Gaya's Astronomy ~ V5Ch11: Sounding of the Horn

Previously ~ Pondering Dead Cardassians

"What do you mean my Vorta is gone?"

It was strange and terrifying to hear a Romulan roar like this.  T'Sanne even slammed her fist down on Captain Sisko's desk for emphasis.  The whole thing violently shook beneath the force of her blow.

Sisko didn't even blink.  "Records confirm she was brought on board and left in the brig.  Odo was on duty when --"

"Save me from the incompetence of humans!" T'Sanne bellowed.  "Why was she brought to Odo at all?  What the hell was Lt. Gaya thinking?"

"Starfleet procedure dictates a junior officer must have a prisoner of war processed before relinquishing them to a foreign entity," Sisko stated clearly, eyebrow raised.  He loathed being interrupted, and he absolutely detested having some Romulan scold him in his own office as though he were wayward child.  Rising to his feet from his desk, he kept his voice low and steady.  "Lt. Gaya Mylanti acted as a consummate Starfleet officer.  If you have a problem with that, you can file a complaint with Admiral Jennifer Upkins herself."

Captain Sisko
The quick, tiny flicker in T'Sanne's eyes was worthy of savoring.  Though he'd never actually met Admiral Upkins in person, Sisko knew of the woman by reputation, and by the way her name alone was able to silence a ranking member of the Tal Shiar, that reputation was clearly well-earned.

T'Sanne attempted to recover, "Forgive me, Captain, but as the man in charge of this station, I was under the impression you were Lt. Gaya's commanding officer."

Nice try, Sisko smirked.  But not today.  He even allowed a note of deference to enter his voice as he spoke.

"As a member of Starfleet Intelligence, Gaya reports to the Admiral directly."

"I see."

Now there was the typical Romulan he was familiar with.  Stoic, laconic, and cold.  T'Sanne smoothed her expression out until not a trace of emotion showed.

"In that case," she added, "I will speak with the Admiral."

She turned and left, saying nothing, but she didn't need to.  As intensely as Sisko disliked this woman - and the Tal Shiar in general - she still had a point.

"Sisko to Odo."

"Odo here."

"I want a full report on how a weakened, unarmed Vorta escaped fully armed space station surrounded by six fleets."

"Aye, Captain."



Rindy tossed a padd onto the conference table at Starfleet Intelligence.  "This is your next target."

With the smooth, practiced manner of a new operative, Isi Soyinka picked up the padd and began to review the material aloud in a neutral voice.

"Shenrek Palaren of Gomor," she read.  "Suspected of having negotiated the alliance between the Breen and the Dominion."

Rindy nodded grimly.  "Oddly enough, we have the Tal Shiar to thank for this lead...though, of course, they won't tell us how they came across the info."

"Then how do we know it's authentic?"

Isi Soyinka
"Because even though they won't tell us, we still already know," Rindy snorted.  "The Tal Shiar has been a second home to what's left of the Obsidian Order, specifically one Agent Kinora Grelle.  If it concerns Cardassia, Kinora's always one of the first to know.  She was tailing Gomor back before the alliance; she noticed he kept meeting with several Vorta emissaries with whom he discussed other formidable forces within our Quadrant, namely the Breen.  Thanks to his interference, we nearly lost a war dragged on a lot longer than necessary."

"It's going to be hard to prosecute someone like this with so little concrete evidence."

Rindy nodded.  "Which is why you're going to have to go find some."


"It happened in the night."

Odo's deep, surly voice was tight with bitterness, a bitterness which mirrored that of Sisko's.

"They beamed her out," the Captain deduced grimly.

"Overrode all security protocols and transported her off the station - a clean operation with surgical precision," the Changeling Chief of Security nodded gravely.

Sisko was slightly taken off guard.  "It wasn't the Romulans.  The Tal Shiar is furious about this."

"No, Captain; this is the handiwork of an Obsidian Order agent."

Sisko almost laughed. "And let me guess...Mr. Garak is unavailable for comment?"

"His ship left for Cardassia in the night," Odo confirmed.


Kinora Grelle
"I must thank you for your hospitality, T'Sanne," Kinora began silkily.  "But as I stated earlier, my war has begun and it is time for me to depart."

"Kinora, you traitorous bitch!" T'Sanne railed at her computer screen.

"Hardly," the Cardassian mused.  "I never lied to you, T'Sanne.  I never withheld information or refused to cooperate or --"

"Bring back my Vorta!"

"For what?" Kinora spat.  Like a mask, the silk, the sultry teasing, the gentle mocking dropped and was replaced with a tone as hard as steel.  She was done playing.  "The war is over, Subcommander.  Go back to your gray office and continuing spying on your citizens.  This is Cardassian business."

"'Cardassian business' dragged my people into a war," the Romulan hissed at her.  "The battle may be over, but the war goes on.  Starfleet may be content with keeping that Female Changeling in a box, but heads must roll for this!"

"Heads will roll for this," Kinora assured, her nodding.  "The Union must be cleansed of traitors once and for all.  You're right, Subcommander.  This is our fault.  And we must pay for it - we will pay for it.  We will rebuild our world upon the blood of the cowards who sold us out."

T'Sanne was bewildered.  "But why do you need the Vorta?"

 Kinora's eyes narrowed to dangerous slits.  "Malest was part of the first wave of Dominion infestation on Cardassia.  Her actions widened their door of opportunity.  Her execution will be public, and just as her presence then was at the beginning of our pain, her presence now will be beginning of our healing.  I'm sorry to steal your trophy, old friend, but I must do this for my people."

T'Sanne inwardly sighed wearily, deciding it was best to let the Vorta go.  After all, she'd serve little purpose on Romulus.

"Consider the prisoner a gift," she conceded finally, "from the Tal Shiar to our allies in the Obsidian Order."

Next ~ Only the Strong


  1. Sisko & Odo.

    I done told folks to quit fucking with Amanda Clarke.

  2. Man, this Vorta must have been worth her weight in latinum.


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