[IRW Endless Sky, Leih's quarters]
Even as she spoke, the microsensors embedded in Yyaio's android frame scanned, searching for sign of observing sensors and finding nothing.
So, while they might be able to detect voices, they would not be able to detect sights from inside the room. Yyaio put her hands back on Sakarra's shoulders, continuing with the hot cloth as she had before.
"Do not worry for me, Commander," she gently extolled, "I may know the Beta Fleet command codes, but they will have to do far better to take them from me. Concern yourself with your plans for our escape. As I understand it, the other captives are nearing the end of their preparations."
All the while, as she washed the blood away, her fingertips traced broad Vulcan letters across Sakarra's back and arms, where any hidden sensors might not detect the motions. Delay. Three days. Three days, and either Savant would be powerless to assist, or she will have cracked their captor's security codes and gain access to their ship - and from there, no breathing programmer could stop her.
She paused, hands on the sides of Sakarra's shoulders, and bent forward to meet eyes with the battered Vulcan. She wore a full grin, so unlike the Vulcan Yyaio that Sakarra had only just met, so much more like Savant. There was a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, though one was swollen half shut. Her voice was soft and full with optimism. "Don't worry. We'll make it through."
Three days. She might as well have asked for a year.
But she could not help it, the very moment Savant surfaced on stoic Yyaio's features, the Vulcan almost broke into a low, tender chuckle. What did it matter if such indomitable spirit was residing in a soul so different from what one usually considered 'life'? What did it matter if some might think this eternal cheer to be just another set of calculations, deliberately employed to interact with organics? All that might be true, just as it was true a creature like Savant had no reason to do what she did - other than that she wanted to. Losing the routines living on Charon, while possible, was unlikely if she would focus all efforts on saving herself that much simple reason suggested. And even so, a loss would be a mere inconvenience, something that could be compensated for in due time. And what was time to an immortal?
"Very well, Yyaio." Her nod was nearly as serene as it should be, laced with a shadow of her old good humor. "While I cannot comply with your wish to not be concerned for you, I shall heed your advice to the best of my abilities."
Though the methods she might have to employ would be unconventional. And costly.
Ever so carefully, the Vulcan collected the empty water pitcher, the glass that still smelled faintly of ale and put everything on the tray, pushing it aside.
Now, he would not expect them to sit idly. And Sakarra fully intended to meet his expectations in this, and nothing else.
For long seconds she steadied her breathing, her fingernails tapping on the desk as always when a problem's solution eluded her, but she followed a thread of logic with all the stubborn determination of her race. And then her eyes fixed on the computer interface.
Naturally, the screen refused to respond to her, but there are merits to being a renowned scientist's grandchild, not to mention protégée of a most capable V'Shar decryption specialist. To Savant, the Vulcan's efforts to gain access to their captor's computer likely appeared a child's attempts at tearing down an impregnable wall. Scratches on the surface, paint crumbling perhaps a tiny bit of brick becoming visible under the stubborn assault.
It was all she needed.
Yyaio watched as the Commander battered at the terminal she had assaulted, hoping to prise some of its secrets away from the glossy surface. It was an impressive attempt, and Savant recalibrated her opinion of Sakarra's understanding of the digital realms a grade or two in response. While it was not the most efficient use of effort, the sparse information that Sakarra was squeezing from the Romulan network were valuable, and Savant catalogued it with the rest. Her own time was at present being spent doing some deep cryptographic analysis on the data packets she had intercepted - for her own talents, this was the best way forward. For an organic, who was forced to interact with fingers and eyeballs, however, Sakarra's finds were quite impressive, and welcome.
She busied herself with the clothing that their captor had left along with the meal, thumbing through the cloth. As she could have guessed, had she bothered to spare the processing time, they were neither modest nor dignified - meant to reinforce a feeling of inferiority and submission. The loathesome Romulan was doing his best to grind Sakarra into a willing servant, and knew enough of psychology to do a decent job of it. And, given that the longer Sakarra held out, the longer they would be able to co-operate, it was in all of their best interests that Sakarra stay resilient.
She set one of the dresses aside and picked the other up, looking absent-minded as she focused on the screen. With a quick tug, she sheared the dress in half across the waist, filling the quiet room with the sound of tearing silk.
While the sudden noise certainly registered with the Vulcan, she was too absorbed with her activities to immediately form a connection as to its origin. And when she did, it nearly prompted an indignant huff, followed by a grim smile of approval. Though it was rather a shame to ruin Andorian silk, the sheer insolence of presenting them with such attire certainly warranted Yyaio's response. And while amongst their own, Vulcans consider clothing or the lack thereof rather a matter of responding to environmental conditions and therefore a choice if not a courtesy dictated by circumstances the ingrained habit of not shocking outworlders with unconcerned displays of physical attributes, leading to discomfiting if not embarrassing misunderstandings, is a difficult one to break.
In fact, Sakarra felt more dignified in her current state than she would wearing the ridiculous item. Then again, a Vulcan raised like her could quite credibly retain a regal attitude wearing nothing more than pink marabou slippers.
Diligent as she had been to avoid it or at least seemed to have been her attempted invasion into the ship's computer had raised an alarm. The relentless child had made too much noise in her frantic attempts to wear down the brick and mortar. Well and so, it would only be a matter of time now before she would have to face the consequences. One might as well use that time to let as much of the wall scroll before Yyaio's vigilant eyes as possible.
"Later than I thought," she said thoughtfully as the screen went dark. "They must be running a serial ODN processing kernel." And she nodded once, adding this to her model of the Romulan network. That, more than anything, was useful information. "You had best get dressed quickly. They will be here shortly, if my guess is correct."
"So they will." The Vulcan returned the nod, favoring the deep emerald silk with one more look of disapproval before she stood up and let the garment slide over her shoulders. Not that she truly believed she would be wearing it for long, but she was neither inclined to debate with Yyaio over such an inconsequential matter, nor had she any intention of leaving a tool to distract their captor unused.
Three days. And a lifetime.
Oh yes, she knew what he wanted. And as poor beaten and bleeding Yyaio had wisely been feeding her tormentor the screams of agony he had craved, Sakarra would keep her torturer waiting.
A lifetime, if need be.
Her overwrought senses picked up the vibrations of heavy boots long before the sound reached her ears and she carefully reached out, touching the other's wrist with her fingertips. A simple gesture among family, a tender greeting or silent reassurance. Touching a stranger this way conveyed a sense of urgency however, and Sakarra hoped Yyaio would understand both.
As Savant's luminous eyes settled on her, the Vulcan let out a breath she had not known she was holding. "I believe this time it is me who must ask you to not be unduly concerned."
If the Vaek'Riov's response was nigh half of what she expected it to be, it would be enough to make even the most peaceful Vulcan wish to interfere, if only in the form of shielding the seemingly helpless victim.
But aside from the simple fact Yyaio was the one being that was in a position to do anything and should best be prevented from coming to unnecessary harm Sakarra counted on fury. Cold, relentless fury that would burn all the more brightly at seeing his suspicions confirmed, that he was right to hate and despise her kind.
It would keep him occupied a good while, and though his dutiful underlings were fully capable of carrying out assigned tasks, one might safely assume they would not proceed with any crucial matters without their commander's presence. Perhaps with Hanaj on the bridge, they might even decide not to bother with the other Vulcan for now. The human phrase 'grasping at straws' came to mind, but pitiful as it was, it seemed the only logical approach.
[To be continued ...]
LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax
Aka Yyaio the undercover Vulcan