Part of RRW Jarok: M1-Part I: Adrift

The Exchange Officer

New Romulus
2400, October 6th
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Saren had arrived at his office only a moment ago to grab a padd and some notes before he headed off to locate and recruit the engineer he told Subcommander Herrana Orex that he would get. Centurion Taval N’Vek. His record speaks for him, and Saren believed that the man will be the best for the mission. He just wanted to be sure he was prepared to surprise the man with this dangerous mission.

After Saren got what he wanted, he was on his way toward the door when Vice Admiral Terik came in with someone behind her. Saren raised his eyebrows in surprise and stopped in his tracks. “Admiral. I was just on my way out.”

Terik nodded her head. “I figured as much.” She then moved out of the way and gestured to the female officer. “You will be taking Ensign-my apologies, Uhlan Thisbe Prar, with you on your mission.” Terik then pulled out a small padd from inside her jacket and handed it to Saren.

“Adding more terms to our agreement, Admiral?” Saren asked as he took the padd and skimmed over Thisbe Parr’s file and raised his eyebrows again. “From Starfleet?”

Terik nodded her head once again. “Officer Exchange Program. We have sent some of our own to them and they have sent some of their own to us. It is to help better our relations with each other. I know you’ll play nice, Commander. And no, you don’t have a choice.” Terik smiled at him and then placed her hand on Thisbe’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, he won’t bite.” She looked back at Saren and winked before she left his office with just the two of them now.

Saren sighed after the door closed behind Terik, leaving him alone with the Uhlan. “My apologies for my reaction, Uhlan Prar. I normally do not like surprises like this.” He told her as he skimmed over her file some more. “You are an engineer?”

“Yes, sir!” Said Prar.

Saren nodded his head. “Good. Your credentials here say you can handle your way around plasma conduits and other kinds of damage control.” He then put the padd away by clasping his hands together behind his back. Saren looked at Thisbe Prar. “So, Uhlan. Tell me about yourself.”

Thisbe’s head was spinning, and she might need to sit down soon. The Exchange program was new, and her old CO hadn’t really said much about it other than “you go here and make nice. We’ll take theirs and play nice. BE GOOD.” She had just nodded, and hopped on the shuttle. It was going to be a new experience, and hey, she’d made it this far on her own, so she’d be ok. “I am sorry for the last minute drop in. I am unsure why the Fleet made it so, but my former CO just said I need to do this,” she said, with a soft shrug. “Yes, I am good with machines.” She didn’t elaborate, but she’d had to learn to fix stuff when her father was away, and she was home alone, and then later, when her ship was destroyed, because she didn’t want to DIE out there in no-man’s-land, alone and shamed. It had been easy enough to figure out, and after that, she’d spent as much time as possible learning the StarFleet tech via the various electronic libraries and later on, her hands on training at the Academy. “I came from the fleet, as just a nobody, and worked hard to become an officer. I am Bajoran, but raised on Cardassia, and uh…well. I don’t fit In well there, and…” she trailed off, worried she’d already said too much. Saying too much caused people to ask too many questions, and too many questions could reveal her past and THAT could spell disaster in case her father came looking for the “up and coming Cardassian/Bajoran” girl. “I am willing to learn everything you’re willing to teach me.” Jon had taught her much, but most of it had been the ins and outs of Fleet manners and social cues, and less of the hands on workings of the machines, computers, and wiring that made the ships go. “My area of interest actually is in reconditioning ships after battle, but I’m told that takes a long time of slogging away before being allowed to do so!”

Saren stared at the Uhlan as he listened to them, where he found some fine details about the individual. “Everyone is somebody somewhere, Prar. You simply have to make yourself known.” He told her. “You’re not the first Bajoran and Cardassian mix, and will likely not be the last. In time, Cardassia will learn to welcome all their children.” He smiled.

“You might learn a few things from me, Uhlan, but once we depart for our mission in a couple of days, you will actually be working with someone else in the department that you will be assigned to. As an Engineer of the Romulan Republic, I’m certain you will learn much about our systems.” Saren explained, even though he was surprised at the lack of concern in regards to Romulan technology being passed on to other empires with much detail. Perhaps just another way of trying to improve relations. “So how do you feel about working with Romulans?”

Thisbe listened carefully to her new CO.  She had honestly been far more concerned with the Cardassians looking for her than she was of the Romulan; her people and them had a tenuous relationship but the Cardassians held their duty to state above literally EVERYTHING, and, as a result, could be far more ruthless and dangerous than the Romulan, in some ways. On the other hand, the Romulan were much like ancient Human’s Roman Senate, unshackled. Petty power plays, subterfuge, and political chess. “I understand. I did mean the royal ”you,” actually,” she said, to clarify. She shrugged. “I can be nice.” She didn’t elaborate; even Starfleet had its issues, but if everyone got along, they would be fine. “I may not be the first, and certainly not the last, but most of the rest don’t have parents in governmental service. He’s gonna be so mad if he ever finds out that I am here, working with ROMULANS.” Well, she probably shouldn’t have said that

Saren was confused about the ‘royal’ part and just pushed it off to the side as he was unclear as to what brought that up. As for the last part, that did draw his attention but did not make him any bit concerned. “If you think that your Cardassian father is going to come over to Romulan Republic territory to take you back home, let me just make things perfectly clear. As a member of tbe Romulan Republic Navy, you are bound by the laws and citizenship of the Republic. The Cardassians will have to go through a lot of red tape to claim a Republic Officer. Secondly, if your relationship with your father ever so much as endangers the crew of my ship, you and I will have a serious problem. But since you are here and under my command, I will give you this chance to prove that you are useful. Learn from your department commander, and do not make any costly mistakes. Are we clear, Uhlan?”

“Clear, sir!” Said the Uhlan.

Saren nodded his head. “Good. Go enjoy the recreational facilities that we have here. But on this date,” Saren handed the Uhlan a small padd of the mission details. “We will be leaving. So be there. Dismissed.”

The Uhlan took the padd and departed from Saren’s office.

Saren sighed. He took one more look at Thisbe Prar’s information on the larger padd only to notice an intelligence report tab. He pressed it and read into it. His eyebrows rose as he looked up and looked at the closed door. “I guess we shall see.”