The Thyanis cruised quietly through space, no one paying the tiny vessel any mind. Lihran walked onto the bridge, sipping a latte in a mug he just got from a replicator. Egil was down in Engineering at the moment keeping an eye on things. It was just Thevius, Lihran and Ivin on the bridge. The Bajoran had his arms folded over his chest, staring at the viewscreen, his mind off in distant space.
Lihran turned and walked up towards him, sitting down, making Ivin jump and instinctively reach for a phaser on his waist. He relaxes, seeing it was their ‘acquired’ engineer. Ivin sighed loudly and leaned back, refolding his arms. He muttered, “Startled me.”
Lihran doesn’t flinch when he reaches for his phaser, knowing the man had a military background of sorts as well, understanding him. Lihran nodded, “Apologies about that, Lieutenant. What’s got your mind so occupied?”
Ivin frowned, shaking his head, “I just… Feel for the Remans and any Romulan citizens affected by this… Occupation of the Star Navy. I know a bit too much about occupations.” Ivin turned his head to study the Romulan, “How much do you know about the Bajoran Occupation.”
Lihran shook his head, leaning back with his coffee cradled in his hands, “Not a whole lot. I was in the Tal Shiar at the time. Romulans never gave a crap about news unless it involved them.” Ivin nods slowly, “The Federation looked away. They didn’t want to get involved. I hate them so much for it. All the Bajorans that were killed… Enslaved… And then to be told that the occupation of our planet by violent means was our problem… Yet here I am wearing the uniform of a Federation that couldn’t give a damn about the enslavement of my people.”
Lihran listened, nodding slowly, “And didn’t care about the death of millions of mine in a supernova because ‘Rommie lives’ are insignificant.” He got more heated in tone, “We are people! We have lives, we love, we laugh, we care! We have families and children. But hey! The lives of innocent citizens matches the government that occupies them, of course. That’s why we all deserved to die.”
Ivin nodded in agreement and understanding, letting Lihran get this off his chest. It was clear to the Bajoran that Lihran had this bottling up. Lihran set his coffee down so he didn’t spill it as he got more impassioned, “I hear what people mutter about me as I walk by, accusing me of being a spy. I am met with glares and distrust. All I want is to fall in love, maybe start a family. I want to make an honest living with myself, I want to just.. I want to LIVE. This entire situation could have been avoided if the Federation felt like Romulan and Remen lives were actually worth something!”
Ivin nodded, the two men venting their traumas to each other, “In the same way that if they thought Bajoran lives were worth something. We pleaded for help. We were called a ‘subject race’… Seriously. Damn that Prime Directive crap. If it wasn’t for that, my wife and children would still be alive!”
Lihran took a moment’s pause, “Wife and children?” Ivin sighs and leans back, closing his eyes, “I was married previously. Tracya was her name. I had two daughters; Ida and Neja.” He sighed, swallowing, “I was forced into slave labour in a mine. My wife was made into a ‘comfort woman’ for the Cardassians. My daughters I… I don’t know. I only pray the Prophets granted them mercy enough that they died before they suffered at the hands of the Cardassians. It was discovered I was a part of the resistance and my wife was killed in front of me as punishment.”
Lihran asked a question that he was sure others had, “Are you not married to a Cardassian?” Ivin nodded slowly, “I am indeed. It is.. Complicated. After I was discovered as a Resistance fighter, I was handed over to Nivox’s ‘care’ for tighter security. He.. offered me comfort and security, and I took it. He made a show of treating me like a proper slave for his superiors, but showed me who he truly was behind closed doors.”
Lihran lifted a brow, rather concerned for the Bajoran, “You.. Don’t think he manipulated you into this?” Ivin hesitated, his eyes showing he was unsure, “I do wonder that sometimes. How much of this is actually Stockholm syndrome. How much of it is gaslighting. But no, I feel that what is between me and Nivox is genuine. I see sides of him no one else sees. I doubt he would have followed me willingly into Starfleet if it was truly manipulation. Someone would have noticed.”
Lihran nodded, satisfied with that answer as he picked up his coffee, “As long as you are aware and know that your feelings are genuine.” Ivin smiled a bit, “I appreciate your concern, thank you.” Lihran looks at the viewer, suddenly standing and heading towards a console, activating the bootleg cloaking device.
Thevius looked up sharply, “Lihran?” Lihran points at the viewscreen, “Look at the distortion right there. That’s a cloaked ship” Thevius walked over and observed where Lihran was pointing, “That… certainly is. We nearly kissed it.”
Lihran looked over, “Well, it is time to do this I suppose. Time for us to actually do this.” His nerves were off the charts.
Ivin pushed himself up, walking over to the console and tapping away, “Need you to find the wavelength of their cloak, Lihran, so I can bypass it to scan for lifesigns so we can beam you to an empty ship.” Thevius briskly walks over and stops their little vessel right underneath the cloaked Romulan warbird. Lihran moves to another console, fingers furiously flying over the screen. He sends the correct information to Ivin.
Ivin taps his combadge, “All hands on bridge. Rommie vessel spotted…”
Lihran straightens up, taking a deep breath. He heads over to his Romulan uniform piled into a corner and gets changed right there. He straightens out his uniform and checks the disruptor attached to his hip, “Alright, I think I am ready. Let’s do this.”