United or Untied: A serialized Stev story Part 4
“Jij y’trewq O’k?” she asked in Andorian.
“Reowr mahwahr Stev,” he replied in Caitian.
“Noto ta, Stev?” she asked in Vulcan.
“Yes it is really me, the man who according to you did more for the universal translator than the legendary Hoshi Sato,” he replied also in Vulcan. “May I ask why are you now going by the name Atropos?”
“Stev? It’s hard to believe,” Professor Jenkins said after a moment’s silence. She settled back into the seat and continued, “Atropos is a fiction created by October as a security layer. If the Romulans get intelligence about Atropos they won’t be so quick to connect ‘him’ with Phyllis Jenkins. Now how long has it been and what happened to your forehead?” she continued the conversation in Vulcan.
“It has been twenty-eight standard years since I was in your class and the forehead is a long story.”
“And it is probably the work of those butchers Frankenstein has at his beck and call. I see he has managed to get his hooks in another fine officer,” she said with both pride and disgust in her voice at the same time.
Deciding to let the subtle jab at his superior officer slide, Stev instead tried to focus on why his old professor was now an agent for October.
“And what brought you out of the classroom and out here to the fringes of Federation territory?”
“I met a Romulan ambassador at a diplomatic function some years ago,” her eyes took on a far away look as she continued. “I suppose he was interested in me because I could speak his native Rom’lesta as well as the official dialect of Rihannsu.”
Raising an eyebrow in a most un-Romulanlike manner Stev maintained his silence and let her continue.
“After the dinner I was contacted by someone who I thought was with Starfleet Intelligence. I was ordered to get closer to the diplomat and report anything that I learned,” she smiled. “After some years we became more than friends, I became his human jol’khe, resigned my commission and came out here.” There was an almost imperceptible sigh as a trace of melancholy wound its way around her words, “Since it is impossible for me to stay with him, he called in some favors and got me a merchant’s license.”
“So getting into and out of Romulan space should not be difficult?” Stev asked.
“No, October decided to make sparing use of my license. Frankenstein would rather keep me legit and use me for the big missions rather than compromise my position. I guess your mission qualifies as big?”
Stev filled her in on the details he was allowed to disclose to her.
“Yes that does qualify for big,” she replied. After a brief pause, her eyes now twinkling, she continued in standard, “Well Teven, I believe your ship will suit my purpose. I will be accompanying the first shipment and introduce you to my contact.”
“Very well, Atropos. As soon as your cargo is loaded then we can leave,” Stev replied matching the twinkle with a slight eyebrow raise.
“Just so you don’t use the Atropos name once we’re in Romulan space,” Phyllis then laughed out loud at Stev’s dead-panned bemused expression.
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