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Against the Current

Posted on Sun Sep 18th, 2011 @ 7:40pm by Lieutenant Commander Nauket Kulvher

Mission: All Souls Descend. Season 2, Episode 6
Location: Commanding Officer's Office, Central Operations

There was an evident feeling of awkwardness as Nauket rode the turbo lift up through the station. She preferred silence over the annoying chatter of nervous officers trying to display their tolerance for one another than to look inadequate at the thought of working with a Cardassian. Years had gone by but humans had a way of trying to tread lightly on sensitive matters. Nauket chose not to partake in such rituals.

Instead as the lift reached Central Operations, the three passengers parted ways with nothing more than a respectful nod to their superior. Nauket strode mindlessly through, returning her sight to the padd she carried with her. Being aware of her surroundings was something she was good at, even with her eyes fixed on other matters. Such a feature was handy in gathering the reactions and ongoings around her. People were more apt to carrying on with their business when they thought no one was specifically watching them.

Now, however, was not the time for menial critiquing of her surroundings. No, she had her first duty to the station; making contact with it's Commanding Officer. T'Rena's file had been displayed on her padd since making her way to Central Operations, and everything there was to be known about the Vulcan woman that could possibly be found in any file within the fleet was so neatly archived for her viewing.

It was a rather pleasing feeling that the station had been in the careful hands of a Vulcan. Strangely enough Nauket always had a certain level of respect for Vulcan and it's inhabitants. Their logic and straight forwardness had a way of almost charming the Cardassian, though never charming enough for persuasion. Still, she was pleased that while she had been banished from her duties in order to accommodate some backward political reasoning on Earth, there was less likelihood of political backstabbing by her own commanding officer.

But then, Nauket was never one to put stock in the lack of corruption in anyone. That being said, she put the padd on standby as she halted her step in front of the Commander's door, straightening her back before pressing the chime.

Again T'Rena had found herself reading reports again, this time one from several months ago about unusual energy readings from the Cardassian side of the boarder not to distant from the Badlands. Something about an energetic energy vortex and the disappearance of a manned science station. In and of itself it had been an fairly innocuous report but something about the energy signatures was familiar, something from her time as a Science Officer at Starfleet Science but despite her Vulcan eidetic memory she could not place where she had seen the energy waveform before.

She had been nursing a cup of Vulcan spiced tea on and off for the last few hours as she had digested the report, as if engraving each and every detail into her memory. She took a delicate sip of the burnt orange liquid as the deep double chirp of the door announced the presence of someone wishing to enter.
She placed the tea cup back onto its saucer while calling "Enter" at the waiting person without even looking around, her curiosity more focused on the information before her.

On cue the doors slid open, allowing the slender Cardassian woman to enter the dismal office. The station had its way of breathing a new life in to under its new regime, but Nauket felt more aware of the fact she was in fact on a Cardassian station as she took her first glimps of the room. Starfleet could cover up the allure of the station's old hands but they could never fully take Cardassia out of the station. Even more curious was the sudden chill she felt. The station was much too cold for her liking, and even if the weather on Earth had been less accomidating, she felt it more noticeable in a place that was built for warmth.

All that aside, Nauket moved across the room with both hands clasped behind her back, padd between them still. She was proper and poised as usual, taking care in her step. Her concerns were little for the ability of the woman she was about to face, but her guard was always up. Thankfully, she was the master of her own emotions. It was almost a shame that the Vulcan would never know of her own emotional focus.

"Commander," she said first, arriving a foot from the desk," I trust you have recieved my transfer orders." To the casual observer one might have seen the wording of her statement as a sarcastic attept to catch the Vulcan like a deer in the headlights, but such was not the case. Something Nauket had been unable to learn over the years was her ability to approach with care. She had only set up her own orders less than an hour ago and if T'Rena had the time it was only a small chance that she had seen the transfer in her system.

Nauket chose to believe the efficency in all. Even if she didn't display it, she understood fully if the orders had not been read over. Either way, the ball was in the Commander's court now.

The inflections, the tone, the direct quality and clarity of that voice. It was something she had faced before many times in the field of battle. The clipped tones and efficiency with words. Slowly T'Rena leveled her gaze at the officer now standing before her, fighting down a flash on anger that she had the audacity to wear a Federation uniform. She had been in the trenches fighting these savages for nearing two years. She had lost those that she would have considered friend and seen such atrocities that even her long learned Vulcan composure had struggled to hold back wave after wave of hatred or in some cases nausea.

By more sheer force of will she fought down the urge to grab a phaser and hollow out the women before her and instead cocked an eyebrow knowing full well that her Romulan half was betraying her by flushing her cheeks ever so slightly green with the warmth of her own blood.
"I have not had the opportunity to inspect transfer orders Commander". Her own voice sounding more Vulcan and strained than she had heard it before. "I was unaware that Starfleet had assigned another Intelligence Officer to the station!"

Nauket's reaction was subtle. She squinted her eyes very slightly, picking up the heavy subtle changes in the Vulcan woman herself. Nauket was an expert interrogationist, and her position in the fleet during war time called for more than the best of awareness to all forms of emotional control. It was intriguing even more that the Vulcan had reacted so much, even if to the untrained eye it would have gone for the better part, unnoticed.

"Understandable," she replied formally yet casually open, ignoring the disdain fueling her present company. "I travel in as much screcy as possible, due to my position and assignments within the Federation," she explained, "I carried my own orders to the station and uploaded them only a short time ago, along with my hidden clearance protocols and disposal of travel records." Nauket kept a cool eye, her experience with new assignments had trained her well enough to know when straight forwardness was not enough, she had to be upfront before questions were asked and although she wasnt fond of spilling all her information unnceissarily, she bit the bullet anyway.

"You will find the Bajoran Freighter Diaka docked at the station, but once it departs in approximately two hours, it's records will be erased from the station. The records, for security reasons, will be housed back in starfleet quarters for the next thirty days, after which it will be erased from fleet records completely," she paused briefly, returning her gaze to the Commander, "occupational hazard."

To say that the first few hours of Command had been interesting would have been a slight understatement. In that time T'Rena had received the largest promotion of her career, or thats how it had started, officially only six hours ago. Within that time she had been in a meeting with her Executive Officer and Chief Operations Officer and both of which had taken personal time to acclimate to personal issues pertaining to recent events. Her new Strategic Operations Officer had been to see her and been blunt and to the point with his opinions and views and now she was being told that any record of this new comers travel itinerary would be erased. But beyond that she was a Cardassian Women who offended her senses by wearing a Starfleet Officers uniform.
"Excuse me Commander but I am still waiting on the reason for your transfer here. I have no interest in your insecurities regarding allowing others to know how and when you arrived at the station!"

The irony reflected in Naukets cool demeanor and raised eyebrow was almost comical to the outside viewer. IT was almost a shame no one was there to witness it. "They are not my insecurities, Commander," she returned, "they are of protocol for my mission. To cure your uneasiness, I have been assigned to Rorak Nor to act as liaison for the Federation with Cardassia in regards to the station and position itself..." Nauket paused briefly, becoming slightly annoyed by the lack of concern for her own mission in the matter. It was a short time only, but the woman was practiced in dealing with Federation lackies that were unable to cope with the changing of time. Strangely, she seemed to have attained more grief in the last few years than she had working for the Federation during the Dominion War itself. Those were different times, however.

"Though it may seem to be slightly strange for a station to assign both a Federation diplomat and a Federation Liaison, I have orders to conduct my duties as an Intelligence officer together. Being under Federation control is not as cut and dry as it may seem for a Cardassian built station so close to the border, Commander, as I am sure you are fully aware." Her words came with a slight inhale. She would always be walking on eggshells.

"Starfleet has never been and never will be a cut and dry affair Commander as we all now especially after the recent attempted invasion from a parasitic species tells."
Now it was T'Rena's turn to cock her eyebrow mirroring the Cardassian womens movements of only a few moments ago. One thing had stuck in her mind from the statement made by the officer. She claimed that they were not her insecurities. "Is not verbalizing that they are not insecurities a form of insecurity of itself Commander. Also, this station may be of Cardassian design, and its former designation may have been Roark Nor, but the station is now under Federation Command and thus should be refereed to in its Starfleet designation of Deep Space Seven".

Something about her was grating on the Vulcan's nerves. Maybe it was that she belonged to a species she had hated, even if that was allowing her Romulan heritage domain over logic, during the Dominion war and was now being thrust into a situation were she had to play nice with a mortal enemy or was it simply that the women had the audacity to come into her office and start laying down the law about what records could be kept and which must be destroyed.

"You must understand," Nauket began, "I will always have insecurities, it is my job. Much of my work is under the strictest of securities to prevent falling in the wrong hands and keep my usefulness in the greater good of the Federation and not that of potential enemies." She hated more than anything having to justify herself, and it was evident in the slight grimace of her face. "I am not here to overturn your command, nor dictate anything of the sort. I'm here to carry out my missions and work together with yourself and the station. You're in a very stratiegic position, Commander, and I have and always will do my job to the best of my abilities, of which you will find more unique than most."

Her pause came in hand with the removal of her hands at her back, bringing up the padd and turning her attention to it. "I have made my general records available to only yourself and Lieutenant Winters. Commander Mason will recieve the same records pending a background check. Your clearance will gain you access to certain areas of information highly classified," she explained, closing out the files she had been previously viewing on her way to central operations, "however, the majority of my work and details of much of what is available is restricted to a very small roster of Starfleet Command. Should you have any questions, I am at your disposal to discuss them."

Nauket did well in ignoring the hesitant ability to accept her. She had grown used to the orchestra of new assignments. As she finished closing the programs, she opened her own file, taking a small isolinear chip from it's side slot. "Should you have the time," she added, taking a few steps forward and offering it to the Vulcan.

It was a strange ritual Nauket wished she could always skip, but as hard as she played the ever cool and collected one in matters of administration and authority, she couldn't help herself but offer the padd, open to the details of her actions during the Dominion War. As much as she wanted to pretend that she didn't care about the opinions of others, she was subtle in offering her actions to soften the work relationship.

"I will review the information once the station is back under a fully operations status!", she filed the isolinear chip away in the back of her mind still fully aware that this meeting had gotten off to a bad start and had rapidly gone down hill from there. T'Rena had every intention of mediating on her actions in one of the holosuits, running a program that brought her some small comfort. It was a recreation of one of her favored spots to mediate on Vulcan, over looking the Forge. It allowed a breath taking view of the fire pits and then a vast expanse of the forge opened up beyond. Right at this moment she could feel her emotional control slipping and the turbulent emotions of not only a Romulan but an unchecked Vulcan raging to be loosed.
"Is their anything else Commander?"

"Not presently," Nauket replied simply, drawing her hands to her back once again. It was evident that the station would be a trickier assignment than expected, but the practiced Cardassian was ready for all hurdles to her tasks. "I look forward to working with you," she added strangely truthfully, "working with Vulcans have generally proved to be most efficent and admirable."

And truth be told, she was merely being straight forward than attempting to convey flattery. The notion was marked in a final, "I hope such a record wont be blemished on Roark Nor." Nauket was never one for insidious remarks, but the tension, she felt, deserved the most intricate of defiance, even if it was something as wildly unimportant to her as a station's designation.

For a final time the Vulcan CO cocked an eyebrow at the Cardassian designation that she seemed unwilling to leave behind. Maybe it was because she wanted to be close to something of home and the name gave her that comfort. The Romulan half of T'Rena took great delight at the truth that the Cardassian butcher before her would be robbed of the opportunity to see ghetto fencing up on the promenade dividing the upper class Cardassian from the Bajoran slaves they had forced to complete the manual labor.
"You are dismissed Commander!"

With a simple nod of acknowledgement, the proud Cardassian woman took her leave. She couldn't help but feel that her talents were sorely wasted on such an unforgiving station. Then again, forgiveness was not something that should have been an issue for her. Such was marked in the dirty faces of those she had defended, those she had unknowingly become haunted by.


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