Lihran made his way towards the transporter of the Thyanis. Nivox nodded towards Lihran, the Cardassian stood at the console, “We are already locked onto a place with no life signs. Step on the pad when you’re ready.” Lihran adjusted his disruptor pistol once more before stepping onto the transporter pad, “Ready when you are.” Thevius nodded towards Lihran, “Good luck out there. Remember, your new rank pip is a panic button.” Lihran nodded, “I will remember, thank you.”
Thievius hesitated, “Please be careful, Lihran.” Genuine concern was on his face and in his voice. Lihran smirked, “I got this, don’t you worry, cap.” He winked and gave a cocky salute, “Beam me up, Nivox.” Nivox returned the salute with two fingers, beaming the Romulan out.
The S.S. Ridaere
Lihran had to take a moment to let his eyes adjust, going from a brightly lit Federation vessel to a rather dark Romulan cargo bay. He scrubs his eyes with his hands, blinking rapidly. He realised his slicked back hair was not uniform standard, taking a long moment to readjust his hair and comb it down over his forehead, closer to the typical Romulan style. He grumbled as he did this, absolutely hating the style. He thought it looked quite stupid.
Acrid green lights shone down from the ceiling, illuminating crates and canisters of supplies. He stepped out from behind the massive crate he was beamed in behind, pausing to snatch a Romulan PADD from what he assumed to be the quartermaster’s desk as he passed. He paused in the junction where the cargo bay met a corridor. He activated the device and entered in his old credentials.
He lifted his brows in a mild expression of surprise as he gained access. His security codes still worked, he was for some reason still in the system after all these years. This was a little too easy, and it worried him. He opened the crew roster, using his security overrides to manually and discreetly add himself, paying no mind to anyone else. After he was down, he turned off the screen and started off.
He made his way towards where engineering was located, with a sense of purpose carrying him. If he wanted to pass, he needed to act like he belonged. He passed by many Romulans and no one thought he was out of place. The crew of a warbird was quite substantial and large, giving him lots of freedom to slip by unnoticed.
He strode into Engineering and right up to one of the consoles, starting to discreetly check over the systems and data. A young, rather fresh faced Romulan came up behind him, “Reporting for duty, sir.”
Lihran tensed and straightened up. That was something he should have expected, but did not. He turned around sharply, a frown playing on his lips, “You are supposed to report with your name and rank, sublieutenant.” The younger Romulan quickly corrected himself, “Sublieutenant Sekal reporting for duty, sir.” Lihran nodded once in approval, “Good, now go about the routine nullifier checks. I haven’t seen if the previous shift did them or not yet.” Sekal nods and salutes, “Yes sir!” Lihran watches him walk off and turns back towards the console. Lihran saw the name of the ship. The S.S. Ridaere. ‘It has to be another ship with the same name, the chance that it is the same ship… No, it can’t be!’ Lihran’s thoughts raced. He gave his head a shake and focused on the task at hand, wanting to get off of here quickly.
Lihran discreetly pulled a data stick from his sleeve and plugged it into the console. He typed in his security codes, letting out a faint but audible sigh of relief as his codes got accepted. He starts hurriedly transferring and copying data over, not even bothering to sort it right now. He looked up and looked around. Engineers milled around, paying literally no attention to Lihran.
Lihran smiled to himself, then frowned. This was far too easy. He glanced over at the screen, the files finished transferring from this console. He disconnected the data stick and straightened up. A vaguely familiar voice came over the ship’s systems, “All Officers, Centurion and above, report to the debriefing room.”
Lihran’s eyes widened, muttering, “Crap.” He slid his data stick into his jacket as he hurried out of engineering. He was glad the layout of the ships has not changed in decades. He stepped up beside a few other officers, walking with them silently towards the debriefing room.
He noted that there were quite a few officers present, hopefully he would not need to check in. He entered the room and found a spot to stand more in the back and out of sight from the captain’s seat. As long as who he thought was the captain wasn’t the captain anymore, this meeting would be an amazing source of information. He fiddled with his PADD, activating it to record audio.
The captain entered and Lihran’s heart leapt into his throat. It was Covel, his ex husband. Covel did not seem to recognise Lihran yet. It had been well over fifteen years since the two saw each other and Lihran had significantly bulked up and changed his appearance since then.
Covel stood at the head of the table, “Our sources have informed us that the Federation has decided to step in. They would offer humanitarian aid and some would oppose… us. We have now received orders to impede them. I prefer not to be a sitting beacon. We will remain cloaked and swoop in on any of their convoy transports. If we take the convoys out, they will desperately turn to us for that aid.” Covel looked around at his officers, his eyes pausing on Lihran, his head tilting.
Lihran bit down a wave of panic, staring calmly ahead of him. The Lihran Covel knew was snarky and insanely rude and would make some smart-ass quips about anything Covel said. Lihran kept his mouth shut and pretended to be a rigid, no-nonsense officer.
Covel looked away, starting to pace slowly around the room, looking at each officer, “The Senate is ours, we need to keep these workers and outer worlds in line. We need to keep our borders. Make the workers rely on us, and deter them from crying to the damn Federation for help. We fire on sight, we shoot to kill. No mercy. We took the Senate, we can take a few damn Federation vessels.” Covel drew closer towards Lihran, each footstep piercing Lihran’s ears, feeling like it deafened him.
Covel stopped behind Lihran for a moment, Lihran keeping a stony calm and collected expression. Covel stepped past after he paused, continuing to speak, “I want a roll call of who is present here.” Covel grabbed his PADD off the head of the table and turned it onto the crew roster. Starting at Covel, each officer listed their name and rank.
‘DAMMIT!’ Lihran thought, ‘Dammit! I won’t make it out here alive. You were in the Tal Shiar, your parents were Senators, you can handle this!’
It was Lihran’s turn. He straightened up marginally, “Centurion Lihran, sir.” A few officers exchanged glances, realising this was their old comrade from many years ago, that somehow no one noticed.
Covel lifted a brow, “I thought it was you. We have some catching up to do. How come I was unaware you were transferred to my ship?” Lihran nodded his head once, “That we do, sir. I was transferred over from New Romulus. I was pulled out from being a mine overseer. My skills are more useful here. I did not think you would remember me, sir. I did not make myself known.”
Covel smirks, “Of course I remember my estranged husband.” He shuts off his PADD and sets it down, “You all have your orders. You are dismissed. Centurion Lihran, stay here.”
The other officers filed out and Lihran stood where he was, at attention still. Covel approached Lihran, reaching a hand up to caress his cheek, “You can relax now.” Lihran closed his eyes, gathering his resolve. He opens them back up and turns to face Covel, keeping a stoic facade. Covel lifted a brow, “You’ve certainly changed. If I had known you were on my ship, I would have had your quarters moved to mine.”
Lihran murmurs, “Nearly fifteen years is a long time. Of course I changed. There is no need for that, I am content in my quarters.” Covel shook his head, “Nonsense, Lihran.” He leaned in to kiss Lihran in a surprisingly tender and gentle manner.
Lihran tensed before he kissed his former husband back. He missed the man Covel once was, before the power got to his head and he lusted for nothing but power and control over Lihran and everything else.
Covel pulled Lihran into his arms and before Lihran could stop himself, he wrapped his arms around him and embraced him back, leaning against the other. Lihran blurted out, “I missed you.”
‘No I certainly do NOT! I miss the idea of him, not him! The sick bastard!’
Lihran inwardly cringed at his words. Covel chuckled, “Just as much as I missed you I am sure. We will make up for lost time. I do love you.”
Anger coursed through Lihran’s veins, wondering where this version of Covel, the old Covel, was fifteen years ago when their marriage was falling apart. He was becoming fond of some faces around Bravo fleet, those who were far nicer than even old Covel. Lihran felt weak, angry at himself for giving into Covel like such. The words fell from his lips before he could stop himself, “I love you too.”
Lihran swallowed, “I should get back to engineering. I feel nervous leaving junior officers unattended.” That was an incredibly valid excuse no matter your faction, and one Lihran has used for decades now.
Covel chuckled at that, “That is fair enough. We will catch up later.” Covel kissed Lihran once more. Lihran stepped out of his arms and grabbed his PADD, forcing down the urge to throw up and cry as he hurried out of the debriefing room.