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Cptn Swain

“Yes, sir. Of course, sir. Less trouble.”

The lift carrying Issaha and Asher passed through long, glassed section giving the riders an expansive view of the docking area where a number of ships, including the Excalibur, were moored. Holding back an urge to press his face to the turbolift wall, Issaha peered as the lift carried them upwards towards the station’s command zone. 

For Asher’s part he had to admit he was unsure if he wanted the arrangement that kept the Romulan office aboard much longer. It wasn’t anything personal; he actually found Issaha to be far more charming and amiable than any Romulan he’d ever interacted with -- certainly more so than his brooding older brother -- and Hakran had spoke positively about his merits as a science officer. Still, Asher couldn’t escape the worry that his continued presence aboard the Excalibur would draw unwanted attention to the ship and if there was anything the Excalibur and her crew didn’t need help with, it was with trouble. 

The lift disappeared into the upper workings of the station, leaving the panorama behind. Issaha sighed and turned back to Asher. “I never did get a chance to properly thank you, sir.”

Asher looked up. “For?”

“Accepting me as part of your crew ... via the exchange.”

Smiling, Asher resisted an urge to tossel Issaha’s hair. “I'd be lying if I said it was entirely my decision, but for what it's worth -- you're welcome. Just next time let's try not to get you in even more trouble with your people? It's nice having you and all, but I assume you want to go home at some point, eh?”

He blushed a light shade of green. “Yes, sir. Of course, sir. Less trouble.”

The lift came to a halt, depositing them on the wide concourse of the administrative offices for the station, which served as the homebase for starships assigned to the sector. 

“It’s big.”

Asher grinned at Issaha. “Ie,” he said. “That is the Rihan word for yes, right?”

Issha nodded. “Ie.”

They made their way to the suite cordoned off for the sector commander, Vice-Admiral Agruela Tersan. Asher saluted crisply once he and his Romulan charge were ushered into her office.  “As you were,” she said, pouring a glass of water. “Welcome to 39-Tango, gentlemen. Please, have a seat.”

The admiral was short, slender but with a certain regal bearing that demanded attention. She glanced them both over briefly as they took their seats opposite her desk. “I won’t keep you long, I am sure you both have things you’d rather do than listen to some admiral drone on, yes?”

Asher smirked, “I can think of worse things, Admiral.”

“Your husband mentioned you to be quite the charmer, Mister Swain.” 

Issaha suppressed a smirk as it was now Asher’s turn to blush. 

“Anyway, as I said I won’t keep either of you long. As you know, El’Arrain N’Dak -- did I get that right? I’ve never been very good with spoken Romulan.”

Issaha nodded. Her pronunciation of his name had been a little off, but for an Lloann’na, not all that bad.

“Mmm--” she continued. “As you know, the officer exchange program between our two governments has not typically been used as a long-term arrangement. Frankly, since the end of the war, we’ve barely had any requests from your government for a placement aboard a Federation vessel.

“And given the recent incident, and even though I am personally confident based on the reports from your superiors, that your involvement was incidental; it’s somewhat natural for the folks at intelligence to be concerned about having someone with so many complications with their opposite number aboard one of our leading ships in along the border.”

She stopped to take a drink before continuing. “However, after a thorough review I have been authorized to continue your placement aboard the Excalibur.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“You’re dismissed, but one more thing. If, at anytime, Captain Swain believes the safety of his ship is being compromised....”

She left it there as Issaha stood and saluted neatly. Asher started to follow, but Agruela stopped him. “One moment Captain.”

When they were alone, she continued. “I am serious about that last part. If you’re uncomfortable with this arrangement at any time let me know, is that clear?”


“Good. This is a delicate situation. Being honest, if the Romulan ambassador hadn’t interceded on his behalf, there’s no way we would have let him be on a starship this close to the Romulan border.”

“The ambassador?”

“Apparently some friend of the family or something. His mother was part of their diplomatic corps for years.”

Asher nodded. He knew Issaha’s family was influential. “Right. Well, I’ll do my best to make sure he doesn’t get into too much trouble.”

“Aboard your ship?”

Swain blushed again, but smiled. “We’re doing our best on that front.”

“See that you do.”

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