By Anna Kandula
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A The Enterprise was closing to a place where she should meet a Romulan warbird Khellian. It was near to the Neutral Zone, but on the Federation side. Romulans didn’t want to let Enterprise to enter their space.
“Sir,” said Data, “Romulan warbird before us.” “On the screen,” ordered Picard.
They saw a giant Romulan vessel.
“Open hailing frequencies,” said Picard. “Hailing frequencies opened.” “This is captain Jean-Luc Picard from the USS Enterprise.”
A young Romulan female appeared on the screen.
“This is Roiv Tamarith from the Imperial Romulan Vessel Khellian. Do you have our man?” she simply asked.
“Yes,” replied Picard.
Riker looked at him. He didn’t say anything.
“May I see him?” asked Tamarith.
“No. First I want to see your prisoner. We don’t even know if you have any. I want to see him or at least learn his name.”
“No,” she said and cut the connection.
Picard looked surprised at Riker.
“We don’t have R’Mor, sir,” said Number One. “Why did you tell her we do?”
“It’s a bit complicated… You see, Headquarters doesn’t want to let R’Mor go free, but they want us to free Romulans’ prisoner.”
“I have no idea.”
“It is complicated. I wonder who is their prisoner. Why don’t they want to tell us who they caught.”
“The problem is that maybe they have no one. The Federation Intelligence doesn’t know anything about any new Romulan prisoners. No one entered their zone, they didn’t enter anyone’s zone… or at least they didn’t imprisoned anyone there… ”
“You seem to forget that Romulans never take prisoners,” smiled Riker.
Picard looked at him. “You’re right. So where did they take their prisoner from?”
“It’s very complicated,” laughed Riker.
Y Tamarith went to a room where her prisoner was kept. She entered and stood in a shadow. He didn’t react.
“You’ll come back home soon,” she said eventually.
He didn’t answer. She turned around and left. She went to the bridge and ordered to open the frequencies. She sat at her chair and looked at the screen.
“Who are you?” she asked when she saw a bearded man.
“Commander William Riker, the First Officer.”
“Where’s your captain. I want to talk to him.”
“Now you have to talk to me,” he replied.
“I want to talk about our exchange. Are you authorized for such talks?”
A quiet growl came out of her throat.
“Ghat does it mar I djs eG df1?,” she said in Romulan to her First. “Very well,” she turned to the screen. “Tell your captain that we will give you our prisoner just when you beam your prisoner aboard our ship.”
Riker smiled. “No. This is unacceptable. We don’t trust you.”
“Do you think we won’t beam our prisoner?”
He seemed to think about something. “Why should we think, why should we believe you?”
Now she smiled. “Well, we don’t trust you too.”
“So what will we do?”
“We would beam them at the same time.”
He shook his head. She hoped he was naďve, but he wasn’t.
“All right. Let’s talk seriously,” she started. “Our ship is in your zone therefore you are home. You will beam yourself with R’Mor aboard our ship – you may take as much security as you need to feel safe. We will exchange our prisoners on our ship and then you will be beamed back to yours. Do you need time to think about it? Or to call other ship to secure you?” she added maliciously.
He was observing her for a short moment and then answered: “We’ll think about it.” “Go and report to your captain,” she said disrespectfully and she cut the connection.
A “Well, their proposition isn’t so bad,” said Picard after Riker’s report. “But we’re unable to give them what they want.”
They both went to the bridge. “Open hailing frequencies. Roiv Tamarith, I must ask you one question.”
“You, Terrans, make always many difficulties,” she judged.
“Actually, this time you make difficulties. We still don’t know who is your prisoner.”
“All right. Maybe when you learn who it is you will do your best to get him back, so far you seem you do not care.”
“Of course, we care!”
“Do we?” asked Worf himself silently. Riker gave him an angry look – he knew Romulans have very good sense of hearing and Tamarith would hear that.
But she didn’t, or pretended she didn’t. She ordered to bring the prisoner. After a few minutes security brought someone on the Romulan bridge.
“It’s dark there. I can’t recognize him,” said Picard.
Tamarith growled. “Put him into light,” she said eventually.
The prisoner was pushed into light. He was wearing a long white garment with a hood that was on his head. Roiv rose and approached him. She took his hood off.
“God!” burst from Riker’s lips. It was Spock.
“Well, is he worth the exchange?”
“Mute,” said Picard and when Tamarith wouldn’t hear him he said: “Now we have a problem… Mr. Data, try to aim Spock and when you do that, beam him aboard immediately.”
“Voice. I wonder,” he said to the Romulan “how did you catch him.”
“It is not important,” she replied. It was obvious she didn’t want to talk any longer.
“Data, how long?” asked quietly Picard.
“Romulans and Vulcans are very familiar… . I’ve got him.”
Spock started to twinkle and Tamarith noticed that. She quickly jumped to him, taking out her knife and trying to kill him. They disappeared while she was raising her hand with the knife.
Y She materialized with Spock on a transporter platform. She didn’t manage to hit him with the knife. Someone grabbed her hand. She turned and hit the person that attacked her. The knife cut his arm. Then she turned to another man – an Enterprise security member – and hit him with the knife. This time she killed. Then she somehow escaped form the Transporter Room.
She was surprised that there was so peaceful in the corridor. It seemed they didn’t expect an attack. She ran, but she didn’t know where she was running. She hid in some room. She didn’t know in which part of the Enterprise she was.
She looked out of the room carefully. There was no one in the corridor. She knew there wasn’t big chance to come back to her vessel, but she believed her First would do the same thing that Picard did – find her with scanners and beam aboard. She decided to use this time to sabotage the Federation ship.
She just needed a uniform. She looked out. Someone was approaching. Red uniform. She hid and let her go. The next person was in yellow uniform. She attacked her hitting in her head. She hid the woman’s body in the room that she was hiding in, and put her uniform on. She left the room and slowly went the way the woman did. She approached the nearest computer deck and tried to find the ship’s plans. She wanted to learn where was the Engineering Room.
When she learned what she wanted to know she went there, hoping that everyone would take her for a Vulcan.
She couldn’t believe her luck. No one was caring about her, no one was asking questions. “Attention all crew!” she heard from the intercom. “Attention all crew. There is a dangerous Romulan spy aboard the vessel. She is unarmed but still very dangerous. If you notice her, do not try to stop her, but inform the Security.”
She looked around. Everyone looked concerned but no one thought she was this ‘spy’. She entered the Engineering Room. She took a look at the antimatter engine – it was something new for her, Romulans use quantum warp drive, something completely different from matter/antimatter warp drive so she was interested in Federation solution. She approached some console. She didn’t know what it was for, but she was sure it wasn’t what she needed. She started to go along the consoles until she found the one she wanted. She checked the Enterprise’s shields frequency. She pushed few buttons to change it, she wanted to shut them completely down but she didn’t know if it was possible. It occurred it was but she needed an access code. She, of course, didn’t know it, but she could try to circumvent it. Still nothing. She looked around wandering what she could do. She recalled there was a way to destroy a system; she knew a code that worked like a virus. It was working different way in different programs but it never failed. She entered the code and observed what would happen. She didn’t have to wait long. The shield’s frequency started to change every few seconds, she hoped it wouldn’t be easy to stop that.
She stepped back and again looked around. No one was staring at her, it seemed no one notice what she was doing and no one was interested in what she was doing.
She went back the way she came from. She decided to hide in the room she was hiding previously. When she approached this place it occurred that the woman she hit was already found by the security. She joined the people who were observing security’s movements. “Go back to your duties,” said one of the officers to gaping spectators, so she went the corridor towards turbolift. She hoped no one would follow her because she had no idea where to go now.
“Operations room,” she said when she entered the turbolift.
A “It can’t be so hard to find a Romulan on the Federation ship,” said angrily Picard.
Worf was just looking at him. He had some arguments, but he didn’t want to argue with his captain.
“It’s a big ship,” replied Worf. “And… ”
“Don’t talk, find her. Don’t you realize what she could do?”
Worf felt offended. He turned and left captain’s room. He passed Riker outside.
“How is he?” asked Number One.
Worf just shook his head. Riker sighed.
Y She entered the OPS Room and she found out it was empty. She approached the computer console; she wanted to learn where they were keeping R’Mor.
“Ghser2!” she shouted. There wasn’t R’Mor aboard. They cheated her. She growled angrily. Suddenly the door hissed and someone entered the OPS Room. She didn’t want to turn to see who it was, because from the back she looked like a Vulcan, but her forehead would show up her real race.
No one was moving behind her so she decided to see who came anyway.
A Data was watching a Vulcan, who was operating the console in OPS Room. She wasn’t putting any attention to him so he started his work.
Y He looked strange. His hand was moving so fast she couldn’t notice particular movements. It took her a few moments to realize it was this android she heard about. She turned back to her console and started to look for all information about it, especially its program.
It wasn’t hard to find anything. She read everything what was written about the android. What interested her most was how to switch it off and how to change its program.
It got up and went towards the door. She followed it to see where it was going. It stopped by some console, pushed a few buttons and came back. She hid behind the door and when it entered she leaned over its shoulder, whispered “Hi,” and switched it off.
Then she took it to a corner and opened its head. She started her work.
A Worf was receiving reports from every part of the ship – there was no Romulan around. Data entered the bridge. He sat at his chair, but he didn’t do anything. He behaved strangely and Riker noticed that.
“Data? Did something happen?” he asked.
Number One knitted his eyebrows but he didn’t say anything.
Suddenly the door hissed and the Romulan Roiv entered.
Riker pushed his commbadge. “Riker to captain. Please come to the bridge immediately.” Picard appeared, looked around, and when he noticed Tamarith he slowly sat at his chair. “At last you decided to visit our bridge,” he said.
She inclined her head. “Yes. And I decided it’s a high time to go back to my bridge.”
“What keeps you?”
“You lay to me. There isn’t R’Mor aboard.”
“He’s dangerous, we couldn’t give him back to you. You would release him.”
“You are wrong. We would not. And you are right. He is dangerous. He is a criminal; he had sold our top-secret documents to Cardassians so he was sentenced to death. But we cannot execute the verdict, because he is in the Federation jail.”
Picard observed her for a while.
“Are you serious? You want him to kill him?”
“Precisely. We must execute the sentence for an example what we do with betrayers, besides, he might escape from your jail… I think I don’t have to tell you what could happen then.”
“No, you don’t,” admitted Picard. “But we don’t have him and you must go back to your vessel with nothing. If we let you go back, of course.”
“You realize it might start a war if I wouldn’t go back.”
Picard smiled. “Please, don’t try to scare me. It’s useless.”
She squinted her eyes. “I’m not going back with empty hands.”
She approached Data, leaned against his console and said: “Find Romulan Imperial Warbird Khellian.”
Picard and Riker looked at each other. Who she was talking to? They didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
“Found,” said Data.
“Hailing frequencies,” she ordered.
“First, it’s Roiv Tamarith.”
“Khre’Arrain Nebhus here,” answered her officer.
“Nebhus, listen to me very careful. Wait for a shuttlecraft, Do not change your position.” “Aya, Roiv.”
A few security members entered the bridge. Worf gave them sign to catch the Romulan, but Data was much quicker. He caught the nearest by his throat and rose him a few inches.
Picard started up. “Data! Put him down! You’ll kill him!”
“We’re taking him with us,” said Tamarith. She whispered something into Data’s ear and three of them left the bridge.
No one said anything. Worf was first who broke the silence.
“They are going to shuttlecraft.”
“Don’t let them escape.”
“It’s too late, sir. They left the Enterprise. They left unconscious man in the turbolift.”
“How are we going to get Data back?” asked Riker.
Y Tamarith switched on stern camera. They could see the Enterprise back behind them. She was just about to connect with Khellian to tell them to uncloak when Data grabbed her hand. “What!” she shouted.
He didn’t let her go and pushed some buttons with the other hand. “Data to Enterprise.”
“Sir, you may beam me back to the ship.”
“What?… .” she was surprised.
“I’m afraid it is not so easy to change my program,” he explained.
“You fooled me!” she shouted angrily.
He started to twinkle and disappeared.
A He entered the bridge and sat at his place like there nothing happened.
“Well done, Data. You got rid of her,” said captain.
“We can’t let her go back to her vessel,” muttered Riker.
“I know, Number One. I don’t like to do this, but I doubt I have a choice. She knows to many our secrets. Aim the shuttlecraft.”
“I’m ready, sir,” said Worf.
Picard looked at the screen. There was just a small point between stars. He hated what he was going to do, but he knew his duty. He sighed and quietly said: “Fire… ”
Y She was angry, she was mad. She would kill somebody right now. Suddenly one single sound came from the Federation ship. She looked at the screen and saw one photon torpedo going towards her.
She froze. She couldn’t do anything but watching approaching torpedo. Her head was empty; she wasn’t thinking about anything, she was paralysed. Her eyes opened a bit wider and her lips half-opened. She was waiting. She…
1What does it meant that I have to talk to a junior officer