Part of USS Arcturus: Non Nobis and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Act I, Scene 5

Captain's Quarters, USS Arcturus
May 2400
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It took Captain Lancaster a few moments to get over his surprise at suddenly finding a young Romulan in his quarters. He was at least glad that the large glass of wine he had been poured had largely remained untouched, but it was the end of an extremely long day, and he just didn’t want to deal with whatever complaint the man calling himself Oban had. The mention of having “critical intelligence” for Starfleet did pique his interest, though. 

“It’s the middle of the night. Don’t they use doorbells where you are from?” Sheppard asked, crossing his arms and making an obvious move to interpose himself between the intruder and his husband. 

The Romulan looked as though he had gone far too long without a good meal, and the almost waxy look to his skin suggested he had been experiencing high stress for a long time. His clothing didn’t indicate that he was anyone of particular importance, though Lancaster figured the first thing he would have ditched if he were on the run would be his uniform. 

“I… misread the directions. I thought I would end up in the corridor,” Oban admitted; that seemed relatively easy to believe, given how half-baked a plan involving surprising an alien captain in the middle of the night. “The computer said Captain Lancaster was awake, but I was hoping to make… less of an entrance.”

“How trusting of the computer,” Sheppard muttered; Lancaster made a mental note to chat with the security department to see why a passenger could ascertain not only where he was on the ship but whether or not he was conscious.  

“This really wasn’t necessary since the Federation is planning on giving everyone in your convoy asylum once we get to our destination,” Lancaster added as he studied the young man. His initial instinct was just to have him thrown in the brig, but the absurdity of the situation stayed his hand for a reason he couldn’t quite articulate. “You said you were the son of the governor?”

“The former governor. He was executed by the rebels, along with the rest of my family,” Oban corrected, which caused a twisting sensation in Lancaster’s stomach as he imagined what it must be like to lose one’s entire family. “I have scrutinized your immigration laws, and I wished to make my case in person that I should be treated as a political asylum-seeker, as I face extreme personal risk if I were to return to my planet—or if I remain with the people I have traveled with. I have intelligence to offer in exchange,” he added, a tone of desperation creeping in.

“I’m sorry to hear about your family,” the captain offered as he considered what the Romulan was saying. 

“Yes. That’s awful,” Sheppard agreed.

“Any decision about your asylum classification will be based on your risk, not the value of your information, but what type of intelligence are you offering? Does it have anything to do with our current safety?” Lancaster asked. 

“I have years’ worth of military records. Ship specifications. Locations of bases,” Oban replied, looking down at his feet for a moment. “Nothing that has an impact on our present situation, but much that could be useful for your people in future dealings with my people.”

“Then it can wait until the morning. Lancaster to Security. The senior officer on duty to my quarters,” he ordered.

“Captain, please,” Oban insisted. 

“Your request will be given a fair hearing,” Lancaster replied, though he could see that didn’t do anything to make Oban feel more secure. “You’re safe on the Arcturus.”

About forty-five seconds later, Lieutenant Commander Valera Osokin entered the room with two ensigns in gold. All three drew their phaser pistols, but Lancaster waved them off.

 “Place our guest under protective custody until further notice,” he ordered. “There has to be a free cabin somewhere. Ask Lieutenant Najan to see him in the morning.”

“Aye, Captain,” Osokin replied before escorting the Romulan politely but firmly out of Lancaster and Sheppard’s quarters.

Lancaster watched until the doors closed behind them and then walked over to replace the panel concealing the hidden Jefferies tube access point. He was not sure what to think of the young man and history, but he was thankful he could delegate figuring out where he fit into the chaos of the current state of the Romulan Star Empire to his intelligence officer. He was about to look Oban’s father up in the database, but he shook that idea out of his head.

“Where were we?” he asked, turning back to Sheppard.

“You were objectifying me.”

“Right,” Lancaster said with a grin. “Computer, privacy mode. And make sure that includes the Jefferies tube,” he ordered.

“Confirmed.”

Comments

  • That ending was priceless and had me laughing. Of all the places to place a privacy mode on the Jefferies tubes would be the last one on my mind; unless of course, something like this happened to me. I was touched by the part that you wrote about Oban losing his entire family. I can't imagine how you felt writing that part up as most I don't think can understand that feeling unless that has happened to them. I appreciate that you made it a tender mood when you wrote that part, or at least that is what I felt. Keep up the great work and writing, and I look forward to reading the next chapter.

    June 15, 2022