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First Contact

Posted on Jun 14, 2017 @ 1:25am by Commander Jacob Crichton
Edited on on Jun 14, 2017 @ 1:26am

Mission: The Romulan Way


= First Contact =

(cont’d from “Down The Rabbit Hole”)

LOCATION: USS PHOENIX

SCENE: Transporter Room 1, Saucer Section, Deck 6

STARDATE: [2.17] 0613.1652



Jake tugged at the starched collar of his dress uniform while he waited for the signal from the Shai’Dan. He’d never gotten used to wearing a dress uniform; they were deliberately ostentatious and ceremonial, naturally at odds with Jake’s eminently practical nature. These dress colors were fairly new - indeed, it was the first time Jake had worn this particular set - and Jake supposed he should be grateful that Starfleet Command hadn’t gone with some of the *other* design suggestions that had been on the table. A few of them had even included swords, probably because some hopelessly optimistic tailor thought stiff collars and tucked tails would make good active-wear if melee combat should suddenly break out over dinner.



Captain Kane stood nearby, his expression customarily unreadable. Jake was standing slightly behind and to the captain’s right, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that Kane was watching him out of the corner of his prosthetic eye. Kane cut a rather dashing figure in his own dress uniform, and stood at perfect attention, his spine straight, his hands clasped demurely behind his back. Jake wondered if Kane practiced standing like that in his off time, and tugged at his collar again.



“Something wrong with the fit, Commander?” Kane asked, without turning to look at him.



“It itches,” Jake said. Now Kane did turn, one eyebrow raised.



“It itches,” the captain repeated. “You didn’t get used to formal wear while you were the husband of a Federation ambassador?”



“I wasn’t usually invited to the fancy dinners, sir.”



“Well, may I suggest that you scratch yourself on your own time,” Kane said, turning back to the still-empty transporter platform. “This is more theater than it is a pleasant evening meal. It’s important everyone looks the part.”



“Aye sir,” Jake said. He gave his collar one last tug, to no avail, then did his best to mirror Kane’s stance, clasping his hands behind his back.



“Good man,” Kane said. “Don’t lock your knees or you might pass out.”



“Been around this block a few times, captain?”



“Part of the job,” said Kane. “You’ll need to get used to it yourself. Usually it will be you meeting VIPs on your own.”



“So if they beam over with a grenade or something, I get pasted instead of you?”



Kane smiled faintly. “Delegation is also part of the job.”



From the transporter station a few paces behind them, a young Bajoran crewman cleared her throat. Jake turned to glance at her from over his shoulder, while Kane remained motionless.



“Sir,” the crewman said. “The Shai’Dan has signalled that Jaron and his officers are prepared to beam over.”



Jake glanced at Kane, who didn’t say anything. Jake took his cue, looked back at the Bajoran crewman, and nodded. “Bring them over.”



There came a whine from the transporter pad, and an instant later, four figures shimmered into view. Jake recognized Commander Jaron as he stepped off the platform, his dark eyes brushing eagerly over everything, taking it all in. Three other Romulans stood behind him, two males and one female.



Kane did not move, neither to step forward and offer greeting, nor to step back and make way for Jaron and his party as they stepped off the transporter pad. He only lifted his chin slightly - Jaron stood two inches taller than Kane - and regarded the Romulans with his green-and-gold eyes.



“Commander Jaron, it’s a pleasure to meet you in person,” he said. “Allow me to introduce Commander Jacob Crichton, my first officer.”



Kane had not offered to shake hands with the Romulans, so neither did Jake. Instead, he gave a polite nod to Jaron, who glanced at Jake and then seemed to promptly forget that Jake existed.



“You have a fine ship, captain,” Jaron said. “I would very much enjoy a tour.”



“Out of the question,” Kane said. “But of course you knew that.”



Jaron gave a thin smile. “Of course.”



“We’ve arranged for some rooms for you and your entourage,” Jake said, hoping to cut some of the tension. It didn’t work; Kane and Jaron seemed in the middle of trying to stare each other down, and neither one of them acted like they’d even heard Jake speak.



“That would be appreciated,” said one of the male Romulans behind Jaron. He stepped around Jaron, and Jake saw that he was younger than the Romulan commander. He hard sharp features, jet-black hair styled in the Romulan custom, and an expression that, if not exactly polite, was at least not the grim determination of his superior officer.



“Won’t you introduce me to your officers, Commander Jaron?” Kane asked. “I’m afraid I must insist before they are allowed aboard my ship.”



Jaron looked annoyed, but he half-turned and waved vaguely at the sharp-featured Romulan who had spoken a moment before. “This is Sub-Commander Deleem, my second in command. Behind him are Centurions Ratal and Herut.”



Ratal, the female Romulan, had smooth cheeks, full lips, emerald green eyes, and an expression so cold it froze Jake’s budding attraction to her before it could really get started. Beside her, Centurion Herut was thin, almost nebbish, and seemed too small for his silver officer’s jacket.



Jaron turned back to Kane, but the captain didn’t look satisfied.



“And their positions aboard your ship?”



Jaron’s cheek twitched. “I beg your pardon?”



“With all due respect, Commander Jaron, if you’ve brought science or technical specialists with you aboard my ship, I would like to know. I could give my reasons, but I’m sure both of us understand my caution.”



“You invited us, captain,” said Jaron.



“And you’re welcome,” said Kane. “But I have certain responsibilities, as do you.”



Jaron considered this, then broke out in a wide, sly grin.



“Nothing to worry about, captain,” he said. “They’re members of my security staff, here to see to our safety.”



Kane accepted this with no change in his expression. “And will your security staff be dining with you and Sub-Commander Deleem?”



“Of course,” Jaron said. “Someone has to try the food before we do.”



Kane stood his ground a moment longer, his eyes searching Jaron’s face. Then, he stepped aside, and allowed the Romulan party to step off the pad. Jake led them towards the transporter room door, while Kane lingered a moment, watching as the Romulans filed out.



“So,” Jake said, trying to sound cheerful as the transporter room doors hissed open. “Are there any allergies we should know about?”



=[/\]=



NRPG: The Romulans have arrived! Jaron’s party consists of Commander Jaron himself, Sub-Commander Deleem, and two Centurions, Ratal and Herut. I gave them names and descriptions - First Officer’s prerogative ;-) - but you can feel free to flesh out their personalities as you see fit.



Shawn Putnam

A.k.a

Jake Crichton

Executive Officer

USS PHOENIX

 

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