Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek, Harry Potter or any of the characters or objects owned by others. I simply apply my lacklustre skill to tell my own stories using their brilliance as a template. I do not make or seek to make any profit with these works. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Okay readers I'm back after a long hiatus on this story. I've reworked the ending for about the 7th time and I've finally found my muse again for this fic. This is a short bridging chapter fixing a plot hole in my story and hopefully I can work this story back on to my writing rotation (So to speak).
Thank you to all those that have reviewed, followed and favoured this story. Your interest and reviews have spurred me on when I started to become frustrated with how to finish this.
"Sir the Warbird is hailing us," reported Ensign Yu.
"Onscreen," replied Data.
The image of two Romulans appeared on screen. Data noted that one was dressed in a military uniform but the other was in civilian clothes.
Before Data could speak the uniformed Romulan smiled, "Ah Lieutenant Commander Data, Starfleet's first Android officer."
Data tilted his head in puzzlement, "You have me at a disadvantage Sir."
The Romulan shook his head, "Such was not my intent Lieutenant Commander. I have read a great deal about you. My father is a research cyberneticist and while my career has led elsewhere I share some of his interest in your existence. Perhaps we can meet in person at some later date. I am Colonel Vorak I believe that you are expecting us?"
Lost – Chapter 14
USS Enterprise – Transporter Room
Picard nodded at the transporter operator before turning his attention back to the transporter pads. A few seconds later the transporter effect faded leaving a single Romulan standing on the slightly raised platform.
"Welcome aboard the Enterprise Colonel," offered Picard.
"Thank you Captain."
"Given the urgency I hope you will forgive the lack of the usual formal welcome," said Picard as Vorak stepped down from the transporter.
"I understand Captain. I am not much taken with the pomp and ceremony myself and as you say there is a requirement for urgency."
"Pomp and circumstance perhaps?" asked Picard.
Vorak smiled slightly, "Ahh you are correct no doubt Captain. I have made a study of the Empires many neighbours."
"Indeed," commented Picard.
"I've found that the intricacies of language tell you a great deal about a culture."
"Of course, Colonel may I introduce Commander William Riker my first officer, my second officer Lieutenant Commander Data and my chief of security Lieutenant Worf."
Vorak studied the Federation officers for a few seconds before giving a slight bow, "I greet you all on behalf of the Romulan Star Empire."
Picard nodded slightly, "Commodore Culloven is waiting Colonel shall we proceed to the conference room?"
"Of course….ahh a moment Captain please." Vorak reached down and pulled his disrupter from its holster and handed it to Worf, "A gesture of good faith."
Picard gestured to Worf who handed back the disrupter, "Thank you Colonel but I shouldn't think such is necessary." Worf gave the Romulan a nod as he handed him back the weapon.
When they reached the conference room Commodore Culloven stood waiting looking out the small observation port. As the door opened he turned, "If you would give us a few moments Captain?"
Picard nodded and left taking Data and Worf with him.
Culloven sat and Vorak followed suit.
"You know Colonel we have met before," said Culloven with a slight smile.
Vorak studied Culloven for a few moments before nodding, "Ahh the mining symposium on New Sydney you were one of the aides. Well played Commodore I had no idea."
"I am flattered but truthfully I had a good cover," replied Culloven with a polite smile before his expression grew serious. "How show we proceed from here Colonel?"
"These renegades need to be stopped and such was my mission. Your information however increases the…..urgency of my mission. Such a threat cannot be allowed to continue. I am authorised to offer our ships in a joint mission to achieve just that end."
Culloven didn't react immediately instead he considered the Romulans words. An offer of a joint mission was not where he had expected the conversation to go as it was considerably more official. Such a thing might well come to the attention of Starfleet Intelligence and given that his branch was infiltrated…It would raise issues.
Vorak noted the Starfleet officer's delay "Is there a problem Commodore?"
Culloven took a sip of water before coming to a decision on how to explain to Vorak.
"Colonel I neglected to tell you why I am here on the Enterprise. If you were to contact one of your associates and enquire as to my current posting I suspect the answer would be confusing."
Vorak's eyes narrowed slightly but he remained silent.
"Admiral S'veer and Commodore Zoran of Starfleet Intelligence are dead. Killed after Picard reported what happened on Tal Sigma 5."
That got a reaction from the Tal Shiar Colonel, "Faelirh ch'susse-thrai…" Vorak trailed off as his well-trained mind went to work thinking through the data he had. "You fear Starfleet is infiltrated by the Kilhra'eri?"
"Yes," replied Culloven.
Vorak felt like cursing again. The situation was now incredibly perilous with indicators that pointed at two of the quadrants super powers having been infiltrated at the highest levels of the military. His organisation had been positive that they had caught the Kilhra'eri that had wormed their way in to official positions but this information had him rethinking that. The few low level administrators they had picked up might not be the extent of the traitors in their ranks. Logically he should be pleased that Starfleet had lost two fine minds but instead he was filled with a feeling of foreboding, were there faceless assassins waiting in the shadows on Romulus should the Tal Shiar begin another more thorough investigation?
"That complicates matters both here and on Romulus. We must take care if we are to end this threat. I have seen reports of what these Kilhra'eri are capable of but I fear that the full extent of their powers is not something we have yet ascertained."
Culloven nodded and slid his data pad across the table to Vorak, "This is what we know and the precautions we have taken to try and minimize their abilities. I can have our science and engineering people clarify anything that you need more on."
Vorak glanced at the data on the pad noting the technical information before nodding, "Thank you Commodore. I shall pass it on to our technical people."
Culloven entered a command in to the system as an image of two humans. A man and an adolescent appeared on the screen. He recognised Sirius Black and the obvious deduction was that the adolescent was his ward. "Sirius and Harry are two very valuable assets in the upcoming confrontation. Sirius has been very helpful in testing our defences. I would suggest that once your ships have completed the modifications that you do the same. Both we and the Klingons have underestimated our quarry, trusting in our usual methods. We paid for that lesson in blood Colonel."
Culloven entered another command and an image of Sirius engaging several Starfleet officers was displayed. The engagement went for several minutes and clearly displayed just how dangerous a wizard could be.
Vorak's sat back and considered the human opposite him and the images he had just been shown. They could be faked but Culloven was above all else a professional intelligence officer so there was little chance he was playing agent provocateur. There were still risks to the Empire if he was to follow the course being proposed here. The question was if the risk was balanced by the potential gains.
"I understand Commodore and agree that stopping this threat is vital but the Chairman will want to know more, an informal arrangement carries risks. The Praetor may need to be briefed. While the chairman wields great power he cannot hide the loss of ships should that eventuality arise."
Culloven had to acknowledge the Romulan concerns. At some point he would need to face his own superiors with an accounting of his actions. Explaining an unsanctioned Federation, Klingon, Romulan alliance was going to be a challenge. The discovery of humans able to manipulate energy might just save him should the threat of a court martial appear. He could certainly understand Vorak's concerns.
"So Colonel how do we proceed?"
"As we must. This group must be stopped and we find what they sought in the Tal Sigma system. Then we can...discuss how to proceed."
Culloven acknowledged the wisdom of that position. "I agree, there will be time for negotiations afterwards." There was little doubt that the Romulan negotiating position would include demands around Sirius and Harry.
Vorak stood, "I had best report to my superiors."
"Of course Colonel," replied Culloven as he stood, touching his screen. A moment later the hatch slid open and Worf entered. "Lieutenant Worf please escort the Colonel to the transporter room."
Vorak inclined his head and followed Worf from the room. The hatch had just slid shut when it opened to admit Picard.
Culloven waved the Enterprise's captain to come in, "Come in Jean Luc and take a seat."
"I take it that things went well," said Picard as he lowered himself into Vorak's recently vacated chair.
"Better in some ways than I expected, I suspect that we will have to pay that particular piper afterwards. Vorak made no demands citing the risk we all faced as their motivation. But he did bring up Sirius and Harry."
"Are we going to have trouble with them?"
Culloven shrugged, "Perhaps, we'll deal with them if we do. Now Jean Luc, where do we stand?"
"Mister La Forge is confident that our new defences will be ready. Commander Riker and Mister Black will be conducting a security and tactical briefing at the end of this watch."
"Good, we'll need to arrange briefings for the Romulans as well."
Picard nodded, "I'll see to it."
Romulan Warbird – Sevlar
Vorak nodded to Proconsul Neral as he entered room.
"Well?" asked Neral.
"As I suspected they seek our assistance. Culloven went so far as to offer us the technical specifications of their new defenses. They are essentially not operating with the permission of Starfleet as Culloven fears that Starfleet intelligence have been compromised by the Kilhra'eri."
Neral sat back in his chair a thoughtful look on his face as he considered Vorak's words. "Do you think he is right?"
"It is possible. I doubt Culloven would be deceptive about such a…..dangerous piece of intelligence. Still I shall report it and have our operatives look in to his claims. For now I advocate that our planning move forward with the assumption that our information is genuine."
"And the technical information?"
"The science and engineering departments are looking at the information now. If it proves, as I suspect it will that Starfleet and the Klingons have developed a defence we should incorporate it."
Neral considered for a few moments before answering. This was a pivotal point. In the eventual, inevitable accounting to the Praetor and the senate he would need to justify what he did next. Failure in the eyes of the senate could be fatal. "Then proceed but keep me informed."
IKS Kaveth Nar – Engineering
L'kor finished her adjustment of the warp field and checked the readouts again. They were better but the power distribution was slightly down from where she expected it to be. With a grunt she turned back to the input.
"The diagnostic is complete, all the new system adaptations are nominal," reported an engineer.
"Good, complete a diagnostic on the cloak and then run a simulation on the weapons systems. If something doesn't work I want to know before we go into battle."
The engineer acknowledged his orders and walked back to his own console already forgotten about by L'kor as she studied the shield harmonics data. There was something she had overlooked but she could not figure out what it was. She pulled up the diagnostics and looked at the new configuration before pulling up the theoretical data she had developed. What had she seen?
Scrolling through data she stopped and scrolled backwards. Visible spectrum readings, energy readings for the cloaking device…..wait Sirius had said something about his home being hidden. That was it.
USS Enterprise Ten Forward
"So….." prompted Sirius.
"So nothing, nothing happened Sirius," replied Harry.
"Really," Sirius raised an eyebrow indicating his disbelief . "The nose doesn't lie, neither does the we…"
"Nothing Happened we just kissed a bit," insisted Harry as his cheeks turned pink..
"Hmmm," Sirius was trying hard not to laugh.
"Anyway do you think we can beat him?"
Sirius allowed his godson to change topics. "I think so, La Forge and Worf think so as well. Voldemort is not unbeatable." He was going to say more when his Klingon communicator beeped. He flipped it open and saw L'kor.
"Tell me about the Fidelius charm," asked L'kor.