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

Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution – 13

City of T'ma'ru, Ta'shen; SS Vondem Rose
June 2400
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“We surrender, with conditions of course,” the woman who greeted them on the access way up the acropolis the palace was built on said as they approached.

Sidda had marched up here with twenty of her own men and women at her back, promising to secure the surrender of the palace for Serti’s folks with her own forces so she could secure her own borders within the city. Not that much needed to be done really as long as the Vondem Rose hung over the city. She wasn’t a fan of using her precious ship as a gunboat to force the Reman faction, or factions now, to play nice, but it had the appeal of working.

“Oh yeah?” she challenged the woman as she stopped about twenty paces from her, a hand coming to settle on that sword pommel. She really liked the damn thing now, having seen it in a mirror more than a few times today. The little Starfleet delta on that crossguard she could do without, but T’Ael had promised the other had a rose emblem on it to link its fellow sword.

“We request your protection from the revolutionaries until such time as we can be taken from this world and We request the ability to contact the Star Empire and request transportation off this planet.” The woman stood there, no one at her back, no weapon in her empty holster as she made the demands. Her uniform however gave her away as Imperial Star Navy, so likely the garrison commander Sidda reckoned.

“You’re not seriously thinking about it are you?” Trid asked quietly at her side.

She offered a smile to her navigator and stepped forward one more step to distance herself from her people marginally. “Slavers, those who profited from slavery, those who enjoyed the benefits of slavery and those who maintained the status quo of slavery do not get to dictate terms for their surrender. They can accept the terms given to them, or refuse them and continue to fight.”

The Romulan woman stared at her for a whole minute before she spoke. “What are your terms, Mistress of the Vondem Rose?” So, this one at least knew who she was. Likely from observing the initial communications when she arrived, or simply the traffic reports? Didn’t matter, she didn’t really care. But respect was nice.

“I want something from the data vaults within the palace. I also want the contents of the governor’s personal vault. Delivery me that and all of your personal weapons and I’ll leave the palace unmolested as well as contact the Republic to come and pick you up off this world which I understand is marginally inhospitable to you and all those you protect.”

The Romulan woman remarkably kept her stoic mask at the demand. “Without weapons how will we defend ourselves?”

“You’ll still have your walls and I understand the shield generator still works. Your power supply I understand is geothermal, so near-limitless really. You can hold the palace until the Republic comes to take you somewhere not here.” Sidda smiled, somewhat mischievously. “It’s this or I come and get what I want and leave your defences ruined and whoever gets up this road first after me takes the palace regardless.”

“Call the Star Empire for transport,” the woman countered.

“The Republic,” Sidda said back. “From what I understand the Star Empire doesn’t have the ability to spare for such an unimportant world at this time. The entire Velorum Sector is in revolt, Starfleet pouring in ships like it’s the Cardassian Reconstruction and I understand the Republic is pushing outwards. So, you can either have the Republic, or I don’t call anyone and you can stay inside that palace for all I care.”

The woman mulled the thought for a moment, then removed the small ceremonial dagger from her belt and laid it down on the ground at her feet. “I, Major Suram of the Imperial Star Navy, garrison commander of Ta’shen, hereby formally surrender to Captain Sidda Sadovu of the Vondem Rose.”

———-

It had taken less than an hour to get back from the palace to the compound of Serti with the working ground vehicles they had ‘liberated’ from the palace. None of them would be considered protected, but they certainly did speed up moving around the city for those who had them, assuming one wasn’t utilising the services of the Rose’s transporters. They’d brought back even more weapons, currently being distributed out to the self-organising T’ma’ru Militia.

“Three days,” Serti said as she stepped outside her former brothel. “Three days and this world goes from slavery, through mayhem to precarious peace all because of you.” 

“Honestly, I’m surprised myself,” Sidda said with a shrug of her shoulders. “Seems if you bring a big enough stick to the fight,” she said indicating her ship with a thumb, “even the most militant revolutionaries are willing to sit down and listen.”

“And I’m glad that with the communications jammer down the Remans were more willing to listen to Resak’s actual call for revolution. I understand there is some infighting going on, but they’ve stopped attacking us and the Romulan factions at least for now.” Serti stood there, watching the mess of people collecting weapons, not in some mad rush, but organised. There were no formal ranks or structure within her people yet, but at least some understanding they were all fighting together, not against one another.

“We’ll stick around a few more days until the Republic gets here at least. Orelia tells me they’ve started to cross the border tentatively and since Ta’shen is right where it is, they’ll be here soon. Sending a couple of ships, transports too for those who want to leave. I understand some of the Remans want to go join Resak, the folks in the palace want off-world, anywhere it sounds like.”

“I do find it odd, Captain,” Serti said as she looked up at the Vondem Rose, “that a Starfleet Intelligence captain would be flying around in a purple Klingon battlecruiser, or have a crew that would engage in gunboat diplomacy.” She smiled as Sidda turned on her. “Oh, I’m a bit more informed and educated on the universe beyond this world, unlike so many others Captain that I do know what a Klingon ship looks like at least.”

“Deniability,” she offered with a wry smile.

“Or you lied to me.”

“Does it matter if I was Starfleet Intelligence or not?” Sidda shrugged. “You’re safe, your people are safe, the Republic is coming to help keep the peace. You’re in a beautiful position to negotiate with them, seeing as most people here respect and trust you. I think, Governor Serti, the Republic would be foolish not to accept you as planetary governor for now, hmm?”

Serti stood, nodding her head in understanding, then straightened in her posture as she started to smile. “Governor, eh? When you put it all like that, I guess you’re right, I don’t care if you are Starfleet, or a pack of pirates just doing a good thing. I’m sure the Republic will take a bit more convincing to let me stay as governor though..”

“If anyone can do it, I’m sure you can.”

———-

Revin walked around the main cargo bay aboard the Vondem Rose with Na’roq, the ship’s quartermaster, as they inspected the loot they’d taken from the vaults of the governor’s palace. A few priceless artefacts, some art, pallets of currency from a half dozen nations – all of it stuff that the rich and powerful tended to horde for no other reason than they could.

“This will all go a long way to helping replace all the weapons the captain has been giving away to the locals,” Na’roq said as she tapped away at her pad. “I don’t understand how she ever kept you out of insolvency in the past,” she continued. “Orions just don’t have the lobes for business.”

“Calculate the cost of everything,” Revin said quietly, a hand running along the edge of a brick of gold-pressed latnium, “then contact the most reputable bank within the Republic and open an account in Serti’s name, transferring half the amount to it.”

“What?” Na’roq asked. “Does the captain know about this?”

“She will, but you let me worry about that,” Revin said with a smile. “The people of Ta’shen need it more than we do after all.”

“Madness,” Na’roq said with a shake of her head. “Utter madness. But I’ll get it done. The Ta’shen Reconstruction and Betterment Society Fund. Oh, I can walk the funds through the accounts I’ve opened for TLSO and call it a charitable donation.”

She smiled at Na’roq’s scheming, not understanding much of it. After all, weren’t most of their funds in the Federation? The Federation’s economy was a puzzle to her, to most she understood, but if anyone could make it work to the benefit of all, it would be Na’roq.

———-

Sneaking up behind Sidda was an easy task, especially when she was busy reviewing something, her mind and attention elsewhere. She stepped behind her chair, draped her arms over Sidda’s shoulders and kissed her lightly on the cheek. “Interesting reading?” she asked in a faint whisper.

“Hmm…yah,” Sidda said, then turned and kissed her back briefly. “Hotet had more than just the name of the people who keep renewing the bounty on you. All sorts of interesting tidbits here we could work with for years.”

“And who,” Revin asked started as she made to sit in Sidda’s lap, drawing her lover’s attention, “keeps putting bounties out in my family’s name?”

“Temrec Kinnen. Republic Senator apparently.” Sidda reached out and turned off the monitor. “We got the info, we freed a world of slaves, we kept the peace till the Republic showed up. Not bad for a few day’s work.”

“We made a sizeable donation to the new planetary government,” she said with a smirk, watching Sidda’s expression change at that.

“How sizable?”

“Half what we took from the palace?”

“Half?!” Sidda exclaimed. “Half? Revin we,” she was silenced with a finger to her lips.

“They need it more than we do. Besides, we’ll make do, we always do.”

“But,” Sidda started to protest, again quickly silenced.

“But nothing. It’s done.”

Sidda just nodded, then smiled. “Good thing your gorgeous, otherwise I might throw you overboard for a stunt like that.”

“You were going to give some of it away anyway,” she said, then kissed Sidda on the forehead. “I just beat you to it.”

“Smart too,” Sidda continued. “So, where to next?”

“Holiday?” Revin asked.

“Holiday,” Sidda said replied. “I need a beach and a strong drink.”