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Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard

[ Belas i’Mirek tr’Rehu | Personal Solarium | Kir Baratan | Romulus ] @rae  @Pierce

The middle-aged Romulan’s features remained neutral as he read the encrypted message for the second time:

   “These would-be saviors of our people, while foolish, offer a unique opportunity to broaden our front. You are the voice of our cause. Through your efforts now, we may yet see the renewal of our worlds, the dawn of a greater future for our people than what either the so-called leaders offer, far more interested in destroying us from within with their petty fight than in standing firm in the galactic arena. And this is what we need, what our people crave, the emergence of a brave new era. You will be contacted at the regular location this evening. I eagerly await your updates. ~ V.”

With the subtlest of smirks, the man destroyed the message and wiped all evidence of it having ever existed. Glancing at the chronometer, Belas nodded to himself. He had at least another hour before he needed to meet with the not-so-hidden-as-they’d-hoped Starfleet personnel at Avra Trel. That was plenty of time to make a few last-minute adjustments to the “welcome” he had in store for them.

Re: Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard

Reply #1
[ Lt. JG Nysarisiza “Nysari” zh’Eziarath | Ki Baratan | Romulus ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Pierce

It was strange, being back here.

Nysari had first come to Romulus a decade ago, back when she had been a different person. Young, proud, and idealistic, newly educated and hopelessly naïve. Not unlike Ensign L’Nari, who had thankfully remained with the Theurgy at the Triangle. Now, well, she was certainly older, but the last few weeks were causing second thoughts on the idea that she might be wiser. For someone who normally prided herself on thinking things through, joining the crew of the Theurgy seemed very rash in hindsight. Especially since it had been chaos from the start. It had gotten to the point where she was expecting everything to go wrong, which was throwing her off her game.

She had spent the morning in the same quarter of Ki Baratan as the Federation embassy, participating in clandestine meetings with the few contacts who would still speak with her. Which only served to heighten her feeling of disconnect, faces from long ago in a situation that was so different. Before, as an Andorian on the streets of the Romulan capital city, she had always attracted no end of interest, from ordinary citizens to the clandestine agents who followed everyone who left the Embassy. Today, she was in disguise, which meant every meeting started with suspicion as her contacts demanded to know why Starfleet was sneaking around Romulus – and where her antennae had gone. The medication had finally taken effect, but every reminder seemed to bring the pain back to her aching appendages, glued down to her scalp and hidden beneath a hairpiece. At least she could walk in a straight line now, which was more than she could say a few hours ago, her body adapting to movement without the antennae to help her balance.

At least she finally seemed to be getting somewhere.

“I have something for you,” Deletham tr’Ehelih said quietly, appearing like a ghost beside the table where she was eating lunch. He had promised nothing when they’d met earlier in the day, but apparently she’d convinced him. They had been friends of a sort during her posting here, a young ensign and uhlan sparring across a table over trivial military matters. After leaving the military, he’d taken up a minor municipal post in the local government, where he had become an excellent source on Romulan public opinion. Nysari had always been certain that he’d told her more lies than truths, but someone willing to talk was better than nothing. “There are those who are interested in the reunification of the Romulan people.”

“Everyone is interested in that,” Nysari replied dismissively, “They simply disagree on the winner.” After Shinzon’s downfall against the Enterprise, the Romulan government had fractured into two. Romulus was home to the Romulan Star Empire under Praetor Tal’aura. Out in space was the Imperial Romulan State, led by Donatra, the once commander who now styled herself Empress. “The Federation tried to mediate and got nowhere.” The Theurgy had even been one of the ships they’d sent.

“This group is different. They seek compromise,” he continued smoothly, as though she’d never interrupted at all. "They know that they cannon broker this compromise on their own, so they seek the Federation’s assistance. The attack on Paris,” Nysari tried to keep her composure at the mention of the capital, but she noticeably stiffened, “ruined those plans. Now that you are back, however, they are willing to meet with you to see if a deal can be made.”

“An interesting proposal. But how will a fringe group be able to help us? They cannot be any more than a small faction.”

“They have powerful friends. In the senate and other places.” Typical Romulan obscuration, Nysari noted. That could mean anything from an influential senator to a senate messenger boy.

“And who will I be meeting with?”

“The representative’s name is Belas tr’Rehu. He will meet you in Avra Trel.” Deletham slid over a computer chip as he spoke, which Nysari knew from experience would have an exact geolocation encoded. “You have a little less than an hour to get there, which shouldn’t be a problem for you. Jolan Tru, Nysarisiza.”

“Jolan Tru, Deletham. Thank you for the help.” He was already gone.

Nysari stayed at her table for a few minutes more, finishing up her soup. It was too thick for her taste, nearly paste, a texture that stuck uncomfortably to her throat even after swallowing. But at least it was safe to eat. Once she was finished, she left the bowl behind, wandering through the crowded restaurant to another table where her two colleagues waited. Like Nysari, Alana Pierce was similarly disguised behind Romulans prosthetics. Hirek, a Romulan by birth, was spared the farce.

“One of my contacts has set up a meeting with a faction he believes will assist us.” She slid the data chip to Hirek, their local guide. She relayed Deletham’s information quietly and concisely, before turning to Hirek again. “I assume you know the quickest way to Avra Trel?”

OOC: Whoever posts next can gloss over the transport and skip to the meeting, if you'd like.

Re: Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard

Reply #2
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Avra Trel | Romulus ] Attn: @rae @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Romulus was a place Alana had spent little time. In fact, most of her contact with them was in this century with the likes of her Assistant of Intelligence and Hirek. She was certainly not ill-informed on the trip, but lacked some of the more subtle nuances that Hirek and the Lillee had coached her on prior to departure. Her senses were on high alert as she attempted to not draw too much attention to herself while the trio traversed the transport to their destination. The meeting that Nysari had put into place with her on-site acquaintance from the past.

The feeling of dread washed over her, almost akin to a 6th sense or woman's intuition? She thought it odd to think of that still but it was slowly becoming the norm. Something wasn't sitting right with her and she couldn't quite put her finger on the what. Romulans after all were a secretive race when it came down to details unless it was advantageous to speak of them to another individual. Her thoughts were back to her surroundings as they approached the meeting location.

She could only hope the data chip that was presented was authentic in nature and that the compromise being sought was one of benefit to all parties and not a detriment to the Federation. The arrival at Avra Trel was
uneventful but was present to a decent sized city and was filled with various Romulan architecture but it was behind closed doors they'd likely be meeting.

"Nysari, any word on what we're walking into on this trek with Belas tr'Rehu?" She turned to Hirek, feeling the crimson hair swiping her Romulan pointed ears as she did before touching them again and speaking. "Hirek, anything we should be on alert about? Any suspicions we need to be careful of as we approach the meeting place?"

Re: Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard

Reply #3
[ Hirk tr’Aimne | Wet Market | Avra Trel | Romulus ] @rae  @Pierce

His heart had been beating like the tiny, venomous nei'rrh since they passed into his home planet’s atmosphere. But not out of fear. No, Hirek was not afraid. Regardless of what happened to the Starfleet crew, he now considered colleagues, and regardless of what happened on these missions, Hirek did not feel fear. Ihir'aenha; he’d been destined to be here like this. His family had survived numerous terrors from the Tal’Shiar for him to be here at this time and in this place. So, if Hirek felt anything, it was a combination of elation and determination.

The entire time he’d piloted the flitter to Avra Tel, Hirek had fought against the temptation to lean back and fill the vehicle with his laughter. He doubted either the Andorian or the human would understand his mirth, not when so very much could go so very wrong and so very quickly. Every molecule of his body reveled in being once more under the Romulun sun, his senses filled with the sights and sounds and smells of the familiar. Just as he fought the temptation to laugh like a child playing in the surf of Uulma, Hirek similarly found the desire to turn the flitter northeast, touching down on the cliffside closest his ancestral home. To once more hear his father’s voice, feel his mother’s grip as she took hold of his hand, feel the warm sand of his home beneath bare feet…these were things he desperately craved but knew he could not partake of, not yet.

If they successfully connected with this reunification network, they could have more allies against the Tal’Shiar. And they would need as many allies as possible to take down the tyrants.

With these thoughts in mind, Hirek’s features were forcibly neutral as he led Nysari and Alana through the wet market area of Avra Trel toward their meeting point. It’d taken him the entirety of their flight to the city for Hirek to remember where he’d heard the name Belas tr'Rehu before.

He’d been a brief colleague of his mother’s before she’d been ousted from her position at the Imperial War College. As an assistant professor in the Reman affairs department, the two had rarely crossed paths; the only reason Vaed'rehai t’Aimne shared stories with her family regarding tr’Rehu was that he’d gotten himself removed from the college, most notably. After a public disagreement with one of the department lead’s decisions on the Reman curriculum, tr’Rehu had gone to the lead’s office and doused the man in Reman blood gathered from a Reman blood bank on campus.

Hirek had conveyed this history to his mission mates as soon as they’d landed at an out-of-the-way docking port. He’d had to use his cousin’s credentials to obtain the flitter and process the landing procedures and hoped that by the time his cousin took notice of this fact, their mission would be over, and there would be no risk in explaining to the man in person his reasons for doing so.

Pausing in their journey to study the wares of one of the stalls, Hirek spoke with the older woman manning the stall, seeking to haggle a price for the fish. He pretended to be dissatisfied with her ending price and dismissed the deal, leading Alana and Nysari further into the wet market. It’d be too obvious if they moved through the market without stopping here and there to haggle and study the wares. He was thankful the market wasn’t terribly full at this hour when Alana spoke. Hirek dropped his voice to a whisper when he responded to Alana’s question.

“The less talking, the better when we aren’t with tr’Rehu. Neither of you speaks fluently enough to pass as locals or visitors from another continent. At best, you could maybe pass as a colonist, but that presumption would go away mighty fast the longer the conversation took place.”

He again led them to a booth, this one with a number of different fishing hooks and other such paraphernalia on display. Hirek haggled again and, this time, purchased three items, passing the traditional hook dangling from a chain to Alana and the miniature bone dirk to Nysari. He kept the fishing line for himself.

“The area we’re meeting tr’Rehu in is a unique geographical feature for this area. It’s known as yy'a dochaisam cove, or dead speech cove. The materials of the rocks and the formation of the cove kill echoes, making it the perfect place to scheme.” Hirek smirked, tossing Alana a wink. “And fish in the tide pools.”

Re: Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard

Reply #4
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Avra Trel | Romulus ] Attn: @rae @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Alana wasn't sure what they'd likely encounter on this mission. The Andorian, Nysari looked particularly uncomfortable with her prosthesis, whereas she herself seemed to not be bothered too much by the notion of pointed ears despite the sensation of it constantly hitting her hair. She went a step farther in having her blood given a synthetic green tint to help blend in should the need arise to 'show' would be captors she wasn't human when harmed.

Hirek was probably the best suited for this mission being native but she had worries that things were not as they appeared on the surface here. Some things made her feel...uneasy. And that was a feeling that never let her down.

Curious of the surroundings which oddly enough were more beautiful than the holos she was shown by Hirek of the homeworld or the ones from her past. The air was calm as her hair moved with the movements along the streets. She smirked at Hirek's comment about not speaking, albeit hers was more native sounding than some others from Starfleet due to extensive dialect training in intelligence, she was still no Romulan. "Makes sense." She smirked with a practiced Romulan scowl.

Holding the hook, the red haired woman inspected it slightly as Hirek passed it to her. It was interesting and reminded her about fishing on Earth. The little trinket gave caused a smile as Hirek mentioned the cove ominous nature and fishing in the same sentence. Nodding slightly, she looked ahead seeing many townsfolk around the market. The sheer feeling of sadness at the fact the townsfolk didn't even realize they were fighting an unseen war.

"How far until we reach our destination? I can see the town getting less trafficked the further we head in this particular direction, so I can only assume we're edging closer to where we need to be."

OOC - Replied to keep the thread moving since we're a month after the previous post.


Re: Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard

Reply #5
[ General Terrh Jeiai | Internal Security Division Offices | Citadel Val’Theldun  | Romulus ] @rae @Pierce

The day had started well enough for Terrh. They’d managed to track down some dissidents daring to speak against Tal’Aura and were in the process of discovering where their allies were, and they’d also arrested a few fools who’d openly spoken of the archaic notion of reunification with Remus; they would be interrogated later. Though successful, it didn’t feel like today would be any more or less special than the days before it.

But then he’d gotten the report, and now it seemed this day was looking like it would be quite eventful. Pressing a button on his console, Terrh gave himself a genuine smile of predatory delight while waiting for his aide. The smile retreated to the interior once his aide arrived.

“Ready a task force to deploy to Avral Tel. It seems an old family…friend has decided to return to Romulus and with some new friends in tow.” Piercing the aide with a firm look, Terrh lowered his voice to a menacing level as he handed over the data chip with the pertinent encrypting information. “We will capture anyone associated with this man and return them to the Citadel for questioning. It would be best to keep as many of them alive as possible as they will have much to share with us, but if a few die in the process, so be it.”

“Understood, general.” The aide left after a curt salute.

Standing up from his desk, Terrh moved to his viewing window and looked out at the other levels of the Citadel, the smile returning.

“I wonder why you decided to return. The wayward son of Romulus.” Terrh’s lips pulled upward in a deeper smile. “And I wonder if your parents know you’re here. I’m sure they’ll enjoy a reunion.”

With his thoughts curving around his history with the tr’Ethien’s and tr’Aimne’s, Terrh found delight in visualizing the inevitable encounter he would soon have with the living “unfinished business” of his past. Given the type of company that the clan tended to keep and the audacious ideas they held regarding the Tal Shiar Terrh, I was assured that whoever was traveling with the younger tr'Aimne was of a similar traitorous mindset as Hirek. Meaning a trip to the Citadel was assuredly in order.

NOTE: This Romulan ass-hate is the one who found out about Hirek's uncle's work with Starfleet Intelligence and managed to get him executed at the same time that Enyd's mother and later father died partially because of his single-minded desire to destroy anyone who opposed the Tal Shiar, especially those from the fairly libertarian Uuluma Islands. Just wanted to pull on some old ties to up the stakes of our meeting with the contact and to bring us closer to the other story prompt, where everything falls apart at the Citadel. So yeah, we've got Tal Shiar agents after us, thanks to hunky Hirek. What a dweeb...

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