((CO’s Quarters – StarBase 118))
The beeping of the commline was just consistent enough to be annoying. Very, very few people had the direct connection to ping Sal in his quarters. And considering it was 0430 in the morning this was unlikely to be a social call – or if it was a social call it was from an socially inept family member.
Meaning this was likely important.
Sal groaned, rolling out of bed. While he was a morning person 0430 was early even for him. He grabbed a robe, a cup of water and headed to the terminal.
Raskor. Encoded, priority one. Admiral Hauke.
Not likely important. Very important.
He flicked on the display.
Hauke: Sorry to get you out of bed, Captain. ::she murmured, truly sounding sorry. It was also early morning on Raskor, but the sun was dawning and she was in uniform, he was not.::
Taybrim: If it’s important it’s worthwhile, Admiral. ::He returned.::
Vivian Hauke was a solider and a marine. She was direct, blunt, honest, steadfast and focused. While not a particularly social person, she had never abused her position to make others jump without a very good reason. Sal trusted whatever this was, was worthwhile.
Hauke: Very important. ::She murmured.:: The Romulan senate has agreed to hear our case against the Cult of Molor and provide critical intelligence on the splinter factions that may be aiding them. We have impressed upon them that a shift in power in the Empire will be followed by aggressive strikes at the borders with the Romulans being the first in line.
And while the Romulans might benefit, early on, from a Klingon civil war, any Romulan strike would rally the Klingons under one banner of war. And when the full might of the Klingon Empire was marshalled, it far outweighed the still-rebuilding Romulan empire post the Hobus star explosion.
Any Romulan Senator with the ability to see patterns and predict likely outcomes could easily figure out that a shift in power in the Klingon Empire would mean the destruction of many Romulan systems.
Taybrim: That is excellent news. I am assuming we need to compile our data into a useable diplomatic report?
Something Sal knew the implications of, to offer what information benefitted the alliance but did not give away too much.
Hauke: Yes and… ::She drew in a short breath.:: The Romulans have requested to speak with a specific officer about this information.
Sal quirked a ginger brow. That was an unusual request.
Hauke: Lieutenant Commander Nijil.
At first that might seem like a random choice. But then the connections became clear. Nijil was a Rekarian – his race was a Romulan offshoot that held its system in the neutral zone between Romulan and Federation territory. While Rekarians had the freedom of movement out of Romulan space, the Romulans still counted the species as one of their own.
Meaning they saw Nijil as not an outsider, but a neutral party. And Nijil, though he never really talked about it had a better understanding of Romulan culture than most.
It made perfect sense. But Nijil was his First Officer…
Taybrim: How soon do they need him?
Hauke: That’s why I’m calling you at this time of day. ::She gave him an empathetic look.:: As my grandmother use to say sometimes you have to strike while the iron is hot. This mission started in two days and would take him away from StarBase 118 for at least a month. More likely two as the rendezvous is concealed and there are many intricacies to be covered.
A minimum two months gone. That wasn’t a short vacation that could be covered by staff. He would have to appoint a new First Officer until Nijil could return.
Sal took in a long deep breath.
Taybrim: The success of this mission affects the entire trinity sector and beyond. I clear Nijil for leave and will let him know immediately.
Hauke: Thank you, Captain. I will personally ensure his safety on this mission and he’ll be traveling with my best officers. Let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.
Taybrim: It will be a fast change, but I think we have it covered.
He leaned back at the screen went dark. He had to call Nijil and then he had a very important decision to make.
((CO’s Ready Room – USS Narendra))
The message had been rather cryptic. He had contacted Commander DeVeau early that morning – at a reasonable morning time however – and asked her to join him in his ready room. Not his office, which was the usual place he met with everyone – the ready room on the Narendra.
The Narendra was out of dock today, lazily hanging out in orbit of the StarBase, ready for a group of trainees to take a little jaunt into Federation space to test some new upgrades and test some new officers. No going out into the unknown, plenty of other ships for backup should an emergency arise. Starfleet had learned after several catastrophic shakedown cruises that maybe it was best to just send the ship into know space to give some supplies to a freighter rather than shake down a new crew into the unknown. Funny that.
He was standing by the big window, watching StarBase 118 lazily spin beneath the stately ship when the door opened. He didn’t need to turn. Alora’s empathic presence had become familiar to him. He smiled.
Taybrim: Thank you for joining me, Commander. ::he turned and gestured to where a lovely pot of Betazoid hot berry cider was steaming and ready to be drank.:: Please have a seat.
He smiled, and that hint of mysterious impishness welled up in his black eyes. Sometimes he seemed so open, but times like this gave the impression that there was far more ticking in his brain that on first impression.
Taybrim: I know, an unusual venue for a meeting, but since the Narendra was going out for a jaunt into Federation space I figured it would be the perfect place to sit and have a talk away from the lovely bustle that is StarBase 118.
He poured cider for the both of them and offered sweetener if she liked.
Taybrim: You’re right ::He nodded gently:: I was up very early. As always there is change on the horizon.
Taybrim: The Romulan Senate – or at least a number of influential Senators are willing to hear our evidence on the Cult of Molor and to stop the supply lines coming from Romulan space. While a Klingon civil war might benefit the Romulans short term, the fact that they are supplying a dangerous enemy that can easily turn around and start war with them… it’s a compelling argument for them to see reason.
That was a simplification of the issues, but hit all of the important points.
Taybrim: Of course there’s a twist. The Romulans requested to speak with certain officers who have been involved in fighting against the Cult of Molor to hear directly from them. People the Romulans feel they can trust. In our case that’s one specific person we all know – Nijil.
He was slowly building up to a point. Drawing the situation and then easing her into an ask for a new role.
Taybrim: Nijil is Rekarian – that’s a Romulan offshoot race. He may not talk about it but he knows more about Romulan culture than most anyone else on the station and the Romulans seem him as one of their own to a point. I can see why they specifically want the report from him.
Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim
StarBase 118 Ops