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JP: FltAdml. Tristan Wolf & PNPC Ambassador R’Val – The Gambit parts 1 & 2


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I had at first hesitated about putting this here as it might seem self-serving, but it was such an honor being able to write with FltAdml. Wolf that I wanted to share it with the entire fleet. Please enjoy...

((FltAdml. Wolf’s office))

{{ Time Index: Day 29 of Chin'toka shore leave }}

Tristan Wolf stood with his back to the door, trying to center himself. The counselor had implored him to take more time to do that. Seemed like full-on hooey to him, but lately he had experienced heart palpitations and an occasional headache and he supposed it was either time to take a few deep breaths, or be the victim of some dire health consequences. He had really needed that vacation that he wasn't going to get. 

Now a Romulan diplomat was approaching the base in a shuttle, here to talk to him. He asked the stars to give him the patience to listen to a Romulan talk out of both sides of their mouth, the strength to withstand more than mere moments in their presence, and the wisdom to know whether he should transport himself — or the diplomat — into space once it was all over. 

He opened his eyes and looked around. Not a dream, he was still this man. 

Without another breath, he approached the desk and gathered everything that moved, dropping it into a drawer and locking it with his thumbprint. He locked down the computer terminal, in case he turned his back for a moment. He even turned off the replicator station — the Romulan would never accept token food or drink, and he didn’t want to give them an excuse to replicate something dangerous. Like murderous toddlers, they were – give them any opportunity and they'd use it. 

He glanced around and confirmed that, yes, that would probably be safe enough for the moment.

Then he sat down at the desk, carefully, and folded his hands on the desk. The door chimed.

Romulan Republic Ambassador R’Val waited for the door to open. Her blood was boiling, but it wouldn’t do to start a diplomatic incident right now. The Romulan Republic was still seeking amicable relations with the Federation and alienating the Federation’s main delegate for her people would not be the best way to do that. But she wanted answers.  Once the doors opened, she entered to find the Admiral seated inside. She strode in, deliberately measuring her steps and steeling her countenance to avoid revealing her true emotions. She had no doubt she was failing, but she was making her best efforts.

R’Val: Admiral Wolf. I would like an explanation about these allegations against my daughter. I find it hard to believe that a Starfleet Officer, regardless of who they may be, could be accused of something this outrageous.

Wolf stood. So much for niceties. Romulans never just came for a visit.

Wolf: Welcome, Ambassador. A pleasure, as always, to have a member of the Romulan Republican here. ::His tone was icy.:: I'm aware your daughter is serving aboard the Chin'toka, although I'm not entirely sure what accusations seem so outrageous. 

As the Admiral spoke, R’Val forced herself to remain calm. What she really wanted to do was draw her dathe’anovfsen and run it through him.

R’Val: Come on, Admiral. My daughter is being accused of poisoning her commanding officer. Are you really going to stand there and tell me you have no idea what I am talking about? :: her voice began to rise as she spoke and her anger began to seep through :: I can’t believe you, of all people, would allow this anti-Romulan sentiment to stand! I thought Starfleet had changed in their views about my people. I see that I was wrong!

A whisper ran through the back of his head questioning why, he, of all people, would care about anti-Romulan sentiment. She must have thought him a better man – someone who aspired to Picard's moral certitude, someone who had a special place in his heart for her people. 

That was her first mistake. He knew the lengths these people would go to set you back on your heels and put you into a defensive position. They'd move about the galaxy in invisible warships, speaking in riddles, eyeing you warily over an offered glass of wine before hissing in your face about your duplicity. 

But he knew all that before the Empire fell. The most important thing he had learned about them in recent years was that if a Romulan accused you of something, it was a good bet they, themselves, were guilty of just that thing

Wolf: We're all innocent until proven guilty, Ambassador, that's the Federation way. But since I have you here, I guess it's worth asking: Did she kill him? 

He hadn't even considered it up to this very moment. Reider had come in a few days ago with the notion of putting a green – no pun intended – First Officer into the commanding officer's seat. She was too inexperienced to command a ship in the Expanse, but more importantly he just wasn't ready to cross the bridge of giving a Romulan the command of a Starfleet vessel. 

Regardless, he hadn't assumed she'd killed Thoran.

This was a whole new ball game. A Romulan ambassador in his office defending a half-Romulan Starfleet officer before charges were even filed? Before there was even a shred of evidence that she was implicated? 

His mind whirred as he raced through the possibilities. The Starfleet Intelligence officers on the base would have been phasering each other in the back to be the first one at his door with that kind of news, but he hadn't heard a peep from them since Reider had visited. Was she here to get out in front of it, before they caught on? A delicious gambit. But… too obvious? Romulans thought humans were fools, but it didn't seem like them to send her in here trying something this conspicuous. Unless they thought that doing nothing would seem even more obvious. Charge in, railing against a heretofore unconsidered accusation, and of course his first response would be to question the entire premise, leading him to then assume that there was no possible way she had done it. 

Switchbacks upon switchbacks – the Romulans were trained in it from birth. He had only been lying since he had learned to talk.

 

Part 2

R’Val was about to blow a stack. Yes, that was a human phrase; one she had picked up during her forty-year long exile on Earth. But it was apropos. How could he even ask such a question? Had he never read her service file? Serala’s fierce loyalty had been directed toward the Federation and Starfleet and there was no more chance that she would kill her commanding officer than there was that she would join the Tal Shiar.

However, there had been the evidence. Her contact had told her the evidence was clear and that Serala was about to face charges for murder, mutiny and possibly even conspiracy. The poison in question was unequivocally Romulan in nature. It wouldn’t take a genius to link Serala to R’Val and claim she was the source for the poison. Starfleet was about to throw the book at her and the evidence would sink her. R’Val suspected they just didn’t want a Romulan in the command chair and so had invented this miserable farce of a frameup to ensure Serala would never sit in one. It wasn’t the first time her daughter had faced such accusations. And the consequence would be ruined relations between the Federation and the Republic. After all, if they did try and link R’Val to this, it could be claimed that the Republic had taken a direct hand in the death of a very well respected Starfleet Captain.

And Humans thought Romulans were duplicitous.

She lowered her voice in a dangerous menace as she leaned forward over his desk to get her face closer to his own.

R’Val: Admiral Wolf. If you knew the first thing about my daughter, you would realize just how ridiculous that question is. She is not a Klingon. :: She paused trying to collect herself before she stood back up and  continued. :: Serala may have human genes, but I raised her and I know that she is Romulan at heart. She is dedicated to the concept of mnei’sahe. However, where that concept really applies to the Empire, Serala has found a way to make it work for the Federation. She would never consider such an act. Her honor would never allow her to do such a thing.  Besides, I have seen her working with him. She admired that man almost more than she did her own father.

Were she looking any closer, she might be able to see the gears turning in his head. Yes, what a ridiculous question that a woman described as a "Romulan at heart" would spend years positioning herself to be the next in line for command. What a ridiculous notion that she would hurry along her captain's demise…

But that question nagged, wagging its finger inside his head like a mirror to the woman in front of him. It was all too convenient. Why kill him when just a few more years would see her – all things being equal – pushed into her own command? Clean and clear, in possession of a pip and command codes, nestled in velvet in a little mahogany box, just waiting to be passed along to her handlers – her mother? Surely that was more enticing? Killing Thoran might seem too obvious to be true, so let Starfleet assume that a Romulan would never be that brazen – when that's exactly what she was. 

But the Russian nesting doll of Romulan machinations were never that simple. No, of course no. It wasn't even about Serala, or Thoran. This was a diversion from something else, something bigger. He was being set up. Or she was. Or the Federation. He had been at dinner with a Romulan diplomat once, a long time ago just after the destruction of Romulus, who had leaned in and said quietly: "Misdirection is the key to survival. Never attack what your enemy defends. Never behave as your enemy expects and never reveal your true strength. If knowledge is power, then to be unknown is to be unconquerable." At the time, he wondered if he was about to be murdered. But now it seemed like the most perfect full-circle moment he had ever experienced. 

Wolf: Ambassador, whatever you've heard, I believe you've been misinformed. We have no indication that Serala's a suspect. While the investigation into the sudden passing is ongoing, we don't currently believe  ::his own gambit, now:: that there was foul play. Truth be told, I think you're right – Serala wouldn't consider it. I'm sorry you came all this way, but I can assure you if anything changes, I will contact you personally. 

R’Val stood back. This was unexpected. Her contact had been quite clear that Starfleet had all the evidence they needed, had even presented it to her. How could this man not know about it, unless it wasn’t true? Or a conspiracy within the ranks of Starfleet? No, that was about as probable as Serala killing Captain Thoran. Something was going on here and she would get to the bottom of it. One thing was clear, however. Fleet Admiral Wolf had no idea what she was talking about. She could read it on his face. There was no deception there.

R'Val: I see. Well, in that case, Admiral, I will take my leave. But if you learn of anything that would prove that my daughter is being considered for charges, I would appreciate knowing about it at once. Jolan’tru, Admiral.

R’Val had seemed like a fool in front of this man. She couldn’t believe her source would so mislead her. There would be retribution for this, of that she would make sure. Without so much as a “by your leave,” she turned and headed out of his office.

Wolf watched her leave his office, and then waited another 20 seconds for her, presumably, to leave the outer office. He unlocked the computer on his desk and touched the intercom button. 

Wolf: Get the head of StarBase 118 Intelligence in here immediately. And then get me the acting commanding officer of the Chin'toka, Lieutenant Commander Serala.

 

-----

PNPC Ambassador R’Val

Romulan Republic Ambassador

Par’tha Expanse

as simmed by:

Lt. Commander Serala

First Officer

Training Team Member

Image Collective Member

Community History Team Member

Chat Team Moderator/Co-Facilitator

USS Chin'toka NCC-97187

A239412S10

 

 

FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

Chief Administrative Officer for Romulan Affairs

StarBase 118

P237106TW0

Edited by Serala
removed duplicate signature banner
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This was such a fun sim to write @Serala – thanks for playing along! :D

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