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Chapter 5 S [D02 | 0740 hrs.] We The Disgruntled

[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Gallli Forum | vh'Jann | Romulus ] Attn: @chXinya @Ellen Fitz @Dumedion @P.C. Haring

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It was late morning in the city of vh'Jann. A chilly bite was still in the air from the previous evening, making the drizzle all the more irksome to the unfortunate people stuck outdoors. In the miserable weather, it was easy to tell the locals from the outsiders; the former went about their day without comment or complaint, while the latter were comically bundled up in heavy layers, grumbling all the while. Even millennia after leaving Vulcan, the Romulan people still preferred the dry heat and abhorred the humid cold.

In one of vh'Jann's many forums, nestled inside a ring of ornate skyscrapers, business was slow. Some orators and shopkeeps braved the rain to ply their trade, with two orators in particular having an impassioned debate on a raised platform in the center of the forum. The spectating crowd was thin, however, as the same old topics were discussed; civil war against the rebel Donatra, war with the Federation, the news that a Klingon armada was massing on the border, the Reman rebellion. As alarming as it all was, such events seemed very distant indeed to the average citizen of vh'Jann. They had their own lives, their own troubles and drama. Romulus was safe, just like it had always been. The idea of Federation, Klingon or even rebel ships reaching the Hearthworlds was preposterous.

At least, so thought one bored shopkeep, Kani, sat in her stall as she made a futile effort to catch the eye of the occasional passerby. She sighed, idly wondering whether she should just give up for the day. Selling tailored winter clothing was only a hobby, a way to keep busy during the off-season. Parvek should really be doing this, the ungrateful brat didn't do enough-

Kani's line of thought was broken when she heard a distinctive whine from the alley behind her stall, muffled by the rain. She frowned; that had sounded like a transporter beam, but...no, it was nothing like a normal transporter beam. Kani struggled to remember where she had heard that sound before, then she got it: Betazed during the war, when Starfleet troops had reinforced her platoon.

After a moment's thought, Kani chuckled to herself. Her imagination really was wild today; she probably just heard a miscalibrated shuttle engine. After all, the idea of a Starfleet infiltration team beaming in to the alley behind her, on Romulus of all worlds, was just ridiculous.



Unseen and unnoticed, the Starfleet infiltration team looked around nervously after materialising, only relaxing marginally when it was clear that they were alone. All of them looked Romulan with appropriate clothing, though of the four, only Lillee actually was what she appeared to be, though with her unusual blonde hair, even she would stick out in a crowd. She hastily pulled up her hood's cloak over her head to protect from the rain and shivered.

"I hate the north," she grumbled as she began searching the alley. It only took a moment for the team to find it: an inocuous garbage collection panel on a skyscraper wall with a big green sticker on it, declaring: Out Of Order: Tampering Is Prohibited By Order Of The State.. The sticker was technically accurate, as the garbage collection was indeed out of order, but it was actually designed to be so. The "garbage collection" was, in fact, a clandestine Tal Shiar surveillance access point, discovered by Starfleet Intelligence some years ago.

With it, the team could access Tal Shiar surveillance data for the entire city, although only if their computer expert could access it. A great deal rested on Selena's skills. The others, meanwhile, could do little but wait. One thing caught everyone's eye, however, high up, among the skyscrapers above their heads, slung beneath a great pylon. Even amidst the grey clouds and drizzling rain, it was distinctive: a huge grey saucer, broken and scarred with damage, with two long nacelles behind it. The lettering was legible even from a hundred meters down:

NX-05
CHALLENGER


"It was captured during our war with Earth," Lillee explained to the others. "It's a trophy now, and a museum. A good one, speaking true."

Re: Chapter 5 S [D02 | 0740 hrs.] We The Disgruntled

Reply #1
[PO2 Kino Jeen | Gallli Forum | vh'Jann | Romulus ] Attn: @chXinya @Ellen Fitz @P.C. Haring @Griff
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“I'm sure it is,” Kino muttered as she moved past the Romulan pilot to take up a flanking position beside the data terminal, a shoulder leaned against the wall. From under the hood of a similarly colored cloak, her eyes never ceased moving; she watched the crowd, the few pedestrians that shuffled by, the windows, the doors, the piles of refuse and canisters that lined the alley – while she spoke. “It’s funny, really. We build monuments to remember the fallen and celebrate achievements while the rest of the galaxy builds museums out of bloody trophies. Says something about us, doesn’t it,” the Trill whispered bitterly.

Not that it really mattered. To her mind, Starfleet and the Federation had never grown the teeth they should have, and that wasn’t likely to change – no matter how many times the galaxy told them differently; no matter how much blood was spilled in the name of ‘peaceful exploration’.

Letting the matter lie, Kino breathed deep of Romulus, then exhaled a mist of foggy breath; an attempt to calm her nerves. This entire affair sat uneasy upon her shoulders; they had gone in blind, scrambling to intel, trying to figure things out as they went. Only a matter of time till this all goes sideways, she thought with a slight shiver. The rain was cold, greased with the subtle particulates from the overhead traffic of skimmers and sky cars. Up high, banners of the State, Kino assumed, rippled in the wind; everywhere she looked in fact seemed adorned with the proud symbol of Romulan supremacy – flags adorned windows – broadcast holovids flickered with images of Imperial might. It was quite a sight.

Kino also noticed surveillance nodes, adorned on every corner, on multiple levels; they panned about intermittently – no doubt controlled by a centralized agency of some sort. Tal’Shiar, maybe, she mused as her cybernetic eye locked onto one up above the far end of the alley, a couple dozen meters up, directed down at the orators doing their best to out speak one another. Crossing her arms against the cold, the non-com jutted her chin up at it after glancing at the others.

“Those nodes are everywhere, probably covering almost every angle of the city. We’re gonna have eyes on us eventually,” Kino warned, flicking a stray strand of silver hair behind one ridiculously overgrown ear. The attempt to alter her physical appearance didn’t sit well with her either – but it wasn’t any different from shmearing grease over her face during night operations. Camo is camo, the non-com sighed mentally; her hair had been grown out to hang past her shoulders, plaited in a few thin strands in some remote rural native style. They had wanted her to dye it black, but she’d told the medical stooge to pound sand; they’d stretched her fucking ears out and covered up her spots – that was enough. She felt like a clown, surrounded by potential hostiles, on their turf, with fuck all of a plan.

Yeah, this’ll work out fine. It’s fine, Kino chuckled to herself. The twin disruptor pistols holstered at the small of her back shifted as she crossed one ankle over the other, attempting to appear calm and casual. “Whatever you’re doing, I’d recommend you do it faster,” Kino spoke quietly without moving her lips over her shoulder to their Romulan tech expert, then returned her attention to watching their backs, and everything that moved.

Re: Chapter 5 S [D02 | 0740 hrs.] We The Disgruntled

Reply #2
[Lt. Commander Hathev  | Gallli Forum | vh'Jann | Romulus ] Attn: @chXinya@Ellen Fitz@Griff@Dumedion‍ 

Hathev took in a breath as the transporter beam released her and immediately she took in the scent of the rain in the Romulan air.  The precipitation remained light but for whatever reason, the Vulcan did not seem to mind the moisture in the air.  In fact, a part of her relished in it and just how different it was from the hot arid weather of Vulcan.  She remained silent, focusing on t’Jellaieu’s narration about the NX-05.  It seemed illogical to her that the Empire would still celebrate the capture of an enemy vessel more than two centuries after the original occurrence.

But, she suspected, that was the way state based propaganda worked.  Focus on every victory no matter how obscure.  Ignore every set back no matter how significant.

How very Romulan.

Much to her surprise, the architecture caught her eye as well.  She had heard that Romulan design was considered ascetically pleasing, but Hathev had not been able to comprehend the logic behind design that followed no function.  But as she took it in, locked it in her eidetic memory, she realized she appreciated the detail that went into the design work.

She made a point to say nothing in response to the commentary about the NX-05, and focused instead on the task at hand.  At the mention of the surveillance nodes, Hathev almost reached for her Tricorder, but stopped herself as doing so would have looked suspicious…but at least then there would have been a reason for the five of them to be congregating at a place that was marked “Out of Order” and explicitly forbade tampering.

“Would it make sense for us to split up.  The five of us standing here is likely to attract unwanted attention.”

Re: Chapter 5 S [D02 | 0740 hrs.] We The Disgruntled

Reply #3
[PLt. Selena Ravenholm | Gallli Forum | vh’Jann | Romulus] attn: @P.C. Haring @Dumedion @Griff

As soon as the transporter beam let go and the first raindrops splattered onto her face, Selena glanced up in annoyance at the weather. Of course the transporter operator had warned them about the storm so she knew what to expect, but it was still frustrating. Quickly pulling the hood of the dark grey cloak she had thrown on over her lengthened black hair, the woman turned her attention to a quick scan of the alleyway they’d beamed down into. If the reports of the grey architecture weren’t being exaggerated it was hard to tell the way the dim lighting and precipitation just sucked all the color out of everything that wasn’t a light source. That wasn’t what her enhanced vision was looking for though, after switching spectrums and overlaying an energy scan numerous devices popped up out of the grey dullness. Cameras for the most part, all linked to a central transmitter up on a nearby roof. The others were already commenting on the environment around them, and at Kino’s comment about the surveillance, Selena could only nod in agreement. “Assuming they’re not already on us. As energy dense as a city will be, it’s not quite that easy to hide a transporter signal if they’re looking for it.”

Which is where her skills came into play. It was no coincidence that they materialized right next to the control panel for this section’s surveillance network. Stepping up to the “garbage bin”, Selena’s now flesh-wrapped hand found the hidden control pad and slid it open, revealing the old-yet-still military-grade keypad underneath. Retrieving the small tricorder out of a pocket in her cloak she stood close to the bin to hide her actions from the cameras and started her work to slip into the system. Kino was already griping about the time which brought a furrow to the tech expert’s still-smooth forehead. “Keep your ears glued on, this’ll only take a minute. Just need to make sure I don’t trigger any alerts.” Hathev had some ideas of her own about how big the group should be and Selena chimed in there as well, “Might as well, but I need someone to stand roughly two meters between me and that gutter over there.” She pointed to the rainspout running out of a metal gutter that had been broken off halfway up the wall. “It’ll keep the camera next to it from seeing exactly what I’m doing.”

Watching the cracking program run on the smalls screen, Selena tapped a few subprograms into the queue every so often as the automated security protocols started sniffing for a rat, but she had plenty of cheese to keep those occupied. Thanks to the older, known, protocols this particular access point ran off of, it took just less than the promised minute and she was in. Quickly inserting the pre-made malware Selena smiled as the system’s logs promptly rewrote themselves into a series of nothing but empty, rainy alleyway. “Tch, I expected better out of the Tel Shiar.” she chided the famed intelligence service, uploaded the final programs, then withdrew from the computer.  Pocketing the tricorder and closing the panel cover she turned to face Lillee. “All done here, unless someone happened to actually see us beam in there’s no record of it. As for our own eyes and ears, I can slip into the system whenever I want. I’ll have to be careful with how much I use it though, the more often I slip in the more likely it’ll be they’ll notice the intrusion.”

 
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