965: Right Under Their Nose

by Mellice Cem and Centurion Borov
After With Friends Like These

-=Aboard the Romulan Warbird=-

As he stood silently in the turbolift with Mellice Cem and Kelly Harris, Borov wondered when the Bajoran would make his move.. He had no doubt in his mind that escape would be attempted, and normally Borov would have called for additional guards to escort their guests, but his curiosity was getting the best of him.

The Bajoran appeared, to Borov’s keen eye, to be an accomplished fighter of his species, and the Romulan wanted to see for himself exactly what Mellice could do in a one on one battle. The Human female was clearly a civilian and posed no threat to him. Borov would let her live, unless he felt it was to his advantage in his battle with Mellice to kill her.

He did not know why the Orion Syndicate was so interested in these two, nor did her particularly care. That was a matter for diplomats, Tal Shiar agents, and Sub-commander Antok to be concerned with.

Borov was escorting them to deck seven, aft guest quarters. The location was tantalizingly close to Mellice’s stolen raider, and Borov hoped that the location might inspire the Bajoran to hasten his escape attempt. He kept a close eye on the foe as they exited the lift and followed the corridor towards their destination.

If Mellice was trying to take in their surroundings and plan his escape, he was doing a good job of hiding it. Mellice kept his head down, as if looking at the floor. Borov, however, could not tell if he was truly staring at the floor, or glancing with only his eyes as he walked.

The Human made no secret of looking at everything as they walked, but this concerned Borov little, as he doubted she could find her way around a Romulan Warbird even if she had a map, tour guide, and subspace radio based navigation system.

As they moved through the corridors towards their quarters, Mellice kept his thoughts and plans well to himself. True, he's been planning their escape ever since the talk with Sub-Commander Antok, but he'd so far kept them to himself, so Kelly knew nothing of what he was plotting. For the time being, he let Borov have his curious thoughts of when he'd make his move.

Mellice had no plans on going for the raider they had flown in with. It was not his style to go for what was safe, secure and known. That was not the man who was the product of Mellice’s troubled youth.

His plans of escape involved one of the Romulan's own shuttles. He knew they had one stationed in the same bay in which his own stolen raider was docked for repairs by the Romulan engineers.

He assumed they would repair it all right, but they would also, he surmised, plant either a tracking device or a bomb aboard it. He knew they'd never let them go willingly, unless they deemed it to be to their own advantage. If Mellice and Kelly were released or did manage to escape on the raider, the Romulans would either trace their movements or attempt to kill them.

He was going to need to make his move soon, before the warbird reached Romulus, but not when Borov was expecting it. Mellice would indeed disappoint his fellow security officer by simply waiting a bit longer to spring his plan into action.

“Stop.” Borov commanded. Kelly and Mellice halted right where they were, as Borov entered a code into the door they had just passed. It slid open, revealing a lavish and posh accommodation fit for an Admiral. Kelly’s eyes widened as she entered, and flopped directly down on the plush red couch nearest the door, as she suddenly realized just how exhausted she was.

“Sub-Commander Antok wished for you to be comfortable.” Borov said to Mellice, still in the doorway. “Is there anything else you need right now?”

“No, I think this will do it, thank you.” Mellice smiled politely once again, knowing that more than anything else would annoy someone like Borov.

“I will be very close by, if you need anything.” Borov said. Mellice was well aware that the statement was meant as a warning, and not an offer of concierge service.

The Romulan walked off back in the direction he had come from, as Mellice slipped into the quarters.

“Maybe the Romulans aren’t so bad after all,” Kelly’s muffled voice offered from the velvet pillow she had flopped into, face first.

As the door to their quarters closed behind him, Mellice didn't waste any time. He swiftly yet methodically searched the entire room from top to bottom for any kinds of listening devices. Kelly turned her head so she could observe what he was doing.

"Would you like some water, Sally?" He asked of her, making sure he used the name he had called her by on the bridge. After speaking he emphatically mouthed the word bug, then held up the first of many he knew he would find, between the index finger and thumb of his right hand.

"I'd love some water, Mr. Mellice." She replied casually, before approaching him to see what he had found.

After Kelly had actually given the Romulans some credit, Mellice could not help but smirk at the look of surprise now on her face upon seeing the listening device. He moved towards the replicator and ordered two glasses of water. One was actually for Kelly while the other would be for the bugs he knew he'd find hidden within their suite. The last words heard by those listening just before he dropped the tiny device into the glass were, "Things aren't as they seem, are they?"

Mellice then carefully checked the rest of the suite. As he found a new listening device, it was promptly dropped into the water. If the Romulus had a flaw in their eavesdropping techniques, it was the fact that their bugs were as sensitive to water as they were sound. This made them efficient for listening, yet easy to destroy. Once he was certain he had found them all, he then turned to the still stunned Kelly Harris.

"I wouldn't praise our new found 'friends' so quickly. As I said earlier, things aren't as they seem."

Down the corridor from their quarters, Borov sat in a small dark alcove, his face illuminated only by the computer panel before him. He grinned and nodded in approval as the signal from each listening device vanished from the readout on his monitor. The Bajoran was indeed a worthy foe. He even found the bug Borov had stashed inside the cushion of the overstuffed chair.

He secured his station, and stepped back out into the corridor. The guest quarters were still in his sight. Borov approached slowly, expecting the Bajoran to make his escape attempt at any moment. When he did, Borov would defeat him in combat, and inform the bridge that he had been forced to kill the prisoners.

Granted they may have been valuable to the Senate or the Tal Shiar, but Borov was not at all interested in the Senate or the Tal Shiar. He was interested in the Bajoran, and challenging himself against what he believed to be an equal opponent.

He had little doubt he would be victorious, but just in case, there was no reason to not at least be careful.

“Borov to security,” He whispered into a comm device on the inside of his wrist. “Triple the guard in the main shuttlebay.”

His order was met with a crisp aye sir. When Borov arrived at the guest quarters, he stopped before the door, and tapped in his security code to open it.

“Do not move!” He bellowed, as the door opened. However, he was calling to no one. There was no sign of the Bajoran or the Human in the room. The only indication they had been there was a glass of water on the dining table, filled with Borov’s listening devices.

He dashed into the room, and looked left and right, behind the furniture, in the bathroom and bedrooms, but to no avail. They were gone.

Borov's plans for a final confrontation with the Bajoran were suddenly unraveling, as both Mellice Cem and Kelly Harris were now crawling through the bowels of the ship via the access tubes.

If security were alerted, and it surely would be by now assuming Borov had discovered the rug over the hole in the floor they had escaped through, Mellice knew the Romulan security officer would have doubled or tripled the guard in the main shuttle bay. Cem would have done the same thing if their roles were reversed.

So the next place he'd have to go in order to get off the Warbird would be one of the transporter rooms. Granted there was no way off the ship while it was at warp, but if Mellice could beam himself directly into a shuttle, he could blast the hanger doors and be gone before the Romulans had a chance of stopping him.

Mellice had made the hole for their escape using a small disruptor he had lifted off one of Borov's guards while they were inside the lift. He had managed to not just arm himself, but also to make sure no one else could use the weapon but him. Before he cut the hole, he had quickly taken the weapon apart and reconfigured it to now be DNA encoded to his signature alone. It was yet another of the skills he had come across in his past that came in very useful now.

The Romulans had no idea the type of person they were holding. Even Borov, for all his years in security, underestimated exactly how skilled Mellice was.

After the Occupation ended, he had been diagnosis as having a split personality, but that was as far as Mellice had ever allowed any counselor to get with him. When they asked him about how his father died, he ended the session by simply walking out. That was a subject he never talked about with anyone. Period. Not even his own mother.

Cem’s psychological condition made him more dangerous than anyone realized. Even Starfleet had tried to keep him on a very short leash, so to speak. Unless, of course, it suited them to exploit his abilities, as was the case with Admiral Harris.

Thus far it had worked. However, whenever he'd gotten into a situation that placed the lives of those around him in serious danger, he slipped into his second personality so fluidly that nobody, not even his superiors, knew what he was truly capable of until after the damage had been done.

Now, as they attempted to escape the Romulans, each decision, calculation, and move he made was planned and executed almost robotically. His mission to keep Ms. Harris safe at all costs was so far going as he had envisioned, even if the Orions and Romulans had forced him to alter them slightly. Still, he would make good on his promise to Admiral Harris that his daughter would be well taken care of and safe. That was all that mattered.

Before the door could even complete opening, the attendant in the transporter room found himself unconscious on the floor courtesy of a blast from Mellice’s weapon.

“What are you doing? We can’t beam off the ship!” Kelly asked, wondering if Mellice had lost his mind.

“We’re not beaming off the ship,” He said coldly. “Borov,” He muttered next under his breath. The Romulan had locked down the transporter controls as a precaution. Mellice smashed the face of the panel with his elbow, causing Kelly to jump back in surprise.

She was anxious to know exactly where he planned to beam them if not off the ship, but his demeanor seemed to have changed suddenly.

He was even more intense than he had been before, if that were possible. Kelly watched him rip the disruptor apart again, as he had done before in the guest quarters.

He removed a small device and knelt down beside the unconscious Romulan attendant. He pressed the man’s fingerprints gently against it, and then moved back to the open transporter panel.

Kelly’s curiosity was definitely getting the better of her.

“What is that?” She asked after a few moments.

“It reads DNA and shunts the results it into the processor of the disruptor to make sure only a Romulan can use the weapon. I reconfigured it to accept Bajoran DNA. The transporter’s security features are a bit more complicated than the disruptors, so I’m resetting the scanner back to Romulan, and wiring this into the security system so I can use his DNA to unlock the transporter controls.”

“Oh,” Kelly rocked on her heels for a moment, gazing at the motionless Romulan on the floor as she waited for Mellice to finish. “Why couldn’t you just put his hand on the panel to unlock it?”

“Feel his hand.” Mellice instructed. Kelly gingerly bent down, and brushed just her index finger over the man’s palm.

“It’s cold.”

“A Romulan’s body temperature can drop as much as ten degrees almost immediately when they are asleep or unconscious. That’s why their DNA scanners measure body temperature as well.” Mellice finished his wiring, and then added, “Get on the pad.”

He carefully wrapped a thin piece of metal he had pulled out of the panel around the back of the scanner. The metal would still conduct his body heat for the temperature reading, without allowing his Bajoran DNA to compromise the scan of the Romulan fingerprints on the device.

The panel came alive, and Mellice quickly located the shuttle closest to the hanger doors in the bay. He set a five second delay, then joined Kelly on the transporter pad. Moments later, the materialized in the shuttle, and were looking out the tinted glass at the Romulans milling about. There were a half dozen guards at each entrance, four beside the Raider, and one at each shuttle, including the one they were in.

Kelly hoped, for the sake of the guards, that the Romulans had an emergency forcefield over the main door, or they would have a very unpleasant and short journey into the vacuum of space when Mellice blasted off the door.

Mellice did a silent countdown in his head as he waited for shuttle’s forward disruptor cannons to power up. When he was ready to fire, he looked up just in time to see Borov enter the bay. He could not hear what the Romulan was shouting, but the guards began to scatter, several more heading for the raider.

Without another thought on the matter, Mellice fired on the bay doors, the quickly brought the engines online to make his escape. The charred and crumpled door broke free. If there were a forcefield, it must have been damaged by the blast as well, because Romulans were grabbing desperately for the nearest solid object to hold onto to.

Several were not so lucky, meeting their fate in the cold of space. Mellice paid them no mind, keeping his focus completely on piloting the shuttle. He slipped out the bay doors, engaged the cloak, and held the vessel steady as they passed through the Warbird’s warp field. There was a jolt in the shuttle, causing Kelly to shriek but eliciting no reaction from Mellice, as they dropped back to sublight speed.

She wasn’t sure what was more nerve wracking, the bumpy ride, or the fact none of any of this seemed to be having any effect on her Bajoran counterpart.

Mellice aligned the shuttle with Federation space, and engaged at maximum warp.

-=Romulan Bridge=-

“Borov! Borov, what the hell is going on down there?”

The whole ship had shook as a result of the explosive decompression, and it took only a moment to discern that the main shuttlebay was the source of the problem.

Borov’s voice crackled over the intercom, barely audible.

“Sub-Commander! There is…”

“Not now!” Antok snapped, as he strained to hear Borov’s report.

“But Sub-Commander, one of the…” Antok had heard quite enough. He demanded silence with the barrel of his disruptor now, and the Sub-Centurion at the operations console finally decided her report would wait.

“Please repeat, Borov!”

[No air… gency… ransport… now.] His voice broke from the roar of air rushing past him as he gripped onto the legs of the Orion raider in the bay below.

“Get them out, now!” Antok ordered. “Take us out of warp.”

“Transports in progress!” Antok was silent for several moments, as he waited for his tactical officer to complete the transport cycles. Over his shoulder the female operations officer was twitching with desperation to deliver the news she had. “Transports complete. Seven crew members are unaccounted for.”

“Borov?” Antok asked.

“Difficult to say. I only have a count of the missing, not names yet.”

Antok turned to the female who was so desperate for his attention moments ago. “What, is so important, Sub-Centurion?”

“Sir, just after the explosion, sensors detected one of the shuttles leaving the bay amongst all the other debris.

“Why didn’t you…” Antok began in anger, before realizing the reason she did not tell him was that he would have killed her had she not shut up. “Where is it now?”


The color drained from Antok’s face, as he realized his prisoners were most assuredly aboard the mystery shuttle, which undoubtedly was on its way to Federation space by now. In a few hours Antok would arrive at Romulus, and when his superiors demanded the prize he had promised them, Antok would have nothing to deliver but excuses.

His superiors did not accept excuses.

Lieutenant (jg) Mellice Cem
Assistant Security/Tactical Chief
USS Revolution NCC-71605-A
Discovered Federation Spy within the Orion Syndicate


Centurion Borov
Security Chief
NPC As Played by
Commander Salvek