Gaya's Astronomy V5Ch3 ~ It's Always the Little Things

Previously ~ Clandestine

Melinda Barton
If Commander Xochitl Dominguez's ready room hadn't been the size of a closet, Melinda Barton would've begun to pace.  Instead, she had to stand in one place and rub her temples against the impending migraine.

By the grim way Xochitl sat behind her cramped desk, Melinda guessed her CO was about to get the same migraine.

"Ratana," Melinda tried to begin diplomatically, "when we said we were open to suggestions, I didn't mean we were willing to buttfuck the Prime Directive!  Are you insane?"

Ratana wasn't shaken.  "Do you want to win this war or not?" she asked simply.  "Because if you do, you're not only going to need my plan, you're going to need to follow it to the letter.  No Federation rules, no Federation sanctimoniousness, and no Federation fuckery that'll end up with us losing this war."

Xochitl Dominguez
Xochitl suddenly spoke up, her voice ghostly calm.  "How do you even know about Lesas IV?"

"The Federation has its ways of gaining information," Ratana shrugged.  "We Maquis had ours; better still, our Bajoran friends had theirs.  In short, you'd be surprised at the things you learn when you're not shackled by some Starfleet rulebook."

"How do we know Lesas isn't heavily guarded?" Xochitl asked, still eerily calm.

Melinda's eyes grew wide.  "You're not seriously considering this are you?"

Ratana cut in before the Commander could answer.  "Oh, it's guarded all right.  I'm not saying the Eressos can just waltz in and blow that base into the stars.  I don't have all the details yet, but I do know you'll need a fleet.  You just won't need a huge fleet because the Dominion is counting on your precious Prime Directive to keep you from attacking."

Melinda shook her head, growing dizzy.  "We are not considering this.  There's no way we're considering this!"

Ratana Dao
"Two bars of latinum says the top brass will not only agree to it," Ratana smirked, "they'll order it.  Like I said...there are some things only an outlaw can learn and what I've learned is that the Federation will protect its own ass by any means necessary.  You would be appalled at just how low Starfleet Intelligence has sunk to get the Founders out of the way."

"You said you don't have all the details yet.  What do you need from me?" Xochitl asked solemnly.

"Not you," Ratana corrected.  She turned to Melinda.  "I need you, on the other hand, to contact your little Bajoran friend.  You know...the operative?"

Melinda visibly tensed.  "The hell do you need Mylanti for?"

"Your dear Lieutenant has bosom buddy within the Tal Shiar," Ratana smiled dangerously.  "Since we're chummy with the Romulans - for now anyway - I predict she'll have no trouble procuring one tiny little thing for me."



Nia Long as
Subcommander T'Sanne
Subcommander T'Sanne of the Tal Shiar whirled around in her seat, surprised by Gaya Mylanti's request. Her office was spacious, but as gray as her uniform. The most colorful thing in the room wasn't even visible; it was her perfume, the rich intoxicating scent of Romulan jasmine.

"You're wasting your time," she blinked. "The Vorta will not talk."

"Rindy got her to talk," Mylanti reminded her.

"Briefly and about very little," T'Sanne countered.  "Granted, Agent Rindy managed to shut off the Vorta's self-termination function so we could keep her alive, but other than that the Vorta has shown insurmountable discipline and resistance to interrogation.  I highly doubt a Starfleet officer can break her."

"Starfleet's not the one requesting her," Mylanti mused.  "It's Ratana Dao who wishes to make her acquaintance."

"A Maquis rebel?"  T'Sanne laughed heartily.  "Where was this ruthlessness when they were being exterminated by the Jem'Hadar?"

Gaya Mylanti
"War breeds courage sometimes," Mylanti shrugged.  "No one expected Bajor to drive out the Cardassian Union.  Ratana lost several people under her command and I know the only reason she cut a deal with Starfleet in the first place was to avenge those deaths."

"And what does she need the Vorta for?" T'Sanne demanded.

"The Vorta was once responsible for a special base in the Lesas System."

"Never heard of it."

"Nor had we, but preliminary research corroborates Ratana's intel which, before you even ask, is classified."

T'Sanne tilted her head to the side.  "Mylanti."

The Bajoran didn't flinch.  "T'Sanne," she stated coolly, "I helped you procure this Vorta."

"For which you were paid!" the Romulan objected.

"And years of custody has done the Tal Shiar no good," Mylanti casually went on.  "She's sat here, eating your food, using up your resources, and giving nothing in return.  People are beginning to think you've lost your touch.  So just turn the Vorta over to me, and I promise I'll get her back to you before the war is over."


After a long day, it felt good to finally head for her quarters.  Ratana knew they would be as cramped as the Commander's ready room and she didn't care.  This ship was a luxury liner compared to some the refitted raiders she'd commanded.

She yawned, making a note to replicate some tea before bed.  Of course, she came across someone whose presence woke her right up.

Lt. Cillia Yrydi
"What the hell are you doing aboard this ship?" Lt. Cillia Yrydi snapped.

"You know," Ratana mused, "if I had slip - not even a strip or a bar, but just a slip - of latinum for every time someone asked me that, I could build mansion on Casperia Prime and retire.  What's the matter, Spots?" she teased.  "I thought you missed me."

"That's precisely the problem with you," the dark Trill spat.  "You think that I'm not over you.  After all this time - even though nothing ever happened between us - you seriously believe I've been pining for you!"

Ratana raised an eyebrow.  "Well, aren't you?  Isn't that what all this ire is about?"

"Oh, fuck off, Ratana!" Cillia exploded.  "You Maquis are all the same.  First you betray the Federation and antagonize the Cardassians.  Then you get every square inch of your asses kicked, so you come crawling back, cutting deals to stay out of jail and talking your way back onto our vessels.  I hear even Sakonna started sleeping with someone at Starfleet Headquarters to keep from rotting behind a forcefield for the next thirty years!"

Ratana snickered.  "She assured me it was perfectly logical decision."

Cillia's whole body shook; whether it was from fury or repressed laughter, Ratana couldn't be sure.  So she turned on the charm.

"Come on, Spots," she cajoled.  "We're crewmates, we're neighbors, it's wartime, and we could die tomorrow.  Do you really want us to go to our graves without ever having --"

The furious Trill whirled suddenly and stormed into her quarters, sealing the doors behind her.

Ratana chuckled, but her laughter was hollow.

Next ~ Questions, Answers


  1. I'm loving how everyone is looking different. This feels so much like DS9 I'm amazed that it's not. Bravo.

    1. Huge praise, considering it's been a while since I watched a DS9 ep. Waiting to get hit by the bug.

    2. GIRL WHAT?

      Love how Ratana's turned into a fuckin boss!


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