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Posted on Jul 07, 2017 @ 10:11pm by Lieutenant Tomas' Vukovic

Mission: The Romulan Way


(follows Susan's "Dark and Stormy Night")


He liked to think of himself as a shadow in a room full of bright lights.

Everybody looked at the lights. There were always shadows, of course, but nobody really paid attention to them. Everybody was supposed to look at the lights. To be blinded by the lights ... and not see the shadow. Or that the shadow was not just a shadow.

Tomas' noticed when the Tribune took up station next to him. He went quiet and still and just absorbed everything he could get.

She was tall, in a species known for lean and gaunt. He would have said she was built for the desert; she had no water fat anywhere, But where the Romulan males were all sharp angles and knife blade creases, this Tribune was velvet coated wire. Lithe. He could have seen her swinging through trees, or riding a sandworm, or firing a bow in mid leap or any of the other fictional heroines of adventure books he'd read. She had curves, but none of them were exactly soft.

"Jemasun Tor," she introduced herself, looking straight ahead as he was, and yet apparently seeing everything she cared to see. "Tribune of the Catalin Reach."

He nodded courteously.

"Tomas Alexei Vukovic," he replied, his voice carefully modulated to reveal confidence, but not brashness. "Lieutenant, Helm One, USS PHOENIX."

"I am you escort," she offered. "Once the audience with our Praetor is concluded, I am tasked with providing you a look at us."

"I look forward to it," he said. "And what will you be carefully not showing me?"

She smiled.

It was worth the entire dreary business of dressing again in formal uniforms and standing about stiffly among lots of people who didn't exactly want to be there.

"Forgive me," he offered. "That was forward and cynical of me."

Her smile grew wider.

"But accurate," she said. "We are very careful to reveal only that which we wish to be seen. It has always been thus."

That was absolutely true. Romulans had been the first to deploy cloaking technology. When they wished to be invisible, they were. While it was true that the Klingons AND the Federation had stolen that technology for their own uses, the Klingons had paid dearly for their indiscretions, and the Federation weren't a current threat ... so far.

"Tribune Tor," he turned to her deliberately, and they locked eyes. Hers were amazingly green, "Is there any chance," he wondered, "that you might have a decent cup of coffee anywhere in the city?"

"Nothing in the city," she lamented. "We scarcely need caffeine to maintain our hyperalertness."

Tomas' sighed, theatrically. "I don't drink it to wake me up," he said. "I just like the taste."

"I have tasted such concoctions," Tor admitted, "though actual coffee seems to be unavailable this side of the Neutral Zone. Still, I have a friend who has secured some actual biologicals that approximate that very specific flavor. I'm sure you'd find it acceptable."

It was Tomas' turn to smile.

"And how would we go about actually drinking this 'approximation'?"

"You'd have to come home with me," the Tribune hid her smile, a face so calm and neutral Tomas' was sure he never wanted to play poker with her. "Do you think your Captain would allow it?"

Tomas' shrugged.

"Let's go ask," he suggested.


NRPG: Sorry, fellow travelers, I must away. I could not get much of anything larger out in time. But just wanted to assure you I have a plan. And so does Tomas'. And it ain't coffee. More to come. Just wanted to show I was still here.


Kenneth Field
writing for:

Lieutenant Tomas' Alexei Vukovic


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