Shore Leave: Welcome to Drozana
Location: Deck 4 - Sickbay
N'Vok calmly walked along the corridor and felt the hum of the power generators below. The ship had definitely seen better days long ago and showed signs of aging everywhere such as leaky pipe fittings, flickering lighting and a generally worn look. The air filtration system could use a proper maintenance schedule, he thought. Arriving at the large doors to sickbay, he made entry and looked around the room for a moment. He assumed that the few people that moved around with a purpose worked here but he was looking for someone very specific. His hawk-like gaze finally locked onto a bronze-skinned human that seemed to be directing the others. He made his way over to her and arched one eyebrow. "Good morning, Centurion Gable. And how is the medical staff today?"
Nancy turned and looked the Romulan over with a practiced glance. Not injured, not sick. "Busy," she replied curtly. "What do you need, lieutenant?"
Ash turned and looked at the newcomer. Nancy was right, not injured, not someone she recognized from the Claw and wearing... Tal Shiar rank. What did Raven do now? She glanced at the doctor and was pretty sure she noticed that as well.
N'Vok raised his chin slightly and inwardly approved of her direct nature. She was still human, though, and as such would have to prove her usefulness to him at some point. He gestured toward the other human on the bio bed. "Are you finished with your patient? I would like to discuss something with her." He blinked a few times as he waited for her response.
Ash raised an eyebrow at the Romulan before looking at Nancy, "What do you think doc? Am I 100%?" The implication is clearly there that she wants to be in top form when dealing with the Tal Shiar. Ever since they docked at Drozana, nothing has gone smoothly for Ash and she has no illusions that this will be any different.
"Cool your jets, Rogers," Gable replied, but with a slight smile. She'd known Ash too long not to pick up on her reaction. "I'm not letting you out of here patched up 'just enough' to go get yourself in trouble again." She looked over at to the Tal Shiar. Now that she had more reason to notice more than health, he did look a little familiar. "You can discuss while I work, take a seat, or come back later. If you leave, go find some bleach. You looked better as blonde."
Now Ash was intrigued, there aren't that many blond Romulans. "Thanks. You're my favorite doc," she said the last part just a little louder hoping Kaol would hear it. "You do know how much I enjoy trouble," she smiled at Nancy. Then Ash turned her attention to the Romulan, "So, what do you want, lieutenant?"
N'Vok arched an eyebrow as he kept his gaze on Gable. A faint smirk crossed his lips as he nodded at her subtle insult but more so that she would allow him to speak to the injured human. He moved closer slowly and looked at her injury before meeting her blue eyes. "There's no cause for concern. I came by because I heard report of your assault and as head of ship's security, we need you in top shape." He paused a moment before continuing, "And now that I mention it, isn't it quite fascinating that you ended up here, of all places." He gestured slowly around the room with his arm.
Ash arched her eyebrow, "End up in Sickbay? I mean, where else would I go when I break my ribs? I've known Doctor Gable for a long time too. I'm glad she's here fixing me up. I will be back in top shape soon enough. So, who are you again? And how exactly did you hear of my 'assault'?" This isn't her first rodeo, she knows this game. Game on.
"I'm Lieutenant N'Vok of the Tal Shiar." He knew that she was toying with him but that was typical of uncooperative humans. "How I came to learn of your... accident isn't particularly relevant. What is relevant is how you managed to become head of ship's security with such a... intriguing past, shall we say?"
Nancy kept to her task, but rolled her eyes a little. Did Tal Shiar take some sort of class to learn that tone? Vaguely Menacing 101? She suspected Ash was even less impressed than she was, but left her speak for herself.
"Oh, you're the Tal Shiar guy. Nice. Perhaps you should ask Raven how I became her security chief, but I'd like to think I am very qualified for this job... which I'm sure you're quite aware," Ash looked him in the eyes. What the hell does the Tal Shiar want? Do they want to know what she's found out about the Ourainavassa? Raven warned her to play this close hold. Or is this something else entirely? Other than Nancy Gable, all of the new crew have been a pain in the ass. Taryn, Kaol, and now N'Vok... Ash will have to gave a chat about crew recruitment with Raven.
"I suppose we can cut to the chase then," she continued. "You want to know what my intentions are... what the hell is a Section 31 assassin is doing wearing Romulan rank? I'm not Section anymore. I'm not Starfleet anymore. I work for hire and currently, I work for Raven. And no, Lieutenant I won't work for you. In fact, I believe that you work for me. And while I may not be Section 31 anymore... I assure you, I am the same person with the same skills and capabilities I had when I did," Ash glared at N'Vok.
"Word to the wise," Gable said evenly. "Not that either of you necessarily fit that category, but if you start a fight in here I'll hypo you both into drooling heavy sedation. And take pictures."
Ash smiled at Gable and looked at N'Vok, "So would either of you believe me if I said that despite being the same person with the same skills and capabilities as I had in the past, I've turned over a new leaf?"
N'Vok kept his focus on Ashley and actually cracked a small, muffled chuckle behind his closed mouth at her open hostility. She was quite defensive and emotional, things which might prove useful in the future. He made another mental note to log this in his dossier. "There's no need for concern on my end, Doctor Gable. I know how to control my emotions." He paused a beat before continuing in Ash's direction, "I believe you have a misunderstanding about my intentions. I don't desire or expect you to 'work for me'."
His eyes slid to the ground for a slight second before returning to her blue orbs. "I have no doubt that Raven will have you eliminated if you fail to perform adequately. I'm simply here to get the measure of you. You betrayed your own people. Traitors are selfish by nature and present a liability. I'm not your enemy, Ms. Rogers. I'm just here to make sure things run smoothly and without problems." He stepped back a few paces and then turned to leave before pausing in his track. "By the way, you may want to work on your threats. If that's the best you can muster, my overall opinion of Section Thirty-one remains unimpressive."
It took all of Ash's willpower to not roll her eyes...because there it is again... the issue of trust. No matter where she goes or who she works for, her past will always come back to haunt her. First it was Taryn goading her and now N'Vok. In a measured voice, she lectured the Romulan, "You really don't know me, N'Vok. Although it's quite adorable that you think you do." Ash took a breath and smiled, "When I was with the Section, Mr. N'Vok, my loyalties were always to the Federation. It was just unfortunate that that those loyalties were occasionally not reciprocated. And yet I still upheld the spirit of those ideals, even as a prisoner of war... And even when I was freed, only to be thrown into a Federation prison for an act of treason that Section 31 orchestrated, I still upheld my oath. No one would go through everything I've been through willingly and repeatedly if they didn't believe in what they're doing. Now I work for Raven, so she gets my loyalty and all that comes with it." She shook her head disappointingly, "You need to go back to your Tal Shiar dossier on me and make a few updates. I'm full of surprises."
Nancy's opinion of both shady intel agencies remained unimpressive - not because they weren't dangerous, but because the posturing and BS rationalizations were. "If you're here to make sure things run smoothly, I suggest you don't look for ways to sow distrust of our Security Chief," the doctor said, eyeing N'Vok levelly. She had reservations about Ash - she didn't doubt the woman was trying, but Ash had 'tried' any number of times before. However, she was also all too aware of just how often the Tal Shiar had worked against saving their own people from the coming cataclysm, so N'Vok's pontificating on traitors betraying people fell very flat for her. "I've seen Tal Shiar threaten refugees just trying to find a safe place to live, so you can spare me lectures on people betraying their own."
She's sure that from the good doctor's perspective, there's absolutely nothing redeemable about the assassin. Knowing that, Ash appreciated Nancy defending her. It's rare that anyone ever does. She nodded at her statements, "People like you and people like the Tal Shiar make people like me, N'Vok. You recruit us. You train us. You cultivate all of those traits that most people find distasteful. You groom us to be all those things that, on a whim, you can suddenly decide are liabilities. That's where I draw the line. I don't owe you any warm and fuzzies about who I am, nor do I feel a particular need to impress you." Ash chuckles darkly, "But if you think that I was threatening you earlier, you definitely don't know me."
N'Vok looked over at Gable and said, "I'm not here to sow any discord, doctor. I'm just making it clear that I'll be watching." He ignored the jab she made about the Tal Shiar and turned back to face the blonde woman on the bed. He noted the anger in her features. To him, she seemed like the kind of person that had been under a lot of stress lately, to say nothing of her disdain for an enemy intelligence agent. None of that would earn her any sympathy from him, though. "And I know that you're not a threat to me," he stated calmly with a rewording of Ash's sentence. He redirected the subject of the words to herself quite deliberately. He didn't need to add that if she posed a true threat to him or his operations, he would have killed her long before this polite conversation. "However, regardless of your past, I trust we can work together going forward for the benefit of the empire?"
There's that word again... 'trust.' No one trusts her and quite frankly, given her history, she trusts no one. Yes, she has allies and yes, there are a few on this crew that she may one day feel comfortable relying on. But trust the Tal Shiar? HA. But now is not the time to pick this fight. Ash extended a hand for a handshake, "That's why I'm here."
A Tal Shiar making it clear he'd be watching struck Nancy as the very definition of sowing discord, but she didn't say so. If Rogers could try to work with him, so would she. But she would be watching too. "My goal in being out here has always been to serve the Romulan people." She knew better than to offer a hand, and simply inclined her head a very precise fraction.
N'Vok walked back to the bed and looked at the offered hand. It had become second nature in his human disguise to use the human gesture well enough, which is why he didn't tilt his head in confusion. He reached out and grasped Ash's hand firmly and shook it. Despite being used to the move, it still felt alien to him. "Then we are both here for the same reason." He let go and craned his head over to Gable. "All three of us, it would seem, doctor."
Ash never broke eye contact with N'Vok, "I hope so." She knows her own motivation and she knows Nancy's motivation, but N'Vok is a wild card to her. Wild cards mean surprises and rarely has Ash experienced pleasant surprises.
Nancy was not big on hope - she'd seen it dashed too often. "Stick to that reason, and we'll get along fine."