Location: Deck Ten- Forward Lounge
Timeline: MD 01 20:00 Hours
Nokomis entered the lounge with only one mission in mind, to get a drink and to not socialize. She knew the lounge was the opposite place for that to happen but the thought of returning to her empty quarters was just overwhelming. She wanted to be around people, but she didn't want to be with them. It was a complicated thing, much like her relationship with Tiber had been. Easy and yet chaotic. She found a chair that allowed her to hunch down in it, ordered a drink from the server and just stared off into room without blinking nearly as often as she should. Her expression was calm but her eyes flashed with thoughts, memories and feelings.
Vriha turned into the lounge and looked around. She was not one to interrupt a senior officer who was off duty - indeed, it was the sort of thing that might earn demerits or even confinement on a Galae ship - but what she had found warranted bringing it to the XO's attention sooner rather than later.
Arriving at Nokomis' table, she tucked her PaDD undr her arm and came to attention. "Sir, there is something I believe you should see."
Nokomis started ever so slightly, having been staring off into space she hadn't even noticed the other woman approach until she was on top of her. She looked up and tried her hardest not to sigh. "What can I do for you Lieutenant?"
Not one to generally notice emotional states, especially when her mind was on a problem, it finally dawned on Vriha that the XO seemed ....off. The realization almost made her falter, but she recovered, reminding herself firmly than a superior officer's internal quandaries were none of her business. "I noticed an anomaly in energy usage - small, but unusual - and upon further investigation, expanded to include resource distribution, the results indicate that we may have a stowaway aboard," she reported dutifully, hoping by all the Elements that it wasn't a Tal'Shiar.
Tilting her head slightly. "Well that is interesting. Normally I would suggest informing the security chief, but may I see the evidence." She held out her hand for the PADD. She had no idea where they would have picked up a hitchhiker nor why they would choose to hide aboard a starship, but it was rather distressing news. This was a huge security breach and needed to be dealt with.
Vriha handed over the PaDD, explaining her evidence as she did so. "As you can see, there have been unusual draws on energy as well as sensor access from the shuttle bay. More direct proof though is that I performed a count of life signs on the ship. Unless I have failed to accounted for some large pet kept by a crewmember, there is one more life sign on board than there should be."
A moment later the doors to the Lounge opened and a tall, dark haired and dark eyed man was on the other side in a Starfleet uniform. Stepping through the doors he walked toward the Replicator terminal, typing in a series of commands on the control interface and barely noticing the others present.
"Wait,"Nokomis said not touching Vriha but gaining her attention to the person who had just entered. "I don't recognize him, do you?" She wondered if she should approach him. She was unfortunately in uniform and it wouldn't take much for him to know who she was.
Vriha studied him a moment. "I do not necessarily know every person on the ship yet, but he is not someone that I have seen before."
"Let's do an experiment and see if we can get anything off him. Act natural," Nokomis said, gesturing for Vriha to follow her. "Hello," she said as she approached the gentleman.
Vriha paused a beat. 'Act natural' would normally mean 'pin him to a wall until security arrived to take him in for questioning', but given the rest of the comment that wasn't what Nokomis meant. Adopting a carefully neutral expression, she followed the XO, deciding to simply observe. After all, from the standpoint of most humans 'aloof and reserved' seemed to be considered natural for Romulans.
Willian picked up a meal from the replicator grid and turned toward the two others, accidentally hitting the Romulan with his tray and spilling his tulaberry juice all over her. He struggled, "Oh my, I'm so sorry, I didn't see you there." He reached for napkins, "I'm a bit of a klutz!"
"Dha'rudh!" Vriha exclaimed, barely stopping herself from the (entirely natural) reaction of backhanding him into a wall. She narrowed her eyes, concentrating a flare of temper into a basilisk glare. "A klutz indeed. And one I have never seen before anywhere."
"I'm sure it was just an accident." Nokomis said, signaling for the staff to bring a towel as quickly as possible. A new uniform can be replicated quickly for you. Of course for a moment this took her mind off of what she had wanted to ask the man. She finally turned to him, "I don't believe we've met before. You must be part of the new crew?"
"I'm easily forgettable," he answered as he handed the Romulan crewmember an additional towel. "But you're right, Commander, I haven't been aboard the ship long. Actually, seems like only long enough to earn the ire of our Romulan friend here," he smiled trying to be disarming. "I truly am sorry for your uniform, if you would like to use some of my replicator rations to replace your attire I'd be more than willing to transfer them to you"
"As would be expected," Vriha replied curtly. She swiped the earlier evidence from her PaDD screen, replacing it with a transfer form and handed it to him. " If you will enter your information and ration codes, the XO can approve the transfer. "
The El-Aurian nodded, "Not a problem." He typed on the control interface of the PADD quickly, "Happy to make this effort of compensation." The data on the screen was valid, accessing the ship's database and crossreferenced to a Starfleet account aboard the Orion. "That should put things in order and sorry again," he returned the PADD. "So, nice to be here, the Orion has been very welcoming even to a klutz like me."
Nokomis watched as everything seemed to go through just fine. Call her a suspicious person, but she still wasn't convinced. She remembered the time she and Logan had done this Harry Potter sorting quiz. She'd gotten Slytherin and Logan had nearly thrown out his back laughing. Cunning, resourceful, clever . . . . . and apparently suspicious. "Did you enjoy your trip here on the Bellerophon?"
"The Bellerophon? I'm afraid that I was brought aboard via shuttle, Commander," he answered. "I believe it was while you were being held on the planet."
"Oh yes, of course," Nokomis said, less than enthusiastically. "My mistake." She glanced at Vriha but other than suspicion about him she had nothing to go on. "Well . . . I think I'll retire to my quarters. Enjoy your time on board." She had no intention of retiring. She was going to find out as much as she could about this man.
He nodded, "Of course. Though, I have a feeling that there is more you want to ask me." He motioned for a table, "Intrigued?" His smile was warm, welcoming, yet somewhat sinister.
Nokomis's light blue eyes flashed, someone not familiar with her might have missed it. "Lieutenant, would you excuse us. I will . . . catch up with you in a bit." She said to Vriha.
"Not necessary, Commander," Willian looked at the Romulan. "I'm certain that she'd enjoy asking me questions too. Especially about the outfit."
Being a normal Romulan, and therefore very much what humans might call a suspicious person, Vriha had been running the supplied account code to be sure of its validity. It did check out as a crewmember, though that did not entirely alleviate suspicion. Of course, she wasn't entirely confident of her grasp of human naming and gender conventions, which seemed to be rather more ...fluid... than in Romulan society. It was entirely possible that the Lieutenant went by a different pronoun than the one she assumed based on appearance. So she would indeed enjoy asking this individual more questions, but having been dismissed by the XO, she could hardly choose to stay.
"Of course, Commander," Vriha replied to Nokomis, before looking pointedly at the Lieutenant. "Perhaps I will find you to ask those questions later, LT Juilette Mendoza." With that she turned smartly and left to change into a clean uniform.
"After you," Nokomis said, determined to get every single drop of information out of him.
Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion
Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Willian Targaryen
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Orion