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241302.XX | Plot Log | "Steadfast" |

Posted on 241302.12 @ 11:18 by Captain Robert Lansine & Petty Officer 2nd Class John Capellupo & Captain Olan Dar & Captain Landon Neyes & Lieutenant Commander Hayden Williams

Mission: Romulan Ale.. I mean Aide
Location: USS Vindicator, Deck 1 Conference Room

=/\= USS Vindicator, Deck 1 Conference Room =/\=

Neyes allowed the doors to open leading into the conference room. His expression remained a tepid wash, despite having to play at the diplomat. There was no reason to pretend like these people were all guests on their ship. The diplomatic suite was serving as a meeting ground of necessity, and everyone inside was well aware of the temperature the atmosphere took as soon as Heifner, the Romulans and Lansine were finally all inside.

"Please. Have a seat." Neyes motioned to the table. It was a nice place for a meeting at least, such as it was. Landon could see the three commanders all seemed to fit into the comfort of the space quickly. It was a relief to know they'd at least have one less thing to complain about.
"Thank you for coming," Lansine motioned for those still standing to take their seats. "I believe we have much to talk about."

"Commander, if you would please-," Heifner began, attempting to cut Rob off before he could dive too far into the agenda.

"No, ma'am, you may not," Rob cut the Captain down almost immediately. Heifner's extra pip may have allowed her some leverage, but he wasn't going to let her dictate the meeting. Especially considering her ship was currently sitting outside without the access to their weapons systems. "We have important things to discuss, but nothing more important than the safety of our officers on the planet." He turned to the Romulan Commander. "I believe you can help us with that."

The solid black cropped hair did little to improve the Romulan Commander's unconvinced look. "And why is that, Commander."

Rob's eyes met the Romulan's, "Because our people are being held by your forces on the planet. Our scans show you've been transporting things on and off the surface since you arrived. I could list the dozen or so treaties your government has signed that require you to hand over our crew, but I'm sure you are quite aware of them. I will not tolerate the unlawful imprisonment of my crew."

“You have no reason to insist we have anything to do with your crew being unable to return to the surface, Commander. Much less the implication we have somehow taken them prisoner.” The man’s voice was full of disingenuous outrage and surprise, like putting on a show for the room was going to make him more defensible.

“I also resent the fact you would throw something like that in our face. For after all, you are the one outside of your depth. Your Federation is not akin to this area of space. You have arrived unannounced. Let the Romulan Empire handle this incident ourselves. I assure you we will get to the bottom of this, and if your crew can be returned to you swiftly, then it will be so.” He made a sideways glance at the Kennedy’s captain and a hint of a smile appeared on his face. “You seem to already have your hands full as it is.”

Neyes stood at the side of the room, constantly reaffirming to himself that Lansine alone needed to handle the situation. With Dar on the surface and the rest of the crew looking to him for leadership, Neyes knew it was a proving time for his friend. Rob needed space to handle the discussion, and Landon had nothing but respect for that need. Anything Landon could offer, in regards to trying to bring this to closure, wasn’t likely to be welcome. Either the Romulan would see it as weakness on Rob’s part to have a pilot trying to negotiate for him, or Captain Heifner would shrug him off.

Aside from those points, Landon was making a concerted effort to size-up the two. He’d been at the negotiating table before, and while he wasn’t actively taking part in this discussion, he wanted to have some insights on their body language or behavior. Things they might notice if Rob was throwing glances.

“Why are two Starfleet vessels responding to a distress call? Surely either one would have sufficed, if you must respond to begin with.” The man didn’t share the Federation’s desire to reach out a hand to every cry for help.

Hayden stood between and behind Neyes and Lansine. Two more guards stood directly behind the Romulans commander and the federation captain. Perhaps it was a blunt show of force, But he wanted the message clear that there would-be No trouble during the meeting.

The Romulan Commander's attempt to move Lansine's concentration from the trapped crew to the legality of the Vindicator and Kennedy's pretense in Romulan space did little to rattle him. "Perhaps you did not understand me," he looked green blooded Romulan Commander straight in the eye. The intensity of loyalty, the empathy of past horors and shade of recklessness shined in Rob's dark brown eyes. "You will release my people. Nothing less."

As if on queue, the Romulan's body language became unwelcoming and rigid. He looked down at the table, taking a moment to collect his thoughts, and then looked back up to the two captains. His brow pressed against his eyes, as they stared down the young human commander. The Starfleet leader had determination, obviously. The Romulan could feel his irritation begin to rise, with the colony on the surface and two Federation ships in orbit, he had more than enough to deal with. He'd hoped to have taken care of it.

The rage and frustration at being lured into a threat boiled up inside him. "I will not be!-"

"Careful". A whispered, soft voice cut him off. Right near his ear. It wasn't harsh, but icy all the same.

The Trill had moved like a shadow, swiftly and without being noticed, from his perch across the conference room, and was now directly behind the Romulan commander. Landon hovered casually close to the man, silencing his threat before he could breathe it. Neyes' single word had said more than just suggest caution, but nothing more than it needed to.

"John," Rob called the strained face officer standing near the door to the table. Rob had taken the pleasure of inviting Lieutenant Capellupo to the meeting. Despite his junior officer standing and relative inexperience in affairs of state and diplomacy the young man's sensor expertise would prove extremely important in the impending moments. "What were you telling me about our 'friend's' transporter signal?"

"It's on a triaxcilating band," the young Italian man stammered. "But I believe I have narrowed the frequency down enough to replicate it."

Lansine looked back to the Romulan Commander with a newfound smugness. "You were saying?"


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