Gaya's Astronomy V4Ch12 ~ Follow the Shadows

Previously ~ Mea Culpa

"What do you mean you have no idea where Kinora is?" Mylanti snapped.

The Romulan Subcommander gave a casual shrug.  "Believe me, I wish I did," T'Sanne told her, "but Kinora and I aren't the best of friends anymore.  She doesn't trust me, especially now."

Rindy raised an eyebrow.  "Especially now that...what?"

"Especially now that the Cardassian Union has sold itself to the Dominion Empire, and some of our own politicians on Romulus have recommended we do the same," T'Sanne replied soberly.  She turned away from them and went to stand at the window of their hotel.  It was a cheap place, on a barren moon, with a broken replicator and a malfunctioning sonic shower.  The walls smelled of sex and sweat, and the sheets hadn't been washed in days.

Yet it's in places like these that the fates of worlds are decided, Mylanti grimly noticed, feeling an unfamiliar weight descend upon her.

Rindy's voice was audibly tense.  "Romulus is considering joining the Dominion?"

T'Sanne turned to her suddenly, dark eyes raking over the Human with painstaking scrutiny.

"What did you say your name was?" she asked, eyes narrowed.

"Ruçi," Rindy replied truthfully.  "Ensign Rovena Ruçi."

T'Sanne tilted her to the side.  "I feel as though we...know each other somehow."

"It's possible," Rindy nodded honestly.  "Starfleet has sent me on all sorts of missions across several sectors.  We may have, in fact, crossed paths many times."

"Perhaps," T'Sanne murmured, letting the matter rest for now.  "And to answer your question, Romulus is not considering joining the Dominion.  We are far too arrogantly patriotic for that - as is the Federation, though they'd never care to admit it."

"But you will be signing the non-aggression pact," Rindy stated neutrally, her face now composed.

"The Senate is still voting on it," T'Sanne sighed, "but I already know we will.  Senator Vreenak will see to it that we do."

"Vreenak," Rindy muttered.  "Gonna have to remember that one."

"Oh, I think you better," T'Sanne rasped.  "The Dominion has gained a valuable foothold in the Alpha Quadrant, and the Federation has far bigger concerns than the tracking down Kinora Grelle."

As the Ensigns returned to their quarters aboard the freighter, Mylanti mumbled, "That's what this mission was all about, wasn't it?"

"About what?" Rindy wearily asked.

"Finding out where the Romulans stood on the Cardassians joining the Dominion," Mylanti scowled.  "This was one of those missions where Eora sends me to do one thing in order to discover another.  She knew I'd seek out T'Sanne.  Who better than a Tal Shiar agent to tell us what's happening on Romulus?"

"I honestly thought we were going after Kinora," Rindy admitted.  "She knows what happened on Cardassia.  She knows better than anyone how this mess came about."

"No," Mylanti's head snapped her way.  "Not better than anyone.  There are others who no doubt watched this horror unfold."

"Gul Mayal?" Rindy raised an eyebrow.  "You want to reach out to Gul Mayal?  How?"

"Actually," Mylanti smirked, "I want to get her to reach out to us."


Cekaris V, 4 days later

"I must admit, T'Sanne, I've always been envious of the Romulan ability to lie," Kinora Grelle mused when T'Sanne returned to her safe house.  "Tell me; is it a lesson taught through culture or is the gift simply innate?"

"I could ask a similar question of you," the dark Romulan scowled. "How is that time and again you escape disaster to live in a house of luxury?  This place must have cost a that dress."

Kinora snickered, sipping her kanar and walking towards her moonlit balcony.  Far down below, the blue-green waves of the Ashtian Sea lapped at the gray sand beach.

"I always did like nice things," she murmured into the night.  "They give me comfort in times of duress."  She turned back towards her house guest.  "Your turn, T'Sanne.  How is that you can deceive so effortlessly?  Does a part of you even twitch whenever you hear your own lies?"

"We're all liars here, Kinora," T'Sanne replied coolly.  "And let's not forget; it was your lies I fed to Ensign Gaya.  So what is your plan anyway?  Sip kanar and go to the symphony while the Dominion runs your empire into the ground?"

Kinora bitterly turned back towards the sea.  "There's nothing I can do except hope that Ensign will lead Mayal to me.  I can't protect her while the Dominion's in power."

T'sanne raised an eyebrow.  "You sound as though this occupation is temporary."

Kinora snorted.  "We are Cardassians, T'Sanne.  We follow only one banner and belong to only one empire.  We'll let the Dominion fix our economy and repair the damage from the Klingons and the Maquis.  And when the Central Command has gotten everything it could possibly wanted from the Founders, they'll find the tiniest excuse to rebel."


Melinda Barton knew something was wrong the moment she returned to her quarters.  The living area was dark and Damian hadn't cooked dinner.  She wanted to believe he was working late but she knew it wasn't the case.  As soon as the door closed behind her, he called, "Lights."

He was sitting on the couch, out of uniform, with half-empty bottle of Begosian wine.  By the sour look on his face, she could tell it wasn't the best vintage.

"Interesting holosuite program you got there," he greeted.  "No wonder you needed such intimate details about myself and the good Vedek."

Melinda suddenly felt sick.  She'd thought she'd taken every precaution to keep anyone from finding out her little secret.

"How...?"  She was unable to finish.

"With a guy like Quark," Damian shrugged, "you just have to name the right price."  He set down the bottle and rose slowly, coming towards.  "Mel...why? Why are you doing this?"

"Doing what?" she fired back.  "Minding my own business while you violate Starfleet policy?"

"Starfleet policy also prohibits recreating holographic images of your fellow officers, remember?" he asked softly, coming to stand in front her.  She was shaking, and her eyes looked as though they would tear.  "What's going on with you?"

"What...nothing," she shook her head, as though disoriented.  When he moved closer, she moved away.  "It's nothing, it''s none of your business."

"If you want him that much, why don't you just go be with him?" Damian asked, still keeping his voice light.

"Because if I'm with him, I can't have you!" she exploded.  The tears started streaming, making Damian pause.  She wasn't sad.  She was furious.

"Why did you wait so long, Damian?" she cried.  "You had years to be with me - countless opportunities!  Why did you wait until I met him?"

Damian tried to keep his voice steady.  "Timing was never right, Mel; you knew that."

"And the timing is great now?" Melinda yelled.  "Now that I've come across the most beautiful man I've ever met since you, you've suddenly decided that now's a great time?  A great time to do what, Damian?  Go have a romantic dinner at Quark's?  Stand on the promenade and watch the wormhole open and close?  Is that the great and wonderful romance you've been waiting to drop on me just when I meet a gorgeous Vedek who plays the Bajorian lyre???"

It suddenly occurred to Damian that he needed to do damage control, and quickly.  If she kept on yelling, she'd yell herself into kicking him out of their quarters and shacking up with the Vedek.

"No, Mel," he assured, making sure to sound confident.  "I want to marry you.  I want to marry you when we travel to Vulcan."

Next ~ Decisions, Decisions


  1., please watch your steps. My jaw's somewhere on the ground.

  2. Okay, I'm not happy with Damian right now. First of all, he done fucked around and got a hold of some shitty 2304 Begosian, knowing that was a bad year. Secondly, I don't give a fuck how tormented he is about Melinda and Desantos, that doesn't give him the right to violate her privacy. Fuck that shit. He'd have to answer for that.

    I also expected Melinda to at least hold out a little bit, but she crumpled so easily I'm wondering if she's been drinking and mooning over lost opportunities. She has a point. Why now? We all know the answer, but that doesn't make it fair or right. It's shit like that which annoys me. Damian had plenty of time to make Mel an honest woman and he allowed shit to get in the way of that.

    No, boo boo. No. No. Na uhn. Doesn't work that way. And just because you're drunk and jealous doesn't give you the right to go through her private things.

    Team!Desantos, but really, who here is surprised?

    1. You are killing me, woman - you are seriously killing me.

  3. ^ What Amaya said. But I'm still hoping for that three-way.


    1. The three-way's been happenin' - I just refuse to describe.

      Y'all can do that ish.

    2. Like outside of the holosuite tho.....

      And it's the far future. Who says a woman can't have 2?

    3. The 2 who don't want to have to share her.

      One of things I loved so much about DS9 is that unlike TNG, it flat-out told that time is irrelevant. Deep down, folks don't change.

    4. Co-sign with Dabo Queen and J. Even though I'm a bit miffed with Damian, that wouldn't get in the way of a sandwich with Melinda as lunch meat.

  4. I love how even in hiding, Kinora does it in style.

  5. Team Vedek! I refuse to side with Damian. So is he going to push Melinda closer to Vedek with his action? Damian should have just hired Olivia Pope, smh. Team Vedek!

  6. After everything we've been through with Damian, y'all just gonna shove him to the side?

  7. ^ Not if he can come up with a conciliatory threesome and prove that he's in it to make Melinda happy instead of doing that stupid dude thing and pouting because he wants what he can no longer have.



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