River of Forgetfulness # 90 - 91 - New Game Plan?


[Starbase Ronin - Mess Hall]

The bag of ice had little effect on reducing the shiner around his right eye. Zorach knew the swelling and color would shrink in a few days. Drinking the saurian brandy had only made his headache worse. After three tries, Zorach found the mess hall and ordered a meal. After 30 minutes, he finished a meal of steak, potatoes, and brussel sprouts with water to wash it down.

Zorach spotted a woman passing by the mess hall and stood up for an intercept. "Excuse me, Commander," he said.

Kristiana was just on her way back to The Hub from her meeting with Kathleen Black, when she heard her rank called out. She halted and turned to the man who spoke. "Lieutenant Zorach .." she nodded to the human man. "What can I do for you?"

Zorach smiled. "Yes, Commander Petrova. I hope your vacation was relaxing. Do you have a few minutes to talk?"

"My vacation was less relaxing than I'd hoped it'd be, and sure - I could use a bite to eat. Lead the way." she motioned back into the lounge.

"Be my guest, I've eaten but I'll have more water," Zorach said as they walked in.

Kristiana ordered herself a nice steaming plate of mac-and-cheese and a coke, and sat down at a table, starting to eat, waiting for Zorach to speak.

"I've been thinking about our Reman guest and the Romulans Sock and Bokma. I've talked with all of them and some of the crew. The Reman is still in medical under going tests. I've read the record about Sock and Bokma's visit to the Pegasus. It seems to me that an all out attack to recover the Reman is less and less likely. What do you think?"

"The first time I met Sock and Bokma, they'd boarded our ship and were systematically taking over all departments. Only when Sock ordered Bokma to stand down, they stopped .. Reluctantly." Petrova spoke, while eating. "The only thing you can be certain of where these two are concerned is that you can't be certain of anything," the Russian redhead added.

"Why did they stand-down when it seemed likely of capture?" Zorach asked. He took a sip of water.

"Because they found out what had really been happening wasn't our fault." Kristiana replied. "But that just goes to show their difference in character. Sock is the one who can be bargained with. Bokma is the one who'd rather just blow us all to kingdom come." She winced a bit and rubbed her shoulder. "You know sometimes my shoulder still bothers me."

"Sock claimed that the Reman was a rebel leader with connections. The connections. Sock wants to know those connections. If it is important to him, then Starfleet would want to interview this Reman in a more controlled environment. Can we hold the Reman for further intelligence collection?"

"Yeah. They can't force us to give him up without applying for it through official channels." Petrova replied. "Which would mean delays, which would mean them needing to offer proof of their accusations. And all that gives us time to talk with the Reman, find out what he knows. Find out why the Romulans want him."

Zorach rubbed the edge of his swollen eye. "If we are ever to get Sock and Bokma off the station, we'll need to show them that their prize is no longer available. Plus, I've tried my skills with the Reman and failed. Back at HQ, the professionals could take all the time they needed to discover the hidden information, maybe even Vulcan mind techniques."

"But the problem is that he's here. Not there. Which leaves only one solution." She shrugged a bit. "If you can't get the Reman to the professionals .. "

Zorach laughed. "They won't come here. For all we know, that might be what Sock wants in order to steal our personnel. I suggest a subterfuge. Let Sock see the movement of the Reman to other quarters and a terrible accident that would remove the Reman from his targeting sensors. But we conduct the Reman off the station and to a safe house on a distant planet for a professional visit."

"You'd need to run that one by the captain." Kristiana replied. "I doubt they'd let themselves be fooled that easily, though."

"I'll talk with him. We just have to make them believe that the prize is gone. If the Reman wants to return home after we have the data, then that's his choice. We're only giving him a vacation from the Romulans. Even if the Reman has no information of value, just keeping him from Sock's hands might be good news."

"Whatever your intentions are - getting him away from Sock, buying him a T-shirt, marrying him off to your cousin thrice removed - the trick would be to fool two VERY intelligent and highly trained and experienced Tal Shiar agents." Kristiana replied. "Which will be very difficult."

"A clean glove often hides a dirty hand. Deception of the enemy is one goal of intelligence. We just have to come up with a good plan."

She nodded, finishing her meal. "Well, as I said, talk to the captain about that. I'm afraid I don't have any plans up my sleeves at the moment, but I'll give it some thought."

"Thanks," Zorach said and it hit him that she was an older version of the woman in the photos. He resisted the urge to comment on the photos. "Have a good day, Commander."

"You too, Lieutenant." As she also finished her drink, rose to her feet and resumed her way to the Hub.


Lt Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer Starbase 47

Lt Charles Zorach Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase 47