Mission 0 - Leaving the Blue Marble
Location: Unknown Location Within the Former RNZ/Ready Room USS Orion
Timeline: Day 1 - 1000 hrs
Loval sat in the command chair of the Imperial Romulan Warbird Glan'To. The Director of the once mighty and feared Tal Shiar had been given the command by the New Romulan Senate. He was being sent on a mission of Diplomacy to the Federation. The thought of it made his skin crawl but there was nothing that he could do. So when the order came down he simply saluted the Senator and left. Like every good Romulan would, and like every good Romulan he had a plan.
He sat and leaned his head upon his right hand and pondered. How did it come to this? HOW? The Empire brought to it's knees by a supernova. Well if I have anything to say about it we will pick ourselves up and take the galaxy. This is not strife for us it is the dawn of a new better era. Loval was lost in deep thought.
Lt. Cmdr. Logan Barrett sat in his ready room with the lights all extinguished except for one right above his desk. It was a habit he had formed to help him process his thoughts. The darkness had a way of filtering out all the noise. His hawk-like gaze was fixed on the LCARS computer terminal, scanning the requested information regarding the known key Romulan power figures. At the moment, he was looking at a sparse record of Tal Shiar Colonel Loval. According to Starfleet Intelligence, Col. Loval was the highest ranking member of the Tal Shiar left in the entire Star Empire. He appeared to be a fortunate officer that wasn't captured or killed during the failed Battle of the Omarion Nebula against the Dominion homeworld. There were a smattering of brief posting records during the Dominion War, and then he managed to be on assignment as Romulus and Remus were destroyed by the Hobus supernova.
Barrett grasped his hot hazelnut coffee and took a big sip, his brow still furrowed in concentration. It was practically a laughed-at proposition by many within Starfleet Command that there'd be any Romulans, let alone a member of the Tal Shiar. The Federation Council had been very cautious about this mission. While helping a pro-Federation faction of the Romulan government seemed like a good olive branch, the Tal Shiar was a big concern, especially given their own support to this new shift.
They're probably waiting to betray us in some fashion so that they can become more powerful. The question is whether we'll see it before it's too late, he thought.
The once mighty Colonel observed himself in his minds eye. He did not like what he saw at all. He saw a man who like his Empire had fallen, crumbled, and became a relic. The pros and cons to an allegiance with the Federation were to numerous to list. It had been attempted once before with a false Praetor, but that was a Reman coup attempt. Didn't Picard prove the might of the Federation.
He shouted to his Intelligence Officer "Give me all you have on on Lieutenant Commander Logan Barrett of Starfleet." Within short order the Starfleet Commander's record shown on Loval's screen. He began to stoke his chin, and affectation when he fell into deep thought. He saw the list of vessels that the man had served on as well as the commendations. But what appealed to Loval most was that Barrett was an newly minted commanding officer. Perhaps he will do... Perhaps he could be molded... Perhaps he won't see it coming...he thought.
With Barrett on one side the question now was who would take the other. Who would the Federation believe is trying to take advantage of the Empire...
Could this Colonel Loval actually be genuine in his words? Logan pressed his chin into his hand. There had only been a few Starfleet officers to make significant impacts into Romulan society. But the Romulans believe they should control the galaxy, he mused. How do you reconcile that with the Federation, a group of hundreds of member worlds, all equal in the eyes of the government? Indeed, the history of the Federation and the Romulans is one of constant conflict mixed with periods of no contact. It was only during the Dominion War, when it was discovered that the Dominion was planning to invade Romulan space, did they decide to jump into the fray. Who knows where we'd all be now if they hadn't?
He rose out of his seat and tugged at the side of the black beret he wore, his palm smoothing across his head to form it out of habit as he stepped over to the viewport. The stars seemed so much brighter here than in Spokane. Was he given an impossible task? The odds were pretty clear, especially after what happened to Captain Stevenson. His eyes stared out into the darkness as he clasped his hands behind his back, one thumb rubbing against his other fingers. In the end, the odds didn't matter, he had to remind himself. There was a job to do and they were going to accomplish it. There was no other option.
"Not much on the Orion itself sir, but I do have extensive Intelligence on Barret." The Intelligence officer replied.
Loval stared at the file without actually reading it. He was disgusted, he knew the Federation, he knew it all too well. They were responsible for the death of a Senator and countless citizens of the Empire. Of course the Federation blamed the murder on the Cardassians and the entire Senate believed them. But not Loval, not the venerated Tal Shiar they knew better. But... That was then and this is now. In the now they were needed, needed as a buffer while Romulus rebuilds.
He allowed his eyes to focus on the file. It seemed pretty standard for an officer. However, Loval knew that Starfleet Captains had a tendency to think that they were better than all. In fact that is the only reason that some of them gained the respect of The Empire. It is said on New Romulus that only Picard can go to Romulus. Loval suddenly sat up straight, and he started to trace the text with his finger. It seemed that Barret came up through Starfleet Intelligence. There aren't many commanding officers with a background like mine. That tells me two things, first he can be respected, the second is should not be taken at face value ever. Betty Barret why does that name ring a bell. Loval thought and then suddenly his eyes widened as he placed the name of Barret's wife. Why that is the woman that was... He thought, and now knew he had what he needed. The Federation played Romulus to bring down the Dominion and now Romulus would play The Federation to secure the galaxy for The Empire.
But... Did it need to be so? Loval reflected... The Federation had proven to be the most resilient of enemies that Romulus had ever faced. They did not fall to the Borg, or the Klingons, or the Q, or even Romulus herself. What if their resiliency was translated into an alliance. Loval knew that he and many others could be contented with allowing the Federation to endure with the rest of the galaxy in the claw of the great bird.
Loval surveyed his bridge as he thought can leave these people his crew his people to chance. He knew what needed to be done and he was the one to do it. "Communications get me Barret on subspace..."
Lieutenant Commander Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Tal Shiar Director, Romulan Star Empire