Enter Centurion of Romulus
Vetus amicus vale (Goodbye Old Friend)
Location: USS Lancelot
Timeline: MD1 0700
Captain Alden Montgomery stepped onto the deck of the Turbolift. Commander Robert Hamish Drake stood in the Turbolift. The Captain remembered that Drake and several others onboard had a poker game the night before, "How was poker last night, Mr. Drake?"
Robert Hamish Drake, chief of security aboard the Lancelot leaned casually against the curved wall of the lift car, his arms crossed. He had been chief of security aboard the Lance for a long time and a member of her crew even longer. He and a small handful of the security staff had become permanent fixtures aboard the exploatory cruiser. He was no longer the young raven haired Ensign that had first stepped aboard seventeen years earlier. Now older, his face was thickly bearded, and both the beard and thick hair upon his head were sprinkled with silver, especially at his temples. Not that he was getting old, mind, just the years starting to show.
"Ooch, Skipper, that new Lieutenant in Operations took us to the cleaners" he replied in his thick northern Scotland accent. "I might have to put a team on him to see if he's got a skimmer o somethin" he added with a laugh as he looked over at Montgomery.
"Always the one in Operations that will clean you dry at a game of cards, Commander. I use to be an Ops Lieutenant once, a long time ago in a Quadrant not too far away," Montgomery chuckled.
Drake shrugged. "Well, we'll get back at him later" The security chief said.
The Turbolift door opened on the bridge, Captain Montgomery stepped aside. He was greeted by Commander Charlie C3A, "Good morning, Captain and Commander Drake."
The Captain smiled at the Android, "Thank you, Commander."
"Good morning, Commander" Drake said with a nod to the android XO. "How's things?"
"I do not understand the question."
"Captain," Chief Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Ch'zaaqiq looked over his shoulder at his station in front of the bridge, "The IRW Ra'kholh has dropped out of their cloaking field.
"On main viewer," the Captain approached the command deck followed by Charlie. He looked over to the Android, "Is this the Romulan warbird we are to rendezvous with in two hours, Commander?"
"Accessing mission log," Commander Charlie momentarily accessed the ship's computer files, "Negative, Captain. We were to rendezvous with the IRW Aurelius."
"Yellow alert," Montgomery ordered. "Hail them."
Drake watched the warbord on the viewscreen. Even though he had seen them before, the massive Romulan warships never ceased to amaze and even slightly intimidate the Scotsman.
Ch'zaaqiq's nodded his head, "Hailing them now, sir."
"Scan them Lieutenant," Montgomery looked over his shoulder at the Lancelot's Chief Tactical Officer.
Lieutenant Boss th'Atan had already begun passive scans as soon as the warbird decloaked. With his Captain's permission, the Andorian thaan began active scans. His antennae twitched and he looked up from his console. "The Ra'kholh is Valdore class, sir. Her disruptor cannons are charged but deflector shields have not been raised. I think they want you to know they mean business. Should we match their stance?" Boss' hand hovered over the console ready to activate systems.
"No Lieutenant th'Atan. Standby and monitor them. Update me if they raise their shields," Captain Montgomery ordered.
The tactical officer nodded and replied, "Yes sir." The Andorian fully expected the Romulan warbird to pre-emptively fire its disruptors before cloaking. It wouldn't be the first time Romulan Star Navy had 'surprised' them.
The Captain looked over to the other Andorian bridge officer Chief Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Ch'zaaqiq, "Any update, Commander?"
"Drop the hail, Commander. Let them call us."
"Yes Captain," the Andorian Chief Operations Officer replied.
A minute passed. Turned into five minutes.
Lieutenant Commander Ch'zaaqiq looked over his shoulder to the Captain, "The Ra'kholh is hailing us, Captain."
"Patch them through to the main viewer," Captain Montgomery ordered. He was still standing on the command deck.
A Romulan Commander appeared on the viewer sitting upright like a statuette in his command chair with his hands on the armrests, "This is Commander Duldik of the Romulan Warbird Ra'kholh."
"I am Captain Alden Montgomery of the Federation starship USS Lancelot NCC-74410. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. We were to rendezvous with the IRW Aurelius under the command of Commander Nomaka. Under what circumstances has this changed?"
"Captain," Commander Duldik said pragmatically, "I am not at liberty to discuss with the Federation or Starfleet in internal matters with the Romulan Star Navy and that of Romulus."
The Captain wasn't entirely impressed with the change in plans and the shroud of secrecy surrounding the possible disappearance of Commander Nomaka and the Aurelius, "Very well, Commander. Then what is the purpose for our meeting here?"
"Please prepare await the arrival of Centurion Khaeil. We will be beaming him board shortly."
"Centurion Khaeil?" Captain Montgomery raised an eyebrow.
"This I can tell you, Captain. The Imperial Senate has decreed that all Starfleet and Federation starships operating in Romulan space must have a Romulan military attache on board. They'll be keeping you informed of what worlds require assistance."
"Very well. We will standby in Transporter Room Three for the Centurion's arrival. Is that everything, Commander?"
"That is all."
The Ra'kholh disconnected the commlink between the two ships. The emblem of the Romulan Star Empire appears on the main viewer before returning to the previous view of the Valdore-type warbird in front of them.
The Captain turned to Chief of Security, "Commander, I want you and two other security officers to welcome the Centurion aboard in Transporter Room Three. I want limited crew access on that deck to briefing room. I don't want this Centurion unmonitored at any time while being aboard the Lancelot."
"Aye, Skipper" Drake replied and got up from his station, tapping his comm badge as he walked towards the aft port lift. "Smith, Wesson, meet me in transporter room Three" he said, then issued the other orders needed for the Captain's requirements as the lift doors hissed closed behind him and he started his way down to the appropriate deck.
The Captain watched Drake leave the bridge via the Turbolift and looked over to the Android first officer, "Commander, you have the bridge."
"Yes sir," Commander Charlie responded.