What Happens in the Minds of Tal'Shiar
Posted on Tue Feb 4th, 2020 @ 4:59pm by Queen of the Artans Enalia Telvan & Riov (Captain) Dalia Rendal & Commander Rita Paris & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox & erei'Riov (Commander) Arrenhe t'Suil
Edited on on Wed Feb 26th, 2020 @ 1:01pm
Location: IRW Iurret
As Riov Rendal looked over the latest block of protomatter data to be decrypted, the frustration deep inside of her grew ever more. It was obvious that whatever agent had been aboard the USS Hera had been somewhat useful... but ultimately, it seemed fruitless. It seemed that all the Intel ship really stored on protomatter was useless lab-based experimentation on crops and animals.
So unless she needed to feed an entire crew from one lehe'jhme fruit or one hlai bird then it was looking like none of the data they were able to retrieve really even mattered to them.
Then another report hit her terminal.
Looking over it, a grin spread across her face. It seemed the analysis of the data from when Mnhei'sahe Dox... Or whatever was inside of her... Freaked out and destroyed the NEC, burning its own data into it, had been finished. They now had a method of creating a new type of singularity. One in which the lab techs estimated was powerful enough to swallow a small moon if needed.
On the flip side, they also estimated that it could be used in place of the normal singularities powering their ships, granting them even greater power. It was a lot to think about.
With a heavy sigh, Rendal glanced at her chronometer, realizing that they were almost to the comm relay deep inside the nebula they'd been hiding in since their ostracization by the senate. She would be reporting in to her master soon and she didn't have the best news. She'd have to review it with the only person she felt she could truly trust. "Rendal to t'Sahe, attend me."
In the gymnasium of Rendal's Leosa Class Warbird, the Iurret, her loyal Sub Commander, Arrenhe t'Suil, had a sword in hand and was furiously attacking a holographic opponent when the call came in. With a look of frustration on her face, she called out to the computer. "Computer, freeze program." Composing herself and wiping some sweat from her brow, she looked up and replied. "At once, Riov."
Then, sheathing her sword, she sneered across at her holographic opponent and stepped away to the door to the chamber. "Computer, end program." And as she left, the hologram of Mnhei'sahe Dox vanished.
A few moments later, t'Suil arrived at Riov Rendal's ready room and stood in the doorway at attention. "Reporting as ordered, my Riov. How may I serve you?"
"I require your assistance in compiling the data for our report to him," the royal Riov replied, rifling through several datapads on her desk. "We've decrypted two-thirds of the protomatter data but it seems to be relatively useless to us. The NEC incident data has been compiled and further experimentation is warranted, but I need your expertise to confirm the data."
"Immediately, my Riov." t'Suil nodded, stepping over to collect the datapads as needed and pulling out her own pad to review the collected information from the report that Rendal had just been reading. Taking a moment to look it over, the tall, lean woman with the military trimmed hair cricked an eyebrow.
Wordlessly, she went to work reviewing the math and checking over the data. It had been months that the analysis team had begun reviewing the almost incalculable amounts of data that had flowed from the captive woman's mind and longer still had been spent in trying to make heads or tails of what was found, but the initial reviews seemed promising. Looking over to her seated commander, t'Suil nodded and replied. "My review concurs with the findings of the research team, Riov. It appears that the data that was collected, though incomplete due to the systems destroyed in the overload, provides the necessary instructions to generate an artificial quantum singularity of heretofore... unknown quantities."
"There are... holes in the data, however. Elements and components missing that may factor in the application of this data." the Sub Commander continued, "And based on my analysis, the Iurret would require more power than our current systems could generate to open this singularity."
"Indeed... We'll need to obtain resources to use ground testing facilities." That meant asking for favors and she did not like those odds at all, especially with dealing with their self-styled 'overlord'. "I must admit a dislike for ostracization. It is... annoying..."
The loss of having Senator Verelan t'Rul no longer under their control, due no doubt, to something that the Dox girl had done, was a loss that still stung. The Senator had betrayed them to the Senate and caused Rendal and her ship to flee from the protection of the Empire for the time being. That was the ostracization Rendal spoke of, but in t'Suil's mind another was more prominent.
She thought back to when they had the Dox girl and her traitor Grandmother prisoner. She thought of the attention her mistress paid to the red-headed Starfleet officer. In her mind, she could hear her mistress call the girl 'her apprentice', and for the slightest of instances, she paused before she replied. Locked on that word and how it made her feel still.
Her voice nor body language betrayed none of her internal thoughts. "Indeed. Bereft of the resources of the Star Empire makes our work more difficult, but not impossible. There is a ground testing facility controlled by loyal Tal'Shiar Romulans that might serve our needs in the adjoining sector. There are also colony facilities with terraforming technology that we could... co-opt as needed. Colonies out far enough to have little communication with the Empire."
Rendal closed her eyes and centered herself for a moment, thanking the Elements she had t'Suil and a loyal crew. "Thank you. You are truly the most loyal and skilled of apprentices." Then, before they could continue their conversation any further, the comm system on her desk started flashing.
"It is time. Computer, secure the room." As her office went into lockdown, the royal Riov swallowed nervously, stood, and pressed the connection button. The holographics before her shimmered to life, showing a shadowy, immaterial figure rather than a normal person. Unlike her normal haughty attitude, she bowed her head respectfully. "Riov Rendal, reporting in, my Liege."
“You did not report in, I called you,” the distorted voice replied from the muddied holographic image. “Subtle distinctions are where the vast gulf between truth and reality are often found, Captain Rendal. Now, tell me there are positive developments, and that our plans proceed apace?”
Having obviously been taken slightly aback at the correction, Rendal raised her head and picked up a datapad to begin her report. "Yes, my Liege. We have decrypted two-thirds of the Federation protomatter data, and thus far it is only experimentation data on crops, livestock, and minor terraforming projects. It may be of some use in the future, but such developments would take time that we do not have. The odds of the remaining data containing the information for weaponizing protomatter are becoming... slim."
"However, we have finished compiling the Gaia data, and have discovered a way to make a new form of singularity with untold potential for power and destruction. I will forward the data to you now, if it pleases you." With a raised eyebrow, Rendal held up the datapad in question.
"I would verify such a boastful claim myself, indeed," the shadowy garbled figure moved to open a data subchannel to the call, and in doing so revealed some dimension, some shape. And a pointed ear- Rendal was certain of it. When the hologram moved, the distortion did not match it perfectly, and Rendal had been seeking slow but sure confirmation of the identity of her benefactor. This confirmed some of her suspicions, as she unraveled the secret of the power behind her. As the data transmitted, the mysterious power sat back once more.
"How much of the data has been verified, and where are you in testing?" the figure- male, she was reasonably certain now- demanded. It was somehow less imperious than urgent at times, she realized. Always in a hurry to get things done.
"As we have lost many of our connections with the Senate and High Command, we no longer have the resources we once had. However, we plan on beginning testing within the week, granted we are able to secure the facilities. We only just now finished with the data." With a bow of her head, Rendal did her best to stifle a grimace. "If you have any resources you are able to divert to the cause..."
"I thought you to be a woman of ambition, Captain Rendal. The royal blood that courses through your veins does not cry out for revenge on those who wronged you? Have you not kept track of your enemies?" As he delivered the dressing down, the shadowy figure paused, then turned slight, gesturing with a wave of his arm. "Where is YOUR research facility?"
At the reminder of her ignoble defeat at the hands of those Federation sows and how they just handed her entire station over to the Asgardians, the Riov clenched one fist and twisted her face in rage, her bowed head lowering a bit further. "I will retrieve it, my Liege. I will retrieve it, AND have my vengeance upon those who wronged me!"
With great willpower, she ceased her trembling rage and calmed herself. "But first, we must continue our work without it... and plan carefully, one step at a time."
"I will review your data to confirm your findings. If you have need of exotic materials, send word to me and I will see what can be done. In the meanwhile, plot your revenge with the care you take in cutting your hair," the shadowy figure offered as the transmission faded. It was a very old Romulan proverb, as old perhaps as Romulus herself.
"I already am..." Rendal muttered after the transmission ended and the last flickers of the holographics faded away. "t'Suil, we have more planning to do and less time to do it in. I assume we still have contact with our warbird monitoring those that stole my starbase?" As she asked, she tapped at the datapad with the readouts of the new singularity and projected drive characteristics. "If so, we're going to steal it back as soon as we get a chance."
"We do, my Riov." t'Suil said with a light bow and a stern expression pondering all she had just heard before commenting. "That proverb. Were those not the words of T'Rehu, the Ruling Queen. The woman who first brought Romulus under one rule and put an end to our last connections to Old Vulcan?"
"Indeed they were, my friend. Which solidifies my theory further that he is a descendant of that noble lineage, rumored to have been living in exile all these years..." Rendal then pulled up the subspace transmission logs. "Right in the area that these transmissions originate from. For now though, we have our own plans we must see to fruition."
Looking at the screen, t'Suil's nodded to her commander. "Indeed, Riov. Shall I contact our allies for ground testing?"
"Yes please. It is time we started things moving in our favor." An unpleasant grin spread across the royal Riov's face and she could feel laughter boiling up inside of her for the first time in ages. "After all, our enemies are not waiting for us."