Vaelana had never served on a science or exploratory vessel before…in fact, for most of her previous career in the Galae Command’s Imperial Star Navy, she had actively avoided those posts as much as possible. In the old Romulan Star Empire such billets tended to be some of the most closely linked to the Tal Shiar, even when they were not just straight up Tal Shiar-operated vessels in the first place.
Science after all, required an open mind…and Romulan scientists were especially passionate about their work, leading to a devotion and curiosity that often stepped over the closed off and xenophobic line the Tal Shiar had tried to maintain amongst starship crews…it also had placed the Tal Shiar in a prime position to swoop in whenever a new discovery or advancement was made by these more adventurous crews, and either suppress it or claim it for their own purposes.
In reality, Science officers didn’t last long in the Star Navy, if they were not also politically savvy or at least had the patronage of someone…less easily reachable, by the Way of The Executioner. Many a scientist or researcher had just simply disappeared across the Empire, made to vanish for their discoveries…or recruited directly into one the Tal Shiar’s many scientific divisions. Sometimes, entire science and exploration vessels would vanish under Tal Shiar directives, often times for years without the Galae Command even realizing it: The long distance and solitary missions of these ships and crew covered the Intelligence organization’s actions quite well in the past.
In contrast, while it was not uncommon for there to be at least a singular Tal Shiar political officer assigned to a Warbird or Cruiser, with operations closer to the heart of the Star Empire and more generalized mission profiles (ironically) made the Tal Shiar devote less scrutiny and allowed Warbird Commanders to operate with less interference. Since such vessels tended to operate more closely to other vessels in task groups and fleet maneuvers, there was more of a chance of a fellow Commander interfering in the Tal Shiar’s place, should a rogue element amongst the group rise up.
So it was, that Vaelana’s current task, helping to organize science teams and prioritize lab and sensor resources, was not one she actually had much experience with…nor was it one that she had actually expected to be doing much of, when she learned she’d been assigned as the First Officer of a Galaxy-class Starship, the USS Venture.
The Romulan adjusted the practically ancient red command scarf, one of the few remaining heirlooms she possessed from her previous alliegence, and strode across the back of the Starfleet bridge to the configurable auxiliary station that was currently being used to monitor long range scans for trace background radiotion. The scarf itself, she currently wore like a bandolier sash around her Starfleet uniform, the ends pinned together at the hip by an emblem of a black and green raptor with it’s wings unfurled…and all together it provided a comfortable sense of weight to her outfit. Starfleet Uniforms, though designed for comfort, definitely lacked the density of the wrapped robes, tunics, chains and broad padded shoulders that went into the Romulan Uniforms she had grown so accustomed to wearing.
Vaelana scanned the console readings and then referenced the PADD she held in her hand, cross checking the gain levels with the resulting findings. “EM Band is a bit lower…” She muttered to herself, as she made a note to have the power to the lateral sensors rebalanced.
Her pointed ears piqued a bit as they became aware of a dull drumming sound that continued to quicken in pace every few seconds. Glancing down, Vaelana traced the sound she heard to the blue-uniformed human male who sat the console she now loomed over. “Your heart rate is a bit high, Ensign.” She stated, her voice coldly measured.
”Er, y-yes, sorry Commander” The young human stammered out anxiously.
Vaelana raised a sharp eyebrow and then moved away to check the transparent free-standing Master Systems Display station instead; She could still hear the ensign’s heartbeat for a time, slowly returning to a normal pace with each step she took to vacate the immediate area.
There was something a tragic irony in the effect the Romulan Commander had on some of the crew that she was now in charge of representing as the Venture’s XO…the heightened anxiety, the smell of instinctual fear, the quickened heart-rates…she had seen similar responses before: in the crew of her former Warbird command, whenever the Tal Shiar “Liaison” was within earshot.
It was one of the contributing factors to nullifying any guilt or regret she might have otherwise felt, in the wake of her personally executing that Agent when her Warbird had cut ties with what little remained of a centralized Romulan state. More so, it was also contributing factor in the catharsis she had felt after committing the grim act.
…as far as Vaelana was aware, Starfleet had only a small handful of acts of capital punishment carried out in it’s centuries of operation…
…probably for the best, in my case, the Romulan thought as she began to enter the power rebalancing orders into the MSD.