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Part of SS Vondem Rose: Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution – 1

SS Vondem Rose
May 2400
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“Andik Hotet, Villa Six, Lamex Spa,” Sidda uttered once more from the comfort of her command chair to the officious looking Romulan man on the viewscreen. “How hard can it be to put me through to him?”

The man’s face on the viewscreen sneered, like he was going to say something that would truly harm interstellar relations, when the channel switched over to some other Romulan without any warning whatsoever. This one, older looker then the one before, wore one of those smiles that was immediately disingenuous. Service industry putting on a good face came to mind. “Captain Sidda, pardon my inferior’s ineptitude. Your arrival to pay a short visit to see Andik Hotet was expected, however he is currently unavailable.”

“And?” she asked back, covering her face in exasperation, fingers rubbing at her eyebrows. “I want to speak with him and the sooner I do, the sooner I leave your little star system and be on my way.”

The planet Ta’shen was located near the border of the Romulan Star Empire, the Romulan Republic and the Romulan Free State. If it had been a complete and utter disaster at attempted reconciliation between the rump states, overrun with criminals, pirates and vagabonds and a generally inhospitable place to live, it would have made a fairly impressive contestant with Nimbus III for Worst Planet in the Galaxy. Instead however the world had become something of an open port within the Romulan Star Empire – if you could afford it was.

So for the vast majority of its inhabitants, it probably was in the running with Nimbus III.

Before the collapse of the Star Empire the world had been a vacation retreat for the rich and powerful with darker tastes seeking fulfilment and discretion. After the collapse it was exactly the same, but now served as a place where the rich and powerful of all the Romulan rump states could congregate to engage in unofficial diplomacy or under the counter deal making while enjoying a relaxing spa weekend with all the amenities those with few to no morals enjoyed.

In short just the place that Sidda would have loved to have raided in days yore, string up the ‘rulers’, take all the good loot and left the freed slaves to figure out things on their own. Of course she’d never really been that type of pirate at all and in those imagined days  the world had been too far inside Romulan territory for her and the Imperial Navy was far too much a threat to her little ship. Still was if she was honest, but at least she’d give a good showing for it.

Though some news recently had started to show cracks in the once unblemished Star Navy that perhaps hinted at lucrative markets coming her way soon enough.

Na’roq had continued her investigation into who was putting bounties out on Revin and had learned something of interest, or someone who purported to have some interesting intelligence at least. Intelligence that contradicted what they already had though. A merchant lord of the Star Empire, dealing with the other Romulan states, with information to sell. And while Sidda wouldn’t have been able to meet him anywhere else within the xenophobic Star Empire, which he was unwilling to leave, Ta’shen was the one exception of where they could meet. And he claimed he needed a holiday anyway.

So here she was, with the Vondem Rose, negotiating with planetary officials to just put her call through as they closed on the planet so she could get the information and be on her way. The Star Empire for the last few years had smelled off to her and she didn’t want to be within its borders any longer then she had to be.

“Honoured guest Andik Hotet has given orders that he is not to be disturbed, according to the proprietors of the Lamec Spa. He has paid, however, for the privilege of you visiting him at the Lamec Spa in person to engage in your…business.” The man said that last word in such a way he didn’t know why she was here, but he’d already made a decision on his own as to why a wealthy Romulan merchant would want to talk in person with an orion woman.

“Fine. Give us vectors for orbit and transporter coordinates. We’ll get this over with nice and quick,” she said in resignation, a hand gesture to Jenu Trid, on rotation from the Martian Thorn, to proceed in-system quickly.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that. Your vessel has been scanned and we can’t allow an armed non-Romulan vessel into orbit. The safety of our honoured guests is paramount. We’ll have to insist your ship takes orbit of our outermost moon and you will need to proceed via shuttle from there.”

She couldn’t help but roll her eyes, and give the man the ‘Really?’ look she had mastered as a child. “Fuck it. Fine, send us the coordinates. I want to leave just as much as you want me too.”

“Flight information shall be transmitted within the next two minutes. Enjoy your brief visit to Ta’shen,” the man said with practised ease before the channel went dead.

“After this, no more runs into the Star Empire, okay?” she asked the crew on the bridge and Sidda was pleased with the number of affirmative head nods and vocalisations agreeing with her.

The tap on her shoulder was gentle but insistent, which coming from Orin most would never expect. Sidda however knew her cousin very well and knew his ‘I want to talk’ tap. Turning to face the whole chair at him, something she relished since stealing it from the Endeavour, she offered a smile. “Yes?”

‘I do not like this,’ he signed to her, his expression backing up his statement. ‘We will not be in orbit to provide any support. I will go and get the information, as is proper for your station.’

She nodded in understanding, then stood, looking up at her tactical officer and gentle giant when required. “He’s paid for me to visit, which means no one else is really going to get into the city from the space port. Not without good cause”

‘I will find a way,’ he signed.

“No doubt you would, cousin, but I’m not going to risk it. I’ll go down and take Revin and R’tin with me. We’ll bring…Trid,” Sidda said, having scanned the bridge. “Need a shuttle pilot anyway.”

“Me ma’am?” the Bajoran woman spoke up. “What about Chalmers, or Grent? Beckett?”

“You Trid. Revin and R’tin should be able to get through easily enough, they’re Romulan after all and I’ll say they’re my advisors or some such. We can swing the story that you’re R’tin’s…paramour.” She saw Trid’s momentary blush, then smiled at Orin, signing to him ‘Her and R’tin?’ but said “We’ll take two guards for the shuttle as well. Hendricks and Grelka, she’s qualified to fly.”

Orin let out a sigh, the one she knew meant she’d won the argument but that he was most certainly not happy about it. ‘Yes Grelka is. And yes there is some sort of tension between R’tin and Trid.’

“That’s settled then!” she exclaimed for all to hear. “Trid, get us to that damned moon. And someone scan that planet. No fair they know what we’re packing, I want to know what they’ve got too. Just in case I get…adventurous and decide I need to raid a Romulan resort world.”

“Aye ma’am,” Tavol said, a Vulcan she’d borrowed off of Gaeda and the Thorn to help her understand her long time prisoner in the brig. Vulcan perspective on the Vulcan mind and all that other mental gymnastics. Preliminaries are already detecting numerous weapon platforms in orbit, separate targeting platforms as well.”

She gave a slight shrug and headed for the door. “Send initial scans through to my quarters. I’ll check them straight away, but keep scanning. I want to know everything before I get off this ship. Oh, and do whatever you need to do to check for cloaked starships. I don’t want any surprises, or mines for that matter.”

“Of course,” Tavol responded, already adjusting his scans. “That will take some time however.”

“Do what you got to do, Tavol.” And with that she finally closed on the door, the sensors opening the portal to her presence.

Stepping out, she smiled at Revin waiting for her and collected the woman’s hand as they proceeded down the corridor into the ship proper. “So, what’s for lunch?”

Comments

  • So much going on in this story, so very much Romulan like to make excuses as to why she can't talk to the person she is wanting to. Are they afraid of one ship? I am curious to see what happens when they leave in the shuttle will they follow through to land or will there be some kind of conflict to ensure. I can't wait to see what happens next in their adventure!

    June 1, 2022
  • You did not disappoint. Siddha’s exasperated “And?” is everything! It tells us all we need to know about the master of this ship as she embarks on a new mission. I’m really drawn into to the setting of Ta’shen. You describe it so vividly, and it’s not where we would expect to see all of our Starfleet vessels flying around the fleet action. That makes it all the more perfect a setting for the Rose! You did such a good job of making the invitation to the spa so damn polite and yet menacing. “Brief visit” indeed! And in a shuttle to boot! Oh no! But I can surely imagine, noting can stop Sidda from protecting Revin.

    June 2, 2022
  • This is my first dive into the workings and crew of the SS Vondem Rose and I am not disappointed in the slightest. The interactions between the crew members make the ship feel alive. I can understand the Romulan's hesitancy of letting an armed ship in orbit but that does put the crew in a possible risky scenario. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds for the Totally Legitimate Salvage Operators LLC and the crew. I am very intrigued by the possibility of a Romulan Resort World and seeing more.

    June 6, 2022