Lihran lowered himself into the chair at the engineering console, setting aside a particular type of Romulan tea he was rather fond of. He may as well indulge in all his favourites while he had access to them. Maybe he could steal the programming for replicators while he was here. He pulls up a diagnostics menu on the console display that was in front of his face, the screen illuminating his face with pale green light. He set the PADD device in his lap to discreetly hook it up to the console.
He pulls up the coding menu, fingers flying over the keyboard. He hooked his PADD up to the console and started discreetly sneaking his way through the security systems. The way he had it set up, the coding he was doing was appearing on the PADD in his lap and the heads up display made it look like he was working on some diagnostics to anyone who passed.
It was too risky to try and send a voice or video transmission, or a large text message. He broke his message up into bits, forcing it up into gaps he created in the Ridaere’s security system, sending it to the Thyanis.
My ex runs this ship. He knows I am here. It is too risky to beam me back. He will instantly destroy us. We have orders to destroy Fed convoys. Pass the info on. I will stay here and cause problems internally. Enclosed is an encrypted key to access my personal device here. It’s protected and encrypted against the Rom system.
He leaned back after sending his message and picked up his tea, taking a slow sip and pondering what to do now. If he stayed too long here, he would be actively arming the Federation and likely be tried for being a war criminal or spy. It was hard enough for him to get citizenship in the Federation in the first place. The last thing he wanted to do was screw up his life beyond that. However, if he didn’t follow Covel’s orders, he’d be tossed in the brig and likely killed, whether by execution or by Starfleet blowing up the vessel.
If he beamed out now, it’d reveal where they were cloaked and there was no way a Raven class could out run or fight off a full Warbird. He sipped his tea slowly, trying to find the most ‘Tal Shiar way’ out of his situation. He could start spreading lies and conspiracies. He was positive that within a crew of a thousand Romulans, not everyone was loyal to the Star Navy or their captain. If he could provoke them into a mutiny, then it would cause enough chaos the Thyanis could slip away or at least get a head start to hide behind a larger Federation vessel.
The younger Romulan, Sublieutenant Sekal crossed his sight going about his duties. Feeling like he was being watched, Sekal looked over and made eye contact with Lihran, tentatively asking, “Sir?” Impulsively Lihran winked at the other male. Sekal blinked rapidly and hurried off, a green flush crossing his cheeks. Lihran paused and tilted his head, thinking, ‘That is an incredibly easy way to sow discord and chaos, and anger Covel’. Lihran chuckled softly into his tea.
Thevius paced the transporter room, “He’s been gone for a long time, with no word. Are you sure you have his pin connected?” Nivox sighed sharply, “Yes! It is connected, Cap, now stop, you will wear a hull through the floor.” Thevius stopped abruptly, lifting his hand holding the PADD as if about to throw it. Nivox narrowed his eyes, almost daring Thevius to throw it at him, a small growl forming in the Cardassian’s throat. Just then, the PADD lit up with a message.
Thevius glared, lowering his hand and staring at the message, “It’s from Lihran! I… Dammit. He’s stuck there. Apparently his ex husband is the captain. He is doing what he can, but we will be as good as dead if he beams back now.” Thevius sank heavily into the chair behind the console, staring blankly ahead.
Nivox looked worried, “That’s not good.” Thevius shook his head, “I genuinely have no idea what to do. If we request help from a bigger vessel, we will get in crap for him even being on there in the first place.” Thevius set the PADD down with a clatter, aggressively rubbing his face with his hands, “I… I have no idea what to do.” He leaned over to speak over the comm system, “This is Captain Thevius. Emergency meeting in the Transporter room. Now.”
Thevius remained slumped over in the chair, looking at the assembled faces, “Lihran is stuck there. Beaming him back would reveal us and we’d be dead. We have a Cardassian, a Klingon, a Bajoran resistance fighter, a Vulcan with anger issues, an Andorian and an Al-Leyan with some spite himself… Worst case scenario we can.. Ivin, are you able to alter our genetic code or something to be Romulans?” Ivin thinks, “You, me, and Egil will be the easiest. Nivox and K’Vibo, and Ashihl may take some more work.”
Thevius nodded, “Worst case scenario, we will beam aboard ourselves and rescue him. That is the absolute worst case. And if we disguise ourselves, we have the element of surprise and potential causing an uprising on the ship. I have an avenue of communication with Lihran. I will work out a plan and keep us all posted.”K’Vibo shifted his weight as he growled, “I hate sitting on our hands. He could be dead and we’d have no idea!” Thevius nodded, not even mad at the outburst, “I know, I hate it too. But, what else can we do, really?”———-
Lihran let himself into Covel’s quarters without an invitation. It was time to start his scheme. He wanted to start with planting false seeds of trust in Covel. The captain was sprawled out on his bed, one arm draped over his eyes, relaxing. He bolted upright as he heard someone enter his quarters, relaxing as he saw it was Lihran.
Lihran chuckles softly, letting the doors close quietly behind him, “It’s just me, Covel, my dear.” He felt sick calling him that, but he needed to be convincing. He stepped up and sat on the edge of the bed, reaching to take one of Covel’s hands with his own, “Like I said earlier, I missed you.” Covel smiled, laying back as Lihran took his hand, squeezing it slightly, “I have missed you too. Managed to step away long enough to see me?”’
Lihran grimaced, “Like I said, some of the younger engineers make me nervous. They haven’t worked with the ships as long as I have.” Covel nodded, “I can believe that. What I have a hard time believing though, is it is really you here with me again. I had always hoped you would come back. I know I wasn’t the best to you.” He lifted a hand to gently touch Lihran’s cheek.
That feeling of wanting to vomit came over Lihran again. He forced himself to respond positively to the cheek touch, turning his head towards Covel’s hand and resting his free hand over it, “It is really me. I had hoped I’d get reassigned to your ship, but I wouldn’t know if you’d recognize me, let alone want to be with me, so I kept it secret.” He hated acting this way, but kept his feelings and emotions in check, not knowing if Covel was disciplined enough to be telepathic. He reminded himself that he was suffering this for revenge for what Covel had put him through for the nearly 60 years they were married.
Covel nodded slowly, glancing away for a moment, “I can understand that. And I can understand you not wanting to deal with me. I do not know what possessed me to raise a hand and stroke you like I did.”
Lihran lifted a brow, ‘Of course he makes it sound like it was just once and not just over half a century.’ Lihran thought carefully about his words, looking away, “We… We all make mistakes. I suppose we never realise what we had till it’s gone.” Covel nodded in agreement, shifting to pull Lihran into his arms. Lihran tensed before forcing himself to relax into his arms, laying his head on Covel’s shoulder.
Covel spoke softly, “You are tense and wary, I don’t blame you, Lihran. After all I did to you. I wondered if you would have stayed if things played out differently.” Covel pressed a kiss to the top of Lihran’s head.
Lihran’s brow furrowed. He likely would have, if Covel had remained the kind, tender lover he was when they were first together, if power hadn’t gotten to his head and corrupted him, if Covel hadn’t turned out to be an abuser. Lihran might have stayed. He would have had a higher rank. Then Lihran would have also partaken in the Coup that murdered so many senators and he’d be the villain himself, enslaving so many others to work, sitting on a throne of bones and blood. His mind flicked towards all the faces he was finding himself far too fond of at Starbase Bravo, remembering his true motive for his actions. He was doing this for them. He was, after all, just a Romulan. He would likely get forgotten in a few days, but if he could ensure their safety, he could live with that. Romulan lives were never significant to the Federation.
Covel broke the silence, “Care to spend the night with me?” Lihran hated himself for it, but he agreed. He had to convince himself that this was part of the act and he needed to do this to gain his trust just to betray him later. He loathed himself for getting close to Covel again, even out of necessity. He could only imagine how much everyone else would hate him as well.