Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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Distant Relative Enemies

Posted on Sat Sep 26th, 2020 @ 6:00pm by Colonel Loval & Lieutenant Commander Vaebn tr'Hwersuil

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Quarters of Vaebn tr'Hwersuil - Deck 2 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD008 2330 hrs
1465 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure

Somewhere deep within Romulan Space

Loval sat on the bridge of the Warbird Galn'To. He leaned on on hand lost in deep thought. Sources had revealed to the Tal Shiar Colonel that the USS Pioneer was brought to the area and now held station keeping at Starbase Sirius. In order for him to get his plan in motion the Pioneer would have to be removed.

"Sir we received a message. The target has passed her exams and will progress to her next year at Starfleet Academy." The report came from his Communications Officer, and it was not good news. It simply put him in a dour mood. That the blood of a Romulan, the same blood that ran through his veins, as he believed all Romulans were connected, would be working for the Federation. The time had come for a reckoning. A plan had formed and a smirk formed on his face. A few clicks later and a coded channel had been open to the USS Pioneer, right to its Chief Science Officer, someone Loval knew but Vaebn would strain to recall his old commanding officer. It was child's play to Loval as he bypassed the Pioneer's security protocols and made sure that there was no record of the communication. Now he would wait for the answer...

Vaebn had left the Astrometrics lab late yet again. He trudged along to his quarters, a few PADD's tucked under his arm. He eventually reached the door to his room, "Open, Vaebn Alpha 748 Echo." A soft hum was barely heard for a split second as the door unlocked and slid open with 'vssh'. He laid the armload onto the desk near the door way and made his way to the lavatory when a single tone perked his ears. He paused to look at the wall screen, and saw the incoming transmission indicator on the bottom corner. Curiously, he stepped closer to the wall, and opened the communique; a Romulan officer filled the screen, his markings indicated a Colonel, in the Tal Shiar. Vaebn stepped back in shock, "Who?"

"Nevermind Who... Suffice to say you will not trace this. To be honest I am surprised you do not recognize me. After all we have been through life and death together. We have been keeping an eye on you and all that you have accomplished. We have learned of your family progressing through that thing they call an Academy. The Empire is returning you can either be a member or be branded a traitor. The choice is yours." Loval would recruit one or both of them. Having two Starfleet Officers in the fold would go a long way to completing the master plan.

An air of familiarity wafted from the screen, but he couldn't quite place it completely. The Major's words struck him like a hammer to a gong, but he would not be swayed. He stood as a rock in front of the screen, as he thumbed a small device in his pocket, and gave the Colonel a near perfect poker face. "The Empire I served destroyed itself, and tens of millions of our people, by its own lies and subterfuge. I was there when the decision to lie about what happened led to the shunning of aid that otherwise may have save some of those millions. I even helped spread those lies that destroyed my family, and now, you ask me to turn my back on the people who helped me rebuild, helped find my family, and in the end, offered our people help no matter the cost to themselves?"

Nearby, as the conversation dragged out, his terminal began running a security protocol. His thumb traced figures over the small circular device in his hand, and the terminal activity increased. The Colonel said he couldn't be traced, and that he knew Vaebn, but he didn't know what Vaebn had learned since his days in the Empire, and he learned many tricks since then.

His security program recorded everything being transmitted as it delved back through the communication and navigational arrays hoping that somewhere in the black, it would find his quarry.

He took a deep breath and narrowed his gaze at the face on the screen, "And so you threaten what family I have left and to brand me a traitor for aiding those that aided us? I will wear that badge proudly if it means tearing you down from the pedestal you have placed yourself on," he growled at the figure.

There was the anger, the fire that Loval knew that Vaben had. Loval had him, now it was time to reel him in. "Very well, that choice is yours. However, I wonder if your sister is going to make the same decision. I wonder where her loyalties lie. Is it with Starfleet, or her people. You see my old friend this is not a question of threats. This is a question of duty."

"Considering the failures of the Empire to its people, I believe the primary duty of Romulans are to their families and their people. It is obvious from your words that the only duty you have, is to keep power among the Tal Shiar." Vaebn acidly spit those words toward the screen, the sudden realization of who this was reminding him of his past. "And if you do anything to my sister, you will wish you had spent a lifetime in the dilithium mines of Remus when I am through with you." He stepped forward to fill his opponents screen; keep him talking, the trace program is closing in, he thought; "Lyie has known more of this life than that on Romulus. Her loyalty is to her oaths to Starfleet, even before her blood ties to me. You are welcome to try, but you may find that she is more stubborn than I am, and you apparently know me well, don't you Colonel. Or was that Sub-Commander, since that was your rank the last time we stood eye to eye." Time to turn the tables and let the trace finish.

Perfect Vaebn had realized who he was , perhaps then he also knew that Vaebn meant business. We don't plan on using words to get her to do what we want. The old methods will work just fine. Loval thought, the more experienced Romulan also knew he was being traced it was time to end this opening gambit. Loval smiled sardonicaly. "Yes a lot has changed since we last met. Next time we meet prepare for more than words. Unless those words are I yield and will obey...." Loval laughed almost maniacally and the channel cut off before the trace could complete.

The viewer went dark and showed the raptors claws for a brief moment before reverting back to the static image of the mountains outside of Romulus proper. Vaebn seethed with anger and lashed out at the viewscreen with is fists repeatedly shattering the screen a dozen times before pausing to see the green blood splatters painting lines over the wall and floor. He looked up at his cracked and broken reflection, blood drawn across his face and uniform and sighed in disgust. He turned to head to sickbay when his computer terminal pinged. A vast series of coordinates and information scrolled onto the screen as his eyes narrowed with purpose. Quickly he transferred the data onto a nearby PADD and encrypted his terminal, then rushed out the door to the Astrometrics lab, eyes on the prize and ignoring the trail of blood that dripped in his wake.

He ignored the crew that stepped out of his way, wide eyed at the bloody visage of anger and glee that stalked the halls. Once in Astrometrics, he tossed the data into the charting system and scurried to a terminal. The duty officer muttered something but Vaebn did not hear it. He paused only to remove a piece of glass from his hand with his teeth before dancing his fingers on the interface, smearing it with green. A small sub-sector appeared, only 3 or 4 systems across; it wasn't a pinpoint but it was a start. And something of his security trace remained, so there was hope; and he also managed to pull out two names. Colonel Loval, and Galn'To, which was more than he needed.

He grabbed his PADD, turned and strode through the doors, "Vaebn to Captain Malbrooke, please meet me in sickbay. I have urgent information."

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Commander Vaebn tr'Hwersuil
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Colonel Loval
Commanding Officer, Tal Shiar


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