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LtCmdr's T'Lea & Jolara - Truce

Rahman and Rivi Vataix

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((Invicta – T’Lea’s Quarters))

:: T’Lea was sitting on her couch in silence, not really meditating, but thinking about her conversation with Ms. Moonsong when the door chimes rang.::

:: A moment more passed as if she hadn’t heard the announcement, and then she rose to her feet.::

T’Lea:  Enter.

::  Her voice was calm, and so was her response when Rune walked in.::

Jolara: ::jaw set:: We need to talk.

::  It didn’t take eyes to see that Jolara was in a hostile mindset, one that T’Lea didn’t want to deal with.::

T’Lea: Now is not a good time.

Jolara: Then I will talk and you will listen.

::  With a sigh, T’Lea moved over to the replicator with unwavering patience.::

T’Lea: Very well.  ::to the replicator::  Vulcan spice tea.  Hot.

::  When she turned back with the cup in her hands she took a sip and lifted an eyebrow for the woman to do as she said – talk.::

:: Rune watched T’Lea for a second. If there was any doubt before, there was none now. She almost let out a sigh of her own. She hadn’t really come to fight but she would have to do whatever it took to make the irritating Romu-Vulc normal again.::

Jolara: ::releasing a quiet chortle and shaking her head:: I liked you better when you were not so bland. ::waving her hand:: This…. Vulcany act does not really suit you. But I get it. It is how you choose to deal with things.

:: The truth was, after talking with Moonsong, she was feeling depressed, and right now she didn’t give a flying frell about anything.::

T’Lea:  ::a sip of tea:: I have had my fill of counseling for one day, if that is why you are here.

Jolara: No. Actually that is not why I came. But it would make things easier if you were yourself again.

:: T’Lea gave a dull little shrug.  It was stunning how people wanted her to change, how everybody wanted her to be something different, and when she finally did it, they wanted her to change again.  Of course, this metamorphosis hadn’t been for them, but the reactions were still ridiculous.::

T’Lea:  Why would it be easier?  Or perhaps the more accurate question would be *who* would it be easier for?

:: Rune ignored her comment and moved to plop down on the sofa. She looked around, taking note of the sparse decor. It was a reflection of what she knew T’Lea was feeling. For that she was truly sorry but she wasn’t about to show any sympathy. After all, that would only alienate the woman even more and right now that was the last thing she needed to do.::

Jolara: Because something is happening inside ::tapping her head:: here and you are the only one I can trust.

::  The Romu-vulc sipped her tea and then gave a small shake of her head.::

T’Lea:  There are better people to confide in.  Have you sought counsel?

Jolara: ::shaking her head:: I do not need counseling… not for this.

T’Lea:  Then elaborate because you are failing to convey your thoughts in a comprehensive manner.

:: That sounded very much like a Vulcan insult, and it probably would have been if T’Lea had cared enough to manufacture it into one.  But honestly she had no idea what Rune was talking about.::

Jolara: ::sighing and leaning forward with her arms on her knees:: I am talking about… ::her brow creased:: If Kieran had not left maybe she could have helped but she is not he… ::Stopped abruptly and looked up at the Romu-Vulc, though she didn’t have to look at her though to know the thought that ran through her mind. She pointed a finger at T’Lea.:: That is not what I am talking about. And I never wanted you to change or be anything different but that does not matter right now. ::She shook her head and touched the back of her neck as her thoughts instantly shifted.:: I think I am beginning to figure out what my mentor really did to me. But actually, none of that is why I am really here. I was not going to tell anyone and maybe I should even tell you but of all the people in the universe, you are the one person who has a right to know. ::waving her hand:: Yeah, I know I am still not conveying my thoughts in a comprehensive manner. ::She sucked in a breath. She was rambling and she knew it. But it was the way her thoughts were coming.:: I have secured the portable repository. No one else will ever be hurt by them.

::  It was almost too much information for T’Lea to process.  For a moment she stood there staring blankly at the Al-Leyan as her mind raced to sort through landslide of words she’d been caught in.  And then…  and then it started to sink in.::

:: T’Lea set the delicate little tea cup on the table top and gave Rune a faintly curious look.::

T’Lea:  Does the Captain know?

Jolara: ::shaking her head:: No. No one does.

T’Lea:  You have chosen to disclose this information to me and not him because…?

Jolara: I do not really know… maybe because you are the only one I *know* I can really trust.

:: Just because they enjoyed annoying each other didn’t mean they didn’t trust each other.  T’Lea took the declaration at face value.::

T’Lea:  And what do you plan to do with the lesser repository?


Jolara: Keep it hidden… destroy it?

:: T’Lea closed her eyes, and tilted her face toward the ceiling to inhale a clean breath of soothing calm.::
T’Lea:  ...why do you people continue to test me…?
:: She said exhaling a long sigh.  First it was Ms. Moonsong battering her defenses, and now this… this temptation of revenge staring her down.::
::  The look she gave Rune hinted of her thoughts.  She wondered what Rune was capable of on her own.  She wondered about her loyalty to Starfleet Intel.  She wondered if the woman would crack under pressure.  She wondered what she *herself* would do next.::
T’Lea:  You realize they will be looking for it.  You know they will come for it – they will come for *you*, and when they do what will you tell them?
:: Rune knew all of that and she knew T’Lea doubted her. It was no secret the Romu-Vulc thought Rune was weak. It was something that had once bothered Rune, but now… well the woman simply did not know what Rune was really capable of. She hadn’t even known until Kya unlocked the memories Laro had tried to erase.::
:: Her jaw clenched and then she shrugged.::
Jolara: They can come for me but they will not get it. No good can come from it and the danger of it falling into the wrong hands is simply too great.
T’Lea:  You would sacrifice your career and possibly your freedom for this?
::  She looked at Rune with unwavering eyes.  She looked for weakness.  She looked for hesitation.::
Jolara: There was a reason the Council of 12 sought to destroy the Iconians and their technology. I understand that now.
::  T’Lea gave a firm nod.  Rune was different now.  Something had changed in her.  But so had T’Lea.  Vengeance, bloodlust, rage… it was still there inside of her, but she had control.  Besides, there was a bigger picture, a bigger target she wanted.  Dal Selta.  Her archenemy, and really all of SFI’s nemesis.::
::  Now she was thinking as she should have been all along.  Her purpose renewed.::
T’Lea:  The Twelve Deities of Destruction may, or may not still exist.  They may be long dead, or they may be lying in wait for another resurgence of Iconian technology.  The Cardassian Bureau of Intel is SFI’s biggest competition right now.  If either side facilitates a revival of Ico-tech there could be grave repercussions throughout the galaxy.  Now you see why I’ve “mismanaged” details and discoveries.  But Nygel is different.  The information is out there.
:: Rune could almost feel the change in T’Lea, which was good. She nodded thoughtfully.::
Jolara: I know.
T’Lea:  The Cardassians will come for it.  They will stop at nothing to acquire it.  What we uncovered on Nygel has the potential to be devastating.  Imagine infiltrating the upper echelon of Starfleet Command by simply overwriting an Admiral’s consciousness. ::pause::  I believe the Captain has underestimated the destructive nature of such technology.  And I, like you, do not know who to trust.  SFI has its own agenda, but I think…  I hope I have placed my trust well with you.
:: She took a step literally and figuratively toward Rune.  They’d been through a lot together, and it seemed they had a mutual respect for confidentiality.  Maybe this was a big mistake. Maybe Rune was playing her like a fiddle.  One way or another she’d find out.::
Jolara: All I have is my word that you have… whatever that is worth to you. ::She bit her lip. That hadn’t come out the way she intended.:: What do you think we should do about it?
T’Lea:  My initial instinct is to destroy the repository.  Both of them.  However…
Jolara: Destroying it will not stop the Cardassians or anyone else from looking for it.
T’Lea:  No.  At least we can influence where they look though.  What good is a trap without the bait.  Since I cannot control the information flow on Nygel, let us use it to identify friend and foe.  If it lures out the Cardassian threat then we will have succeeded.
:: All that was said in the terrifyingly, calculative calm of a manipulative Romulan.  Dal Selta would come.  She was sure of it.::
:: Rune smiled but it quickly faded as she stood. She thought for a moment, rubbing the back of her neck as the pins and needles started again.::
Jolara: We should start with the Captain. Somehow we have to convince him just how dangerous the technology really is and that we can not allow anyone else to get their hands on it. Perhaps even convince him to allow me to keep it secured.
T’Lea:  That would be the best scenario.
:: She paused and considered what Rune had said previously.::
T’Lea:  You have your doubts about Captain Washington?
Jolara: ::shrugging::  If we can not trust him, we should not even be here. There is a gathering this evening. We can speak to him when it’s over.
T’Lea:  If we cannot trust him, we should be *exactly* here.  After the gathering then.
Lieutenant Commander T’Lea
History & Archaeology Specialist
USS Invicta
Author ID I238301T10
Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara
Intelligence Officer - USS Invicta
Writer ID: A238909RJ0
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