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Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]


[ Captain Jien Ives | Lower Deck Converted Starboard Guest Quarters | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] @Griff  @Dree  @Pierce  @Dumedion  @P.C. Haring  @chXinya  @rae @chXinya

“Crewmen of the Apache should be loaded into their craft by 1455 as their craft will be ejected from the aerodrome at 1500. Crewmen of the Allegiant must likewise be in their craft at 1555, as they will be ejected at 1600. We will be departing in precisely twelve minutes, and until the ejection times, you may make use of the facilities on this deck. I am Tachgin, duty officer of this area for the duration of your time aboard. If you have questions or problems, you will come to me.”

The announcement given by the curtly efficient female Savi only a few minutes ago played over in Ives's mind, as did a myriad of other details of the simultaneous missions, as he stood at the threshold of the converted guest quarters. Security and engineering had done a splendid job converting these quarters into a makeshift brig with the cannon in place and Nicander safely situated within. The doctor-turned-informant had the haggard look of determination under a layer of resignation. Ives rather figured his expression mirrored, considering all the moving pieces of the current puzzle. The Ranger was already disengaged from the Helmet and due to leave simultaneously as the Erudite, with both the Apache and Allegiant safely tucked within it.

Nodding to the security detail posted guard over Nicander, Ives moved through the ship until he stood once more on the Erudite’s deck, gaze traveling over the Theurgy crew mingling in the space between the Allegiant and the Apache. He knew some among them would be remaining on the Erudite all the way to Hobus. As he made eye contact with a few who glanced his way, Ives gave them a reassuring nod. Though there was more out of their control and just as much unknown, Ives was confident their efforts here would make a difference. They’d already come so far, sacrificed so much. It was about damn time they struck a direct blow, turning the tide in their favor.



Notes: As Lillee is the driver of this road trip from hell, advise she go first. This is an opening chapter to get things going, so everyone involved in the Ch 5 Allegiant mission should post at least once to establish their character onboard and in motion. Now that this chapter is in motion, you may refer to the calendar here (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cosmic_Imperative_Calendar) and remember to make threads like this Ch # S  [ Day #  | Time  ] Title for supplemental threads.

Only Nicander and Ives are official NPC’s slated for this mission, who will be “played” by the GM. I’d suggest you take a gander at the other NPC’s that can be deemed useful for cannon fodder once things go south on the facility here: https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Non-Player_Characters. And for the record, all NPC’s are open for maiming and/or killing as long as it fits the story objectives and the narrative, and you ask nicely (TL;DR: ask the GM before you maim/kill a Theurgy-based NPC). If you have questions regarding this, please let any of the GM’s know. GM’s indicated earlier that if you are maneuvering an NPC, try to stick to NPC’s in your own department.

Also, for funsies, there is a list of serious and silly in-game “side quest” prompts that you can opt-in for to add to the fun and mayhem of the game. These prompts are considered “private,” so once you have your prompt, only you and the GM will know, and it’ll be your task to work it into the story to earn the credit. Successfully working four or more private prompts into the game during the chapter will earn 1 token.


Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #1
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu| Bathroom | Deck 1 | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Pierce @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia

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"Crewmen of the Apache..."

While the announcement reverberated throughout the Allegiant, Petty Officer Lillee t'Jellaieu was busy with a very important task: kneeling on the deck and vomiting violenty into a toilet. In that moment, she was a far cry from her usual self. Her long blonde hair was a mess, she'd stripped to a vest and underwear, she was sweating profusely and her face was flushed a sickly dark green. After a particularly painful bout of throwing up, Lillee sat back on the deck, panting, then groaned at the announcement's mention of the Allegiant.

The ship that she was supposed to fly in two hours. Truly, the Elements have a sense of humour, she thought sourly to herself. Upon a sudden realisation, she glanced at the door then sighed in relief; locked. There was another head on Deck 2, so nobody would be inconvenienced. It was unlikely that anyone would bother her anyway; they had only left the Theurgy shortly beforehand, after all. That, at least, was a relief. She didn't want anyone to see her like this, especially with such a dangerous mission...

With another groan, Lillee returned to the toilet and threw up again, her stomach aching at the retching. If anyone did see her, they'd assume that she was ill, or hungover. That at least was partially true. She had drunk some wine the previous night before Anh-Le had displayed some enthusiastic bedroom gymnastics, leaving both women exhausted. That wasn't quite the cause of Lillee's condition, however.

The simple truth was that she was terrified: terrified of returning to Romulus, terrified of her children losing their mother, terrified of an excruciating torturous death if she was captured, terrified of the Infested monster just a deck below her, terrified...just...terrified.

Federation types couldn't understand. Likely that was why nobody had thought twice about assigning Lillee to the mission, or asked for her input. She was the only person aboard with formal training on flying a cloaked vessel, the only person aboard with in-depth knowledge of Romulus's defences and traffic patterns. Without her, the mission would almost certainly fail before they even made orbit. If the mission failed, the Empire, already wracked by civil war and an external war against the Federation, was surely doomed.

Lillee was necessary.

Naturally, the thought made her retch even more, tears stinging her eyes. Necessary.

"Fvadta," Lillee swore under her breath.



fvadta - a strong Romulan curse, comparable to "fuck"

Deck plan of the USS Allegiant:

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Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #2
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Med Bay | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Griff @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia [Show/Hide]

Pierce heard the intercom going off and sat in the med bay as she had just gotten her prosthetic ears attached and temporary genetic modifications at least to mask the typical genetic scans. She felt the tips and they were more or less numb but it was an interesting sensation as she glanced in the mirror. Wearing her Romulan garb, pointed ears, and pointed eyebrows, she was interested to see how well this played out on the surface with her hopefully blending in.

When the notification came through about this particular mission, she knew she had to be present for it. Studying up on her Romulan dialect as well since the last time she'd used any of it was in the 23rd century and with a deeper voice. Most of her experience was with the Klingons but since this was a primarily Romulan mission, she wanted to experience the homeworld for herself.

Reaching her fingers up, she felt the Romulan fabric brushing against her skin softly as she placed her duty jacket over top of the undergarment for the moment. She touched the brows and they felt very real which gave her an odd feeling as she found herself admiring her alien appearance. Brushing the hair off of her ears she looked again and held a very regal, Romulan pose before moving away from the mirror and walking towards the door. She'd have to get used to wearing these aesthetics for a time as they were more or less grafted to her for the near future. Hopefully, she didn't get shot or the so-called Romulan would be displaying very different blood types.

As the doors swished open, she headed to the lounge to get herself a glass of something to calm her nerves. She was ready but something about this mission had her on edge. Granted, the last time that there was a mission of this magnitude, Fisher died and she was left in charge of the department. Not that she foresaw the same fate for herself, she couldn't help but think this mission was going to change them all in some manner and that feeling didn't sit right with her.

Partway through her thought, she decided it would be best to get her Romulan uniform gathered up and prepped for wear first. Walking down the hallway she climbed the stairs to the 2nd deck of the small vessel. Cozy in a way but not unlike an old 23rd-century vessel in it's spacing and size in some areas. Passing the restroom she could have sworn she heard someone losing their lunch and the remainder of their innards. She hesitated momentarily before making a decision. She heard a familiar Romulan curse from the room and decided to knock hearing the sound of hurling continue.

"Are you okay in there? Did you need any help?"

She leaned against the wall nearby and waited.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #3
[PO2 Kino Jeen | Starboard Guest Quarters | Deck 2 | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Griff @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia
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To say that they’d been busting their asses all morning getting everything ready on the Allegiant would have been an understatement. Kino had helped out the engineering crews where she could: installing reinforced screens for Nicander’s temporary holding cell, taking the cannon mount apart from the brig and retrofitting it for the new down-scaled version, loading up weapons, armor…

There was a lot to do, and the clock just kept ticking away.

The Trill non-com stood clad in a slightly ruffled duty uniform, sleeves rolled up past her elbows, tricorder in hand. The Doctor was safely behind the shimmering blue field of his ‘cell’, while Kino was making last minute adjustments to the lateral servo control of the cannon mount, trying to adjust the sensor calibration, which was sluggish. If Nicander had an incident, Kino needed to be damn sure the thing tracked his movement accurately – for everyone.

“Hey Doc,” she called out without looking in his direction, her tone laced with amusement. “Hope your not playing with yourself in there – I need you to take another walk around. Left to right, normal pace, if you please.” This would make the third attempt and request, and while Kino realized the situation was altogether tense, she dealt with it by making light of it. “Try not to trip over that third leg, eh?”

"Not to worry. I've had my tailor fit me with a special harness for the journey. Will this suffice or do you need a dance as well? I'm afraid these shoes just won't do for that,” Kino heard Nicander reply with dry amusement over the purr of the mount actuator. Her eyes narrowed at the tricorder in her hand, then nodded. Twelve percent increase – much better, she nodded.

“Okay, good. Thanks, Doc, we’re dialed in,” she turned to glance at him over her shoulder, meeting the Captain’s eyes. Kino returned Ives’ nod, then released a breath she hadn’t realized she’d held. This better work, the Trill thought to herself – again – for the umpteenth time since she’d been briefed on what they were going to try to attempt. Kino shook her head, then gestured to the two fully armed and armored sentries present. “Alright he’s all yours for now. I’m going to go give my guys a hand with the rest of our gear,” she nodded to them, then addressed Nicander directly through the shrouded privacy screen. “Sit tight Doc. You need anything – within reason – give me a call,” she told him, then hit the audio suppression to his cell, so he wouldn't hear what she said next.
 
“You guys know the drill: keep him calm, and focused on anything else besides this shitshow we’re about to step into,” she told her fellow officers, then returned full audio to Nicander. A hand raked through her short silver hair as she left, bound for the boarding ramp and the crates of supplies that waited there. Agans and Falvar are probably bullshitting out there, Kino snorted to herself, or trying to hit on one of the fucking Savi.

“Always wanted to see Romulus,” the non-com grumbled to herself. “Wish fucking granted, I guess.”

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #4
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu| Bathroom | Deck 1 | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Pierce @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia

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Hearing the unfamiliar voice through the door, Lillee looked up in alarm. She briefly fretted over how to get through with some dignity; pretend that she was hungover, maybe? It was even true, partly, but no. The last thing she needed was anyone thinking that their pilot was liable to wild drinking the night before a mission, or that said pilot was impaired in any way. Starfleet's penalties for such things were extremely steep, and for good reason. No, she was going to have to face the music, an expression that, ironically, Earth and Romulus shared.

"I am well, thank you," Lillee called back, then winced at her very unconvincing tone of voice. Living among trusting Earthers had really ruined her facility for deception. "I do not need any help, I will leave in a minute."

The distraction at least seemed to have quietened her stomach, not that there was much left in there anyway. With a sour look, Lillee flushed the head, then hurried over to the mirror. It wasn't that bad, really. Her makeup was undisturbed, and since it was water insoluble, she promptly turned the tap on and began to enthusiastically wash her face. The hair was a disaster, so Lillee resigned herself to tying it into a ponytail, using a scrunchy offered by the bathroom's basic replicator to hold it. With that, she started getting dressed; boots, pants, red undershirt, jacket. A decade of service and an ill-spent youth meant the she had long ago mastered the art of dressing quickly, so it didn't take long.

Finally, after cinching the sheathed honour-blade onto her belt, Lillee opened her door, praying that the universe was feeling kind in that moment. The universe, predictably, responded with a tall red-haired woman wearing the same colours of Lillee. Worse, she wore two solid gold pips on her collar with one black, marking her as one of the Theurgy's senior officers, certainly second in command of the mission behind the captain.

Fvadt. Diplomatic or Intelligence? Oh drown me, we're going to Romulus. Silly question.

"Commander,"Lillee said formally, stepping out into the corridor and putting her hands behind her back. "Apologies for holding you up."

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #5
[ Hirek tr’Aimne | USS Allegiant gangplank | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] ATTN: @Griff  @Dree   @Pierce   @Dumedion   @P.C. Haring   @chXinya   @rae

His mouth had tasted of ash earlier that morning, and his stomach had been far too knotted to hold down anything other than a simple broth. Hirek had been quick with loading his meager belongings—he’d brought nothing but the magnitude of his personality and expertise when he’d first boarded Theurgy. Having claimed a bunk, Hirek moved back out of the Allegiant to stand on the gangplank while the captain stood stoically on the other side. Though he’d given Hirek a nod of acknowledgment, the man kept to himself, gaze ever moving over the forms and figures of his crew as they mingled in the space between the Federation vessels.

Hirek loosely clasped his hands behind his back, the grey tunic stretching tight across his chest. As he’d never been required to wear the Starfleet uniform and had only been issued a com badge, it would not be difficult to reintegrate among his people once they arrived on Romulus. During their briefing, he had been curious how some of his peers would successfully disguise themselves—though it’d be easy enough for the Vulcans, aside from their tenacious dour expressions. After noting Pierce, who had certainly looked authentic when he’d spied her, Hirek felt less concern for the success percentage of their upcoming mission. Hirek gave his Intelligence handler a subtle wink before she moved past him to enter the ship. He hadn’t seen Lillee during his earlier gear-drop, though he’d heard her in the bathroom.

Hirek understood her nerves and felt them to a degree for different reasons. As much as he relished returning to his homeworld, Hirek was disquieted at the numerous potential consequences of either success or failure. While the official objectives for the mission had nothing to do with the Tal’Shiar, inevitably, they’d cross paths with them. When they did, Hirek felt…concern, perhaps even fear, that once they discovered he was not as dead as he’d led them to believe, his family would once more become a primary target. Furthermore, should they be successful in getting to Tal’Aura, there were then two potential results: either she was Infested, or she was not, with either result still not solving the problem of how to recall her fleet, get off the planet, or—more so for Hirek personally—end the reign of terror by the Tal’Shiar.

Unintentionally mirroring the captain’s stoic expression and beady-eyed gaze, Hirek’s mind continued maneuvering through numerous scenarios, not as a worrying mechanism but as a pre-planning session. How would he respond to Tal’Shiar if they came across them? How would he respond to family or friends if they were encountered during the mission? What would he do if they were successful and, in the best case scenario, the civil war ended, the Infested were ousted, and the Tal’Shiar eradicated? Brief though his time had been on the ship so far, Hirek appreciated the constant exposure to other cultures and species, the access to alien technology, and the ease of acquiring intel for experiments without having to worry about a Tal’Shiar operative dropping out of the shadows to frustrate his work. But Hirek loved his people and his home. If the choice was between remaining on Romulus without threat from the Tal’Shiar and returning to Theurgy to be permanently separated from his family, he already knew which direction his gut led him. However, the likelihood of it being cut and dry and settled after a mere infiltration mission with only a small company of Starfleet crew was minuscule.

Hirek’s stoic expression broke into one of subtle amusement when he spied the Vulcans that would join their mission. He always walked away from a Vulcan with a lighter step, for they were quite often more amusing than they realized.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #6
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Med Bay | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Griff @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia [Show/Hide]

Pierce looked at the door as the Romulan spoke up stating she was well. She didn't buy it though as she took note of the woman's unusually wobbling vocals. "No rush, I was just worried about you." She called back with a smile as she imagined the woman's face. Hearing the quick getup behind the doorway, Pierce took a few steps back to brace for anything should she barrel through the doorway.

Finally the door opened and she was eye to eye with Lillee. A real Romulan who knew the mess they were getting into and then it all made sense. "I thought I was going to have to give some tough love but your being Romulan tells me, you already know what to expect." She chuckled trying to lighten the mood.

Realization sticking to her face she saw that the rank was still present. Despite her Romulan prosthesis she now wore, she was still in her Starfleet duds prepping for a Romulan change of clothes. ""

"At ease Lillee. On this mission we're going to be working together and I surmise you're going to be very needed on this mission. Heard you're a good pilot too!" She paused and let that positive thought sink in. "You'll do fine." She said as she slapped her on the back gently and headed back to her bunk to grab the newly replicated Romulan tunic for her part of the mission.

Why was waiting always the hardest part she wondered in her head. She'd seen Hirek earlier who must have been enjoying the view of her as an authentic Romulan woman. Her thoughts we not among her either which must have been what got the better part of Lillee. But with what this crew had been through in the past, she could hardly blame them.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #7
[ Lt. Commander Hathev | Crew Quarters | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz‍  @Dree‍  @Griff‍  @Dumedion‍  @Pierce‍  @chXinya‍  @UltimaImperatrixia‍ 

Hathev sighed as she continued to adjust her hair in front of the mirror.  As a Vulcan the extent of the modifications needed to make her appear Romulan were less intensive than that required of her human colleagues.  Aside from a tweak to her forehead, and the requisite genetic re-sequence, the Vulcan was good to go so far as she knew.  She had, however chosen to forgo the artificial hair piece and instead had cut and styled her natural locks to conform to Romulan styles.  She regretted the centimeters of hair she had to shed in order to properly mimic the shorter styles, but when she came back from this mission she would have her hair follicles stimulated so she could grow the hair back out.

Commander Pierce had issued Hathev’s wardrobe for the mission.  It fit well enough, of course, but it was far from the counselor’s preference.  Still, as the head of the Intelligence department, Commander Pierce had been given autonomy over the covert aspect of the mission and Hathev had no desire to debate her.

Still, she was not entirely convinced and decided she best check in with the Commander to ensure she satisfactorily presented herself.

Crossing the shared crew quarters, Hathev considered the mission and wondered, not for the first time, if her emotionally awoken self would be an asset or a liability to the mission.  She had been debating this topic on and off since taking the assignment and her present logic held that being in touch with her emotional self would only help to bolster her attempt to appear as a Romulan.

Exiting into the corridor, Hathev saw Commander Pierce standing outside the head talking to Petty Officer t’Jellaieu.  The Romulan seemed upset and while Hathev did not want to pry, her Counselor training advised her it would be prudent to check in with the pilot before the mission got too deep into it’s execution.

“Greetings, Petty Officer,” she said to t’Jellaieu.  “Commander,” she indicated to Pierce.  “Is my appearance satisfactory for the operation,” she asked.  While the question was directed at Pierce, Hathev also welcomed t’Jellaieu’s input.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #8
[ Ensign Valyrk | outside the USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite Aerodrome of the Erudite ] Attn:  @chXinya  @P.C. Haring  @rae @Griff   @Dumedion   (FYI: @Dree @Pierce

She recalled a time in her youth when she had told her mother of a curiosity for their distant relatives, the Romulans. Her father had told her to think of them as being of a relation was akin to two members of two different subfamilies of a larger family of a species. Yes, there were physical resemblances and some latent cultural connections and also the ability to reproduce. Still, it was illogical and foolish to look upon the Romulans with anything but a scrutinous eye. He had never understood the, as he considered it, romanticized ideal of reunifying with the Romulans. There would be trouble on either side of the coin, he predicted. Vulcan society would be negatively affected by Romulan emotionality, and Romulan society would protest the “limitations” preferred by a life lived in moderation and steered by logic. These were the reasons for their original separation all those centuries ago, and attempting to bridge the self-chosen gap between them would reverse much of the societal building efforts of both cultures since then.

Standing to the side of the loading ramp to the Allegiant, her gaze moving over the male Romulan positioned parallel to the captain, Valyrk remembered her father’s sentiments and recognized that she had never quite held the same opinions. Valyrk’s focus was jostled when Hirrentz, the Tactical warrant officer who enjoyed sharing lunch with herself and Ensign Ellison, the nurse beside her, bumped into her.

“Sorry,” he held up both his hands, palms facing toward Valryk in a non-hostile gesture, “Hughes was trying to hide from Nilsson.”

“And he didn’t do a good job of it,” Chief Nilsson called, “Crewman Hughes, I required your assistance. Now.” As Hughes again brushed by Hirrentz, Nilsson shifted her stance to address the engineering petty officer trying to go by on her other side, “Nigel-Timmons, please grab the other end of that crate with Hughes and load it. And Hirrentz, come and help me with this one.”

Looking past the group loading a few crates of gear, Valyrk spied Chief Chundab walking toward the Allegiant with his eyes glued to his padd while at his side Petty Officer Fen Chao kept her observant gaze active on everyone they passed and the overall massive interior of the aerodrome. Just behind the pair was her superior, Chief Hebert. Not all non-Vulcanoid crewmen had been altered to resemble Romulans, though most had. Hebert was one of the few who had opted to remain in his natural human state, choosing to remain with the ship along with a handful of others while the rest infiltrated the Romulan civilian groups trying to make their way to the Praetor herself at one of the government facilities.


Ellison nudged Valyrk and nodded toward the others, “We will help, too.” Valyrk snapped into movement then, following her peer to the small group still loading.

GM Note: @Pierce will be entering once we are on Romulus so this introductory thread should come to a close soon and once everyone has their characters officially in motion via this thread we can get started on the next major chapter event hopefully by the end of this week if not by next week. Also, the named NPCs are open game for killing off in the upcoming chapter events, I will add the note that they are in use here on the wiki. You are welcome to bring any others in if you have plans to kill many folks in the process. Cheers!

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #9
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu| Bathroom | Deck 1 | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Pierce @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia

[Show/Hide]

As the commander offered her reassurance, Lillee regarded the woman with a distinctly unimpressed look. The human (pointy ears or not, only humans could be so obnoxiously optimistic) clearly meant well, but her words bounced right off Lillee's gut-churning anxiety. Of course, that was to be expected; the commander clearly didn't understand Lillee's circumstances. Indeed, only one person on the mission would likely understand, if only because he faced a similar fate.

Granted, Hirek hadn't had his name thrice written and burned, broadcast live throughout the entire Empire, but that would surely be coming if the Senate discovered his treason. Maybe they could be ceremonially disemboweled together. That'd be nice.

As Pierce (to Lillee's relief) left, another woman approached, also disguised. Even with the cranial ridge, however, everything about the woman screamed 'Vulcan', and Lillee sighed, rubbing her own ridge wearily. I had better odds of surviving the Borg than this insanity...

"No, it is not," she said in a matter-of-fact tone to the Vulcan. "I mean this kindly, but speaking true, you might as well walk into the capital in your Starfleet uniform. Rihanna from ch'Jaxxo, who wear those clothes, they are rare on ch'Rihan...oh fvadt, I mean Romulus, and you do not have the time to learn their customs, their habits, their accent. Come with me."

Resigned to her satorial role, Lillee led the other woman to where the redhead had gone. She added over her shoulder, "I am Lillee t'Jellaieu. Lillee, if it better fits your tongue."




Continued in a supplemental thread.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #10
A few hours later...

[USS Allegiant (NX-80978) | Perimeter Checkpoint | Outside the Romulan Star System]



The mood aboard the Allegiant was tense. There were a number of reasons for that. For one, the small crew had an extraordinary mission: to reach and, if necessary, assassinate the head-of-state of the Romulan Star Empire, one of the most powerful individuals in the galaxy. Moral challenges aside, the odds of completing such a mission, never mind escaping afterward, were low, at best.

Second, equally worrying, was the presence of Doctor Lucan Nicander onboard the yacht. Even with the extensive countermeasures in place to contain him, plus the entire team of watchful security officers with their fingers on the trigger, one Infested person was a horrifying threat. Even though he was cooperative for the moment, everyone was painfully aware that he could slaughter them all if given half a chance.

At a not too distant third, there was the nervousness that came from being in a Federation vessel in the heart of Romulan territory at a time of war. The Allegiant was cloaked, but nobody trusted the temperamental Reman cloaking device. Nobody aboard fully understood the technology, nor did anyone know if the Romulans had a way of penetrating the cloak. If that ever happened, the only warning that the Allegiant crew would get would be the disruptor beam ripping the yacht apart.

Then, finally, there was reason number four: outside the forward viewports, less than a kilometer away, hung an immense Valdore-class warbird. It was facing away from the Allegiant, which was scant comfort, for the warbird had lethal aft weapons, some of which could even be discerned with the naked eye. It was an incredibly dangerous place for the Allegiant to be, sitting with their collective heads in the lion's mouth, but there was no other choice if they wanted to get to Romulus. It was for that reason that the Allegiant was at red alert, the lights dimmed, everyone standing at their stations, ready to react the instant that anything happened.

In the command chair, Captain Jien Ives (in his male form at the moment, and still in uniform) made every effort to appear relaxed and nonchalant despite his own nerves. It was a skill that he had mastered long ago, and in that moment, it was as critical as ever. He didn't know most of his crew for this mission well, if at all, nor did they know him. Some, such as Lieutenant Commander Pierce, Counselor Hathev and Selena Ravenholm were familiar as senior officers, but the others might as well have been strangers. That lack of an espirit de corps complicated an already dicey mission.

Still, seeing that the silence had stretched on too long, Ives decided to break it. "Mister Hirrentz," he said, "do you see any civilian traffic nearby?"

"A lot, Captain, more than I was expecting," the warrant officer answered from the tactical station. "There are eight convoys on our long-range sensors, all being escorted on their way to and from checkpoints around the capital star system. The Romulans aren't taking any chances, although I don't see why. Even if Starfleet was in the business of commerce raiding, no Starfleet ships would have a chance of making it this deep into enemy territory."

"We did, Mister Hirrentz," Ives said softly, as on reflex, he changed...into her female form. Looking at the blonde-haired woman at the helm, she pursed her lips. Ives knew the Romulan woman's record, had seen her on occasion, but had never conversed with her. It wasn't easy to trust so much on a stranger, even if that stranger had been part of her crew for the past two months. Still, again, there was no choice. Lillee t'Jellaieu was the only person in the Theurgy crew who was trained to fly cloaked ships, had experience flying in the Romulan star system, and had an idea for how to get to Romulus undetected.

Still...

"If nothing happens in the next four hours, we'll have to try sneaking in with a civilian convoy," Ives said reluctantly. "We can't delay our mission for too long."

Lillee didn't move an inch, her attention fixed on her display. "I advise against that, captain," she said dispassionately. "The civilian convoys are scanned extremely thoroughly, especially during wartime. Our only chance of getting past the antiproton detection net around Romulus is this. This is usually the checkpoint with the most military traffic, a warbird will..."

She trailed off as, if summoned by her words, a gigantic D'Deridex-class warbird shimmered into existence beyond the smaller warbird. The emerald ship was all the more intimidating for how close it was, with its enormous beak being only a few kilometers away. The warbird was as big as the Theurgy, although in that moment, it seemed even larger, looming like an oversized raptor, ready to strike.

"Mister Hirrentz!" Jien called out sharply.

"Antiproton scan in progress," the warrant officer said, eyes glued to his display. "Communications are being exchanged between the two warbirds...standby...standby...scan complete!"

"Helm, go!" Ives ordered, but Lillee had them moving before the words were out of her mouth. Still cloaked, the Allegiant zoomed past the sentry ship directly at the larger warbird, flipping ninety degrees to skim the huge beak before entering the vast empty space within the Romulan ship. Hands dancing over the controls, Lillee brought the Allegiant to a stop and spun the yacht around, lowering it, before making the softest possible contact on the inner hull. Magnetic clamps latched on, and not a moment too soon, as out the forward viewport, past the green inner hull of the warbird, stars began to move. The Romulan ship surged into warp, unknowingly carrying its invisible stowaway out safely through the antiproton detection nets.

"Well done," Ives said, exhaling. She looked around at everyone as they reacted in their own ways, before her eyes fixed on one person in particular. She smiled. "Holding up over there, Mister Hirrentz?"

"Yes sir," the warrant officer said as he shook his head, blinking his eyes, before grinning back. "Sort of wishing that I'd skipped that big breakfast, if you know what I mean..."





The rest of the flight to Romulus was slightly less dramatic, but still eventful. After the warbird ferried the Allegiant into the orbit of Romulus, the yacht slinked away, still hidden by its cloak. Space around the twin worlds was thick with traffic. Ships of all kinds passed to and fro, from orbital stations to warbirds to sleek passenger liners to giant freighters to tiny shuttlecraft. Even during a war, it seemed, life trundled on. Ironically, the sheer volume of traffic made it relatively easy to hide, but even so, Ives fervently wanted the Allegiant safely on the planet surface, where their survival wasn't dependent on a finicky piece of technology.

She was standing behind the Romulan woman at the helm when she spotted something out the viewport and pointed to it. "What is that?"

Lillee answered first; she recognised the distant ship immediately, although it had been ten years since last she'd seen it. It was a familiar D'Deridex-class warbird, but its hull was a mix of bright crimson and sunburst orange, artfully painted in dramatic patterns. "Oh bury me in woe...Captain, that is the Gerrani-Vor. It is the Senate's warbird. For them to launch it from drydock...it means that the Praetor is leaving Romulus. Soon."

"We might never get another chance at this if she gets offworld," Ives ruminated as she changed...into his male form, and looked back at Commander Pierce, the unspoken message clear: we need to hurry. "Get us onto the surface, Petty Officer, as fast as is safe."

A few minutes later, after hitchhiking on a freighter through the planet atmosphere, the invisible Allegiant zoomed through the idyllic skies of Romulus. Finally, amidst a vast ocean, with nothing on sensors within a hundred kilometers except birds and sea life, the yacht plunged into the water, the cloak deactivating moments before they dived in. Protected by its shields, the Allegiant dove deeper and deeper, until finally, a kilometer down, it landed gently on the seabed.

As everyone started moving about, Lillee remained at the helm, gazing sullenly out the viewport at the darkess of the deep. "Welcome to Romulus," she muttered under the breath. "The Empire wishes you a pleasant stay."






OOC: Welcome to Romulus, folks. Feel free to have your characters react to the Allegiant's arrival on Romulus, especially if you haven't introduced them yet. After that, this thread will conclude. Story prompts (visible on the Calendar and Story Prompts pages) will happen in their own separate threads.

Be sure to check with @Ellen Fitz before you start anything. If you have any questions for her about this chapter, want to chat, want to pass along a meme, or just want to poke her for the heck of it, feel free to do so. Poking is fun.


Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #11
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Bridge | USS Allegiant | Aerodrome of the Erudite ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Griff @Dumedion @P.C. Haring  @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia [Show/Hide]

The bridge was tense as they approached Romulan space to their undoubtedly eventful mission. Things she'd discovered were never that easy with Theurgy missions let alone with ones dealing with espionage. Pierce was impressed with how Lillee took the Allegiant to task at the flight path to Romulus. Even more impressive was how she got them there without so much as a whiff of a firefight. She'd have to discuss those tactics with the woman later but for now, she stood. Looking at the planet before her as she glanced around at the crew working like a well oiled machine as the captain gave orders.

"Impressive view. With any luck, we can pull off what we're planning without a hitch." She muttered next to the captain.

Ives turned and glanced at Alana in her female form. "It surely is. But our mission is at a critical juncture as we need every advantage we can muster. With the Praetor possibly jumping ship, our time table has moved up dramatically. We're going to need a way to keep her here."

The red headed woman pondered the dilemma. "Give me a bit on that and we'll see what we can come up with to keep her here."

She turned to exit the bridge back to the corridors of the ship but decided to access the engineering console instead. Fingers accessing the controls, she looked and found an example of what she needed but hoped she wouldn't if push came to shove. Alana was ready to go fully undercover as she headed to her bunk to get changed. It was going to be a long day.


Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #12
[ Hirek tr'Aimne | Cargo Bay USS Allegiant | Romulus ] ATTN: @Pierce  @Griff  @Dumedion  @P.C. Haring  @chXinya @rae

He doubted there could be better circumstances under which he could touch down on Romulus, not with the civil war and now the Infested fiasco. In some ways, Hirek almost wished Ives had seen fit to assign him to one of the other missions, at least then, he wouldn't have to bear the burden of possibly seeing family or friends harmed or killed in the process of seeing this mission through. He already knew they would not get through this entirely unscathed, if even altogether, and he could only hope that the innocents of the planet could stay well enough away from the main areas of their mission to remain unharmed. And Hirek knew there were innocents here, though likely some among the present crew found the idea laughable. Be that as it may, Hirek would do his best to keep everyone alive for as long as it took to complete the mission. Not out of a sense of loyalty to Ives or the Federation but because it was the most reasonable thing to do to end the threat of the Infested and, beyond that, possibly bring about the end of the Tal Shiar.

As he felt the ship settle in its present position, Hirek tapped his combadge, "tr'Aimne to t'Jellaieu," he waited for the acknowledgment, "Are you free to come hold my hand before we disembark?" He smirked to himself, hoping the unexpected jest was enough to rattle the pilot out of the fear he presumed she was fighting. While she'd never quite warmed up to him, not that he'd expected flowers and routine breakfasts, they'd shared enough to have an understanding, and he figured she, more than he, was feeling knotted up having come back planetside.

[ Joldet tr'Sei | Fishing Vessel | Sath’har Archipelago | Romulus]

Joldet had learned long ago that one could only mind their own business if there were no other witnesses to the abnormal. If there was any risk of anyone else having seen the same strange thing as you’d seen, then there was the risk that if they reported it and you did not, you could be held liable for your lack of reporting. And the fellow hapless witness operated under the same fear that Joldet currently had. His was not the only fishing vessel bobbing on the waters off between the Sath’har Archipelago, and he knew without having to ask his fellow fisherman that he was not the only one to have seen the strange ship streak through the sky and descend beneath the waves. He hated this part of his life. It was why he’d abandoned his more prestigious position in the capital city. At least as a fisherman, he had more opportunity to answer only to himself, his wife, and her family- except when things out of the ordinary, like a water-going spaceship, interrupted his status quo.

“Emni,” Joldet called for his daughter and boatmate, waiting until she emerged from the ship’s hold before continuing, “use the transponder and relay our present coordinates to the port officer in Dartha. When they ask what the coordinates are for, tell them it is for an unknown object.”

Emni scrunched up her nose but wisely kept her opinion to herself before disappearing back into the hold to comply with his instructions. It seemed his preference to stay out of the middle of everything had worn off on his daughter, not that it would do her any favors so long as the present government and civil war continued to throw their everydays into disarray. Joldet whistled to himself as he continued to monitor his net sensors. He had done his duty and conveyed enough information to assuage him of any responsibility if it turned out to be something big. Now he could get back to his real job and ignore the rest of the world and all its uptight frivolity.

Sorry to burst your hopes that we got in undetected! As Griff mentioned, feel free to write your responses to the arrival on Romulus. We will look to have the next main chapter event up later in this week but, also as Griff mentioned, feel free to take a crack at any of the story prompt ideas that fit with this chapter. Cheers!

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #13
[ Lt. JG Nysarisiza “Nysari” zh’Eziarath | Crew Quarters | Deck 2 | USS Allegiant | Romulus ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Pierce @Griff @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia

This was the worst idea she’d ever had.

And considering everything that had happened in the short weeks since she’d decided to join the Theurgy’s crew, that was saying something.

Volunteering for this mission had seemed like a good idea at the time. Logical even. She had lived on Romulus as an attache for the Federation Embassy here. The last two years she’d spent as a Romulan Desk Officer for the Palais de la Concorde on Earth, working with the Federation Embassy and Romulan government from afar. Her Romulan was fluent. She had contracts within the groups that were friendly to Starfleet. She was knowledgeable on every power player in the Senate. SHe knew how Federation diplomats could play paranoid senators against one another, influencing policy to benefit their foreign power. She was considered an expert on this empire. At least, as much as an expert as an alien could be. Nysari knew she could be of use here.

What she had failed to anticipate was the undercover aspect of this mission. Namely, Andorians had antennae – and Romulans did not. The other cosmetic changes were easy. Pointed ears, prosthetics on the forehead, a new hairstyle, and dyes to her hair and skin that left her looking like a washed out bowl of porridge. But the antennae, forced back painfully far to lay flat on her scalp, tape and glue locking them into place, hair styled over them to hide them from view… that hurt. And the resulting lack of sensory input had left her dizzy and disoriented.

She’d had rather grand plans for the Allegiant’s cloaked trip to the heart of Romulan territory, preparation and research and interviews and anything she could have thought of to better prepare herself for what was coming. Instead, she had spent most of the trip profoundly space sick, moving between the toilets and the med bay for painkillers and anti-nausea medicine. They told her that she would adapt in short order, much like anyone who had truly lost an antenna would. Well, she wasn’t feeling any better.

Now that they had arrived, perhaps the work would serve as a sufficient distraction. “Nothing for it then,” she groaned. “Time to get moving.” Rolling out of bed, Nysari reached beneath the bunk and pulled out the bag she’d brought with her, quickly unearthing a plain outfit cut in a basic Romulan style. “Dark colors are only going to wash out this skin more,” she mused. “Should have thought about that when I was replicating it.” With a sigh, she began to strip off her normal duty uniform and get changed.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #14
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Temporary Intel Suite | USS Allegiant | Romulus ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz @Dree @Griff @Dumedion @P.C. Haring @chXinya @UltimaImperatrixia [Show/Hide]

The landing went less than ideal. The hairs on the back of her head stood on end as she realized that the likelihood of them landing undetected was of her main concern. Working in intelligence had her spinning her wheels about what may or may not have happened as they landed. Her mind raced as she set up scanning parameters on the temporary intelligence console.

Pierce looked around the room as the crew was beginning to take systems down that weren't going to be used at present to conserve energy but their ability to be detected. Operating on more low-powered systems. Meanwhile, the real Romulans among them were helping the crew they did have to at least appear like they belonged. Something most of those present were unaccustomed to. For herself, the Romulans, and Ives, this was going to be a cakewalk. But Only Hirek and Lillee had a true understanding of this detachment from the Theurgy.

Standing up, she straightened her tunic and adjusted her hair which she had shortened for the duration of this mission. She'd grown used to her hair longer but for this case, she needed it even, shoulder-length and tied back, showing off the surgically enhanced ears she now wore. An interesting feeling she had to admit.

Waving her hand she gathered two of the intelligence detachments she'd brought from her team. Ensign Samuelson, and Ensign William Lewis. Both are good at what they do. One of which wasn't going outside the ship, which was paramount for intel relays.

"Samuelson, you'll be staying to help coordinate our efforts and encrypt data between the other Theurgy ships and our mission. Keep tabs on the Romulan communications and relay them to the team here. If we're captured, keep the data until given the go-ahead by a senior officer."

The man nodded and went off to the comms station to coordinate with the intel boards. "Lewis, you'll be joining me. Make sure to see Lillee for proper attire and the doc for any additional checks on appearance prosthesis."

Leaving the men on their own, she circled back to the intel console and caught her worst fears. They were reported which meant the timetable was going to be accelerated once more. Tapping her hidden com badge beneath her tunic, she called senior staff. "This is Pierce. We need to brief and head out immediately. Some new information has come to light. Pierce out."



Moments later...

Pierce paced the room as the crew continued to pile in. Ives floating about on the side. She took note and continued onward after seeing the shuffle slowing. "Good evening. As some may know, it was never a sure shot that we weren't detected. I have now confirmed that data." Pulling up the console she showed a communications log reporting an object entering the atmosphere which was them.

"An individual called it in shortly after we broke into low orbit on descent. We're going to need to coordinate and break into groups to tackle this and succeed in our mission." She could see a few individuals screwing around and not paying attention as she almost broke the conversation but decided to ignore it.

"Recent intelligence reports I've collected since entering Romulus suggest we have a multi-point mission here. I'm not quite sure what to make of some of the rumblings but be cautious and alert. We may need to pivot at a moment's notice."

Pointing to the other possibilities. "I've also recently learned of a reunification contact and an off-duty Starfleet officer investigating a personal lead there. Break into groups and stay safe. Resort to communications only if necessary as the Tal Shiar and the locals are likely aware there's something afoot. Stay safe out there and most of all we need to succeed for the sake of the galaxy. The needs of the many..." She waved her hand as if everyone knew what she was getting at.

Alana stood back and waited to see if there was any further need for her or if they could break into groups to hopefully prevent an all-out war.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #15
[ Lt. Commander Hathev | Various Locations | USS Allegiant | Romulus ] | ATTN:  @Ellen Fitz‍  @Griff‍  @Dumedion@Pierce@chXinya  @Dree‍  

At first, Hathev had been unsure of what to make of Petty Officer t’Jellaieu’s bluntness.  On the one hand, the Romulan’s tone and tact might have been considered offensive to her non-vulcan colleagues and Hathev, herself, even experienced a sense of discomfort at what the pilot had to offer.  However, the logical vulcan within her accepted and even appreciated the blunt directness of her counterpart.  In responding with direct and clear answer, the Romulan sounded almost Vulcan herself.  There was logic in her acceptance of the criticism.  After all, was it not logical to acquiesce to the suggestive of one such as her; a native of the planet to which they were heading?

And with that experience, Hathev started to understand how Vulcans had earned their reputation.

Yet, as t’Jellaieu worked with her to refine her wardrobe and adjust her mannerisms so that she might better ‘blend in’, Hathev found a growing sense of respect for the pilot and she knew she would welcome working with her further on the mission to come.

Hathev had taken the liberty of being on the bridge for the approach to Romulus.  It was not often she had been on Theurgy’s bridge, even though she was one of her department heads, and as she might never have the opportunity to see Romulus again in her life, she decided to avail herself of the opportunity to view it first hand from orbit.  As there were only three stations manned, she was able to slip in quietly, assume the fourth seat and observe.  She also remained close to the door so that if she needed to leave for whatever reason, or circumstances warranted a more qualified crewman take that station, she could exit quickly.

Romulus was indeed beautiful and as she took in the view of the blue green planet, she regretted just how isolated the Romulans had chosen to remain.  Between their splintering from their Vulcan ancestors, their years of cold hostility with the Federation, and the rest of the galaxy, their isolationist ways had in part elevated their mystique.  Some of that had faded during the Dominion War, but even so while relations had warmed a bit the empire had kept all others at arms length.

So be it, she decided.  Hathev could not know how this would all end, or how the war with the infested would resolve or if even she would survive it as casualties among Theurgy’s crew seemed abnormally high.  But she took solace in knowing that even if she could never return to the Federation or Vulcan, she had at taken a stand, and in so doing would step foot on a planet very few of her colleagues would ever have the chance to see.

It was, Hathev realized, a prideful thought.

The Vulcan did not care.

After their entry and ‘landing’, Hathev moved with the others to the Intelligence Suite that had been set up for the purposes of this mission.  Quietly, she listened to Commander Pierce’s briefing with intent before congregating with her assigned team for their part of the operation.

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #16
[ Captain Jien Ives | Captain’s Temporary Quarters | USS Allegiant  | Romulus ] ATTN: @Griff  @rae  @Pierce  @Dumedion  @P.C. Haring   @chXinya  

[ Just before the briefing ]

Ives settled into her female form as Pierce approached. The landing had been as smooth as they had hoped, and every nerve in Ives’ body said they’d been spotted, and nearly all of them were at risk of capture now. But there was no point in stating such things. They’d all known the risks of this mission.

“Pierce,” Ives nodded to the woman, “the doctor and I will remain onboard with Chief Nilsson, Crewman Hughes, and a few security guards until we have definite intel on Tal’Aura’s location. Given the reports we received before our departure, I recommend you break our group into teams. As an added precaution, I will have Hirrentz and Nigel-Timmons work to move our ship to a new location. That way, should any of you get caught, you may not be able to betray our location under torture. We’ll keep Samuelson and Fen Chao for Intelligence relays, as we’d discussed before. Furthermore,” Ives picked up the pouch she’d placed on the console and handed it to Pierce, “These are suicide pills. I recommend handing these out as well. You know the risks and that no person on this crew is more valuable than the galaxy as a whole. Whatever steps are necessary to ensure the success of the mission and the safety of the ship and the Federation,” Ives gave a grave nod, “good luck, Lieutenant Commander.”

[ Doctor Nicander | Temporary Brig | USS Allegiant  | Romulus ]

It sometimes happened whenever there were other Infested nearby, this odd jerking in his stomach, as if the fiend delighted in being reunited with its dastardly peers. While he hadn’t had an outright episode requiring a shot from the cannon, Nicander had noticed strange jerking in his gut when they broke into low orbit and made their final descent. He was thankful the captain had deemed it safer to keep him and the cannon on board until they were assured of the Romulan leader’s whereabouts. He was too much of a risk to have out and about among the Romulan people where the snake in his belly could take over and relish the mayhem his violence rendered.

“Chief,” Nicander called the man’s attention and watched as a strange mixture of apprehension and curiosity crossed the man’s face, “care for a trivia game to pass the time?”

The chief stared at him as if he were mad for a moment before shifting his attention away and ignoring Nicander again. That was part of the gall of it, to be seen and yet intentionally ignored for the sins of the beast in your gullet. Nicander closed his eyes, leaning his head against the bulkhead. Maybe he could delight in memories of the soft flesh of a certain Ensign.

[ Hirek tr’Aimne | Temporary Intel Suite | USS Allegiant | Romulus ]

He was happy that they’d landed in the water. It’d been far too long since he’d felt the refreshing waters of his home planet slosh over his skin. That they’d landed already detected hadn’t surprised Hirek in the slightest, and he accepted the report with nay an eye twitch. Looking at his assigned group for the coming two-pronged mission front, Hirek inwardly chuckled. An Andorian diplomat who looked almost green with discomfort because of her makeover, a Vulcan medic who appeared as delighted to be on Romulus as he’d appear to be on Vulcan, and two human Intelligence operatives, including Pierce, who looked so stereotypical continental Romulan Hirek felt they could’ve walked off the pages of a propaganda poster. Looking across the room to Lillee, he gave the skittish woman a playful wink as he jutted his chin toward her assigned group. A heavily cybernetically augmented human along with two other humans, a pixie-looking female medic and a grumpy-looking male Intelligence officer. To add to this assortment of fun was a female Trill and another Vulcan, the chief counselor if he remembered correctly. It was almost as if he and Lillee had been tasked with keeping the children alive while they visited the sites and tried to get things accomplished.

It was a shame they hadn’t brought the Remans from the ship with them, as their presence among them might’ve been useful with the coming mission. Reunification…how quaint. As if dealing with a civil war wasn’t enough, they wanted to incorporate Remans into society again as well? Hirek had nothing against Remans; in fact, he’d had very little to do with them and could, quite frankly, care less. He reflected the common Island thought of less overhead government influence and everyone could be better, which meant leaving the Remans to do whatever the hell they wanted to do. But this was the task he’d been assigned and Hirek would see it out to the best of his ability since the greater success they had the more likely the Tal’Shiar could be ended and that was his ultimate goal.

Pierce’s comment about the needs of the many had Hirek snorting, and when he felt gazes fall on him, Hirek shrugged, “The needs of the many are rarely good for the needs of the few, just as the greater good is rarely good for all. But let’s not discuss the metaphysical and get on with our work, shall we?”

 

Re: Chapter 5: And so it begins [ Day 1 | 1355 ]

Reply #17
[PLt. Selena Ravenholm | Temporary Intel Suite | USS Allegiant | Romulus] attn: @Ellen Fitz @rae @Griff @Pierce @Dumedion @P.C. Haring

When everyone gathered together for the impromptu briefing, Selena just leaned up against a bulkhead and watched with a supremely casual attitude on her face capping off crossed arms and legs. The lack of decorum wasn’t any slight against Pierce (especially not with the Captain right over there), it was just the last bit of relaxation she’d probably get before having to dodge Tal Shiar with every other breath. It also gave her a chance to inspect the new flesh-wraps she’d had put over her limbs, one hand splayed out a little bit in front of her allowing for a close study of the color and texture. She’d gotten so used to the mechanical look that it felt weird looking at her own hand and seeing slightly tanned flesh, complete with hair instead of inorganic casing. Granted, it wouldn’t hold up to anything beyond the most cursory of scans, but if they were getting scanned to that level they were screwed irregardless of what her arms and legs were made of. Now if only my ears would stop itching… she hid a grimace at the minor discomfort there, there was nothing that could be done about it except to wait it out. Looking at all the other new ears that had sprouted up around the room Selena figured she wasn’t the only one dealing wit it.

Listening to Pierce, the cyborg’s pointed ears perked up at the news that someone had spotted them, she wondered how that had happened. The casualness of the announcement was surprising, but then Pierce had a good head, she probably already had a plan in mind to handle it. As the other woman continued it was clear that the rest of the mission was still on with only a few new developments to keep an eye on. That suited her, this meant things were going to be even more fun.

When Ives passed out the pills though…

Selena actually gulped at the thought of things getting that bad. The weight of this mission just came crashing down onto her chest. This wasn’t facing Starfleet Security if she tripped an alarm, or even somersaulting around oversized (and overpaid) Syndicate goons. With what they’re trying to pull, the Romans would shoot first and maybe get around to questions after sending a fleet to Earth. Her eyes locked onto the pouch and for several seconds just stared at it, everything around her fading into the black tunnel…

 
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