Part 39: Episode 39: "Assault on Dark Athena"Episode 39: "Assault on Dark Athena"
Captain's Log posted:
We've been ordered to pay a quick visit to the Bajoran shipyards, for combat testing-not of the Calvin Hudson, but of a newly constructed Typhoon battleship, the U.S.S. Athens. She's a ship designed and intended to fight the Borg. The Calvin Hudson and U.S.S. Carlisle will be serving as the 'opposing force' for this mission. As such, we're to fight the U.S.S. Athens to the, quote, 'best of our ability' and 'if by some chance you do win, you're to launch a boarding action against her'.
Our phasers and torpedoes have been sent to 'low yield' training mode; they'll do no real damage but the ships' computers will disable systems as needed to simulate battle damage. It's actually quite the cunning setup, with no chance of disabling the life support systems and requiring command-level overrides in the event of an emergency.
Strangely, our trans-spectral scanner is unable to penetrate the U.S.S. Athens' shields. It's possible that this is also a test of the trans-spectral scanner's capabilities. It's a new technology… and I think the Calvin Hudson is the first ship equipped with it in addition to more standard sensor arrays. Starfleet is likely curious to discover its limitations, but I'm not unwilling to admit to feeling a little trepidation.
Something is about to go horribly wrong.
"… Thank you for seeing me, Captain. May I come in?"
"Of course, Korlissa. Please, make yourself comfortable. What brings you here?"
"Perhaps I just wanted to see what your quarters looked like. I wasn't expecting them to be so… so…"
"It seems you've caught me, Subcommander. I'm the only Cardassian in the quadrant who prefers comfortable furniture. I expect you're not here to talk about the décor."
"That is correct. I… I was hoping I could ask you some questions."
"Of course, Subcommander."
"Sir… why does Franklin Drake upset you so much? We've worked with him in the past, but every time we do, you react like you hate him."
"Am I that transparent?"
"Probably not to anyone else. I'm just… trying to understand; and I'm sorry if…"
"It's alright, Subcommander. I don't mind talking about it."
"I don't understand why you dislike him, or Section 31. The Federation is a government. For better or worse, they need covert operatives, like Drake. I'd think the Federation foolish without men willing to sacrifice their… 'personal honor' in the name of duty. You've done it yourself-it's why I respect you."
"Perhaps. I guess I just find it… disappointing. The Federation's ideals-"
"Are ideals. They're not realistically attainable, but the Federation keeps striving for them, which is admirable. Any of their neighbors would've given up trying long ago. Perhaps they did."
"You may be right, Subcommander… but I don't have to like it."
"I'd think less of you if you did. You may not understand Romulan honor, but I do think you're an honorable man, by Romulan standards. You're… you've become something of a role model for me."
"I'm a lot younger than you are, Korlissa. I don't understand how…"
"It's not a matter of age, sir. I… Ffff, this is a hard thing to say."
"… I… sir, I'd like to… to apply for Federation citizenship."
"Do I have to give them?"
"… There's nothing left for me but this ship, Commander. This… this crew. "
"That won't be enough."
"I know, sir, but with you I can be honest. Starfleet Command could… take everything I have left in an instant if they wanted."
"Even as a Federation citizen, they still could."
"Maybe. Probably. But not permanently."
"A decision based on emotion?"
"Yes. I can't be anything but a Romulan."
"And your honor?"
"To loyally serve the Romulan Star Empire until they throw me away in a fit of pique; or get themselves all killed? The Empire has already sacrificed my honor; but you are my Commander. I serve, and in serving I keep my honor… until the Federation takes it away in a fit of pique, or gets us all killed. At least as a Federation citizen it's less likely they'll throw me in a prison as a Romulan spy."
"… We hope."