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

Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution – 9

City of T'ma'ru, Ta'shen
May 2400
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“Starfleet Intelligence?” hissed Trid at her as they were finally left to their own devices in a private room.

A guard naturally remained outside, to kindly ask them to remain where they were of course, while another had gone to fetch R’tin and Revin from wherever they’d been hosted while she and Trid had spoken with Serti about local events.

“Better then Pirate Queen,” she shot back as she found a nice pile of cushions, turned her back on it, held her arms out and let herself fall back onto them, breath forcing its way past her lips as she came to a slowed stop. The room’s decadent decor fell in line with elements of Romulan and Orion styling, with no chairs to be present here and all the tables nice and low-lying. Frankly, it all felt too much like home, back on Vondem and her father’s estate.

“But Starfleet Intelligence?” Trid said, keeping her voice low and hard to hear. If there were any microphones in here, she’d already given the game up anyway.

But that was no reason for Sidda to throw it away, maybe play into and sell the story yes? “Commander,” she tried to keep a professional tone in her voice, mimicking that stuck-up uniform mannequin she’d met months ago who wore her face, “sometimes we tell the truth, sometimes we lie. Today just struck me as a truth sort of day. And besides, I left my Klingon communicator back on the ship, so I couldn’t very well say Klingon Intelligence.”

Trid glared at her, but seemed to have gotten the hint as she stopped herself from speaking, to gather her thoughts and work out what to say before speaking. She was saved on that front with the arrival of R’tin and Revin, who both looked exactly as they had left them. Happy smiles all around until eyes spotted the communicator she’d ended up pinning to her jacket. No point in hiding it in here right? And it added to the idea they were Starfleet.

“Ah, you told them eh, boss? Er, sorry, Captain,” R’tin stumbled out as a smirk started to grow on his face.

“Rock and a hard place Lieutenant. It seemed like the right play,” she answered.

As Revin neared, a content smile on her lover’s face, she reached for and got Revin’s hand, then pulled her down onto the cushions. She didn’t even try to hide her affection as she kissed Revin briefly, then pulled her close with an arm wrapped around her waist. 

“Looks like we missed our contact to Resak,” she continued, a confused look from R’tin and Revin alike, but she kept going. “Resak started earlier than we thought, or were informed of at any rate and Ta’shen here has been a powderkeg waiting to explode for years. Madam Serti, our gracious host and saviour, informs me that she knew some of the Remans had gotten their hands on fissile material a few months ago.”

“Fissile? What were they going to do with that, built a reactor?” R’tin asked, then smacked his own forehead in realisation. “Fission bomb. They took out the starport.”

“But we saw two explosions,” Trid stated.

“Our shuttle wouldn’t have survived a fission bomb up close without any form of warning. The antimatter container was likely cracked. Field fails and second boom,” he said, with a helpful hand animation and sound effect at the end.

“Either way, they blew up our ride out of here and that told the Governor that revolution was afoot. Serti thinks they heard about the Velorum Sector uprising.” That got a noticeable response from both R’tin and Revin. “Resak has declared himself governor last Serti heard, but off-world communicators for those not in the palace was always a risky and dangerous affair and as soon as the spaceport went off, the governor raised a comms jammer preventing even basic comms signals from working.”

“I could help with that,” R’tin supplied. “Couldn’t hurt at least.”

“Doubt it,” Trid jumped in. “Governor apparently has a military-grade comms jammer. Serti’s system could transmit, but no communicator would have the power to respond. But,” she stopped R’tin before he could interrupt with a raised finger and a glare that said ‘wait your turn’, “it should be able to contact the Rose and they do have enough power to respond.”

“Then let’s do it,” he said.

“They’re bringing the system online now and should be able to call Orelia in a few minutes,” she said. “Until then, we sit back and relax.”

“Hey uh, question,” R’tin started, pacing as he was won’t to do when thinking. “Just what is going on here in T’ma’ru anyway? We got Orions forming a safe area, Reman murder-gangs, all the snooty sorts running to the palace. Who else is going to come out of the woodwork?”

“It hasn’t even been a full day,” Sidda quipped. “How should I know?”

“You spoke with this Orion woman,” Revin reminded her quietly. “You and Trid spent nearly an hour with her.”

“Trid, would you like to do the honours?”

“Certainly, Captain,” Trid answered. “Serti was aware of three other factions just prior to the revolution breaking out. They had all been jostling, sniping at each other, but nothing serious. Reman miners and the more martial entertainment sorts, so fighters, gladiators and the such, all behind a Gorvmel or something like that.” She dismissed her own uncertainty with a wave of her hand. “All Ta’shen born and raised, kinda violent sorts who she thinks were the ones to get the fission bomb. Have made it clear to Serti and her lot to stay out of their way while they conduct a purge of all Romulans here on Ta’shen.”

“Lovely,” Revin purred. “I take it we won’t be talking much more with them?”

“From the description of Gorvmel she gave me, he’s going to need help picking his nose,” she said with a smirk, which grew when R’tin suffered a cough and laughing fit at the same time.

“What,” he finally got out, “did you do to him, cut off his arms?”

“Yup,” she said with a smile and raised eyebrows. “Your sister makes scary swords.”

“Hey, I was the one to sharpen both of them to monomolecular edges,” he protested.

“You what?” Trid spurted out. “Prophets you’re a nutjob.” She shook her head and wave him off before he interrupted once more. “Then there was or is a Romulan slave or lower class group. She hasn’t heard from them, but mainly as they were based on the far side of the Reman part of town from here and she’s not risking a runner to deliver a message and maybe not return.”

“You said three other factions,” Revin spoke up again.

“Yeah, all them the miscellaneous group. But they’re not worth talking about really. It’s more like a loose collection of gangs and thugs and they’re all likely to fall into one of the larger groups over the next few days when the food starts getting a little scarce.”

“But each faction isn’t just a homogenous group, is it?” R’tin asked. “We saw Romulans, Remans, heck even a Klingon on the way here.”

“Serti doesn’t discriminate, but she built her power base on Orion backs,” Sidda answered for Trid. “She trusts those she’s had in her sway for years. She said anyone is willing to join her little group, as long as they obey the rules. Your standard revolutionary rules etc etc.”

“Oh, goodie,” R’tin chipped in.

Before they good go any further there was a faint knock at the door and a young Orion woman stepped in. She couldn’t have been much younger than Revin actually, but she was shorter and slighter of build, likely held back in growth by circumstances outside her control, but in recent years allowed to eat properly and take care of herself, likely for the benefit of lascivious clients. “Captain Sadovu,” she said and Sidda couldn’t help but shudder slightly, Revin giving her a squeeze in response, “Mistress Serti has made contact with your ship but voice only.”

Within only a few minutes they were all assembled around the archaic communications equipment located in the basement of the brothel turned war centre. It wasn’t one system, but a mish-mash of multiple systems, different tech bases, decades of development between components and all maintained by a wirey, old Reman man who barely seemed to notice anyone else was in the room, save when they got in his way.

“Good to hear your voice,” Orelia’s own voice came over the comm channel, a little scratchy and distorted.

“And your Commander,” she said, emphasising the rank. “I’ve got Commander Trid and Lieutenants R’Tin and Revin with me. We…we lost Grelka and Hendricks.”

The delay in a response wasn’t time-related, at least not when it came to the signal, but again from her people trying to parse why she was using ranks, then rolling with it. She was glad they didn’t have visual right now. In her mind’s eye she could see glances around the bridge, shrugged shoulders, everyone looking confused, then Orelia mouthing ‘fuck it’ and going with it.

“What are your orders ma’am?” Orelia finally asked. She could get used to the formalities of ranks at least.

“Get me off this rock.”

“Wish I could, but they’ve got a transporter inhibitor, sensor scrambler and a hefty planetary defence network we’ve already run afoul of once.” Orelia paused for a moment. “But we’ve got a plan to negate that. Kevak just started making your favourite dessert, so should be ready by the time we’ve got you back aboard ship.”

She had to give Orelia points for not stating times but then telling her exactly how long they had. Two days apparently. She knew Orelia was just telling her that, but now she really wished Kevak was actually making frellic ice cream.

“How will we know your plan worked?” she asked.

“Trust me on this one Captain, you won’t be able to miss it.”

They cut comms soon after that, to help save power, save the equipment and save themselves from accidentally giving away more than they should. Serti offered them accommodation overnight and with nowhere else to go she accepted. The price of a couple of rooms for a few nights was rather reasonable at a couple of crates of disruptor rifles and calling Starfleet in for aid relief. She couldn’t realistically deliver on the latter, but she would at least call them.

As night fell she let herself actually relax, despite the plethora of injuries. She couldn’t process the grief of loosing people just yet, that would wait, but she could relax. Let mind and body decompress for a few hours before diving back into things, seeking a way out for her people.

She shared the room with only Revin, who crawled under the sheet with her, no duvet was needed in the tropical climes. Without even thinking she wrapped one arm around Revin and pulled her close, eyes closing as she started to unwind, the warmth and softness of her lover pressed against her enough to start sending her down the slope to unconsciousness.

“Guess I can add impersonating a Starfleet officer to my list of crimes,” she whispered in Revin’s ear.

“You were going to do it sooner or later,” came the response. “Where did you get the commbadge anyway?”

“From that other, lesser-me,” she answered. “She said something like maybe I’d see it as a totem of what could have been and still could be.”

“I see,” Revin replied. “Looks good on you.”

“You think?”

“Yes,” Revin purred. “Did she also give you a uniform by any chance?”

“Why?” she asked, so close to drifting off.

“Because I think you’d look stunning in a uniform.” With that Revin moved to kiss her on the cheek before settling back down.

Now there was a thought – her as a uniform mannequin.

Perish the thought.

But then again, she had to admit, her other-self did make the uniform look good at least.

Comments

  • I enjoyed this story as there were so many different parts to it, I liked the fact that Trid questioned the fact that she used Starfleet Intelligence as part of her cover. I could imagine in my head what his expression would have been at that time. I also like that they were able to contact their ship and learn of their plan to rescue them even though it was a read thorough the lines type telling so as to not give away anything in case people were listening. I am glad that Sidda and the others were able to finally get some rest.

    June 26, 2022