Calm Before The Storm – Part Three

(OOC – A collab post between Skought and I)

Silverton walked briskly to the main transporter room, having just been summoned by Commander Sol. He assumed she had something to say in person before leaving the ship, which was fair enough. Once the doors opened, he found Luna was the only one in the room, standing behind the control console. She tapped a button, and the door behind Silverton locked. Luna then began the transporter sequence.

“Our new ship’s councilor.” Luna said answering at least one of Silverton’s unasked questions.

The transporter cycle finished and standing before Silverton and Sol was Larrala. Suddenly, Silverton had many more unanswered questions.

“I thought we should all speak privately first.” Luna said, breaking the silence.

Larrala wore a blue Starfleet science uniform and had a Starfleet-issue duffel bag slung over one shoulder. Going by Silverton's surprised and puzzled reaction it was clearly obvious that Sol was still just the same as ever, Larrala thought, always playing things close to the vest, if not downright Machiavellian. Qualities a Romulan spy at least could well appreciate.

“Why Captain Silverton, so very good to see you again,” Larrala said, beaming and all smiles. “I should have known better than to write you all off as being assimilated or dead.” She gracefully stepped down from the transporter pad and acknowledged Sol with a nod. “Commander.”

Sol had handled all the necessary paperwork involved in retroactively enlisting the good Doctor Proust in Starfleet, crafting a manufactured service record that detailed a stellar career in the Science and Medical divisions. Larrala had to think with the Federation in tatters, along with its bureaucracy, tampering with the surviving framework of databases was not quite so difficult as it might have been otherwise. She supposed that keeping Silverton in the dark left him with plausible deniability in the unlikely event Sol's artful computer handiwork was discovered.

Larrala halted and stood at mock attention before him. “Proust, Rebecca, reporting as ordered, sir.”

Then it started. From deep, deep within his stomach, Zane felt it not only begin, but grow and erupt with uncontrollable force. He laughed. The absurdity of it all, the pressure of being in a war for so long, and for it now to fall in place like this was just too much to take. Something had to give, and it had been too long since he’d felt so...bizarre.

Commander Sol approached from the control station, and watched her Captain do something she had never seen so vividly, he was relaxed. Since the recent Borg invasion tension had been running high, and it was good to see the Captain ease a little pressure. “It appears you’re already working wonders Councilor.”

“They say for humans laughter is the best medicine,” Larrala remarked, exchanging a smile with Sol. “For Bolians it is considered a symptom of clarity, for Vulcans a sign of mental breakdown. You had best make an appointment to come see me, Captain, to ensure that you're not cracking up. You have been under no small strain...”

Zane composed himself to look at the transfer orders. Lieutenant Commander Proust was assigned as ship’s Councilor. “Just what I need, someone else with the ability to relieve me of command.” He was still smiling. “Commander Sol, I take it everything is… official?” He had no doubt of Sol’s ability to work Starfleet’s databases expertly.

“Yes, Captain.” Sol unlocked the door. “If there isn’t anything else?”

“Dismissed, Commander.” Silverton wanted to speak to his new crewmember, alone.

When they were alone, Silverton began, “I told her nothing, so I really don’t know how much she knows, but she decided you should be here, and I trust her judgement.” The irony was not lost on either of them.

Larrala shook her head, her blue eyes thoughtful and amused. “You give her far more leeway than I would in your shoes, but at least you don't have to worry about her stabbing you in the back. I doubt that she could reach so high. But seriously, I can understand the amount of trust Sol has built up with you over the past year, and I'm pleased she considers me an asset to go to such trouble for. So you know, my people are backsliding into an isolationist stance to rebuild and regroup. However the safety and future of the Romulan Empire will depend on being proactive. Commander Saren convinced me of this, and that I could do far more for my people working with Starfleet. When we returned to Deep Space Nine, he and Sol apparently had a conversation that I was not privy to, and before I knew it the arrangements had all been made for me to join the crew of the Chaos, which has become every bit as famous a ship these days as the Enterprise, or Voyager.”

“Commander Saren... the XO of the USS Titan?”

“Yes, which is still impounded by the Dominion. Saren left to the Gamma Quadrant to attempt to recover it. He and I met not long after I parted ways with you all and uncovered my identity. So much has happened, and I am not sure where to even begin...” Larrala trailed off, remembering the battle on the SS Beatrix. If the Borg had not attempted to seize the evacuation ship where might she be now?

“Later, I would like to catch up.” Silverton didn’t want to overwhelm.

Larrala nodded as she turned toward the door. “Yes, and I very much want to hear about all that you've been up to firsthand; the Founders, the Chordate, the Borg, everything that happened after you sent me off on that experimental transporter on Gasko II. As chief councillor, I would like to request permission to review your logs. They ought to be entertaining for what you leave out as much as put in on official record. They will also perhaps help get me up to speed on Starfleet procedures and ship personnel.”

“Certainly, and you should know, Doctor Signar has a…crush really isn’t the right word. Intention. Toward you. I’ll give you the same advice I give everyone, give him and sickbay a wide berth.”

“Intention toward me...?” Larrala raised her eyebrows at this, and then even higher upon remembering her strange encounter with the blunt and terse doctor the last time she was aboard the ship. “Oh, I most certainly will steer clear of both. I'm still posing as a human, and that charade couldn't withstand a close medical inspection.” And the thought of being examined by a Klingon physician revolted her, she didn't add. Romulans and Klingons tended to hate each other with an undying passion, and though not quite as xenophobic as many of her people were, she still considered a Klingon serving as chief medical officer as patently ridiculous as having a Pakled as chief engineer, a Ferengi heading security, or, she supposed, self-deprecatingly, a Romulan as ship's counselor. “What a misfit crew you have, Zane, but it certainly gets results. I know that's the one and only reason why you and Sol haven't been thrown in the stockade by now.”

"Fair enough." Silverton's smile continued. "I suppose we'll have a department meeting soon enough, let everyone meet and greet." Silverton paused. "It's really great to have you on board again. It really is."

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