Desperate to be Free
Location: USS Iapetus - Brig
Timeline: MM3 MD2 2105hrs
Krace held his hands in the small of his back as he strode at a casual pace into one of the Iapetus' brig facilities. The ship had a small number of individual cell rooms, each usually designed to cope with multiple occupants in the same cell. Jordan had taken the call though to keep their two Romulan 'guests' separate, in order to keep from each of them what the other had told the Federation officers. Giving a slight nod to the security officer posted in the room containing Sub Commander Nevarn's cell. As he strolled across to stand in front of the force field keeping the Romulan in the small cube-shaped room, he paused and looked at the main contained within, lying on one of the bunks, facing away from him. "I'm told you requested to speak with me," he said simply.
Stretching his limbs as if waking from a nights rest, Nevarn rolled over to face the Human captain and sat up, crossed one leg and leaned back against the wall of his cell lazily ".....That I did Captain, I wanted to discuss how we might be of use to one another....Regarding your missing property.."
Nevarn lolled his head to one side then to the other, working the kinks out of his muscles "....but first, I would like to ask that our conversation be free of...threats. They do nothing to solve problems and only seem to make one person resent the other making the threats and compels them to make one of their own. I assure you that I am fully aware of my...current situation and simply seek an amicable resolution.."
"Fine," Vorn said, agreeing with the Romulan. "We'll talk straight. But the moment you start giving me crap, I'm leaving. I have better things to do than run around verbal circles with you."
"No problem Captain, I will keep the verbal jousting to a minimum" Nevarn replied, "Let's look at the facts, You want to retrieve the Genesis data as quickly as possible and ensure that none of it has been copied and sent to Commander Hunter's superiors. I can help you with that but it will require....a leap of faith on your part.."
"Why do you expect I even need your help?" Vorn asked the man. "My men are highly trained and experienced. I see no need to involve you any further than being the source of the information you've given us."
"Captain, do you honestly think that you can plan for every eventuality? Despite what little I've given you? No of course you can't, I suspect your plans will involve stealing yourselves on board and searching blindly for what it is you are looking for. As you already know, we Romulans are a paranoid people by nature. The mere fact that two of her crew are missing will no doubt be on guard for just the sort of audacious plan you are no doubt considering."
"We plan and prepare for the unexpected," Vorn returned, in a tone which was clearly stating the obvious. "My officers have the skills necessary to make decisions on the spot as the situation changes." He raised his arms in a casual shrug. "You still haven't given me a real reason why we need you, other than the fact you'd obviously rather not be in that cell."
"You've got me there Captain, I most certainly do not wish to remain in this cell!" Nevarn chuckled "...However, should you make your attempt, and fail, not only would I more than likely still remain in this cell, but you would lose your chance at keeping a piece of dangerous technology out of the hands of a madman! I can assure you, that since I know more about who it is you are facing, you will need my help! I won't lie,....... helping you, helps me to bring down Commander Khellian which in turn helps me. There are systems on board that are designed to prevent access to the ship and her systems........"
Nevarn thought to himself that he was playing a dangerous game, How to demonstrate his worth to this human so that he could go along with their assault team and retrieve their technology and allow him to gain his revenge on Captain Hunter. This Human Captain was very cautious and played things close. This would not be an easy feat to accomplish.
"You will remain in this cell in whatever event, until a member of the Federation Judiciary comes to collect you for trial," Vorn told the man, incredulous that the man thought he could try and bargain for his freedom. "You still haven't told me anything I don't already know and haven't already planned for. I'm not going to make any deals with you based upon your own personal greed and ambition." Deciding that the conversation was over, Vorn turned and started to head towards the door back into the corridor.
"...Captain, If I remember my studies on Federation law, even if I am to sit in this cell for any length of time, it surely won't be for very long!" Nevarn called out "..You have no clue what is waiting for you on the Ra'kholh! Your so called 'current' intelligence is at best 10 years behind what is already being employed on our vessels! Ask yourself Captain, can you really be so cavalier with the lives of your ship and crew as to not take every advantage possible to accomplish your mission?" Nevarn yelled at the humans back "Just a few hours ago you and your officers were so intent on throwing out your...much lauded Federation values! Just to find your missing toys! Now you are going to let your pride keep you from even considering another way?"
"Mister Nevarn," Vorn said slowly, as he stopped and turned to face the man in the cell. "Have you never heard of interrogation techniques? I'm sure that it is common for people within your own armed forces to... bend the truth slightly to get the information that they want out of a prisoner." He almost huffed to himself. "As for your critique of our planned mission, I consider including you in it to be a greater risk to my crew than going in with blindfolds on. You don't seriously expect me to just let you out and back on board your ship during a boarding operation because there isn't a one hundred percent success rate involved?"
' 1,...2,.....3,.....4,....' Nevarn counted to himself as the Captain began his reply before taking a slow deep breath to calm himself "...actually Captain, if there's nothing you consider what I've told you as the truth up to this point, count that nothing would would make me happier then to see Commander Khellian brought to his knees! Not verbally one-upping you or your braggart of a XO,....... nothing!" Nevarn snarled low and almost under his breath. "....I can understand your trepidation to include me but at the very least, consider it." The Romulan pleaded, his voice sounding almost desperate.
"I invite you to have a seat for a moment Captain.." Nevarn gestured as he moved to a position on the ground and sat cross legged, his hands folded in front of his face as he considered what he was about to tell...his enemy.
Vorn simply moved back towards his position immediately in front of the cell, and stood with his arms crossed, waiting for the Romulan to say what he wanted to say, hopefully without wasting too much more of Vorn's time.
"...There are....elements within our Intelligence services that act much in the way of your own,...I will not name them, nor will I go into detail as to who they are, I will leave that up for your own speculation." Nevarn began "...Inclusion into one of these groups is highly desired yet seeking them out has very undesirable results. If Commander Khellian returns with your Genesis material, a particular faction within this...circle, will gain not only greater influence over the government but they will most certainly push for greater aggression against your Federation"
"An outcome we had already predicted," Vorn responded, tersely. "Get to your point."
"...allow me a few moments to lay it out for you Captain, if you'd please!!" Nevarn replied, rubbing his temples as he continually reassessed what information he could divulge and which would cross a line that he could never come back from.
"...Commander Khellian and I are from two different families, who are also connected to two different factions within the government. Several years ago, I was slated to be next in line for command, while he was about to be implicated in some affair of some sort, I do not know the exact details nor are they all that important either. Let us just say that through his families connections and our natural competition between us, He used his families wealth and influence to have my promotion delayed while he was chosen to advance! Soon thereafter, I was implicated in the misappropriation of war material and although the charges were unfounded, I received a reduction in rank and assigned to serve under now Commander Khellian."
Seeing the look on Krace's face, Nevarn decided that he'd better start getting to the point of his conversation.
"..The data that you are looking for will more than likely be stored on a closed system within the ship, The Captain has made extensive modifications to the ship to prevent unauthorized access to this..secure area. There are transporter jamming devices that are designed to do the obvious, the interior structure is devoid of any distinguishing characteristics and coupled with internal sensors that are biased to scan for non-Romulan or Reman bio-signatures. It's pretty simple really, the system scans for our distinct bio-electrical energy output and cross references it against the crew manifest. The minute you stepped foot on the ship, your people would be tagged and security would be alerted to your presence." Nevarn paused for a moment to recall everything he could about the ship.
"Also, If I remember my briefing correctly, only the disruptors from the ships armory are biased to operate within the confines of the ship. Even if you did manage to sneak some of your phasers on board, understand that we have had many years to study many of your current weapons technology and develop a dampening field that prevents them from being used. Then there's the likely data vault where sensitive electronic information is stored. The ship has a modified one of your shuttle craft warp cores to power this closed system and can only be accessed by senior officers, the Captain and two- sub-commanders.
It takes the Senior officer and one Sub-Commander to access the data network and I highly doubt that the Captain will simply allow you to walk in and ask for it back? I don't have an exact location of this data storage vault but the power signature that it puts out is much like your own warp cores and different from our own power systems which as you know, use a quantum singularity to power the ship and all of its various systems." Nevarn shrugged his shoulders
"...the minute the ship goes to Alert status, all of these systems become active. On stand-down alert status, most of the anti-personnel protocols are disengaged. Problem is, only the captain can give the order to disengage those protocols. You want to get your precious Genesis material back? You'll need a lot of help and even more of your human...luck!"
Vorn didn't really care about the first two points that the Romulan brought up. Their ship security would be alerted to their presence well before they entered the ship. In order to abide by Intergalactic Law, their orders from Starfleet were that they had to send the Ra'kholh an official order to submit for boarding, under the laws both the Federation and Romulan Empire had signed decades ago. As to the second point, Vorn and Starfleet Intelligence were fairly certain that the rifle known simply as the TR-116 had remained out of the Romulan information circles. In truth, the project was dropped in favour of regenerative phasers which were intended to work even within dampening fields.
Still, Vorn knew that the 116 specifications would be secure in the ship's database, and a batch could easily be replicated. The chemical propellant mechanical rifles would work regardless of any dampening fields anybody put in place, as they required no power to operate.
The final point about the data vault could prove tricky, however. Chances are Khellian would lock the system down immediately upon hearing the official boarding order. "The data will be confined to this secure system?" he asked the Romulan.
"I can think of no better place to store such information," Nevarn replied
"Simple, then," Vorn stated, knowing that chances are it wouldn't be simple at all. "We shall remove this unit from the ship."
Nevarn sighed "...not so simple Captain, this core, with it's redundant and overlapping security systems are designed to prevent access by either physically removing the data cores, of which there are three, and to prevent one from hacking into the system. Should such a brute force attempt be made, any one of the defensive protocols will become activated and result in an immediate warp core breach!" Nevarn replied. "Killing the Commander before he disengages the security protocols, attempting to beam the cores out, hacking remotely and or on station will provoke the same result!" The Romulan warned.
"....You'll need someone with intricate knowledge of Romulan encryption protocols and believe me captain, that is not something one can simply learn in a few hours nor utilize a...cheat sheet for either."
"And I presume we just so happen to be lucky enough to have an expert on board, do we?" Vorn said, rhetorically and sarcastically. He sighed. "It would appear I have no choice but to include you in our boarding operations. But understand this; you will be under armed guard at all times. You will not have access to any weapons or anything else that may pose a danger to my men. In return for assisting us with getting this data vault off of the Ra'kholh, I will convince the Judge Advocate General's office to be lenient on you. I have a feeling however, that even at the reward of killing a few Starfleet officers, you're going to do the job properly because otherwise, your own life will be ended by a botched up job." Vorn hated having to include the Romulan in the plans, but it would appear that he had no other choice.
"Until we are ready to go, you will tutor my staff on the nature of the systems you will be accessing and how you are going to close off the cores from their power source as best you can." He grinned. "We'll be keeping an eye on what you're doing so that you don't get any funny ideas while you're over there."
If Nevarn felt any sign of relief, he didn't dare let it appear on his face. "...Not to worry Captain, you will get no trouble from me.." he replied. "....but time is of the essence and it would help if I had a basic idea as to what you're planing?"
"All you need to know Mister Nevarn is that I want that data core off that ship," Vorn told him, refusing to give the man any more details of the operation. He'd take him along because he had to, but he'd be damned if he'd let the man know anything more of their plans. He gave a slight nod to the security officer as he turned, and made his way through the exit.
Nevarn shook his head as the man turned to leave, he'd have to work even harder now, one hand immobilized behind him, blindfolded and while walking a very thin line. Still, he thought, perhaps a bit of this human element called luck will flow his way after all....
Captain Vorn Krace
Sub Commander Nevarn