Dr. Julian Bashir took his first step into his new home. He stopped and looked around. The colors surrounding him were all dark, and mostly green and grey. Yet it was very unlike Deep Space 9. Of course, that is exactly what he had expected. DS9 had been designed by the Cardassians. Tal Menar, now Deep Space 13, had been built by the Romulans.
The war had ended in a stalemate. The Federation had lost some key outposts along the border, as had the Romulans. Both had lost and gained, and neither had won. Deep Space 13 was a final concession in the peace treaty. The Federation would gain the outpost, but any non-military Romulans would be allowed to remain. Julian was looking forward to coexisting with the Romulans. He enjoyed a challenge.
However, not to his surprise, it seemed that many of the Romulan civilians had already left, and many more were packing up their shops. Julian found himself being watched by many of the station's inhabitants as he headed to his new Sick Bay. He smiled awkwardly at everyone he saw, but only a little Romulan boy returned it, and he was quickly taking into a closed shop by his mother.
Switching on the lights in the Sick Bay, Julian saw that whoever had last been there had been a very orderly person. Everything was neatly sorted on the shelves, and even the sick beds were made. It appeared much more comfortable than the Sick Bay he had on DS9. Julian sighed as he stood in the doorway, gazing around the room.
"Good, Doctor, you're here." Julian turned around to see Captain Sabik Johnson smiling at him.
"Good to finally meet you in person, Captain Johnson," Julian said, shaking his hand. "Doctor Bashir, ready for duty!"
"As eager as ever, I see," Johnson said, shaking his head slightly. "Well, I'm sorry to inform you that there have been no reported injuries."
Julian smiled at the joke, but did not feel like laughing. He had seen many people die in the war, and the sort of injuries he never wanted to see again. He would be more than happy not to have to look at blood ever again, whatever the color. Then again, it was his job.
"It appears I spoke to soon," Captain Johnson suddenly said, breaking into Julian's memories. Julian turned around to see a young Romulan woman coming over, cradling her arm.
"Are you the doctor?" she asked shyly as she reached them.
"Yes, Doctor Julian Bashir," Julian said. He could see that her arm was badly burned. "Come into Sick Bay and I'll have a look at your arm." He nodded a farewell to Captain Johnson before guiding the Romulan into Sick Bay. "It looks mostly superficial," Julian said after a moment, picking up a dermal regenerator. "This will only take a moment. May I ask you your name?" he asked as he healed her wound.
"Oh, um, Rianna," she said, taken slightly by surprise.
"Well, Rianna, how did you manage this?" Julian said as he finished. Julian looked up at her face. Rianna's forehead was less pronounced than most Romulans he had seen during the war, and he was surprised to see a faint outline of what looked like a spoon on her forehead.
"I own the restaurant a few doors down," she said. "The Jolan. And um…a little accident happened in the kitchen."
"You actually cook your food?" Julian asked in surprise.
Rianna smiled, shaking her head slightly. "I don't understand how you humans can live off of that…fake matter you get from those machines. I mean, they're fine for a snack or a rushed meal, but…"
"No, no, I love real food," Julian said. "Sometimes things get too efficient. I'd love to drop by your restaurant sometime."
"I can't vouch for the quality of the human food--I was practicing a human dish when I got burned," she said, motioning to her arm.
"Actually, I was thinking of sampling some Romulan cuisine," Julian said. "I assume you can cook that."
Rianna smiled. "Yes, I think I could manage to cook up some viinerine or something. Thanks for your help," Rianna said, turning to leave.
"Um, Rianna, would you happen to have some…Cardassian blood in you?" Julian asked hesitantly.
"Yes, my grandfather was a Cardassian," Rianna said. Her eyes darted around, almost as though she had said something she shouldn't have. "I hope I'll see you in my restaurant sometime, and thanks for helping me." Rianna smiled at him and left Sick Bay.
Julian watched Rianna leave. Just before he turned away, he saw her accosted by another woman. This other woman was wearing a very dark green top and black pants. Julian hadn't even seen her come out of the shadows. She had hair very unlike any other Romulan he had seen. The extremely dark color was familiar, but instead of being short, it was rather long and wavy. She also did not have ridges on her forehead, making her appear Vulcan.
This woman whispered something to Rianna, jerking her head towards the door to Sick Bay. Rianna said something, and the other woman shook her head and spoke briefly again before walking to a door across from Sick Bay. The door was semi-transparent, and Julian could see the woman sit down at a desk and beginning reading something off of a Romulan version of a PADD. Julian watched her curiously until the woman suddenly glared up at him, and he hastily began emptying his bag onto the counter.
O O O
Julian entered the control center of the station. He was surprised to find it strangely reminiscent of the Ops center of DS9, except that the captain's (or commander's) ready room was not so high above the rest of Operations.
"Doctor, what brings you here?" Captain Johnson said, coming from the ready room.
"Doctor Bashir reporting that Rianna the chef has been completely healed," Julian said. He smiled. "Actually, I was just having a look around."
The door to the turbolift opened, and the woman Julian had seen talk to Rianna entered. "Why is my security access code being denied?" she asked Captain Johnson angrily. Julian instantly ruled out her being Vulcan.
Johnson took a deep breath. "We are currently making changes the security system. You will get a security clearance code once we are finished."
"The same security clearance," the woman demanded.
"Just Vena, thank you," the woman said, her eyes narrowing. "I am not a member of the Romulan military, thus you have no right to change my position on this station."
"We aren't going to affect your position, you will still be in charge of civilian safety," Captain Johnson said exasperatedly. "Be thankful Starfleet isn't trying to get you out of your job," he added quietly.
"They couldn't legally." Vena turned and headed back to the turbolift. "I expect to have my clearance back by 2200 hours," she said as the doors closed.
"Wow," Julian said after a moment of silence. "Who was that?"
Captain Johnson put a hand to his forehead. "The Romulan security chief. She was in charge of the safety of civilians on the station, thus she managed to avoid being kicked off the station." He shook his head. "Starfleet has been finding her a…nuisance. She had a surprisingly high clearance for not actually being in the military, and if we follow the terms of the treaty to the letter, she gets to keep it."
"So Romulus has an agent here?" Julian assumed, suddenly nervous.
"She denies being an agent." Julian turned around. A man with dirty blond hair was coming towards them. "But she's lying."
"Doctor Bashir, this is Commander Brian McGives, my first officer," Johnson said. "Brian, this is Julian Bashir."
Commander McGives nodded toward Julian. "Hello, Doctor."
"You know that she's an agent?" Julian asked after nodding in return. "You have proof?"
McGives sighed. "If we had proof, she wouldn't still be here."
"Why do you want to get her off the station?"
"She's a threat!" McGives exclaimed.
"You have no proof," Julian pointed out.
"We don't need it," McGives said. "Anyway, even if she isn't, she is still far too obnoxious to remain on board."
"She has already confiscated phasers from four new security officers," Captain Johnson explained. "And she refuses to let us assign her security officers to help her."
"So she doesn't want Starfleet butting into her territory," Julian said with a shrug. "Sounds like another security chief I used to know." Julian hardly noticed the confused look the captain and commander exchanged as he nostalgically thought of 'Constable' Odo, as well as many other former occupants of DS9.
"Just try to have a pleasant conversation with her, Doctor, then you'll understand," McGives said.
"I believe I will," Julian said, accepting the commander's challenge. "I bet I'll be having lunch with her before the end of the week."
"You must be joking, Doctor," Captain Johnson said, looking extremely amused.
"This operation is not allowed," a computer voice said, and then there was the familiar 'zap' of a force field.
"Damn!" There was a metallic bang and then "Ow!"
"Having trouble, Chief?" Captain Johnson asked, looking as though trying not to laugh. McGives snickered.
"This isn't funny!" A woman appeared from behind a computer console near the back of Ops. She was rubbing her head. "It's taken me the last four days just to get the bloody thing to stop speaking in Romulan, but now it won't let me do anything else."
"Come, now, Anna, it's not as bad as all that," McGives said consolingly. 'Anna' glared at him.
"Chief Newstreak, it's just a computer," Johnson said. "Surely you can-."
"Tear it to pieces?" Newstreak said. "I'd love that. But every time I get close to the thing, it puts up stupid force fields." She looked at Julian. "Who are you?"
"Doctor Julian Bashir."
Newstreak nodded. "Anna Newstreak. Anyway, Captain…" Newstreak began on a whole new tirade about every system on the station. Julian was surprised the station hadn't already fallen apart. It was a bit too much like DS9, Julian decided as he quietly slipped off the Bridge. The turbolift took him to three incorrect levels before he finally managed to find the main level that included Sick Bay again. Julian shook his head. Way too much like DS9.