R. Adml Reynolds & Lt. JG Sienelis - A Grey Area (Part I)

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Quinn Reynolds

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Apr 22, 2019, 1:39:20 PM4/22/19
to Gorkon (IC)

((Brig, USS Gorkon))


::The forcefield hummed, snapping back into existence behind Quinn as she stepped into the small holding cell. Its occupant looked up toward her, a face almost entirely devoid of any emotion. But they'd left their traces on her face; her eyes puffy and green-rimmed, skin pale, hair on the dishevelled side of untidy.::


Sienelis: Hello.


::Quinn took a seat on the small chair in the cell, crossing her legs, and after tapping the small device in her hand, laced her fingers in her lap. Valesha watched her from her bunk, legs drawn up to her chest, arms wrapped around her knees. She'd been given the chance to shower and change, and now the Romulan was in uniform albeit sans combadge, as per brig protocol with all traces of shore leave washed away.


::The controls she'd activated allowed them to speak without observation or recording, and now they were in place, Quinn answered.::


Reynolds: Alright. Now that we're able to talk in private; how are you holding up?


Sienelis: I'm sat in the brig, and even my own defence thinks I did it. She's telling me I should plead guilty. That way I'll probably get a penal colony for decades, instead of a prison. Apparently New Zealand "isn't so bad." ::She scowled across the room at her freckled company.:: How *do* you think I'm doing?


::Quinn frowned at that little nugget of information. The evidence that she'd seen was compelling, of course, but just as the prosecution was duty-bound to put forward a compelling case, the defence was to poke holes in it. She couldn't see how, in a few short hours, any counsel would have had the time to take a thorough look through a case as complex as Valesha's, let alone come to a conclusion that it was open-and-shut.::


Reynolds: What do you want to do?


Sienelis: Does it matter? I don't want to plead guilty to something I didn't do, but what's the alternative? Have a lawyer who doesn't think I'm innocent try and convince other people I am?


::The situation was even worse than that, but for now Quinn skirted that revelation. To get what she wanted, she was going to have to lay the groundwork and build up to it.::


Reynolds: I know you didn't do it, Valesha. I don't know exactly why they're trying to pin this on you, but I do know they're taking that one event out of context to do it.


Sienelis: What do you mean?


Reynolds: I remember the D'Mhaii, very well. Your people's request for asylum had divided the Federation Council. ::She frowned.:: From the very start things weren't right.


::Valesha frowned at her, shaking her dark head and shrugging her shoulders. She hadn't a clue what her captain was talking about. Why would she? Many of the events of that mission had been buried, very deliberately so. As a junior captain, she'd always been surprised and relieved that she'd escaped that mission without a court martial — or the very least, some kind of investigation — and now she suspected it was to avoid drawing any attention to the slew of irregularities.::


Reynolds: The Drake was compromised before we even left spacedock. We only discovered it because of the… ::her expression soured at the memory,:: ...wayward antics of a would-be stowaway, but several vital areas of the ship had holes in their security. My security chief at the time believed that they could have only been engineered by someone with some very high-level access and clearances.


::That caught the Romulan's attention, her lovely green eyes flicking up to meet Quinn's gaze.::


Sienelis: You're saying someone in the Federation sabotaged your ship?


Reynolds: Yours was a convoy of a hundred and fifty ships. One hundred thousand refugees. And they sent one starship — one very *old* starship, with an inexperienced captain, no less — to shepherd it. I had not the faintest idea how to handle that situation, and I think that was the point.


Sienelis: Yeah. ::She frowned.:: If we'd all died, it would have solved a lot of problems for a lot of people.


::She wasn't wrong. The Romulans had been afraid of losing valuable assets to the Federation and rightly so. Among the refugees there had been at least one general, more than a few scientists, and a war criminal that they'd been keeping under wraps since the Dominion had rampaged through the quadrant. Meanwhile, many in the Federation had been terrified that the refugee caravan was being used as a means to sneak spies into their borders in an unprecedented scale.::


Reynolds: Does the name K'hæth Dharvanek ring any bells?


Sienelis: No.


::Quinn nodded. His was only one name amongst a hundred thousand, and would have had little meaning to a young woman who'd given her heart to the science of the cosmos. But as with everything, timing, location and context gave it significance. Particular significance, in this case.::


Reynolds: He was a brilliant man. A visionary, and a person of particular interest to the Federation. He'd shown some... dissatisfaction with the Empire, and he was one of their leading minds in the field of cloaking technology. ::She paused.:: He was in that cargo bay.


::Valesha exhaled, closing her eyes while her head drooped forward, immediately putting the meaning of those facts together. She was sharp as a razor, and it was one of the things Quinn had liked about her, right from the very start. If the Romulan hadn't been so hell bent on the science track at the academy, the hybrid would have drafted her into intelligence. But the young woman had always been determined to avoid a black collar, muttering about stereotypes and having her own dreams to follow.::


Sienelis: And any *loyal* Romulan wouldn't allow the Federation to get their hands on that kind of knowledge. ::She breathed out a lungful of misery, opening her eyes again to look back up at Quinn.:: So my mother was... ::She shook her head.:: No. Not even collateral damage in that story. Deliberate. An honourable sacrifice for the Star Empire.


::Her lip curled as she spoke those last words, delivering the line as though it was poison. The Romulan concept of honour — mnhei'sahe — was a complex one, and often misunderstood by outsiders. It was no one thing; not loyalty, virtue, hatred or love as they were commonly defined in the Federation, but an intricate mosaic of all of them, and more. It could require a Romulan to sacrifice themselves for a hated enemy... or to kill the one they loved most in the world.::


Reynolds: Yes. My feeling is that they're going to frame the situation as you solving a problem for your people, while simultaneously inserting yourself into the sympathies of the Federation as refugee who'd lost everything.


TBC...


--

Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds

Commanding Officer

USS Gorkon

T238401QR0


&


Lieutenant (JG) Valesha Sienelis

Under Arrest

USS Gorkon


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