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[sD 2387.180 - joint log, Jylliene and Nijil, a few hours after the events of Turning Rihannsu, Part II]


Nijil felt right at home on the Nei’rrh. Given enough time, however, even a home can feel like a prison. The shuttle was dark even at its brightest illumination. His quarters on the Aegean, although small, were a nice change. To his delight, Jylliene had absorbed the language and controls quite well. Reading a manual on how to fly a Romulan shuttle was no substitute for actual flight time, however. Other than the shuttle’s simulator sessions, she would need to rely on her Starfleet training.


Nijil needed to not get distracted by his own memories. Eating in the shuttle triggered a strong memory of his mother’s disapproval of his entry into the Galae. Jylliene’s comfort came at the right time. If not for the mission he’d have stayed with her until the next day. Without more preparation this day is all they’d ever get.


“This section of the Nei’rrh is the key to this mission and our biggest problem.” Nijil remarked, pointing to the nose of the shuttle on his PADD display.


Jylliene watched intently as they sat on the small couch. “So what specifically is the issue with it?”


“The radiation it may give off after using it to punch a hole in the shielding of the M-2,” he said with worry. “I just don’t know what we are dealing with here.”


She pondered that. “Did science have any ideas what might come of it? Or did you have any ideas about shielding the Nei’rrh or its occupants?”


Nijil smiled. “Well, they frankly don’t have as much experience as I with this shuttle. The singularity can be tricky for starters.” He flicked to another image. “My idea is to install a lead-based alloy barrier then seal it with yet another lead substrate of polymer foam.” The engineer seemed proud of his idea. “I believe if I need to run the navigational deflector intensity up to, say, 130% this should block about 95%.” The image zoomed and panned.


“Will you be able to compensate for that addition?”


“Well, during the firing of this beam sensors will be compromised. Electromagnetic bands surely, and a bit lesser on the subspace bands. The good news is once we light it up we can crank the active scanning systems.” He turned to smile at her. “I have drawn up some sensor profiles, but I need your knowledge to check my figures.”


“I’d check your figures anytime,” Jylliene replied with a wink. “Show me the profiles,” she continued, looking over at the PADD. Nijil opened up the files, a simple view that one could dig down further for the gritty details. He got up from the table to get something for them to drink. Truthfully he turned a shade of green.


“Coffee or tea?” He asked.


“For this? Coffee, I believe,” she replied, as she started to review his work.


Nijil got two coffees, as strong as the computer could replicate. He brought the serving tray with two cups, sugar and cream over to their table. The aroma filled the air around the table as if they jumped into a bin of roasted coffee. He inhaled deeply.


“Oh...whew. That’s very aromatic,” he said as he sat the plate down.


“It is,” she agreed, and took one of the cups, adding some cream, and sipped as she continued. “It all looks reasonably within specs, though I know as much about the Nei’rrh as anyone else but you - that is, next to nothing.”


He nodded. “I wanted to show you more, but this mission came up, plus I don’t know how much you cared for these kinds of things. She’s a good little ship, better shape if I do say so then when I first met her. Didn’t even have a name. So, if the numbers are alright choosing the place to strike will be...interesting.” He sipped.


“I’d say at their weak spot, but I guess we don’t know where that is yet,” she sighed, taking another sip of her coffee.


“Too bad it is not your weak spot,” he quipped.


“Corny Engineers?”


“Are you making light of my ears? Our kids would have them, I, er mean if we...” He brought the cup to his mouth and drank to stop himself from talking. His eyes focused back to the PADD.


Jylliene grinned at him. “So...back to the mission. Was there any information in any of the scans that gave any hint of a good approach to that rock?”


“We know they have fine-tuned any cloaked surface features. Probably the first thing the Romulans in the past made sure to hide. My guess would be one, perhaps two small craft sized openings. Those would be the cloak or hologrammed features. I can only guess at how many weapon points are hidden. If the Aegean and Narada hit the rock just right a place for us to hit will become evident.”


“We’ll have to hope so. If not, I suppose it’s just pick a place and cross our fingers.”


“I want to impress on you something,” he said intently, grabbing both of her hands in his. “Once we light up the beam we will become a giant target in the asteroid field. They will have countermeasures and will react pretty quickly. Not that I doubt your abilities, but if anything is wrong alert me immediately. My people can be very vicious.” He let her go and gave a stare of concern.


“I expect no less of anyone defending their base,” she calmly replied. “Shall we run through some flight simulations, perhaps?”


He gave her a look. “You wish to go back to the shuttle? I thought it was getting depressing in there.”


“Well, a change of scenery was definitely nice. I think we both needed a break. But if I’m going to be flying that thing during this mission, I want us both to feel as confident as we can about my doing so.” The woman paused briefly, then continued, “So I suppose that means going back to the shuttle, yes.”


“Only if you desire.”


“It’s not a matter of desire, it’s a matter of being prepared. Just like spending every moment I had reviewing the layout of Aegis as we were inbound to retake the station. This is what I think I need to do.”


“Well, then. How would you like to travel?”


She peered at Nijil quizzically. “...I’m sorry?”


“Allow me.” Nijil tapped his comm badge. “Nei’rrh, moraere.” Before she translated his command in her head they both disappeared in a swirling green transporter beam. Then instantly, for them, they reappeared at the shuttle’s transporter pad. “Needed to test it anyhow.”


Jylliene grinned, and sat down at the helm. With a deep breath, she ran her hands down the controls and said, “Let’s get started, then.”




“That was very good for your first simulation run. At least they never found out who crashed into one of their asteroids.” A few hours of simulations tired both of them. Nijil teased her all the way back to his quarters. “Come on, I’m only joking.”


Jylliene rolled her eyes. “You’re fortunate I’m your guest, or I’d throw you onto the floor and out of the bed for the night,” she grumbled. “At least by the end things were a fair bit smoother.”


He bellowed out a laugh. “Throw me on the floor? I must be tired as well.”


“You think they don’t teach us hand-to-hand in the academy, e’lev?” she replied with a smirk.


“Oh I bet they do,” he said, grinning ear to pointy ear. “As you can imagine, we have several classes in daggers. They aren’t just for ceremony.”


Grumbling, Jylliene entered the quarters and prepared for sleep.


Nijil let her get ready first. “I’ll be a minute, are you alright?”


“Mhm,” she murmured in response, as she collapsed onto the bed.


Exhausted too, Nijil slipped in as best he could without waking her. Minutes later he was fast asleep.


Jylliene sat bolt upright. That was..what, the third dream ending with them crashing spectacularly into the asteroid? She sighed and glanced over at the sleeping figure next to her. Kissing him lightly on the cheek, she got up and threw her uniform back on. After quietly requesting coffee from the replicator, she tapped her comm badge.


“Nei’rrh, moraere.”


With a shimmer, she appeared on the shuttle, and sat down at the controls to begin another simulation.

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