Keep your friends close
Mission 1: Unscheduled Madness
Location: Intelligence suite
Timeline: Day 2: 18:00
"I've reviewed all of the information we have on the Colonel as you asked ma'am. Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long." Tiber paused briefly while he entered a few commands into the console on the decks in front of him, after a few short beeps the display behind him changed to a profile stil of the current head of the Tal Shiar. Tiber continued his briefing.
"He lost virtually his entire family in the Hobus Incident, it is believed that he has extended family who survived the incident and managed to make it to federation space, although there identity is unconfirmed." The fact that any Romulan had managed to enter federation space undocumented and vetted irked him regardless of the disaster that had befallen them. Never the less the Federation was predicated on humane principles and it didn't surprise him that the the Federation council had offered to help.
"Unsurprisingly his service record is patchy. We have confirmed that he was serving aboard the Valdore during the Shinzon incident from the medical records of the USS Enterprise. He was treated for the effects of explosive decompression, presumably when the Scimitar destroyed the main deflector of the Valdore during battle. I have contacted the Titan to see if Captain Riker can give us any further insights into the man. It is Likely they never met, but it is an avenue i'm exploring."
"There are a few gaps in that report that suggest editing," T'Sai pointed out needlessly. It had been years since the showdown with Shinzon and that was something that this Intelligence Chief did not particularly like. "Do we know what he has done to earn such promotions?
"Regarding his other activities, the vast majority of our intelligence is unconfirmed, what I could find is that prior to the Hobus explosion he was an up and coming middle ranked official, his appointment to head the Tal Shiar is likely to have been an based on necessity rather than choice. Anecdotal evidence suggests he is just as you would expect, ruthless, efficient, morally ambivalent, and singularly devoted to the restoration of the Romulan Empire. All the makings of a perfect spymaster." The last point was merely his opinion rather than an evidence based observation, but he felt it appropriate to offer it none the less.
"Be on your guard, Ensign," T'Sai warned, though his opinion on the man closely resembled her own. "I have a feeling that there is more to this Loval than our reports can tell us." Her eyes narrowed a bit as she looked at the viewscreen, "The Tal Shiar have never been open to friendly relations with the Federation, before or after the Hobus incident." With that, she gave the nod to open the channel to the Colonel Loval.
Loval sat on the bridge of his vessel. His ship sat on patrol as the Orion was running late for the rendezvous. However, this unexpected delay gave Loval the edge he needed to solidify his plans. Things would be locked down, and if all went well there would be a new Praetor before the Orion arrived. The voice of his Ops Officer broke through his thoughts. "Sir, we are being hailed on long range subspace. It is a coded frequency diplomatic channels."
"What? Who is it from?" There is only one ship that knew his location and they should not be hailing him, Loval thought. "It's the USS Orion sir. A Lieutenant T'Sai, the vessel's Chief Intelligence Officer." Came the response from operations console, and after a pause the officer added. "She is a Vulcan sir." The word Vulcan dripped with disdain.
"Ha, saying Federation Intelligence is like saying non-alcoholic Romulan Ale, it just doesn't exist." Loval said and then added "Put her on screen, this should be good." Within moments the image of the Vulcan woman appeared on Loval's viewscreen. "Jolan Tru Lieutenant. To what praytell do I owe the honor of this?" He smiled if for no other reason then to cover up the dislike and disdain that he had for the woman, and her chosen profession.
"Dif-tor heh smusma, Colonel," T'Said returned with the vocalized Vulcan salute. She remained stoneface. While not openly an enemy, T'Sai had no trust for a member of the Tal Shiar. "I must report that the Orion will be tardy to our rendezvous. We have encountered difficulties in our journey."
"Ah yes, your Captain has informed of this. I hope that everything is okay. Is there any assistance that we can offer you?" Loval said with feigned concern. It seemed that Barrett did no speak to his officers about what he does. That being the case Loval would avail himself to any intel he could gain. However, he knew that it would be tough this woman was a trained intelligence officer, and she was a blasted Vulcan to boot.
T'Sai had been fishing to see just how much information the Colonel had been given about their current situation. She did not enjoy the fact that the Tal Shiar knew that the Orion was dead in space, but him underestimating their department was a silver lining. "I require no assistance," she replied, saying nothing about the ship.
"However," T'Sai added. "We will be working closely together. Finding common ground and fostering trust will assist both of our people's efforts in forging a more peaceful future for the Quadrant." While not showing it outwardly, Romulans always made her uneasy. Their peoples were more alike than they were different, which was probably the root of the animosity between them. A few different decisions by their ancestors would have changed history tremendously.
Loval tented his fingers and affectation he did quite often. "Quite right I can put you in touch with one of my Captains who can liaise with you and your department in all of your needs." He smiled broadly, in truth this offer was a way for him to gauge how she took to being slighted. After all he did outrank her by a lot more than a mile.
T'Sai simply maintained eye contact and calmly spoke, "That will be acceptable." As part of her time serving on the Iroquois, she had learned about the importance on the chain of command to the Romulans. The fact the she was talking to the the Colonel was in itself a bit of an anomaly, him passing off a Vulcan subordinate to others was par for the course.
Loval pressed a few commands into his arm rest without looking at the screen. He was ordering his comm officer to triangulate the location of the Orion based upon where the signal originated from. He was also telling his science officer to stand by to launch a reconnaissance probe heading to the Orion. Barrett wouldn't give him much the probe would give him everything. This was achieved as he spoke. "Well Lieutenant I look forward to meeting you face to face. It has been quite sometime since I saw a kinsman." He smiled broadly to give a moment for his people to carry out their orders. "If there is nothing else?"
T'Sai knew that a Tal Shiar representative would try to gather information on her ship as possible. She had routed the comm signal through a few different subspace comm buoys and stations. It wouldn't be impossible to track them, but the journey through the net would certainly not be an easy one to follow. "Off course, Colonel, I am certain that a meeting between our people is desirable. I am satisfied with the meeting."
Her suspicions had been somewhat confirmed. The Romulans, or at least Loval's faction, were indeed seeking out information on the Orion. His tone had indicated that his friendly facade was just a show. Before she could present the Colonel as a threat, she would need to have more concrete proof, and she had a feeling that the proof would present itself sooner rather than later.
Tal Shiar Director, Romulan Star Empire
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Tiberius Augusta
Intelligence Officer, USS Orion