Thanks to 0afan0 for the title suggestion!
There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes
Another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
It was a dark and stormy night in Havana. A tropical gale was blowing through—the weather control system must have been in need of repair. That happened every so often.
The bartender watched the palm trees blowing in the wind outside. It didn't appear that many people would be visiting El Club de Diego Velázquez that evening. A few of the regulars were there, of course. Nothing would stop them. Two men in particular were deep in discussion at the bar a few feet away from him.
"Just apologize, even if you don't know what you did," one advised the other, "And pray she has mercy on you, man."
Human women had to be the most fickle and insatiable women in the galaxy, the bartender often thought. Oh, they were attractive enough—and they found him attractive, almost without exception. Apparently, Vulcans were all the rage as far as human ladies were concerned. A typical nightly scenario went something like this: A woman would come in and sit at the bar. Soren (that was what he said his name was) would serve her a drink.
"You're cute," she would say to him with a wink, "especially your ears."
And he would return with something along the lines of, "You're rather easy on the eyes yourself."
The woman would lean over the bar towards him. "Would you like to come home with me later?" she would whisper.
As tempting a prospect it was, he would never take her up on it—that was the surest way to blow his cover. For all he knew, those women were Starfleet Intelligence agents sent to flush him out.
Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Oh, be careful what you say
Or you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
His real name was Setal. He was a Romulan secret agent gathering information. Posing as a Vulcan who didn't agree with Surak's restrictive teachings and the unreasonable expectations of his people, he had gotten a job as a bartender at the picturesque and historical nightclub in Cuba. San Francisco was naturally too conspicuous. And besides, El Club was considered to be a hidden gem, where several prominent Starfleet admirals went to "get away."
The admiral Setal was most interested in was Hajime Fujisaki, the Deputy Chief of Starfleet Intelligence. He was a frequent visitor, and had come to enjoy his talks with his favorite barkeep.
During their frequent discussions, the Romulan had learned much about the vice admiral: the cologne he used, his favorite song, his allergies, health problems, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Setal had no idea what would be done with the information, he just passed it on. His job was to gather the materials for the think tanks, and that was all.
The weather would most likely deter Fujisaki from coming to the establishment that evening. Setal listened to the music instead, going over the steps from his dance lessons in his mind. He found that he liked dancing a great deal. If questioned about it, he had the legitimate excuse that he was just trying to blend in. It was all in the service of the Empire.
Setal looked up from slicing limes when he noticed the revolving door move. To his surprise, the man in question was walking toward him. He smiled. "Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in," he greeted him. "Good evening, Hajime." The fellow may have been a high-ranking official, but there, he wanted to be treated like an ordinary civilian. "You look like the wet rat I killed this morning," he joked.
Fujisake chuckled, and then shrugged. "I feel like a wet rat, Soren," he confessed, his smile turning up side down.
"Soren"/Setal narrowed his eyes and tilted his head in bewilderment. "Oh?" he subtly prodded. "What's plaguing you?"
The admiral sighed. "What plagues us all," he said, "Women!" He practically spat the word out.
Setal sliced through the air with his hand. "Say no more," he answered, though he really meant the opposite. And he knew he'd get exactly that. He set a glass on the counter and poured a drink. Fujisake didn't have to order what he wanted. Setal already knew. "Women are a curse," he agreed. "I know exactly how you feel."
"You do?" the human asked, somewhat surprised. "They seem to like you well enough."
The bartender shook his head firmly. "I've sworn them off, Hajime," he insisted. "My wife divorced me for some Betazoid gigolo. Whoever thinks Vulcans aren't emotional is a fool. And no offense, but from what I've seen around here, human women aren't any different."
"None taken. I've often wondered why you always turn down the women who try to pick you up," Fujisaki mused.
"Well, I'm never going to get burned again," Setal vowed. "Your drink is on the house, by the way."
"Really?" the admiral's expression brightened.
"Really," the other repeated. "After all, it's my job to listen to you, but today you've done me the favor."
"Don't mention it. We males have to band together during times like these."
As Setal predicted, Fujisaki then proceeded to tell him all about the sordid details of his deteriorating marriage. The Romulan absorbed the facts, down to the last minutia. His next report was going to be the most interesting to date.
Secret agent man
Secret agent man
They've given you a number
and taken away your name
The following Tuesday, Setal sat on the beach. He sipped a Jamaican lager as the waves lapped at his bare feet. The weather control system had long ago been repaired, and it was a bright, sunny day. It was his day off from working at the club, but he wasn't really "off." Every Tuesday, he sent his report to Romulus via a "piggyback" transmission wave.
He had already completed his report, and it was ready to be sent. But first, he wanted to relax for a few minutes. The things I do for the Empire, he thought as he reclined backwards onto the sand. As assignments went, this one wasn't half bad. In fact, it was more like a luxurious vacation.
This was the perfect "Earth" moment, he realized. The salty sea air, the pleasant breeze blowing in one's face. The only thing that could have made it better would be if he had an Earth woman at his side. He smiled at the thought. Human ladies were unpredictable, it was true. But they nevertheless fascinated him. He especially liked it that they seemed to be more docile than Romulan women.
"Not on this assignment," he firmly reminded himself. It was far too dangerous, considering the nature of his mission. Besides, he had been indoctrinated from infancy that it was best for him to stick with his own kind anyway.
Setal quickly stood up and ended his reverie. He finished his drink and went back inside his shanty apartment to send off his report to Chairman Koval.
Swingin' on the Riviera, one day
And then layin' in the Bombay alley next day
Oh no, you let the wrong words slip
While kissing persuasive lips
The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Yeah, this is the kind of stuff that comes to me when I can't sleep… But hey, I was so excited about writing it that I sprung right out of bed this morning!
No, I don't own Johnny Rivers' Secret Agent Man. The song just gave me the idea for the story.