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Posted on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 @ 5:19pm by Captain Enalia Telvan & Commander Rita Paris & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox & Lieutenant Commander Sonak & Artan Pirate Helev t'Liun
Edited on on Wed Dec 18th, 2019 @ 12:24am

Mission: Neutral Zone Neutrality
Location: Med bay - the Golden Ghost
Timeline: 2396 en route to Mol Krun'chi

The medical bay of the Artan Bird of Prey known as the Golden Ghost was quiet and the lights were dim as the ship’s chronometer chimed 01:00 hours. The bay itself was physically larger than would have been on the ship had the old T’liss class Romulan ship not been retrofitted and upgraded on the interior. But now the bay was large enough to accommodate multiple wounded and there were several beds with patients sleeping in them in the darkness.

Against the rear of the octagonally shaped room, there was a set of double doors leading to the office and repurposed quarters of the ship’s Master Surgeon and Commander, Maenek Helev t’Liun. It was a small office at the front with a shelf that extended from out of the bulkhead with an older desktop computer that served as a desk. The desk itself was a mess of clutter with old PaDD’s stacked precariously about next to half-used coffee cups, med scanners and tools. It was a level of seeming disorder that rivaled Rita Paris’ office back on the Hera and it was exactly how the unconventional commander liked it. Behind her, in the corner, was an open doorway to a small chamber where a disheveled couch could be seen in the darkness with piles of clothes strewn upon it where she slept.

Sitting at her desk, she wore a simple dark gray/green tunic with an open neck and black pants, as the uniform code on her ship was fairly loose even during operation hours. And anything was better than the uncomfortable quilts that Rihannsu officers wore on actual Warbirds.

The enigmatic Rihannsu woman with the short-cropped brown hair and the prominent forehead ridges liked to keep things unconventional. While she was the commander, or ‘Riov’ in her native tongue, of the Golden Ghost, she insisted on the crew using the Rihan title for Doctor, ‘Maenek’. She had a slightly sarcastic style about her and seemed regularly either put upon or in on a joke that nobody else had heard. But tonight, she was working in her office late finishing up some paperwork on her computer when she heard the expected light knock on the frame of the door leading from the med bay itself into her office.

At the door was Lieutenant Ayamo Oulette. The Vulcanoid Rigellian Intel Officer assigned as an observer on the top-secret mission the ship was currently warping under cloak towards. T’Liun was expecting the woman and looked up with an inscrutable, half-lidded expression and a cricked eyebrow. “Lieutenant Oulette. Please come in.”

The doctor gestured with her eyes to a seat across from the desk with a green lab coat draped over the back. “Have a seat. Pardon the clutter.”

"Thank you for seeing me, Maenek. I must admit that I was lost a few times during the meeting earlier and I do hope that you'll be able to help me clear up some of that confusion." Lieutenant Oulette smiled politely as she entered, PaDD in hand as she took the offered seat. "Especially all the titles. Am I correct in my assumption that Commander Dox was referred to as her Starfleet rank, Baroness, and Captain? And can you explain your various titles in both this vessel's and the Artan's hierarchy?"

As Oulette spoke, t'Liun seemed to almost be ignoring her for a moment as she finished typing something out on her screen, leaving the question hanging in the air for a moment. Then, after a few seconds of awkward silence, she leaned back and looked up to the ceiling for a second and then replied casually, "Ah, yes. The titles. Lieutenant Commander Dox's status is... complex. As a Starfleet officer, that is her rank. However, she is also a Baroness within the Artan Government and as such, this vessel is under her Barony. So, to myself and the rest of the crew, she is a Baroness first and foremost."

"Calling her 'Captain' is, apparently, some degree of protocol when referring to the master of a ship, which she technically is." T'Liun shrugged slightly and allowed the slightest of smirks to crack her authoritarian facade. "Though I don't believe she likes it any more than I like being called a 'Riov', so you should be safe with 'Lieutenant Commander', Miss Oulette."

"So, that said, I am the ship's commander AND her Master Surgeon... or Chief Medical Officer in Starfleet." T'Liun summarized, "So, the crew answers directly to me and I make things go. However, I prefer my title or Maenek, or Doctor. I answer to Commander Dox in all things, however. But she isn't running the ship unless she directly says so. And in regards to the parameters of this mission, we all answer to Commander Paris. Any questions?"

Ayamo nodded as she made notes, humming as she did so. "I suppose then that changes the meaning of several things on pages fourteen, seventeen, thirty-seven, and... ninety-one. I do hope you don't mind going over each of them with me?"

For another lingering moment, the irritated doctor simply stared across her cluttered table at the attentive Lieutenant. "Very well, Miss Oulette. After all, we Rihannsu are nothing if not anal-retentive when it comes to the minutiae of detail, and you had... concerns... regarding our culture."

"That said, you have done well enough not calling me a 'Romulan', so you're starting off on solid footing." t'Liun circled an eyebrow and picked up a PaDD for a moment as she checked over some information. "You may begin. Let's see if we can wrap this up before we reach our destination so neither of us is falling asleep in the middle of the negotiations."

"There are few things I pride myself on and attention to detail is one of them. Dealing with tlhIngan Hol has taught me a great deal of respect for non-Federation cultures, for instance... But I digress. If we could review the plans for the meeting on..." As the droll Lieutenant droned on and the Rihannsu Maenek helped with the details of her notes, the night wore on for almost four hours until finally, the last page was reached and still she had somehow not put the weary t'Luin into a bureaucracy induced coma.

"Well, that should cover everything, Miss Oulette. Glad I could be of assistance, even if I might have droned off a few times. Thankfully, years in surgery have me quite accustomed to the long hours. So, I can show you out..." t'Liun said, letting out a long yawn as she turned her computer off, stood up, stepped around the desk to show the Lieutenant to the door. "Unless there's anything else you need from me?"

"No, I think..." Ayamo began before something in her seemed to stop for a moment and she dropped her PaDD. Her face scrunched up for a moment as if she were in pain and it was as if an entirely different person was standing there in her place as the woman reached into a pocket and pulled out a hypo, twirling it in her fingers for a moment before noticing that her target was right there before her.

"No, I think..." Ayamo began before something in her seemed to stop for a moment and she dropped her PaDD. Her face scrunched up for a moment as if she were in pain and it was as if an entirely different person was standing there in her place as the woman reached into a pocket and pulled out a hypo, twirling it in her fingers for a moment before noticing that her target was right there before her.

Moving with a swiftness and strength that she had not previously shown, the Lieutenant thrust a forearm up under t'Liun's chin and shoved the confused doctor hard up against the rear bulkhead of her office. Flailing, t'Liun kicked wildly, knocking stacks of padds off of her desk as she struggled to pull the arm from her neck that seemed stronger than should have been possible. 

The voice that came out of the previously kind and slightly nervous bureaucratic Intel officer was now unmistakably vile and seething with bloodlust. "I'm afraid I'm going to need a bit more out of you... Mae... nek... Either your command codes, or the location of the colony."

Then, the cold-eyed Oulette brought the hypo up to the side of t'Liun's face and he voice dropped to an eerie hiss, "Otherwise, who knows where this... Hypo... Will end up."

Gasping against the pressure, t'Liun's eyes darted around her small office wildly as she gasped, "I... I cannot... give you what you... what you want. My mnhei'sahe... will not... not allow it."

"Neither your precious... honor... nor your Baroness will save you here. The codes... or I start... breaking things. Things you know as a doctor will not heal."

There was a hiss; but it was not from the hypo. It came from between the clenched teeth of the Vulcan-Rigellian hybrid as her eyes rolled up and she collapsed under the unhurried pressure of a Vulcan nerve pinch.

Sonak caught her limp form within the crux of his free arm then scooped her up to lay her flat on the biobed's sheet under wich he had hidden all this time.

Gasping as she caught her breath, with her windpipe clear again, T'Liun choked out a nervous, "I... Impeccable timing, Commander Sonak."

''Your assessment of her was correct, Commander,'' he told his wife as she stood near the other biobed where she too had played sleeping patient in the shadows. ''Logic was not enough to establish with reasonable certainty her danger potential. But your instinct and perceptions are now being proven true.''

"A last-minute addition to a mission that was supposed to be highly classified played more part than instinct in this case, to be honest," the curvaceous commander replied as she came around to look at the unconscious officer. "We need to know what she knows, what her orders are and why the Jekyll and Hyde routine here. Would you be willing to investigate, Mister Sonak?"

The Vulcan waited a moment before responding with a slight frown.

''A mind-meld would certainly give access to her mind; all of them if there is one involved, be they real or fabricated. However, my expertise is in science and my experience is in command. I have little knowledge of intel or security and no experience with psycho-medical treatment or Romulan brainwashing techniques. I can get to her; but if there is an implanted dormant personality visible only when activated, I might fail to recognize it... and most probably unable to remove it.''

The statement hit home to the anachronistic officer, who in that moment realized that were this the case, Sonak’s previous clearance of personnel might also be under consideration. As well as his treatment of the Romulan senator who had in fact requested this mission. Suddenly, there was an awful lot of paranoia in the air, and no easy answers. Dealing with brainwashed implanted personalities made a number of people suspect… and not all of them were in the room, nor all aboard the Golden Ghost.

“Thank you, Mister Sonak- precise as always, and your insights are appreciated. Doctor, please keep the Lieutenant sedated- I want her to remain quite unconscious for the moment. If the ‘triggered’ personality is still in place, I’d like for it to remain dominant for the moment,” Paris ordered, a troubled expression quite clear on her face, as she tended to wear her emotions rather openly. “In the meanwhile, before we take any action, I would prefer to discuss this with Captain Telvan.”

Rubbing her neck, t'Liun nodded and bent down to pick up the dropped hypo that she had just been threatened with. "Ie, Commander Paris. Her pupils dilated when she attacked and the level of strength she exhibited was indicative of boosted adrenaline production above normal levels for her biology. As such, I'll need a blood sample to compose a proper dose of sedative. Should be simple enough."

Looking at the hypo, t'Liun scowled. "Which is better for her than it would have been for me. This thing is loaded with enough paralytic compound to stop my heart, Mister Sonak's or Miss Az'Prel’s in less than a second. Permanently."

Then the ship’s doctor and Commander looked up at Rita with slightly narrowed eyes. "Would you like me to inform Captain Dox and Miss Az'Prel that the operation was a success?"

Eyes cutting to the Romulan Artan ship commander, Paris considered her words carefully before replying. “Yes… however, under my orders, I want a security forcefield in effect over the patient, with no one to have access to her but yourself for the time being, Doctor. Now my question is, given the rather complex rank structure currently in effect, can my orders be superseded?”

With a narrowing gaze, t'Liun stood more upright and considered what she was being asked for a second. She had come to trust Rita Paris on their last mission together, but she was still Rihannsu. And being Rihannsu, knew suspicion and paranoia like a very old and ever-present friend, and she saw it taking seed now. "They can, yes."

"However, you are the mission commander and I will enforce your orders here for the betterment of that mission as my loyalty is to that purpose above all else. Those orders, only my Baroness or I can supersede, and I would approve no actions that threaten the success of our purpose here. However, for her to do so, she would have to formally relieve me of my command of the Golden Ghost, Commander Paris. And you would be informed immediately in the instance of such an event with a ship-wide communication making such an announcement." t'Liun's answer was as specific as it was broad-reaching, and the tension in the room was palpable.

“Understood, Doctor. Thank you for the clarification.” Paris replied. “Please ensure that an alarm will be sounded if the medical forcefield is breached or tampered with, and I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.” Taking one last look at the unconscious officer on the biobed, the expression on Paris’ face was one of sorrow and regret. “Spies and assassins who aren’t even aware they’ve been compromised, placed in Starfleet. This is… very, very bad.”

For a moment, the astronaut whose career had begun nearly a century and a half earlier suddenly looked as if she felt the weight of her relative age. But she shook it off to adopt a mask of professionalism.

“I’ll be in that secure conference room of yours if anyone needs me, Doctor.” Nodding to the assemblage, Commander Paris took her leave.


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