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Pieces Moving Into Place

Posted on Sun Dec 5th, 2021 @ 4:05am by Subcommander Kaiae t'Lien

Mission: Chapter V: The Calm Before The Storm
Location: Romulus

While procurement and movement of ships and crew were discussed far away; meanwhile deep in the heart of the Empire on the homeworld, a different sort of meeting was taking place in a Romulan city: Between a pair of third cousins, one of them leaving their two young children with the other, under the guise of the sort of thing not so unusual, especially for a busy couple from the capital; to lean on relatives under perhaps somewhat less pressure for time to help guide or care for your children for a time, especially those whose own children were grown, and get them out for awhile into regions where they might have more freedom and space to move or explore.

What made it somewhat more unusual - and was unknown to almost anyone - was that in this case the arrangement was meant to be permanent, and the father of the children exchanging them was arranging not for their temporary absence and care, but for their survival. He had been somewhat surprised to have succeeded in getting out of the capital in the first place, with restrictions seeming to tighten of late even for those like himself who might otherwise travel freely, and especially around those residing in areas of the planet (namely the capital itself) where the Senate probably wished keep the greater-than-average level of information available to its denizens from spreading widely around the planet or the empire at large.

The corner of anyone's mind that all other things being equal would very much prefer to survive had teased the suggestion that perhaps, he should simply fail to return from this trip; if necessary with the sort of faked accident with which one might draw attention away from any attempts to compel the issue. But the idea was set aside firmly nearly as quickly as it came to mind, for a variety of reasons; he had left his wife behind, for one; but even if that had not been the case, because he had learned enough in the prior meetings with his cousin to feel the weight on his shoulders of his part in a plan to save hundreds of their people.

If you were desperate enough, you could procure a set of fake travel papers; hope you picked the right person to buy them from, that you didn't get caught attempting to do so; but more than that, hope that they were good enough to pass even cursory inspection later, let alone a serious challenge. If you wanted to be certain, you needed real ones. They were possible to acquire, if you had a seemingly plausible itinerary, only a few people traveling, and the papers happened to cross the desk of an official having a good day. For a larger number, or larger pieces of entire families at one time, you had better have a very compelling itinerary indeed...That, or a man on the inside, able to put an official stamp of approval on them regardless and ensure they would pass even the most exhaustive of checks, because they were, in fact, even entered into restricted central records systems.

And so he boarded the train again, intent on being in place to issue them to those on the list his cousin had provided...And for that matter, to as many other people as he felt he might possibly stretch his authority (and their applications' credibility) to approve without coming to notice too soon. It was not the sort of actions had had had in mind when he had first gone to the capital over sixty years prior, full of zeal and duty; only the last measures left for any semblance of such, after the last several years of the front-row seat his position and location had given to all the ways the Senate had become bereft of their own.


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