A New Field of Inquiry
Posted on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 @ 6:34pm by Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Mission 0 - Leaving the Blue Marble
Location: Romulan Embassy Compound, Earth
Timeline: Day 3, 1400
"Reassigned? To a Lloannen'galae ship?" Erein Vriha t'Ehhelih's eyebrow slanted upward. It would not do to show dismay before the new erei'Riov, but she could not quite believe her normally acute Romulan ears. What god, senator or admiral had she or some member of her family offended?
It had been enough of a surprise to be transferred to the embassy on earth. That one had made at least a modicum of sense though. Her Standard was better than that of many other scientists in Galae - at least the more expendable ones. And there had undoubtedly been the thought, as at least one staffer had later suggested, that her relative youth (and otherwise unfortunate lack of forehead ridges) might make Federation contacts more comfortable and therefore more forthcoming around her. However, she had barely had a chance to test that hypothesis. Other than a few brief lecture and conference appearances, she had primarily spent her time inside the embassy compound reviewing details on cloaking technology negotiations and a few other points of scientific cooperation being discussed by the RSE and their new semi-allies. While impact of the Hobus catastrophe on the Galae and the Empire meant that seasoned officers were frequently shuffled to posts where their experience was most needed, she was anything but seasoned, especially by traditional Romulan standards. Simply being reassigned less than a year after being placed here would be cause for concern all by itself. But THIS? Vriha was aware that she was young for a senior science position, and not yet always comfortable in command, but surely she couldn't have comported herself so poorly that anyone would want her transferred to the Federation.
"It's not permanent, Erein." The tone of the reply indicated those thoughts had been transparent, or perhaps merely anticipated. "However, it's believed your experience would be useful. You've done well enough interacting with earthers here, and more importantly had prior experience working with the Federation's Starfleet. According to our records, both following the Reman coup and the Hobus disaster, you worked closely with them during relief efforts."
"Yes, rekkhai," she replied stiffly, concern now turning to quiet alarm. The Federation had been both opponent and ally within the short span of her lifetime, but those she had worked alongside had proven to be dedicated and honorable beings. Even on occasion surprisingly innovative and resourceful. But acknowledging that had come at a cost. The subsequent 'interview' with the Tal Shiar was something she hoped to never repeat. "They required assistance to deploy their technology appropriately, especially with respect to medical and environmental systems."
"Yes. We accepted their aid, but most did all they could to take it only at arm's length. You did not." The sub-commander lifted a hand. "That is not an accusation. Though some might view it as cause for suspicion, your records also show you do nothing by half-measure. By engaging the Starfleeters, you increased the efficiency of the relief teams you were assigned to. So much so that you were specifically requested by others." The officer briefly frowned at the summary on the PADD. "Small wonder you were over exposed to them... However, that experience may prove useful to us for this mission."
Vriha's brows rose fractionally higher, though now with curiosity. "If I may ask, rekkhai, what is the mission?"
The sub-commander slid a PADD toward her. "These are your orders. Everything you need to know is in there."
Scanning the document, Vriha's brows now drew downward in puzzlement. She might have experience with Starfleeters, but there must be others who did as well, and in more relevant fields. The dread of being questioned by the Tal Shiar was replaced by a new fear: of being used by them as a catspaw. "I have worked with Starfleeters, but only as a technical liaison. Will they accept a Rihansu as a science officer?"
"Consider it a new field of inquiry. And we are assured they will accept you. They may require an expertise in applied science, particularly in areas where the Federation is ...lacking. Hence, you will be joining their crew as an attaché science advisor. There will be another attaché as well: erie'Arrain Eilaea t'Keirianh, for whom you will serve as a resource as she has not had your direct experience of interacting with Starfleet personnel." The sub-commander paused, giving her with a level stare. "You will also both serve as observers for the Empire."
~We are to watch them, and also watch each other.~ Vriha felt a slight sting at the implication, but there was also a sense of relief. If a Tal'Diann officer vouched for her conduct, that would go far in preventing any further questions about her loyalty. Better, she had served with this one on the Rovaran, and though separated by age and position, they knew each other well enough to work comfortably together. She had no doubt the Tal'Diann mistress would watch her, but to the extent that one could trust any Tal'Diann, she trusted Eilaea to also watch her back.
Vriha inclined her head in acknowledgment. "Ssuaj-ha, rekkhai."
Erein Vriha t'Ehhelih
soon to be on USS Orion