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 Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?

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Kejal Buris
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PostSubject: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:24 am

[Starbase Athena - Brig]

Buris was pacing in the Brig cell he was sharing with Archangel, muttering over the insult of this situation, that this was all a mockery of justice. He shook his head and looked at the Captain, sure that she was raging, though far less obviously. After a moment, he sighed and looked at her, still shaking his head.

"Just as a matter of record, Captain, I did warn you that this might happen."

After a moment, he took his commbadge off, and slipped his thumbnail into the slot in the casing, opening it. He sat down on the floor of the cell, and spoke, barely above a mutter - just quiet enough that the Starbase's audio sensors wouldn't pick up. "However, I need you to trust me, and work with me if we're to escape this setup. What color is your blood, Archangel? I really do hope it's green. Because if not, I have about 10 minutes to pull off a miracle that shouldn't be doable in less than an hour if at all, and I'll need your commbadge too for this on top of that. And then we're going to have to get to a communication relay - we'd have about five minutes. That is, assuming the timecode I left in the encoded comms microburst I sent right before attempting to return the Admiral to the ship actually gets respected."

He was looking into the back of the small device, gently pushing aside various microcircuits, clearing a path to the sarium krellide power cell underneath. He was humming while working, as though the idea of breaking out of a Federation brig by somehow turning the sarium krellide power cell of a commbadge into a makeshift explosive was something he considered as routine as beaming ambassadors and others on and off the ship.

Of course, his pacing had given him the time to examine the field transmitters for the force field holding the two of them in. Still, he hoped the reaction didn't chain too far, or that at least the two could manage to get through the explosion alive.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:13 pm

While Kejal paced the length of the cell and came up with his plans, Archangel sat on the bench, her legs the length of it with her ankles neatly crossed, her hands neatly folded into an almost medative position as she rested her head against the bulkhead, her eyes closed. Should it come to court martial, she knew that Kejal would be able to claim that he was just following orders, even argue that it had been under duress. It would be a black mark on his career, certainly, but not one he couldn't recover from. She, on the other hand, knew that either her 'friends' made it all go away in that way they did so well, or she wouldn't live to see the court martial. It was all a matter of time.

As he addressed her, the Romulan opened one eye to watch his tinkering with the brig systems. "Warnings or no, sometimes you just don't have a choice but to take the wrong path," she replied in a blasé tone of voice as she closed her eye again. "And yes, it is."

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:43 pm

Buris nodded, not really concerned with the future of his Starfleet career at the moment. In fact, all of his attention was focused on the small device in his hands. When she confirmed that her blood carried the much-needed copper isotope that was the crux of this plan working properly. "Good. Excellent, in fact. I need a strand of your hair and a drop of your blood."

Certain copper isotopes, including those found in Vulcanoid blood, could have a rather violent reaction with a sarium cell, especially if it was tampered with. What Buris was doing, of course, was very clearly tampering. In fact, he was going to use that reaction to detonate his commbadge against the brig's force field emitter array, thus giving the pair a way out.

He stood, stretching his legs and walking over to T'Koris. "Unfortunately, we do not have much time. This has to be done soon, or it might as well not be done at all."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:41 pm

There were a few more sounds of tinkering, then the rustle of uniform fabric that suggested that her chief of operations had gotten to his feet, warranting her to open one eye again, then the other as he made his way over to her.

Assuming that meant that he was after her hair and blood, for reasons she had guessed at but didn't particularly want to think about, she swung her legs over the edge of the bench, sitting up properly before reaching down and taking off her boot. It was times like these when she was rather grateful that Starfleet was both too trusting and too reliant on technology. Weapons were easy to sneak through when you knew what the scanners were looking for, and the security officers hadn't bothered to do a thorough search on them. More fool them.

From her boot, she pulled one of the wrist knives she generally used during her less-than-sanctioned activities, pulling the boot back on flicking off the safety catch on the spring and allowing it to unfold.

"Where do you want it?" she asked, referring to the blood.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:31 pm

Buris pointed carefully at the edge of the krellide cell, where he'd opened the battery's casing. "In there. Not too much, just a drop. Then I'll need about a 6-inch strand of your hair."

With that in place, he tied it all together with her hair, using it as a makeshift wire between the subspace transmitter and the battery. He seemed strangely accustomed to working with fine bits of Federation technology with few tools. After that, he closed the back of the commbadge, affixing it to the wall in the spot he'd picked out a few moments before. He gestured for Archangel to come with him to the point furthest away from the badge, and flattened himself against the wall. He looked at her. "Please hail my commbadge, and close your eyes. The flash could potentially cause permanent ocular damage."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:14 am

It was easy enough to pluck a long hair from the mess that had escaped what was once her normally-neat plait, passing it over to Kejal to continue his tinkering. It didn't surprise Archangel that he was so good with minimal tools given his background. Had he not been so much of a wildcard in terms of allegiance and attitude, she was pretty certain that her handler would be attempting to bring him on as a new recruit.

Once everything had been secured and he had stepped back, she moved forward, making a tiny incision in the tip of her middle finger, enough to bring a drop of blood welling to the surface, which she dropped onto the improvised device.

Her own knowledge of engineering systems confirmed the need for his warning and, before tapping her commbadge to hail him, covered her eyes with her arm and tapped her commbadge.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:26 am

Either this was going to work perfectly, or it wasn't going to work at all. Well, no, could there have been too much blood? He didn't think so, he'd pretty well calculated what he'd needed and made sure Archangel didn't donate too much to the cause. He covered his eyes, and when the subspace link in his commbadge connected, the bright flash and fairly loud explosion told him that he had slightly overcalculated - but not enough to kill them, yet. If anything, it was enough to give anyone approaching some pause; and that would give the two renegade officers a chance to escape this place.

He looked at Arch as soon as he dared open his eyes a moment later, taking her arm gently to lead her out. Well, the subspace pulse she'd triggered (marginally knowingly) should have signaled the individuals he'd surreptitiously contacted prior to retrieving the Admiral. He didn't like having contacts within the intelligence community, but they paid off in a pinch. This, of course, was what he would consider 'a pinch'. "That would be our exit cue. We'll need to move outside the cell so they can get a transporter lock on us. I apologize in advance, this may be quite jarring; but I promise that anyone we meet will be entirely on our side - regardless of prior allegiances."

As soon as they stepped outside the cell, the two were enveloped in a green transporter glow and disappeared from the starbase. Moments later, they reappeared on the bridge of a very old Romulan vessel. If Archangel looked around, she'd recognize that everyone aboard was wearing not Imperial uniforms, but Tal Shiar. And Buris was scanning the Bridge for the commander like he was looking for a friend in a crowd. He finally found one and gestured to her - the ship's commander, by her rank and the way everyone simply parted to allow her through. "Captain, allow me to introduce you to our current host, Major Sienae R'Mor, commander of the ITSW Gladius, of the ship class the Federation designates Skyhawk. I've completely forgotten what the rihannsu name for the class is."


The woman looked at the two of them, first at Buris easily but then at Archangel with a tinge of distrust - which passed quickly and without comment. Then she shrugged lightly, the silver strands amongst her raven hair twinkling to give an indication of her age. "It's been a few years, Lleiset. You are lucky we were nearby and under full cloak."

She turned to Archangel and raised an elegant upswept eyebrow, thinking a moment before speaking. "We have met before, I imagine. Probably under less pleasant circumstances. Well, as long as you're on my ship, and don't try to take over, you have nothing to fear from me or my crew, sister. I believe we have a few common enemies. Your Section 31, for example. On the other hand, I imagine you both are hungry. We can fix that, and get you some decent clothing rather than those inelegant Starfleet things. Oh, and your communications device. We'll need to destroy it. Under cloak it's fine of course, but if we uncloak, well, I don't like being followed."

It might be telling that this woman referred to Buris with a direct translation of his Bajoran name - lleiset, freedom. And between them, it seemed almost a term of endearment. Then again, he had told Archangel once that his Resistance contacts included Romulans; it wouldn't be a hard stretch to consider that the Tal Shiar considered the wormhole strategically important and thus step in to deal directly with the resistance. Of course, the lack of organization between cells would probably be anathema to their sensibilities and more palatable to organizations within the Federation.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:59 pm

Searing white light leaked around the edge of her arm and through her eyelids, enough to pain but not enough to harm. The heat seared, but was tolerable to her. Only once both had subsided did she lower her arm and move forward, stepping lightly over the edge of the cell. What she hadn't expected was the transporter beam, one rather unfortunately familiar to her.

Their appearance on the bridge of a warbird confirmed her fear. Had Kejal been watching her, he might have noticed a slight widening her her eyes indicative of that fear, but then a subtle change in her posture. Her spine stiffened, her chin lifting. This wasn't the quiet Archangel that had been in the cell, nor even the fierce Captain of a starship. This was almost... imperial.

"We have met before, Major, but not under the same name, and certainly not under circumstances I would call pleasant," she replied. "You may know me better as Dhael Alidar, daughter of General Tr'Koris and consort to Praetor Alidar."

In the back of her mind, she was mentally cursing Kejal for bringing the Romulans into their mess. They were the last ones that she wanted to deal with at that point. If Alidar or her father found out, they would just use it as an excuse to get her back on Romulus, to play political pawn as she had done before. Damn you, Kejal. I would rather have had to deal with my S31 handler than this!

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:39 pm

Buris looked between the women, trying to figure out the subtleties of what was really going on here. It was obvious from the first that Archangel was uncomfortable being here; but then again, they'd just beamed onto a cloaked enemy vessel after blowing their way out of a brig. He wouldn't be keen on it either, if he wasn't accustomed to being a fugitive from his former life. As he shrugged off his duty jacket, he glanced at the ship's centurion, who gave him a sharp shake of the head - indicating that he shouldn't get involved.

The woman had no trouble matching T'Koris' imperial posture. Frankly, that was all she saw this as - pointless posturing, the fact that this was a Captain who was no longer on her own ship. She nodded when Archangel identified herself with her Rihannsu name, and nodded slightly. "So be it, then. As we are currently cloaked in Federation space. on the trail of several agents foreign and domestic, I suggest we let bygones be bygones for the moment in service to a greater good. If you have a problem with me personally, we can discuss it away from this Bridge. You'd ask the same on your ship."

Buris and the Centurion had exited the Bridge, presumably to either get food or lodgings or clothing - or just out of the way of the fight. On the way out, both women would probably pick up the sound of the two painfully loyal men discussing the frustrations of trying to be a step ahead of the unpredictable.

After a moment of looking at T'Koris, Major R'Mor sighed and walked back to her command chair with a shake of her head. "Destroy your commbadge and relax. That's all I ask of you, beyond not trying to take my ship out from under me. You're a guest aboard this ship - we'll need your knowledge and possibly more direct aid if we can't stop this nonsense sooner rather than later. We have no scheduled trip to the Neutral Zone for months, and no rendezvous for longer than that. This is a long-range covert reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering mission, officially. What else I do is my choice. And I've chosen to help keep the peace as long as I can."

She looked at T'Koris. "Does that better suit your taste, Alidar?"

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:02 pm

Kejal leaving her alone on the bridge with the Romulans was not something Archangel was comfortable with. The thought of facing her own people alone was enough of a thought to scare her, but to be alone with the Tal Shiar, of all of her people... She had had dealings with them in the past, the kind that often came back to haunt her nightmares with tales of blood and screams and pain. Gabriel had stayed up with her on many a night after a particularly bad dream, reassuring her that she was still on the ship and not in one of their elaborate simulations.

The Major was the first to cede, but it was hardly surprising given that she had no need to prove her place in the hierarchy. Archangel's marriage to the Praetor afforded her a high place in the political and social standings, but the Tal Shiar didn't care for such things. Noble or slave, they all bled the same.

"Dhael, please," she replied, trying not to wince at being addressed by the Praetor's surname. She plucked the commbadge from her uniform, turning it over in her fingers for a moment as she looked at the delta insignia on it, a staple in her life for such a long time. "Keep the peace," she murmured softly, more to herself than to anyone else. "Sometimes, that's all we can try to do." Steeling herself, she dropped the device, crushing it under the heel of her boot before looking back up at the Romulan. "My tastes have no influence on your mission, Major. I've been attempting to stop this nonsense, but unfortunately, my commanding officer chose to run like a coward than allow me five minutes to save his life and over one thousand lives of one of our ships."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:15 pm

The Major nodded faintly, looking at a PADD as Archangel spoke - she had no problem listening to the woman, but she did have a ship to run, after all. She tapped out a message in text and put the tablet down on the arm of her chair, turning back to T'Koris. She shrugged lightly. "Lleiset told me similarly in his message when he was attempting to resolve the situation. Tell me, Dhael, what is it with Admirals and madness? Do you think they're insane before they take the Admiralty and no one notices the crazy Captains, or is it something after that happens?"

She thought for a moment, looking at the viewscreen, and called out a slight course correction that would put them on an intercept with the Phoenix.

After a few moments, Buris walked back onto the Bridge wearing a black Tal Shiar uniform, though the rank insignia were missing. Somehow, he seemed just as comfortable in the spy outfit as he did in his Starfleet uniform. He looked at T'Koris. "Before you worry, Captain, my proper uniform is folded and waiting for when we resolve this... issue. I just don't feel like sticking out like a sore thumb if something happens and we're forced to make tactical contact with a Federation vessel, especially the Phoenix."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:25 am

It was actually easier for Archangel that the Major wasn't looking at her. It allowed her to keep the memories of her time under the attention of the Tal Shiar under control. Instead, she focused her attention on the viewscreen, quietly calculating in her head the direction they were taking in relation to the last known postitions of Starfleet vessels.

"It would seem that there's something about the ranks above captain that induce madness," she agreed, her gaze still on the space ahead of them. "Admiral Kirok used to be a good captain. I served under him previously, but since his return and promotion, that can no longer be applied to him."

Kejal's return drew her attention away from the stars, her eyes widening subtly at the sight of him in such a uniform, unnerved until he clarified the issue. He did, however, make a valid point about not sticking out from the rest of the personnel on the bridge. With a faint sigh, she shrugged out of her Starfleet jacket and undershirt, revealing another uniform underneath, one she hadn't had time to change out of since returning to the Phoenix from the Athena: the black raiment of Section 31. There was no rank on it. If you had to look at someone's uniform to know their rank, then you likely shouldn't know who they were in the first place. The Starfleet uniform was neatly folded and handed off to a centurion to put it out of sight.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:53 am

Buris calmly crossed the bridge toward Archangel and the Major, though his eyes widened in turn at T'Koris' S31 outfit. When he walked up beside her, his voice was soft as he leaned toward her. Obvious. "You know, when Commander Arthur was not on-ship, you could have actually told me why you were afraid of the girls leaving us. It now makes far more sense; and adds further urgency to our current mission. Are there any other intelligence operatives I should know about, who might be currently aboard the Phoenix?"

He turned to the Major while letting the Captain mull over his question, clearing his throat. "Major, there are civilians and children aboard our former vessel. If they approach their destination, they will be dead. If you can't make that correction, I'm going to need a shuttlecraft and a disruptor."

The woman looked down at Buris from her command seat, pointing out their current course with a gesture, and turning toward her fellow Romulan, speaking their native tongue. She seemed to be intentionally ignoring him. "I do hope you don't pay him mind when he gets like this. He's been this way since he was a teenager, you know. If he wasn't actually effective at what he does, I'd string him up by the tongue. Does he still crow about the time he rigged a Federation probe into a bomb to take out that one 'mad doctor' and his household? What was their name again... Tellah? Talak? I don't remember exactly, but I didn't hear the end of it for a blasted year. Hell, he was offered protomatter and he turned it down, saying a warp-capable probe would do more damage. And, if my sources are right, that probe he rigged was supposed to be his personal escape route off the planet anyway. From, apparently, your people."

She gestured vaguely at the black Federation uniform which Archangel had hidden under her clothing. With that, she stood up and walked forward, checking in quietly with her sensors operator. As she'd left them alone, Buris looked at his Captain and silently indicated that he thought they should leave the Bridge. When they were alone in the corridor outside, he spoke. "I hate it when she speed-talks in rihannsu to confound and ignore me when I bring up a legitimate concern. Not that I much appreciated it when you, Lieutenant Pardek, and Lieutenant Jiseth were doing it, either, if I'm to be blunt on the matter, Captain. However, did I hear correctly, that you are married, at least politically, to the sitting Praetor?"

Waiting for her answer, he decided to tell a bit more about why and how they'd gotten here. "Major R'Mor was Sublieutenant R'Mor when I first met her, and not one who was expecting a political promotion - she had to work to earn her accolades. Apparently, someone in her family had contact with a Federation vessel during the isolationism following 2267; they were exiled after being stripped of what she indicated to be a piece of prime land and the title to go with it. She wormed her way back into the service. As it happens, the Tal Shiar 'noticed' her. She was the most reliable of my Romulan contacts; she's earned this ship the hard way. I took a shot in the dark, knowing that Admiral Kirok was hunting Section 31, and here she was. Frankly, my plan B was to steal a runabout from Athena. I am glad that plan A has gone smoothly. I do apologize for the lack of warning, Captain - had it been possible, I would have done so."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:38 pm

Unwilling to answer his question in front of the Major, Archangel turned her attention back to the other Romulan as she spoke in their native tongue. It was hard to conceal the slight twitch of her lips as she tried not to smile. The story, as well as the habit, was rather familiar.

"The first time, I did," she replied, keeping to Romulan. "After that, it was easier just to let it pass over my head. Of course, it didn't help that I had Gul Telak's daughter under my command as well at the time." She tensed, managing to keep from flinching as Major R'Mor referred to the others that wore the black Federation uniform as 'her people'. She couldn't consider them further from her own.

Since the Major needed to return to the affairs of her ship, something that she understood all too well, she inclined her head to Buris, settling her arms loosely behind her back and following him off the bridge. She was silent for a moment, considering her words and putting them into order, then spoke quietly:

"I don't tell people about my involvement with... certain organisations for obvious reasons; but given our situation, I believe you deserve to know." She paused for a moment. "Perhaps it would be easier if I went back to the beginning...

"My father is General Tr'Koris, a seasoned military man who holds some considerable authority in the political circles of Romulus. He often attempted to match me to the sons of other powerful houses, but my position here in the Federation protected me from such. The Discovery, I was Chief Engineer aboard her at the time, was dispatched on a diplomatic mission to Romulus. The Praetor needed to buy favour from one of the powerful houses, and my father sought the Praetor's favour. You can put two and two together from there. Praetor Alidar offered to sign a truce in exchange, and I would become a bridge of sorts between the two powers of the Alpha Quadrant. My father knew I couldn't refuse something like that, both his request and my duty to the Federation.

"You can imagine that the marriage isn't a happy one. I return periodically when he has need of me, but otherwise ignores what I do in the Federation. It was because of my connections, both familial and by marriage, and because of my skills in engineering and combat, that Section 31 took an interest. Until that marriage though, they didn't have a good enough hook to get me to sign up. My father... threatened Seika's life, that he'd turn her over to the Tal Shiar for practise, if I didn't continue to comply with the Praetor. I got scared, and they promised protection for her." She let out a somewhat bitter laugh. "Of course, they were lying. They have no qualms what so ever about using Seika or Aria or Gabriel against me. Sovereign proved that quite adequately." Given the dark cloud that crossed her expression, there was obviously a story behind that statement, but not one that she seemed willing to share. "But by the time I found that out, it was too late. You don't retire from their ranks. You just die."

She fell silent for another moment. "Kirok used to be in Star Fleet Intelligence. He knows about the dark side, even participated in a few of the assignments. Gabriel also joined Intelligence to try to protect me a little, but he never returned to it after our medical leave." She shook her head. "Section 31 weren't behind that attack. Kirok should know that, and know better than to go blabbing about it. He knows what they'll do to keep themselves a secret. He's going to get thousands of people killed."

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:03 am

Buris nodded grimly at her assessment of the situation, since he'd come to the same assessment on his own - that was why he'd called in a very old friend. He folded his arms over his chest, then unfolded them, looking around. The Bajoran hated being at a loss for words, but there he was for the moment. He simply inclined his head toward her and spoke very quietly. "I doubt there would be many aboard this particular vessel who'd find themselves greatly aggrieved if you were to find yourself a widow - or should I say, that your only marriage is to Commander Arthur. I do not take it lightly when children under my care are threatened - doubly so when I respect and care for their parents. As such, my current goal is to stop the Admiral and Phoenix by any means necessary."

He glanced away, and spoke again, calmly. "If you cannot, I will give Major R'Mor the prefix code and override access for Phoenix. That vessel must be stopped at all costs, and we have to make sure the Section doesn't have unrestricted access to her complement. I assume that's already impossible, but hopefully a crew of disenfranchised Romulan intelligence agents will help. I know as well as anyone, once you've had a taste of this kind of power, you don't want to give it up. I wonder if you had the same horrors I did in the Academy - seeing Starfleet officers who had identified themselves by different names under Section uniforms; terrorists and monsters of the highest order. And then seeing at least one of them teaching a course on Command ethics. I was dumbstruck; I wanted to ask the man who he thought he was fooling, who could possibly believe he was even capable of ethical thought after the weapons he'd allowed to pass through to the Resistance and the Maquis. I didn't; thank goodness, because that would have gotten me a phaser in the guts."

When she mentioned Tarna again, he took a sharp breath, trying not to flinch. He figured it was time to try to quit dancing around the issue. After all, with all the daring and destructive attacks he'd performed, there was every reason for the Captain to believe that he was responsible for the attack on his own people. After all, it was the kind of cold-blooded decision he could easily have made at the time. "No. Section 31 was not directly involved in that attack. But I promise you, Archangel - as my Captain and my friend - it was not my cell. It was not a group in my network. Whoever did it... well, if there are such things as pah-wraiths, then I suspect those attackers were possessed by them."

He looked at her. "But if Admiral Kirok goes there, what he'll find is evidence of Cardassian weapons. Which will in turn lead him to their Obsidian Order. And then all hope is lost for anyone stupid enough to follow him. I've been lucky - able to make a career running from my past and not having it bite me. There are relatively few parts of my life I'm afraid to face, Captain. We are going to one of them."

He swallowed hard and looked at her. "I am not afraid of Starfleet Intelligence Division - I even considered joining up. I was told that I was a bit too aggressive, actually. The men and women who don grey uniforms are still good people; spies or not. We will always have need of good intelligence agents loyal to our Federation and our ideals. Section 31 bothers me no end because of what they will allow to happen for the good of the Federation."

Turning back toward the Bridge, he spoke calmly. "We have children to save, and spooks to disintegrate for putting the children in danger. That's all we need to know for now."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:26 pm

Archangel remained silent at Kejal processed what she had just told him. She couldn't blame him for taking time to do so. It had, after all, been a lot of information to take in, not to mentin having to come to terms with the fact that his captain was not only a member of the secretive organisations that they were currently embroiled with thanks to the Athena's activities and mistakes, but also that she was both related to and married to members of the Romulan political elite.

"I don't doubt that either, nor would I mind," she replied to his suggestion that many on board that ship would not shed any tears should a new Praetor rise to power. Her expression hardened as he brought up the fact that her family was in danger, and all because of the actions of one Admiral intent on proving a flawed statement right, but looked away as he brought up the corruption that often spread through people in the upper echalons of power. "I do know how it feels," she murmured, thinking about one individual in particular, someone she had always trusted, even been forced to rely on for her life, who had saved it as she had saved his on occasion. "Commander Tre'el, or Sovereign. He was a close friend of mine and rose to first officer of the Discovery. He was the one who recruited me into the service, who trained me to be one of them in his... unique manner. Eventually, he went on to be the first Cardassian captain in Star Fleet." A slight, bitter smile twisted her mouth. "Gabriel still curses his name to this day, and he doesn't even know the whole story."

She ignored the shark intake of breath as they broached the subject of Tarna. There were horrors in her past, memories she kept buried in order to avoid them influencing her decisions, and she suspected that this was one such memory for him. One eyebrow was raised as he assured her that his cell hadn't been involved with the attack.

"I didn't suspect you had been," she stated simply. "For all the attacks you carried out on the Cardassians, for all the prisoners you didn't take on their side, you didn't go after your own people. The ratio of Cardassians to Bajorans on that planet was so low that it would have been against your own ideals to go after it, even if it would draw the Federation into the conflict.

"But nor was Section 31 involved. It's not in their nature. The Cardassian Union, even if they did manage to break Bajor and turn their attention to the Federation, Star Fleet could have taken them, held the line. There was no reason to go after them. No," she shook her head, "they would have been aware of it, but sat back and done nothing."

Returning to their current situation rather than historical ones, she tried to think as an officer, not as the mother of two of the children in danger. "Kirok is so determined that he's right that even if he does find evidence of Cardassian work, he'll still think S31's behind it. He'll just have two ruthless organisations on his tail." She let out a heavy sigh, suddenly seeming tired. "The Athena's already a lost cause. It'll be destroyed soon, probably in an accident. No survivors. The Phoenix, we can still save, but not Kirok. He won't be allowed to survive this." She felt that it didn't need said that she had already received her orders to make sure of that. "I have no doubt that the Commander will be able to get close to the Phoenix, but after that, it's up to us."

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:08 am

Buris nodded again, trying to figure out the situation - he hated 'cutting losses' anymore, it went against his Starfleet training. But there was nothing he could do for another ship. For now, all that mattered was saving their family. His voice was soft.

"Thank you, Captain. It... means a lot to me. More than you know, maybe."

He looked back up and thought, shifting in the Romulan uniform he wore all too comfortably. Then again, when you were used to wearing literally anything that got given to you growing up, you could wear any uniform with comfort - if you were doing something you could be proud of. "We have work to do then. As you said, it will be up to us to resolve this issue."

He smiled at her thinly and turned back toward the Bridge. Then he stopped and looked at her. "Wait. Codename Sovereign was a spoonhead? That explains a few things - I dealt with him once, but he seemed... slimy even through text, compared to codenames Major or Deacon. Well, better than having to serve with Gul Epath, I guess. Wonder how they get on; since Epath is a wholly unrepentant war criminal."

He shrugged, waiting for her to answer and tapped the sensor to open the door when she was done and standing beside him. Walking back onto the Bridge like he owned the place. He called out in a rough rihannsu onto the bridge - even in another language, 'Ops Voice' took over and most of the Bridge crew turned to pay him heed. "Commander R'Mor. What is our ETA to the Phoenix?"

The Romulan Commander turned toward him, slow and deliberate - she was not going to have her command suddenly (albeit peacefully) usurped by a guest. She sighed, shaking her head and looking at Archangel with a silent expression of commiseration as she spoke with a slightly chiding tone. She knew she was about to 'get' him, or at the very least put him in his place. "You still talk like an outworlder, Lleiset. Has your Captain taught you nothing? Or did you think it wiser to just try and eavesdrop on her until now?"

Buris folded his arms, attempting to look a bit more imposing - most people would have probably been blushing or at least intimidated by her reaction. Of course, Archangel would immediately recognize the truth - this was his version of blushing; he'd been raised to put up a stronger front toward adversity. So when she caught him out and embarrassed him even slightly, he went directly to the stonewall approach.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:52 am

As Kejal compared Sovereign to dealing with Gul Epath, who had briefly served under her on board the Phoenix much to the Bajoran's disgust, Archangel could only give a hollow laugh. Sovereign, while using his Starfleet officer persona, had been a good officer, protective of his crew if a little heavy-handed with the discipline. As Sovereign, he has been vicious and sadistic and downright cruel as soon as he had an excuse to be. The memories she had of his 'debriefings', his speciality, he had held with her following each return from Romulus sent shivers down her spine.

Eager to put the subject behind them despite her own hesitance to return to the midst of the Romulan's crew, she waited patiently for Kejal to open the door. His actions as he strode onto the bridge however, earned him a raised eyebrow from the Starfleet captain. It was familiar. She had had to pull him up on such behaviour in his early days on her crew and, while they had managed to work out a good balance during their duty shifts, it was clear that old habits died hard. Her lips twitched slightly, smothering a smile as the Romulan commander pulled him up on it. His expression closed off, his posture becoming tense and defensive in a manner she had come to recognise.

Taking a step forward, she put a reassuring hand on his shoulder before turning her head to also address the Commander. Her tone was different to Kejal's, though, softer but speaking to the Romulan as an equal:

"Commander, our ETA? It may be prudent to plan out how we're going to approach this situation before we actually find ourselves in it." She paused for a moment, apparently processing a thought that had just occured to her. "If you wouldn't mind, I would like the use of a private comm channel." As much as I hate to admit it, we could really use Ikelos' help on this.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:41 am

Buris' stiffening was paused by having Archangel's hand on his shoulder. He hadn't expected to be caught out the way he had; but at least his Captain seemed to be on his side.

Sienae straightened and raised an eyebrow, repeating the question in rihannsu to her helmsman, and turning back to Archangel, repeating mostly for Buris' benefit. She wasn't withholding information; but both women would recognize that Buris' overbearing nature needed to be kept in check. "We are overtaking her faster than expected. The ship is ejecting plasma from her nacelles at an unusually high rate. Either they're trying to find us if we choose to cut across their wake, or her engineer is attempting to sabotage the ship without endangering lives. I presume we will be upon her in about 45 minutes, give or take her deceleration. What is the vessel's shield frequency? Do you have some remote means of disabling her engines and weapons, Captain?"

Buris glanced around the bridge and sighed lightly. Then he looked at the floor and back up to Commander R'Mor. "Commander, can I see your high-res scan results of the Phoenix? I need to track two life-signs, and possibly a third. If they're where I think they are... I'd like to take a fully-armed team over and secure Main Engineering."

He looked at Archangel and smiled thinly - it was the evil smile that he'd often sported before going into a situation guns-blazing. "Unless you'd prefer to run that team, and I'll take care of the Bridge issue."

The Commander sighed heavily, obviously she knew that smile. She folded her arms over her arms over her chest and tapped a finger against her bicep. She was trying to hide the last-moment jitters. "For the love of Vorta Vor, Lleiset... Against my better judgment, yes. Go look over at Science station. Whatever two specific individuals among a thousand are worth taking an entire team of armed soldiers onto a Starfleet vessel in defiance of every treaty we've got... go find them."

She shook her head again and looked at Archangel. "Before you say anything further, do me a favor, Dhael. Don't. Don't tell me who he's looking for, don't thank me. Just give me the shield frequency and prefix code, and anything else I'll need for remote shutdown. And then we'll make preparations for the first armed conflict in years between a Federation vessel and an Imperial vessel; in hopes that we don't actually have to fire weapons. As for the comm channel, of course. There's a comms relay down the hall, the Centurion will ensure you have complete privacy. I'll order him to kill anyone who approaches." She smirked, obviously joking - but the look on the man's face as he stepped closer to his Commander from the Operations station would tell Archangel that if she actually did make that order, he'd follow it. Then again, maybe there was something valuable to loyalty in an Ops officer.

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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:40 pm

Kejal's posture seemed to relax fractionally under her hand, but she didn't set much in store by it. This was not an operation in which the word 'relaxed' was going to have much of a place. Her own stance was tense, rigid. Thankfully, the Commander took the request from her better than he had from Kejal. Her heart leapt at the report that the Phoenix was venting warp plasma. Gabriel. He knew about S31 and would likely have put two and two together with Kirok's behaviour and her disappearance. Even is he didn't know that S31 wasn't responsible for Taurus, he would know that Starfleet would never sanction a witch hunt like this, not to mention the dangers of going after S31. Especially when she wasn't on the ship. Could news of their escape have reached him already?

"Commander Arthur may be paranoid, but not enough to think that a cloaked ship is following the Phoenix," she replied. In the back of her mind, she wondered if Commander R'Mor would recognise the name. The Tal Shiar certainly knew of her Federation mate, but whether the Commander would know or remmeber the name, she couldn't say. "My guess would be on self-sabotage. He knows that chasing after this particular wild ornithoid will get them killed."

The Starfleet Romulan crossed her arms over her chest, her upswept eyebrows drawing together in a slight frown as she considered the viewscreen, trying to think of how to proceed. Forty five minutes was not a long time to formulate a plan. The only acknowledgement she gave of people addressing her was that her eyes flicked toward whoever spoke. Without saying a word, she turned on her heel, striding off the bridge to head toward the comm relay.

Stepping into the small chamber, she let the door slide closed before letting out a sigh, her shoulders dropping.

"I know you're in here, Ikelos. You've been a grade A stalker since you made me talk to the captain of the Athena."

"Indeed," came a male voice from the gloom. Archangel made an effort not to roll her eyes. "I would check the attitude at the airlock, Nemesis. You're about to embark on a very difficult mission and I will not tolerate any failure on your part."

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Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Isn't this a fine kettle of fish?   Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:34 am

The Commander raised an eyebrow at Archangel's assessment of the situation, especially with Buris' sudden dedication to finding specific people on the ship and actually consider a serious boarding action. Her voice was soft. "We're coming up on them. We will need the shield frequency, and the command override code."

Buris looked up from the Science station, having identified exactly what he was looking for. Conveniently enough, the Romulan computer was predictably good at picking out Romulan/Human halfbreeds. He sighed heavily. "You'll have that shield frequency. I'll program it into the Science panel. I'll need a few men and at least a spare disruptor."

R'Mor looked at him. "Uh-huh. We'll wait for Dhael to return, Lleiset. If I can just shut the ship down without an act of war, it would make me much happier."

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