"We may all be dead when we get there" Rea's chief astronaut once said to S'Task about reaching a distant planet while low on supplies. S'Task responded "but we will have gotten there."
"Ey, Dave. Turn on the viewer will ya? It's almost time for Planet side." There was a huff in the bar as several other patrons shook their head at Niles. It wasn't the most popular piece of programming on this side of the Federation but Niles enjoyed Bet Krell's live interview show and he frowned at the other's for mocking "forgive a man for having some interest in the things going on in this godforsaken galaxy."
The bartender who was in the middle of cleaning out a glass with a white dish rag nodded his head and tapped on a console next to the bar. A screen that dotted the back wall illuminated. Centered in the screen was a beautiful Vulcan woman- the picture elicited a chorus of catcalls from several of the patrons.
"Hush will ya!" Niles shouted and turned his attention back to the screen.
She was seated in a red velvet accent chair wearing the crimson collard uniform of a Starfleet command officer with the four golden pips of a Captain. Her posture was relaxed, legs crossed, and she appeared disinterested as her gaze was focused a bit off screen. However, she suddenly she looked up and her violent eyes immediately dominated the screen. Niles was truly mesmerized as was the rest of the, everyone seemed to go silent. From off the screen the plump figure of the Bolian reporter appeared to saunter to his seat across from the pretty woman. Krell held a small PADD in-between his stubby fingers and quickly adjusted the toupee on his head as he sat down.
"Welcome everyone to another Episode of Planetside. I am your host Bet Krell and today I have a very interesting guest here with me." The Bolian grinned broadly and waved his hand at the woman "this is Starfleet's very own Romulan: Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu- the famous or shall I also say infamous Commanding Officer of the USS Charon. The Romulan defector has quickly become a sensation in Starfleet. She also was responsible for saving Vulcan from the recent attack."
Her legs uncrossed and she folded her hands in her lap. A smile appeared on her face- but it seemed almost malicious and was entirely directed at Krell "you have erred- I am not a defector. I was exiled." She corrected him coldly "and I was not responsible for saving Vulcan. It was a group effort by my well trained crew."
"Yes, yes, she is very humble too." Krell said "well in any case- it was good thing that you did. What would the Federation be without our robotic friends?" He chuckled at his joke but it was rather dull and the Captain didn't appear too enthralled by the fat Bolian's presence. Sensing that things were going awry the Bolian cleared his throat "in any case- let me start this interview by asking a simple question. Why did you agree to take command of a Starfleet ship?"
"A simple question can often be the most difficult to answer." She her smile seemed to fade slightly "it is hard to say. There was some curiosity when Admiral Enor proposed this command to me- some hesitation. I had recently been exiled from my homeworld. Yet, I believed at the time the elements had created this path for me. The wind is often a chaotic and unpredictable beast. It was a difficult choice but I considered my children- and felt it was something that I needed to do."
"Something you needed to do?" Krell smiled, his vicious little smile when he had a morsel to attack "so what about all the Federation citizens and Starfleet personnel that were killed when you a Romulan commander? From the historical notes that I have Captain. You were responsible for drawing up the plans for the Romulan assault on Tomika where thousands of Federation lives were lost. How can you address the families, now, as a Federation Captain?"
"I am inherently a strategist. Indeed I did draw up the plans for the attack on Tomika- and I also lead a wing of ships that destroyed many of your vessels. Looking back I still cannot regret what was done. War is unfortunate but it is what it is. I also fought alongside the Federation during the Dominion wars where together we killed many a Cardassian."
Krell's head bobbed "so, tell me, why would a Romulan save Vulcan? I find it interesting, as I'm sure many of our viewers do. In fact- I have it on a good source that the person responsible for the attack was actually your cousin. Do you deny this fact?"
She grimaced, a pained and bitter look "I cannot deny what is true. Indeed, Itsak tr'Sahen is my cousin. He was a bitter soul who had become lost in anguish and vengeance. As for Vulcan- that is a personal matter. I could not allow my cousin to commit such a crime- it was against Mnhei'Sahe. I had also forged a close relationship with many of my sister-kin. No, he could not be allowed to succeed, even if he was of my blood. To my people Mnhei'Sahe is thicker than anything else."
"Ah, I believe that is the Romulan word for of 'honor?'" Krell seemed to mock "and what do you mean by a close relationship with your sister-kin? Are you saying you feel close to the Vulcans?"
"I would not say close- but I have come to trust some of them. There are also those among them who share similar beliefs as I. In fact, I have become a member of the V'tosh K'tur."
"V'tosh K'tur?" Krell asked.
"They are a sect of Vulcans that does not believe in purging all emotion. They believe that emotion is a logical part of Vulcan philosophy. I have met some truly enlightened individuals among them." Shiarrael reached behind her and pulled out an elegant sash embroidered in emerald and gold with the Tu-Jarok sigil at its heart.
"I'm astonished. Do such Vulcans truly exist?"
"You can confirm this with the Vulcan ministry- if they are truly incapable of lying they will admit this." A smirk appeared on the Romulan Captain's face.
"Well, it seems our time is running out. So, Captain, how did you find this interview? It must be different for you to live in an open society like ours."
"Different, yes, truly." She smirked maliciously at the Bolian "those in the Romulan Navy would have never tolerated this nuisance- most of your kind usually end up floating in space. I do understand the necessity of it here. However, the fact is if Starfleet had not insisted that I make myself more 'palpable' to the Federation masses I would not have subjected myself to this. Though I honestly had expected some interesting questions from someone of your reputation and not a pile of hlai dung." She leaned forward and snatched the toupee off his head "and what is this animal you have been wearing this whole time?" She shook the thing.
Krell looked absolutely aghast as he reached out and tried to grab the toupee from her. The entire scene elicited raucous laughter.
"We're still live..." Someone muttered weakly from off-screen as the Bolian floundered. The screen suddenly went black and was replaced by a Federation News Network emblem.
"What was she thinking!" Toren looked ill as he stared at the blank screen "we will be roasted for this in the media! This is a complete disaster!"
The President held up her hand at her spokesperson "calm down Toren" her gaze shifted to her Chief of Staff- the Efrosian was wearing a grin "so Ra. What did you think?"
Ra'Madari burst with laughter "she was very good Madame President."
"Very good?! Are you insane Ra?" Toren looked absolutely inconsolable "you don't have to get out there in front of the press! They will want blood when they see this interview."
"I don't know." Ra'Madari said "most people don't trust Romulans. If she had stuck with the script they probably would have been suspicious of her- now they see her as blunt and maybe a bit crazy. I think they'll fall for the personality."
[USS Charon, Bridge]
Shiarrael stepped off the turbo-lift in a huff "Starfleet's Romulan? How dare they refer to me as some sort of chained fvai." She cursed incredulously and then looked at the bridge "break moorings and bring us out of orbit of T'Khet." She paused next to the command chair and watched as the Charon pulled away from the Vulcan moon.
"We will now follow the paths of my ancestors" She said, the irony of the moment not lost on her "take us to Romulus, maximum warp."