat at the corner of the long table, back to the large viewport, where she placed down her PADD, before venturing to the small buffet as well, momentarily. Her Vulcan olfactory sense coming to life immediately, like fields of oat, swaying in a gentle autumn breeze, the scent of Romulan tea stung her like expired milk. A notion only showing ever so slightly in the gentle twitch, pulling at the nostrils of her prominent nose. Blinking away the sensation, dark lashes descending upon caves of Aquamarine in a flutter, the blonde straightened her shoulders before letting her motoric functions move on to preparing a glass of water with controlled ease. Dropping a slice of lemon into it, almost ceremoniously, to distract her senses, the woman let out a sigh of complacency, at the final product.

“So, how have you been?” she asked, her gaze still in awe of such a simple thing as the gentle reflections and glimmers within her grasp, before looking over at the Romulan woman, ignoring the lingering modicum of dread in the back of her mind. Which wasn’t so hard to do, when touching upon the grander implications of the mission they had shared, and the potential futures that luckily hadn’t come to pass. And it was in that realm of her humanity, like a Bedouin tent in a sandstorm, that she could find the comfort of a different side to her heritage, that didn’t deal in preconceived notions, but rather an individual’s merit. Letting her delicate hand gently come to rest on the officer’s forearm, with newfound ease, the diplomat gave her a warm smile. “I haven’t been able to commend you, yet, for your valor in Commander Fisher’s rescue. It’s an act I not only signify professionally, but it is a personal relief as well.” she explained calmly, conveying a sentiment unabashed of their cultural differences or genetic similarities, but rather grounded in the notion of a kindred spirit. Something she wasn’t sure she’d be able to all the attendees of today’s meeting. Especially those she could not count on her humanity to cast in a different light than what her Vulcan caution dictated.

But there was always room for growth. That was now clearer than ever.

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #2
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Swift, @BipSpoon, @Lathaniel, @stardust, @Stegro88

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Lillee was out in a shuttle when the missive came, piped automatically into the shuttle computer by Thea, the ship itself only a few kilometers away as Lillee ran the test flight. The message was so startling that she simply stared at it for a moment, nonplussed. It was addressed to her, but the message was unexpected. All Romulans and Remans? How many could there even be? Her, Samala, Lorad, Vanya, Drauc...

Okay, there are a few of us. No wonder Starfleet peddles the Romulan infiltration story.

The missive used polite terms, no doubt because of its sender, but it was clearly in the frame of an order. Thus, after finishing the test flight, Lillee returned to the ship and returned to her quarters to shower and change, wanting to look her best for something like this. She'd started work much earlier than usual that morning, unable to sleep properly and wanting to get a jump on the day's work, but Lillee didn't feel tired in the slightest as she showered. A tight bubble of anxiety was coiling in her belly all the while, the thought of what was about to happen burning in her mind.

When Lillee arrived on Deck 1, it was an experience. She'd been up there before, but only at Aldea, when the Bridge had been only partially staffed while the ship was in drydock. Seeing the Bridge active and bustling was an entirely new experience. Feeling out of place, Lillee made her way to the conference lounge, took a moment to breathe, then opened the door. She stepped inside, her eyes rapidly tracking everyone there. Rutherford and Henshaw she knew, but the third woman...

"Jolan tru," Lillee said to the blonde lieutenant, bowing her head for half a breath in acknowledgement of the other Romulan's rank. Lillee could only pray that her nerves weren't apparent. "Petty Officer t'Jellaieu, reporting."


jolan tru: a traditional greeting

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #3
  Lt JG Sorek Morgan, Callsign “Chaos” | Turbolift and Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Brutus  @Swift  @BipSpoon  @stardust  @Stegro88  @Griff

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The missive was still opened and visible on Sorek's PADD, which lay on his desk next to his fresh clothes, as Sorek stepped out of the sonic shower and into his quarters. His well defined muscles were tense, his mind galloping with fantasies about unwanted questions regarding his past. This missive had sent his brain spiraling into a cascade of memories, some very old, ancient almost. His mother, the Romulan woman who preferred colleagues in her bed over her son on her lap. The Romulan part of the crew aboard Science Station 0812, some of which were very kind to him while banging his mother behind his and his father's back.

With a disgusted grunt, Sorek took the fresh uniform and started dressing. He had no clue about the underlying intent of the orders he had received. Of course he was vaguely informed about the Romulan threat and he could add the numbers coming to certain conclusions. But what exactly he might be able to contribute was beyond him. Orders are orders, boy! Stop questioning their motives and do your fucking job! He scolded himself as he pinned the badge on his chest.

He tried in vain to take his mind off of the upcoming meeting while walking down the corridor and entering the turbolift. The only thing he was really looking forward to regarding this appointment was, that he got to see one of the most important places aboard this majestic ship, the conference room on deck one. This was, where a lot of decisions were made. Where the Captain was briefed by his staff and where diplomats joined the CO for highly sophisticated events. A place only few crew members ever got to see.

When the turbolift arrived, he stepped out and straightened his uniform jacket again. And again, looking down at himself, he realized that he was in deep love with the white collar and everything it stood for. Piloting a small vessel into life or death situations was exactly his thing. What was going to happen inside the conference room in a few minutes was probably the exact opposite. But all he could do was step inside, keep an open mind and a perform as best he could, despite all the invasions into his private life which would likely occur.

The door slid open in front of him and he entered. Recognizing four crew members he quickly scanned for the highest rank and turned towards Rutherford. Assuming the formal position of attention, he spoke up. "Commander, Lieutenant Junior Grade Morgan, reporting as ordered."
Lt JG Sorek Morgan
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PO2 Kino Taer
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Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #4
[ Drauc T'Laus | Conference Room | Deck 1 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Brutus  @Swift @BipSpoon @stardust @Stegro88 @Griff @Lathaniel   
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Having received the same missive, this summons of Romulans, Drauc T'Laus had soon afterwards received a second one from the Major. He'd indulged her request to meet aboard the Theurgy upon her arrival, she citing her need for assistance to find herself to where they were supposed to go, so he stood outside the transporter room when she stepped out. Their eyes met, and whatever Drauc was supposed to feel, he didn't... for he simply couldn't.

What he felt - through her proximity - was her sentiment towards him, which was a mix of respect and residual guilt. Of chagrin and remorse... but also recognition. As if towards an equal, especially now, when they tread the same battlefield. Given their past, however, Drauc could not reasonably feel all of those things towards her, since his own spectrum ought to be more towards deep rancour and wary disquietude, despite their common interests. That might not be entirely just of him, given their past and her aide, but she was - after all - Tal Shiar.

"<Do you know the way?>" she asked simply in their common tongue when he didn't say anything to her. She was dressed in her uniform, as if to remind everyone who she was, but Drauc suspected, if he asked her, that he'd feel her sentiment about wearing the uniform was rather a reminder to herself. She would own what she'd done in betraying her people, for she believed she hadn't, and sought to justify her choice by any means necessary. She was guarded, but determined.

"<Aye,>" he rasped in kind, and turned from her, leading the way to the turbolift.

Within a minute, they stepped inside the conference lounge on Deck 01, and Drauc watched the faces in the room through the tresses of his hair, dressed in one of his threadbare robes. He entered ahead of Major Situka, and she was quiet as a stone as she looked at those present, her face almost that of a Vulcan's when she assessed the present officers. Below the surface, however, Drauc could feel everything that she didn't display.

When he locked eyes with Rutherford, he inclined his head to her, before going to stand by the tall viewports - the surface of Qo'noS almost looking like a dark ocean that stretched towards the horizon. He also nodded to Lillee, as she was a comrade in arms, and Ensign Henshaw, whom he'd been a part of saving from her father at Starbase 84. Major Situka seated herself at the table, but wouldn't touch the tea. She merely folded her hands on top of the table, and waited for introductions and greetings.

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #5
[Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Number6 @Stegro88 @Swift  @BipSpoon @Griff @stardust @Auctor Lucan @Lathaniel 
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With her hair gathered into a loose bun at the nape of her neck, Natalie Stark strode into the conference room and immediately took stock. She'd spoke briefly with Lt. Vanya earlier in the morning over breakfast, before the two had gone their separate ways to attend to their duties. So she had some idea of what to expect today, with this gathering of the minds early into the Alpha shift. She carried her own coffee with her, of course, though in hindsight it might have been better to forego the drink and sample the proffered tea (a contribution from Ens. Henshaw she - correctly - assumed). That said, she'd already started on the drink before leaving for this meeting, and was loath to simply recycle what was left without finishing.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Drink the bloody coffee, Nat. She had more pressing issues to worry about, such as how this meeting was going to go. Sticking out like sore thumbs in a room full of pointed ears, Natalie noted the aforementioned Ens. Henshaw, having done her part to set the meeting up and remind the attendee's of the order of the day; so too stood out Lt. Commander Samantha Rutherford, though Natalie had to admit that mostly-human blonde probably stood out no matter what room she was in. Having a bit more appreciation for that sort of thing, Nat nevertheless flashed her a smile that was both warm, and relieved. At least she had a trained diplomat to help with the potential morass she was about to insert herself into. And the occasionally taciturn department head had been something of a godsend to the ship, having proven herself quite a few times since joining up, in the Aldean system.

Plus she's just damned nice, Nat was looking forward to working with her, even if she still found herself slightly surprised by that. After all, Captain Ives could have just as easily tapped Lt. Commander Rutherford for the XO position. There had been plenty of points in favor of Samantha as a candidate as far as Natalie was concerned. Jennifer Dewitt had been the best choice, but through her brave actions, she was...unavailable to take the role. Setting all of that aside, Natalie made a mental check of the other's present. She was neither the first to arrive, nor clearly the last.

The blonde Romulan in security gold was still new to Natalie, though she knew that the woman had accompanied Lt. Commander Cross on his raid on the Azurite station two days prior. The blonde Romulan in red, however, was known to Natalie. While there was a massive gulf in their ranks - Natalie a full Commander now, Lillee a Third Class Petty officer - Lillee had proven to be a source of advice and friendship to Natalie, when the former had been assigned to pilot the latter on a routine satellite inspection during the ships layover at Aldea. To her, Natalie flashed another warm smile.

She didn't know the pilot in the room, his white collar standing out, but she had his file on hand. He was a recent transfer from the USS Oneida, and therefore it was understandable that Natalie was unfamiliar with the man. Still, she expected that while possibly reluctant to dive into his own background among what amounted to strangers, as a Starfleet officer he would comply. While she was worried about possible temper flare-ups, she trusted on some level that all those who had sworn an oath to Starfleet would conduct themselves accordingly.

Which lead to the two other Romulan's in the room. Hovering by the observation windows, Natalie saw the former Starfleet officer and current guest aboard, Drauc T'Laus. Reclusive, in her experience, their paths had not really passed, despite his coming aboard the ship after the conflict at Starbase 84, and his instrumental contributions to their mission since then. He however, was not her true concern.

No, that lay with Major Situka, lately of the Tal Shiar. Even the name of that organization sent a shiver down Natalie's spine. She'd heard all the stories, at the Academy and during the war. She remembered a few glancing encounters, involving herself and Vanya during her educational days. The Tal Shiar were the effective state run boogeymen of the Romulan Star Empire. Akin to the Obsidian Order or the old Stazi of Earth's Cold War era, one always had to watch their back around the Tal Shiar. And yet, balanced against centuries of mistrust, rumor, and documented atrocities was the fact that, when the dice were thrown and all the cards were on the table, Major Situka had chose to expose the threat currently posed by members of her government, and turn coat, in an effort to save the Empire. In essence, she chose to act upon her, for want of a more culturally appropriate phrase, better angels, and thus was to be counted as a treasured ally.

This did little to lesson Natalie's worry that the Tal Shiar operative would not be a source of consternation among a collection of former Imperial citizens whom had all, for one reason or another, joined Starfleet and become citizens of the Federation. Not to mention the as of yet present Romulan Android, nor Reman members of the Theurgy's crew complement.

With a deep breath, Natalie strode toward the short haired woman in the Romulan uniform, and offered her what she believed to be the proper form of greeting. "Shaoi dan, Major. Welcome to the Theurgy. I see that Mr. T'Laus has already accompanied you from the transporter room." A nod in the direction of the aforementioned man, with a sidelong glance to Lt. Commander Rutherford, hoping the skilled diplomat would help take up part of this particular burden.

"Do let me extend our thanks for your contributions over the past few days, as well as agreed to take part in this...meeting of the minds," she hoped that was a neutral enough phrasing not to ruffle anyone's feathers. "I won't waste any of your times with platitudes about your decision and sacrifice. You know what it means, and so do we. Hopefully you'll find your stay here pleasant and productive."

Turning to the others, once the Major had her own say, Natalie moved around the table towards her own seat. "And thank all of you for coming." She let her gaze drift from Rutherford and Henshaw, to the Romulans in the room. It was to them she spoke. "I know we have a few more folks on their way, and we are somewhat early so we shall give them a bit of time yet." Channel your inner Ducote. Be pleasant. You've seen him do it before, you can manage. "I can imagine this isn't exactly a happy summons for anyone, and I wish to express our gratitude to all of you as well. Given the task laid out before us, this is a necessary first step, and I commend you all for being willing to help shoulder part of that burden."

That would have to do, she decided.



OOC: Shaoi dan - a more formalized greeting between equals. Natalie uses it here even though  her own rank is equivalently higher than Major Situka's former position within the Tal Shiar, as a sign of respect for the woman's recent actions during the events in orbit of Qo'noS.

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Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #6
[ CM3 Samala & PO3 Lorad | Turbolift | In Transit To Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Brutus @Number6 @Swift @BipSpoon @Griff @stardust @Auctor Lucan @Lathaniel
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"Remind me again why I need to be at this meeting?” Samala asked her brother as the two of them stood in the turbolift as it ascended through the ship. She had received the missive from the captain’s yeoman but had had every intention of ignoring it and accepting whatever disciplinary action they chose to mete out. She had been ready to head out the door of her quarters, joining her roommate Holly on a trip down to Qo’nos, but upon opening the door, had found her brother in the passageway. She could have argued the point with him, but she wasn’t in the mood to fight family. Now, she was reconsidering that idea.

“Because our presence has been requested. And it would be rude of us to not attend,” Lorad responded in Reman. “We both agreed that we need to do all that we can here to further the cause of Remus. This could very well be the first step in that journey.”

“I don’t see how Romulans will be able to help us,” Samala argued weakly. “All they have ever done is enslave us. The universe would be better if every single Romulan just dropped dead.”

“All of them?” Lorad challenged. “Petty Officer t’Jellaieu? Drauc?” Lorad questioned, naming Samala’s immediate superior (and his new roommate) along with the enigmatic Romulan that he knew to be aboard but had not yet spoken with. “Your mother?”

“My mother is already, brother,” Samala said heatedly. “Killed by her own race. And Drauc would probably be relieved by death,” she commented, remembering his condition but not elaborating on her words.

“I am glad I checked you for blades and other weapons,” Lorad said, smiling down at his younger sibling.

“I don’t need them,” Samala deadpanned, stepping out of the opening doors before her brother could retort. She led the way around the corner to the conference room, familiar with the top deck’s layout despite never having travelled to the level. The doors split open at her approach, and she found the room already populated with numerous figures, most of them Romulan. Her demeanour, already tenuous, dropped at the sight of them, especially at the unfamiliar Romulan wearing the uniform of a Major in the Romulan military. “This was a mistake brother,” Samala hissed in Reman, knowing that the others could probably translate what she said but wanting to make it clear where she stood. <It will be a miracle if I do not try to kill her on principle,> she said through their link, keeping her mind tightly shielded to stop Drauc from listening in. <And shield brother. Drauc might hear this.>

<They have happened before, sister,> Lorad responded, falling into the routine his father had taught him. At the time he wasn’t sure how his father had known how well he was doing it, only discovering his father had been telepathic on the day he died. Clearing his mind, he imagined a dense wall of shrouding smoke encircling his mind, obscuring what was happening within. Refocusing on the room, he noted that the lighting levels were lower than was ship standard. He saw Ensign Henshaw across the room and nodded at her, feeling that she was responsible for it.

“Petty Officer Lorad and Crewman Samala reporting,” Lorad announced, before moving to sit, making sure to impose his bulk between his sister and everyone else.

Just in case.

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #7
[ Captain Alarak | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Stegro88 @Griff @Number6 @BipSpoon @stardust @Lathaniel

“Oh how droll.” Came a digitized voice from out of the shadows, accentuated by the distinct sound of teeth crunching through the skin of, and into the flesh of some kind of fruit, an apple, or a pear perhaps. Stepping forth, his projected image flickering only faintly so as the signal-wave carrying his holographic presence wavered for an instant.

Glancing to the assembled guests, most of whom he had little to no information regarding, the tall lanky Romulan, or rather the visualization of one, approached the edge of Theurgy’s conference lounge and peered out at the Klingon Home World beyond the viewer. The manner in which he carried himself, gracefully, yet confidently striding from where he had at first appeared, spoke to the smug attitude he meant to extoll. An attitude, which was annoyingly omnipresent in this particular Romulan, though it had served him well throughout his career. “I can almost detect the stench of Qo’noS from where I am.” He commented absently, having paid little to no mind to the immediate reaction of everyone else, knowing that there was little they could do to prevent his transmission, nor really caring if they had made said futile attempt anyway. After all, he was here at the request, no, the demand, of Theurgy’s Chief of Intelligence, a man whom he owed great debt, and whom he wished to clear the ledger with in as alacritous a manner as possible. Turning back, he cast a wayward glance around the room once more in an attempt to ascertain who was of the highest rank, and upon noticing the woman with three full-pips on her collar, he afforded her a cursory examination in advance of once more speaking.

“I suppose it would be exceptionally rude of me...” pausing as he caught the presence of another Romulan Officer seated at the table, a dark-haried woman he’d not known personally, and raised an eyebrow higher than its companion in confusion. “...excuse me, but did you really travel all this way?” Smug teasing aside, he seemed to digress to the point once more as his attention returned to Natalie and where she was seated.

“I am Alarak, and I am here, begrudgingly, at the request of Lieutenant Commander Fisher.”

Having completed the formality of his introduction, a sigh escaping him that betrayed how annoyed he was at having been goaded into this, the projection of Alarak once more stuttered in advance of him taking another step closer to the conference table, only for him to stop and recoil as he spotted something more, it becoming clear that the visual detection range on his end was limited. Jade-green eyes locked themselves unto a pair of faces, and an almost imperceptible look of disgust grew out from the corner of Alarak’s lips as he hesitated to take another stride closer. “Then again, maybe the stench wasn’t Qo’noS.” He whispered under his breath, a smug smirk of satisfaction crossing his face now as though he thought he were a comedian, looking for applause from an audience. When it dawned on him, that no one was laughing, he cleared his throat and with a wave of his hand to Stark, whom he assumed to be leading the meeting, signified that he was done making himself known to everyone, and that he would attempt to be amicable.

The technology which allowed him to so surreptitiously appear before this assembly, when he was very much nowhere near Theurgy, Qo’noS, or even this sector of space, had been pioneered by the Tal Shiar some years earlier, only to be stolen by the Remans prior to their attempted coup d'etat of the Romulan Senate in 2379. It had taken some time, but the technology had since been recovered, though it was still exceptionally rare. But for this, it seemed the perfect means which allowed him to both appear, and make a statement that the Tal Shiar, or more specifically the branch of it from which he hailed, were still a force to be reckoned with, and that they would not stand-by while the grander Empire was torn apart by Civil War and Unrest in the wake of Shinzon. That much was true, when you factored in the great number of clandestine assets that he’d had to make use of, to even get his signal to project this far. But, with the state of affairs on Romulus having grown even more desperate, now that Tal’Aura and her loyalists had declared war on the Federation, striking at the very heart of Paris in the process, he knew well that many parties would need to collaborate in order to steer the Galaxy back from the brink of total annihilation.

It meant he would have to put aside his very real distaste for the Remans over what they had done, not just to the senate, but to him and the rest of the Empire, and though he was filled with righteous indignation in the presence of these gargoyle-like figures, he felt certain he could make do.

Though, he would take an occasional swipe at them whenever an opportunity presented itself.



OOC: Alarak's appearance here... [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #8
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik & [ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Number6 @Swift @stardust @Stegro88 @Griff @Lathaniel  [Show/Hide]
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The Yeoman glanced between each of the present parties, and her anxiety only increased on taking visual count of each of them. Romulans and Remans, locked in a small room to discuss...what? The Situation? Romulans themselves were cagey, often arrogant, and argumentative, at the very best of times. Tossing what could easily be considered their mortal enemies, particularly given recent events, into the mix, felt foolish in hindsight. She even questioned her choice to dim the lights, despite the nod she returned to Lorad. She knew him, and she trusted him. He’d brought her from the precipice on Aldea, and she wouldn’t forget that. She didn't, however, trust just about any of the others in the room that shared that far-off solar system. The look on her face was telltale, and gave away every hint of apprehension buried in the depths of her mind.

She offered a short nod to Rutherford, quick and to the point and not accompanied by a single word. Setup or not, she had little hope that it’d staunch the fiery rage that was contained within the walls of that small room. Quickly, she fetched herself a biscuit off the table, and retreated back to the console she manned in the back, intending to take notes on the affair. At least, what notes she thought prudent. She had no intention of violating anyone's privacy, knowing full well what privacy meant to Romulans, in particular. For her part, she remained completely silent, not so much as a faint whisper spilling from her lips. She had entered the maw, and didn’t desire the attention of the beasts within.

Valyn turned her gaze away from the young woman that had hidden herself in the corner. She didn’t blame her, given what was about to occur. Instead, she focused herself on the tea, reaching for the pot shortly after Samantha did. Their single operation together had gone off better than she’d thought it would. It’d driven her to reconsider her choice to join Security, and instead return to the field she’d spend her life working in. Somewhere she felt far more at home than she ever had in Security, despite the acquaintances she’d made over the years she’d spent in Starfleet. Her time since returning, had been spent busying herself with the ins and outs of the department, and descending into Azurite station...all while trying to make herself at least moderately useful, and find her place among the crew in a social sense. The time meant for rest and relaxation had been anything but.

She blinked, face shifting into a stoic slate, her eyes locking momentarily on Rutherford before she poured herself a small cup of tea and greeted the woman with a nod. Unlike the opposite woman however, she did not drop the lemon into her tea, and instead turned and set it down where she’d planned on seating herself, laying claim to it, initiating the contest of ego she knew was no doubt about to occur. She fully intended to emerge victorious in that battle.

“Me?”
She questioned, her face scrunching together with curiosity, and eye bouncing over to the young brunette in the corner as she watched Rutherford, cautiously through her periphery. Slowly, hazel orbs traced the wall and found the diplomatic officer. It was a question that she was rarely asked, certainly not in such a cavalier fashion. Typically it revolved around her physical well-being after a mission gone awry. It was different, and it was personal.

The touch to her arm, grounded her like a lightning strike to the ground, locking her in place and freezing every movement in her body for only a flash. Even her breathing ceased before she realized what she’d done and attempted to brush it off. “I’m...fine.”

How have you been - Was such a deeply personal question. On Romulus, it was a question shared only between close friends, those who were already intimately entwined with the go-ons of one another's lives. To ask such a question of a stranger...was even rude. She however, was used to the question from those in the Federation. The commonplace, Federation expression, still struck her as...odd, at times. The touch however, had struck her completely and unexpectedly. "You?" She responded, attempting to return the statement, no matter the strange feeling it left on her tongue and psyche.

“Thanks...but I was just doing my job.” In a display clearly uncharacteristic of her race, she deflected the praise, and instead offered her a small, but warm smile. It was her job. It was expected of her. Praise was as foreign to her as Romulan paranoia was to the residents of Earth. “I like Fisher. He’s…” She grinned and reached for an apple from the table in front of her, “hell, even beat half to hell he was able to drop one of those sonsabitches.” The smile curled itself into a smirk, an amused and equally impressed one. “I’m glad to be working with him, and glad he was able to come back in one piece…” She paused before she gave the apple a squeeze and offered, apologetically, “and, I’m sure this room is about to host enough ego and posturing to generate a singularity...from myself included, so apologies in advance.” She scoffed and slowly shook her head. A personal relief. The Statement wasn’t lost on her, nor was the magnitude of that being shared with her, but she didn’t pry. Certainly not within the confines of that room as others slowly began to pour in.

The first to enter, was another Romulan, and another blonde Romulan at that, which was a rare enough trait among her people. The woman however, was of the Northern variety of Romulans, it appeared, the cranial ridges giving it away in an instant.

Jolan Tru. She responded with a short nod. Her southern Earth accent vanished the moment the Romulan language spilled from her lips. Her speech was proper by Romulan standards. She was clearly one raised within the walls of Ki Baratan, the capital city of Romulus. By all standards, she spoke with the accent of nobility, and she knew it. She was using it to her advantage as she listened for the woman's own accent. Her eyes sized up the other Romulan, tracing her up and down briefly and unabashedly. Even her nostrils flared as she attempted to get a sense of what the woman did for a living, how she cleaned...everything. Each of her senses was firing at maximum capacity.

The moment another Romulan entered the room, her demeanor shifted from that she’d shown to Henshaw and Rutherford. Her demeanor went from that of a relaxed woman, to that of a predator, a bird of prey, soaring over a herd, already fed, but still...circling, threatening, flashing colorful feathers to those below in a display of power and threat. She was practiced, and to those others that had experience within the Romulan government, she was one who was trained in the very art. While she wore a Starfleet uniform (albeit, the incorrect one having not collected her new uniform), she had donned the mask of Valyn Amarik Tr’Saeihr, Imperial agent of the Tal Shiar. She had no intention of taking it off. It was a façade that she hadn’t donned in years, but one that she slipped into as easily as a pair of sweatpants.

Another entered, this time a male. A male who for all intents and purposes had ignored her, it appeared. While Valyn easily passed as a Vulcan, her lack of ridges the cause, she raised a brow in a display that would be entirely uncharacteristic of a member of her cousin race. “Mornin’, Lieutenant.” Again she looked the man up and down, studying him and his demeanor towards the others in the room. A nettled look on her face as eyes blazed in his direction.

When the following two entered, she stopped, and looked the woman in the uniform over. For a second, she felt a pang of envy burn through her veins. That had been her, no...she had been more. She had been a Colonel. She had overseen a ship. Shock troopers. She’d had everything and she’d fought tooth and nail for it...and it had been torn from her, ripped away in a flash by the pretender. The man elicited little response from Valyn, only the same glance she had given them all. However...something about him was...different than that of the others. He’d turned, and slunk to the windows. Part of her knew the tactic, the quiet observer. It had its place. She however, often took a different approach, particularly in her current setting. Each of them received a nod of greeting, short but sufficient. She took her seat, and slowly slunk down onto the cushion. Not for a moment did she let down her guard. To do so would expose her to the entire room, an act which would sabotage every word that she spoke thereafter. An act, which she would not fall prey to.

She rose momentarily as Stark entered, but quickly found her seat once again, surveying the crowd with caution and apprehension. Hearing the greeting from the Commander, her nostrils flared. Though her gaze turned down for a moment before her lip split into a subtle, but dangerous smirk. Reaching down to her ankle, she produced her knife. The knife she’d had since childhood, the knife etched with her rank in what looked like gold. Colonel. It was obviously of a Tal Shiar make, sharp, the metal rippled with the folds of alloy in it, the very end hooked to cause maximum damage on withdrawal. She slowly began to peel the skin off of the apple and gave Stark a nod. Knowing full well that any who knew her language, would easily see the inscription on the handle. A display.

She was glad to be of help to the ship, truly, but posturing was key to survival in a room of predators. Power was everything. The burden of the meeting was a mild sacrifice to bear, given the consequences of what was likely to follow if they didn’t collaborate...at least temporarily. Tal'aura was a threat unlike any others. That, combined with the parasites? She needed to be dealt with and that would require working with those she may not enjoy working with.

As the door slid open once again, her face fell, and contorted into one of utter dislike. “Oh super, the Remans are here.” Her southern accent cut through the air with nothing but mirth, ice, and sarcasm. She brought the edge of the knife down and sliced through the core of the apple, keeping the blade tight in her hands, but not intending a threatening display. On the contrary, it was to ensure it didn’t fall into the hands of one of them. Remans and their madman of a leader, had taken her life from her. She’d landed on her feet, in Starfleet, but nonetheless, it was an affront she wouldn’t forget. Even if neither of them was responsible. She brought the knife through it once more, cutting it into fourths, before popping one of the pieces into her mouth.

One final voice materialized, and she canted her head in its direction. That was the Romulan sort she was used to. Arrogant. Racist. It was who she had been. Who part of her still remained. She couldn’t help but smirk at his utter lack of respect for the event, and truthfully, she didn’t blame him. In no way was he bound to assist them or offer any sort of platitude to those in attendance. She attempted to cover her smirk, with her tea, taking a sip before setting it down.

Cam looked over the room and stared, offering a single nervous swallow before setting her PADD down for a moment, only taking note of those thus far in attendance. She knew full well she may have bitten off a bit more than she could chew with those present, and gave a quick glance to Lorad, furrowing her brows in a silent apology. Dimmed lights or not, it was a brutal crowd for the Remans. After a momentary glance, she turned back to her console, busying herself with nonsense, and trying to keep their attention off of her.


OOC:
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Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Stegro88 @Swift @BipSpoon @Lathaniel @Griff @Number6
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Samantha understood the measure of apprehension she was getting from the Romulan officer. It was the same kind of evolutionary knee-jerk that members of any species found hard to contain. Like her olfactory reaction to the nasty stench of the Romulan tea, which surely didn’t hold the same amount of onus to the distinctly human side of the room, which had replicated it in good conscience. And just as she had tried to avoid the public display of such disdain, so had Valyn. And that was where the groundwork of diplomacy was laid. Yet ultimately disregarding the momentary sense of confusion emanating from Valyn. Inadvertently unveiling a more debonair quality to her inquiry – befitting a silver tongued devil. “Can’t complain.” Was her simple answer, voice pitched in an unnatural way, indicating that she hadn’t really expected a reply. The brief characterization of the resident spook, however, made her chuckle with a golden glimmer of legitimacy. “Doesn’t know how to quit …” the blonde simply replied with an open ended statement, which served more as an observation, rather than an actual judgment on whether that was a good thing or not. Like most of her statements.

As the doors slid open once more, like the curtains of a theatre, another protagonist entered onto their little stage, adding to the mixed ensemble. Another blonde Romulan beauty. Another familiar face. One that Samantha could readily pin a name onto as well, an imaginary name tag right to the chest, reading Lillee t'Jellaieu. The woman that had masterly piloted the shuttle en route to finding the Klingon Empire’s next chancellor, and the ensuing ‘dynamic negotiations’ in space. Not a small feat to say the least, almost ironic in its complex implications, a Romulan saving the empire. Which only made the accomplishment that much more venerable, in the eyes of the woman that excelled at cultural differences. So, her statuesque pate dipped in an appreciative nod. Not only at the formal report, but just as much in the case of Amarik, on a more personal level that betrayed her Vulcan nature mimicking a cornered cat, in the dark back of her mind. The instances rare, where her human nature overruled the opinionated logic. At least in a professional setting. Not that there were many other.

“This is Lieutenant Amarik, from our peers at Intelligence.” she smiled kindly, letting larimar domains pass over to the other woman by her side with arcane ease. “We’ve just arrived back from bringing the good old Mister Fisher home.” And albeit the sentiment was conveyed in an almost flippant, certainly light-hearted manner, within the depth of meaning, skillfully obscured, rang a gentle whisper of pain, that still resonated from an almost tragedy. One which thankfully - and to no small part to some of those present - hadn’t come to pass. And even had she desired to pull on that particular string, attention diverted quickly as the stage doors slipped open once more, adding a distinct masculine air to the blend of sweet perfume and female hormones, currently dominating the confined conference lounge. More so than the ship’s systems were able to compensate for, or even cared about. The hulking figure was crowned with a square jawed face, pepper and cherry blossoms sprinkled upon pale parchment, brows like thick brush strokes of ink, guarding murky Koi ponds.

“Lieutenant.” she acknowledged with just the faintest sense of bedlam to her soothing voice. Soon, however, her inherent logic – trying to get a word in from the small corner it had temporarily been shooed off to – asserting that while Commander Stark hadn’t arrived yet it was probably appropriate for her as the highest ranking officer to tally the summons. “Pleasure to meet you.” she smiled gently at the first unknown face, for now. Having studied the roster, the diplomat had already managed to recognize the majority of names. Which meant she had done a good job getting to know the important players already, and then some. As for a woman in her position there was nothing worse than being blind sighted by an unexpected shadow, creeping up from a corner somewhere.

Speaking of which …

The next addition to their little group were none other than Drauc T’Laus, about 30 decks above his comfort zone, and the former Tal Shiar major Situka, which seemed to dim the ambient light another few levels, as her event-horizon sucked in photons like a black hole. An odd pair, to say the least, considering their respective backstories. Yet oddly significant of the intent behind this very meeting: Attempting to find a common ground above the hereditary notions of distrust and animosity. United in the dread of a common foe. Still, the accomplished Romulan woman wasn’t one the commander was going to take her eye off. No, that Vulcan kitten in the corner transforming into a ferocious tiger, wasn’t going to let that potential disaster slip by. It felt as if that was the quintessence of what the eons old feud was about, this very chemistry. Returning Drauc’s reverent gesture in kind, however, the blonde was not about to make outward concessions to her inner turmoil. Not unless provoked to do so.

Regardless though, the atmosphere in the room had changed, transforming it from a sleek and clean Starfleet accommodation to a cold and murky cave. And Samantha wasn’t entirely sure whether that was just in her head or not. Maybe it was what would’ve been expected anyways, bringing all these different characters together here. Certainly, it was the bridge that they would have to cross, in order to get to the other side unharmed. Next entered Commander Stark, wrapped in that air of new-car-smell from her recent promotion, basically glowing with … inner conflict?! The fellow senior officer had to admit, it was not the sentiment she had expected, or even wished, to sense. She could literally feel the cold glass of water in her hand impress more like something akin to the hot mug Natalie was holding on to for dear life. A token of comfort from the outside world, her quarters perhaps, brought inadvertently to serve as a pinnacle of inner peace. She assumed.

What a delightfully human notion.

It drew a soft smile on rosy petals, figments of white teeth sparkling from beneath, like dew drops hiding in the depth of a blossom, from the warm rays of a midday sun. Even with their roles turned upside down now, half a pip and a shitload of responsibility between them, the blonde couldn’t help but still feel a sense of protectiveness and sympathy, for the brunette beauty. If only because Stark did not have a Vulcan big brother looking over her shoulder, that she could push forth on a moment’s notice, when a ferocious bully lay in wait for her. But she also had all the confidence on the woman to adapt and to find strength in the warm embrace of duty. Which was a senior officer’s remedy to get through the day anyways. Yet, for the time being, with a courteous excuse to the Romulan ladies, Sam detached herself from the small group by the buffet spread and gingerly followed Natalie with copious spacing. In which she could exude her own confidence with ease, but would have someone behind her to call upon, with as much as a simple glance of hazel eyes.

As it happened, however, the diplomat widened lash-framed edges around topaz gemstones, manicured brows raising ever so gently. The commander was doing fine, there was no need currently for her to ad anything. Sure, as Stark went on, the blonde would’ve favored on the side of ‘less is more’, if the intent was to be as ambiguous as possible. Silence gave an opponent the opportunity to fill in the blanks with their own conclusions, rather than being able to pass judgment on every single sentiment conveyed. These were Romulans, after all. Yet the charming ease, with which the brunette carried her gratitude, was so universal, it was doubtful anyone could take offense, unless they really wanted to. Which meant they would’ve also found fault in silence. Again, they were Romulan.

And as the small intermezzo had concluded, Samantha found the situation to be safe enough to carry on. Slipping delicately past her XO, a dainty hand casually brushed past the woman’s shoulder, in a barely distinguishable pat, like a palpable whisper. Had she dared to look, Natalie would’ve been able to see an almost sardonic smile, tucking at the commander’s plush lips, that were so voluptuously prominent, even just past the profile of her pronounced cheeks and defined jaw. Ultimately slipping into her seat at the head corner, where her PADD already rested, the diplomat crossed her legs beneath the table, relaxing back into the cushions that had molded to her slim physique over the course of a few meetings already.

Another intrusion later, at behest of Lorad and his sister Samala, both of whom Samantha too had history with as of recent, she betrothed both of them with a courteous nod herself, that conveyed whatever gratitude she could in the moment without holding up the proceedings too much. Elaborations would have to wait until later, as Stark already took her seat and began to speak. The blonde’s attention was only temporarily diverted, as Samala snuck into the seat one over from where the diplomat was sitting - Andrew’s chair – which would’ve almost prompted her to say something, seeing as there was someone left taking up those departmental responsibilities, but her intentions were squashed by the colossal frame of her brother, planting himself down between them like a Moai. Sam almost having to actually move her graciously long legs, had it not been for the sturdy support of the tabletop between them. Looking up at the towering visage of the Reman, however, she chose to simply let a quiet smile stretch from compressed lips, as she averted her gaze towards Stark’s introductions.

Settling into a confident sense of ease, knowing her role in this gathering, the diplomat let one hand rest in her lap, fingers dug between the warm embrace of her thighs, while manicured nails of her other tabbed inaudibly at the illuminated surface, next to her glass of water. For a moment she could hear the bubbles of carbonation pop, on the surface of the crystal-clear liquid. The way that wedge of lemon casually teetered about, prompting her to raise that hand and let fine-boned digits fish for the citrus fruit, squeezing its juice and essence from within that bright yellow shell, paying little to no attention to the man appearing in the opposite corner of the room, like a mirage from stirring fever dreams. Andrew had briefed her on his replacement, the Romulan Fisher, angling for people’s shock and fear with his Houdini act. Which would’ve been impressive, had she not had the unfair advantage of having slept with the Chief of Intelligence.

A clearly audible chortle escaped the blonde’s throat, causing the corners of her plump lips to flare beyond the guard of her immaculate teeth, at the mere audaciousness of such a thought. Azure orbs not even directed at the last attendee yet, but trained on the pale-yellow zest, twisting in between her fingers, dripping milky swirls into the water. Ultimately, drawn from her own little shelter of pleasant memories, aquamarine pools soon flickered to the center line of the room, the faces of everyone around the table, as well as the realization of how her lapse in composure could’ve been misconstrued. Eyes darting sideways towards Natalie, and then back to the latest addition, the hologram, Samantha let the lemon wedge drop back into the drink, sitting herself up a little straighter, clearing her throat. Squinting her eyes ever so slightly, almost feeling a migraine coming on, from the man flickering about like a fucking candle.

“Oh my …” she pondered; her voice still vaguely hoarse from the burning rays of spotlight. “… what manners we have.”

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #10
  Lt JG Sorek Morgan, Callsign “Chaos” | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Brutus  @Swift  @BipSpoon  @stardust  @Stegro88  @Griff

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After reporting to Rutherford, Sorek took the time to look around and acknowledged everyone already present with a polite nod. He tried his best to smile winningly, which he managed quite well, given the awkward feelings he had towards the upcoming event. He looked around for a seat that was as far away from the others as possible, but was unable to find what he was looking for. With an abrupt motion he turned towards the window side and walked up to a free chair. Sitting down, he felt as if he wanted to throw up. In a moment, this room would fill with people he had almost nothing in common. He was unable to imagine any place he would not prefer over this, at this particular moment.

He sat there, absentmindedly rubbing the stubble on his chin as if to non-verbally point out that he was not a Romulan, while more and more particpants of this weird gathering arrived. He had a polite nod or smile for everyone who looked into his direction, but his mind was elsewhere. With his mother, that treacherous whore as well as with her lovers and all the other lying, deceiving and scheming Romulans he had the displeasure to meet so far.

This cannot end well! He thought, as he listened to snippets of conversation and watched the faces of the others. He had never felt as misplaced as he did now. He sighed, audible. He was already growing weary of this. Should've found a way to excuse myself... damn! He thought and silently shook his head in a barely visible micro-movement.
Lt JG Sorek Morgan
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PO2 Kino Taer
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Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #11
Lt Vanya | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Brutus  @Swift @BipSpoon  @stardust  @Stegro88  @Griff @Lathaniel

Vanya had spent the day working as usual.  Her thoughts drifting back to Romulus.  Her memories of her time on that world were not happy ones, particularly when it came to her life as a Tal’Shiar pet project.  Her past had a few scrapes with those who wanted to make sure that her story was a short one.  Much like the Dominion War, if this current crisis resulted in an alliance between the Theurgy and any element of Romulan society, there was every chance the alliance could end at the whim of the Romulan contingent.  Her life would be at risk again. 

Still, it was a risk she was willing to take, for the mission, and for those that she loved. 

Still she had told Nat that morning that she would be there, and Vanya fully intended to keep every promise she made to her.  Besides, part of Vanya realised that the idea of her existience, particularly wearing her Starfleet Uniform, was a perverse to the Romulan hardcore as her being totally nude was to the more prudish side of humans.    She had briefly considered the idea of going to her quarters to dress in her science whites, but decided better of it. 

She entered the room late – part of her did like to make an entrance. 

“Sorry I’m late” she said.  “I had to monitor an experiment that nightshift had completed.”  While not a total fabrication, the experiment could have waited until after this meeting. 
Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #12
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Swift, @BipSpoon, @Lathaniel, @stardust, @Stegro88

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Lieutenant 'Sorek' was a stranger, and Lillee only offered the man the briefest of glances, noting merely that he seemed to be yet another new pilot for the squadron. It was all rather normal, the blood rihanna lieutenant making Lillee slightly uneasy, but that was at least lessened when Drauc entered, looking as ragged and unkempt as ever. The man was an enigma, someone whom Lillee didn't know that well despite having fought beside him twice, and she was wary of him, but he was at least familiar. Beheading a few Klingons with someone did tend to engender trust, limited though it might be.

Then the Tal Shiar major entered and Lillee froze, eyes wide, her heart hammering madly. Her breath hitched, she slowly backed into a corner, praying that she wouldn't be noticed. Reason intruded, suggesting that the Tal Shiar woman probably didn't even know who she was and wouldn't overly care even if she did; Lillee's treason had been long ago, and she was a tiny fish in a very large ocean. Even so, every part of Lillee's body was thrumming with tension even as she desperately tried to appear relaxed and remain unnoticed. The Tal Shiar major was an ally of the Theurgy, Lillee was protected from them...they could never be trusted, they were always a threat, but only if they saw you...

Consumed by instinctive paranoia, Lillee barely even noticed Natalie enter, or the words she spoke. She at least tried to take comfort when Samala and Lorad entered...yes...they were allies...not friends, necessarily, but allies...

Then the hologram appeared, and despite everything, it took genuine effort for Lillee to not bolt for the door right there and then. The accented voice, the arrogance, the disdain, the casual eloquence and elegance, all of it was unmistakable, all of it bone-chilling. Lillee held her hands behind her back to hide her tension, fervently hoping not to be noticed as she remained in a shadowy corner, out of sight, out of mind. Two Tal Shiar in one room...sure, one only by hologram, but that was hardly a comfort. Everyone had heard the story of the Tal Shiar assassin who'd literally scared a Starfleet admiral into cardiac arrest through a simple holographic transmission, apocryphal though it might be.

Nobody had addressed Lillee, nobody had given her any attention at all besides Stark's friendly smile, which was all to her preference. Fervently hoping that the meeting would conclude swiftly without incident, Lillee simply remained where she was, back firmly to a bulkhead, the door within easy reach. She looked to the untrained eye like a normal Starfleet petty officer, politely standing at the ready but out of the way, concealing what was happening within.

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #13
[ Drauc T'Laus | Conference Room | Deck 1 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Brutus  @Swift @BipSpoon @stardust @Stegro88 @Griff @Lathaniel @Number6 
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This was not Drauc's kind of battlefield, but it was most certainly hostile terrain.

He stood there, trying to keep his mind from being saturated by the added number of people in the room, all whom carried different degrees of resentment and wariness. Some, those who had instigated this meeting-of-the-minds, were more open and optimistic about the fallout. Yet as Drauc stood there - feeling how he began to ground his teeth - he knew that the prospects were not ideal. Too much bad blood. Rightful paranoia. Moreover, minds which he was unable to read, which normally would be a blessing, but in the context of this battlefield made him more wary than he should be. Tilting his brow, he focused on remaining still, and to breathe slowly - his dark eyes hidden in shadow.

Major Situka had not turned her head towards Commander Stark when she greeted her, but her eyes did - face impassive as she listened to what the woman had to say. She had merely inclined her head in affirmation about Drauc bringing her there, and then listened while the First Officer of the Theurgy lauded her efforts on the Aliqui. While she remained silent as a stone, Drauc could sense her mind wandering. Images of a man she had to kill on the Aliqui. Then, another face. Her... Captain, Drauc believed, whom had attacked her. As momentary as Situka's lapse had been, she'd made no outward sign of it before Stark said she hoped she'd find her stay pleasant and productive.

"My gratitude, Commander," she said in a poised tone, before her eyes returned to the room. "Somehow, I doubt I will."

While Stark was commending them all for participating, the female Romulan at the table brandished a rank-etched knife in flagrant signal about her past, as a means of silent introduction. Or a threat. Situka just looked at the woman without raising an eyebrow, and Drauc sensed how the Major was looking at the woman's uniform rather than the knife, thinking about not long ago, she would have despised the woman for her choice of betraying the Empire. And yet there she was, sitting at the same table as the traitor. She was wondering, Drauc believed, if the woman had faced a situation like her own, where she'd been bereft of choice. She debated also, if it was right to judge her as harshly as she did for still carrying that blade, which she had no right to wield... when she was still wearing her own uniform.

The hologram, Alarak, generated a more heated reaction from Situka, and given his past, Drauc quickly fed on that emotion when the arrogant Romulan paraded around the conference room, clearly just being there out of request from the Chief Intelligence Officer of the ship. Yet by being present, Situka considered the man just as much a traitor as herself, only difference being that the man hadn't gone to the lengths she had done to save the Empire. In fact, she didn't even know if he held any such ambitions. Her brow had hardened, and she was on the verge of answering something completely else when he'd asked if she had really travelled all the way there. "I tend to put my commitments above my comforts."

Drauc knew she'd almost called him out as a double agent, likely having undermined the Empire long before the present threat had forced her own hand. Until proven wrong, she believed him to only serve his own interest and survival, rather than that of their people. She would never grant him the respect of rank, and if he'd been present in the room, Drauc wasn't sure he would grant him to live. Before he knew what section Alarak belonged to in the Tal Shiar, he would assume he was the kind to condone what had been done to him and his twin brother, all those years ago.

The Remans entered, which cast the bias of many present into light. While Drauc held little ill will towards them, having learned of the plights of the Remans through their minds over the years and sympathising with them, Situka was wondering what other kind of lesser individuals she'd have to cooperate with in order to restore the Empire to its people from the hands of the enemy. Would she have to share a table with a Breen next? The only outward, plagued expression she made was a sigh, and she pointedly didn't look at the siblings even when they came to sit by the table.

Last to arrive was the new Chief Science Officer of the Theurgy, whom had made the time to come despite her new duties, Drauc reckoned. Drauc knew of her, because she was one of the few aboard whom he could only detect by his ordinary senses alone. As an android, she was like the hologram - absent in the room. Which was a boon, given how many minds were already encroaching upon his own. Even the Captain's Yeoman, not far from where he stood, was triggering his fight or flight response in how she tried to escape notice from those present in the room. He found himself clenching his calloused and scarred hands inside the sleeves of his threadbare robe, his whole frame hardened and taught, and he almost wished that this was the kind of battlefield he was used to - one in which he could emulate the blood rage around him to prevail.

Here, he was supposed to remain collected... and it would be a trial.

"With all due respect, given the nature of the enemy, I would like to ask if it's wise to have a holographic representative here?" asked Major Situka coolly, not looking in Alarak's direction. She just made a small gesture with her hand in his direction. "I beamed aboard the Theurgy, and went through the anyonic phase screening protocol in doing so. All whom are in this room have been screened this way. Yet how can we know that this person isn't one of them?"

With her letting out a quiet sigh, Drauc saw her resign herself to having to point out something she felt obvious. "I would hate to see any achievements made in this meeting end up compromising the mission since proper precautions weren't made." Only then did she look in the hologram's direction. "Already, there is due cause to question any semblance of loyalty in this individual... and that is rather significant coming from me."

Drauc felt he had to turn his eyes from those present, even if it didn't lessen their presence in his mind. He wished they all could do like the Remans had, and cloud their hatred before they made him lash out.

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #14
 [Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Swift @BipSpoon @stardust @Stegro88 @Griff @Lathaniel @Number6  
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Telepresence holography was not a new technology. Starfleet had toyed around with it here and there, and was giving it considerable through for any sort of in depth conference where interactions between all parites might be benificial. Usually that involved the pariters in questions setting up within the confines of Holodecks on their own starships or starbases, and then joining what amounted to a subspace conference call, in a simulated shared room. Given the Theurgy's unique design quirks, an evolution upon the set up of the Prometheus class, with holo emitters in every room and corridor, such projection became much easier. 

To Natalie's knowledge it had hardly ever been leveraged. She had no knowledge that it would be put to use in this meeting at all. Thus the arrival of another Romulan Tal Shiar agent caught Natalie flat footed. Not the best sort of look for the ships First Officer. To her credit, she quickly realized that this individual was at the very least expected by one person in the room, the ships Chief Diplomat, whom had been carrying the burden of running the Intelligence department along with her own Department, while Lt. Commander Fisher healed from the extensive ordeal he had suffered through. 

Natalie was going to have to have a word with Rutherford and Fisher about leaving her out of the loop when it came to visiting...dignitaries. 

The tension in the room had been bad enough when Lorad and Samala arrived. As much as Natalie might have otherwise wished, she knew that some of the Romulans in the room were going to have deep long standing prejudices against the Reman crew members. No amount of goodwill on her part would change that. She was tempted to remind everyone in the room that they were all Starfleet and would behave themselves accordingly, save that this wasn't quite true. Even as the Remans hunkered down by Lt. Commander Rutherford, Natalie could feel all the attention in the room focusing on the holographic visitor. There were now two Tal'Shair operatives in the room, and that would leave almost everyone else present chilled. Tugging her shirt down, Natalie inclined her head to Captain Alarak and offered a thin smile, following up on Rutherford's comment about manners.

"Lt. Commander Fisher does have a way of pulling surprises out of his magical hat." Had someone snorted? She wasn't sure, but wouldn't comment. " Nevertheless, I welcome your presence and participation in this...conference, Captain Alarak. As for introductions, I'll have everyone introduce themselves. For myself, I am Commander Natalie Stark, first officer of the Theurgy. I have the pleasure of trying to run herd on everyone here." Stark allowed herself a small, self-deprecating smile as she drew strength from those around her, the small gestures she'd received from Rutherford earlier, and the welcome arrival of Vanya, late to the party as it were, though nothing had really started yet. And perhaps, just a bit, give a little reminder to everyone in the room to behave.

"Very well, Lieutenant. Hopefully the experiments have gone well. Please feel free to grab a drink and pull up a seat. We're just getting started here. You just missed a most informative entrance from Captain Alark, of the Tal Shiar." Nat wasn't about to leave Vanya out of the loop. She was tempted to reach out and grab the other woman's hand when she moved past, but resisted the urge, as pleasing as that contact might be. No need to telegraph that to the Tal Shiar agents, even if they were 'allies' of the moment.

But her focus was needed elsewhere as she allowed herself to sink back into her chair, lacing her fingers together and listening to the visiting Major as the woman raised concerns. Natalie would have felt better about addressing those concerns had she been informed ahead of time by Lt. Commander Fisher - or his stand in, Rutherford. Alas she had to wing this one, and with a glance to Sam, addressed Situka. 

"You raise a valid concern, Major. Captain," she faced the hologram again, "It would have been most convenient for those of us present if we could have greeted you in person. I presume that isnt an option, given your choice of communication. Lieutenant Commander Fisher has invited you however so I shall defer to his wisdom in this matter and that of his current stand in. Lt. Commander Rutherford, have you anything to add?"

She wasn't quite throwing Sam under the bus, but was trusting that - given how calm the other woman was - Fisher had at least clued her in and would have provide some form of evidence worthy to vouch for the other man. Already this was going to devolve into a pissing match. Nat could sense it happening, and she reached out, pulling her coffee mug back in like the life preserver that it was, as she let her eyes drift across everyone present. She allowed the other woman her say, then made her opening salvo to the room.

"I feel I should reiterate that we are all here with a common cause; to prevent the further corruption and destruction of our homes, whatever they may be, by the infestation currently plaughing the highest echelons of both the Federation and the Romulan Empire. We are all going to have to put our heads together to figure out how to undermine the current efforts that are about to drive this entire quadrant back into another bloody war that neither of our respective peoples need. Never mind how that will further prevent our effots to expose the threat that hides behind the faces of our former colleagues.

"This is bigger than our own grievances. So let's do our best, shall we?"

Re: Day 03 [0830 hrs.] Contact and Negotiation

Reply #15
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Stegro88 @Swift @BipSpoon @Lathaniel @Griff @Number6
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It was true, to no small amount, that the relationship between Andrew and Samantha had grown into one of mutual trust and understanding, born from a common history with loss and deceit. From the first moment they had shared in private, without the moral restraint of duty, they had matched together like two pieces of a really small puzzle. Fitting into the needs and wants of one another effortlessly, like the sun and the moon meeting, in the golden hours of a new day, or an old one drifting away into lavender absolution. They had been their dawn and their dusk, without being too melodramatic about it. It was surely not the romance to end all romances, to the end a poet would write about, but in its own right, their relationship probably deserved more recognition then even they themselves were willing to commit. For now. At least for her own part, the headstrong blonde rather enjoyed giving into the simplicity of each interaction, and how everything fell into place effortlessly, as if cogs in a clockwork, marching on in tune to the ticks of their own doing. Unlike the world around them.

And with such ease came a sense of inurement, to the quirky waywardness of each other’s vices. Like the diplomat’s penchant for protocol and control, which the spook conquered with all his charm and wit, almost for a sport. And in return, the woman’s adaption to the whiles of the magician, Fisher often cast himself to be, when it came to pulling surprises from his hat of skill and experience. Or simply those born from lack of protocol or control, in her mind. It didn’t quite culminate into an abject numbness to his unpredictable nature, but rather a veneration thereof, that expressed itself in delight over every sudden twist and unexpected turn, rather than dumbfound befuddlement. Though he sure was capable of eliciting such sentiments too, if he really wanted. So, when the Romulan nightlight sparked to live in the conference room, the Commander did not flinch, did not awe, did not gape at the precipice of her own ignorance, but rather embraced the fresh breeze of the man’s character, even in his absence. There was no ill-intent behind either his, nor her negligence to convey the true extend of their individual foreshadowing.

Everyone had gotten their desired entrance.

Dipping her head gently to the side, plush slip brushing together like peach slices intent on squeezing every drop of savory juice from themselves, larimar hues transfixed on the major with graceful ease, denotive of a history in dealing with her kind. Not to say Romulans as a general concept of a civilization, but the hardened, impassive remnants of an empire that was by now as much an illusion as most of their self-importance. Having sacrifice branded into her life was not a VIP ticket to this show. They all carried the same mark. And what distinguished them from the ignorant, selfish ilk in the political arena, was hopefully the capacity to rise over their petty grievances and jealousies, or at least pretend to. What united them were not their commonalities, but their adversities, in the shape of a common enemy. Still, in an effort to be diplomatic, she was not going to call the woman out on her dismissive, passive-aggressive tenure, as forward as she usually was with people who had more to gain from an alliance than she did herself. But that didn’t mean she wouldn’t give the same curtesy to everyone else in the room – including the Ringwraith, flaming in the corner.

And lastly, Commander Stark’s more furtive effort at balancing the charged sentiments in the room, like brushing down stray hairs in a thunderstorm. An almost motherly warmth ignited Sam’s chest, at the sound of the woman’s words and voice. Even though their age difference was not as significant. There was a relentless benevolence, within the dark-haired woman’s character, which she was never sure whether she was supportive or protective over. Whether she saw it as a blessing, or a wound, waiting for someone to dive their ceremonial dagger into. Luckily, in dealing with people of mostly the same conviction, this danger was not one to be ever present, for the newly minted first officer. She hoped. In any regard, there was a good measure of trust and admiration, swaying in her favor. And there was certainly a disagreeable notion within the workings of fate, to mostly reward those with good heart, as annoying as that could be.

“At the very least I can convey Lieutenant Commander Fisher’s implicit trust in Captain Alarik’s unwavering insolence.” the blonde readily conveyed in reply to Natalie’s prompt, readjusting their stance ever so slightly. “And to second Commander Stark’s admonition. We’re here united in a common threat, not by some perceived scientific prove of our respective loyalties. Just because someone has been screened against the parasites doesn’t mean they’re not a collaborator. There IS no surefire way to determine friend from foe, in a fight against the illusive enemy of coercion and deceit.” Having let her azure hues cast a measure of reassurance on everyone at the table in slow succession, the diplomat found resolution to her diatribe in the Major herself once more. Who seemingly had an issue with settling into the role of needing help. “Either we can trust each other, without clinging to the desperate concept of a physical proof of loyalty - which there is none - or we can just resign right here.”

A gentle dip of the head, a hop and a skip of well-groomed brows, the blonde’s mimic danced along the entire length of the sentiment she had wished to convey, in an effort to shut down any lingering sentiments of doubt and prejudice, born from personal experiences or cultural clichés. It was as much a reassuring notion, if they wanted to take it as such, as it was one to assert dominance of the situation they were in – a reality check if you may – for those who needed it. In her dealings as a diplomat, Samantha had come across a myriad of individuals who desperately needed the situation to be cast in their favor, even if it wasn’t and needed the sanguine temper of delusion to soothe their loss of control. When all they, needed to accept in this moment was that they were all beggars, who had nothing more to give to each other than their unconditional trust. No fleets, no resources. This was a negotiation where nothing more could be gained than that … and only if the other was willing to give it.

 
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