Title: "Romeo and…Arwen?"

Author: NorJC

In association with: Albert Green Jr.'s "A Thin Veneer Universe"

Contact:

Date began: October 6, 2010

NOTICE: THIS STORY MAY BE DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE BUT MUST NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM.

-COPYRIGHT/DISCLAIMER NOTICE-

NOTICE: THIS STORY MAY BE DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE BUT MUST NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM.

"Star Trek", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", and "Star Trek: Voyager" and "Star Trek: Enterprise" and all related Star Trek related material, its characters and certain technological devices and/or references to such, from the television shows and movies, may be or are registered trademarks of, and may be or are copyrighted by Paramount Studios and whatever corporation it may or may not be owned by.

No studio is responsible for the content of this story. Other names and additional characters are the creation of the author who is solely responsible for them as such.

THIS STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE STORY 'Romeo and…Arwen?' IF DISTRIBUTED. THIS STORY IS FREE OF CHARGE AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM. THIS DEDICATION MUST ACCOMPANY ANY DISTRIBUTION OF THIS STORY.

Dedication:

Both my lovely bride of nearly 20 years and our children have allowed me to hide in our office and write in relative peace. As I have said before and shall always say again, thank you, my beloveds. I also would like to thank Albert who galvanized me to get off my duff and start writing again with his wonderful stories, 'A Thin Veneer', its supplements and his 'A Universe of Change', 'Those who Stand' and 'the Evolutions-Ruination war series' and who helped me edit this story.

This story is the fourth in a series of short stories and novellas that focuses on the life and times of the crew of the Constellation-class, USSValkyrie, NCC-2590, a single Federation starship engulfed in the war encompassed by the 'A Thin Veneer' ("ATV") series. I heartily recommend reading 'A Thin Veneer' in connection with this story about the Valkyrie and her valiant crew.

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"Are they freaking kidding me?" shrieked the impeccably groomed, trivid-star-handsome Starfleet Public Relations Officer. He clutched his PADD which contained the offending memorandum tightly in his hand. "How in the hell do they expect me to push this through?"

Commander Aaron Holloway knew an irrational demand when he saw one. If a situation didn't require him to yank a burning bush out of his ass, the brass rarely dispatched the clarion call to his Sentient Relations and Communications Division.

The bureaucratic communiqué could be condensed into two sentences, even though no self-respecting yeoman worth his or her salt would ever be so efficacious.

1) The Minbari affair had rapidly escalated into a full-scale war.

That sat just fine with Aaron since he was nicely ensconced on Earth, the original one-thank you very much, at Starfleet Headquarters, far from the murdered worlds of the Regulus system. Besides, a hot war was much easier to sell than the mundane exploratory and science activities of Starfleet's ten thousand plus ships.

2) The brass had tasked Commander Holloway with the duty to create a public relations campaign to support a major tax increase proposal to the Federation Council.

Was it any wonder that several of the admirals' staffs had tossed this hand-phaser-set-to-overload his way? A tax increase? Talk about being up the proverbial creek without a freaking paddle! If Aaron could pull this miracle off, then taxes would soar and everyone would say hanging is too good for him. If he went down in flames, he'd be lucky to score a PR job with an Orion bordello.

For nearly fifteen minutes, he glared at his PADD, seeking salvation amidst the words of the long-winded message. Despair began to get the better of him. For God's sakes, everyone knew tax increase proposals were the kiss of death to a bureaucrat's livelihood and he could see his carefully cultivated career swirling down the toilet right before his very eyes.

Then he spied a curt note attached at the end of the memo and that one line rocked his world. Aaron, this is the real thing. Mendez.

A grin dawned on Holloway's face. Hot damn! Admiral Jose I. Mendez, the audacious captain of the renown 'Fighting Maine', had just told him there was some hunt in this dog! This action wasn't just an attempt by the brass to get the politicians to foot the bill for some shiny new battlewagons. If Mendez was right, and he usually was, the Federation was about to find itself engaged in an honest-to-God shooting war!

The idealistic young cadet buried deep inside peeked out from beneath the cloak of cynicism Aaron had meticulously woven over the years. Now that he had a real war, he needed a compelling sentient interest angle. Moving with renewed purpose, he cast himself into his chair and rolled it across the floor to its position in front of one of HQ's most exceptional computerized communication panels.

After several minutes of inquiries and reviews of personnel files, Aaron hit the jackpot. His research revealed some pretty-boy human starship captain with dreamy eyelashes from New Orleans had become 'bonded' to his exotically-gorgeous Vulcan First Officer with-legs-for-days, amidst the shattered remains of the Regulus colonies. Like a modern-day Romeo and...er...Arwen (yeah!), these planet-crossed lovers would command the fleet's 'Starship of Diversity' in Alliance Earth space, imparting the Federation's IDIC philosophy to the brothers of man on the other side of the galaxy!

Smugly satisfied, Aaron leaned back in his chair. Love. And. War. Now, this is what the doctor ordered! Phasers firing, starships warping, the captain and his striking XO dauntlessly facing death yet managing to outwit their adversaries to save the day. The newly married couple's story had all the makings of the classics. War and Peace. From Here to Eternity. Star Wars. All he needed to do now was embed the right reporter on that ship who'd feed him the tales of derring-do he required to bolster his case for the tax increase proposal.

First things first, though.

He activated his comm panel and announced proudly, "Computer, patch me through to Admiral Mendez's office. It's important!"

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