Gaya's Astronomy V3Ch7 ~ "Olive Branch"

Previously ~ "Down Below"

Ratana
"The time is now 0630 hours."

"Acknowledged," Ratana Dao called from bed, sitting up and stretching.

Sakonna had suggested implementing some Starfleet-like protocols on the station, and she'd been correct.  Assigning the Maquis to rotating shifts and implementing a more clear-cut command structure was already having a positive effect.

She replicated herself a raktajino and walked to her desk, still in her black pajamas.  Switching on her computer, she began to browse through her messages, reports, and reminders.

It felt good, mature, and so...normal, to do this.  Miranda had always been the one sitting at desks, reviewing reports, going to meetings, conducting negotiations.  Now it was Ratana's turn.

At 0930 hours, a delegation from Ussi would be arriving to discuss trade route agreements.  There was a message from a Klingon magistrate telling her to go to hell, which she'd expecting.  At 1300 hours, Sakonna was going to brief on her the official terraforming status of the planet, including rates of soil fertility, viability of vegetation, and when they could expect the first rainfall in years.  Ratana yawned just thinking about it.

But it was the last reminder on the list which firmly piqued her interest.

1645 hours - Kovat.

He was coming back to the station to discuss building orbital weigh stations about the planet where ships could pay to refuel and replenish their supplies.  He also had other suggestions he wanted to discuss in person.

Ratana smiled to herself.  This should be interesting.


Mylanti
"You're not like other Romulans."

"No."

"And what we're doing is completely against protocol."

"Indeed, but it's not as big a problem as you think, Mylanti."  T'Sanne poured herself a third glass of the 2304.  Mylanti had yet to make it through her first; it was nowhere near as good as the 2309 and her stomach was still sensitive.

And besides, better the Romulan be the drunk one.

"As I mentioned earlier, Mylanti, neither the Federation nor the Romulan Empire want Cardassia to fall prey to the Dominion.  Already the Federation has built a bridge with the Detapa Council, but they have only so much power.  Those who hold the secrets hold the power of a people."  The Romulan met her gaze directly.  "Remember that."

T'Sanne
"What do you know of Kinora?"

"Very little, I'm afraid," T'Sanne shrugged.  "She was either a lower level agent of the Obsidian Order, or she was quite powerful.  She's smart, I know that.  She knew better than to go on the mission through the wormhole."

"Why didn't you go on that mission?  Your rank is high enough."

"I failed a prior mission and was put on a very tight probation," T'Sanne admitted.  Mylanti was amazed that a Romulan could be capable of such casual honesty.  She'd been trained to recognize when a Romulan was lying (one of the very first things she'd been taught actually), and this woman simply felt no need to lie to her.

It was mind-blogging.  I thought an honest Romulan was, like, an oxymoron.

"I'm not upset of course," T'Sanne snorted.  "The failure of that mission saved my life and my career in so many ways."

"What was your failure?"

T'Sanne laughed aloud.  "Haven't you guessed?  I was supposed to assassinate Senator Pelek on Risa."

Mylanti raised an eyebrow.  "You mean that really wasn't you?"

"No, it wasn't.  Someone else...got to him before I could."  T'Sanne took a long sip.  "They let his body float down the Tashmi River."

"Tashmi?"  Mylanti blinked.  "I have a friend who lives near the Tashmi.  What province was this?"

"Kalia."

"No way!"

"Maybe your friend assassinated the Senator," T'Sanne mused.

Mylanti laughed harder than she had in months.  The thought of Isi taking out a Romulan senator was going to amuse her for many days to come.

T'Sanne raised an eyebrow at her.  "Not an operative, I take it?"

"No," Mylanti chuckled.  "She's the dancing, peace-making, yoga class-taking type.  She's training to be some sort of idealist diplomat."

"Ah," T'Sanne nodded.  "Mylanti, do you know why I'm being so civil with you?"

"No," Mylanti answered honestly.  "I don't."

The Romulan's eye narrowed.  "Because you're not a Human.  I respect your choice to flee Lissepia and join Starfleet, but I warn you; Humans are a dangerous species.  They are as treacherous as any Romulan and as cold-hearted as any Cardassian."

"Oh, I know this," Mylanti nodded.  "My phaser wound?  That came from this Human bitch named Miranda."

"Willoughby?" T'Sanne raised an eyebrow.

"Oh," Mylanti rubbed her temples.  "Please tell me you didn't know her.  Not you too."

"Actually," the Romulan explained, "I knew her former associate, Ratana Dao."

***

Cillia
"So...going 'down below' basically means going undercover?"

Cillia Yrydi blinked, trying to understand why Isi was making such a big deal.  The Human had spent the past hour talking about mental transformations and deep covert ops, but nothing was coming together.

And Isi Soyinka was getting impatient with the Trill.  For heaven's sake, she was hundreds of years old now; such a concept shouldn't be so foreign to her.

But then Isi remembered that none of the Yrydi hosts had ever been an operative.

"There's nothing 'basic' about going down below," Isi said in a leaden tone.  "You go down accepting that you may never come back up."

Isi
Cillia looked alarmed.  "Like a suicide mission?"

"Possibly," Isi nodded gravely.  "When operatives go down below, anything goes.  Anything can happen.  To go down below is to go to another world where the rules are entirely different and survival sometimes isn't even an option."

Cillia was sitting up now, on full alert.  "Mylanti isn't even remotely ready for something like that!"

"That's what I'm saying!" Isi exclaimed.

***

Melinda began the long, lonely walk back to the Defiant, loathing the thought of having spend another night on that cramped little warship.  While crossing the darkened promenade, she ran into Damian, stumbling out of Quark's with his two favorite Ensigns.  The men were laughing their asses off about something.

"All right, break it up," she called wearily.  "I've got it from here, Ensigns; the Commander and I are headed to the same place."

"Good night, Lieutenant," Gabriel called, and she ignored the fuzzy, maternal feelings his voice caused.  The last thing she needed right now was to prove Picard right.

"You have a good time with Eora?" Damian asked, clearly smelling like beer.

"Not as good as you," Melinda chuckled, leading him to a nearby turbolift.  They had to go up six levels to reach the pylon where the Defiant was docked.  "I tried to get advice on find station quarters, but apparently that station is having space issues.  Eora said that to qualify for quarters, I'd have to get a roommate of equal or higher rank."

"Well, why then don't you just --"

"She said no," Melinda cut him off, moodily shaking her head.  "You'd think after everything we went through together, she'd hook me up."

"Maybe everything you went through was precisely was why she said no," Damian scoffed. "Weren't you two roommates at the academy for, like, a semester?"

"I'm not that bad!" Melinda scowled.  They rode the turbolift in silence for a moment before she suddenly asked, "Damian, this is totally crazy and probably a really bad idea but...can't you just be my roommate?"

Absolutely not, Damian told himself at once.  The part of his brain that was still sober reared its head with a vengeance.  At the Academy, he'd had a thing for Melinda.  Over the years, it had grown into a full-blown crush.  Now, if he were to be completely honest with himself, he was deeply in love with the woman.  He desired her to the point that it was mind-numbing, and sleeping in the same quarters was bound to be disastrous for their friendship and possibly their careers.

"Of course I'll be your roommate, Mel," he nodded right away.

Next ~ "Cardassians"

Comments

  1. Well deserved, I might add.

    He desired her to the point that it was mind-numbing, and sleeping in the same quarters was bound to be disastrous for their friendship and possibly their careers.

    Or maybe not. 'Bout damn time, is what I'm saying.


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    Replies
    1. I figured 3.5 volumes-ish was time enough to develop credibly chemistry.

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  2. Uh-oh! This is going to be interesting!

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  3. Ankhesen darling, is there any way you could post a cast list with the actual actor's names of the people in the fic...just in case a fangirl would want to make some art, it makes it easier to search for photos of these people. ;)

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  4. Love how Ratano is coming along! She better watch her back- sexy bastard -.-
    My bestie is firmly on team Damian/Mylanti (DaMy? Mymian?)
    Cillia and Isi are hilarious lmao
    Kesh
    Also, a job well done with the updates. You kept us very happy :D

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